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.

The antique show
The antique show

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.

Sacra cintola displayed from Prato's Duomo
Sacra cintola displayed from Prato’s Duomo

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.

Palio della Balestra, Photo © Moira Bigi 2013
Palio della Balestra, Photo © Moira Bigi 2013

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.

Assedio alla villa
Assedio alla villa

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.

Boccaccesca 2013 in Certaldo
Boccaccesca 2013 in Certaldo

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.

Siena Duomo floor
Siena Duomo floor


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.

Pintoricchio, La Vergine Assunta tra i Santi Gregorio Magno e Benedetto - San Gimignano
Pintoricchio, La Vergine Assunta tra i Santi Gregorio Magno e Benedetto – San Gimignano

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

Volterra exhibit poster
Volterra exhibit poster

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.

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