Events in Tuscany

Here are the main events in Tuscany that take place each year in cities around Montecatini Terme. Staying in comfort at the SmArt Hotel Bartolini you can easily enjoy any of these events and avoid the stress of staying where the events are held.

In Tuscany, there is, in fact, a long tradition of exhibitions and festivals, such as the Palio in Siena, the most important event in that city’s calendar, which takes place each year, already in its sixth century.

Below you’ll find a short list of the events that are easy to visit while staying in comfort at the SmArt Hotel Bartolini in Montecatini Terme.

Carnival in Viareggio – Viareggio

In the week before Ash Wednesday, in many places in Tuscany, there are carnival parades before the period of Lent. One of the most famous in Italy takes place in Viareggio, with a parade of large allegorical floats with enormous papier mache puppets, fireworks and people in costumes and masks along the seafront of the town.

Maggio Musicale Fiorentino – Florence

The Maggio Musicale Fiorentino (Florentine Musical May) is a prestigious artistic show organized in Florence. It is an annual festival of opera, concerts, ballet and theatre founded in 1933 through the initiatives of its patron Luigi Ridolfi Vay da Verrazzano and the conductor Vittorio Gui, with contributions from his fascist successor as the Federal of Florence, Alessandro Pavolini. It is usually held from the end of April until the beginning of July. Since 1986, the Director of the Orchestra of Maggio Musicale Fiorentino has been Zubin Mehta, who in 2006 became its honorary director for life. The dance company of Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino is called MaggioDanza and is one of the principle dance groups in Italy.

Historic Florentin Football – Florence

The old game of Florentine football, also known as ‘football in costume’, has its roots in ancient times: in fact, in latin it was called florentinum harpastum. It is a team game with an inflated ball, and is considered by many to be the father of modern-day football, even though it reminds one more of rugby. The four teams competing for victory represent the four quarters of the ancient city: Santa Croce (blue), Santo Spirito (white), Santa Maria Novella (red) and San Giovanni (green). The prize is a calf, from the prestigious Chianina breed, famous in Tuscany.

Pistoia Blues Festival – Pistoia

The Pistoia Blues Festival has taken place every year since 1980 in the month of July and is organized by the Associazione Blues In and the Pistoia Council, in collaboration with the region of Tuscany. The festival usually takes place over three evenings. Over the years, many artists have participated, principally blues musicians, but also rock and roll, soul and jazz artists, among whom are: Chuck Berry (1989), Frank Zappa, Jimmy Page, Buddy Guy, Pat Metheny, Jeff Healey, Carlos Santana, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Van Morrison, Albert King, Bob Dylan (1996), Lou Reed, Joe Cocker, David Bowie (1997), Robert Plant, Ray Manzarek and Robby Krieger of The Doors (2011), Brian Auger, Skunk Anansie and many others, including Italians Zucchero, Franco Battiato and Enzo Avitabile.

The Bear Game – Pistoia

La Giostra dell’orso is a modern revival of the ancient Berber horse race which was held in the city of Pistoia up until the 13th century every July 25th, the day of the patron saint of the city, Saint Jacob. The actual horse race is preceded by celebrations of its patron saint and various shows that bring the city to life.

Lucca Summer Festival – Lucca

The Lucca Summer Festival is a musical show which has been held in Lucca in the month of July since 1998. Framed by the city of Lucca, within its splendid city walls, the concerts take place in the various city squares — Piazza Napoleone, Piazza San Martino and Piazza dell’Anfiteatro — giving a magical feeling to each show.

 Festival Puccini – Torre del Lago

 At the Puccini Festival one can enjoy the great stars of opera, under the direction of world-renowned orchestra directors, and admire extraordinary productions of the Puccini repertoire from Madam Butterfly, Turandot, La Bohème, Tosca and Manon Lescaut. The Grand Open Air Theatre which seats 3400 and is dedicated to Maestro Puccini, opens onto the atmospheric Lake Massaciuccoli and is surrounded by charming parkland with sculptures of the great contemporary sculptors such as Pietro Cascella, Jean-Michel Folon e Kan Yasuda.

 Lucca Comics & Games – Lucca

 Lucca Comics & Games is an exhibition dedicated to comics, animation and games (role playing games, and board and card games), video games and fantasy and science fiction games, that takes place in Lucca in Tuscany, from the last days of October to early November. It is considered one of the most important Italian exhibitions of its type, the second in Europe and third in the world, after the Comiket in Tokyo and the International Festival in France.

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