Seasonal Offerings: Summer in Tuscany

Summer time in Radicondoli begins with a big festival, the Festa di San Giovanni, which dates back to ancient times when farmers all over Tuscany chose the solstice night to ward off evil spirits from their crops by lighting bon fires in their fields. In old times, the vast Val di Cecina was alight with these fires on the third weekend of June. Now it is celebrated with fire jugglers and a street fair that goes on for three days, bringing young and old out of their houses to commune over shared meals in piazza, listen to live music, and shop at the artisan booths that line Via Gazzei, the main street. It is a foreshadowing of the bewitching warm sultry nights to come, when young and old walk arm in arm down the main street at night, when concerts and plays and dance performances fill the piazzas, parks and streets in a week long summer festival at the beginning of August.

And of course, twice each summer there is the Palio di Siena, forty-five minutes east of Radicondoli. This spectacular horse race, which dates back to the 1600s, is run around the Unesco World Heritage designated Piazza del Campo by ten riders wearing their contrada’s colors on bareback horses. More than fifty thousand people cram into the piazza to watch the five days of pagentry, trials and the final race. With the singing, the firing of the starter’s canon, the horses’s hooves thundering, and the collective gasps of thousands as riders are thrown from their horses at the notoriously tight San Martino curve, emotions reach a euphoric pitch by the end of the final night.

This year, Il Campo Cucina is honored to be hosting a group at the August 16 Palio in a private palazzo with a breathtaking panoramic view of the entire race course, and which is positioned over the thrilling San Martino curve. We will stay for seven nights from August 10-17  in Radicondoli. The week will combine shared meals al fresco, a wine tasting in the central piazza of Radicondoli, outdoor movies, cooking lessons and various other workshops in the beautiful countryside, as well as four excursions into Siena for dinner parties, tours,  the viewing of provas and the final race. To learn more about this unique and exciting offering, click here.

For private cooking classes and custom tours, click here, or call our tour planner, Debbie Tucker, at: 1-858-525-1712.

 

1 comment

  1. Grace Micetich says:

    I have been to Radicondoli in Summer. It is a remarkable 1000 year old village, where you feel welcomed by its residents. I felt like I was living a dream…gorgeous countryside, incredible food and wine, a step back in time. I think of it as the Tuscan Brigadoon.

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