Donít think of Italy as only a summer destination. There are plenty of things to do and to see during the Italian spring, fall, and even winter. This series of articles provides ideas for your Italian September vacation, describing regional spectacles, tourist attractions, and special events, and sometimes sports. Italian fall holidays have several advantages: You wonít fight the crowds, hotels and other accommodations are easier and cheaper to find, and every region has its own fall festivals. Start organizing your Italian fall holidays now. Keep reading.
Tuscany lies on the western coast of Italy. Here summer is really summer, so if you arenít a fan of hot, hot weather you may prefer a September vacation. Start the month at Satcarperia, a town of 7 thousand, and view its Knife Exhibition running from the first of the month until the second weekend. Montecarlo, population about 4500, hosts a Vinaria Wine Festival with fashion shows and cheese tastings as well. It starts on the last weekend in August and runs through the first week of September. A Palio is an inter-neighborhood athletic competition, usually in costume. The city of Signa, home to some 17 thousand, presents its Fair of September (Antica Fiera di Settembre) starting on the first Tuesday with about 300 traditionally dressed participants. Donít miss the Palio degli Arcieri dei Popoli di Signa archery competition. In Figline Valdarno, a city of about 17 thousand the Palio of San Rocco ran from 1414 until the 1600s and then restarted in 1972. Participants run a twelve-foot lance through a three-inch ring at full gallop. You may catch a glimpse of Sting; heís a local resident. The activities last for several days.
Firenze, a city of 360 thousand, hosts the Feast of Rificolona. Traditionally regional farmers visited town to celebrate the Nativity of the Madonna and sell their wares. City streets were lit with oil-soaked stalks of straw, now transformed into paper lamps on sticks. Festivities start the night of September 7 and continue the next day. That day the small town of Scarperia, population 7 thousand, hosts the Diatto, a historic celebration with the symbolic appointment of the a Vicar and games of skill like knife throwing, barrel-tub races, greased pole and rope climbing, and a brick race. On September 10 and 11 the coastal city of Pietra Santa, home to 25 thousand, presents its Feast of Wine including a gastronomic festival, a popular ball, a parade in traditional costumes, and a relay race featuring wine bottles. Yu might want to spend the second weekend in the beautiful walled medieval coastal town of Capalbio, population 4 thousand, which hosts a Sagra del Cinghiale (Wild Boar Festival). If you donít go for boar meat you may enjoy its domestic, more mildly flavored porchetta or other foods.
Then itís on to the town of Buti, population less than 6 thousand, which holds an Exhibition of Arts and Crafts of Butiís Chestnut Tree on the fifteenth and sixteenth of the month. On the nineteenth enjoy the Exhibition of Typical Wines of the Province of Pisa in Terricciola, a town of 4 thousand. The third weekend of each month the city of Lucca, population about 84 thousand hosts an Antique Market with over 200 exhibitors. That Sunday Terranuova Bracciolini, a city of 12 thousand, is home to a large gastronomic festival with a focus on pecorino cheese. Or you could enjoy the Palio di Perignano in the town of Perignano di Lari, population 5 thousand. Unlike many historic Palios, this one only dates from 1985.
Siena, population about 50 thousand, is perhaps Italyís best-preserved medieval city. Why not visit on September 22 for concerts and exhibitions in honor of Saint Cecilia, its patron saint? The last weekend of the month there are many choices. The city of Asciano, population 7 thousand, hosts its Mercantino delle Crete featuring artisan wares and food. The same sized city of Rufina in Chianti country offers its Festival of the Grape and Wine as does the city of Impruneta, population 15 thousand. Make sure to try the local specialty, peposo alla fornacina. And enjoy the giant bonfire on Saturday night.
And wherever you go and whatever you do, check out the fine Tuscany or other Italian wines.
Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet, but to be honest, he would rather just drink fine Italian or other wine, accompanied by the right foods. He teaches classes in computers at an Ontario French-language community college. Visit his website www.travelitalytravel.com devoted to Italian travel with an accent on fine Italian wine and food. Visit his central wine website www.theworldwidewine.com with weekly reviews of $10 wine and columns devoted to various aspects of wine including wine and food, humor, trivia, organic and kosher wine and lots more.
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September events, spectacles, and tourist attractions in Tuscany