Spring in Tuscany

For many centuries, the spring has been celebrated by inhabitants of many towns in Tuscany and the rest of Italy as the reawakening of nature after the winter sleep. To celebrate this annual event, many towns become host to various Medieval themed parties featuring amusement rides, a tradition which descended from old Pagan celebrations of Madre Terra’s (Mother Nature’s) return. A great example of these festivities is the Madonna Primavera festival or Calendimaggio festival, both of which take place in Assisi, in Umbria (2 ½ hours by train from Florence, 1 ½ hours from Arezzo and a half an hour by train from Siena).

The Calendimaggio festival, like many other similar festivals throughout Italy, is a spectacular display which imitates life during late Medieval Times. It takes place 1st May, being the Italian equivilent of May Day, and involves a parade, amusements rides, jousting tournaments and Medieval music.

Another traditional event of interest, which also has a historical theme attached to it, is the Palio degli Asini and the Giostra dell’Archidado in Cortona, Arezzo.

May is also the month in which the production of the year’s new wines is extensively celebrated in areas famous for their wine production, like Montespertoli, a village in the province of Florence.

In Siena, from the 28th May, the wines from Val d’Orcia and from the Chianti Region are usually presented at the official wine week. At Pontassieve (Florence), in May, the Toscanello d’Oro is carried out, a market that is dedicated to Chianti di Rufina, Pomino and Colli Fiorentini wines.

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