February 1, 2010, 12:53 PM
We are planning a trip to Tuscany from approximately 29 April - 4 May. We are very keen on going to an artichoke festival. Do you know of any happening in Tuscany at that time?
February 1, 2010, 06:20 PM
Artichoke Festival in Chiusure
the most famous (and probably the only one) Artichoke Festival in Tuscany is in Chiusure, a small village in the Crete Senesi.
It generally takes place on April 25th every year. The village is animated by games, exhibitions and music through the streets.
At the moment there is no official calendar.
I strongly suggest you check Siena Official Tourism Board Website around March.
Don't hesitate to come back with other questions and I hope you'll share your experience in Tuscany with us!
February 1, 2010, 07:35 PM
not the only artichoke festival in Tuscany...
Actually, I'd like to add that there are at least two other artichoke festivals in Tuscany around the time you are planning to be here since that is prime time for them.
The first one is the Sagra del Carciofo, or Artichoke festival, in Riotorto in the Piombino area in the province of Livorno along the coast. This year should be the 41st edition and, while I can't tell you the exact dates yet, it usually runs the entire last week in April so it should be perfect for you. It should run most of all day on the weekends and only in the evening during the week.
Riotorto is in the Val di Cornia area near the Gulf of Follonica, next to the Montioni and Sterpaia natural parks and the WWF Oasis of Orti Bottagone. It is a nice area to visit and out of most tourist circles. If you were to go, it is likely you'll find mostly locals.
The other artichoke festival is called the Sagra del Carciofo Fritto (basically fried artichoke) and it is held in Uzzano in the province of Pistoia. Last year the festival lasted 10 days over the end of April through start of May so it should also be a possibility for you to attend. The artichokes can be tasted in lots of different dishes, not just fried.
As for the festival in Chiusure mentioned by Valentina above, the festival isn't just one day. I found it generally runs over 3 days on a weekend, from Friday to Sunday so it could be held while you are here. Dates for most food festivals are hard to get ahead of time but news should be found on local city websites by the beginning of April so that you can still plan your days ahead of time.
Just know that the biggest days for sagre are Saturdays and Sundays so those are the days you want to go, when you'll find the most choices and offerings by food stands as well as entertainment. During the week, the sagre are generally only in the evenings, attendance is more limited and so are the offerings. Some of the sagre, though, make sure to emphasize they still have live music during the week to attract visitors (the Riotorto festival, for example).
Also, in case you didn't know this already, April 25 is a national holiday in Italy. Since it falls on a Sunday this year, most outdoor food festivals should be at their peak and will likely run that weekend while other places (museums or restaurants in not-so-touristy areas) might be closed. This might not affect you looking at your dates but it might be useful to others to know .
Hope this info is useful!!
March 15, 2010, 12:34 AM
Wow, thank you so much. I can't wait to try these out.