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The best open-air cinemas to watch films during the summer and live the dream

With the coming of summer, open-air cinema dates are finally back; unmissable events for those who love the big screen, but with an eye on the location as well.

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Cinemas under the stars, scattered across the country, offer interesting screenings for both adults and children, perhaps even in the original language, providing a unique way to catch up on critically acclaimed films as well as the great classics.

It is not uncommon for screenings to include the presence of the director or the cast, and the locations hosting the summer festivals are often worth the entrance fee in themselves: summer arenas, historic villas, bridges, gardens, squares and even drive-in cinemas.

From Apulia to Lombardy, here are the best open-air cinemas and events with the most interesting billboards.

Open-air cinemas in Apulia

Open-air cinemas in Apulia

The love for Apulia is not just down to the turquoise sea and beautiful landscapes. There are actually numerous cultural events taking place throughout the region during the summer.

For those who love film festivals, there is Imaginaria, the international festival of art-house animated films, to be held from 22 to 27 August in Conversano. Alternatively, the Cinzella Festival will be held from 15 to 17 July in the former tuff quarries of Fantiano, Grottaglie (Taranto) and on 9 August in the former Montecatini building in Brindisi.

For fans of independent cinema, there is the Salento International Film Festival which will take place in Tricase from 6 to 11 September.

Outdoor cinema in Campania

cinema aperto campania

Cinema intorno al Vesuvio (Cinema around Vesuvius) returns from 23 June to 7 August 2022. This historic open-air film festival is curated by the Arci Movie association and will be held in the gardens of Villa Bruno in San Giorgio a Cremano.

Nuovo Cinema Flegreo presents not only films but also meetings and debates in Monte di Procida, at the Serbatoio Creativo with "committed cinema" and in Bacoli in the Campi Flegrei.

Outdoor cinema in Lazio

Outdoor cinema in Lazio

From 20 July to 4 August 2022, the Parco degli Acquedotti in Rome will host a large summer arena with around 1,000 seats: a daily review of restored cinema masterpieces, presented each evening by outstanding authors. Admission is free while places last.

In the centre of Rome, suspended between the two banks of the Tiber, is the Tiber Island, one of the most evocative and historically rich places in the capital. This is where the Isola del Cinema, an International Film and Culture Festival, is staged, hosting a number of screenings. Don't miss the films in original language with subtitles.

And finally, the Floating Theatre. This year it will take place from 18 August to 25 September, and it is the only environmentally friendly Italian floating arena set in an urban context, located at the Laghetto dell'Eur.

Outdoor Cinema in Umbria

cinema aperto umbria

In Perugia, just a few steps from St Peter's Basilica, the Frontone Gardens are the city's most beautiful and oldest. In this splendid setting Cinegatti offers a careful selection of masterpieces and new films.

Open-air cinema in Emilia-Romagna

cinema aperto emilia romagna

Bologna reopens its cinema season with Sotto le stelle del Cinema in Piazza Maggiore from 19 June to 14 August. 54 evenings of great classics and cine-concerts are planned.

Open-air cinema in Veneto

cinema aperto veneto

From 23 June in Mestre, San Giuliano, Venice and the Islands, there will be Cinemoving, the travelling cinema that comes to your doorstep. New for this edition is the review at the Lido on the beach: Uno sguardo sul cinema (A look at cinema). On five Fridays, starting on 29 July, you can enjoy some of the films that were awarded prizes at the Venice Film Festival. 

Open-air cinema in Lombardy

Open-air cinema in Lombardy

In Milan, from 1 July 2022 the Fondazione Prada's Open Air Cinema opens with the Multiple Canvases festival conceived by artists Elmgreen & Dragset with the scientific committee of Human Brains. The summer festival is a selection of films conceived by artists, curators and protagonists from the world of culture and science who contribute to the ongoing activities at the Milan and Venice venues.

Anteo's itinerant open-air cinema is back, which, in addition to the summer arenas of AriAnteo Palazzo Reale 2022 and AriAnteo Incoronata 2022, presents the Anteo nella Città format. The programme includes several stops, each week in a different square, with screenings every evening from 30 June to 18 September 2022.

In Pavia, in the exciting setting of the Castello Visconteo, Cinema Under the Stars kicks off. Dozens of films, from new releases to the great classics, from the Oscars to the Berlinale, from the Cannes Film Festival to the Venice Film Festival, as well as a selection of films dedicated to the whole family and screenings in the original language.

Outdoor Cinema in Piedmont

cinema aperto piemonte

Let's end with Piedmont. In Turin this summer comes Precollinear Park Bridge, the first open-air cinema on the bridge. On one side Superga, on the other the reflections of the lights of the city centre on the river. The projection is in silent cinema mode, that is, with headphones.

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