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News from Tuscany

SUMMER. It's Festival time!


Exclusively for you, a valuable guide to the when and where of the ballet and music festivals held in the southern province of Siena, and a chance to discover a land unique of its kind through its artistic and music performances. 

International Musical Festival, San Galgano, Chiusdino, from July 11 to 27, eight events starring Italian and international performers. The repertoire ranges from opera to orchestral music, from ballet dancing to ethnic music, from jazz to rock and blues concerts.

At  Montalcino Jazz & Wine, Montalcino, from July 15 to 20, you will be able to listen to some of the greatest Italian and international jazz musicians while tasting the best local wines: an unforgettable sensory experience

Incontri in Terra di Siena, Val d’Orcia, from July 18 to 27, is a lovely chamber music festival held in some of the most beautiful locations of the Val d’Orcia area. 

Cantiere Internazionale d’Arte, Montepulciano, from July 18 to August 2. This year’s festival is devoted to opera arias. The program includes the opera Orfeo ed Euridice by Gluck, conducted by Roland Böer (July 18), and the touring show The Soldier’s Story by Stravinskij.

Festa della Musica, Chianciano Terme, July 23-27: world-famous artists, national premieres, up-and-coming bands and avant-garde music. Among the guest stars are Asian Dub Foundation, Le Luci della Centrale Elettrica, Mellow Mood and many more. Wine and food tastings, art installations, flea market. Admission free.

Sarteano Jazz & Blues, Sarteano, August 22- 24: concerts by internationally-renowned Italian and foreign musicians and marching band parades.

Festival Orizzonti, Chiusi, August 1- 10, 71 events in 10 days, in eight performance fields: theatre, ballet, opera, music, art exhibitions, lectures, workshops and film showing.

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TRADITIONS. The celebration of medieval life in Tuscany


Siena and surroundings, with its deeply-rooted history of “knights, ladies and tournaments”, still very much part of  traditionalist Sienese people’s modern life, is the ideal place for history and medieval parade fans. 

Here are the must-see events:

Palio of Siena: the world-famous legendary horse race between Siena’s contradas held in Piazza del Campo. The Carriera, as it is called in Siena, takes place twice a year, on July 2 and on August 16. 

Teatro del Bruscello: a folk theatre festival held every year in August in Montepulciano. 

Bravio delle Botti: Montepulciano’s Palio held every year on the last Sunday of August between contradas. Each contrada has a team of “pushers” that have to push an 80-kg wine barrel uphill along the town’s narrow streets. 

Palio di San Cassiano: it is held on August 10 in San Casciano dei Bagni. Four contradas challenge each other to sporting events and games before running a wheelbarrow race with a frog placed on top.

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The extraordinary Val d’Orcia has been witnessing an abrupt rediscovery of the countryside in the last few years, above all by foreigners, fascinated by the unique natural landscape and quality of life here. 

Just to name some famous personalities, John Voigtmann, a former music executive, and his wife Ondine, have bought a farm in Pienza and turned it into a country-farm boutique hotel. Louis Camilleri, CEO of tobacco giant Philip Morris International, has purchased several hectares of vineyard land and become a Brunello wine producer, following the steps of Richard Parsons, former chairman of Time Warner, who was asked to  repair financial giant Citigroup in 2006. Michael Cioffi, an  American attorney  and strict collaborator of Barack Obama who is actually contributing to the rediscovery of the tiny village of Castiglioncello del Trinoro, named his fouth daughter Athena Cetona. And when Oscar winner Colin Firth comes to Italy with his wife Livia Giuggioli, they usually spend some time in Rome and some in Città della Pieve (in Umbria near the Tuscan border) at Livia’s family’s house. And in San Casciano dei Bagni, the Podernuovo a Palazzone wine estate is managed by Bulgari. That’s sheer class.

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