The medieval village is located uphill – called Certaldo Alto - and easily reachable by a funicular that leads you up from the train station. This small jewel of Tuscany is full of surprises. Many different festivals and events happen at Certaldo Alto during the whole season: On June there is the Medieval Dinner; on July there is “Mercantia”; on September there is the Historic Parade and on October there is “Boccaccesca”.
The medieval dinner happens on 2 Saturdays during the month of June. Reservation ahead in time is necessary. This event is part of a larger project called “Genio Fiorentino”, with the aim of promote the culture and history of the whole Province of Florence, from where many of the biggest “geniuses” of mankind came.
The environment created along the medieval main street is really suggestive: two long long tables, one on each side of the street, offer many seats for guests, who will receive the set of “terracotta” plate, glass, underplate and wooden spoon, that they can take away in the end.
The menu includes typical dishes of the antique Tuscan cuisine: vegetables, soup, meat, fruits and traditional local desserts, including water and, obviously, wine. The most special dish is the main course: pig's knuckle baked all in one piece and served on a large wooden cart carried by two men. The staff dressing in the medieval costume serve all guests while passing by them.
During the dinner there is an artistic show that includes music, dance and jugglers – all based in what used to be made in the medieval festivals once upon a time.
For more info, visit: www.elitropia.org
“Mercantia” is an International Festival of Street Theatre that has been taking place in Certaldo Alto for 20 years. It happens for almost a week during the month of July – from Wednesday up to Sunday. It is a mix of circus, dance, comic theatre, puppeteers, storytellers, waders, mimes, jugglers and much more.
Every year there is a weekly program with all events that happen the whole day up to late evening. There are many street bands that come to play there, each one makes one or two shows per week. There are ballet companies which come specially for this event and all kind of art that mixes the antique with the modern.
The festival takes place from the afternoon around 4 pm until the night, around 1 am. There is a ticket to pay for the entrance, from 7,50 euro to 15,00 per person per day or a package of around 25,00 euros for the whole event.
It is possible to make reservations, you can check group rates and all information about Mercantia by clicking HERE.
“CORTEO STORICO” – the Historic Parade
Every year, one day on mid September takes place the Historic Parade, based on the life and work of Giovanni Boccaccio, the famous poet from the Middle Ages (1300’s).
The event involves more than 150 artists who give life to Decameron’s characters, gathering artists and participants in a parade that leads to the main square of the city. In there takes place a performance of one of the stories of Decameron.
The festival, together with the Medieval Dinner and other events, is organized by the Association Elitropia. Elitropia is, in Boccaccio’s book, a magic stone with the power to make people become invisible.
Read more about this exciting event in the website of the Elitropia Association.
Boccaccesca is the “enogastronomic” festival of Certaldo, that takes place during two weekends on the month of October. October is the time when the new extra virgin olive oil is produced and becomes available immediately for sale, besides, the chestnuts start to get ripen and good for eating roasted.
But these are not the only pleasures of the typical products. During Boccaccesca, is built an open Osteria in the streets of Certaldo Alto where is possible to have the famous “caldarroste” – roasted chestnuts and, obviously, wine.
All restaurants of Certaldo offer full Tuscan menus, specially prepared for the event with reasonable prices and good quality.
Besides, not only food stands, but there will be artisans working by real during the event, to promote the traditional local handicrafts. Not to mention the art performances with dance, music and medieval jugglers shows all around the streets of the medieval town, reviving a fantastic Middle Age.
Boccaccesca is organized in partnership with the Slow Food movement and the Italian Association of Sommelier. On Fridays, the entrance is free, while on Saturdays and Sundays costs 5,00 euros.
For further information click on the link: BOCCACCESCA
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