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Music, medieval festivals and religious celebrations in the province of Pistoia


In March, in San Quirico Valleriana, you can attend to the Sagra del Neccio with many food stalls  rich in delicious products. Neccio is a typical local dessert  prepared with chestnut flour. The appearance remember a crepe and it is filled with many different ingredients, such as a classic filling of ricotta or cheese, and sweetly stuffed with nutella. The festival takes place in Piazza Garibaldi in the historic center, and is a wonderful opportunity to stroll through the splendid village.


From April to May, in Buggiano, the beautiful event Giardini aperti (open gardens) wants to draw attention to the gardens of the city. In addition to public gardens, private spaces will be opened for the occasion where their owners will be happy to welcome visitors. Many of these gardens are rich in citrus trees and aromatic plants, a true local tradition.

Giostra dell’Orso, Pistoia photo giostradellorso-pistoia


The 25th of July , in Pistoia, the Giostra dell’Orso will bring you back in time. In fact, the joust has its roots in the 1200 for the celebrations of San Jacopo, patron of the city. The four ancient quarters, the White Deer, the Golden Lion, the Griffin, the Dragon, set their knights for a total of 12. The contest consist of hitting a bear silhouette with a spear. The winner is the quarter that makes more points, winning the prize. The joust is preceded by a solemn celebration with the dressing of the saint and the  procession in medieval dress.


In July and August, in Torre del Lago, a town part of Viareggio, takes place the Puccini Festival, started in 1930. The town, where the composer lived for many years, overlooks Lake Massaciuccoli, which offers a romantic setting for the performance of his compositions. The concerts are hosted in the Teatro dei Quattromila, next to Villa Puccini. The notes of La Boheme, Tosca, Turandot, Madama Butterfly, will fill the summer evenings of this magical village. Other concerts of classical music and ballets enrich the program for the joy of such lovers and for all those who want to discover this wonderful music.

Puccini Festival, photo


In August, in Serravalle Pistoiese, takes place the Palio dei Rioni, during the celebrations for San Lodovico. The Palio is hosted at the Castle of Castruccio and consists in a challenge between the four districts of the city , each of which raises its archers who must hit as many targets as possible.


In September, in Lucca, there is the Festa del Volto Santo (Feast of the Holy Face or Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross). The Holy Face of Lucca is a wooden crucifix located in the Cathedral of San Martino. On the day of the procession, the path is the same as it was followed in the 12th century when the precious relic arrived in Lucca, and departed from the Church of San Frediano to reach the Church of San Martino. Today the way along the walls of the houses is completely illuminated by thousands of small glasses with a  light inside, while the faithful  intonate the Hymn to the Holy Cross, making the procession suggestive and engaging.

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