With its long warm nights and wide choice of extremely beautiful venues, both indoor and outdoor, Italy is the perfect location for a music festival, while there’s no better place to see the opera than in the birthplace of opera itself. Throughout the summer alone, there is a huge variety of music and opera festivals taking place across the country to suit all tastes; some even span months at a time. Here’s our pick of ten of the best, located near several of our boutique hotels and luxury villas in Italy.
Festival dei Due Mondi, Spoleto – June 24-July 10
Arguably one of Italy’s most important cultural events, the Festival dei Due Mondi takes place in Spoleto in the heart of Umbria. It celebrates not only music but also elements of art and culture, bringing the three together to create original and innovative performances.
Umbria Jazz, Umbria – July 8-17
Umbria Jazz is the other major music event to take place in Umbria, and boasts both a summer and a winter edition. Though the event largely takes place in the regional capital of Perugia, many of the performances are also set in beautiful, intimate venues across many Umbrian towns, providing a stunning backdrop to the music of the New World.
Folkfest, Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia – June 23-July 11
The north-eastern regions of Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia have teamed up for Folkfest, with artists from around the world descending upon more than 30 towns in the area, bringing with them vibrant music and culture. Set in a variety of locations ranging from village centres to villas and castles, the artists come from as far away as India, Israel and South America.
Mito Settembre Musica, Turin and Milan, September 2-22
Connecting the two popular cities of Turin and Milan is Mito Settembre Musica, a carefully selected and refined choice of stunning concerts showcasing the very best instrumentalists. Including open-air shows and night-time concert, the festival spans a variety of genres including medieval, baroque, opera, jazz and contemporary.
Sued-Tirol Jazz Festival Alto-Adige, South Tyrol – June 24-July 3
This major eight-day jazz festival attracts several internationally acclaimed musicians, performing at a variety of venues across four of South Tyrol’s major towns. Combining both traditional and modern jazz, each concert takes place in a beautiful setting, from town squares to castles and manor houses.
Sounds of the Dolomites, Trentino – July 2-August 26
Combing music with art and nature, Sounds of the Dolomites embraces the local mountain scenery to create an event like no other. The performers and audience together ascend one of the stunning mountains, before the climactic musical performance takes place at the summit, making for a new way to experience the often snow-topped peaks.
International Opera Festival, Verona – June 24-August 28
Taking place at the ancient amphitheatre the Arena di Verona, this festival is now in its 94th year, and brings with it a strong calendar of opera events to the historic city of Verona. Scheduled to be performed this year are Aida, Carmen, La Traviata, Turandot and Il Trovatore.
62nd Puccini Festival, Torre del Lago – July 15-August 13
Created by Puccini himself back in 1930, the outdoor theatre of the Torre de Lago is the perfect setting for the Puccini Festival, celebrating the operatic works of the great composer. Close to where he can be found buried at Villa Mausoleo, the festival’s programme includes a number of favourites such as Madame Butterfly, La Boheme, Tosca and Turandot.
Festival of Ancient Music, Urbino – July 16-August 15
Beginning with a concert in the stunning courtyard of the Palazzo Ducale, the Festival of Ancient Music is an unmissable event celebrating the culture which made Urbino the Capital of the Renaissance.
Sferisterio Opera Festival, Macerata – July 22-August 13
Now in its 52nd edition, the Sferisterio Opera Festival will be staging a number of popular operas including Othello, Norma and Il Trovatore. Each opera will be staged at the magnificent Sferisterio, a unique piece of architecture making for a backdrop as dramatic as the opera.
Image: Mito Settembre Musica, available under Creative Commons