Una Famiglia, Due Tenute
FESTIVALS IN NOVEMBER
In Massa Marittima, the next-to-last month of the year is called “Novembre Grosso,” or “Fat November.” This is, in fact, the name of a festival that promotes culture, art, and the environment of the surrounding Metallifere Hills. There will be guided visits, conferences, workshops, tastings, concerts, and multiple spectacles.
In mid-November in Pitigliano, the Novello wine and freshly-pressed olive oil festival is held, called “Santi Vinai.” A food stand will be set up in the town with tastings, an olive oil market, nature outings, and live music.
For almost a quarter of a century in Strada, a frazione of Greve in Chianti (check out our suggestions here for visiting Chianti), the “Sagra delle Frattaglie” has been held during the last two weekends of November. Taste traditional peasant recipes based on the frattaglie, such as tripe alla fiorentina, lampredotto, inzimino, stufato core e paracore, poppa, and fried onions with tripe. And of course, other foods will be served as well, such as wood-fired pizza and grilled meat. Obviously, everything will be paired with some of the best selected wines of the territory.
Every year in San Casciano dei Bagni during the period of the Immaculate Conception (Immacolata), the Christmas Markets are held: four days dedicated to local artisans. It’s the perfect opportunity to do some gift shopping for Christmas. Other than objects and goods, you will see seasonal desserts, beauty products, clothes, and specialties of the Val d’Orcia. Similar markets are held in the municipalities of Strada, Greve in Chianti, and Tavarnelle during the same period.
Every year in the municipality of Castelfiorentino, the “Nativity Street” is held, an event that lasts from the Immaculate Conception until Epiphany on January 6. Visitors may enjoy the exhibits of artistic and hand-crafted nativity scenes made by the town’s residents and displayed on windowsills, in churches, in the cells of the ex-prison, in storefront shops, and out in the open along a beautiful route that guides visitors through the streets and alleyways of the upper village.
A similar event is held in the tiny village of Montorsaio (frazione of Campagnatico), where many different nativity scenes are set up from December 8 until January 6, enough so that it has been called the “village of Nativities.” A particular display to see is in the main piazza, where terracotta statues have been hand-crafted to bear the faces of townspeople; another nice display can be found in the Church of the Company of Santa Croce, with moving statues.
From the Immaculate Conception almost up until Christmas Eve, Manciano becomes a “Christmas Village.” Local Maremma farmers set up a market, international artists perform, and there are magic shows, Christmas games, children’s face-painting, several nativity scenes, art workshops, “Santa’s post office,” and resting points for tourists. And in the castle or “Rocca” of Manciano on December 24 and 26, the area will be set up for children’s fun and games with “Santa’s House,” a magical route with an elf’s workshop, enchanted forest, Santa’s rooms and workshop, 3D video shows, light plays, and a Christmas train driven by elves.
During the second week in December in Orbetello, the “Mini-marathon of Christmas” is organized. This 10-km race runs along the trail of the Laguna di Orbetello.
And as in all of Italy, the live Nativity scenes are very popular. One of the most beautiful is held in the ancient village of Porto Ercole.
DISCOVER THE FESTIVALS IN CHIANTI AND MAREMMA FROM NEW YEAR’S EVE UNTIL MARCH IN OUR NEXT POST