Summer Festivals, Food, Fun and Music in Tuscany

You actually never need a reason to head to Tuscany, but we thought we’d give you some…if you need convincing. Read on for some of the happenings throughout Tuscany this summer….

imagesLa Giostra dell’Archidado (Cortona) – June 2, 3, 4 and 5 as well as June 10, 11 and 12  

The Archidado Joust traces its origins back to the Middle Ages and was officially created in 1397 to celebrate the wedding of Francesco Casali, the Lord of Cortona, and Antonia Salimbeni, a noble woman from Siena. In the city of Cortona, this historical event is recalled every year on the second Sunday of June, when people are lead back to the ancient medieval splendor of the city. The streets are decorated in medieval style, ladies, knights, flag flyers, crossbow shooters, soldiers, pages, civil and religious authorities, all dressed with fine costumes, liven up the city center, which is rich in history and artistic beauties of every time. Events are held on

Palio della Vittoria 1441 (Anghiari) – June 29

On June 29 of each year as the sun begins this exciting race walk that starts from the Chapel of Victory and reach Baldabccio Square, the central square of the medieval town of Anghiari.

Every town in the terraced Valtiberina your competitor who competes for their city and not for himself. The competitors in the race will go well in 1,400 meters greets and must withstand the adversaries charges that will have no mercy in push them in the ditches to prevent them from arriving first at the finish line.

Very impressive is also the parade that precedes the race, made up of many appearing dressed in medieval clothes and the delegations of the neighboring towns such as Sansepolcro Flag-wavers or musicians of the Giostra del Saracino in Arezzo.

A great event that draws thousands of tourists from all over Italy and from abroad!

Palio di San Ranieri (Pisa)June 16 an 17

  • Luminara of S. Ranieri – June 16
  • Festa of  S.Ranieri – June 17
  • Historical Regatta of S. Ranieri – June 17 (afternoon)
  • Gioco del Ponte – last Saturday of June (June 25)

The four districts of Pisa (San Martino, San Francesco, Sant’Antonio, and Santa Maria) compete in a boat race, with each boat containing eight oarsmen, on the Arno for the “paliotto”, the prize. The race is held on the Arno along an upstream stretch of 2 km. On the night before, the famous Luminara is held in which the people of Pisa hang thousands of candles from the buildings along the river. Thousands of locals crowd along the banks of the Arno to see the fireworks at midnight.

santa-croce-flag-throwersIl Calcio Storico (Firenze)June 24

The Calcio Storico Fiorentino is a combination of soccer, rugby and big time wrestling originated in 16th century Florence and played today in historical costume. The four teams of the historical neighborhoods of the city play against each other, first in two semi-finals and then the final match to determine the winner.

The four teams are: Santa Croce (blue), Santo Spirito (white), Santa Maria Novella (red), and San Giovanni (green).

Estate Fiesolana (Fiesole)Late June to August

 This summertime festival of music, ballet, film, and theater is held above the oppressive Florentine heat in the ancient hill town of Fiesole. Most of the performances are staged in the remains of the 1st-century-A.D. Roman theater. See for the program. 

imgres-1Music at the racecourse (Ippodromo del Visarno, Florence) – June 13–September 15

Nestled in the Cascine Park, Ippodromo del Visarno racecourse will up the pace on the Florentine music scene this summer. This show-stopping venue’s poster of events will include new metal pioneers Limp Bizkit, West Berlin avant-garde Einstürzende Neubauten, punk-rock priestess Patti Smith, Florentine favourite Litfiba, and (already sold out) Pink Floyd leader David Gilmour. On June 4, American rock band The Last Internationale will perform at the Anfiteatro delle Cascine. Tickets can be bought online and at the Box Office in via delle Vecchie Carceri 1.

Torrita Blues Festival (Torrita di Siena) – June 25–27

Rising from its murky southern origins, the ‘Devil’s Music’ has crossed countless geographical boundaries. The Torrita Blues Festival, in the province of Siena, is a clear example of the conquering power of this mysterious genre. Over the years leading names have taken the stage in this town of great cultural and gastronomic traditions, mixing sacred and profane, gospel, spirituals and Dixieland jazz. This year, the crowded central square of piazza Matteotti will be celebrating the festival’s 27th edition with live performances of artists like Luke Winslow King and Sharrie Williams.

Pistoia Blues (Pistoia)July 1–24

Off the usual tourist track, Pistoia offers a unique setting for a festival that has now reached its 36th edition. The concerts are held in piazza Duomo with the magnificent San Zeno cathedral towering over the stage and seating. Over the years the internationally renowned festival has hosted myriad blues and rock legends such as David Bowie and The Blues Brothers. This year’s calendar carries on the tradition of hosting stars: Sting, Mumford & Sons, Hozier and Counting Crows. Ticket prices vary from 25 to 75 euro.

imgres-2Piazza Napoleone (Lucca)July 1–28

The annual Lucca Summer Festival is one of the best loved music festivals in Italy. Active since 1998, it has hosted legends like Neil Young, Ray Charles and James Brown. Held in the striking surroundings of the central piazza Napoleone, this year’s varied line-up is bound to satisfy everybody! From July 1 to 28, the spotlights will shine on some top performers: Bob Dylan, Ms Lauryn Hill, John Legend, Elton John, Mark Knopfler, Robbie Williams, Lenny Kravitz and, last but not least, the suave Snoop Dogg. 

Lars Rock Fest (Chiusi)July 10–11

This free-entry event offers festival-goers a succulent music menu serving up both Italian and internationally famous indie artists. Held in Chiusi’s piazza XXVI Giugno, the festival is a place of exchange and discovery, where market stalls sell handmade merchandise, comics, records and craft beers. This year’s line-up features, among others, Portland-based band psychedelic band Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Turin indie-rock sensation Drink to Me and Oakland spawn neo-post-punk project The Soft Moon. It takes about 1 hour and 40 minutes to get to Chiusi by train from Florence.


Brandy-signature copy