A year of appointments in Grosseto and surroundings

This post is about all the events of Grosseto and surroundings during the year. Grab your agenda and write down all the appointments!

January

Befanata (Montemerano, Grosseto, Rispescia, Roselle) The Befanata is an old begging song that still lives on thanks to group of singers who, on the evening of January 5, go around the countryside, villages, houses and farms singing and asking people for hospitality and gifts, mostly "edible". A series of colourful and funny characters traditionally take part in the Befanata: the Befana witch, of course, the Befano, and the so-called Befanotti, all of whom are the singers.
Befanata [Photo Credits: briganti di Maremma]
Befanata [Photo Credits: briganti di Maremma]

February

Carnival (Follonica) Since 1950, Carnival has been celebrated in the town of Follonica, with a traditional parade and floats made by the inhabitants of the districts of Follonica.
Carnival in Follonica [Photo Credits: Sara Brangi]
Carnival in Follonica [Photo Credits: Sara Brangi]
Carnival (Montorgiali - Scansano) During Carnival, the village of Montorgiali is transformed into a medieval hamlet. Streets are covered with straw and the rooms of houses are turned into taverns where you can taste donzelle (fried dough), chickpea soup, polenta (cornmeal mush) with wild boar, donuts and hot chocolate. Moreover, the festival consists of a historical parade in medieval costumes made by the women of the village. Visitors can rent a costume at the entrance of the village, but before they must exchange their Euros with money made of modelling clay created for the occasion.
Medieval Carnival in Montorgiali [Photo Credits: Giovanna Casetti]
Medieval Carnival in Montorgiali [Photo Credits: Giovanna Casetti]
Carnival or “Carnevaletto da Tre Soldi” (Orbetello) Dating back to 1953, the Carnevaletto da Tre Soldi is a parade with floats and masked groups along Corso Italia, where people throw candy and confetti on the crowds made of children and families. There are also itinerant street artists who delight people with their performances. At the end of the parade, a winner is awarded for having the best float.
Carnival in Orbetello [Photo Credits: orbetelloturismo]
Carnival in Orbetello [Photo Credits: orbetelloturismo]
CarnevApe (Pitigliano) The floats are set up on Piaggio Ape 50, which is the main means of widespread transport in the villages of Maremma.
CarnevApe in Pitigliano [Photo Credits: oro di maremma]
CarnevApe in Pitigliano [Photo Credits: oro di maremma]

March

Torciata di S. Giuseppe (Pitigliano) The “Torciata di San Giuseppe” is held in Pitigliano on March 19th. In the evening, a group of men dressed in particular clothes; carry bundles of lighted reeds on their shoulders from Via Cava to the town square. There, the reeds and a puppet representing the “Harsh Winter” are burned, creating a spellbinding effect.
Torciata di San Giuseppe [Photo Credits: Raffaella Agresti]
Torciata di San Giuseppe [Photo Credits: Raffaella Agresti]

April

Fiera del Madonnino (Braccagni - Grosseto) On the weekend of April 25th in Braccagni, one of the most important agricultural livestock fairs in central Italy is held. Festa di San Giorgio (Montorgiali) The program includes horseback riding, hiking, biking, food stands, a torchlight procession in historical costumes to the Sanctuary of St. George, the traditional meeting of the knights, the historic ride and concludes with a Mass at the Fonte Sanctuary. Ottava Rima (Rocchette di Fazio) Ottava Rima is an old local tradition of poetry in the eighth rhyme form and takes place the last week of April.
Rocchette di Fazio - Ottava Rima [Photo Credits: Rita Marzano]
Rocchette di Fazio - Ottava Rima [Photo Credits: Rita Marzano]
Sagra del lunghino and palio della ruzzola (Pereta - Magliano in Toscana) Celebrated on the occasion of San Marco, the gastronomic part of the event is the Festival of “lunghino”, which is a traditional handmade pasta made with flour and water. The second part of the event is the more playful side called the Palio of Ruzzola, in which the teams of the four city districts compete. Sailing regatta (Porto Santo Stefano) During the week of Easter, in the sea overlooking Porto Santo Stefano, there is the traditional Sailing Regatta organized by the Yacht Club of Porto Santo Stefano. Festa di San Giorgio (Montemerano) In Montemerano around April 23rd the feast of St. George is celebrated with a parade of the historic districts, a carousel of the dragon (a game for the assignment of the Palio) and the launch of the air balloon.

