Activities in Tuscany with Tuscan Holidays

THE SCOPPIO DEL CARRO - FLORENCE
Easter Sunday - 4th April 2010
Translates as 'explosion of the cart'. Easter morning sees the cart and symbolic holy fire arrive in the cathedral square, a dove descends on a wire attached to the high altar and ignites a whole mass of fireworks inside. Very popular and very busy (not a real dove!).

Diary of Public Holidays Go Here>>

CHIANTI WINE FESTIVAL - MONTESPERTOLI
May
Yearly event where the Tuscan village of Montespertoli is visited by people coming to taste the year's vintage at the Chianti Wine Festival. The festival has wine tasting in the village's main square with food stands and music.

PINOCCHIO'S BIRTHDAY - COLLODI
May
The town of Pescia celebrates the birthday of Pinocchio between the end of May and the beginning of June every year. The epicentre of the celebrations is the Parco di Pinocchio in Collodi, an entertainment park and complex entirely devoted to the adventures of the little wooden humanoid and his array of friends.

CANTINE APERTE
All over Tuscany, last Sunday in May
Cantine Aperte is an initiative that has gone from strength to strength with every year. Across Tuscany/Italy wineries open their doors and cellars to all comers, with free tasting, tours, offers and local delicacies to try.

GIOCO DEL PONTE (Battle of the Bridge) - PISA
Last Sunday in June
Medieval parade and contest.

SAN GIMIGNANO MEDIEVAL FESTIVAL
June
This colourful three-day festival (Ferie delle Messi) brings jugglers, acrobats and jousting knights onto the streets of San Gimignano. The event is staged both for the entertainment of tourists and for the townspeople themselves, who take pride in their rich historical traditions.

JOUSTING OF THE SARACENS - AREZZO
Various dates in June
The Giostra del Saracino sees contestants from the respective quarteri of Arezzo assembling in the historic Piazza San Francesco for the annual jousting tournament, to compete for the coveted prize of the Golden Lance. The streets of this beautiful town are filled with gallant knights on battle horses, flag-bearers, trumpeters and people in medieval costume.

THE PALIO OF SIENA
July and August
The Palio is a bareback horserace and is Tuscany's most celebrated festival. The jockeys represent 17 districts, the horses are chosen by the drawing of straws and then blessed at the local (contrada) churches. For the Siennese, the Palio around the Piazza del Campo is a matter of life and death. Daring, bravado, lunacy, bribery, poisoning and death-threats have all played their part in the event since it started in 1310. The races are preceded by heavy betting and pageantry. The winner is awarded the Palio (banner).

LUCCA SUMMER FESTIVAL
June - July
Series of open air concerts, mainly taking place in the Piazza Napoleone (Aka Piazza Verde) throughout June/July. The event has grown in popularity in a very short time and now attracts some big names on the European summer tour circuit.

PUCCINI FESTIVAL OF TORRE DEL LAGO
July - August
The Puccini Opera Festival welcomes around 40,000 spectators every year to Torre del Lago's open air theatre, just a stone's throw from the Villa Puccini where Giacomo Puccini lived, worked and is buried.

ASSUMPTION DAY
15th August
A national holiday in Italy. On this day do everything you can to avoid driving - it is the busiest day of the year for the Italian road system!

IL BACCANALE - MONTEPULCIANO
Last Saturday in August
Feast of wine, food and song to celebrate the local vino.

CHIANTI GRAPE HARVEST FESTIVAL - IMPRUNETA
Last Sunday in September
Grapes, grapes and more grapes! This annual Festa del Uva in Impruneta has been celebrated by wine connoisseurs since 1926. Visitors can savour the local Chianti and wander around, swallowing tasters from various stalls and enjoying the gastronomic offerings from this scenic Italian region.

CHRISTMAS FESTIVITIES - FIESOLE (near Florence)
December
Wonderful Christmas markets, street performers and other festivities.

MONTHLY MARKETS/FAIRS

LUCCA - has a large antiques market (centred around Piazza San Giusto and Piazza Antelminelli) on the third Sunday of every month. There is also a craft fair, again in and around San Giusto, on the last Sunday of every month.

AREZZO - has an enormous antiques market on the first Sunday of every month, centred around Piazza Grande and Piazza Vasari.

FLORENCE - has its antique market on the last Sunday of every month in Piazza del Ciompi.