Italy: Tuscany

Montalcino and Montepulciano

Heartland for classic reds from Sangiovese
By Michèle Shah

This Guide was last updated on 28 April 2011
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Bravio delle Botti - Montepulciano

On the last Sunday in August, this wacky event has teams competing from local districts of the town rolling a heavy barrel (botti) full of wine around this hilly town and trying to be the first to arrive at the cathedral. The race takes place in the evening, but entertainments go on all day. For a flavour of it, checkout the video at


Montalcino Sagra del Tordo - Festival of the Thrush

This festival takes place on the last weekend of October with drums, trumpets, costume parade etc on Saturday, followed by a day-long feast in the castle on Sunday. This feast is open to the public and includes a good range of food, including of course, roast thrushes accompanied by the local wines. During the morning the fiesta rolls out with a costume parade, where trumpets are blown and flags unfurled. Celebratory lunches take place in the four quartieri of Montalcino - Pianello, Travaglio, Ruga and Borghetto. The main parade takes place in the afternoon followed by the longbow tournament in which two archers from each quartiere compete.

Useful information: A limited number of visitors can book for these feasts. For info contact Montalcino’s tourist information office (see ‘Useful Information’).


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