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Volterra AD
Photo © Volterra AD
Photo © Volterra AD

5 ideas for August 15th in Tuscany

From folk theater to dinner under the stars: mid-August events not to be missed

Tuscany at Ferragosto (August 15th) is not just about the sea and beach parties: on these hot mid-August days, the calendar is full of events not to be missed. No one will be disappointed by the range of events on offer, including historical re-enactments, theater, music, concerts and more.

Contents
  • 1.
    Volterra AD 1398
  • 2.
    The Citadel of the Viareggio Carnival
  • 3.
    Bruscello Poliziano
  • 4.
    The Joust of the Saracen
  • 5.
    Tovaglia a Quadri
1.

Volterra AD 1398

Volterra AD 1398
Volterra AD 1398

History buffs cannot miss Volterra AD 1398, a great festival that every year, on the second and third Sundays of August, re-enacts the medieval atmosphere in the beautiful town in the province of Pisa. Hundreds of masked figures enliven the center of Volterra and the Archaeological Park: ladies, knights, friars and peasants, falconers and street performers. A show that can fascinate young and old alike.

1.

The Citadel of the Viareggio Carnival

Papier-mâché masks in the Carnival Citadel in Viareggio
Papier-mâché masks in the Carnival Citadel in Viareggio - Credit: Marta Mancini

To say Viareggio is to say Carnival. However, the city does not only come alive with great festivities in February: in the Carnival Citadel, Italy's largest thematic center dedicated to masks, in the month of August are held concerts, creative workshops and guided tours, taking visitors on a discovery of the world of papier-mâché during the summer season.

1.

Bruscello Poliziano

Bruscello in Montepulciano
Bruscello in Montepulciano

Let's stay in the area to discover another traditional event, this time in Montepulciano: it's the Bruscello Poliziano, one of the most original forms of folk theater in all of Italy and one of the most anticipated moments of the year for locals. First staged in 1939, the Bruscello transforms Piazza Grande into an auditorium during the days of Ferragosto, while actors and musicians from Montepulciano stage a different show each year on the Cathedral parvis.

1.

The Joust of the Saracen

Joust of the Saracen in Sarteano
Joust of the Saracen in Sarteano

Tradition lives again in Sarteano, on the occasion of the Joust of the Saracen. This equestrian game boasts a very old tradition and originates from medieval knightly tournaments, which were later transformed into folk games. On August 15, the knights' fight against Arab marauders (the Saracens) is re-enacted, and the town's districts compete on horseback in the town's central square.

1.

Tovaglia a Quadri

Tovaglia a Quadri, Anghiari
Tovaglia a Quadri, Anghiari - Credit: Valtiberina Toscana

In Valtiberina, Ferragosto combines theater and flavors thanks to Tovaglia a Quadri (Checked Tablecloth), the event held every year in mid-August in the delightful village of Anghiari. Tovaglia a Quadri is a performance of poor theater "in four courses", where guests, seated in a large table inside the medieval walls, can enjoy local products, such as brigoli (large spaghetti handmade with water and flour), while watching performances staged by the inhabitants of Anghiari.

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