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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!

With so much to choose from, we have divided this month into a few separate calendars so we can list more activities and so you can focus on what interest you the most:

Medieval Fairs

Sagras and Food Festivals

Florence City

Music Festivals

Exhibits

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

Author's Note: This article was last updated on July 8, 2018, to make sure we’re giving you up-to-date info, if the dates have not yet been announced then we indicate TBA (to be announced)

Italy | Ferragosto | August 15th

A Summertime National Holiday

Very much celebrated throughout the entire country, the day coincides with the major Catholic feast of the Assumption of Mary. But for many Italians this is simply the celebration of summer and outdoor picnics, parties and festivals.

Public transport works on a festive schedule. Many stores will be closed. Check hours in advance for museums, monuments, and churches.


 

Tuscany | #DomenicalMuseo | 1° Sunday in August

A standing appointment every month

How about enjoying a bit of art, history, and culture on a Sunday? How about enjoying it with free admission? Then mark the first Sunday of the month on your calendar and make note of the following State museums (and archaeological areas) across Tuscany where you can take advantage of the free entrance.

See a List of State Museums in Tuscany


Arezzo | FIERA ANTIQUARIA | Aug 4 & 5

The oldest and the biggest antique fair

Many years ago, Ivan Bruschi gave life to one of the oldest and biggest antique fairs in Tuscany...maybe even all of Italy. He transformed his love for the old, unique and precious into an event that fills the streets of Arezzo every first Sunday of the month and the Saturday that precedes it that month.

Official Site


Panzano in Chianti | APRILANTE | 1st Sunday in August

Handcrafts & Vintage

We know they call the fair "April"-ante, but it really goes all year round! This monthly market in the streets of this charming town in Chianti is where you will find hand crafts, vintage and delicious typical foods and all of it this is just outside in the countryside surrounding Florence.

Official link

Markets in and Around Florence August 2018


Greve in Chianti | IL PAGLIAIO | Every 4th Sunday of August

Organic and Artisan Market

Piazza Matteotti is filled with locals who feature goods from their gardens, their kitchens, and their workshops. Often you will find not only great bargains but music and opportunities to do some taste testing.

Facebook Page


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 | PALIO DI SAN CASSIANO | the Sunday before August 13

It is such a silly but fun race to watch!

The villagers in this area to Siena 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

Music under the stars

In one of the more beautiful historic squares of Tuscany, you can lose yourself in the three musical masterpieces: Tosca, Rigoletto, and Don Pasquale. 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.

Official Webpage


Castiglione di Garfagnana | FESTA MEDIEVALE | Aug. 4 - 5

in honor of the promise to Lucca

A tradition which has been brought back since the year 2000, a festival to honor the promise of faithfulness from the town of Castiglione di Garfagnana to the Repubblica of Lucca and that of the city of Massa Marittima.

Facebook Page


Montepulciano | CANTINE IN PIAZZA | Aug. 17 & 18

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.  See more info on their webpage


Radicondoli | LE NOTTI DI GIOVE | July 6 - Grand Finale Aug. 24

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. Facebook Page


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. 3 - 5

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.
Facebook Page


Sarteano | GIOSTRA DEL SARACINO | Aug. TBA

The performance of the "giostra" draws its origins from the ancient, bloody chivalrous tournaments that continued for centuries from the time of Charlemagne and then of the Crusades. The last solemn tournament took place in Paris on July 10, 1559, when the king of France Henry II - but here in Sarteano....

Official Website


Roccatederighi | 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 | LE CARRIERE DEL 19 | TBA

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. TBA

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 appetite for August 10 celebration of the Patron saint of Pescina!!


Le Piastre | CAMPIONATO DELLA BUGIA | August 4 - 5

Up for a few laughs?

You will need to brush up on your Italian - but it will be worth the effort. Florence is about to select their candidate from the Italian Liar championship! The Florentines are excellent at spinning a story - and it is your job to decide whether they are credible or not, if you are mildly fluent in the language this will be a test of your conversation skills...listen and learn!

More Details


Marina di Pietrasanta | 39th FESTIVAL LA VERSILIANA | July - August

In the enchanting setting of Versilia, between the coast and the mountains is a festival of music combining all the wonderful aspects of Tuscany, including traditional foods and the historic charm of the area.

