Since 1987 the famous Renaissance Festival has been organised by the Municipality of Rethymno each summer. Due to the fact that both the architecture and literature of the Renaissance have worked as a pedestal for the development of the town of Rethymno, it seemed only natural that the town should become the main sponsor of a variety of manifestations aiming at the promotion of both the Cretan and European Renaissance. Over the course of the years all the works of Cretan playwrights have been performed as well as a large variety of plays by Shakespeare, Moliere, Goldoni and others. Furthermore musicians from all over the world came to Rethymno to perform a wide range of music, starting from the period of the Renaissance to modern times. On a similar note street performances of the "Comedia del arte" could be seen in the narrow streets and alleys of the old town. Dancing performances, exhibitions of paintings, speeches and cinema complete the framework of the festival activities.
Almost all performances are carried out in the "Erofili" Theatre on the Fortress. To walk on the path, which is paved with cobblestone, uphill to the "Fortezza" on a summer evening and to live the delightful moments of a theatre, dancing or music performance is a blissful experience.The festival is organised from July to September.