Saint Patrick's Day, March 17, isn't widely celebrated in Italy, but given that Italy loves a party, several Italian cities hold Irish parties and festivals. St. Patrick's Day is especially popular in cities that have sizeable communities of expats from the U.S. and Ireland. If the Italian city has an Irish pub or two (and many, like Rome, Florence, and Milan, have several), then chances are there will be something going on for Saint Patrick's Day.
Irlanda in Festa is a multi-day celebration of all things Irish and Saint Patrick; it takes place in several northern Italian cities. Here are some of our favorite places to find Irish festivals and parties for Saint Patrick in Italy.
Bologna - Irlanda in Festa
Bologna is a big university city with lots of nightlife, and it's a great place to celebrate Saint Patrick's Day. There's an Irlanda in Festa event in Bologna that lasts a few days, usually culminating on March 17, and includes plenty of music, beer, and fun.
Bolzano - Authentic Irish Pub
The Temple Bar in the historic center of Bolzano, Alto Adige region of northern Italy, was named the most authentic Irish pub outside of Ireland by the Irish Pubs Global Federation in March 2015. It was chosen because of its traditional atmosphere and offerings. It's a great place to raise a pint with fellow celebrants on Saint Patrick's Day – or any day of the year, for that matter.
Florence - Irlanda in Festa
Florence celebrates Saint Patrick's Day with all things Irish - parties, concerts, games, special events, and Irish food and drink for 3 days around March 17 with Irlanda in Festa.
There are nearly two dozen Irish pubs in Florence, and they have varying degrees of authenticity. The Fiddler's Elbow, The Florence Irish Pub, and Finnegan's are among some of the city's best-loved places to enjoy a Guinness.
Rimini - Saint Patrick's Week
A handful of Irish pubs, some more authentic than others, line Rimini's long seaside promenade and make a great excuse for a St. Patrick's Day pub crawl.
In Forli, a smaller town near Rimini, the Wild Horse Pub is a good place to have an Irish drink and celebrate Saint Patrick.
Rome - Irish Pubs and Churches
Rome has a fair number of Irish expats and you may find them celebrating in Irish pubs, but you're also likely to find them in one of Rome's Irish churches. A good Saint Patrick's Day activity might be to take a look at a few of the interesting churches. The Basilica of San Clemente, San Patrizio a Villa Ludovisi, and Sant’Isidoro a Capo le Case are the three churches in Rome affiliated with Ireland.
Hartigan's Irish Pub and Birreria is a small pub where you'll find Guinness and Irish music. On the other side of the Adige river, there's also good fun to be had at Celtic Pub Verona. Though not exclusively Irish, Campus Pub is also a lively place to celebrate on March 17.