It is always a good idea to look up the public holidays and observances of the city you are travelling to, so as not to miss out on any of the important festivities. It will also give you an idea of when the museums and other places of interest are closed.
- New Year’s: 1st January.
- Epiphany: 6th January. On the 6 January, the witch Befana brings gifts and sweets to the good children and coal to the bad
- Venice Carnival: One of the most important carnival celebrations in the world. Every year it takes place mid-February.
- Maundy Thursday: (date varies).
- Easter Monday: First Monday after Easter.
- Liberation Day and St Mark’s Day: In Venice, St Mark is the patron saint of the city, so a festival is held in his honour and the Italians also celebrate the end of the Nazi occupation.
- Labour Day: 1st May.
- Republic Day: 2nd June.
- Festa del Redentore: Third Sunday of July. The feast commemorates the end of the terrible plague in Venice of 1576. The church Il Redantore was built on the island of Giudecca to celebrate the end of the epidemic.
- Ferragosto: 15th August. Celebrates the harvest and the end of a long period of agricultural labour.
- Historical Regatta (Regata Storica): First weekend in September. In 1489, Caterina Cornaro, wife of the King of Cyprus, resigned from the throne in favour of Venice. Every year, various sixteenth century-style boats parade and race down the Grand Canal. All the gondoliers on the boats dress up in period costume.
- All Saints’ Day: 1st November.
- The Feast of Our Lady of Health: 21st November. This is a religious festival in the city of Venice. The citizens cross the Grand Canal from Piazza San Marco to the Church Santa Maria della Salute on a floating bridge.
- Feast of the Immaculate Conception: 8th December.
- Christmas Day: 25th December.
- Giorno di Santo Stefano (St. Stephen’s Day): 26th December.