Planning a festival holiday? These are 3 Italian festivals you must consider

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Firenze Rocks
Foto: Francesco Prandoni & Elena Di Vincenzo

Hopefully, the Italian festival season is going to be fully back next summer: lineups are shaping up nicely and the countdown has started.

If you are planning your next summer trip, a tour in the Bel Paese could be a good choice. Between lovely food, museums and thousands of years of history, there is a good variety of summer open-air events including music festivals of course. Italian music festivals are quite different compared to European festivals to which we are accustomed: first of all Italic festivals do not usually abound in stages, major festivals normally have the main stage and rarely a second stage, so do not worry, you will not struggle to decide between terrible clashes. Afterwards, Italian festivals are not necessarily centred on a few days, some festivals are more than a series of gigs spread over the summertime. Then, generally, there is no camping opportunity, consequently, it is necessary to find an accommodation. But fortunately, Italy is an enjoyable country so you will find lots of side activities and things to do, to see and to eat, it is a sure thing. Ypsigrock Festival, Sequoie Music Park or Sexto ‘Nplugged are really interesting but we are going to see 3 of the biggest ones: Firenze Rocks, Rock In Rome and I-Days.

Firenze Rocks

Born recently in 2017, Firenze Rocks has quickly become somewhat of an institution in the Italian festivals panorama. The town that gave the birth to Dante and Brunelleschi, every summer hosts the most important artists and bands. Over the years Firenze Rocks have had the honour to welcome artists such as Tool, The Cure, Eddie Vedder, System of a Down, Guns N’ Roses and in the latest edition also the popstar Ed Sheeran. In 2022, from 16th to 19th of June, Firenze will welcome a stellar lineup including Green Day, Weezer, Muse, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, A$AP Rocky, Metallica, Greta Van Fleet and more to be announced. The Venue, Visarno Arena, is a huge arena just outside the city centre, inside the racecourse named Ippodromo delle Cascine. You can easily reach the arena by public transport, by bike or, if starting from the city centre, by a nice walk along the Arno River. During the festival, staying in the centre is probably the best option: Florence is full of historical monuments, museums but also popular culture and amazing food. Besides the must-see sites (Galleria degli Uffizi, Basilica di Santa Croce, Ponte Vecchio…) you should not miss the historical markets (Mercato Centrale, Mercato di Sant’Ambrogio) and needless to say the typical food: it is difficult to recommend restaurants because in Florence the good food is pretty much everywhere, in any case, it is strongly advised to try the meat-based dishes, especially the “Bistecca alla Fiorentina”, or, for the vegetarians, the typical soups “Pappa al Pomodoro” and the “Ribollita”. To stay, the Ostello Tasso, which usually hosts events in its cool lounge bar in the hall, is a good choice.

Rock in Roma

Born in 2009, Rock in Roma over the years has hosted international stars and local heroes: The Killers, Radiohead, Kraftwerk, James Blake, Slipknot, Blur, Queens Of The Stone Age but also Subsonica, Elio e le Storie Tese and Afterhours played there. In 2022, the lineup is pretty diverse, as usual, and spread over the summertime: at the moment just a few artists are confirmed for the next edition but many more will be announced in the next months. During 2022 summer, in various locations, artists such as Måneskin, Cigarettes After Sex, The Chemical Brothers and Deep Purple will play in Rome. Rock in Rome is essentially a series of gigs – not in a row – in astonishing venues throughout the city: Ippodromo delle Capannelle, Auditorium Parco della Musica, Teatro Romano di Ostia Antica and the legendary Circo Massimo, where Rolling Stones played in 2014. Next summer Circo Massimo will welcome Måneskin: the Italian band is on a roll and after having opened Rolling Stones’ concert in Las Vegas they are about to sell out their gig at this iconic location. In the past weeks, the Roman band has been announced in several festivals including Rock Werchter and Pinkpop. During your time in Rome, between a visit to Colosseo and a walk around Fori Imperiali, you will definitely find the best “Pasta alla Gricia” or the best restaurant for “Carciofi alla Giudia” in Roman Ghetto. Keep in mind that any place in Rome you will choose to eat or drink, it will be a good choice: from the unpretentious delicatessen to the several craft beer bars, from the “Pizza al Taglio” to the Trattoria in the renovated quartier of Pigneto you will undoubtedly find amazing stuff.

I-DAYS

Milan, the city of fashion and nightlife, could not also have a music festival. I-Days was born from the ashes of Independent Days Festival, held for the first time in Bologna in 1999. Even if it misses lots of names to be announced, the 2022 edition is already quite impressive: Aerosmith, Foo Fighters, Imagine Dragons, Greta Van Fleet, L7, Nile Rodgers & Chic and The Struts are the artists confirmed so far. The venue, easy to reach by bus or by metro, is the Ippodromo Trenno, located in San Siro, where football teams AC Milan and Inter Milan play matches at home. Milan offers a variety of activities and events, so take a look at the schedule of clubs and discos: Circolo Magnolia, Alcatraz, Fabrique are just a few of the places that are worth a visit.

Father of a beautiful child, I’m a psychologist, currently working as an educator. I live in Trieste, a wonderful city in the North eastern part of Italy. I’m a festival addicted and I usually spend my summers going to one or traveling around. I love football and craft beer.