In May in Lucignano there’s the Maggiolata, a festivals that wants to welcome the warm weather, like when long time ago in the countryside tradition they tried to promote the success of the harvest. A large and colorful parade of floats covered with flowers invades the town, with four districts that compete to create the most beautiful float.
In May in Castiglion Fiorentino there’s the Medieval Banquet, a strictly themed menu, clay dishes and wooden cutlery, people in period costumes and lots of fun. The banquet takes place in the cloister of the Church of San Francesco.
GIOSTRA DEL SARACINO
In June in Arezzo there is the Giostra del Saracino. A horse race where knights have to strike with their lance a target placed on a puppet. The puppet rotates and the rider must be very quick to strike to avoid being hit in turn.
In June in Cortona there’s the Archidado, a medieval joust divided into various events, from the offer of the candles, to the shooting competition with the crossbow, to the real joust which sees a nut-shaped target surrounded by a wooden circle divided into various sectors with a symbol on each of them, hitting the nut gives from 1 to 5 points, hitting other sectors penalizes from -1 up to exclusion from the next round.
PALIO DEI RIONI
In June in Castiglione Fiorentino there’s the Palio dei Rioni, a horse race in honor of the Virgin of the Graces. The contenders are the Terzieri, the territories in which the communal area is divided, and are Cassero, Porta Fiorentina, Porta Romana. The night before the Palio there’s a propitiatory dinner, the day of the Palio there are many rites as the investiture of the jockey and the horse’s blessing. Shortly before the game a beautiful costume parade shows up to Garibaldi square where the Palio is held. The winners will have the gift of the “rag”, a painted drape and will lead it in triumph through the streets of the town. A week after, the winning neighborhood will celebrate with the dinner of victory.
PALIO DEI CASTELLI
In August in Badia Tedalda, in Arezzo district, there’s the Palio dei Castelli. It is a horse race in which the racing horsemen must thread a ring with a lance. On the same day some taverns are prepared to let people taste typical dishes, then they organize handicraft markets, festivals and shows in medieval style.
SAGRA DELLA BISTECCA
In August in Cortona there’s the festival of the steak. It isn’t a random steak, but a delicious Chianina steak, a typical product of the area. You can also taste sausage, cheese, salami.