Italy offers some of the best folk festivals in the world, with Tuscany among the leaders. Tuscan folk festivals and historical re-enactments should not be missed if the opportunity arises. Almost every town and village has its own costume event, often with a mediaeval or Renaissance theme, or a reenactment of a famous battle or similar event. These are mass participation events which keeps them genuine and great fun. Often a significant proportion of the population of a town or village has been working all year on their costumes, floats or horsemanship in preparation for the event. It also helps that there are big film studio costume supply places around. Most events last just a single day, often coinciding with the patron saint’s day or a seasonal festival such as ferragosto or May Day. However some festivals take place over several days, one of the most famous being the Volterra A.D 1398 which is a fabulous mediaeval fair that takes place each year during the last whole week of August in the town of Volterra.
Exhibitions of horsemanship, often in the form of jousts, re-enacted battles in full armour, hawking, long bow and especially crossbow competitions, and endless mediaeval crafts, music and cookery often make these Tuscan festivals the highlight of a visit to Tuscany.
Always check for a nearby festival when you’re planning your trip to Tuscany or Umbria by consulting these websites:
For Umbria: www.orvieto-info.com