Throughout the year you can go to daily festivities in the cities and smaller villages:
The Jazz Festival in Umbria is one of the most famous in the world. It exists since 1973 and takes place in Perugia. Furthermore you have the winter Jazz Festival in Orvieto at the end of December – the beginning of January in Orvieto.
The Palio di Siena is a horse race that is held twice each year, on July 2 and August 16 in Siena. Ten horses and riders dressed in the appropriate colours, represent ten of the seventeen ‘contrade’, or city wards. The Palio held on July is named Palio di Provenzano, in honour of the Madonna of Provenzano, who has a church in Siena. The Palio held on August is named Palio dell’ Assunta in honour of the Assumption of Mary. It’s an emotional event for the district.
On May 15, the day before the death (1160) of the holy Ubaldo, they organise Corsa dei Ceri in Gubbio. It’s an ancient tradition. Three huge candles with the images of the holy Ubaldo, the holy Giorgio and the holy Antonio are mounted on wooden tables and are carried by strong men engaging in a fierce race through town to the Monte Ingino. It causes strong emotions with the audience.
In 1958, Giancarlo Monetti had the idea to make a better contact between Europe and America: he organised meetings with cultural exchanges between the various countries. This initiative has become one of the most important manifestations in the field of theatre, music, ballet, film and fine arts. The Festival dei due mondi is held in Spoleto in the first half of June.
Giostra del Saracino is a Medieval knight’s game, 2 times a year in Arezzo, on a Saturday night half of June and a Sunday afternoon at the beginning of September. The knights of the Quartieri storm in full gallop, with lances in their hands, onto the Saracens. The duo that hits the shield of the enemy, wins the game.
Sagra musicale Umbra is one of the eldest and most important classical music festivals of Europe. The first was held in 1937. Some celebrities are: H. Von Karajan, C. Abbado, R. Mutti, Brouwer, Morricone, Glass and more recently Z. Metha and M. Pollini.
Giostra della Quinta is an equestrian competition since the 17th century. In 1946 they decided to a revival. In the middle of June and September 10 riders, representing the 10 districts, compete for their honour. Who catches the most rings, wins. On the first day of June you can enjoy a parade in historical costumes.