The last day of the year can be bright and beautiful in the country of Italy as the natives love festivals and fireworks. The celebration for New Year in Italy starts like any other country on the day of new years eve as the Italians celebrate La Festa di San Silvestro. People spend most of their time with their families and friends. As you might have imagined, food plays a major role in any Italian festivals, and the celebrations for the New Year in Italy is no different. Italians believe that evil spirits loathe noise so make as much as noise during the New Year’s Eve from setting off fireworks, banging pans, shouting or simply opening a bottle of some fine Italian champagne.
Being an amazing country to visit during the New Year’s eve, most big cities host numerous events making the places crowded and thus planning your visit in advance is recommended.

New Year In Italy: 8 Ways To Celebrate

If you are worrying about where to spend your New Year’s Eve in Italy, it is time for you to stop doing that. We present you the best ways to celebrate your New Year in Italy and start your year with a kickoff

  • Feast And Party
  • Countdown Kisses
  • Fireworks
  • Palazzo Ducale
  • Traditional Celebration Of Bologna
  • Sunrise
  • Dance Till Dawn
  • Wine And Fiery Performances

1. Feast And Party

Feast And Party

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When you talk about mouth watering cuisines, Italian food always makes the cut. Italians get together during this year with their friends and families for huge feasts. One of the famous traditions in Italy is the having lentils in the menu for the new years eve dinner. Italians believe that lentils are a sign of wealth and good fortune.

Likewise, many parts of Italy also consider a cotechino or a campione in the dinner – both pork meals as it symbolizes the richness of life. Most big cities hosts numerous parties of different varieties – from concerts to musicals to dancing until dawn, offering more varieties within the events itself. If you don’t want to watch something live, there are also numerous clubs you can go to during New Years in Italy.

Must Read: Italy In December: Top 6 Places That Take You Through The Best Of This Winter Paradise!

2. Countdown Kisses

Kiss under umbrella

A famous tradition of count down to strike the clock to next is everywhere and the midnight kiss tags alongs with the tradition. What make Venice in Italy special is the Piazza San Marco with its annual ‘Love’ event. Tens of thousands of people after their feast gather in San Marco for the countdown witnessing the fireworks and singing the new year song waiting for that midnight kiss. Most kiss with a belief of peace and love, while others are just looking for a smooch. If you can’t make it to Venice, find a partner for yourself and experience the tradition no matter the destination during New Year in Italy.

Location: Piazza San Marco, Venice, Italy
Price: Free

Suggested Read: 16 Enchanting Beaches In Italy For An Unforgettable Vacation By The Ocean

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3. Fireworks


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Like we mentioned during the start of the article, Italians believe that evil spirits hate noise. Therefore, fireworks are a common sight during the New Year in Italy and are very loud. They last for more than hours at some places brightening the entire city with colorful lights. In most cities, the public fireworks takes place in the central square. Fireworks display with the view of Castel dell’Ovo in Naples, over the Colosseum in Rome and the reflection of fireworks in Arno during new years eve in Florence Italy are considered the best displays in the country, adding to the already lit nightlife in Italy. Except that, the Castle of the EStense Family in Ferrara also displays fireworks with its view with beautiful music and hundreds of spectators.

Location: Rome, Florence or Naples.
Price: Views should always be free.

Suggested Read: 10 Best Hostels In Italy That Are Perfect For An Affordable Sojourn

4. Palazzo Ducale

Amazing place

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If you are looking for something different or if you find your place in peace and less noise, Italy still has plenty to offer for New Year in Italy. Most museums are closed during the festival but there are few museums that open throughout the night during this day. Lose yourself into the masterpieces of Picasso at midnight in Genova at the Palazzo Ducale or enjoy a classy gala dinner with guided tour in Museum of the Ancient Delta in Comacchio. Also, eight of the Genova’s famous Palazzi dei Rolli will be welcoming visitors until the early hours. Do not forget to check what’s open while you plan your visit.

