Irish in Italy celebrate St Patrick's Day online

Italian landmarks illuminated in green lights in honour of Ireland's patron saint.

St Patrick's Day takes place under the cloud of covid-19 lockdown restrictions, both in Ireland and Italy, for the second year in a row.

The annual celebration of Ireland's patron saint moves online again, with a series of virtual events during St Patrick's week, organised jointly by Ireland's embassies to Italy and the Holy See.

The first event was an online lecture by Fr Mícheál Mac Craith about the long history of the Irish in Rome, on 15 March from 18.00-19.00. 

Then there is "Bingo Beo" - an online game of Bingo held in Gaeilge, the Irish language - on 16 March at 18.30, with plenty of prizes up for grabs. 

On St Patrick's Day, 17 March, there will not be the traditional Mass for the Irish community in Rome, due to Italy's coronavirus norms. The usual social events are also off the table, and the Irish pubs in Rome and Milan are all closed.

However on St Patrick's night there will be a bumper Global Greening campaign in Italy, with a total of 42 sites and monuments being illuminated in green lights.

The annual event, organised by Tourism Ireland, will see Trajan's Column and the Fontanone turn green, along with Villa Spada, the seat of Ireland's embassy to Italy on the Janiculum Hill.

Also going green are the Unicredit Tower in Milan, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the James Joyce statue in Trieste, and Procida, Italy's capital of culture 2022.

On 18 March there will be a cook-along experience with Irish celebrity chef, Catherine Fulvio, who offers a “Taste of a Traditional Irish Farmhouse Tea” from 19.00-20.00.

There is the Great Big St Patrick's Day Irish Italian Quiz, aimed at Italy's Irish community and friends of Ireland, on 19 March at 19.30, with lots of questions about Italy and Ireland. 

The Irish Film Festa, the only Italian film festival dedicated entirely to Irish cinema and culture, will be hosted on the all-new IFI International streaming service from 17-21 March. For full details see IFF website.

Happy St Patrick's Day! Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Dhaoibh Go Léir!

Photo: The Torre dell'Orologio in Locorotondo, Puglia, turns green for St Patrick's Day.