Tuscany Planet

Your tourist travel guide for Tuscany

5 events you shouldn’t miss in Tuscany

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Tuscany, between events and traditions

In Tuscany every year there is a dense calendar of traditional events that fill the streets and squares of the cities, attracting both locals and tourists. Between historical re-enactments, parties, fairs, games and fireworks, there is always something to do and you will never be bored. Most of these events take place in the summer when the weather is better, but there is no shortage of things to do even during the cold months, especially during the Christmas and Carnival periods.

Carnevale di Viareggio

In Tuscany when we talk abut Carnival we immediately think of Viareggio. Famous seaside resort of Versilia, very popular with celebrities, Viareggio is festively decorated on Carnival days attracting an impressive number of visitors who want to attend its famous parade of allegorical floats. The Carnival of Viareggio is a great show, the floats that parade on the seaside avenue of the city are beautiful, real works of art! The wagons, however, are not only a display of beauty and craftsmanship but they also carry messages related to the great issues of the moment and over the years they have focused on politics, economy, work and climate change.

Calcio Storico Fiorentino

Ancestor of modern football (“we invented football!” – cit. Any Florentine), Calcio Storico Fiorentino has a consolidated tradition that has its roots in the history of the city. The tournament compares the teams of the 4 historic districts of the city who play for access to the final first and then the victory in the decisive match that takes place on June 24 on the occasion of the feast of San Giovanni, patron saint of Florence. Even if Calcio Storico is an ancestor of modern football, by attending its matches one has the feeling of witnessing something very different given that phases of the game, actually more similar to rubgy than to soccer, alternate phases of struggle with fighting techniques borrowed from boxing or martial arts.

Calcio Storico Fiorentino
Calcio Storico Fiorentino (Photo by Lorenzo Noccioli / CC BY)

Giostra del Saracino

The Giostra del Saracino is the most important event in the city of Arezzo. The joust was born in medieval times and is still held twice a year: the first in June and the second in September. It is an exciting chivalrous tournament, in which the four historic districts of the city participate in the challenge for the conquest of the Golden Lance. Many people participate in the event
taking part to the parade in medieval costumes accompanied by numerous horses, the sound of trumpets and the waving of flags.

Arezzo Giostra del Saracino
Giostra del Saracino (Photo by Jan Drewes / CC BY)

Palio di Siena

The Palio di Siena is probably the best known event among those that take place in Tuscany and certainly deserves to be experienced live at least once in a lifetime. Twice a year (2 July and 16 August) the contrade (city districts) compete in Piazza del Campo to win the prize in a horse race over the distance of 3 laps. The event is deeply felt by the Sienese who live their own contrada with an incredible sense of belonging, and it’s not surprising to see scenes of great exaltation or absolute despair following a victory or a defeat.

The Palio di Siena the race

Lucca Comics & Games

Lucca Comics & Games is a large fair dedicated to comics, animation cinema and games that attracts an infinite number of visitors, especially youngsters, who invade the streets of Lucca in a pleasant festive atmosphere. And it is precisely the visitors that make this event truly special, many of them have in fact taken the habit of presenting themselves in Lucca disguised as characters from the films or comics (they are the so-called “cosplayers“), and I must say that many have really well done costumes!

Lucca Comics & Games
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