Location: Genova or Comacchio, Italy.
Price: NA
Tip: Peaceful New Year in Italy or a classy gala dinner.

Suggested Read: 6 Stunning Churches In Italy That Look Straight Out Of An Artist’s Dream!

5. Traditional Celebration Of Bologna

Traditional Celebration Of Bologna

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The richness of culture, tradition and food never ceases to surprise the world. Bologna, a city in northern Italy witnesses a unique New Year’s tradition. Every last day of the year, December 31st, the Rogo del Vecchione is made – name to a specially made dummy (of the old man) designed by a different artist each year. It is then burnt in a bonfire a sign of forgetting all the bad things that happened during the year gone and to welcome the new fresh one. This happens exactly at midnight, but there are some other events (usually a concert) that takes place before the burning event. You can stay at any of the classic homestays in Italy to experience this best.

Location: Piazza Maggiore, Bologna, Italy
Price: Free

6. Sunrise

Sunrise view of city

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Usually around the world, you eat, drink, party, kiss, wish and go to bed to wake up late tomorrow forgetting all your new year’s resolution. It is actually quite different in Italy. Italians stay awake to watch the sunrise of the very first day of the year. If you really want to indulge deeply into the Italian New Years, get ready to gulp down a few cups of espresso. Give an end to your New Year in Italy celebration by watching a new day unfold.

While most may argue this – the best thing about Italy has to be the traditions they follow in different parts of their country rather than its food. Italy is extremely diverse when it comes to welcoming tourists satisfying the needs of everyone.

Location: The best place to watch a sunrise would be Otranto in Apulia, Italy. If you happen to be in Rome, welcome the New Year in Italy in Ponte della Scienza bridge as the sunrises syncing perfectly with jazz pianist Daniele Rea’s tunes.
Price: Free

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7. Dance Till Dawn


The best way to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Italy for dance and party lovers is to head to Piazzetta in Capri and party till dawn. With rockstar DJ music, amazing ambience, and a thrilling vibe, Capri is the place to be this New Year if partying mainly revolves around dancing for your and your amigos (or maybe just you!). Lined with happening international pubs and bars on all sides, it lives up to its reputation of being the best dance party zone in all of Italy.

Location: Piazzetta in Capri
Price: Free

Suggested Read: An Essential Italian Language Guide To Unveil The True Vibe Of Italy

8. Wine And Fiery Performances


If you want to further jazz up your all night dance party with a little booze and glamour, then you can head to Piazza del Popolo. The all-night NYE party with endless supply of wine (Prosecco) and some dazzling street performances will totally make your New Year celebration in Italy a thrilling one! And the fireworks that will follow the party at midnight will make your want to come here every year for the New Year celebration! Rumour has it that this year’s party on Piazza del Popolo will be accompanied by sumptuous New Year dinner feasts and free outdoor concerts!

Location: Piazza del Popolo, Rome
Price: A bottle of Prosecco (wine) may cost you around INR 1,070/- ($15)

Suggested Read: Lake Como In Italy: Here’s Everything You Should Know Before You Head Out To Explore It

8 Places To Celebrate New Year In Italy

Here are some locations in Italy where you can join the party for an awesome start to the new year. If you feel celebrating New Year at these places in Italy can get a little pricey for you, you can consider staying at any of the fabulous hostels in Italy to cut down on the cost and make new friends! Scroll down and pick the best place in Italy for New Year’s Eve that you would want to visit.

