Both actually, because between the 18th and 25th of August, Volterra in Tuscany steps back in time and sloughs off the centuries for its 16th annual Medieval Festival.
All of this takes place in this exquisite, walled hilltop town, a jewel in the much bejeweled Tuscan crown. But Volterra’s history stretches much further back to its more ancient origins under the Romans and, more particularly, the Etruscans. It is, after all, how Tuscany got its name.
The theme for this year’s festival is Mystery, Religion and Superstition. Here you will find the town filled with medieval priests and peasants. There will be lords and ladies, knights, artisans, jugglers and musicians, who will re-enact the life of the town in those times. You will see ancient ways and skills lovingly reproduced and feel the vibrancy and the magical, spell-bound atmosphere of the Middle Ages in one of the most beautiful towns in Tuscany.
Euro – No Go!
Of course you cannot be expected to participate in, or purchase goods or services during the celebration days of the 18th and 25th, using a currency as modern as the Euro. Oh no! You have to buy the currency of the time- Il Grosso. One copper Grosso will be given in exchange for one Euro, but don’t worry if you do not spend them all, because they will be re-purchased at the same rate.
Sounds intriguing doesn’t it? We certainly think so, because we are packing up the faithful camper van and heading off there next week, to our favorite site – Le Balze, right in the heart of the San Guisto district, a little jewel within a jewel.
Stop reading, start speaking
Stop translating in your head and start speaking Italian for real with the only audio course that prompt you to speak.
So if you are in Tuscany, why not take the time to check it out for yourself? Failing that, keep reading Italy Chronicles, because Jenny and I will be featuring the festival in all its glory in an extended article. If we ever get back from 1398, that is!
By David Wineman with contributions from Jenny M Want
David Wineman is the pen name of a retired international businessman who has always harboured a passion for writing.
Having retired from a life of travel, he found himself with the time he needed to write, so he put his passion to work and the result was the birth of his debut novel Simon Says.
You can find out more about David’s book here: Simon Says by David Wineman
Or visit David’s website: David Wineman