Some people think that summer is the perfect season for
traveling to Tuscany, but people who believe that have clearly never been in Tuscan villa rentals
All of the natural beauty of the Tuscan
landscape is augmented with vibrant shades of gold and orange, and the weather
in the beginning of autumn is extremely pleasant.
Some people choose to travel to Tuscany in
the summer because they want to experience the array of festivals in the
region, but festivals don’t end when the summer months do.
There are plenty of fall festivals you can
see, and there’s one you must visit if you have a taste for poultry and fine
The small hill town of Montalcino has been observing the
Festival of Thrush
on the last Sunday of October for over half a
The four quarters of the town,
Borghetto (white and red), Pianello (white and blue), Ruga (yellow and blue)
and Travaglio (red and yellow), compete in an archery competition that people
from around the country come to view.
The Festival of Thrush has its roots in a much older hunting
tradition. Each fall migratory birds
make the Mediterranean region their home while they wait for the harsh winter
pass in their usual habitats. Countless
species of birds make the migration, but the thrush is the most prominent bird
that makes its return to Tuscany. In the
Middle Ages hunters would venture out into the woods during the fall migration
and would come back with surplus of game.
During these days of plenty of feasts and banquets were held that would welcome
both the common folk and nobility.
During the feasts men would compete in jousts and women would focus on
cooking and serving.
Today the people of Montalcino still celebrate this time of
year with a festival. The festival
starts off with a traditional song and dance to according music. After the music, a procession of locals
dressed in historical costumes begins complete with historically accurate
trumpets and drums. The town crier
officially announces the beginning of the Festival of the Thrush from a window
under the municipal tower that overlooks the town’s main square. While the announcement is made birds are set
free in the town square to honor the festival and pay tribute to the Lordship
of the Fortress.
From there people move to the Piazza Garibaldi to watch the
archers from the competing town sections get blessed in front of the town’s
ancient church of Saint Egidio. Soon the
archery competition begins while guests can view the archers and eat a great
feast. Local wines flow liberally and
guests dine on local dishes, many of which involve poultry. At the end of the competition, the town
section with the most points win. It isn’t a symbolic victory; the captain of
the winning section receives a silver arrow with the name of their section
inscribed on it. The winning section
also gets something we know as “bragging rights” in the UK and America. The winning section has the right to sing
hymns of victory about their team and songs of ridicule to the losing section.
Labels: festivals in Tuscany, The Festival of The Trush, Tuscan festivals, Tuscan Villa Rentals, Tuscany festivals