5 Folk Festivals to Visit During Your Fall Semester in Italy

Want a unique introduction to Italian life when you study abroad? Then you’ll want to keep reading. One of the more underrated parts of enjoying life in Italy is its folk festivals, and they especially come to life during autumn. While you’ll have to travel out of Rome to experience them, you’ll not only get to witness longstanding Italian cultural traditions, but explore a new part of the country, too.

Here are five Italian folk festivals worth checking out when you study in Italy during the fall semester.

Fiera della Frecagnola: A Centuries-Old Southern Italian Tradition

Every September, the tiny mountain village of Cannalonga in the south of Italy hosts the Fiera della Frecagnola. It’s a folk festival with a history dating all the way back to around 1450, when it was known as the Fiera di Santa Lucia. Right before the second Sunday of September (including a fair on the Saturday), you can bear witness to plenty of live music as well as meat-based delicacies if you attend this festival.

Accordions are among the instruments you’ll see played at these festivals

Musica dei Popoli: Florence’s Twist on Italian Folk Festivals

There are many, many great reasons to visit Florence while you study in Italy—this is just one. Since 1979, the City of Lillies has hosted the Musica dei Popoli festival. This is one of Italy’s first world-renowned—and most culturally diverse—festivals for folk and ethnic music, in which artists from many different countries come to perform. Not only that, but the festival also helps promote music from groups of people in other countries, such as groups from Africa and central Asia.

Kastelreuther Spatzen Festival: A Great Reason to Visit South Tyrol

In this largely German-speaking region of Italy, you can find this festival hosting concerts from Kastelruther Spatzen, a well-known folk music group from South Tyrol. Held every year in the small municipality of Kastelruth, the group has been performing at this festival for more than 30 years, and their festival in October sees fans of both the group and folk music in general come to celebrate with one of Italy’s most iconic German-language musical acts.

South Tyrol is home to the Kastelreuther Spatzen festival

Notte della Taranta: A Celebration Right Before You Study in Italy

If you’re going to arrive in Italy a few weeks before you start to study abroad in Rome, this one is definitely worth checking out. Held in late August in the southern Italian area of Salento, the Notte della Taranta (Night of Tarantula) celebrates the folk music genre of Pizzica, a folk dance genre popular in the area. The festival gets its name from the old superstition that tarantula bites could be cured through dance. With shows happening in various parts of the region, this celebration of the local culture and traditions is also Italy’s largest music festival.

Lucania Etno Folk: Yet Another Iconic Italian Folk Festival

Every year, the southern Italian town of Satriano di Lucania hosts this festival in late August, where traditional popular music is celebrated by musicians playing instruments like mandolins and accordions while fans watch and also get to taste local wine and food. Having welcomed many different Italian artists on its stage, the Lucania Etno Folk festival is a two-night festival worth making the trip down south for!

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