For those who don’t know what a “sagra” is, it’s a village festival, generally dedicated to some local product or tradition. Traditionally, these festivals took place on the Patron Saint’s day, hence the name “sagra” (sacra – sacred). Nowadays they are rarely connected with a religious festivity and have become a way to promote an area, a product or to collect money for the village activities (e.g. the local soccer team, the local pro-loco or village association, a political party, etc.).
These are some sagre that take place in Tuscany in May 2009:
- Raduno degli amanti del cinghiale (gathering of the “wild-bore-products lovers”), Strada in Chianti (Florence), May 8-10 and 15-17.
- Demetra, Capezzano Pianore (Lucca), May 22-24. Both for professionals and the general public: flower, vegetable and food sculptures.
- 29th Sagra del porcellino (porcellino means piglet), Casciana Terme (Pisa), May 22-24 and 30-31.
- Sagra del tortello (tortelli are a type of ravioli), Scarperia (Firenze), May 23-24.
- Sagra della bistecca alla fiorentina (bistecca alla fiorentina is the traditional Florentine T-bone steak), Sagginale-Borgo san Lorenzo (Florence), May 29-31, June 1-2 and 5-7.
- 40th Sagra dei pici (pici are a type of fresh pasta, sort of thick spaghetti, typical of Southern Tuscany), Celle sul Rigo-San Casciano dei Bagni (Siena), May 29-31.
- Sagra del prosciutto e baccelli (prosciutto and broad beans), Boschi di Lari (Pisa), May 14-17.
- Sagra del fungo porcino (porcino mushroom), Palazzolo di Incisa V.no (Florence), May 16-17, 22-24, 29-31, June 5-7 and 12-14. Not really a season product but if you haven’t had enough mushrooms in the Fall, you can enjoy them for the last time before the summer.
- Sagra della nozza (the nozza is a dessert typical of the area of Calcinaia), Calcinaia (Pisa), May 16-17. The women of the village make the sweets for the visitors.
- Sagra del fungo prugnolo (a type of mushroom), Firenzuola (Florence), May 23-24 and June 6-7.
- Festival della fragola (strawberry festival), Terricciola (Pisa), May 16-17, and 23-24.
- Sagra della fragola (strawberry festival), Marsiliana-Manciano (Grosseto), May 22-24 and 29-31.
- Sagra delle ciliegie (cherry festival), Lari (Pisa), May 23-24, 30-31 and June 1-2.
- Maggiolata lucignanese, Lucignano (Arezzo), May 24 and 31. Flower sculptures are carried around on carts throughout the village.
- CantaMaggio, Barberino del Mugello (Florence), May 14-17.
- Jazz e baccelli (jazz and broad beans), Certaldo (Florence), May 17.
- Festa del pane (bread festival), Certaldo (Florence), May 24.
- Classico è: otto giorni di vino e cultura (classic is: 8 days of wine and culture), Florence, May 30 – June 6.
- Festa di San Bernardino, Seggiano (Grosseto), May 20-21.
- Festa irlandese (Irish festival), Piazza del Sale, Grosseto, May 22-24.
- Sagra della Lasagna, Montenero d’Orcia (Grosseto), May 23-24.
- Sagra del Tartufo (truffle festival), Arcille (Grosseto), May 29-31.
- Festa di Sant’Ubaldo, Pisa, May 16-17. Flower festival.
Pienza has a lovely flower festival around the second week in May. Flowers and potted plants are everywhere and the Piazza Pio II which adjoins the Piccolomini Palace of Pius II is literally covered with i fiori! The Val d’Orcia is one of the most beautiful parts of lower Tuscany. A real gem.