St. Patrick the Italian

How to celebrate St. Patrick's Day in Italy:


Are you looking to celebrate St. Patrick's Day in Italy? Then you're in luck! There are a handful of towns that you'll be able to celebrate the indulgent holiday all around Italy.


If you happen to be in Italy in the month of March, you might wonder if there will be any St. Patrick Day celebrations happening. Your chances of running into a St. Patrick's celebration grow higher the closer you are to a university or a large international community. 


If you're near Bologna, a large university city, you'll stumble upon a multi-day festival filled with music, beer, and even a few pubs to check out. There are even 12 Irish pubs located in Florence! Although they vary in authenticity, the celebration lasts for three days, truly bringing the Irish spirit to Italy. If you're in Rome, check out some of the Irish churches located there, such as Basilica di San Clemente. Full of religious decor and history, churches are a great way to learn about a city's culture! 


You can even check out a new wave of Irish influence in Italy by checking out the art by Tom J. Byrne. Byrne is an Irish artist who found inspiration in Italy's culture and landscape and is now based in Florence, putting on galleries and offering art classes. 


Who was St. Patrick? Was he Italian or Irish?


If you've looked into the history of St. Patrick's Day, you might have stumbled upon the assertion that St. Patrick was actually Italian, but is there any truth to this? Indeed there is! 


Although born on a British estate in Scotland, St. Patrick was actually Italian! His parents were Italian-born Calpurnius and Conchess, who conceived and birthed St. Patrick in British-owned Scotland. He was taken by Irish raiders at the age of 16 and ended up a slave in Ireland. Working in fields alone as a Shepard, Patrick focused on religious studies and became a devout Christian. Six years after his kidnapping, St. Patrick escaped to Britain, only to return to Ireland shortly after to work as a missionary.  


After 15 years of religious study, St. Patrick became an ordained priest with a passion for spreading Christianity throughout Ireland. Contrary to the general assumption that St. Patrick was the first to spread Christianity to Ireland instead, he joined Christian ministers and expanded Ireland's Christian population. What made St. Patrick so successful was that he incorporated Irish traditions into his religious teachings. One example of this is using bonfires to celebrate Easter, as the Irish were accustomed to honoring their gods with fire. In addition, St. Patrick incorporated a powerful Irish symbol, the sun, onto his crosses. This cross is now known as the Celtic cross and is widespread across Ireland today. The technique of incorporating these Irish traditions is likely why St. Patrick had so much success in turning Ireland into a predominately Christian community. 


Looking for more towns in Italy to celebrate St. Paddy's Day? Check out this list! Although there is plenty to celebrate for St. Patrick's Day in Italy, stick around until March 19th, St. Joseph's Day, and you'll be able to indulge in the San Giuseppe feast!