May 1st, or Primo Maggio, is a national holiday in Italy and many other European countries. This is when Italians pack a picnic hamper, pray for sun and take to the countryside. Primo Maggio 2017 happens on a Monday, this means a long weekend. No ponte this time!
Pastoral bliss aside, there’s a vast assortment of activities and events scheduled on May 1st. Here’s a list of events happening all over Italy to celebrate Italian Labour Day on Primo Maggio 2017.
What to do
Let’s begin in the country’s capital, Rome. On Primo Maggio, the Eternal City offers a number of exciting events. The most important of which is the annual Concerto del Primo Maggio. This is a free admission concert that starts at 3:00 p.m. and ends at midnight, and that features numbers by prominent Italian and international bands. Like in all major cities, museums will remain open. Interesting exhibits to visit are Real Bodies, Botero and From Caravaggio to Bernini.
Venice is one big open-air museum, and crowds will flock to La Serenissima during the Primo Maggio 2017 long weekend. Be sure to not miss the Damien Hirst exhibit.
Milan also has many events planned for Primo Maggio 2017. Museums and exhibits will be open and free admission Concerto di Barona will showcase performances by soul, funk and R&B artists. The Keith Haring exhibit should also be on your Milan to-do list, it’s on at Palazzo Reale until June 18th.
In Assisi you can hunt for antiquities and catch deals during the last day of Assisi Antiquariato, a large fair that attracts hundereds of vendors and buyers from all over the world.
In Fano-Pesaro-Urbino the sensational Rinascimento Segreto exhibit on the Renaissance was recently inaugurated.
Not far from Urbino, on the Adriatic Riviera, miles and miles of beaches will finally open for the season. In Cervia kite lovers can attend the Festival degli Aquiloni.
In Genoa, visit the world-famous Acquario di Genova acquarium, then head to the conference center Fiera di Genova for Euroflora, an annual floral market that attracts botanists and nature lovers from all over the world.
In Ferrara don’t miss the Cucine Per Strada street food event.
If you’re visiting the Langhe region in Piemonte, head to Alba for the annual Caccia ai tesori di Langhe e Roero food and wine themed treasure hunt.
In Caserta, near Naples, be sure to check out the Street Food Festival and Concert program for May 1st.
Sicily also has many events in store for the Primo Maggio 2017 celebrations. This is the perfect time of year to visit the island of Sicily. In Catania May 1st is Muvemuni Day, a popular motorbike and biker gathering. In Siracusa, strawberry-lovers should not overlook the Festa della Fragola.
Puglia in May is glorious, in Salento it’s still low season, so you can take advantage of the long weekend to enjoy empty beaches, low prices and zero crowds. In Taranto on Primo Maggio hosts sports festival La festa dello sport.
There’s so much to do on Primo Maggio 2017! Where will you be headed?
Eleonora Baldwin is a TV host, journalist, and culinary connoisseur based in Rome, Italy. Her writing appears in several food and travel publications. Her show “ABCheese” is broadcast on Italian food network Gambero Rosso. She loves guiding culturally curious, food-passionate travellers seeking experiences in Italy beyond the guidebook.