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»» Historic Festival of Wine in Montepulciano, Tuscany

The hill-top town of Montepulciano, in the surroundings of Siena, Tuscany, hosts the “Bravio delle Botti” Festival last week of August.
The climax of the festival is the barrel rolling contest with contenders — eight neighbourhood teams — rolling empty wine barrels through the narrow streets of the town.

Photo by Alessandro Farina - Courtesy of

The origin of Bravio delle Botti dates back to the 17th century. It is a historic festival offering a week of ceremonies, shows and tastings of local specialties.

Also, as Montepulciano is located in a major wine-growing zone, it offers the opportunity to sample the excellent wines this area of Tuscany produces.

When: August 21 – 29, 2010 (annual);
where: Montepulciano (Tuscany)
Here you have the festival programme.

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»» Opera Festivals in Tuscany in Summer: Puccini Festival

The town of Torre del Lago, located 5 kilometres away from the magnificent beach resort of Viareggio (Tuscan Riviera) and 18 kilometres from Pisa, hosts the annual Opera festival “Puccini Festival” from July 16 through August 22, 2010.

The festival draws crowds of Opera lovers and tourists who wish to visit the places where the most beloved composer of the 20th century lived.

The venue, Torre del Lago’s Puccini Teatro all’Aperto — open-air theatre — is located just a few steps from Villa Puccini, the Villa Mausoleum where the beloved composer  lived, worked and is buried. Here you have the festival program.

Where: Torre del Lago (4km from Tuscan Riviera, 18km from Pisa)
When: July 16 through August 22, 2010 (annual).

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»» Medieval Festival in Florence

Those who are visiting Florence in the last week of July, have the chance to experience a trip into the Middle Ages.

courtesy of

The town of Vinci, Leonardo‘s hometown, around 40 km from Florence, is hosting the Unicorn Festival.
It is a medieval festival featuring elves, witches, duels, magic shows, archery contests and Gothic music.

When: July 24 – 25, 2010 (annual)
Where: Vinci (surroundings of Florence)

– How to get there
By rail: take the Florence – Pisa train, get off at Empoli station. From there, take bus — Copit line — to Vinci.

Details of Unicorn Festival can be found on

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»» Opera Festival in Tuscany

The Opera Festival, annual lyrical festival of Tuscany, offers a series of performances from June through July in Florence and Siena.

San Galgano Abbey - courtesy of

The locations for the 2010 Opera Festival include The Boboli Gardens, possibly the world’s greatest example of Italian-style garden, located in the ancient heart of Florence and the San Galgano Abbey, splendid ruins of a Middle Ages Abbey, located in the surroundings of Siena.

When: June 7 – July 31, 2010 (annual)
Where: Boboli Gardens (Florence) and San Galgano Abbey (Chiusdino – Siena)

Festival details and programme can be found at

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»» Historic Festivals in Tuscany: San Gimignano Medieval Harvest

San Gimignano, one of the best known hill-top towns of Tuscany, hosts its medieval festival the third week-end of June.

San Gimignano, the town of the towers
(photo by IdéfixCC license)

The festival, “Ferie delle Messi” — Medieval Harvest Festival — features historical parade, medieval tournament and games and a Medieval Guild Fair displaying arts and crafts typical of the Middle Ages.

The delightful town of San Gimignano is well worth a visit all year round but it’s during th the Medieval festival you can better enjoy its Medieval atmosphere.

San Gimignao is 40km away from Siena and 55km away from Florence — directions by bus: take SITA or Tra-in bus from Florence’s Santa Maria Novella station to Poggibonsi, then local bus to San Gimignano.

when: June 19 – 20, 2010 (annual)
where: San Gimignano

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