For an exhaustive list of events beyond those listed here, check http://events.frommers.com, where you'll find a searchable, up-to-the-minute roster of what's happening in cities all over the world.
For major events in which tickets should be procured well before your arrival, we prefer using Italy-based services; they are often cheaper and have more comprehensive event offerings. You can also check with Global Edwards & Edwards, in the United States, at tel. 800-223-6108.
Il Presepe nel Presepe (Manger in a Manger), Morcone. This little town near Benevento is a natural background for the reenactment of Jesus' birth. Each January, the villagers here transform their town into a version of Bethlehem, and open their homes to visitors. January 3.
Epiphany celebrations, regionwide. All Roman Catholic holidays are deeply felt in Campania, and festive celebrations for the Epiphany include numerous fairs and processions celebrating the arrival of the Three Kings at Christ's manger. January 6.
Festival Internazionale della Canzone Napoletana ed Italiana (International Festival of Italian and Neapolitan Song), Capua. Gathering performers and lovers of Italian and Neapolitan music for more than 3 decades, this 3-day event is a celebration of Italian folk music, both new and traditional. End of January.
Carnival, regionwide. During the period before Lent, float parades and histrionic traditional shows take place in most towns, big and small, throughout the region. Some of the best are in Capua, which puts on a grand parade and cabaret and theater performances (call the tourist office at tel. 0823-321137), and in Montemarano, where celebrations start on January 17 (call the tourist office at tel. 0827-63231, for a schedule of events). Paestum schedules great parade and dance shows (call the tourist office at tel. 0828-811016). Dates vary, but it's generally held the week before Ash Wednesday.
Carnevale Irpino, Avellino. This festival includes traditional representations, such as the famous Zeza, a musical farce; parades; and the Concorso della Zeza, a large competition for group mummers (masked performers). Contact the EPT (tel. 0825-74732 or 0825-74695) for a schedule of the events. The 2 weeks before Ash Wednesday.
Nauticsud, Mostra d'Oltremare, Naples. Spanning both land and water, this boat show displays the latest motor and sailing boats and equipment. Check the website for information at www.nauticsud.info. Mid-March.
Comicon -- International Comics Festival, Naples. This international event at Castel Sant'Elmo is a must-see for fans of comic books and animation. Each year the fair is organized around a main theme -- such as Japanese comics or mystery -- and includes previews and presentations of new productions spanning the spectrum. Contact the organization for a schedule of events (tel. 081-4238127; www.comicon.it). Late March/early April.
Primavera Sorrentina, Sorrento. The town celebrates the spring and then the summer with an array of events, including various flower fairs, food fairs, and a few musical venues. March through July.
Pasqua (Easter), regionwide. Celebrations include several events: Processions for the benediction of the symbolic palm -- usually olive tree branches -- take place on the Sunday before Easter Sunday; Stations of the Cross processions (reenacting Jesus' ascent to Golgotha) are staged in almost every church on Holy Friday; finally, Easter Sunday is marked by special religious celebrations. Various dates between end of March and April.
Pasqua a Sorrento (Easter in Sorrento), Sorrento. These Easter celebrations last a whole week; religious processions and concerts are scheduled in the town's cathedral and in the delightful cloister of San Francesco. Other processions take place on the night of Holy Thursday through Holy Friday in the towns surrounding Sorrento: Meta, Piano di Sorrento, and Sant'Agnello. Week before Easter.
Processione dei Misteri (Procession of the Mysteries), Procida. This is one of the most famous traditional religious events in Campania, a procession of plastic scenes from the Passion of Christ sculpted by local craftspeople. Evolving from its original procession in 1627, it is now a glorious show of entire scenes depicting the betrayal of Judas, the Last Supper, and so on, as well as large statues of Christ and the Madonna. Holy Thursday night into Holy Friday morning.
Linea d'Ombra Salerno -- Festival Culture Giovani, Salerno. This major international event, in its 16th year in 2011, is dedicated to new talent in Europe and focuses on the passage from adolescence to adulthood -- the "shadow line," written about by Joseph Conrad -- through film, music, visual and performing arts, and literature. Contact the festival office (tel. 089-662565; fax 089-662566; www.festivalculturegiovani.it). Varying week in April.
Feast of San Costanzo, Marina Grande, Capri. This day honors St. Costanzo, whose remains, preserved in the local basilica, protected the island from the Saracens' attacks during the Middle Ages. Bishop Costanzo died on the island during his apostolic mission in Capri on his way to Constantinople around A.D. 677. Call the local tourist office for a program, at tel. 081-8370424. Third week of May.
Maggio dei Monumenti (Monuments in May), Naples. The centro storico (old city center) of Naples comes alive for a whole week with cultural events and special openings of private collections and monuments not normally open to the public. Contact the tourist office for a schedule. Last week of May.