2018 Program


Torre del Lago | 64th FESTIVAL PUCCINI | July-August

Bringing music, food, and culture together

A deep love lasting over thirty years linked Giacomo Puccini to the charming hamlet of Torre del Lago, which, after his death, was renamed Torre del Lago Puccini to the pride of all its inhabitants. The Puccini Festival in Torre del Lago is the only Festival in the world fully dedicated to the composer Giacomo Puccini. It takes place every summer during the months of July and August, in the very places that inspired Maestro Puccini’s immortal melodies.

2018 Program


Marina di Castagneto | BOLGHERI MELODY FESTIVAL | July 21, 22, 28 & August 4, 8, 11 & 16

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.

Official Website


Campiglia Marittima | APRITIBORGO | 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


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

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. Official Website


Montemerano | SAGRA DELLA TRIPPA | TBA

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. Read more about this recipe here: Trippa & Lampredotto


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 war-horses, fearless knights, noblemen, ladies, artisans and merchants, common people and peasants, flag wavers and crossbowmen, musicians, and jesters....if by magic they will bring back the mysterious and magic Middle Ages to Volterra. Official link


Pomarance | POMERANCE IN PIAZZA | July 11, 18 & 25 / Aug. 1, 8 & 15

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. Official Website & Program


M. Carrara | GIOSTRA DELLA QUINTANA CYBEA | 1st weekend of August

A magical stage for damsels and knights

The festivities actually start on the 10th of June and have their grand final in an 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.http://quintanacybea.com/sito/


Pontremoli | MEDIEVALIS | Aug. 16 - 20

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


Pitigliano | SETTEMBREdiVINO | Aug. 30 & 31 & Sept. 1 - 2

Cantina & Wine cellars in Tufo

Join the amazing town of Pitigliano carved out of volcanic rock and explore their proud history of fabulous wines.

Facebook Page


Anghiari | TOVAGLIA A QUADRI | week of 15 August

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! ;-) Only in Italian - and reservations are required. 

Facebook Info


Badia Tedalda | PALIO & SALITA DIVINA | Aug. 12

the black monks of San Benedetto in the hills of Arezzo

In one of the furthest eastern corners of Tuscany, 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


Chiusi della Verna | SAGRA DEL TARTUFO | Aug. 12-16

Truffles in every imaginable way. This local specialty heralds from Chiusi della Verna in the province of Arezzo and in the hills of Casentino. It is a culinary specialty which will delight your taste buds for sure. Check the calendar for lunch and dinner times, no reservation needed - just a hefty appetite. Click here for the menu and hours


Corezzo | SAGRA DEL TORTELLO ALLA LASTRA | Aug. 12-14

This is absolutely not to be missed if you are in Casentino in August - every year on the same dates, so make plans next year for this local delicacy.. 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! Click here for the program


Venturina Terme | BAVARIA FEST | Aug. 24 - Sept 9

a mix of cultures

Towards Livorno, on the coast of Tuscany, the festival (Bavaria Fest) has brought Bavarian culture and gastronomy to Tuscany. As you enjoy the delights of a Bavarian-style restaurant, sipping a beer mug, you can enjoy a bit of the magic of the Oktoberfest tradition: every night Bavarian music alternates with international music, a typical German original orchestra will perform at the Beer Festival and will entertain you with cheerful Bavarian music, prosit and fun gags

Official Website


Sansepolcro | PALIO DELLA BALESTRA | August 31 & September 1, 4, 5 & 9

just east of Arezzo, rich with re-enactments

A crossbow contest between the men of Gubbio and Sansepolcro who dress in medieval costumes and use antique weapons (on the last Sunday in May, in fact, the crossbowmen of Sansepolcro travel to Gubbio in Umbria for the first match of the Palio)

More Info for the dates


Forte dei Marmi | PALIO DEI BAGNI | Aug. TBA

Lifeguards - save a life

Over 25 years of celebrating a skill set particular to the coast - and nothing to do with medieval battles . . . this event is totally tailored to the geographical area (the beach!), The Palio pits lifeguards against each other to show off their skill and “bravura”! This is just another great reason to visit the beautiful sandy beaches at Forte dei Marmi.


Montecatini | INCANTO LIBERTY | Aug. 12 - 15

The 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


Stazzema | SAGRA DEL MAGNIFICO TORDELLO | Aug. 12-13 & 19-20

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.


Author's Note: This article was last updated on July 12, 2018, to make sure we’re giving you up-to-date info, if the dates have not yet been announced then we indicate TBA (to be announced)


Author: Donna Scharnagl

It has been more than 25 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. It didn't take long to learn 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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