Village festivals, also known as “Sagre“, are a cult in Tuscany. Every town and village organizes its own. For a brief introduction to what a sagra is, please read our May “Sagre” in Tuscany post from last year.
If you are in the area during the month of May 2010, you might not want to miss the following village festivals in Tuscany:
Local product festivals
- I sapori del Monte Cetona (The flavours of Monte Cetona), Siena Province, May 2 – June 1. Various events organized in several towns and villages in the Siena area (Montepulciano, Chianciano Terme, Celle sul Rigo, etc.). The festival is dedicated to the local products that can be purchased in the town squares during the various events organized. The interesting thing is that all the products are “a km 0“, literally zero-kilometer products, which means that they come directly from the surrounding area.
- Sapori delle Crete (the flavours of the Crete Senesi), Siena Province, May 9 and 15. Various events organized in Chiusure, Arbia and Asciano in the beautiful Crete Senesi.
- CantaMaggio, Barberino del Mugello (Florence), May 13-16.
- Medoliva, Arezzo, May 14-17. Festival dedicated to Mediterranean olive oil with the participation of Italian, French, Spanish, Croatian and Israeli producers.
- La Palamita, San Vincenzo (Livorno), May 15-16. Festival dedicated to this type of fish (bonito) similar to tuna fish.
- Senesi in Casentino (the Sienese people in the Casentino region), Bucine (Arezzo), May 22. Nice day dedicated to the visit to the Villa La Mausolea and to the Eremo di Camaldoli with a final lunch in Bucine.
- I sapori della Valle (the flavours of the valley), Montecatini Val di Cecina (Pisa), May 22-23. The big day is the Sunday with the participation of the flag wavers from Volterra and the possibility to visit old mines and the new Parco Eolico (Eolic park).
- Pane e companatico, Marradi (Florence), May 23. Festival dedicated to the traditional bread (for the meaning of the stock phrase “pane e companatico” in Italian see our post on Tuscan bread) and other products of the area that go well with it.
- Festival delle Regioni, Bucine (Arezzo), May 22-30. If you love Italian food but you have only time to visit one or two regions, well, make sure you attend this festival: every single Italian region will be present with a stall selling typical products. Foreign products as well (Hungary and India).
- Un mare di sapori (a sea of flavours), Marciana Marina (Isle of Elba), May 29-30. A festival dedicated to the flavours of the beautiful Isle of Elba.
- Festa del cavatore (mine festival), Capoliveri (Isle of Elba), May 29-30. Festival celebrating the life of miners in the old days.
- Mangia…longa, Pontedera, May 30. The name of the event is a play on word: mangia…longa (“long-distance eating”) instead of marcialonga (long-distance walk). And as a matter of fact, this is a long-distance walk with stops to taste the local products on the way. At the end of the journey, a bus will take the participants back to Pontedera for… the dessert! Interesting idea! It is necessary to register for the event before May 22 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Wine festivals in Tuscany
- Classico è…, Chianti Classico, May 29-June 5. Various events organized in the area where the Chianti Classico wine is produced. Many wineries will be open to visitors (10am-1pm and 3pm-6pm) and special bike tours can be arranged.
- Mostra del Chianti (Chianti wine fair), Montespertoli (Florence), May 29 – June 6.
- Wine and bike, Cinigiano (Grosseto), May 30. This great event is organized in a village close to ours. The participants will gather in the village of Cinigiano and they will be led on a 35km bike tour through the beautiful countryside, vineyards and olive groves with stops in wineries in the Montecucco wine region. It is necessary to register (email@example.com). Bikes can be rented on site.
- Cantine Aperte (open cellars), Tuscany, May 30. This is now a very popular event organized throughout the region. Check the official website for the detailed program.
Festivals in Tuscany dedicated to specific products
- Festa di Sant’Ubaldo, Pisa, May 13-16. Flower festival. Check our post on Le Piagge, Pisa.
- Sagra del pesce (seafood), Certaldo (Florence), May 13 – June 13, every Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 7:30pm.
- Sagra del prosciutto e baccelli (prosciutto and broad beans), Boschi di Lari (Pisa), May 14-17.
- Sagra della nozza (the nozza is a dessert typical of the area of Calcinaia), Calcinaia (Pisa), May 15-16. The women of the village make the sweets for the visitors.
- Festival della fragola (strawberry festival), Terricciola (Pisa), May 15-16, and 22-23.
- Sagra del fungo porcino (porcino mushroom), Palazzolo di Incisa V.no (Florence), May 15-16, 21-23, 28-30, June 4-6 and 11-13. 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.
- Jazz e baccelli (jazz and broad beans), Certaldo (Florence), May 16.
- Festa del pane (bread festival), Gambassi Terme (Florence), May 16.
- Demetra, Capezzano Pianore (Lucca), May 21-23. Both for professionals and the general public: flower, vegetable and food sculptures.
- Sagra del Polliglio (play on word – pollo and coniglio, chicken and rabbit), Montespertoli (Florence), May 21-23.
- Sagra dei pastrignocchi e del cuculo (a type of pasta and a type of biscuit, named after the cuckoo bird), Cetona (Siena), May 21-23.
- Sagra della lasagna, Monte Argentario (Grosseto), May 21-23 and 27-30.
- Sagra della Lasagna, Montenero d’Orcia (Grosseto), May 21-23 and 27-30.
- Sagra della fragola (strawberry festival), Marsiliana d’Albegna (Grosseto), May 21-23 and 28-30.
- Il senso della birra, Viareggio (Lucca), May 22-23. Festival dedicated to local micro-breweries.
- Festa della fragola (strawberry festival), Sant’Agata di Scarperia (Florence), May 22-23.
- 30th Sagra del porcellino (porcellino means piglet), Casciana Terme (Pisa), May 22-23 and 29-30.
- Sagra del tortello e del cinghiale (tortelli are a type of ravioli and cinghiale is wild boar), Scarperia (Firenze), May 22-23 and 29-30.
- Maggiolata lucignanese, Lucignano (Arezzo), May 23 and 30. Flower sculptures are carried around on carts throughout the village.
- 41st 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 28-30.
- Firenze Gelato Festival, Florence, May 28-31. If you like ice-cream, you can’t miss this.
- Sagra del Tartufo (truffle festival), Arcille (Grosseto), May 28-31.
- Sagra del tortello e della bistecca alla fiorentina (bistecca alla fiorentina is the traditional Florentine T-bone steak), Sagginale-Borgo san Lorenzo (Florence), May 28-30, June 1-2 and 4-6.
- Sagra del ranocchio (frog festival), Brozzi (Florence), May 29-30.
- Sagra del fungo prugnolo (a type of mushroom), Firenzuola (Florence), May 29-30 and June 19-20.
- Festival della Lumaca (snails), Camucia di Cortona (Arezzo), May 29-June 6. Snails were very common on Tuscan tables in the old day.
- Sagra delle ciliegie (cherry festival), Lari (Pisa), May 29-30, June 2 and 5-6. Very popular. Check our post on cherries in Tuscany!
- Festa del pane (bread festival), Certaldo (Florence), May 30.