The 8 absolute best New Year’s Eve parties in Italy

happy new year wishes written in the air

It’s that time of the year again! New Year’s Eve is right around the corner. While many of you have already made plans, others are still looking for inspiration. To help narrow the field, we selected the 8 best New Year’s Eve parties in Italy for 2022. Here is a roundup of events, all across the peninsula.

1. NEW YEAR’S EVE DINNER AT THE GENOA AQUARIUM

new year's eve dinner at the genoa aquarium, italy

One of the most popular New Year’s Eve events in Italy is the New Year’s Eve Dinner at the Genoa Aquarium. Well-known for being the largest aquarium in Europe, Acquario hosts the most extensive range of marine biodiversity in the continent.

The evening kicks off at 8:00 p.m. with a welcome cocktail in the Cetacean and Biodiversity Pavilions, followed by a dinner and toast in four separate halls of the aquarium, each with a different theme: “Dolphin Coast,” “Shark Bay,” “Mermaid Lagoon,” and “Moray Eel Cave.” Before dinner, guests are able to visit the aquarium free of charge.

Although sharing a glass of champagne with your favorite sea creatures is unfortunately not possible, this is a magical experience you will remember for years to come. For additional information or to buy tickets for the Genoa Aquarium New Year’s Eve Dinner, click here. Read our blog post on New Year’s Eve in Genoa to learn more about the events taking place in town.

2. FIRE OF THE ESTE CASTLE IN FERRARA

A must-see for Ferrara residents and tourists alike, this event is a historical reenactment of the Este Castle fire of 1554. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the castle dates back to the Middle Ages and was once the residence of the Italian noble Este family. The show lasts approximately 15 minutes, featuring concerts by international musicians,  illuminating waterfalls, cascades of color, whirlpools of light, and pyrotechnics for an unforgettable New Year’s Eve 2022!

This stunning display of color and light is one of the most mesmerizing spectacles you will ever experience and the undisputed protagonist of New Year’s Eve in Ferrara. But don’t take our word for it – see for yourself in this video!

3. CONCERT ON THE PROMENADE AND CELEBRATIONS IN DOWNTOWN RIMINI

Our next destination is Rimini, a bustling resort town on the Adriatic Riviera. New Year’s Eve celebrations usually begin at around 10:00 p.m. on the promenade, at Piazzale Fellini, with a concert by a well-known Italian singer. When the clock strikes twelve, the party moves to Piazza Cavour where they will host a DJ set into the early hours of the morning. 

The celebrations, allegedly the longest ones in the world, roll on towards Castel Sismondo, in Piazza Malatesta, a short walk from Piazza Cavour. This exciting array of events is what makes Rimini one of the best places in Italy for New Year’s Eve. 

4. PROCESSION OF THE PASSING YEAR IN APPIGNANO DEL TRONTO

The Procession of the Passing Year is a recurring event that takes place in the village of Appignano del Tronto, located in the central region of Le Marche. It is a peculiar funeral procession of strange and grotesque characters representing the months of the year. 

Carrying drab memorial wreaths, the participants march down the city streets to the sound of a bizarre funeral march played by a goofy band of trumpeting musicians. The procession symbolizes the end of the outgoing year and the birth of the new one.

Very popular among locals, the event begins with the traditional “Dinner for the Close Relatives of the Deceased” for all those who wish to mourn the loss of the passing year. After dinner the guests join the parade, reciting archaic lines, as the hearse is brought to the village piazza, where the coffin containing the passing year will be set aflame. At the stroke of midnight, the New Year is ushered in by a wonderful display of fireworks

The celebrations continue till the wee hours of the morning, but fear not! This event is not as macabre as it seems and the fun is guaranteed. For a sneak peek, take a look at the video below.

5. THE WORLD’S LARGEST CHRISTMAS TREE AND NEW YEAR’S EVE IN GUBBIO

Gubbio, a splendid medieval town in the province of Perugia, in central Italy, welcomes the new year with a concert in Piazza Grande at 11:00 p.m. The performers are yet to be confirmed, but one thing is for sure: thousands of tourists from all over the globe swarm in to enjoy the town’s unique festive atmosphere.

Lighting up Mount Ingino, a mountain overlooking the entire city, is the largest Christmas tree in the world. Not exactly a real tree, this monumental attraction is an arrangement of colorful lights built by volunteers each year in honor of Saint Ubaldo, the patron saint of Gubbio. The tree remains lit until mid-January, for the delight of everyone. After the concert, get ready to be dazzled by a spectacular display of fireworks visible from the piazza. If you are curious to see the world’s largest Christmas tree, watch this video: 

6. PARTY AT ROME’S MARRIOTT PARK HOTEL

new year's eve party at the marriott park hotel in rome

Bring in the new year at the Marriott Park Hotel in Rome, the largest one in all of Italy. Every year, ExtraNight organizes explosive and exciting New Year’s Eve parties in different Italian cities. The evening starts with a cocktail reception, followed by a delicious dinner and accompanied by a selection of fine wines. After dinner, put your dancing shoes on and party to the beat of some of the most popular DJs in Northern Italy. Adding to the entertainment will be fireworks, live performances, and unlimited drinks.

After the celebrations, guests can choose to spend the night in one of the elegant rooms of the hotel and enjoy a wonderful breakfast in the morning. Several different packages are offered and quality is guaranteed by ExtraNight, which has more than 15 years of experience as a New Year’s Eve party organizer. To learn more about the event, visit the official Facebook page. Target age: 25-35.

7. THE FIRST SUNRISE OF ITALY AT THE PUNTA PALASCIA LIGHTHOUSE

If you want to be the first one to see the sun rise in Italy on January 1, look no further than Punta Palascia near Otranto. A breathtaking coastal town in the region of Apulia, this charming village is located on the easternmost tip of the peninsula.

Spending the last day of the year in this beautiful setting, surrounded by crystal blue waters and centuries-old architecture, is an experience you don’t want to miss. To make your evening even more enjoyable, the night will be packed with theatrical performances, video projections, and live music.

8. THE VECCHIONE BONFIRE

The magnificent Piazza Maggiore in Bologna hosts one of the most spectacular New Year’s Eve celebrations in Italy. At midnight, a giant puppet called Vecchione, “the old one,” is thrown into a bonfire to symbolize the end of the year. This tradition dates back to the 19th century, although this ritual was initially performed during the Carnival festivities in the 1800s and took place in the main city square on New Year’s Eve only in the 1920s. Vecchione is a huge puppet made of straw and rags, stuffed with firecrackers. Designed by local artists, the effigy has a different theme each year. Every four years, it represents the figure of a woman. Read our blog post on New Year’s Eve in Bologna to learn about the other events taking place in town on the last night of the year. To see what the Vecchione bonfire looks like, check out the video below of an event from a few years ago.

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