Fall is a great time to explore Tuscany, getting out of the major art cities to see some of the smaller towns. There are plenty of cultural events in Tuscany in Fall 2014, as well as exhibitions opening up in some of the smaller centres. This is a list of the best things I’ve found to do outside of Florence this season.
Cortonantiquaria, Aug 23 to Sept 7, 2014
The large antique fair animates the small town of Cortona annually in the first week of September and is the place to be if you’re into high quality antiques. This year a free exhibition also brings us up to more modern times with the work of the designer Ettore Sotsass. See www.cortonantiquaria.it.
Sacra Cintola display in Prato, September 8 (annual)
On the feast day of the Madonna, a historic parade will be followed by the solemn ostentation of the sacred belt of the Madonna, Prato’s most important relic. Read more about this religious ritual in my post from 2009. For the day’s programme this year (in Italian) see this page from the city of Prato.
Palio della Balestra, Sansepolcro (Arezzo), September 12 – 14, 2014
A three day immersion into medieval and Renaissance traditions in the lesser-known Valtiberina area of Tuscany. The town of Sansepolcro is the cruz of it all with the Palio della Balestra, which does not involve horses at all but rather shooting (and no animals get killed). ArtTrav’s contributor Christina will be present as part of the event’s social media team, covering not only this event but visiting a series of towns in the area like Anghiari and Monterchi that feature some great art by Piero della Francesca and others. See www.balestrierisansepolcro.it.
Assedio alla villa, Poggio a Caiano, September 18-21, 2014
Historic costumes, a flaming swordfight, flag throwers, Renaissance food and a fountain that spews wine pretty much sums up this annual event. See www.assedioallavilla.it for the full programme as it becomes available.
Boccaccesca, Certaldo Alto, Sept 20-21 and 27-28
This gastronomic fair takes place in the historic town associated with Boccaccio – Certaldo Alto. With Tuscan delicacies on display and to taste, both historic and not, you can also explore Boccaccio’s town. See www.boccaccesca.it for the 2014 programme when they put it up.
Siena Duomo Floor unveiling, Siena, August 18 to October 27, 2014
The beautiful marble inlay floor of Siena’s Duomo that took hundreds of years to complete is covered by carpets most of the year, but unveiled for just over two months at a time. Read more about the floor and how to go see it in this post on arttrav.
Pintoricchio. La Pala dell’Assunta di San Gimignano e gli anni senesi, San Gimignano, Palazzo Comunale, Pinacoteca, September 6 2014 to January 6 2015
The town of San Gimignano’s painting gallery launches a series of important monographic exhibitions that shed light on the role of the arts in the Sienese-dominated town during the Renaissance.
European Photo Exhibition Award, Lucca, September 6 to October 6, 2014
The European Photo Exhibition Award – epea for short – aims to create a free space where socially relevant topics concerning Europe are developed and discussed by talented photographers who live and work in Europe and who still are at an early stage of establishing themselves as professionals. The theme of the 2014-2015 programme is “The New Social”. A group of photographers is given challenges and exhibits in multiple cities before a final award is given. See www.epeaphoto.org.
Rosso Vivo a Volterra, Volterra (various locations), Until December 31, 2014
If you didn’t get enough of Rosso Fiorentino when he was paired with Pontormo at Palazzo Strozzi earlier this year, Volterra dedicates a large exhibition to him this Fall spread over various locations in the city. Curated by Vittorio Sgarbi, the show starts from the Deposition in the Pinacoteca Civica and explores its themes through time and space (such as the theme of death in Etruscan funerary urns or contemporary works inspired by Rosso at the Alabaster Ecomuseum). See www.rossofiorentinovolterra.it
Modigliani in Pisa, Palazzo Blu, October 3, 2014, to February 15, 2015
The French artist is celebrated with an exhibit of loans from Centre Pompidou di Parigi and other private and public collections.