Italy Events, Festivals, street festivals, Markets Toscana, Umbria, Napoli area, North Italy
Festivals in Toscana
Steeped in centuries of rich history stretching far back through medieval times to the Etruscan era Tuscany has had plenty of time to establish some of the most enticing cultural festivals in Europe.
The region recently featured in the opening sequences of James Bond; Quantum of Solace in which a chase scene took place through the preserved streets of Sienna during the historical Palio. A festival of sport and local rivalries The Palio is a unique horse race that takes place in the piazza del publico in the centre of this medieval city.
The sights and sounds of competing contrada, municipal districts named after animals, is hard to beat. Each contrada parades through the streets in the days leading up to the race dressed in ornate historical clothing, banging drums and waving flags with awe-inspiring and well-rehearsed precision. On race days, July 2 and August 16, the city is filled to bursting with a party atmosphere and all the excitement of up close bareback horse riding.
For something a little less exhausting the ancient hilltop town of Montelpulciano hosts the Bravio delle Botti during the last week of August. This picturesque town is famed for its surrounding vineyards and has been hosting the wine festival since the 17th century. A week of different ceremonies and special wine tastings culminates in a barrel rolling contest through the narrow streets.
about us Festivals, street festivals in Tuscany, Umbria
History buffs should head to the town of San Gimignano which hosts a medieval harvest festival in June complete with a historical processions organised by the Knights of St Fina. The festival gives everyone the opportunity to try some of the local produce and soak up the historic atmosphere of a genuine ancient town.
Later on in the year foodies have the chance to celebrate one of the special delicacies of the region.
The town of San Giovanni d`Asso hosts the Tuscan truffle festival on the second and third weekends of November. Small independent stalls sell delicate white truffles, while food stalls and restaurants will prepare dishes flavoured with the elusive ingredient.
Music-lovers haven`t been forgotten in the Tuscan festival line up.
The town of Monterspertoli, on the border with Umbria and near the beautiful Lake Bolsena hosts an annual music festival called Sesto D`Estate. Part of a summer series of cultural events and outdoor concerts the town plays host at the end of May and visitors can see a wide range of acts from classical to contemporary.
With events taking place throughout the year Tuscany is a popular destination so accommodation can be hard to come by.
The Campsite of Lido Camping Village Holiday Park reviews as a good place to stay from where you can explore the region to the fullest.
EVENTS TO LUCIGNANO Area Toscana and Umbria
Last 2 Sundays of May
LA MAGGIOLATA. Popular festival inspired on the ancient spring pagan propitiatory rituals. Nowadays it offers a parade of allegorical wagons bedecked with flowers, each built by the citizens of the four neighborhoods.
You will also enjoy shows and dances performed by bands and folkloristic groups coming from all over the world.
Admission by ticket only.
Every night during the week shows, food and drink.
Assisi – Calendimaggio
The festival of Calendimaggio is without doubt the most important event of the year for the inhabitants of Assisi. The origins of the festival lie far in the past, but the way it is celebrated in Assisi is entirely new and original. The festival took place for the first time in 1927: singers representing the different town “chapels” united under the direction of band masters to sing serenades, taking as their theme the customs of times past.
SPELLO – L’infiorata.
The “flower decorations” event has its roots in the remote past. A few centuries ago this original and artistic initiative was transformed into an event in honor of the “Corpus domini”
While previously loose flowers were strewn over the Roman and medieval paving, it became customary to use only petals and evergreen leaves, creating beautiful carpets of Spanish broom and wild fennel embellished with cornflowers, daisies, velvety petals and roses.
Third Sunday of June:
CAMMINMANGIANDO, enogastronomic walking tour.
From the hamlet through paths surrounded by olives and woods you will discover unspoiled nature, works of art and monuments.
The route of the walk, of about 5 km, changes every year and is divided into four parts at the end of which you stop to taste local products and wines from the “Strade del vino Terre di Arezzo”.
A shuttle bus will be available for those who don’t want to come back on foot.
FOLIGNO – La giostra della Quintana
Like other knightly tournaments, watching the joust of the Quintana is obligatory for the inhabitants of Foligno and for those visiting Umbria. This joust is probably the most important event in the territory precisely because it opens the summer season, the period in Umbria of festivals and celebrations: the Gaite market in Bevagna, the flight of the cattle in Montefalco.
