Ladies and Gentlemen, we proudly present your very own August in Tuscany! It will be full of historical events, beach escapes and food, lots of food. Check out all the fun and scrumptious options you can pick from below. Enjoy August!
Medieval Festivals and Historical Reenactments
Tuscany loves her medieval festivals and this month is brimming with them. Take the Balestro del Grifalco, or Gyrfalcon Archery, in Massa Marittima for example. This event takes place twice a year: on the fourth Sunday in May and on August 14th in which 24 skillful archers compete for the precious golden arrow. Cupido make way!
Then on the 16th of August the Palio of Siena will also be held for the second time this year. This version is officially named Palio dell’Assunta. After three times round the ‘most beautiful square in the world’, Piazza del Campo, the winning contrada (neighbourhood) departs for the Duomo to honour the Holy Mary. Then they continue their parade towards their own contrada where they celebrate and party all night long. For people like you and me, who aren’t part of the contrada, just stay put in the square since the Palazzo Pubblico will be lit up by candles; magical atmosphere guaranteed!
Like your fearless knights on fiery warhorses, have always dreamt of being a nobleman or lady, or got a thing for flag-wavers and crossbowmen? Well then make sure you don’t miss Volterra AD 1398 on August 17 and 24. Be ready to return to the Middle Ages with medieval dinners, guided tours, crossbow tournaments and flag bearers during this historical event.
Pontremoli honors the arrival of the emperor Frederick II during Medievalis from August 20 to 24. At the Challenge of the Cazzaguerra Cortina the historical districts of Imoborgo, Sommoborgo and Contado fight each other through flag throwing, armed battles and archery competitions. Let the games begin!
Have you ever wanted to see strong men pushing up 80kg barrels up an 1800 metre high hill? On 31 August you’ll finally get your chance during the traditional competition Bravio delle Botti in Montepulciano. The eight districts compete running and pushing the barrels through the historic centre until they get to the finish line on the Duomo steps in Piazza Grande.
Prefer the Renaissance? Then get your kicks at Agosto Montefalchese, or Montefalco’s August, which will be happening from 1 to 19 August. Grab a glass of Montefalco Rosso, its famous red wine, and try all the local delicious dishes at the taverns set up at the most idyllic angles of the already stunning town of Montefalco. On the nights of 12, 13 and 14 August the four quarters S. Agostino, S. Bartolomeo, S. Fortunato and S. Francesco will battle against each other in all sorts of competitions, but the most important one is the historical Fuga del Bove which is kept for the last night, the 19th. Every quarter has four men pulling, pushing and running along their very own prodigious ox to make sure he finishes first.
Food and wine festivals
In the mood for romance? Get your wine glasses out and fill them up with falling stars over Tuscany from the 5th to the 10th of August during which Calici di Stelle is held. On the last night La Notte di San Lorenzo is celebrated and many wine tasting events are organized in the squares, historical city centres and wine cellars of Le Città del Vino, the wine cities. Check out this site (in Italian) for your wine filled, star spangled August nights.
Then some fine food tips starting with the summer BBQ during Festa del Mugello at the ObiHall until August 17. The festivities include games and magicians for children, tango, live music, sports matches on a giant screen and a full range of traditional food from the Mugello. Wild boar lovers can feast at the Sagra del Cinghiale, Foro Boario, Borgo San Lorenzo from August 23 to 31. The Sagra del Panigaccio in Podenzana, Massa Carrara, from August 2 to 17 is also worth a visit if you like flatbread covered with extra-virgin olive oil, pesto, cheese, cured meats, olives and mushrooms. Mmm…
Craving for creativity? Then, the streets and squares of Campiglia Marittima’s historic centre also turn into a theatre festival from 11 to 15th of August during Apriti Borgo. Take a peek at the international photo exhibition Cortona on the Move in the picturesque town of Cortona from July 17 to September 28. Or visit Viareggio which is famous for its beaches and its impressive carnival parades. Admire five of the big floats during ‘La Notte delle Maschere’ on the 9th of August.