When you speak of Italy, you don’t only think of it as a country. In fact, its culture is so widespread that people across the entire world celebrate Italian festivals in their very own homes. Well, why not? Italian culture is seen through the kind of food that we eat today — pizza, pasta, and ice cream, and is best represented by geniuses that paved the direction of art and science.

If you’re from the US, expect to find so many celebrated Italian American Festivals which you must visit if you want to experience the life and culture of Italy in just a few minutes’ ride from your house. The top five of those best Italian American Festivals are briefly described in this article.

Italian-American Festival - The Proud Italian

1. North Beach Festival

This two-day festival is celebrated in San Francisco during summer (June 17 and 18 for this year) and will be celebrating its 63rd year in 2017. North Beach Italian American Festival features gourmet food, Italian vendors and offers artistic articles for kids and adults alike. Italian paintings are also shown on display during the festival so guests could better appreciate Italian art.

2. Summer in Little Italy Festival

This festival has only been started in the early 2000s but has long gained recognition for its very festive environment with more than 30 restaurants offering Italian delicacies. The festival is reportedly taking place along the Mulberry Street Pedestrian Mall this coming summer.

Little Italy Festival - The Proud Italian

3. Columbus Italian Festival

Presented by St. John the Baptist Italian Catholic Church, Columbus Italian American Festival is celebrated on October 9-11 this year, at Hamlet and E. Lincoln. At night, guests can enjoy the tasty food market in the sidewalks beefed up with Italian music on the streets. Guests are also encouraged to visit the Church, which has stayed true to its Italian tradition of architecture.

4. Italian Film Festivals

Festivals don’t need to be all food and art, right? A must-visit Italian American Festival is any of the Italian Film Festivals held by different states with different rules because it allows the general American public to see and experience Italy through films. Films screed in these festivals are sure to heighten your awareness of Italy — its culture, people, and language.

Italian-American Film Festival - The Proud Italian

5. San Gennaro Festival

This festival is celebrated in honor of the Patron saint of Naples — San Gennaro. The immigrants from Naples introduced the festival to New York City on September 19, 1926, and has been annually celebrated by Americans of Italian descent, or those that appreciate the wonderful Italian culture.

If you’re somewhere near these places, why not drop by and have a taste of the Italian spirit? You don’t need to fly to Italy to experience its beautiful culture — sometimes, the opportunity is just around your backyard.