Ferragosto (August 15) is the most anticipated day of the summer, and most Italians will flee from the cities to find some refreshing coolness at the beach. Tutti al mare!
The ancient celebration of Ferragosto has its roots in Roman times when Emperor Augustus introduced the Feriae Augusti (Holiday of Emperor Augustus) in 18 BC. Ferragosto coincides with the major Catholic feast of the Assumption of Mary.
Most shops and supermarkets are closed on Monday, August 15th, but there is still enough to do for those left behind in the city.
Things to do on Ferragosto in Tuscany
Sagra delle Bistecca | 5 pm – midnight
Ferragosto is the last day to enjoy the typical Tuscan steak straight from the grill during the 57th (!) edition of the local food festival. From the Giardini del Parterre you can enjoy the amazing view over the Valdichiana valley while you eat.
Sandcastle competition | 4 pm | Piazza Giuseppe Poggi
You can get a taste of beach life at the Easy Living beach in the center of Florence, where at 4 pm the yearly sandcastles building competition takes place.
Also in Florence, many museums are open to the public, such as Galleria degli Uffizi, Museo di San Marco, Palazzo Vecchio, Museo Novecento and Forte Belvedere. Consult the complete list of open museums.
Sagra of Wild Boar and Tortello | 7.30 pm
Popular food fest in the medieval village Montepescali close to Grosseto. The menu includes various specialties such as grilled wild boar, tortellini, tagliatelle or pappardelle with boar, grilled meats, and beans all’uccelletta.
Cartasia – until September 9
During Cartasia the streets and squares of Lucca will provide the backdrop for the biennial exhibition and competition in which monumental paper sculptures are displayed outdoors. The massive installations on display in the city center come to life: works have their own space that the observer sees, hears and crosses.
In the city of Siena the Palio fever is running high again for the second race of this summer that will take place on August 16th. Numerous are the festivities in preparation for the world-famous horse race in the various contradas in the historical center. Read more about the Palio di Siena.
Festival of Lardo di Colonnata | August 17 to August 21 – Carrara (MS)
The town of Carrara is famous for its delicious lardo made by curing strips of fatback with rosemary and other herbs and spices. The lardo is cured for months in basins made of local marble.
The festive menu includes primi like tordelli with meat sauce and taglierini on beans with lardo. Secondi are lardo with tomatoes, sausage with beans and pork with fries. The food stands will be open every day for lunch and dinner.
Sagra del Pesce | until August 28 | 7.30 pm – Marina di Pisa
Nothing tastes like summer than eating fried fish at the seaside. The food festival takes place on the main square near the sea. The menu includes various primi with fish, fish soup, fried fish and baccalà.
Sagra del Tortello | August 15 | 12 pm and 8 pm
If you want to escape the city heat you can go to the mountains of Pistoia for the Sagra del Tortello in the location Serrettone near in the charming village of Cutigliano.