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Tuscan summer festivals

Easter has ended and now spring has sprung in Tuscany, a time to look forward to warmer days and the impending summer season. Summer is a wonderful time to visit Tuscany, yes there will be more crowds but the long days allow for more exploration. There are wonderful cultural events and Sagras where you can experience Tuscany's medieval past and culture, whilst indulging in local culinary delights - Handmade pasta, grilled bistecca, cinghiale, porchetta, truffles, wine and so much more. A few highlights to experience

The famous Palio di Siena 2023. The first act being Palio di Provenzano 2023, held in honour of the Madonna of Provenzano, will take place on Sunday, July 2, 2023. The second part, Palio dell’Assunta on August 16, in honour of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. Palio di Siena is a horse race between the 17 contrade (districts) of the city, held in the shell shaped square Piazza del Campo. The race is preceded by the Corteo Storico (Historical Procession), a parade of about 700 people dressed in medieval costumes. Only 10 contrade out of a total of 17 will participate in the event – three drawn from last year’s participants and seven that were not present at the previous edition of Palio di Provenzano. The race is a medieval spectacle that is passionately some say religiously ingrained in the Sienese. Before the race the horses and riders are blessed in the churches of the contrade. The race is 3 laps of the Piazza del Campo lasting approximately 90 seconds. There are no rules except that a rider may not interfere with the reins of another horse. Jockeys whip their horses, and each other, with bull's pizzle crops (Google it). If a jockey is thrown off his mount, the rider less horse can still win on its own. The winning Contrade parade the streets of Siena in a bragging spectacle involving music, flag waving and wonderful traditional costumes.

Festa medieval-fantasy Montieri 14th August, the whole medieval village puts on a display of Medieval fantasy with a variety of rustic food, wine and various medieval themed curiosities including dances with fire, stilt walkers, medieval market, music, old trades etc

Balestro del Girifalco, takes place in Massa Marittima twice a year, the fourth Sunday of May and the 14th of August.

This festival consists in an archery competition played out according to the old rules of wartime games. Competing for the “palio”, a huge silk banner, hand painted each year by a different artist, are the 3 terzieri (historic districts) of the city: Cittanuova, Cittavecchia and Borgo. Each terziere is represented by 8 archers, so a total of 24 take part. In the lead up to the battle, a historic procession made up of 150 figures dressed in medieval garb takes place. Joining with musicians and dames is the Compagnia degli Sbandieratori of Massa Marittima, a flag-throwing squad pulling off high-impact twirling and choreography. The parade processes through the city streets and participants arrive by foot in the 14th century Cathedral di San Cerbone, Massa’s Duomo, is an outstanding setting for the competition.

Montepulciano Il “Bravìo delle Botti” August 30th is a competition between the eight districts of the town: Cagnano, Collazzi, Le Coste, Gracciano, Poggiolo, San Donato, Talosa and Voltaia, located along the historical city centre. The districts fight over a painted cloth, “Il Panno” by rolling empty wine barrels, weighing about 80 kg each, along an uphill path for over one kilometre. The barrels are pushed by two athletes known as “pushers”, while the route of the race unfolds along the picturesque streets of Montepulciano’s historical city centre, ending in the main Cathedral square “Piazza Grande”.

Volterra - AD1398 August 13 and 20th Volterra jumps back in time to the Middle Ages, daring knights, noblemen & ladies, monks, friars, craftsmen, merchants, peasants, flag-bearers, archers, soldiers, jugglers, musicians and jesters come together to cast a spell on festival goers as they bring back to life the many facets of Volterra in the Middle Ages, moving between the austere towers, the superb palaces and churches or between the simple houses of the village and the tents of the camps, under the bulk of the Medici Fortress.

A unique opportunity to relive, in one of the most beautiful cities in Tuscany, the magical atmosphere of 1398.

For two days, the second and third Sunday of August, from sunrise to sunset, Volterra hosts shows, events, markets, workshops, music and jugglers.

Music festivals Firenze rocks, Luca music festival, Pistoia blues, Andrea Bocelli Teatro del Silenzio

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