10 must-see events in February in Italy: here are our 10 favourites. 

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The month of February is known to be filled with much-loved festivities such as Carnival and Valentine's Day, so there are plenty of themed celebrations throughout Italy. However, we must not forget the wide variety of events not necessarily related to either love or masquerade balls. In fact, this February 2023 promises to be full of fantastic exhibitions, one more unmissable than the other.

There is truly room for all tastes: from classical to contemporary art, via comics and film reviews. In all likelihood it is still Milan to provide the widest choice of cultural events for entertaining in one's free time, but the other Italian cities also defend themselves well, with many exciting and well-crafted proposals. We have selected ten events to attend throughout the peninsula, you just have to find the time.

10. Must-see shows and exhibitons in Italy in February 2023: an Immersive Experience in Naples

van gogh the starry night

This incredible exhibition dedicated to van Gogh started in January, but it will run until April, so it will obviously be open to visitors throughout February. It is to all intents and purposes a "return" of the exhibit to the Neapolitan capital, welcomed again in the location of the church of San Potito in the historic center of Naples.

But even those who had already visited the halls of the 17th-century church have a good reason to return, since the show organized by Exhibition Hub has been made even more incredible with the help of new and up-to-date immersive techniques.

Visitors will then find themselves able to physically "participate" in Van Gogh's works, which will be projected onto both the walls and floors of the rooms. Those who have experienced it, assert that this traveling exhibition is a such unique experience, absolutely a must!

9. Artemisia Gentileschi in Naples among the must-see shows and exhibitons in Italy in Febru

artemisia ester e assuero

We remain in Naples for another must-see exhibition: Artemisia Gentileschi in Naples hosted at the Gallerie d'Italia in Via Toledo. Artemisia, one of the most famous women in the history of ancient art, whose personal affairs created an unprecedented case and whose ikncredible artistic talent is only partially documented, had a strong relationship with the city of Partenope.

The exhibit, started on December 3 (and scheduled until around the end of March), aims to show the public the collection of works created by the artist during her long stay in Naples, lasted for almost a decade.

Artemisia Gentileschi in Naples is produced in collaboration with the Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte and the Naples State Archives and with a prestigious partnership with London's National Gallery.

8. Cecco del Caravaggio. The Model Pupil in Bergamo

donna con una colomba

Beginning at the end of January and running until June is the exhibition entitled Cecco del Caravaggio. The Model Pupil which, as the title suggests, brings together 25 works by the famous pupil, born Francesco Boneri, assumed to have been a very important figure in the private life of his master.

A long neglected art world personality was Cecco, apparently because the story handed down concerning the artist may have been deliberately obscured. Recent studies have instead credited him with all his distinctiveness.

The exhibition, held at the Accademia Carrara in Bergamo, features (in addition to Boneri's paintings) 2 works by Caravaggio himself, along with other related paintings.

Caravaggio's Cecco. The Model Pupil is therefore a must-see exhibition for all admirers of Merisi, who can thus grasp a previously unseen facet of the great artist.

7. Zerocalcare. After the bang in Milan


Roman cartoonist Zerocalcare is definitely one of those names that readers (not only the comics ones) have surely heard about at least once in recent years.

The exhibition dedicated to Michele Rech - real name of the young Italian artist - is titled "Dopo il botto" (After the bang) and has been set up in the spaces of the Fabbrica del Vapore in Milan. This huge exhibition gathers a lot of material: in fact, we are talking about more than 500 original panels, along with illustrations and videos.

The subject matter, as it is easy to guess, is about the modern post-pandemic social catastrophe. The eyes of Zerocalcare, an artist from the Roman suburbs with a ready pencil and lucid and sincere thinking, observe and collect evidence of fragmentation, of a humanity deeply scarred, but at the same time determined to not give up.

The exhibition, which began just before Christmas, will be open until April 23, 2023.

6. Max Ernst in Milan

passage noir

Milan still stars in our February events with a retrospective dedicated to Max Ernst, the German-born artist who was one of the Surrealism leading exponents.