  • Rimini – World’s Longest NYE Celebration
  • Bologna – Decorating Oxen And Burning Effigies
  • Milan – Opera And Good Food!
  • Venice – Cruise Parties And Wine On The Streets
  • Ferrara – A Fiery Display Over An Ancient Castle
  • Florence – Feasts, Music, And Dance
  • Rome – Head Out And Party On The Streets
  • Naples – Music Concerts And Fireworks

1. Rimini – World’s Longest New Year’s Eve Celebration!

  Rimini new year  

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The Italian New Year traditions at Piazzale Fellini in Rimini are so huge that they are televised throughout Italy so that no one would miss out on the fun that is actually occurring on the fabulous coastal of Rimini at that moment. The celebrations usually start on December 1 and last till January 8 each year, making it the longest ever New Year’s celebration in the whole world! And it’s not just about fireworks, feasts, and partying. New Year in Rimini involves activities like dancing, ice skating, outdoor concerts, gigs at pubs with free Prosecco, and much more.

Suggested Read: Only For 2 Weeks In Italy, These Charming Places Should Be On Your Itinerary!

2. Bologna – Decorating Oxen And Burning Effigies

Bologna new year

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Bologna uses some of the oldest Italian New Year’s Day traditions, one of which is the Fiera del Bue Grasso (fat ox fair) at the Piazza San Petronio. People decorate an ox in vibrant colors, flowers, and ribbons from head to tail followed by lighting candles and setting off fireworks outside the church. The ceremony ends with a special lottery where the winner gets to keep the ox. Before midnight, people celebrate with live music, performances, as well as a street market at Piazza Maggiore. Finally at the stroke of midnight, an effigy of an old man is thrown into a huge bonfire to symbolize the end of the old year.

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3. Milan – Opera And Good Food!

Milan new year

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The Milanesi ring in the New Year at Piazza Duomo in a very special way! It’s the best place in Italy for New Year’s Eve for those who love music and dancing! There’s a free concert held in the main square that music as well as street performances, stand-up comedy sessions, and special guests to entertain the spectators. Or you can even head to Teatro alla Scala for the New Year’s Eve Gala Verdi concert or Milan’s Auditorium for Beethoven concert if you’re not a fan of massive crowds. For an even quieter New Year celebration, head to any good restaurant for the classic “cenone”, a multi course meal that will make you fall in love with Italian cuisine!

4. Venice – Cruise Parties And Wine On The Streets

Venice new year

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Imagine sailing on those long gondolas of Venice and watching the sky ablaze with fireworks! Yeah, that’s exactly the kind of New Year celebration this city will treat you with! The evening is typically accompanied by snacks and wine being served in small alleys, that in itself makes it the best place for New Year in Italy. If you receive an invite for a party in one of Venice’s gigantic palaces, or get to have dinner on any of the fabulous cruises in Italy, it’ll definitely turn the excitement up a few notches.

5. Ferrara – A Fiery Display Over An Ancient Castle

Ferrara new year

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This is actually the most bizarre celebration of New Year’s Eve in Italy, while also being the most fun one! Ferrara ends the year with the classic ‘L’incendio del Castello Estense’, which means the fire of the Este Castle. One of the most famous castles in Italy, the Este Castle serves as the symbol of this Emilia-Romagna town, and the center of all the festivities on New Year’s eve in this city, including the mega firework show launched into the sky from this very castle at midnight. The show is accompanied by music and dance, the perfect way to welcome the new year!

6. Florence – Feasts, Music, And Dance

Florence new year

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The historic city of Florence turns into a fun and frolic hub on New Year’s Eve. With lovely New Year’s Eve dinners at restaurants and palaces, live jazz music at Caffe del Verone terrace, outdoor music concerts, to music gigs in bars and pubs with deals on food and drinks, Florence is probably the best place to ring in the New Year in Italy for music lovers. You can also enjoy the New Year time by heading out for some therapeutic and fun shopping in Florence. No matter which cafe, palace, museum, or street you enter that day, you’ll be met with celebratory music and snacks that won’t run out before the clock strikes 12.

