May Day, Italian Labour Day, may be the right day for a trip out of town or a concert: let us recommend you some events!
Italy owes much of its beauty to its long and rich history. This is also reflected in our calendar, where there is no shortage of anniversaries. Among these, we cannot forget Labour Day, which is celebrated on May 1st. It is an occasion to remember the struggles of the past, but also to spend time with friends and family. Do you want to organise something special for May Day? Here are our tips!
Why is May Day is Labour Day in Italy?
Labour Day, a time of the year that invites us to reflect on the achievements of the labour movement, is an important date that is not only celebrated in Italy. In fact, even in North America it is a cherished holiday, even though it falls on the first Monday of September.
So why do we Italians celebrate on May 1st? To understand this, we have to go back to the time of the Second International, to the Paris Congress of 1889. It was decided that a demonstration should be promoted simultaneously throughout the world, in which workers would demand greater fairness. The date of May 1st was chosen in homage to other important precedents, including the American demonstrations of 1886 and the Haymarket Riot in Chicago.
The years have passed, but May Day has remained (despite the interlude of the twenty-year fascist period, during which it was abolished). Even today, Labour Day reflects the social and political struggles and demands of present time, linked to work but not only. The importance of this anniversary is underlined by events and initiatives that, just like flowers in spring, bloom in every part of our peninsula.
May Day in Rome: “il concertone”
There's no doubt about it: Italy's most popular Labour Day event is certainly the May Day Concert, held in Rome's Piazza San Giovanni in Laterano. It is also the largest free live music event in Europe. An experience not to be missed for those who find themselves in the capital this spring!
“Il concertone”, as it is sometimes called, began in 1990 and is still promoted by the CGIL, CISL and UIL trade unions. Today, as in the past, it attracts thousands of spectators, in addition to those who watch it live on television or listen to it on the radio.
It is a unique festival that combines the characteristics of a music concert, a TV show and a street event. A formula that manages to please everyone, but without forgetting the important social and political themes that have given rise to this heartfelt festivity.
Outings and trips out of town in Tuscany
For Italians, May Day has always been synonymous with a trip out of town. Spring’s arrival and the convivial atmosphere typical of the holidays make this the perfect occasion to get away from the city and visit some of the most picturesque villages dotting the peninsula.
And when it comes to outings, Tuscany is certainly one of the most sought-after destinations: the charm of its hills, the richness of its history and its captivating food and wine offerings have made it a point of reference for tourists from all over Italy and the rest of the world.
San Gimignano is a destination that will satisfy both lovers of Italian architectural history and enthusiasts of good wine. This small town in the province of Siena, nicknamed "the New York of the Middle Ages" thanks to its splendid and unmistakable towers, is certainly one of the most evocative in its area. The historic centre of the town, with its unique architecture, has earned the title of UNESCO World Heritage Site.
May Day by the sea: Gallipoli
May Day certainly owes its popularity to the history of workers’ achievements, but its appeal does not stop there. As it is a spring holiday, it is also an opportunity to celebrate the return of the warm season and to return to appreciate the most beloved Italian resorts. The first sun, longer days and mild weather make this day a coveted moment for those who dream of finally returning to the beach.
And if we are talking about beaches, the peninsula is full of unmissable destinations. Italy has plenty of locations for both those who want to get a tan and those who dream of spending a day fishing. But if you're looking for our advice, Salento is always a great choice!
Spring might just be the best time to visit. The weather will be warm, but not as hot as in August, and you'll be able to enjoy more tranquillity than in summer. If you've been dreaming of a weekend in the beautiful Magna Graecia town of Gallipoli for some time, then Labour Day is the date to mark on your calendar.
Workers' Day, between social commitment and rebirth
May Day, born to advance important issues of social and political struggle, is today a celebration with more than one soul: it is and continues to be Labour Day, but it is also a time to appreciate the beauty of nature in bloom, the richness of our territory and the relationships we have woven into it.