May

Canti del maggio (Braccagni - Grosseto) Every year, on the first of May, many storytellers called Maggerini come to Braccagni from all the parts of Tuscany to sing songs in eighth rhyme (an ancient tradition of Maremma) and enjoy local food. Balestro del Girifalco (Massa Marittima) The Balestro del Girifalco takes place in Piazza del Duomo in Massa Marittima twice a year, on the fourth Sunday of May and the second Sunday of August. 24 crossbowmen, 8 for each Terziere that compose the city of Massa Marittima since the time of its establishment in Free Municipality (1225) take part in the race. Read more here.
Balestro del girifalco [Photo Credits: Michele Guerrini]
Balestro del girifalco [Photo Credits: Michele Guerrini]

June

Infiorata (Pitigliano) The Infiorata (Flower Festival) is connected to the day of Corpus Christi. The work begins the day before the procession, when people go in the fields in search for colourful flowers to collect, clean, browse and divide by colour. People get up early and start to prepare large floral paintings by various methods, which include: chalk drawings, cardboard forms to fill and designed paper model, with participants working non-stop until lunchtime.
Infiorata in Pitigliano [Photo Credits: Raffaella Agresti]
Infiorata in Pitigliano [Photo Credits: Raffaella Agresti]
Festa della Trebbiatura - Festival of the threshing (Grosseto - Spadino) The festival of the threshing is organized in the farmyard of Spadino Ricasoli Grancia and is a faithful historical reconstruction of the threshing. Every night and Sunday at lunch the food stands that serve typical dishes are open.

July

Truffle festival (Castell’Azzara) For more information visit the website. Disclaimer: The website is in Italian Toscana Foto Festival (Massa Marittima) Website Alterazioni Festival (Arcidosso) Alterazioni (Alterations) is a fairly new festival of music and visual arts that takes place in July in Arcidosso, around Monte Amiata. Dedicated to creativity and artistic experimentation in all its forms, the Festival is emerging on the national scene as one of the most important events to understand and predict new trends while finding new young talented artists. Website
Alterazioni Festival [Photo Credits: Eugenio Trovato / Luca Spinozzi]
Alterazioni Festival [Photo Credits: Eugenio Trovato / Luca Spinozzi]
Festival Teatro delle Rocce (Gavorrano) A festival of theatre and music that takes place in a quarry mine that has become an impressive amphitheatre. Website Grey Cat Jazz Festival (Surrounding areas of Grosseto: Massa Marittima, Gavorrano, Scarlino, Catiglione della Pescaia) It is one of the most important jazz festivals in Italy that features many guests. Website Festa Tempora ARTIS Magicae (Montieri) On July 31st and August 1st, the medieval village of Montieri recalls the atmosphere of a bygone era shrouded in mystery. Once in the town centre you'll come across ladies, knights, jugglers, alchemists, witches and the usual people. Food is available within the ancient cellars or you can stroll in the craft market. During the evening of Saturday you can attend to the performances.
Tempora ARTIS Magicae [Photo Credits: Associazione La Meria]
Tempora ARTIS Magicae [Photo Credits: Associazione La Meria]
Festa della Trebbiatura - Festival of threshing (Semproniano) The festival of threshing takes place on the last week of July in Semproniano.
Semproniano [Photo Credits: Rita Marzano]
Semproniano [Photo Credits: Rita Marzano]

