Italy is best enjoyed under the sun, so July is inevitably always popular with visitors who not only come searching for great weather, but also exceptional culture and a vibrant summer atmosphere. Tuscany’s calendar of events is enviable in this period, offering variety and genuine Italian festivity, and an ideal starting point from where to plan your trip. Contact us to discuss last minute options available for this summer.
Kandinsky to Pollock:The Art of the Guggenheim Collections:
From the 19th of March till the 24th of July, Palazzo Strozzi in Florence, is hosting a major exhibition brings over one hundred masterpieces from the 1920s-1960’s to the streets of Florence. European masters such as Duchamp, Picasso, Fontana along with American personalities such as Calder, Lichtenstein and Pollock will be revealed, “Creating a narrative that re-constructs the relationship and ties between the two sides of the Atlantic” (Lucca Barbero, Palazzo Strozzi)
Opera di Verona:
June 24th commemorates the opening of the 2,000 year old the roman amphitheater Opera di Verona, in Piazza Bra. As a tradition, on the day a series of performances take place, this year it will feature the classic, Carmen followed by Aida on the 25th. The opera will remain open till August 28th, hosting a variety of different shows.
Throughout the summer, local towns hold festivals which celebrate a local or regional dish, known as Sagre. The province of Lucca is known for their local ravioli dish, filled with spinach and ricotta and on the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 8th and 9th of July the small town of Pieve Fosciana hold a Sagra within which one can find the local known ravioli dish, along with other local delicacies such as Gnocco Fritto (Fried Italian Dumpling).
Palio di Siena:
July 2nd marks an important date for the Tuscans, for this day symbolises the first day of one of Italy’s most famed and historic horse races. Attracting spectators from around the world, the competitive horse race takes place twice during the summer (July and August). The seven contrade (neighborhoods) of Siena compete against each-other in a daring and dangerous race, which is held in one of the city’s most historic circular squares, Piazza del Campo for the winning prize.
Aprilante (July 3rd):
On every Sunday of the month, a small market takes place in Panzano in Chianti. It’s a free event which allows local artisans and producers to exhibit and sell their products, from gastronomic goods such as cheese, wine and olive oil, to the arts and crafts such as woodwork.
Wildboar Festival (July 3rd):
On the first Sunday of July, the town of Cantagallo, located 30 kilometres from Florence honour their local wild boars, which roam the Valley of Bisenzio. The Sagra is the perfect opportunity to familiarise yourself with all the possible ways to eat and use this local specialty when cooking, whether it’s as a sauce or as a cold cut. You can find restaurants serving menu’s purely based on this meat, along with vendors selling various local products worth taking home!
Jazz and Wine (July 12th-July 17th):
For five days, international and local jazz musicians grace Montalcino with six concerts. Everyday a different set of musicians take the stage in Fortezza di Montalcino, creating an exciting and exhilarating atmosphere. Set in the heart of one of Italy’s most esteemed wine communes, can only mean accompanying the jazz shows are prestigious wines of Montalcino along with local food. Good food, food wine and good music, what else can one ask for?
Redentore Church Feast Day (16th-17th July):
The 400 year tradition was first held to celebrate the construction of the Redeemer Church on Giudecca Island, and to this day the feast is still a deeply celebrated event. Both locals and foreigners gather at dusk moored in small boats alongside one another in Saint Marks Bay, and after a typical Venetian dinner, starting around 11:30, the a kaleidoscopic display of fireworks begin. To finish the weekend, on the 17th of July, a gondola race otherwise known as “Regata su Gondole” takes place.
Festa del Cristo degli Abissi (25th July) :
This is one of Italy’s most diverse festivals of the year, which takes place on the Ligurian coast in San Fruttuoso. The town honours their 2.5 metre bronze statue of Christ, whom is dedicated to all those who lost their lives at sea. The statue was made in 1954, moulded from medals of mariners and athletes and even contains parts of ships. The most genuine fact is that it lies underwater, and is recognised as one of the most remarkable dive spots in Europe. A series of events takes place during the day and night, including an underwater immersion, a torch procession and more.