It’s a must to start the Summer events in Tuscany with Florence. The feast of Florence’s patron saint, St. John the Baptist is the first event of the Summer. St John the Baptist is a very important figure the the city’s history. His image was even stamped on the florin the currency used in the city in Medieval and Renaissance times. The name of the square where the Cathedral abd the Baptistery lie, takes its name from the saint. In fact it’s called Piazza San Giovanni even though people most often say Piazza del Duomo.
This mixture of lay and religious values is still present in the modern version of the feast. In fact in the morning of June 24, there’s a small civic pageant from Palazzo Vecchio seat of the mayor to the Baptistery and the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore. Here the archbishop of Florence who is always a cardinal given the historical importance of the city celebrates mass.
On the same day the final match for Calcio Storico Fiorentino is also played. The fascinating game is a mixture of soccer, rugby, kick boxing and wrestling. It was born in Renaissance Florence and it generally gets quite aggressive. The Calcio Storico Fiorentino involves four teams representative of 4 boroughs of the city Santo Spirito (whites), Santa Croce (blue), San Giovanni (green) and Santa Maria Novella (reds).
The 2 teams that won the semifinals play on June 24th at 5pm on the special field set up on Piazza Santa Croce for the entertainment of locals and tourists alike. We suggest to get the tickets in time as they sell out quite soon. (watch the video below. It is just over 4 minutes and it’s worth every second of it)
The long day of celebration for Florence’s patron saint ends with a spectacular fireworks show. The fireworks take place between 10 and 11pm and are set off from Piazzale Michelangelo. Given its enhanced setting it is possible to see them from various places across the city.
In the city centre, many hotels, and restaurants that have a terrace with a view organize special evenings. For visitors to the city it’s a great occasion for cocktails, dinners and entertainment before the fireworks show. But the main thing will remain the fireworks themselves which further enhance the beauty of the city.
Here’s a nice proposal of accommodation for enjoying a wonderful holiday in Florence around the feast of San Giovanni
Summer events in Tuscany prompts us to introduce you to a place near Florence still unknown to the larger public. This is the Mugello Valley a true beauty-case at the gates of Florence. Here the Summer offers an almost endless opportunity for culture, culinary taste or just sheer entertainment. Here is just a brief selection of initiatives.
Borgo San Lorenzo is the main town in the Mugello Valley. Here the 2 major Summer events are the Vivi Lo Sport and the Fieragricola Mugellana. They take place at the end of May and in first half of June every year respectively. There are events going through the town for almost a week all evenings. There’s even a free shuttle service for those coming by train from Florence. Later in the Summer, the local tourist association promotes other events. The most important are the activities from 5 to 10 August to mark the patron saint of the town. They are all occasions to see the Mugello and to get to know more about some authentic Italian traditions.
In Firenzuola at the end of May and the beginning of June there’s the sagra del prugnolo. This festival revolves around the prugnolo mushroom which is really delicious especially with pasta, meat and crostini starters.
Here we come to Scarperia, a beautiful little historical town listed in the 100 most beautiful municipalities of Italy. Scarperia’s festivals reach their height during the Diotto events in early September. However, at the end of July o one can enjoy a nice sagra of porcini mushrooms .
In San Piero a Sieve the major event of the Summer is certainly the Ingorgo Sonoro in early July. For a night on a Saturday in the first part of July, the center of San Piero a Sieve will turn into an open air disco with 6 dj sets and stages for live music.
Summer events in Tuscany take a more historical bent In the upper Mugello. Here we can’t avoid mentioning the medieval festivals taking place at the end of July.
The Middle Ages are told and re-enacted in three days in the historic village of Palazzuolo sul Senio. Arms, tournaments, battles, shows, music, taverns and delicious local food at the reach of children and adults. Three days of socialisation and fun, three days of holiday in the Mugello surrounded by the beauty of the landscape of the Tuscan Apennines.
In the little town of Marradi also in the upper Mugello go and see the festival of the Golden Grid. It is held in the last week of July and the first of August. Parades of wagons, water games, competitions of dances and songs, that serve as a frame to the games among the different quarters of Marradi for the conquest of the golden grid.
Check out in the site some ideas for a nice holiday combined with the Summer events in Tuscany
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