August

Balestro del Girifalco (Massa Marittima) See May. Palio dello Stato dei Presidi (Orbetello) The rowing teams involved are the ones of Orbetello, Talamone Albinia, Giglio Island and Castiglione della Pescaia. The rowing challenge is preceded by a parade through the streets with the authorities, the teams, the historical parade, and the Corps Band Vinellando (Magliano in Toscana) A tasting of both wine and local products in the village of Magliano in Tuscany. Torneo di palla eh! (Tirli) The ball game Palla Eh! or Palla 21 is an old game played with bare hands or gloves played in the squares and streets of Tirli, Vetulonia and in some villages of the province of Siena. Read more here.
Palla Eh! [Photo Credits: Lucia Deleo]
Palla Eh! [Photo Credits: Lucia Deleo]
Medioevo nel borgo – Middle Ages in the village (Roccatederighi) Website Festa di San Lorenzo (Grosseto) August 10th is the night of the shooting stars as Grosseto celebrates its patron saint, the martyr Lorenzo. Sacred and profane mix together in a long procession during which the statue of the saint is drawn in a chariot by big Maremma cows, the sacred animal of the Maremma. The parade is followed by “Butteri” (local cowboys) and the event ends in the Cathedral with the blessing of the bishop.
San Lorenzo
San Lorenzo
Palio Marinaro dell’Argentario (Porto Santo Stefano) The Palio Marinaro dell’Argentario is held every year on August 15th in Porto Santo Stefano and involves the use of four boats called "guzzi", each with four rowers and a coxswain, who represent the four city neighbourhoods. It is a 4,000-meter race with remote origins, which recalls the close relationship between the people of Argentario and the sea. Palio Marinaro (Isola del Giglio) On August 10th in Giglio Porto there is the Palio Marinaro that sees a competition between three districts of the island. The race is preceded by a parade that takes place in late afternoon after the last ferry had departed from the island.
Palio Marinaro [Photo Credits: Claudia Lubrani]
Palio Marinaro [Photo Credits: Claudia Lubrani]
Palio Marinaro (Castiglione della Pescaia) The Palio Marinaro of Castilione della Pescaia is a traditional event held since 1952, which takes place on rowing boats with five crew members (four rowers plus a coxswain). Each boat represents one of the five districts of the town.
Castiglione della Pescaia [Photo Credits: Gianluca Facetto]
Castiglione della Pescaia [Photo Credits: Gianluca Facetto]
Il Salto della Contessa - The jump of the Countess (Gavorrano) This event takes place around August 10th and consists of a historical parade with flag-waving and a re-enactment of the killing of Pia de' Tolomei: the Countess is dragged by two guards to the highest tower of the ancient village and from there is thrown into the void. Il Palio delle Botti (Manciano) The Palio delle Botti (barrels race) takes place in Manciano every year on the last weekend of August and is a competition between the six districts of the village. The race is preceded by a parade accompanied by a group of flag bearers. After the race there is an awards ceremony with music and various tastings.
Palio delle botti [Photo Credits: Rossana Ciocca]
Palio delle botti [Photo Credits: Rossana Ciocca]
Quo Vadis Festival (Monterotondo Marittimo) Quo Vadis is a festival of based around street artists. There are artisans, jugglers, acrobats, actors, dancers, musicians, storytellers, painters, sculptors, illustrators and organic and local food and wine! Festambiente (Rispescia) Festambiente is a festival of ecology that aims to create solidarity and culture with an extensive program of shows and concerts that features some big names in music. Legambiente organizes the musical performances and the festival takes place in mid-August. Website Festa Medievale – Medieval Festival (Castell'Ottieri - Sorano) Castell'Ottieri is a village rich in history located near Sorano. The counts Ottieri, apparently of Austrian origins, were masters of diplomacy and stipulated many agreements with the lords of the time. Proof of this is the agreement in the summer of 1417 that helped to arrest the Sienese troops directed to nearby Pitigliano. To recall this event, the association "I Castellesi", every first weekend of August, create a magical atmosphere similar to that of the Middle Ages with the historical procession along the streets of the village. The procession includes animated jugglers, drums, musicians and stilt walkers, ending with a magnificent medieval banquet.
Castell'Ottieri [Photo Credits: Maremma Toscana]
Castell'Ottieri [Photo Credits: Maremma Toscana]
Festa della Contea - Feast of the County (Pitigliano) The Feast of the County takes place every year in August in Pitigliano and the entire feast is done in costume. Jugglers and musicians animate the streets of the town accompanied by the rhythm of the drums. Inside the Palace at the court of the Orsini everything is ready for the Renaissance banquet. Pitigliano in those days is like a trip in time and takes us back to the late Middle Ages - early Renaissance, recalling true events about the life of Niccolò III Orsini and his family.
Festa della Contea [Photo Credits: Raffaella Agresti]
Festa della Contea [Photo Credits: Raffaella Agresti]
Le Carriere del 19 (Scarlino) "Le carriere del 19" is an event that is held in Scarlino on August 19th. It is a competition between the three districts of the village based on various tests. Tests include archery, relay race and a costume representation of a historical event. Prior to the completion there is a procession that is done solely in costume. For more info check this website.
Carriere [Photo Credits: Marco Barberini]
Carriere [Photo Credits: Marco Barberini]
Estate Luziana (Semproniano) Readings and concerts in the last three weeks of August.

