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August in Tuscany, When the Surprises Never End!

The Tuscan Landscape is Rich with Events

This is the best time to enjoy medieval parades, antique flavors and the local color of folkloric traditions and festivals. Concerts, activities and food festivals take full advantage of the warm summer temps and the refreshing evenings under the fall stars of San Lorenzo. Some of the more important events not to miss include the excitement of the Palio in Siena, the colors and enthusiasm in Montepulciano with the Bravio barrel race or mixing the sunny beaches of Campiglia Marittima and Apriti Borgo. And Tuscany wouldn't be complete if it didn't have a few tempting culinary events like our favorites the Tordello pasta and Tortelli on the grill!

No matter what corner of Tuscany you are visiting this August, you will find fantastic possibilities to enjoy genuine food and colorful reenactments.

Siena | PALIO | Aug. 16

One of the most popular events in Siena

Offering endless emotions to both visitors and spectators alike. Horses must run three laps around the shell-shaped Piazza del Campo, the first one arriving at the finish line (even without his jockey!) wins the race.
Read our article which offers useful tips for anyone interested in attending and visiting Siena on these occasions.

Montepulciano | CALICI SOTTO LE STELLE | Aug. 10

One of the most important taste testing events organized by Strada del Vino Nobile di Montepulciano e dei Sapori della Valdichiana Senese.  Read the full calendar here.

San Casciano dei Bagni (Siena)| PALIO DI SAN CASSIANO | the Sunday before August 13

It is such a silly but fun race to watch!

The village compete against each other in popular games, waiting for the "Frog Race", the last and most eagerly awaited game! In it, participants have to push a handcart with a frog inside: if the frog jumps out of the handcart, the frog has to be recaptured and places inside before restarting the race.

M. Marittima | LIRICA IN PIAZZA | Aug. 3, 4 & 5

brief presentation but not always necessary

In one of the more beautiful historic squares of Tuscany, you can lose yourself in the three musical masterpieces: Barbiere di Siviglia, Madama Butterfly e l’Elisir d’amore. Between the quality performance, the one of a kind stage at Massa Marittima (Grosseto) and the music of Tuscany, this is an event that will leave you with special memories.

Montepulciano | CANTINE IN PIAZZA | Aug. 19

Stroll the city streets and taste Nobile DOCG, Rosso di Montepulciano DOC and other quality wines of the area together with olive oil, cheese and salumi.

Montepulciano | A TAVOLA CON IL NOBILE | Aug. 22 - 23

Following a theme (last year it was vegetables from the garden), this is a  sort of culinary competition between the town contrade

Radicondoli | LE NOTTI DI GIOVE | Grand Finale Aug. 27

The Mythical god Giove gives Thursday its name (Giovedi)

Every Thursday for the month of July and August the charming city of Radicondoli (Siena) creates a mini street fair with art, food and outdoor entertainment to best enjoy the cool fresh evening air.

Montepulciano | BRAVIO DELLE BOTTI | Last Sunday of August

Traditional games that play with their winemaking tradition

The exciting race takes place along the tiny, steep streets of the village between the 8 contrade (districts) and whoever is the fastest to push their heavy wooden wine barrel (called botti in Italian) along the uphill streets of the historical center to the finish line in front of the Duomo in Piazza Grande wins the Bravio (a painted banner depicting the patron saint). Read here for more detailed information.

Roccatederighi | MEDIOEVO NEL BORGO | Aug. 5 - 7

Take a Jump back in Time

A historical and faithful reenactment of how Roccatederighi (Grosseto) was during those times, with many of the medieval buildings still in place. Three days of shows, music and entertainment, including delicious food to offer fun and entertainment for the entire family.
Official link

Fortezza Vecchia (Livorno) | 1° HOP SUMMER FEST | Aug. 12 - 15

An Artisan Beer Festival

A delightful mix of good music and a cold beer. Pulling in local and national artisans, this festivals celebrates the beers of Italy and the new tradition of using local grains, hops and recipes.

Montemerano (Grosseto) | SAGRA DELLA TRIPPA | Aug. 1 - 9

An acquired taste for sure, but the locals will tell that once you have tried it (tripe) you will never get enough of this classic dish in Tuscany

Roccatederighi (Grosseto) | PALIO DEI CIUCHI | Aug. 14

The traditional Donkey Race

At one time the ciuchi (donkey) was an indispensable part of life for the citizens of this little town, and they celebrate the animal in some fun races

Scarlino (Grosseto) | LE CARRIERE DEL 19 | Aug. 19

Celebrate with the locals the emotions of yesteryear

Colors, fragrances, lights and fun! All this and more will fill the historical center with people dressed up in ancient and traditional costumes, musicians and drummers, and 4 athletic competitions between the local contrade. Official link

Pescina | SAGRA DELLA SCOTTIGLIA | Aug. 7 - 10

In the small little town of Pescina - Seggiano (Grosseto) there is a special food festival featuring a traditional recipe of mixed meats in a rich and hearty red sauce. Bring your apetite!!

