If you’re traveling the towns and villages of Tuscany this summer and feel like you’ve just walked into a time warp, you’ve probably lucked out and hit upon a Medieval Fair. Every year a few towns throw themselves wholeheartedly into days-gone-by and dress up in medieval costumes, entertain with storytellers and wandering minstrels, showcase ancient arts like blacksmithing and candlemaking, and generally celebrate the things that made their towns what they are. Here’s a brief list of where and when you can find some of these events:
Nearby Monteriggioni, a wonderful hill-top castle surrounded by towers, turns itself over to ‘War and Peace’ in July, re-enacting heroic deeds, juggling, pranks, tomfoolery, arts, crafts and daily life as it was in the past.
Larciano Castello, Pistoia, hosts a weekend Medieval Festival which includes archery, feasts, medieval games and a parade.
In the Maremma region, the town of Roccatederighi will turn back time for the first weekend in August, lighting the streets with only torches, cooking traditional recipes with only local produce, welcoming witches, wizards and knights in shining armor.
The town of Volterra returns to 1398 for a couple of weeks, and for three days in early September the hilltop fortress of Nozzano Castle, near Lucca fills with fire-eaters, knights and minstrels as the town becomes a theater of medieval re-enactment.