June in Tuscany Means Traditions

June marks the start of summer and is full of fun and interesting events for you to enjoy! In particular, if you want to surround yourself by Tuscan history, then consider including one of these historical re-enactments and traditional events into your itinerary.

Ready to travel back in time to the Middle Ages? Take a look at these main events which take place in June every year.

San Gimignano – Le Ferie delle Messi – June 15-17

Three days in which the town of San Gimignano is transformed – with just a little help since the town is already the right setting – to take visitors back to the Middle Ages. Tournaments, pageants, jugglers and market stalls bring life to the small town, we love visiting and traveling back in time on this occasion but be prepared for a big crowd. Expect less crowds on the Friday but the entire weekend is dedicated to the event and Saturday and Sunday are full days of fun. Read more »

Arezzo – La Giostra del Saracino – June 23 

A tournament with medieval inspiration, the Joust of the Saracen sees its first edition every year on the 3rd weekend in June and its second on the first Sunday in September. The whole city turns up in medieval costume to recreate medieval Arezzo and the 4 quarters compete in Piazza Grande in a tournament to defeat the invading Saracens or Moors. The wooden target is indeed painted like a Moor and the knights have to hit a specific spot to earn points and win the tournament. Ready to be taken into the fun? Read more »

Pisa – Giugno Pisano – June 16 – June 17 – June 30

The events in June are to celebrate the city’s patron saint, San Ranieri, and revolve around that day – June 17 – but one fun one is later in the month. We start with the Luminara on the evening of June 16 which is a magnificent display of candles along the windowsills of all the palaces along the Arno river. The following day, enjoy the Regatta on the river pitting the city’s 4 contrada against each other. Don’t miss the fireworks once the sun goes down on the 16th!

The last Saturday of the month concludes the month with a spectacular tug-of-war on the main bridge, called the Battle of the Bridge. Intrigued? Read more »

Florence – Calcio Storico Fiorentino and St. John’s Feast Day – June 24

The Calcio Storico Fiorentino dominates the month of June in Florence. The semifinals this year are on June 9 & 10 (tickets this year are only in Florence, not online) and then proceed on June 24th with the celebration of St. John the Baptist, Florence’s patron saint. Many activities on the feast day might not be of particular interest to most visitors, but the final match for Calcio Storico Fiorentino is played in Piazza Santa Croce and attracts much attention. Don’t miss the fireworks at the end of the night along the Arno river! Read more »

Cerreto Guidi – La Notte di Isabella – June 30 & July 1

A fun event that takes over the entire town center of Cerreto Guidi. For two days, the town re-creates the arrival and mysterious death of Isabella de Medici, which took place in the Medici villa within the town walls of Cerreto Guidi on July 16, 1576. Set in this time period, the town travels back to the Renaissance instead of the Middle Ages, so enjoy the travel back into a different period than the above events. You can relive the times with authentic performances and costumes, then enjoy the food and music. Perhaps the famous Isabella de’ Medici might join in the festivities, since she has been known to make a “ghostly” appearance in the villa and the city. The official site does not have the 2018 calendar yet up on its site so you might want to keep an eye on their Facebook page in the meantime.

So into which time period are you planning to travel this June?

About Lourdes Flores

An American living in Florence for over 10 years, Lourdes continues to explore and discover new places in Tuscany with the eyes of a tourist but with the experience of living in Italy. She shares her experiences on this blog and website, particularly offering lots of travel planning help on the Forum!