Welcome back after the holidays! We hope you’ve had a great time sizzling away in August. However, this August in Tuscany was exceptionally bad from the weather point of view, anyway, we hope you got a chance to relax and enjoy yourself! Still have some of your holiday pay left? Great! Go and spend it all at the antiques and handicrafts market in the streets of Montaione during Estate Montaionese, or Montaionese Summer, on Friday 5th, 12th, 19th and 26th September from 9.30 a.m. to 8.00 p.m. On the 14th of September there will be an antiques, collectables, arts&crafts and vintage market inside the village of Castelfalfi all day long as well. Check out the entire programme here.
Lusting for some modern art? Lucky you! As of 20 September 2014 Palazzo Strozzi in Florence will be focusing on modern art once again with a major new event devoted to one of the greatest masters of 20th century painting, Pablo Picasso. The exhibition will present a broad selection of works by this great master of modern art and is called Picasso and Spanish Modernity. More info here.
Medieval and Renaissance Festivals
Ready for some medieval rock? Then don’t miss out on Medioevo in Rocca on Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 September in the Parco della Rocca of Montestaffoli in San Gimignano. The Santa Fina knights will lead you back into the middle ages with drums and tambourines, flags and costumes, dances and duels, while you can feast your way through typically Tuscan foods and drinks. Feel what it was like back in 1300 at the reconstruction of a medieval encampment and let your inner knight out. Follow and share the event at #medioevoinrocca.
This weekend the celebrations of the traditional Diotto will take place in the beautiful hamlet of Scarperia in Mugello. On Saturday night you can enjoy the flag-throwers shows, while on Sunday, September 7, Renaissance Day is where you want to be hanging out. Think thematic market, food and costume parade, as well as knights fighting and jugglers showing off their skills. On Monday September 8 it’s D-Day, or Diotto Day, on which the city’s boroughs will challenge each other in different types of medieval games. Charge!
More medieval momentum at the not to miss Palio della Balestra in Sansepolcro (Arezzo) from 12 to 14 September. Medieval and Renaissance traditions are brought back alive in the green Valtiberina area of Tuscany. If you like men in uniform, or Renaissance style costumes including tights that is, then this is your bull’s eye. The crossbow tradition, that is literally handed down from father to son, is put on display during the ancient competition during which the crossbow-men of Sansepolcro challenge those from Gubbio, in the neighbouring region of Umbria. Click here for more info.
If you’re more into Holy traditions then you’ll enjoy the Sacra Cintola display in Prato on September 8. On the feast day of the Madonna, a historic parade will be followed by the solemn ostentation of the sacred belt of the Madonna, Prato’s most important relic. In the afternoon all the solemnness will be waved away by flag throwers in traditional costumes dancing around to music. Amen.
As Italy really enjoys reenacting the past, maybe the Assedio alla Villa in Poggio a Caiano from September 18 to 21 could be considered top of the bill. Residents turn into actors and really take the town centuries back in time. They make this Renaissance revival happen with colourful costumes (yes, again with tights), sassy swordfights, fancy flag throwers, food from the past and, maybe most exciting of all, an actual wine fountain. Click here for free wine.
Talking about wine, September is grape harvest month and that coincides, how surprisingly, with many wine festivals. Some suggestions:
Wine and Harvest Festivals
Festa del Vino di Montecarlo (Wine feast of Montecarlo) in the province of Lucca until September 8. Enjoy music, art exhibitions, wine and local food tastings in the lovely town squares of Montecarlo. From September 4 to 7, Settembre DiVino takes place in Pitigliano during which the streets of this historic centre are filled with thousands of people, music, shows and loads of wine! The Expo del Chianti Classico in Greve in Chianti, from September 11 to 14, is also worth a visit of you want to learn more about Chianti Classico Wine in the area that bears its name. There will be both artistic and cultural events, as well as the possibility of visiting wine cellars and wineries and to taste the specialties of the Chianti area of course.
From 12 to 14 September, in Manciano, another wine cellar feast will be held and is called Festa delle Cantine. Locals catch up with old friends in the name of tradition and free wine and tourists experience Manciano at its liveliest on a weekend when everything from the food to the music is authentic and inspiring. Fair enough. Then you can also go wine tasting in historic wineries at the Festa dell’Uva di Scansano from September 27 to 28. Then, last but not least, the Festa dell’uva dell’Impruneta (Grape feast in Impruneta) is one of the longest-running Italian festivals and takes place on September 28. Salute! Cheers to September!