Abruzzo Festivals

Chieti Holy Friday Procession
Chieti Holy Friday Procession – Photo © Nellie Windmill

This is a partial list of local festivals, fairs and costumed events. To verify the exact dates, please contact the local tourist board:

AT L’Aquila e Provincia www.provincia.laquila.it

IAT Chieti e Provincia www.provincia.chieti.it

IAT Pescara www.provincia.pescara.it

IAT Teramo e Provincia www.provincia.teramo.it

  • Chieti: The town of Chieti has the oldest procession in the entire country. It takes place on Good Friday evening by the flickering light of torches and has all the mystery of a medieval funeral. The statues of Christ and the Madonna are originals from the mid-16th century and since it was begun, the parade has always been the same. The elite members of the organizing group (the Arciconfraternita del Monte dei Morti) walk the symbolic Via Crucis with white hoods that cover their faces. (Good Friday).
  • Cocullo: Snake Handlers’ Procession: a statue of the town’s patron, St. Dominic, is carried through the town covered with live serpents (first Thursday in May).
  • Francavilla a Mare:Carnival Festivities (February).
  • Citta’ Sant’Angelo: Carnival Parade of Floats (February).
  • San Valentino: Frittata Festival (Good Friday).
  • Picciano: Traditional Befana Festival (January).
  • Lanciano: Medieval Pageant and Horse Race (September).
  • Cappelli Sul Tavo: Palio del Pupo Costumed Races (August).
  • Villamagna: The Turks and St. Margerite Historical Re-enactment (July).
  • Cepagatti: Historical Parade with Floats, Fireworks and Celebrations (August).
  • Rivisondoli: Living Nativity Scene: hundreds of costumed figures re-enact the arrival of the Three Kings at the manger (January).
  • Loreto Aprutino: Procession of the Ox: this beautifully costumed procession culminates when a sumptuously outfitted ox kneels before the statue of St. Zopito (Monday after Pentecost).
  • Scanno: Bonfire Festival: enormous bonfires are lit on the surrounding hillsides to commemorate St. Martin (November).
    Traditional Wedding Ceremony: re-enactment of the unique local wedding customs (August).
  • Popoli: Trout and Shrimp Festival (August).

  • L’Aquila: Pope Celestino’s Pardon Ceremonies (August).
    Good Friday Procession (sunset, Good Friday).
    Festival of popular art and folklore of the Italian regions (Usually first week in July).
  • Sulmona: La Madonna in Piazza: medieval folklore event culminating in a staged pageant (Easter Sunday).
Fara Filiorum Petri: Farchie Festival
Fara Filiorum Petri: Farchie Festival – Photo © kokopelli-italy.blogspot.com
  • Fara Filiorum Petri: Farchie Festival: giant torches illuminate this festival for St. Anthony (January) (right).
  • Celano: Costumed Procession and Fireworks (late August).
  • Cappelle Sultano: Palio of the Puppets: giant puppets form a procession through the town, then explode in a shower of fireworks (August).
  • Pescara: International Jazz Festival. Plays at Teatro Dannunziale July through August.
  • Rocca di Mezzo: Daffodil Festival: folklore dances, presentations and a parade of flowery floats to celebrate the arrival of spring (last Sunday in May).
    Plowing Festival: re-enactment of a 17th-century custom, culminating with a race to plow the most perfect furrow (last Saturday in August).
  • Pacentro: Festival of the Madonna of Loreto, with a traditional bare-foot “gypsy race” (first Sunday of September).
  • Bucchianico: Flower Festival: re-enactment of a 13th-century military stratagem that saved the town from destruction, with costumed parades, flower-bedecked carts and exquisite miniature flower floats worn on the local ladies’ heads (third Sunday of May).
  • Villa Santa Maria: Culinary Festival: world-famous chefs who hail from the region gather for a three-day demonstration of their skills, based on techniques and recipes that date back over centuries (October).