Puglia is certainly one of Italy’s most famous destinations and its historic towns and renowned culture attract holidaymakers from across the world.
The region is also well-known for its variety of festivals and events and regardless of where you are staying for your holiday to Puglia there will be a festival for you to enjoy.
Here we take you through the best festivals you can attend and what you can expect to see and do.
World Dance Movement festival in Puglia
Date: until 30 July, 2017
This year Puglia will be hosting the International Workshop from the World Dance Movement. This event helps to build connections between dance and diverse cultures that inspire and transform dancers around the world.
Visitors and locals alike can attend the event and receive one-on-one training. The curriculum challenges dancers of all levels through a comprehensive study-vacation model. You can train with dancers from nearly 25 countries.
Locomotive Jazz Festival
Date: until 1 August, 2017
The Locomotive Jazz Festival is regarded as one of the region’s premier cultural events and the festival boasts an impressive line-up of music.
You can listen to hip-hop and jazz music, but the concept behind the event is to celebrate the musical subcultures of the Salento region.
While music is the main attraction, the festival also has plenty of food tasting sessions you can get involved in and many of these sessions showcase Puglican delicacies. Theatre performances, film showings, literary readings and drama workshops are also on offer.
Opera Festival in Valle d’Itria
Date: until 4 August, 2017
Opera Festival in Valle d’Itria celebrating its 43rd anniversary this year and revolves around four centuries of Italian musical theatre.
From Vivaldi and Verdi to Piccinni and Meyerbeer, you can listen to some iconic Italian music. The festival really became an internationally recognised event from the mid-1990s and now the festival includes 20th century and contemporary operas.
This year’s festival will be crowned by the Belcanto concert on 1 August and the popular Concerto per lo spirito, the Symphonic concert on 3 August.
The Historical Parade in Oria
Date: 12-13 August, 2017
The Historical Parade in Oria will be celebrating its 51st birthday this year and once again the event will be welcoming 1,000 people in costume, including ladies, noblemen, knights, soldiers, jesters and flag bearers.
Various tournaments take place in what is truly a festival highlight. Athletes and knights take part in a number of competitions just like knights would have in the medieval times.
This fun event even has a choreographed bandwagon show after all the tournaments have concluded.
Locus Music Festival
Date: until 15 August, 2017
The XIII edition of the Locus Music Festival takes place in Locorotondo, which is regarded as one of the most beautiful villages in Italy and really sums up the beauty of Puglia.
The festival reflects the best of British and American music as well as mixing in great Italian experiences. You can expect to hear a huge range of music including electronic, funk, jazz and traditional Italian music.
The experience doesn’t end there as other attractions at the festival include a cinema being at the festival, organised bike rides and other cultural events that focus around the regions high-quality food and wines.
The main attraction is of course the well-known international artists who will be performing at the festival. Headline artists include Bonobo, Benjamin Clementine, Yussef Kamaal, Niccolo’ Fabi, The Heliocentrics, Bokante’, Dayme Arocena, Robert Glasper Experiment, Deproducers and Bad Not Good.
Festa te lu Mieru
Date: 1-3 September, 2017
Puglia is well-known for its great wines so it is therefore worth you attending arguably the most popular wine festivals in the area.
The Festa te lu Mieru offers you the chance to drink the best wine from the region and eat lots of popular food delicacies from the area, whilst enjoying lots of shows, live music and even folk dances.
The festival dates back to 1975 and is a very important part of the Salento culture that sees local residents come out and celebrate community spirit. The Carpignano Salentino, the historic centre of the town, is where a lot of the festivals main events take place and is where most festival goers congregate.
Il Carnevale di Putignano
Date: Main parades take place on 12, 19, 26 and 28 February, 2017
Lasting up to two months, Il Carnevale di Putignano is believed to be the longest and oldest carnival in the world.
The carnival is one of Puglia’s most popular and important festivals with its roots dating back as far as 1394 when the relics of Santo Stefano were moved from Monopoli to Putignano. On arrival to Putignano the local residents came out in force to welcome the relics and now this day signals the start of the carnival.
The festival includes four parades which combine huge hand-made floats with choreographed bands, other live music and huge crowds.
I Falò di San Giuseppe
Date: 19 March, 2017
Father’s Day in Italy is on 19 March so it coincides with The I Falò di San Giuseppe festival. On this day bonfires are lit in towns all over the Puglia region in the hope of the coming year being a bountiful one.
This event sees local communities coming out, socialising and bonding and as a visitor to the region it gives you a great insight into the Italian way of life.