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Long noisy tables, excellent food, live music and craftsmenship on display, recalling an atmosphere of bygone days: every sagra (Italian traditional food festival) tells a story and gives a unique chance of mixing with the life of the town, discovering a link with the past or gaining a more thorough knowledge of the traditions of the place where you are staying.

Tuscany, renowned throughout the world for its art, its landscapes and gastronomic traditions, reveals its rustic spirit in these vivacious and popular events.

We have selected the most eagerly awaited Tuscan summer events, where the food is good and wine is great, where you can purchase typical local products and enjoy good company.

On the 3rd and 4th of August, during the Palla Eh! Tournament (traditional Tuscan ball game), there’s the traditional Ciaccino festival at Ciciano. A Ciaccino is a sort of thin pizza cooked in a wood-fired oven according to an ancient recipe. The dough is based on pork fat and enriched with chopped walnuts, sultanas, potatoes and the best olive oil from the surrounding hills.

If you’re fond of meat, note the Sagra della Bistecca (Beef Steak Festival) at Cortone (AR), in your diary on 15 August. The main attraction is a gigantic 14-metre grille over glowing charcoal made from resinous wood, cooking juicy T-bone steaks, the meat being only the best Chianina, cooked rare and accompanied by Chianti DOC. After the steak, you can stroll among the stalls selling local products, taste the sheep’s cheese from Pienza, salamis from the Siena area, preserves, wines and biscuits.

On the last Sunday in August, at Montepulciano you will find the Bravio delle Botti (the Barrel Race), the original challenge among the eight districts of Montepulciano competing for a banner by rolling barrels weighing 80 kg up an 1800 metre slope. Here too, music, stalls and good food are not lacking.