Feasting and Festivals, Music and Art – Let Summer Begin
July means that the summer has not just arrived, it’s established. The weather has moved into another gear and, as you’ll see below, there’s a mind boggling selection of things to enjoy in and around Tuscany.
Feasting and festivals are the order of the day, with food and music taking centre stage. You can indulge in all manner of epicurean and bacchanalian delights and flit from high culture to the avant garde with festivals celebrating everything from Puccini to pasta to the electronic renaissance! All in all it’s a feast for the mind, body and soul.
If you want to experience the celebratory side of summer in Italy, whether this year or next, please don’t hesitate to contact us and enquire about remaining availability or to reserve your perfect villa for July 2018.
Event calendar in Tuscany and beyond!
From March 10th to July 23rd, Palazzo Strozzi will feature an exhibition on the master of video art, Bill Viola. Viola is a contemporary video artist, whose work explores electronic, sound, and image technology within New Media. The exhibition titled Electronic Renaissance will allow you to explore his early experimental work from the 70’s up to his monumental pieces of the 21st century, celebrating his special relationship with the magical city of Florence.
Mirò! Dream and Colour:
From April 11th to September 17th, Palazzo Albergati will host over 130 works of legendary surrealist artist Joan Mirò. The exhibition will feature a series of oil paintings, drawing and sculptures which root his identity, exploring his transgressive, and wild nature.
Opera di Verona:
June 23rd commemorates the opening of the 2,000 year old the roman amphitheatre 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.
Making it first entrance in 1961, the musical festival of Stresa and Lago Maggiore has grown to become a renowned music festival, featuring acclaimed musicians and artists. This year marks the 55th edition, and throughout the months of July, August and September artists and fans will meet amongst the various open-aired venues situated along the lake, to enjoy the mid-summer sounds.
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 the first part of one of Italy’s most prestigious and renowned events, the Palio di Siena horse race. Only lasting 90 seconds, the race nonetheless attracts spectators from around the world, whom join in Piazza del Campo to celebrate the greatness of the Republic of Siena, and the seven contrades (divisions) which make up the town. Taking place in two sections, you can enjoy this particular event on both July 2nd and August 16th.
Aprilante (July 3rd):
On every Sunday of the month, a small market takes place in Panzano in Chianti. Its 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 speciality when cooking, whether its 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?
It was Torre del Lago that captured and inspired composer Giacomo Puccini and now is home to the Puccini Festival; an annual open-air theatre that is a favourite destination for opera lovers. The theme for this years performances is LOVE and four new productions of Puccini’s best loved opera’s are being performed, Madama Butterfly, La Boheme, Turandot and Il Trittico. Performances commence July 14th and continue throughout till August 19th.
Redentore Church Feast Day (16th-17th July):
This 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 most diverse festivals of the year, which takes place on the Ligurian coast in San Fruttuoso. The town honour 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 fact lies underwater, and is recognised as one of the most remarkable dive spots in Europe. A series of events take place during the day and night in honour, including an immersion underwater, a torch procession and more.