7. Rome – Head Out And Party On The Streets

rome new year

The New Year festivities in the Eternal City of Rome lasts for a good 24 hours, with some exciting happening every couple of hours. There are several music performances, a fireworks display, guitar performance, street parties, cheerleading, marching bands, jazz bands, dane performances, as well a s450 U.S. artists performing a number of stunts. You can head to places like Piazza dell’Emporio, Giardino degli Aranci, Circo Massimo, Via Petroselli, Lungotevere Aventino, Lungotevere dei Pierleoni and Isola Tiberina to see some of the other part of the action. You can also take one of the awesome day trips from Rome to celebrate New Year a little unconventionally.

8. Naples – Music Concerts And Fireworks

Naples new year

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The New Year celebrations will kick off with the ‘Concertone di Capodanno’, which is essentially the New Year’s Eve big concert that is held every year in the stunning setting of Piazza del Plebiscito. You’ll be able to witness several artists perform all night long and the awesome pool of talent will make sure you’re not bored or distracted even for a single second. This will be followed by the famous Naples New Year’s Eve fireworks over the Gulf that will simply blow your mind!

Further Read: Italy Vs Spain: A Handy Guide You Need To Read Before You Hit The Road

Whether you are a music head, a food lover, an avid dancer, a party animal, a beauty lover, or you are simply someone who likes solitude during the New Years, Italy has something for everyone. And wherever you visit for New Year in Italy, you will always be welcomed and surrounded by the locals – making sure your New Year’s Eve is cheerful, healthy and especially – Italian. There are numerous events you can go to, but make sure you check before hand for the tickets. Having said that, your enjoyment is inevitable when you plan your trip to Italy for the New Years festival making every penny you spend absolutely worth it.

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Frequently Asked Questions About New Year In Italy

What are some of the New Year’s traditions of Italy?

Italians celebrate New Year’s Day in the most unique manner. Deeply rooted in their traditions, the superstitious lot has a lot of fun and amazing rituals to mark the day. Here are some of the unique New Year’s traditions of Italy: – The Italians will wear Red on New Year’s Eve, above and under. Whether you’re going out on a date or a party, the red will help fend off evil spirits and everything negative. So, here’s hoping you look good in red. – No pizzas & pasta for meal instead it’s all about delicious assortment of lentils and grapes on the dinner table. (more about it below) – Age no bar- on 31st December evening family and friends will gather for a game of Bingo. – Look out for falling plates and cups! Smashing crockery is a way to welcome the New Year in Italian countryside. – Superstition has it that if the first person you meet after the clock strikes 12 is an elder of the opposite gender, you are in for a great year. While if you meet a child of the same gender, watch out for some bad fate.

What is Capodanno Italy?

The literal translation of Capodanno or Capo d’anno in English would be the head-day of the year. It is just another way to refer to the New Year’s Day in Italy.

What do Italians eat on New Year’s Eve?

We all know how particular and passionate the Italians are about their food. However, on New Year’s Day the people lay out a traditional platter that includes cotechino con lenticchie which is basically sausages and green lentils. Many also prefer legumes viz. lentils, peas and beans. The idea of including such food items in the meal on New Year’s day is to symbolize wealth and abundance.

Why do Italians eat lentils on New Years?

The meal on New Year’s Day in any Italian household is rich and hearty. Lentils are a must along with other items because of its resemblance with coins which further implies bounty.

What is New Year’s Eve called in Italy?

New Year’s Eve is called St Sylvester’s Feast or La Festa di San Silvestro in Italy.

What is Rome like for New Years Eve?

Rome is one of the most beautiful places in all of Europe and while it may be a little religiously inclined, it doesn’t mean that you won’t have an absolute ball spending New Year’s Eve here. The whole city comes alive with an air of vigor and jive on 31st December. Here are a few places in the city that you can visit on this day to have a great time: – Villa Borghese – Centro Storico – The Vatican City – The Colosseum – Trastevere Area

Is Vatican City open on New Year’s Day?

The Vatican Museum including the Sistine Chapel remains closed on every New Year’s Day.

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Category: Europe, Festival, Italy, Places To Visit

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