Tuscany has been praised for its light, which has a clear golden quality most noticeable when the intensely sunny days of high summer begin to shorten. Spring and autumn days are still warm, with plenty of hours of sunshine to enjoy.
From june onwards, Tuscany’s festive calendar becomes increasingly crowded with scores of small town festivals, many of them taking place around Midsummer Day, the feast of John the Baptist, on 24 June. These provide an opportunity to sample local food and wine and join in the atmosphere, or to seek out some of the bigger set-piece festivals.
Calcio in Costume, or Football in Costume (19, 24 and 28 June), Florence (see p36). Estate Fiesolana. or Fiesole Summer (mid-June to end-August) in Fiesole (seepl32). Festival of music, arts, drama, dance and film. Many events are staged in the amphitheatre. Regata di San Ranieri (17 June), Pisa (seepi52). Boat races in costume and brilliant
processions of colourfully decorated boats are held on the river Arno. After dark, its bankside buildings are illuminated by tens of thousands of flaming torches.
Gioco del Ponte or Game of the Bridge (last Sunday in June), Pisa. A ritual battle played out on a bridge (see p36). Italian
Corsa del Palio (2 July and 16August), Siena. Tuscany’s most famous event (see p218). Pistoia Blues (early July), Piazza del Duomo, Pistoia (see pp 182-3). Famous international festival of blues music, lasting for a week. Settimana Musicale Senese (last week), Siena (seepp2l4-15). Throughout this Musical Week, chamber music is performed by members of the renowned Accademia Musicale Chigiana in splendid settings, such as the Palazzo Chigi-Saraceni.
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