In July, Italy is filled with exhibitions and music festivals that will make your summer unforgettable: here are our favourites
Summer is finally here, and it brings with it the desire to go out, to travel, to see unforgettable things and have heart-warming experiences.
July for Italy is the month of music festivals, which spread across the peninsula from the big cities to the unspoilt nature of forests and valleys. The Bel Paese becomes the perfect destination for those who, in addition to sun and sea, want to enjoy carefree evenings with international artists after a day of culture.
Here, then, are 15 unmissable events and exhibitions in Italy in July to celebrate the arrival of summer.
15. Music without frontiers at the No Borders Music Festival
For the entire month of July, Tarvisio (Friuli) welcomes national and international artists from every musical genre in a breathtaking location: the stage will be positioned between the lakes of Fusine, two mirrors of water in Caribbean colours, just a few kilometres from the town, framed by the chain of Alps that mark the border between Italy, Austria and Slovenia.
The line-up includes Ben Harper, Jack Johnson, MIka, Stefano Bollani and many others.
14. Biennale di Venezia: Biennale Di Venezia: The 18th Architecture Exhibition
If you are in the Venice lagoon, don't miss the chance to visit one of the oldest and most prestigious art exhibitions in the world. Held since 1895, the Biennale di Venezia brings together a wide range of contemporary art, film and architecture and organises many side events, including performances, lectures and workshops.
This year, The Laboratory of the Future will take you on an exciting journey through the works of 89 participants, more than half of whom are from Africa or have experienced the African diaspora. The International Exhibition takes place in the Central Pavilion at the Giardini, the Arsenale and Forte Marghera. Explore Venice and discover the main attractions with an audio guide full of information.
13. Excursion to the Cape Palinuro Caves
Looking for an idea to escape the heat of July? A trip to the caves of Capo Palinuro is just the thing for you!
Along the promontory of the most famous town on the Cilento coast, you can admire some splendid natural caves, even venturing inside them. The most fascinating are the Grotta Azzurra (Blue Cave), with brightly coloured waters thanks to the effect of the sun peeking through the rocks, and the Grotta del Sangue (Blood Cave), characterised by the red colour of its walls.
12. Apolide Festival XX, or life in the woods
From a small mountain festival in the province of Turin, in its 20th year Apolide is emerging as a major international indie music festival.
In the nature reserve near Vialfrè (TO), from 20 to 23 July, concerts by national and international artists will resound, and workshops, talks and activities of all kinds will be held in harmony with the surrounding nature. Suitable for those who want to reconnect with the natural world to the sound of music. Pack your tent and sleeping bag!
11. Dalì, Magritte, Man Ray and Surrealism at the MUDEC in Milan
Throughout the month of July it will be possible to dive in the Surrealist movement, promoter of the dream as a creative force of reality. The 180 works on display at the Museum of Cultures in Milan offer a journey through paintings, sculptures, drawings, documents and artefacts that also analyse the complex yet refined relationship between Surrealism and non-Western cultures.
10. Man Ray at the Doge's Palace, Genoa
300 works that tell the story of the genius of 20th century photography, on show only until 9 July in the the Doge's Palace in Genoa
Not only photos, but also drawings, paintings, sculptures and films that describe Man Ray's poetics, characterised from the very beginning by irony, sensuality and the desire to experiment, to break the mould and create new aesthetics.
9. The Wildlife Photographer of the Year at Bard Fortress
The exhibition awarding international nature photography is back at the Fortress of Bard (AO) until 16 July.
The 100 award-winning shots are presented for the first time in light panels that make them even more exciting. The 2023 winner is American photographer Karine Aigner, awarded Nature Photographer of the Year for her extraordinary image of a buzzing ball of cactus bees circling in the hot sand on a Texas ranch.
8. Sonic Park Festival 2023
From 2018, Sonic Park brings live music to locations rich in charm and beauty. Between the Palazzina di Caccia in Stupinigi (Turin) and the Cava del Sole in Matera, nationally and internationally renowned artists will take turns. For those who love to experience music surrounded by art and wonder.More info❯
7. Inside Banksy in the Cathedral of Image in Florence
The deconsecrated church of Santo Stefano al Ponte is a masterpiece of Florentine architectural heritage. Since 2015, it has been reborn as the Cathedral of the Image, becoming Italy's first permanent centre for Immersive Art Experiences and hosting some of the world's greatest artists. In July, you can find the immersive experience dedicated to Banksy, which, thanks to state-of-the-art light projections and surround sound, will envelop you until you step inside the work of art.
6. Ravenna Festival 2023
An all-round music festival in the Romagna city, involving every genre, from pop to indie, from Afro to classical. Don't miss the dates of 13 July with Fatoumata Diawara, charismatic standard-bearer of the modern African music scene, 23 July with Mike Stern, and 15 July, to experience a 'classic rave' from dusk to dawn.More info❯
5. Japanese demons at the Pallavicini Palace in Bologna
A journey into the imagination of Japanese mythology among more than 200 works: the exhibition "Yokai. The ancient prints of Japanese monsters" in Bologna, at Palazzo Pallavicini until 23 July, will introduce you to the magical and frightening creatures, with their animal or disturbing appearance, and the benevolent beings that are still central to the production of manga and video games.
4. Reach the Garden of Kolymbethra through underground tunnels
In the beautiful Valley of the Temples in Agrigento, Sicily, hides a gem: the Garden of Kolymbethra is a rare archaeological and agricultural jewel, an extraordinary place that encapsulates the colours, flavours and scents of the land of Sicily.
Reach it through its hypogea, a network of tunnels built in 480 A.D. and once used to supply water to the city of Akragas: the ascent to the sunny garden will make you feel as if you were in paradise on earth!
3. Ruth Orkin's iconic work at the Musei Reali in Turin
Until 16 July, you can get to know the work of one of the greatest photojournalists of the 20th century: the 156 shots on display in the Sale Chiablese of the Musei Reali in Turin will tell the story of Ruth Orkin's work and life, and her creation of a language that combines cinema and photography, fixed image and the illusion of the moving image.
2. Lucca Summer Festival 2023
Since 1998, this music festival has been making Italy vibrate to the notes of immortal icons: Norah Jones, Robbie Williams, Simply Red, Kiss, Bob Dylan, there's no one missing at the Lucca Summer Festival 2023! And you? Do you want to miss it?More info❯
1. The best experience in the world: the Catacombs of Saint Gennaro in Naples
Acclaimed in 2021 as the world's best experience by Tiquets' Remarkable Venue Awards, the Neapolitan treasure located in the historic Sanità district is an underground archaeological site dating back to the 2nd-3rd century.
It is now common knowledge that the city of Naples has written its own history both above and below ground, and a visit to the Catacombs of Saint Gennaro will take you to a time of ancient rituals, where the dead are almost as much a part of daily life as the living. As ancient repositories of the remains of the patron saint San Gennaro, now preserved in the Cathedral of Naples, the catacombs also preserve a rich pictorial heritage, ranging from pagan depictions to Byzantine paintings, and are the custodians of the first Christian paintings in southern Italy.