BEVAGNA – Le Gaite
A faithful commemoration of the middle ages that will definitely thrill the visitor. Along the streets and in the most atmospheric corners of medieval Bevagna, the people of the four Gaite, a Lombard appellation, compete in decking out taverns, markets and artisan workshops in medieval style. During the final two days, the event is enriched by an actual medieval market whose unique products give it significant cultural value.
10th of August CALICI SOTTO LE STELLE
enogastronomic event in the wonderful scenario of the medieval hamlet, with music and the Municipal Museum open until late.
MEMORIE DEL PASSATO. Last Sunday of September:
Historical recollection of arts and crafts, everyday life scenes of the past (end of the XIX, beginning of the XX century).
Looking back at the past with a little bit of nostalgia, not to forget our roots.
Along the streets of the hamlet, ancient shops revive the crafts, while peasants and lords in period clothes recreate the lively atmosphere of the feast days of that time. Stalls, old taverns and restaurants delight us with scents and tastes that only belong to the past.
The festival starts on Saturday night, with a typical period dinner and a show in the main square, and then continues during the next Sunday.
CITTA’ DI CASTELLO – Festival delle nazioni
The Festival of Nations has been held every year in Città di Castello since 1968, to the aim to diffuse music culture and taste and highlight the artistic heritage of the Upper Valley of the Tiber. It has occupied and continues to occupy a prestigious and high-quality position among the cultural events of Italy and Europe.
PERUGIA – Umbria Libri
The Umbrian edition of the publishing exhibition-market takes place in the month of November. The book festival occupies the most evocative sites of Perugia’s historic town center with publishing novelties, meetings with authors, debates, conventions, musical aperitifs and literary desserts.
EVENTS IN THE NEARBY AREA
FOIANO DELLA CHIANA
- June, recollection of the Battle of Scannagallo (1554). More info at www.scannagallo.com/home.htm
- February, for four Sundays Italy’s most ancient Carnival.
- Each month’s first Sunday FIERA DELL’ANTIQUARIATO (antique fair)
- June e Septemper: GIOSTRA DEL SARACINO
-Giostra dell'Archidado crossbow competition held in late May or early June usually on the Sunday of Pentecost (Whitsunday) but this year apparently one week earlier on Sunday 5 June 2011 . Every year, a procession of 300 or more people wearing wonderful mediaeval costumes as well as many riders on their horses
-15th of August SAGRA DELLA BISTECCA (Festival of steak)
- August SAGRA DEL FUNGO PORCINO (Festival of cep mushroom)
- August: TUSCAN SUN FESTIVAL 30.7 – 7.8 2011 Cortona http://www.tuscansunfestival.com/136+M54a708de802.html
MONTE SAN SAVINO
- End of June, LE ALLEGREZZE, historical recollection of the investiture of Monte San Savino’s first Count.
- September SAGRA DELLA PORCHETTA (Festival of roasted pork)
- Last Sunday of November FIERA DI SANTA CATERINA
This fair, also known as the Horse Fair and warmer with the whistle, held last Saturday and Sunday in November and has numerous stalls that give life to the old town and its surroundings.
MARCIANO DELLA CHIANA
- From the end of July to mid August: SAGRA DELLA PIZZA (Festival of pizza)
- Week-end after the 15th of August: FESTA PAESANA (village fair)
- Last week-end of August: FESTA PAESANA in the neighborhood Cesa
CASTIGLION DEL LAGO
- April FESTA DEL TULIPANO allegorical wagons covered with tulip’s petals.
National Antique Show
April - May
Italy's finest antique dealers participate in Assisi Antiquariato at Umbria Fiere, just outside Assisi. Because of the high quality of the items on display, the show has become the spring rendezvous for antique dealers and amateurs alike.
Corsa all'Anello in Narni
April - May
La Corsa all'Anello (ring race) is an ancient tradition, dating back to 1371, in which young men on horseback representing the three districts of Narni (Fraporta, Mezule and Santa Maria) compete by trying to run their lances through a suspended ring.
