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Festivals & Events

The year in Italy is packed full of special festivals and events, some of which are linked to festivals of the Catholic Church, whilst others to the changing seasons such as harvest time.

Every small village throughout Italy celebrates with its own wonderful festival where all the locals attend. Tourists and visitors are always warmly welcomed to these events. During the harvest festivals the villagers tend to celebrate with their local produce, such as polenta and prosciutto, and especially wine. The rest of the events are more likely to be historical re-enactments linked to costumed cavalcades and jousting, processions, ceremonial races and competitions, elaborate costumes, singing and dancing.

Italy's hill towns can often celebrate their events in very exciting ways. Even if you do not speak the language, you will undoubtedly understand what the locals are saying by their body language and gesticulations. Witnessing a festival in a small hill town with its winding alleys and friendly squares from where you can watch it all happen, is unlike anything you will ever see again. Tourist offices and travel agents have lists of the festivals throughout Italy and can offer any last minute information that may be required, since sometimes events have to be cancelled due to poor weather conditions or other unforeseen catastrophe. But on the whole the event is usually rescheduled for the following day or so.

These are just some of the festivals and events that can be enjoyed:

February - Vernio: Polenta Festival

April - Florence: Mediaeval "Explosion of the Cart"
April - Cerreto Guidi – Chianti wine fair

May - Querceta: Renaissance Parade and Horse Race
May - Pescia: Pinocchio's Birthday
May - Massa Marittima: Historic Pageant
May - Saturnia: Pecorino Cheese fair

June - Arezzo: Medieval Pageant and Jousting Tournament
June - Chiusi: Historical Horse Race and Pageant
June - Florence: Historil Soccer Game and Parade
June - Pisa: Battle of the Bridge, featuring water games on the Arno River
June - Squirico d'Orcia: Festa del Barbarossa
June - Buti: Olive fair
Every 4 years in June: Regatta of the Great Maritime Republics

July - Lucca: Medieval Parade and Horse Race
July - Pistoia: Historic Parade and Jousting Tournament
July - Livorno: Historical Regatta
July to August - Siena: Palio Horse Race and Pageant

August - Grosset: Cowboy Parade and Rodeo
August - Giglio Island: Historical Regatta
August - Massa Marittima: Historic Pageant
August - Montepulciano: Historical Pageant and Games
15th August - Porto S Stefano: Palio Marinaro dell'Argentario

September - Carmignano: Historical Parade and Horse Race
September - Arezzo: Medieval Pageant and Jousting Tournament
September - Prato: Parade and Historical Ball Game
September - Bagno a Ripoli: Palio delle Contrade
September - Venice: finest regatta in Venice and gondola races
September - Monte San Savino: Roasted Pork fair
Saturday before first Sunday of September - Cerreto Guidi: Palio del Cerro

November - San Miniato: Festival of the White Truffle

December - Volterra: White Truffle of Val di Cecina fair

On the first Sunday of the month, In Arezzo, you will find one of the largest antique shows in Italy.

Every third Sunday, in Siena, it is possible to browse through old and antique things in Piazza del Mercato

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