One of the best things about living in Tuscany is all of the summer medieval festivals! You can find one nearly every weekend somewhere around Florence, and, for me, this is just incredible!
The fairs typically have some sort of demonstration on a centrally located stage with drummers, flag throwers, and dancers. Jesters, clerics, and knights stroll through the medieval towns as archery and looming demonstrations take place nearby. There are handmade wooden toys for the kids and flower crowns for the young maidens. Seeds are ground into find powder using old mills, soaps are hand-made, as are bows and arrows.
Oh, the bowyers and the fletchers (and many other guilds) are alive and well in these modern day representations! And then there is the feasting, which unsurprisingly consists of lots and lots of meat.
In the smaller medieval town festivals, you really get a sense of community as well. It seems that everyone knows everyone and it’s the perfect time to connect with neighbors.
Once upon a time, these medieval gatherings were not just the fictionalized revelry that we have today, but these were important events that took place around feast days. The townsfolk got together in the main square by the church to celebrate, to share their wares, and to enjoy music, dancing, and feasting.
Today, these moments are captured in a similar fashion through these Tuscan medieval fairs and festivals. It feels quite authentic as the medieval fairs of today really took place in these exact same locations of yesteryear. The walls may have crumbled, the centuries may have passed, but here, you can truly travel back in time. Italians have long memories and I, for one, am grateful that they do!