Best local Festivals you shouldn’t miss
Cortona Mia has selected the top 8 local festivals near Cortona, from folklorist events to the historical commemoration, a must see chart. All destinations within less than an hour.
Tulip Festival ★★★
Last week of April
CASTIGLIONE DEL LAGO
DISTANCE: 20 MINUTES
The delicious, colorful and cheerful Tulip Festival of Castiglione del Lago, in the province of Perugia, held annually for over forty years. The origin of the festival has his origin after the war since some Netherlands families had chose this pleasant town of Castiglione as home brought here the custom to celebrate spring with incoming floral decorations at window, on balconies and small wagons.The program of the Tulip Festival of Castiglione expected throughout the city floral decorations in every corner, square, street, balcony and window, so that bodybuilders, every year the most talented and skilled, are held the award for the most beautiful decoration, the flower that are used are the tulip who grow up in its infinite range of colors, which allows you to create really fascinating fantasy works.Today the festival is organized, in April, the weekend after the Easter from the “Pro Castiglione” organization the festival also aims in this opportunity to promotes the tourism market this beautiful lakeside town.
Serremaggio Festival of Ciambragina ★★★★
Second week of May
Serre di Rapolano
DISTANCE: 38 MINUTES
Ciambragina was the beautiful maiden from Cambrai, a rich city of France, thriving markets of textiles, fur, cuoiame. When Giovanni de Rossi, a wealthy merchant of Siena meet her around 1300 he fall in love and married her and brought to “Serre of Rapolano” By Cacciaconti, the powerful local feudal lords now in inevitable decline, the wealthy merchant bought the quarterdeck of Serre to make the palace of his Ciambragina well as the laboratory of his art made of clothing for men and women adorned with pearls and precious stones, lined of warm furs and gold drapes. Ciambragina and Giovanni de ‘Rossi will return to parade through the streets and alleys of the Serre wearing state robes, accompanied by the bishop, priests, nobles sumptuously dressed and even by players of lutes, hurdy-gurdy and fiddle.
Maggiolata Lucignanese ★★★★
May 10 (22 night edition) and 2 June 2019
DISTANCE: 35 MINUTES
The town of Lucignano bursts into bloom on the last two Sundays of May. The four quarters compete for the victory with their flower-adorned allegorical floats, and the most beautiful one takes the prize. The theme the quarters must interpret changes every year.
The centre of the town comes alive with multi-coloured flowers, scents and folkloristic groups from all over Italy. On the first Sunday of the festival, the floats parade through the streets of the town, while the second Sunday sees the award ceremony for the victorious quarter and the Flower Battle during which the flowers are stripped off the floats and hurled at the representatives of the opposing quarters.
FESTA MEDIEVALE BIANCO AZZURRA ★★★
DISTANCE: 15 MINUTES
The blue-white Medieval Festival takes place in the beautiful setting of the Fortress “Il Cassero” of Castiglion Fiorentino where historical popular games, antique taverns, flea market and typical characters are shows.
The hill of Castiglione Fiorentino host this happy event, that existing since the 1000 AD age, echoing the ancient medieval atmosphere a dip in the history between musicians and dancers, jugglers, swordsmen, knights, jesters and falconers that entertain an intense weekend rich of events and emotions.
Last week of May and first week of June
Giostra del Saracino ★★★★★
One in June and one in September
DISTANCE: 35 MINUTI
This ancient chivalric game, held in June and again in September in Arezzo’s Piazza Grande square, is a medieval tradition that was restored in 1931. The four quarters into which Arezzo is divided (Porta Sant’Andrea, Porta Crucifera, Porta San Lorentino and Porta Santo Spirito) compete for the grand prize – the golden lance, a true work of art dedicated each edition to illustrious Aretine writers, painters and personages. Each golden lance is a unique piece that the quarters conserve in their headquarters, which can be visited all year long.
The joust takes place on a sloping track in the Piazza Grande, which assumes its medieval appearance. Two riders per quarter challenge the Saracen dummy with their lance in two charges each. The victory goes to the quarter totalling the most points gained by striking the target board on the Saracen’s shield.
The week leading up to the Saracen Joust is rich in events. The headquarters of the four quarters propose new programs each year, with evenings of music and cabaret that culminate in the propitiatory dinner on the eve of the joust – a feast aimed at favouring the victory of their riders, open to all residents and tourists.
Palio delle Barche ★★★★
End of July
PASSIGNANO SUL TRASIMENO
DISTANCE: 25 MINUTES
The Palio delle Barche in Passignano sul Trasimeno recalls the feud between the Oddi and Della Corgna families that divided the lake towninto two factions, escalating into a battle, culminating in the total elimination of the Oddi family. The Oddi, in order to take control of Passignano, allied themselves with Siena. In 1495 a small army of exiles from Siena and Perugia occupied the castle of Passignano. Perugia’s reaction was so violent that the invaders hoisted boats on their shoulders and tried to save themselves by sailing in the direction of the islands, but in vain. The present-day Palio delle Barche takes its inspiration from that event of long ago. It is highly spectacular, and the only one of its kind.
The race is split into three stages: the first and the third in water, the second on the land, with the contestants carrying the boats on their shoulders across the narrow streets of the historic centre. The race, which takes place on the last Sunday of July, involves no less than 160 contestants divided into four neighbourhoods
Bravìo delle Botti ★★★★★
Midle of August
DISTANCE: 40 MINUTES
The barrel rolling race, an ancient tradition called the Bravìo delle Botti, takes place in Montepulciano on the last Sunday of August. The city’s contrade (quarters) compete for the prize, a painted banner, by rolling 80-kg wine barrels along a 1.8 km uphill course. An exciting race to the last breath. There are eight competing contrade: Cagnano, Collazzi, Le Coste, Gracciano, Poggiolo, San Donato, Talosa and Voltaia.
On Thursday evening of the week prior to the race, there is a procession of candles through Montepulciano’s historical centre, as costumed personages and flag-wavers accompany the candle-bearers in the darkened town.
The Bravìo festival week opens with the proclamation by the Gonfalonier and the presentation of the banner, painted each year by a different artist.
Fratta dell’800 ★★★★★
First week of September
DISTANCE 50 MINUTES
Every year in September, the city of Umbertide makes a jump into the past to come back in the nineteenth century. Customs, traditions, culinary arts, politics and culture of the time, come to life in the “Celebration of September to the end of the nineteenth century. The “Fratta century” wants to remember the way of life of the time referring to a precise historical documentation. While leaving space at the spectacular, in fact, historical reconstructions are extremely reliable, except perhaps some concessions to worldliness with the beautiful costumes of the more than 200 participants.
Umbertide the end of the 800 meant a strong shock the social, cultural and political life. This is because, subjugated for years by the domination of the Papal Government and passed to the Kingdom of Italy, the inhabitants of Umbertide (who took this name from 1863) took for the first time aware of the changes taking place around the world. Umbertide then tried to catch up with the times: the nineteenth Fratta therefore proposes a cross-section of that territory when, despite still being crossed by the troops of the formations of the Risorgimento, was beginning to feel more lively, especially in the forms of popular culture, now free from constraints and the complaints of the Papal Government.
In fact, the program of the festival offers many encounters with music from operas and operettas, plays, poetry readings and prose authors of the century, puppet shows, conferences and reconstructions of battles of the Risorgimento.