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A Guide to Where to Spend New Year’s Eve in Italy

New Year’s Eve in Italy is steeped in decades of tradition and is unique for the numerous festivities that occur across the country. Cities typically ring in the New Year by hosting live music performances and fireworks in historical squares backdropped by Ancient, Medieval, and Renaissance architecture. 

Whether in the north or the south of Italy, each city and town is sure to find a special way to welcome 2023 – with a glass of Prosecco in hand, of course. Whether it's a concert, an extravagant fireworks show, or a dinner with friends and family, Italy is a special place to celebrate the arrival of a new year.  Below is a guide to some of the country’s most festive and exciting places to ring in 2023. Buon divertimento e auguri from America Domani!

RIMINI

Every year, the coastal city of Rimini, located in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy, hosts what is considered to be “the longest New Year’s Eve in the world.” Over the span of a month, the city holds over 150 events revolving around the arts, music, and culture. Festivities began on December 3 with the lighting of over 50 miles of Christmas lights. The rest of the month was filled with a mixture of classic and contemporary events including Christmas caroling, holiday markets, ice skating, circus shows, ballets, and Christmas concerts. On December 31, festivities will be held across 10 venues in the city center that will eventually come together in the heart of Piazza Malatesta for the “incendio al Castello” (fire at the castle), an extravagant lights, fire, and fireworks show that will take place before the Renaissance-era castle of Sigismondo Malatesta. A selection of the best artists and DJs will be playing at different venues across the city throughout the night. 

NAPLES

Naples is one of this year’s most popular New Year’s destinations and the city’s accommodations are expected to be completely sold out for December 31 and January 1, according to tourism observatory Otei-Abbac. Piazza Plebiscito will be a hotspot for festivities. The square will be hosting three days of events leading up to New Year’s Eve, including concerts and comedy shows. On December 31, the Teatro San Carlo will be holding a whimsical production of Tchaikovsky's “Swan Lake,” the famous 19th-century Russian ballet. That same night, at the Palazzo Medici Acquaviva, a major orchestral concert will take place. Titled “Il Grande Concerto Di Arie D’Opera” (The Grand Concert of Opera Arias) the event will be a celebration of the country’s classical composers: Verdi, Rossini, Puccini, Vivaldi, Leoncavallo, and Mascagni. Traditional Neapolitan songs will also be played. 

VENICE 

Venetians and tourists alike typically ring in the new year in St. Mark’s Square, where St. Mark’s Basilica’s impressive bell tower gongs the countdown to midnight. When the bell tower finishes ringing and it officially becomes the new year, a colorful fireworks show will erupt in the air above. The lagoon city is also renowned for its annual New Year’s Concert held at the opulent Fenice Theater from December 29 through Jan 1. The concert, complimented by a choir and an orchestra, will be streamed live on Italian television channel RAI 1 on January 1 at 12:20 a.m.

ROME

The Eternal City will ring in the New Year with celebrations in the city’s most popular squares like Piazza del Quirinale, Piazza Navona, Piazza Venezia, and Piazza di Spagna. A major New Year’s Eve concert that will take place in Circus Maximus, an ancient Roman chariot-racing stadium located in the heart of the historic city center, is expected to draw upwards of 50,000 people. Titled “Rome Restarts 2023,” the concert will begin at 9:30 p.m. and will feature local Italian artists like Elodie and Franco 126. The festivities will continue past midnight with a curated DJ set. On January 1, more than 70 events taking place in various museums, communal libraries, theaters, cinemas, and other cultural centers will be completely free to the public. 

MILAN

The beating heart of New Year’s Eve celebrations takes place in Milan’s Piazza del Duomo. Every year, the square before the city’s magnificent Gothic Cathedral-Basilica holds a free concert for the public. This year’s concert, titled “Milano Capodanno For Future,” will begin at 8 p.m. and will feature for the first two hours a rotating selection of emerging artists. From 10 p.m. onward, Lo Stato Sociale, an Italian band, will perform and guide Milan into the New Year. 

At the Teatro Arcimboldi, another concert will take place around Italian artist Edoardo Bennato. From 10 p.m. onward, Bennato will share music, and videos, and partake in interactions with the public.

Asia London Palomba

Asia London Palomba is a trilingual freelance journalist from Rome, Italy, currently pursuing her master's in journalism at New York University (NYU). In the past, her work on culture, travel, and history has been published in The Boston Globe, Atlas Obscura, and The Christian Science Monitor. In her free time, Asia enjoys traveling home to Italy to spend time with family and friends, drinking Hugo Spritzes, and making her nonna's homemade cavatelli.

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