September

Palio delle contrade (Castel del Piano) Website. Disclaimer: The website is in Italian Wine festivals and Open cellars in Pitigliano, Manciano, Scansano, Montorsaio, Isola del Giglio Zucca Bachiorra (Petricci - Semproniano) It is a comical challenge where all local pumpkin growers come to together to Petricci. The farmer with the biggest pumpkin (in terms of weight) is declared the winner. The event usually takes place during the last week of Septemeber.
Zucca Bachiorra [Photo Credits: Associazione Il Campanile Petricci]
Zucca Bachiorra [Photo Credits: Associazione Il Campanile Petricci]
Palio dei ciuchi (Roccastrada, Vetulonia, Campagnatico, Isola del Giglio) There are many donkey races in Grosseto’s surroundings, all characterized by folklore and tradition. These events include the presence of parades in costumes, craft markets and street food. Fiera di Travale (Montieri) It is the livestock fair of the Alta Val di Cecina. Settembredivino (Pitigliano) The first weekend of September is time for Settembre diVino, a Wine Festival where the beautiful cellars of Pitigliano are open for tastings. It is also the perfect time to enjoy local food: bruschetta, grilled meat, cold cuts and cheeses of the area. This is the feast of the village, no matter your age, it’s a way of going back in time to the rural origins, when the harvest time meant cellars and new wine. Città Visibile (Grosseto) It is a cultural event sponsored by the city of Grosseto and the Foundation for Culture of Grosseto. Every year it brings the Maremma and showcases the world of art through exhibitions, readings, film screenings, workshops, etc. San Mamiliano Feast (Giglio Island) It is celebrated on September 15th and is an event in honour of the patron saint of the Island of Giglio. The festivities last for several days and take place in the square of Giglio Castello. In addition to the games for children that are held in the afternoon, each day small concerts and traditional dances are organized. Every evening you can eat at the stands of the rabbit festival. On September 15th there is also the donkey race.

October

San Cerbone (Massa Marittima) On October 10th Massa Marittima celebrates the city’s patron saint. Each year, the group of historical figures in medieval garb gather in the afternoon in the historic city center (Piazza Cavour) and march to the Piazza Garibaldi near the cathedral. The celebrations then move inside the cathedral, where a mass is officiated dedicated to the saint. La castagna in festa – Chestnut festival (Arcidosso) Chestnuts on Monte Amiata
Chestnuts [Photo Credits: Paulo Magalhães]
Chestnuts [Photo Credits: Paulo Magalhães]
Festa dell’uva – Grape festival (Cingiano)

November

Gustatus (Orbetello) Gustatus is a festival of aromas and flavours dedicated to the food traditions of the lagoon of Orbetello with the aim of emphasizing the wine and food of the Maremma. Festa delle streghe – Witches festival (Montemerano) Festa dell’olio - Oil festival (Batignano) Olio per Olio – Oil festival (Semproniano) In November, this small village welcomes those who come to celebrate the good, fragrant and natural oil produced in the lands of this area. Read more about Semproniano.
Olio per olio [Photo Credits: Rita Marzano]
Olio per olio [Photo Credits: Rita Marzano]
Antichi Sapori – Ancient flavours Focarazza (Roccalbegna) On November 24 in Roccalbegna there is the celebration of the ancient ritual of Focarazza of St. Catherine with the contention of “Stollo”. The “Stollo” is a trunk of oak, which, after the cutting and cleaning of branches in the morning, is put deeply in the ground and covered with bundles. In the evening it is burned and is disputed between the various districts, and the conquest of it, symbolizing the body of St. Catherine, becomes the reason of conflict and an omen of fertility and benefit.

December

Sagra della castagna winter – Winter feast of the chestnut (Boccheggiano - Montieri) Festival, market, theater, entertainment and themed menus: all around the chestnut and its products. Fiaccolata – Torchlight (Santa Fiora) The feasts of St. Nicholas and St. Michael, characterized by a ritual fire, preceded the fire festivals of end of the year, and in particular the torchlight on December 30th. The torchlight is a procession of burning torches that runs, according to the original gestures and forms of expression, from the main square of the country through the narrow streets and alleys of the ancient district of the village to the door of Palazzo Sforza, where the distribution of typical sweet polenta, made with chestnut flour, becomes a symbolic meal to guarantee the continuity of the local community. Website. Exhibition of nativity scenes (Montorsaio, Batignano, Montorgiali, Sorano) A huge THANK YOU to Maremmans for the precious information!