When music meets landscape: a selection of summer festivals

Ortigia, man jumping, seaside, sicily

Ortigia Sound System Festival, photo courtesy

From the quarries of Val D’Ossola to the Greek temples of Agrigento.  The Italian historical, natural and cultural heritage is brought to life by the summer music festivals.

After two years of obstacles, delays, and health regulations that prevented events attended by the general public, Italian music festivals are recovering this summer. And the pause enforced by the pandemic has proved useful for thinking about their format, the relationship with localities and new evolutionary potentials for these cultural events, which we now find are widespread throughout the country.

So in recent years it has been easier to find more mature events, at which the selection of musicians, DJs and songwriters is completed by that of performers, artists, designers and chefs, offering truly all-round experiences. Significantly there is an increasing insistence on “experiential festivals” or “boutique festivals”. 

Another important feature whose value is being enhanced is the choice of location. This is no longer just the setting for the various performances but becoming a distinctive characteristic of festivals, from the general narrative to the choice of individual performances.  For this reason, our survey of summer festivals is based on the beauty of the landscapes where the events are set and on the locations chosen. With the hope that  music festivals will increasingly become events favoring connection and less small isolated bubbles.

Porto Rubino, Festival, Crowd, Beach, Sea, Polignano a Mare

Porto Rubino, Puglia. Foto Clarissa Ceci


The Tener-a-mente festival is set in the amphitheater of the Vittoriale degli Italiani and its wonderful park, voted in 2012 “Italy’s Most Beautiful Park”: a place suspended between art, culture, nature and beauty, with a magnificent view across Lake Garda. “ A marble hollow beneath the stars”: this is how the poet Gabriele d’Annunzio imagined the ideal theater for performing his plays, naturally immersed in the splendid setting of the Vittoriale, following Wagner’s example at Bayreuth. It was the Poet himself who chose the exact point at which to place the structure and commissioned the project from the architect of the Vittoriale, Gian Carlo Moroni, modeling it on Pompeii, which has the world’s oldest Roman amphitheater. In this splendid setting, great international artists will be performing, such as Michael Kiwanuka, H.E.R. and Jeff Beck, as well as Italian stars like Calibro 35, Manuel Agnelli and Paolo Nutini.


25 June – 25 July 2022
Anfiteatro del Vittoriale, Gardone Riviera

Ortigia Sound System Festival

The Island of Ortigia, in Syracuse (Sicily), is the perfect setting for four  days of concerts, DJ sets, installations and events.  The Ortigia Sound System Festival was among the first to highlight a  regional dimension: musicians become the bait to discover the architectural wonders of the settlement of Greek origin. Its narrow alleys, the fish market, the Castello Maniace, the beaches and the turquoise waters of the Ionian Sea dialogue with the analogue and digital sounds of selected international artists.  The island is compact and ideal for walking – it covers no more than one square kilometer, with only 4,500 inhabitants – enabling visitors to enjoy it as if it was a small village. The lack of large accommodation facilities transforms Ortigia into a great diffused hotel, favoring encounters and interactions with the inhabitants. On Ortigia it is easy to feel at home,  and  for this reason the audiences over the years have formed a small community where visitors recognize each other and meet again year after year.


Ortigia Sound System Festival
27 – 31 July 2022
Isola di Ortigia, Syracuse (Sicily)

nextones, festival, oira, cave, stage, piedmont

Nextones, Oira (Crevoladossola)

Porto Rubino

Aboard his gozzo Tramari (a fishing boat), the Italian singer-songwriter Renzo Rubino holds a traveling festival that rediscovers the seas and ports of Puglia.  The boat becomes a mobile park that revives the chosen stretch of coast and brings the sea to life in a new way. For the 2022 edition it will start from Tricase Porto, in the province of Lecce, and sail to Campomarino di Maruggio, near Taranto. Numerous outstanding figures in Italian music will be featured: from Samuele Bersani to Joan Thiele, from Diodato to Malika Ayane. But the real protagonists of the festival are the Apulian coasts, viewed from a new perspective. Here the environmental and landscape element definitely predominates in the conception  of the musical “situation”.


Porto Rubino
10 – 17 July 2022
Tricase Porto, Ostuni and Campomarino di Maruggio


Tones Teatro Natura, a worked-out granite quarry, now transformed into a permanent cultural venue surrounded by greenery, is the home of Nextones, an international festival of music, audiovisual arts and research. Nextones 2022 will be held from 26 to 31 July and will include lectures, presentations, walks, workshops and site-specific musical performances by some of the most interesting artists and researchers on the contemporary scene. Not just music, but different events that together have the aim of rethinking the way we inhabit the planet.


26 – 31 July 2022
Tones Teatro Natura, Oira (Crevoladossola)

festivalle, agrigento, sicily, band playing, stage

FestiValle, Agrigento


A musical event  held in the Valley of the Temples, the world’s largest archaeological park, could only be called FestiValle. It pays due tribute to the ancient setting that alone attracts thousands  of tourists from around the world. Each performance is related to  timeless places: live events at sunset in the lush Kolymbethra Garden overlooking the Temple of the Dioscuri, the first evening on the main stage at the foot of the majestic Temple of Juno, to finish the ritual of seeing day dawn at the Temple of Concordia, with a special theatrical event, awaiting the moment when the first sunbeams warm the sandstone of the Doric columns.


4 – 7 August 2022
Valley of the Temples, Agrigento

Spring Attitude

Spring Attitude is a festival of music, digital art, live performance and an incubator of new generational trends. The location where the event takes place is significant: at the Studios of Cinecittà, the complex of film studios in Rome and the largest in Europe.  Some 3000 films have been made at Cinecittà, 90 of which received an Oscar nomination, won by 51 films. Spring Attitude  is devised as an escape from the city (but also from time) for all those staying in the city. 


Spring Attitude
16 – 17 September 2022
Studi di Cinecittà, Rome

spring attitude, festival, rome, statue, classical

Spring Attitude Festival, Roma. Foto Valerio Quattrucci

14 July 2022