Historic Regatta of the Maritime Republics, Amalfi. Each of Italy's four historical towns -- Genova, Pisa, Venice, and Amalfi -- alternate turns hosting this annual regatta. Amalfi's last turn was in 2009 and it will come around again in 2013. Contact the tourist office (tel. 089-871107). First Sunday in June.
Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno (The Triumph of Time and Enlightenment), provinces of Caserta and Benevento. This festival of medieval, Renaissance, and baroque music is beloved by connoisseurs, who delight not only in the high quality of the performances, but also in the venues: All concerts are held in little-known historical buildings, some of which are not usually open to the general public, and can be visited with a guide just before the concert. Check http://trionfo.altervista.org for a schedule of events. Second half of June through the end of August.
Concerti al Tramonto, Anacapri. Each summer, the Foundation Axel Munthe organizes a series of sunset concerts (classical and jazz) in the Villa San Michele, in a spectacular setting overlooking the island and the sea. Contact Villa San Michele for details (tel. 081-8371401; www.villasanmichele.eu). June through August.
Leuciana Festival, Caserta. This festival offers a rich program of musical, theatrical, and dance performances in Caserta's Reggia and in the scenic Belvedere di San Leucio. For more information, call tel. 0823- 237171 or visit www.leuciana.org. June through August.
Music in the Cloister, Amalfi. Organized by the town of Amalfi, this series of concerts, held in the splendid Chiostro del Paradiso at Amalfi's cathedral, is one of our favorite events. Contact the tourist office (tel. 089-871107) for a program. Usually on Friday at 9pm. Beginning of August to mid-September.
Sagra del Limone (Lemon Fair), Massa Lubrense. Celebrating the fruit that characterizes so much of the local culture and cuisine, this 4-day festival includes walks in the countryside, farm visits, and culinary events. First weekend in July.
Benevento Citta' Spettacolo, Benevento. The ancient Roman theater of Benevento is the venue for a full-fledged summer season of opera and drama. Contact the tourist office (tel. 0824-319911). July through August.
Neapolis Festival, Naples. Rock might be old-fashioned these days, but this 2-day festival is still hot. It stages the best groups in Italy and the world. Call or check the website for the program (www.neapolis.it). July.
Ischia Film Festival, Ischia. This fast-growing event stages some 100 films from over 20 countries annually. Visit www.ischiafilmfestival.it for more information. One week in July.
Ravello Festival, Ravello. This internationally renowned festival includes classical music, jazz, dance, and the visual arts, with shows by artists of world fame. You must make reservations well in advance. Contact the festival office (tel. 089-858422 or 089-858360; www.ravellofestival.com) for reservations. July through September.
Estate a Minori, Minori. Artists from around the world come to perform with the Amalfi Coast as their backdrop, and the Teatro del Mare inaugurated this year provides an additional stage right on the beach. Contact the local tourist office for the program (tel./fax 089-877087; www.proloco.minori.sa.it). July through August.
Festival Ville Vesuviane, Ercolano. Reaching its 25th edition in 2012, this music festival takes the stage in the splendid villas of the Miglio d'Oro -- the stretch of some 122 elegant villas built at the foot of Mount Vesuvius during the 18th century by the Bourbon court. Contact the Ente Ville Vesuviane (tel. 081-7322134; www.villevesuviane.net) for a schedule of events. July.
Festa del Mare, town of Ischia. These spectacular celebrations mark the occasion of the Festival of Sant'Anna. A procession of boats and floats crosses the harbor under the town's illuminated castle. July 26.
Sagra della Sfogliatella di Santa Rosa, Conca dei Marini. This event celebrates the local version of sfogliatella, the most famous of Neapolitan pastries, filled with pastry cream and a sour cherry confection. August.
Festival of the Assunta, Positano. In the 9th and 10th centuries A.D., when the Saracens established themselves in nearby Agropoli, the whole coast was endangered by their repeated incursions and bloody robberies. This festival reenacts the Saracens' attack on Positano and the miraculous intervention of the Madonna who, as legend has it, saved the town. August 14 and August 15.
Surrentum Grandi Eventi, Sorrento. The rich program of this festival centers on dance, theater, and music. The additional draw is the setting: All performances are staged in beautiful Villa Fiorentino. Contact the villa (tel. 081-8782284) or check their website (www.festivaldellospettacolo.it) for a schedule of events. August.
Musica negli Scavi Archeologici, Ercolano. Top-quality concerts are staged in the magic scenery of the ruins of Herculaneum and in the 18th-century Villa Campolieto. Contact the tourist office of Ercolano (tel. 081-7881243) for a schedule of events. August through September.
