There are plenty of festivals to enjoy in Le Marche, whatever time of year you choose to visit.
Music festivals in the region tend to run across July and August with some running into September too. For those interested in classical music, make sure your visit coincides with the Rossini Opera Festival, a celebration of Rossini’s music held annually in August in the coastal town of Pesaro. Urbino is also host to the Early Music Festival, whilst for those who are more jazz fans, the Ancona Jazz Festival is a must see. The smaller town of Fano also has a rich jazz heritage and hosts Jazz by the Sea, an annual event at the end of July and beginning of August, whilst for those with more of an interest in Blues music, why not try the San Saverino Blues Festival in July each year.
If you are looking for historical festivals in a typical Italian town which combines culture and tradition, then your perfect holiday destination in Le Marche probably is Ascoli Piceno! This lovely town in southern part of Le Marche recalls in its name the Italian population that lived here before the Roman Empire, the Picenum, and it is a place where history, customs and beauty combine and give its visitors an unforgettable experience.
Also known as ‘the city of travertine’ due to the type of stone that is a feature of many buildings in the historic centre and which gives the town a warm golden colour, or known as ‘the city of a hundred towers’ for the many medieval towers that characterize the town landscape, Ascoli Piceno is considered one of the most majestic cities in Italy. You will see that with your own eyes while walking through its medieval centre and admiring some of its imposing palaces before coming to the famous Piazza del Popolo, the heart of the city described as one of the most beautiful squares in Italy. During your stay do not miss the chance to try the original olive all’ascolana, Ascoli’s famous stuffed fried olives!
It’s certainly worth visiting Ascoli Piceno in July and August to see the Quintana, a Medieval jousting tournament held annually on the second Saturday in July and the first Sunday in August. It is one of the oldest medieval tournaments in Italy. A grand procession with 1500 participants all dressed in Medieval costume, parades through the streets preceeding a jousting tournament. The tournament is an amazing spectacle. According to the best Italian tradition, during this event the different Sestieri of the city fight each other for winning the Palio: every Sestiere has its own colour, coat of arms and its own knight and the horse race is preceded and followed by other events, such as the historical parade and the flagwavers palio. The event is a real insight into how Italy would have been in the Middle Ages! Packed stands of spectators will cheer on their favourite champion, each representing their specific neighbourhood. And the celebrations then carry on into the night, as the proud winner of the joust is paraded through the night time streets. Shops open late, there is lots of eating in the main piazza and plenty of music…. a truly Italian celebration.