Vibes in Tuscany

Summer music festivals in Tuscany

Marc Bandola
June 20, 2013

With concert series located everywhere from Lucca to Fiesole, Florence to Siena, Tuscany is alive with music and entertainment. Here are some of the best music festivals to enjoy this summer. (Make sure you check the events' websites for more information as dates may be subject to change.)

 

Estate al Bargello

Until Sept 22

Bargello museum, Florence, http://tinyurl.com/bm4yfqg

The courtyard of the beautiful Bargello museum will be filled with musical, dance and theatre performances all summer. Highlights from among the 70-plus events include pop and R&B singer songwriter Sarah Jane Morris on June 18 and the Florence Dance Festival (June 26–July 24).

 

Prato Estate 2013

Until August 30. Prato, www.pratoestate.it

A summer of fun and culture for all the family, with 150 events, including music, exhibits, food festivals, cinema and more. One of the highlights is American singer-songwriter Patti Smith, who will perform in piazza Duomo on July 26.

 

Estate Fiesolana

Until July 31. Various places in Fiesole, www.estatefiesolana.it

A series of concerts ranging from classical to contemporary, including a Beatles cover band who will perform the entire White Album on June 21, and the famous Broadway musical Hair on July 14. Be sure to bring some seat cushions for the tier seating in the beautiful, yet rather uncomfortable, historic Roman amphitheatre.

 

Music Under the Tower

Leaning Tower of Pisa

June 24–July 11, www.opapisa.it

This free open-air festival combines jazz and classical music with art and views of the sunset from the area around the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Concerts will be held on June 24 and 28, and July 1, 4, 8 and 11.

 

Melodia del Vino

June 27–July 6

Various vineyards in Tuscany, www.melodiadelvino.it

Sip fine wines while listening to the finest international music by Ukrainian pianist Alexander Romanovsky, French Marc Laforêt and Italian Beatrice Rana, among others. The Florentine is a proud media partner of this event, which will take place in impressive locations around Tuscany, including age-old castles, country estates and cutting-edge cellars. (See TF 185.)

 

Torrita Blues Festival

June 27-29

Piazza Matteotti, Torrita di Siena, www.torritablues.it

Torrita di Siena will come alive with the sound of blues music during three days in June. The opening night is free, and the following evening will see Johnny Mars, the Sean Carney Band, the 64-strong St. Augustine Gospel Choir and other international blues greats.

 

Vox Mundi Festival

June 29–August 2

Magliano (Grosseto), www.voxmundifestival.org

Ranging from acapella groups to Cyndi Lauper cover bands, this festival promises to be a ton of fun. Artists are flying in from around the world, including traditional Welsh music group, Calan, and Tuck & Patti, a guitar–voice duo from California.

 

Florence Youth Festival

June 30–August 1

Piazza della Signoria, Florence, www.florenceyouthfestival.com

Youth orchestras hailing from France and Japan, the United States and the United Kingdom will be performing in Florence throughout July. Most performances will take place in Florence’s piazza della Signoria, with other dates in Prato, Montecatini and San Gimignano.

 

Pistoia Blues

July 3–7

Pistoia, www.pistoiablues.com

International greats performing against the Romanesque backdrop of Pistoia’s piazza del Duomo. Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite will kick off the festival with The Black Crowes, Lucky Peterson and Beady Eye performing on subsequent days.

 

Festival delle Colline

July 3–31

Prato, www.festivaldellecolline.com

Internationally renowned artists perform all’aperto in this musical extravaganza. This year’s edition includes The Word, performing funk soul rap from France to China, and Camillocromo, a brass band comical performance. Locations include churches, stately homes, museums and parks.

 

Lucca Summer Festival

July 6–30

Lucca, www.summer-festival.com

This year’s festival starts with Diana Krall, while Earth, Wind & Fire, Thirty Seconds to Mars, Mark Knopfler, formerly of Dire Straits, Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Bryan Adams, The Killers and Leonard Cohen will perform on other days at one of the biggest festivals this summer. All shows will be held in Lucca’s beautiful piazza Napoleone.

 

Chamber Music Festival

July 7–12

Siena, www.musica-reale.com

Enjoy drinks, food and, of course, classical music for four straight days in Montalcino and in the historic gardens of Villa di Geggiano. An apertivo followed by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra with special guest Gloria Campaner on the piano makes for a relaxing night.

 

Puccini Festival

July 12–24

Torre del Lago, www.puccinifestival.it

Operas such as Cavalleria Rusticana, Turandot, Tosca and Rigoletto will be performed throughout this two-week celebration of composer Giacomo Puccini. Performances will take place in a magical open-air theatre in Torre del Lago.

 

Arezzo Wave Festival

July 11–14

Arezzo, www.arezzowave.com

Going strong since 1987, the Arezzo Wave Festival brings musicians from all over the world to the Tuscan town. This year’s stars include 77 Bombay Street, Italian singer-songwriter Max Gazzè and rapper Fedez.

 

La Versiliana

July 7–August 24

Marina di Pietrasanta, Pietrasanta, www.laversilianafestival.it

Catch contemporary artists on stage during this festival, which includes concerts, Shakespeare plays such as The Merchant of Venice and a ballet series.

 

Musicastrada

July 14–August 21

Pisa, Livorno, Grosseto and Florence www.musicastrada.it

A free festival with sounds ranging from jazz and blues to tango, folk and pop. Frankie Chavez, Luiz Lima BZ 4et, Leroy Emmanuel Band and Arnesi are just a short list of artists set to perform.

 

Bolgheri Melody

July 18–August 13

Etruscan coast, www.bolgherimelodyfestival.it

A celebration of the arts and local wines along the Etruscan coast. This year’s highlight is Sanremo winner Marco Mengoni, who will perform on August 13.

 

Incontri in Terra Di Siena

July 19–28

La Foce, Siena, www.itslafoce.org

Music meets the visual arts, history, literature, food and wine during open-air concerts in the beautiful Villa La Foce, the nearby Castelluccio castle and neighbouring historic Tuscan towns. Highlights this year include Te Amo Argentina, a multi-media performance incorporating tango dancing and projected images, and Pirates of the Baroque, an extravagant exploration of the Baroque repertoire with the unique interpretation of London-based Red Priest.

 

 

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