Castiglione della Pescaia | REGATA "II Trofeo Team Race CVCP" | Aug. 27-28

Colors and emotions sailing on the Mediterranean, this is just one of the many boat races along the coast that you can watch from the picturesque town of Catiglione della Pescaia

Marina di Castagneto | BOLGHERI MELODY FESTIVAL | Aug. 14 - 20

An enchanting area. The beachside town of Marina di Castagneto (Livorno) remembers the past, while celebrating with a series of live performances and concerts, classical music, cabaret and dances aimed to create a thematic leitmotiv between culture and shows, wine and food tradition with tastings of local specialties.

Campiglia Marittima | APRITI BORGO | Aug. 11 - 15

During the course of 5 days, the entire village of Campiglia (Livorno) turns into an open-air live theater with street-artists performing with music, dancing and amazing traveling shows that will leave you laughing at their captivating creativity. There will also be a handicraft market and the favorite "via del gusto" (the road of flavor) where you can enjoy local products along the way.
Official link

Campiglia Marittima | CALICI SOTTO LE STELLE | Aug. 10

All of Italy will be watching the skies and the falling stars in this period, but Campiglia Marittima (Livorno) will do it while tasting the best flavours of their area with music and activities. See the official brochure

Marciana (Elba Island) | PALIO DI SANT’AGABITO | Aug. 18

A special celebration on the Island of Elba will give life to games and competitions among the local districts in a sort of training to the final game. The final game is called the “ Ciocco run” (ciocco means yule log) where they carry it around the town on an obstacle course, pitting strength and wits against one another..

Volterra | VOLTERRA 1389 | 3rd and 4th Sunday in August

Antique Fun, Food, Games, and even the Money in this historical reenactment

The city will be animated by fiery warhorses, fearless knights, noblemen, ladies, artisans and merchants, common people and peasants, flagwavers and crossbowmen, musicians and jesters....if by magic they will bring back the mysterious and magic Middle Ages to Volterra. Official link

Pomarance (Pisa) | POMARANCE IN PIAZZA | Aug. 10 & 17

An itinerant festival that winds its way through the historical center with road artists, music, theater and dance performances, handicraft, picture and photo exhibitions, dinners organized by local restaurants and farms, from 6 to 12 pm.

M. Carrara | GIOSTRA DELLA QUINTANA CYBEA | Aug. 8

A magical stage for damsels and knights

The festivities actually start on the 10th of June and have their grand final in a XVI century reenactment where each of the quarters in the small city of Massa Carrara are pitted against one another with its own horse and knight.

Stazzema (Lucca) | SAGRA DEL MAGNIFICO TORDELLO | Aug. 6 & 7 / 20 & 21

Looking for the authentic food flavors of Tuscany? Then head over to the quaint town of Stazzema for a steaming plate of hand rolled pasta filled with beef, pork, swiss chard and served with ragù...a true specialty of the area.

Pontremoli | MEDIEVALIS | Aug. 18 - 21

The Castello di Piagnaro transforms itself into magic

A traditional festival with wine and food stands, handicrafts products, shows with people dressed up in ancient costumes, and live performances. Official link

Anghiari (Arezzo) | TOVAGLIA A QUADRI | Aug. 11 - 20

Have a seat at the table and enjoy the show

A festival that evokes events and characters from the past belonging to the culture and traditions of Anghiari, narrated by the locals through wise, funny and sometimes irreverent stories, music rhymes and Tuscan sayings. The public will have the chance to taste the culture of an amazing and mysterious place savoring the flavors of the delicious local recipes, all served with good wine! ;-)

Badia Tedalda (Arezzo) | PALIO DEI CASTELLI OF BADIA TEDALDA | Aug. 14, 20 & 21

the black monks of San Benedetto in the hills of Arezzo

This festival will have you picking sides as you watch the traditional horse tournament to win the Palio (a cloth banner), it is a special path along the historical center during visitors become immersed in another time. Official link

Montecatini | INCANTO LIBERTY | Aug. 12-15

Magic of the Races

Travel back to a time of carefree abandon, the time of “Liberty” and undeniable elegance: the carriages, the horses, the jockeys, the walks and dinners all in the unforgettable Liberty Style. Official link

Chiusi della Verna | SAGRA DEL TARTUFO | Aug. 13 - 17

Truffles from Chiusi della Verna in the province of Arezzo and in the hills of Casentino, this culinary specialty will delight your tastebuds for sure.

Corezzo (Arezzo) | SAGRA DEL TORTELLO ALLA LASTRA | Aug. 14 -16

This is absolutely not to be missed if you are in Casentino this August.  These tasty super sized potato filled ravioli were traditionally cooked on a heated stone but now they are grilled on a "lastra" or sheet of heated metal ... definitely one of a kind!


Author: Donna Scharnagl

It has been over 24 years since I took my first steps in Italy and I still haven’t found a good reason to leave.  Between the food, the culture, the history, the art, the landscapes … did I mention the food? I have become a lifelong student. And I soon learned that Italians all have stories that long to be told; stories that paint a picture of how hard work produces character, how life is made of ups and downs and how good it feels to laugh.



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