Scala Meets New York, Scala. This festival stages internationally renowned artists as well as political and cultural personalities to mark the solidarity of the oldest town on the Amalfi Coast with the most modern city in the world. For more info see the websites of the two organizing associations (www.italiausa.org and www.scalanelmondo.org). August 11 to September 11.
Incontri Musicali Sorrentini (Sorrentine Musical Encounters), Sorrento. Sorrento offers unending cultural events throughout the year, but during this festival, the peaceful cloister at St. Francis Church comes alive for 3 weeks of classical concerts. Ask the tourist office (tel. 081-8074033; www.sorrentotourism.com) for a schedule of events. August through September.
Settembre al Borgo (September in the Village), Casertavecchia. For 10 days, the ancient borgo in this medieval town comes alive with music and other performances focusing on a different theme each year. Contact the Caserta tourist office (tel. 0823-550011), or visit www.casertamusica.com for a schedule of events. End of August to the beginning of September.
Festa di Piedigrotta, Naples. This centuries-old religious and musical festival was successfully revived in 2007 after years of neglect. It was at the 1898 edition of this festival that the world-famous song "O Sole Mio" was presented for the first time, and the festival went strong for decades until it lost its following in the 1980s. It is now back full strength, featuring religious and musical events as well as a children's program and a parade of floats. For more information, visit www.festadipiedigrotta.it. First 2 weeks in September.
Santa Maria della Libera, Capri. Starting from the St. Costanzo in Marina Grande church and crossing the town of Capri, grand processions are staged at this festival, which includes music, fireworks, and market stalls. Contact the tourist office (tel. 081-8370424) for more information. The Sunday closest to September 12.
Ischia Jazz Festival, Ischia. This festival features renowned international jazz musicians. See www.ischiajazz.com for information. Usually first week of September.
Le lune di Pompei, Pompeii Archeological Area. This is the most romantic guided tour of Pompeii's ruins. The tour rotates on seven themes and is scheduled every night for 2 weeks in August and then every weekend night throughout October and November. You can book directly online at www.lelunedipompei.com, or contact the booking office for information (tel. 081-19303885). August through November.
Feast of St. Andrew, Amalfi. St. Andrew, the patron of Amalfi and the protector of fishermen, is honored annually by local fishermen, who run with a heavy statue of him on their shoulders from the beach up the cathedral's hundreds of steps, and then present the saint with offerings of fish -- both fresh and carved. The town also celebrates with games, folk shows, and magnificent fireworks. The feast is repeated in a mellower form on June 27, the anniversary of the day the saint miraculously saved the town from an attack by Saracen pirates. November 30.
Sagra della Salsiccia e Ceppone (Sausage and Bonfire Fair), Sorrento. In this celebration of Saint Lucia, locals and visitors cook -- and eat -- about 91kg (200 lb.) of delicious local sausages barbecued over a huge fire (prepared in the heart of the Santa Lucia neighborhood). The food is accompanied by bottles of excellent local wine. December 13.
Avellino Christmas Concerts, Avellino. For 5 days, the town is alive with music, as local choirs give concerts inside the town's beautiful cathedral. Contact the tourist office (tel. 0825-74732) for a program. Usually December 13 through December 18.
Feast of the Torrone, San Marco dei Cavoti. The typical Christmas candy, the torrone, becomes an occasion for celebrations in the little town that has been famous for making its special version -- the croccantino -- since the Middle Ages. You can taste all the variations of the treat along Via del Torrone (Via Roma), and then watch the building of a giant croccantino by local masters in the town's main square. Call the tourist office in Benevento (tel. 0824-319911) for more information. December 8 and the following weekends until Christmas.
Divers' Procession to Grotta dello Smeraldo, Conca dei Marini. Each December and January, a special pilgrimage embarks to this town's greatest attraction, Grotta dello Smeraldo. Local and guest scuba divers swim from the beach to an underwater manger inside the grotto. Call the visitor center in Amalfi at tel. 089-871107 for more information. December 24 and January 6.
Live Manger, Belvedere di San Leucio, Caserta. Come to see this hamlet turn the clock back to the 18th century with historical reenactments, music, and performances during the Christmas period. Contact the Caserta tourist office, (tel. 0823-550011) for information. December 25 to January 6.
Live Manger, Pietrelcina. This picturesque little town near Benevento hosts a reenactment of Christmas involving the whole town, with events spread over several days. December 27 through December 29.
Sagra della Zeppola (Feast of the Zeppola), Positano. Celebrants at this feast ring in the new year by feasting on zeppolas, delicious fried sweet pastries, and by enjoying the Kermesse of dances, music, and fireworks on the beach of Marina Grande. December 31 through January 1.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.