From Christmas celebrations to the Medieval Festival, the International Kite Festival to the Chocolate Fest in Perugia; here are the main events in Gubbio and the surrounding areas.
La Festa dei Ceri - May 15
Let’s start with the quintessential Gubbio festival: la Corsa dei Ceri (the “Candle Race”). It happens every year on the fifteenth of May; it is so ancient that it may have pagan origins! What we know for sure is that it celebrates Sant’Ubaldo, beloved patron saint of the town who died on May 16, 1160. Since then, the celebration is held every year on his death anniversary’s eve.
During the race, big wooden sculptures (“Ceri”) are carried around the city; after 1500 hard meters uphill, the Basilica of Sant’Ubaldo is their final destination.
This celebration is closely connected with the city of Gubbio and its inhabitants.
Browse the official website for further information about dates, routes, and much more:
Palio della Balestra – Last Sunday of May
During this amazing celebration, people dress up in traditional costumes and gather up in beautiful Piazza Grande. The festival usually begins at 11am with the crossbow shooting trials. At 4pm, two different parades begin: one starts at Palazzo del Bargello, the other one in Piazzale Frondizi (in Sansepolcro); both arrive in Piazza Grande in Gubbio.
The real Palio is at 5.30pm, while the big historic parade is at 7pm. You can buy the tickets in Piazza Grande or at the Tourist Center (IAT) in Via della Repubblica. On the second Sunday of September, this Palio is replicated in the town of Sansepolcro.
For further information: www.balestrierigubbio.com
Questa deliziosa piccola gita è adatta a tutti, coppie, famiglie con bambini e anche cani. Con dei cestoni aperti, si viene trasportati in cima al Monte Ingino. Il percorso è mozzafiato e regala una vista stupenda su Gubbio. In cima si trovano un bar, un ristorante con vista e la Basilica di San Ubaldo, che è possibile visitare.
Torneo dei Quartieri – August 14
During the days before Assumption Day (August 15), Gubbio gets packed with events: dances, music concerts and Medieval games. On the 14th of August, the celebrations lead up to the big tournament at 8pm: the four historic districts of Gubbio challenge themselves in crossbow shooting. The 7pm costume parade is particularly evocative, as well as the shows by the flag-throwers in Piazza Grande.
Festival del medioevo – Late September
Sponsored by high-profile institutions, this festival is getting more and more popular among the scholars, historians and normal people as well. RAI (the Italian state broadcaster) is its media partner. This festival is like going back through history; you’ll find artisanal workshops, markets and boardgames, exhibitions revoking past times, recitals, Medieval-music concerts, classes/shows, guided tours. You can get more information and have a look at the program here:http://www.festivaldelmedioevo.it/portal/
Gubbio Terra di Tartufo - Late October/Early November
This is the festival for all the foodies out there! The White Truffle National Exhibition is dedicated to the amazing truffle of the are, and to other local products as well: oil, honey, pasture cheeses, deli meats, selected meats, traditional sweets, and much more.
You don’t want to miss the opportunity to reserve a dinner based on… you guess!
Browse the website of Comune di Gubbio for further information.
Or, visit the website Tartufo in Tavola.
Gubbio è…Natale! ChristmasLand - December 7-January 12
At Christmas time, Gubbio gets even more magical for both adults and children. First of all, we have the world’s biggest Christmas tree (and you can see it very well from La Panoramica Gubbio)! The atmosphere gets lively with Christmas markets, an outdoor ice-skating rink, a real-size Nativity Scene scattered all around the streets of San Martino district, and the beautiful Ferris wheel in Piazza 40 Martiri.
ChristmasLand is usually on from mid November, and there are more and more events every year.
If you want to know what’s on, have a look at www.gubbionatale.it
Ventomania (International Kite Festival) - Late March
The Roman Theater has been hosting Ventomania for over 35 years; kite lovers gather here from all over Italy, although it’s getting more and more popular among people from Europe and the rest of the world as well. Ventomania offers a great array of events for a sustainable and responsible kind of fun that will thrill both adults and children.
Looking for some more events to enjoy? Here are some of the most famous festivals you can reach in less than an hour from our farmhouse. You can take advantage of these events to pay a visit to the beautiful cities that host them! You’ll find just an indication on the dates, because they change every year: I suggest you double-checking on the events’ official websites.
Umbria Jazz - Perugia - July
Legend has it that the most famous jazz festival in Italy was born in a café in the historic center of Perugia. This outdoor festival is known internationally by the jazz experts; it dates back to 1973 and it has had moments of high popularity with jazz artists coming from all over the world. Together with the most traditional jazz, they have brought contaminations of blues, gospel, soul, even rock and pop. These are some of the artists that has taken the festival’s stages: Chet Baker, Stan Getz, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Elton John, Carlos Santana, James Brown, Donna Summer, Eric Clapton, Earth, Wind & Fire, Simply Red e B.B. King, Rem, Prince, and Lady Gaga. https://www.umbriajazz.it/
Il Mercato Delle Gaite - Bevagna – Late June
I highly recommend that you visit Bevagna any time of the year, but I must say this town gets even better during its most trypical celebration! The whole town enacts a historic reconstruction of the Medieval era (1250-1350); in addition, the Gaite – the four original Medieval-time districts of Bevagna – challenge themselves in 4 different matches: Trades, Food, Market and Archery. It’s a colorful, cheerful and involving festival, where adults and children will be able to dive into a true Medieval reconstruction. Go to the official website to get to know the festival better: http://www.ilmercatodellegaite.it/
Festival Dei 2 Mondi - Spoleto - Late June/Early July
The Festival of the 2 Worlds is one of the most well-known cultural festivals in Italy and it dates back to 1958. Year after year, it attracts a lot of artists from all over the world that perform in different branches of art: Opera, Music, Dance and Theater. You can have a look at the official website to get to know the program of events and shows. Here are some of the artists who has taken part to the festival over time: Victoria Abril, Eleonora Abbagnato, Anouk Aimée, Woody Allen, Fanny Ardant, Mikhail Barishnikov, Edoardo Bennato, Roberto Bolle, Andrea Camilleri, Liliana Cavani, Cristina Comencini, William Dafoe, Gérard Depardieu, Isabelle Huppert, Bernard-Henri Lévy, London Symphony Orchestra, John Malkovich, Jeanne Moreau, Riccardo Muti, New York City Ballet, Moni Ovadia, Charlotte Rampling, Tim Robbins, Luca Ronconi, Isabella Rossellini, Roberto Saviano, Tanzteather Wuppertal Pina Bausch. http://www.festivaldispoleto.com/
Enologica Montefalco - Montefalco - Mid September
This festival revolves around some of the most famous and precious wines of Umbria, like Sagrantino and Rosso di Montefalco. You’ll celebrate and taste such amazing wines thanks to more than 25 cellars that takes part to the festival, as well as events in the cellars, workshops for children, music shows, conventions, debates, and much more! Have a look at the program here: http://www.enologicamontefalco.it/
Eurochocolate - Perugia - Late October
In October, Perugia hosts the most famous chocolate festival in Italy, which attracts foodies and chocolate lovers from all over Italy and Europe! The event is free of charge and involves the entire city center: you’ll find over 130 stalls, tastings and events: the program changes every year. Read what’s new and gather more information here: https://www.eurochocolate.com/