The exhibition opened in October at Palazzo Reale in Milan and will remain available to visitors until Feb. 26 this year.

Seventy years of artistic production is represented by some 400 works been grouped into four distinct periods, then divided into nine thematic areas, covering the entire life of the naturalized French painter.

Ernst, during his long and prolific career, received countless prizes and awards and is the author of no less than two artistic techniques, frottage and grattage.

The exhibition at Palazzo Reale is one of the largest ever held on Ernst and sees the collaboration, carried out through prestigious loans, of many of the most relevant museums in Italy and Europe, such as the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice and the Centre Pompidou in Paris.

5. Forms to Contemplate the Unspeakable in Milan


In addition to the big names of art history in Milan, it is possible to visit small gems such as the exhibition Forms to Contemplate the Unspeakable, which began in November and can be visited throughout February.

It is a collection of works originally created for the Italy Mysterious Places Atlas and the Antiquity Mysterious Places Atlas.

Francesco Bongiorni, author of these fantastic illustrations represented his version of some of the wonders of our world, places full of fascination that should be discovered and admired. The work on the "Atlases" was done as a team with Massimo Polidoro, author of the texts instead.

4. Cinemagma in Pozzuoli


Very interesting is the Cinemagma initiative in Pozzuoli, a totally free review of independent movies, which can be attended while seats last. These free screenings began in early January and will run until February 8.

It consists of 5 days in total (3 in January and two in February) including, in addition to the film screening, moments of discussion and debate with authors and directors. The location chosen for these evenings, dedicated to arthouse film enthusiasts, is the Sala Molière Theater in Pozzuoli.

The short films on view will be 16 in all and are competing against each other. At the end of these evenings there will in fact be an award ceremony.

3. Contemporanee/Contemporanei in Verona

polo santa marta verona

More than just an exhibition, Contemporanee/Contemporanei is a real wide-ranging project, involving known and unknown artists and making research and innovation in art its main pivot.

The venues designated to host this exhibition (which will remain open until March next year!) are the Santa Marta Events Pole and other halls of the University of Verona.

The initiative is in fact promoted precisely by the University of Verona in collaboration with the AGI Association.

The artists of Contemporanee/Contemporanei come from all over the world and are about 80, while the creations on display are all from the 2000s. Dialogue, exchange, multidisciplinarity are the key words of the exhibition, aiming to be a "living" place for contemporary art.

2. Apocrypha. The Secret of the Sacred in Contemporary Art in Rome

museo laboratorio di arte contemporanea

Let's talk about contemporary art again, but this time exploring a more peculiar aspect: the exhibition Apocrypha. The Secret of the Sacred in Contemporary Art investigates the traces of sacredness that can be found in contemporary Italian works.

Apocrypha has been housed in the spaces of the Museo Laboratorio di Arte Contemporanea (MLAC) since the middle of last December and will be open to visitors free of charge until Feb. 28, 2023.

Thus, in the exhibition curated by Gaetano Lettieri and Ilaria Schiaffini, one will browse through fragments of the sacred, shadows, sensations. Once again art poses interesting questions with no simple answer.

1. Bob Dylan: Retrospectrum in Rome

bob dylan

We close our list of recommendations on must-see exhibitions in Italy in February 2023 with a small foray into music: in fact, the Bob Dylan: Retrospectrum exhibition has been set up at MAXXI in Rome.

The National Museum of 21st Century Arts is usually offering special and interesting exhibitions, and this retrospective, the first in Europe dedicated to the works of icon Bob Dylan, is no exception.

The exhibit is divided into eight distinct blocks, each related to a particular phase of the musician and artist's life and creativity: Early Works, The Beaten Path, Mondo Scripto, Revisionist, The Drawn Blank, New Orleans, Deep Focus, and Ironworks.

Dylan himself expressed his enthusiasm for this incredible exhibition curated by Shai Baitel and will make a gift of one of his works to MAXXI.

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