August is here and it was hard not to miss due to its stormy arrival. After an impressive cloudburst, causing a lot of damage in the south of Florence, it’s now back to classic August weather: burning hot with only a teeny bit of wind now and then. In other words, perfect beach weather. No wonder that all townspeople head to the seaside to get some fresh Mediterranean breeze.
August means holiday in Italy and Italians take this very seriously. You’ll find loads of shops and businesses closed for the entire month of August. Incredible, but true. Why not take advantage of the Italian chill-out mode and get some relaxing done yourself too? Here are some fun activities to check out all around Tuscany in August.
Head to Mirteto di Massa for the traditional Festa del Tordello Mortgian from 7 till 9 August. Enjoy some deliciously filled ‘tordelli’ with the town’s specialty meat sauce or go wild with torta di riso, rice cake, grilled meat, cold cuts or try some panzanella, a classically Tuscan summer bread dish.
The San Casciano fair, la Fiera di San Casciano, is held from 7 to 16 August with the most important day on the 13th. The day starts off early at dawn during which a bird-singing contest takes place and is followed by a mass in honour of San Cassiano. This event might be especially fun for kids because of the animals and tractors on show.
Livorno is the place to be when it comes to delicious fish dishes and a laidback atmosphere. Go to the Sagra del Polpo, held from 7 to 16 August, and enjoy some freshly caught octopus from the Tyrrhenian Sea. Other Tuscan fish classics will also be available at this food fair, just as some meat dishes and sweets. Beach town Marina di Pisa also dedicates its local food party to fish and this is already their 7th Sagra del Pesce. The big square along the seaside is dedicated to pasta with fish, fried fish, fish soup; the works. This year, the fun starts on the 7th and ends on the 23rd of August. The Sagra del Cacciucco e della Frittura di Pesce in Fonteblanda di Orbetello (Grosseto) takes place from Saturday 8th till Friday 21st of August. The must-try fish soup delicacy Cacciucco is served alongside many other fish specialties and some meat treats as well. Last but not least, the codfish festival! Until the 10th of August you’ll be able to taste salted codfish prepared in many different ways at the 24th Sagra del Baccalà of Sant’Andrea al Civilesco di Magliano in Toscana (Grosseto).
Antiques and handicraft
Do you like antiques and handicraft? Then make sure you don’t miss the 20th edition of Antiquariato, Arte, Artigianato from the 14th to the 23rd of August in Pitigliano (Grosseto). Besides the enchanting atmosphere of the town itself, the different stalls will definitely offer unique pieces that will provide your home with a Tuscan touch. Ever wondered what it’s like to live like a real Tuscan? Join the 42nd Country Celebrations, or Festa Paesana, in the two weekends between 8 and 16 August in Serrazzano di Pomarance (Pisa). This food festivity is filled with Tuscan delicacies and entertainment like karaoke and live music. If you’re around in the period anyway, also pay a visit to Pomarance in Piazza. The town comes alive with street performances, handicraft, and other types of entertainment and shows. At 6 pm the stalls open up and later on you can grab a seat at one of the tables and enjoy local foods. In the evening, the street performers take over and show their fantastic skills. The last two of the festival’s five dates are 12 and 19 August.
Tuscan T-bone steak
Have you tried the classic local treat Bistecca alla Fiorentina yet? If not, or if so and you absolutely loved it, check out the Sagra della Bistecca in Galleno di Fucecchio. The festival ends on the 16th of August and also serves homemade pasta dishes besides the very rarely cooked T-bone steaks. British and missing your fish ‘n chips? Barga, boasting an incredible amount of Scottish inhabitants, organizes its yearly Sagra del Pesce e Patate. Also up and running until the 16th of August.
Wine and Stars
Make your chilled-out holiday even more relaxing with one of more visits to the events organised under the name of Calici di Stelle, or Wine glasses and Stars. Clink your glasses together to a wonderful holiday in one of the amazing places opening up its doors especially for this occasion. Besides art exhibitions, live music guided walks there will, of course, also be a whole lot of wine tasting going on. The events will take place in the evenings from the 4th till the 10th of August all around Tuscany. See the entire programme here (in Italian).
A festival for the environment
If you care about the environment and love nature, then don’t miss out on this year’s 20th edition of Festambiente. The regional park of Maremma will be filled with loads of fun activities like music concerts, kids’ activities, film screenings, bio restaurants, and many more from the 7th till the 16th of August. Rispescia (Grosseto) will be turned into an ecological village and celebrate ten days in the name of the environment. More info here: (in Italian)