An earthquake and extremely fierce winds have introduced the month of March pretty powerfully. It seems to be shouting out that Spring is on its way! Well, good, because we’ve had enough of the cold! Besides higher temperatures, March is also very promising when it comes to evens around Tuscany. It contains Women’s Day, Father’s Day and a donkey race– what a month! Let’s check out the best events in Tuscany for March 2015.
International Women’s Day
The 8th of March is a very, very, very, very important day. Why? Because it’s International Women’s Day! In Italy men and women alike, give their girlfriends, mothers, wives, aunts, female colleagues, etcetera, a branch of the bright-yellow mimosa flower to show their love and appreciation. Want to make an important woman in your life smile? Mimosa is the word. Or you could take her to the Cascine park and by her something nice at the Fiera Quaresimale e del Grillo, which is a traditional fair where they sell about anything all day long on the 8th of March.
You could also treat her to a neccio, which is a local delicacy comparable to a crepe, but made out of chestnut flour and filled with sweet ricotta cheese or Nutella. The Sagra del Neccio will be held on the main square of San Quirico, in the province of Pistoia, on the 8th of March.
Farm fair fun
Don’t miss the annual handicraft fair Arte, Artigianato e Agricoltura at Borgo di Maiano. The wonderful cloister, the stunning gardens and of course the breathtaking views of Florence are already great reasons to visit the place. On this occasion however, craftsmen, artists and gardeners from all over Italy will transform the gorgeous Borgo di Maiano into an exciting spring fair. Get a snack at the food corner run by Fattoria di Maiano’s restaurant Lo Spaccio, visit the Romantic Queen Park and admire the famous Laghetto delle Colonne, sip some tea at the Tea House and, of course, visit the marvelous Teaching Farm with all the farm animals that Fattoria di Maiano is famous for. Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th of March 2015, from 10:00 am till 6:30 pm, Fattoria di Maiano, Via Benedetto da Maiano 11, Fiesole. Tickets: € 6,- (kids up to 15 years old enter for free). Click here for more info.
Swinging pilgrim’s route
The famous pilgrim’s route, the Via Francigena, turns into a swinging itinerary during Melody Francigena Road – the soundtrack of the Via Francigena in Tuscany. The festival started on the 21st of February and will keep on playing until the 31st of March. It will include various genres of music: (contemporary) classical, jazz and opera amongst many others. Thirteen key locations along the Via Francigena will become the venues for the performances, from Pontremoli to Montalcino. Original programs related to the Via Francigena and its themes like the pilgrimage, the road and the challenge with ourselves, will be put into sound by the artists. Every event is at 9 pm. Check out the programme here.
Have you been inspired by the pilgrims of the Via Francigena and do you feel like moving your legs? How about trying Nordic Walking, while discovering loads of interesting information about the local territory? In Siena a tour through the different contrade, neighbourhoods, will be organised on the 21st and 22nd of March. You can find more info here.
On the 22nd of March the original steam train will fire up its engines again and take you to the Festa del Tartufo Marzuolo. Leaving from Siena it will take you through the wonderful countryside of the famous Brunello wine territory and will eventually stop at Castello di San Giovanni d’Asso where a wonderful truffle fair will welcome you. More info here.
More truffle fun is to be found in Volterra on the 28th and 29th of March during Volterragusto.
March 19th is Saint Joseph’s and thus Father’s Day in Italy. In Pitigliano the traditional Torciata di San Giuseppe will be held to celebrate this special day. A night parade will eventually lead up to a giant bonfire, which the locals have traditionally used for ages to welcome the new agricultural season.
More Patrons Saints are celebrated in Semproniano on the 22nd and in San Gimignano on the 12th. Of course, local food and drinks will accompany these festivities.
Have you ever heard of the palio? Maybe a horse race in Siena springs to mind. Well, in this case, at the Palio dei Somari, donkeys are the ones that do the racing. Torrita di Siena turns into the perfect place to hold a donkey race from the 14th to the 22nd of March. Restaurants and open air dinners will add to the fun and on the actual day of the race, the 22nd, the locals dress up in historical costumes, throw flags and play the drums. It doesn’t get any more Tuscan that this.
Last, but not least: if you’re in Florence don’t miss the exhibit Van Gogh Alive. Dutch art at its best!