Umbrian festivals in May
Calendimaggio, Assisi. Perhaps the most spectacular of all Umbrian festivals, with its squaring off of the two medieval halves of the town, the "Parte di Sopra" and the "Parte di Sotto" who challenge each other during three days of costumed pageants, medieval re-enactments, concerts, crossbow, and flag corps competitions. Splurge for tickets so you can get a good look at the action in the main piazza. Festa dei Ceri, Gubbio “A candle race” doesn’t quite capture the over-the-top town-wide frenzy that takes over this otherwise stoic village on May 15th each year as three teams carry gargantuan wooden “candlesticks” on their shoulders and precariously charge through the thronged streets to the deafening cacophony of cheering, drums, and bells. Il Palio della Balestra (Cross-bow competition), Gubbio. If you want a piece of the festival action, but maybe a slightly smaller piece than the Festa dei Ceri dishes out, try this historical costumed event the last weekend in May. Cantine Aperte (Open Wineries). Wineries big and small open their doors across Umbria (but concentrated in the Sagrantino producing area near Montefalco) for tastings, guided tours, and special events. La Palombella, Orvieto. A caged dove representing the Holy Spirit descending upon the Apostles follows a wire from the Bishop’s palace over the heads crowding the piazza to end in a fireworks display on the opposite side in front of the basilica’s breathtaking facade. The festival is held on Pentecost Sunday, so dates vary.
View holiday homes in the Assisi area