Many events in Tuscany are seasonal, and most take place during the summer months. Food festivals, which often feature local specialties such as truffles, olive oil, and regional wines, are especially enticing and begin in early summer and continue on into the fall. Many other events attract visitors and locals alike. Operas and other musical performances fill the air with arias and tantaras, and the effect of the cadence of Italian classics in the land that first enjoyed their melodies is no less than thrilling. Historical sporting events like horse races and jousting complete with ancient rivalries, resplendent pageantry, and sumptuous feasts are of no scarcity either. Here is a sampling:
The Maggio Musicale
The Maggio Musicale – from April to June, Florence abounds with renowned musical concerts, recitals, ballets, and opera performances.
Luminara, the Regatta of Saint Ranieri, and the Battle of the Bridge ?the magnificent lighting of tens of thousands of candles and a fireworks show in honor of the patron saint of Pisa, a celebration of Pisa? heritage as a maritime republic, and the reenactment of a medieval contest on Pisa? main bridge, all preceded by a costume procession.
Palio di Siena
Palio di Siena ?the city? piazza comes dashing to life every July and August as Siena? contrade (neighborhoods) race bareback, competing for a banner dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Costumes abound, and banquet tables stretch along the streets for feasting afterwards.
Giostra del Saracino
– Bravio delle Botti ?a barrel rolling race between neighborhood divisions in Montepulciano. Participants roll heavy barrels almost 2,000 meters into the town? piazza. As with many such events, costume processions precede and banqueting follows.
Giostra del Saracino ?Arezzo? medieval jousting tournaments that occur in early September. You won? believe you?e in the 21st century.
Musical Weeks ?August in Siena