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»» Cultural Events in Tuscany in Summer: Cortona Hosts Tuscan Sun Festival

The hill-top town of Cortona, in Tuscany, hosts the annual Tuscan Sun Festival from July 30 through August 7.

Cortona - Tuscany

Tuscan Sun Festival is one of major cultural events in Europe.
It features classical music, art exhibitions and many other art events drawing some of the world’s finest musicians, authors, artists, critics, and historians.

Also, with the festival offering a number of art events exploring the five senses, food and wine tastings are a natural addition to the Tuscan Sun Festival schedule.

Cortona, located close to major wine growing zones, is a delightful historic town with roots in the Etrurian times. A trip there is worth regardless of festival.

When: July 30 through August 7, 2011 (annual)
Where: Cortona (Tuscany).

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»» Things To Do in Florence: Night Run – Nocturnal San Giovanni

The “Notturna di San Giovanni” — “Nocturnal San Giovanni” — is an annual 10 km run taking place at night through the historic streets of Florence in June — the 2011 edition is scheduled on June18.

The race starts at 9.00PM in Piazza Duomo; finishing point is in the splendid scenery of Piazza S. Giovanni on the parvis of the Cathedral.

If you feel 10km is too much you can opt for a reduced non-competitive 4.7 km route.

When: June 18, 2011 (annual)
Where: Florence – Piazza del Duomo.

For details and enrollment information of the Notturna di San Giovanni, please follow this link .

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»» Ice Cream Tastings in Florence – Firenze Gelato Festival

Enthusiasts of Italian “Gelato” are gathering in Florence the last week of May to attend a major ice cream festival.

The “Firenze Gelato Festival” is an event entirely devoted to the Italian ice cream taking place from May 25 to 29, 2011 in Florence.

Ice cream makers from all over Italy as well as the ice cream shops located in Florence participating in the card circuit will offer visitors a chance to taste any gelato flavour.

Main venues for “Firenze Gelato Festival” include Piazza Pitti and Piazza della Repubblica, which will be hosting a Sammontana Village set for the event.

When: May 25 – 29;
Where: Florence.
Details of “Firenze Gelato Festival” can be found at .

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»» Easter in Florence: Video of Colombina and Explosion of the Cart

Florence‘s residents are used to start Easter day attending the ritual of “Sacred Colombina” and “Explosion of the Cart”.

The Colombina is a dove-shaped rocket flying out of the Duomo during the Easter Mass and igniting a huge wooden cart-structure — the Carro — in Piazza del Duomo square.
After setting fire to the huge array of fireworks attached to the wooden cart the Colombina returns back into the Duomo.
The cart arrives in Piazza del Duomo pulled by two white oxen and accompanied by costumed revellers, city officials and clerical representatives.

When: Easter Day – 11am (annually).
Where: Florence – Piazza del Duomo.

Below is a video of the “Sacred Colombina” and “Explosion of the Cart”.

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»» Medieval Festivals in Tuscany: Jousting of the Saracens in Arezzo

The city of Arezzo, Tuscany (70km from Siena, 70km from Florence), hosts a medieval festival the first Sunday of September.

The festival, “the Giostra del Saracino” — “Jousting of the Saracens”, offers medieval costumes parades and a jousting tournament with contestants on battle horses competing in the historic Piazza Giorgio Vasari for the prize of the Golden Lance.
The historical origins of this festival date back as far as to1260 when a jousting display was held to honour the knighting of Hildebrand Giratasca.

The city of Arezzo, around one hour by train from Florence, is also well-known as one of the most renowned centers in the world for jewelry making.

When: Sep 5, 2010 (two annual editions: third Sunday of June, first Sunday of September);
where: Arezzo (Tuscany)
For details and programme, visit the festival website: .

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