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Feste medievali  Folklore Toscana Palio

Text Teresa Favi

July 24, 2020

Festivals and folklore in Tuscany, confirmed dates for summer 2020

Five appointments not to be missed between August and September, from 'Bruscello' at Montepulciano to 'Giostra del Saracino' ad Arezzo

Even if this year the Palio di Siena (both the date of July 2nd and August 16th) was missed because of the health emergency, the Tuscany of festivals and folklore rolls up its sleeves and saves as many dates as possible for those who are fond of rides and tournaments of the medieval tradition or re-enactments of ancient folk customs. Here are all the confirmed dates between August and September... a diversion for your holidays.


Palio dell’Imperatore di Suvereto

Palio of the Emperor of Suvereto
It takes place every 14th of August with a traditional barrel race. The event was created to commemorate the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, Arrigo VII of Luxembourg, whose remains stayed for a certain period in the castle of Suvereto.

Bruscello di Montepulciano

Bruscello in Montepulciano
From 12 to 15 August, Montepulciano (Siena), Piazza Grande, one of the most famous examples of popular theatre, the Bruscello, starts at 21.30 in the suggestive Piazza Grande.


Bravìo delle botti a Montepulciano

Bravìo delle botti in Montepulciano
Although this year the traditional barrel race (bravìo) - which traditionally takes place on the last Sunday of August - has been cancelled, Montepulciano has presented a programme of events from 22 to 30 August in synergy with the districts. Here are the most important ones. It starts on 22nd at 4 pm with the appointment A Tavola con il Nobile at the Teatro Poliziano. Thursday 27 the appointment is with the offer of candles in the name of San Giovanni Decollato and the fire show by the Compagnia Teatrale Accademia Creativa, in Piazza Grande, from 21.30. Sunday, August 30, grand finale in Piazza Grande: the morning, starting at 10 am, extraction of the order of exhibition of the districts and symbolic marking of the barrels, followed by the solemn mass in the Cathedral of Montepulciano with the offer of candles in the name of San Giovanni Decollato, from 17, the closing of the event is entrusted to the exhibition of the group of Flag Wavers and Drummers of Bravìo delle Botti.

Astiludio a Volterra

Astiludio in Volterra
The first Sunday of September in Volterra (Pisa) for the Astiludio, the famous flag wavers of Volterra.


Giostra del Saracino ad Arezzo

Joust of the Saracen in Arezzo
The Giostra del Saracino in Arezzo, in Piazza Grande, is one of the oldest and most famous knights' tournaments in Tuscany. It has been held in Arezzo since the 13th century, twice a year - on the third Saturday in June (known as 'San Donato') and the first Sunday in September (known as 'della Madonna'). The June race was cancelled this year, but the race on 5 September 2021 has been confirmed.

Balestro del Girifalco in Massa Marittima
A spectacular competition between the crossbowmen of the town's districts that takes place every year on the fourth Sunday in May and on 14 August in the beautiful medieval town in the Maremma hinterland.


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