Corsa dei Ceri
• Every year an incredible spectacle takes place in the little town of Gubbio. Three teams of 18-20 fit men assemble amidst complex ritual procedures and much revelry in order to race carrying three heavy wooden statues on palanques up through the city to the cathedral on top of Monte Ingino.
• Crossbow Tournament - Palio della Balestra
Final Sunday of every May
Every year at the end of May the crossbow experts of Gubbio and Sansepolcro meet in a fierce contest of skill and accuracy. The first records of the contest date from the middle of the 15th century and the three winners take home prizes, in the form of gold, silver and bronze crossbows. There is also a historical parade.
International Arts and Crafts
April - May
Tradition and innovation come together each year at the Fortezza da Basso in Florence for one of the most important European arts and crafts fairs. This fair in now in its 69th year and usually attracts around 200,000 visitors.
• Maggio Musicale Fiorentino
The oldest music festival in Italy, and one of the most famous, the Maggio Musicale in Florence was founded in 1933. In addition to its opera productions, it plays host to international orchestras, ballet and opera companies, with a line-up few other festivals can rival.
• Festival of the Cricket
Are you down on your luck? Has your lucky star turned into a black hole? Don't worry, help is at hand - for just a few euros you can be the owner of your very own "lucky cricket in a cage". Thousands of them are sold every year at the annual Florentine Festa del Grillo (Cricket Festival), held on the Day of Ascension in Florence's Parco delle Cascine.
• International Iris Show
In May every year gardeners from all over the world flock to Florence's Piazzale Michelangelo, as the renowned Giardino dell'Iris opens its gates to the public and hosts the annual international iris competition.
• Artigianato e Palazzo
May Artigianato e Palazzo is a three-day fair in Florence that displays the arts and crafts of traditional artisans from all over Italy, held in the beautiful gardens of the Palazzo Corsini. During the fair the artisans prepare their stands as open-air workshops, where they demonstrate their skills in pottery, the making of straw hats and willow baskets, glass cutting, the various techniques of restoring a tapestry or a precious piece of furniture, and more. The great success of this exhibition is due to the fact that it is not just a fair or bazaar, but a continuous demonstration of the skills of each craftsman.
Guided tours of the garden are conducted throughout the three days and an open-air restaurant serves traditional Tuscan food, snacks and drinks from morning to sunset.
Address: 117, Via della Scala (300 metres south-west from the Novella Train Station)
• Florence Dance Festival
July - August
This popular dance festival attracts a number of international companies who perform in the open-air venue of the Roman Amphitheater of Fiesole
More to come .
Umbria Jazz Festival
From morning to evening, without any continuity, in the historic center of Perugia, dozens of concerts will take place with musical offers covering the entire music kinds to meet the tastes of a public always more heterogeneous. Perugia will become, once again, a meeting point for thousands of music lovers, coming from all over Italy but also from Europe and the United States.
Eurochocolate - Chocolate Revolution
The new edition of Eurochocolate, Chocolate Revolution, features a week of chocolate antics, music and competitions taking place throughout the city of Perugia, home town of the famed bitter-sweet chocolate and hazelnut blend, Bacio Perugina.
Festival dei Due Mondi Spoleto Festival Dei Due Mondi 29 June – 15 July 2012
Situated in the green heart of Umbria, Spoleto is taken over by a whirlwind of artistic activity during its annual festival: enjoy quality classical music, theatre, ballet, visual arts and cinema in a beautiful, romantic city that invites leisurely strolls at dusk. .
Palio of Siena
2 July and 16 August
For the Siennese, the Palio horse-race around the Piazza del Campo is a matter of life and death. Daring, bravado, lunacy, bribery, poisoning and death-threats have all played their parts in the event since its inauguration in 1310.
July - August
The Association Siena Jazz presents a series of two-week free long jazz concerts and jam sessions in the beautiful city of Siena.
For information: 0577 271 401 0577 271 401 .
What more could you ask for than an open-air blues festival on the main Piazza of the beautiful Tuscan village of Pistoia bang in the middle of July?
• TORRE DEL LAGO:
Puccini Festival of Torre del Lago
July - August
The Puccini Opera Festival welcomes around 40,000 spectators every year to Torre del Lago's open-air theatre, just a stone's throw from the Villa Puccini where Giacomo Puccini lived, worked and is buried. For info, call 0584 359 322 0584 359 322 .
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