Summer has officially started and Tuscany is once again brimming with fun activities. From markets to street theater, from Medieval madness to classical music performances, from antiques fairs to the Backstreet Boys. Yes, you’ve read that correctly, the Backstreet Boys – in Tuscany – this July! Check out our overflowing list of suggestions for a soaring hot month of Tuscan delight. Buon divertimento! Have fun!
Markets and fairs in Tuscany
Shopaholics unite! In nearly all Tuscan towns, usually at weekends, markets of all kinds are organized. Browse through the following options and pick your favorite: Sesto Fiorentino’s antiques market on the first Sunday of the month (shops are open too!). At Mercatale del Casentino in Bibbiena (Arezzo), you’ll find local high quality food products at fair prices every fourth Saturday of the month. In Mugello, every second Sunday of the month in San Piero a Sieve and Palazzuolo sul Senio, there are collectables and arts&crafts markets. Every third Sunday shopping is on in Dicomano.
In Montepulciano you can collect antiques, artisans’ works, prints and many more things to give your house that extra Tuscan touch on Saturday July 12 in the afternoon and Sunday 13 in the morning. Every fifth Sunday of the month Lugnano in Soffitta takes places in Vicopisano where you can find craftsmanship, modern crafts and bric-a-brac. For a similar offer don’t miss the antiques fair Mercantico di Cascina every first Sunday of the month. Don’t forget the sales in Florence starting this month while you’re at it.
Music in Tuscany
After all that shopping you’d want to relax a little bit and why not do that while listening to some soothing music? Take world famous Andrea Bocelli and Placido Domingo for example. You can see them perform at the Teatro del Silenzio, in Lajatico on 20 July, together with a seventy-member orchestra and an eighty-member choir. Be ready to be blown away! On 22 July it’s Ennio Morricone’s turn and he’ll perform all this film music classics like ‘Nuovo cinema paradiso’ and ‘C’era una volta il West.’ More info here.
Were you scanning this article for the Backstreet Boys? Here they are: at the Lucca Summer Festival Besides the BSB, massive names like The Prodigy, Stevie Wonder and Nile Rogers (Le freak, c’èst chic!) will take the stage. The concerts take place in Piazza Napoleone inside the enchanting city walls of Lucca from 10 – 26 July. Another must visit is the one-week-long Pistoia Blues Festival starting July 14th. With names like Jack Johnson, The Lumineers, and Artic Monkeys you can’t miss out on this amazing music festival in Tuscany! Also check out the Arezzo Wave Love Festival in Arezzo from July 17 to 21.
Love classical music and islands but don’t have a lot of money to spend? Then Festival Capraia Musica is your thing. The classical concerts are free and they take place in two churches on the impressively gorgeous island of Capraia. First concert 26 July. More into Jazz? Then check out the free Jazz Night @ Villa Strozzi in Florence on 3, 10, 17, 24, 31 July at 9 pm.
What’s better than sipping on a glass a real Chianti Classico wine while enjoying great music? Get your kicks at ‘Vinattieri in Arte’, or Winemakers go Art, at the unique winery Antinori in Chianti Classico area from 15 to 17 July. I actually will attend one of the three shows and hope to see you there! More info here.
Medieval and theater festivals
Medieval madness in Montereggioni during its annual Medieval Festival on July 18, 19,20 and July 25, 26, 27. Imagine a complete town put in a time machine and sent off to the Middle Ages; that’s what the Medieval Festival is all about. Food, drinks, dressing up, games, markets and many more activities to make you feel back in Medieval times for a day or two.
On July 25th don’t miss the historical Giostra dell’Orso in Pistoia. It’s held in the main square and is a real medieval jouster. I was there two years ago and it was amazing!
Then our favorite of this rather extensive list of July events in Tuscany is the spectacular Mercantia, the annual Street Theater Festival in Certaldo from 16 to 20 July. Visit this unique medieval town bustling with creativity from theater shows, music performances, art displays, parading marching bands, acrobatics spectacles, dance showcases, etc. This year’s theme is ‘The Festival of Miracles’ which sounds very promising! A definite delight for children as well. More info here.
Then the unmissable Effetto Venezia in Livorno from July 25 to August 3. Venice is the name of a beautiful borough of Livorno that becomes a large open-air stage with markets, free, concerts, shows, guided tours and much much more for 10 whole days.
Sagre and food festivals in Tuscany
Last but not least are Tuscany’s sagre, food fairs, where you can enjoy great food made by your local nonna (granny) at very reasonable prices. Here are a few ideas: Sagra degli Strozzapreti and typically Maremman products in Roccastrada, Grosseto, from 11 to 20 July. Festa del Farro della Garfagnana, the Garfagnana Spelt Feast, on 12 and 13 July in Sant’Anastasio, province of Lucca. Sagra della Trippa in Cascine di Buti on 9, 10 and 16, 17 July. Trippa means tripe, just so you know. Buon appetito!
Enjoy Tuscany this July!