May is a great month for food lovers, because most food-related events take place in all the different areas. With Springs come lots of good seasonal products celebrated in a number of festivals and exhibitions.
- I sapori del Monte Cetona (the flavours of Monte Cetona), Siena area, from May 2. This event is organised by a series of municipalities in the Val di Chiana Senese. In some villages there are street festivals, in others restaurants propose special theme menus. You can try all sorts of local products: cheese, honey, cured meats, sweets, and wine and olive oil of course.
- Sapori delle Crete (the flavours of the Crete), Siena area, until May 21. Markets, tastings and events in the Crete Senesi. On May 10, a day dedicate to the Pecorino delle Crete in Asciano with an interesting tasting of pecorino cheese and the right local wine to go with it at 5:30 pm. Moreover it is possible to take a great ride on the Treno Natura, an old steam engine train that from Siena will take people to Asciano on the old railway. Amazing experience because the railway runs through the Val d’Orcia which is amazing in this time of the year. (Reservation is necessary if you wish to go by treno natura).
- Sapori della Valle (the flavours of the valley), Montecatini Val di Cecina, Pisa, May 23-24. Festival dedicated to the products of the Val di Cecina.
- Sapori (flavours), Fivizzano (Massa Carrara), May 30-31 and June 1-2. Interesting festival in Lunigiana, which brings together the cultural aspects and the products of the Lunigiana, the Parco dell’Appennino Tosco-Emiliano, of the National Park of the Cinque Terre and of the Regional Park of the Apuan Alps.
- Un mare di gusto, Follonica and Scarlino (Grosseto), May 8-10. Festival dedicated to the flavours of the Maremma, land comprised between the mountain and the sea. Special menus in restaurants.
For wine lovers a very interesting event is:
- Il gioco del piacere (the game of pleasure), various places in Tuscany, May 14. Enoteca Italiana of Siena and Slow Food Toscana organize “il gioco del piacere” in 20 different locations on May 14 at 8 pm. The “game” consists in tasting 5 wines without knowing which ones. The wines are local and they are 1 rosé wine, 1 white wine and 3 red wines. The participants must list the wines in order of preference; dinner to follow. In Siena the event is held at the Mostra Permanente della Forezza Medicea.
Also in May in Tuscany:
- Mostra del Chianti, Montespertoli (Florence), May 23-31. A fair dedicated to Chianti D.O.C.G. Wine.
- Wine & Bike, Cinigiano (Grosseto), May 24. It’s a 35km bike ride through the hills of the Upper Maremma, in the Montecucco D.O.C. wine region. The itinerary is on dirt roads through vineyards and olive groves. Departure is at 9 am from the ProLoco Cinigiano office. Participants will stop at several farms along the way for tastings of local products and obviously wine.
- Classico è, various locations in the Chianti Classico Wine region, near Siena, May 30 – June 6.
- Cantine aperte (Open Cellars), various locations in Tuscany, May 31st.
- Gustarufina, Florence, May 4-10. Fair dedicated to Chianti Rufina wine.
And for those who believe that Tuscany is only about wine:
- Il senso della birra (The sense of beer), Viareggio (Lucca), May 16-17. A festival dedicated to local microbreweries. Interesting for those who love beer.