The summer months will be music to your ears, with a series of live, open air big name concerts in and out of town. In Florence, be sure to catch the Live on Festival from July 15 to August 7 at the Fortezza da Basso, 24 days of non-stop rock, pop, Tuscan and international originals. From cult classics like Jethro Tull and American singer-songwriter Mike Patton performing Mondo Cane, his live interpretation of Italian classics of the 50s and 60s, to the contagious folk music of Bandabardò, ‘The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway’ of Nem Ensemble and Max Gazzè, to the thumping rap of Mondo Marcio and Nesli. For more information visit www.live-on.it. As part of the Estate Fiesolana (www.estatefiesolana.it), breakthrough Italian vocalist Malika Ayane will delight with her dulcet tones in the stunning Roman Amphitheatre of Fiesole on July 20.
Out of town, be sure to enjoy a warm night of music at Pistoia Blues (www.pistoiablues.com), in Pistoia’s fantastic Duomo square from July 14 to 18, which will feature the sultry tones of Mario Biondi among others. The Lucca Summer Festival (www.summer-festival.com) will feature some of the biggest names in music throughout July, including ZZ Top and Jeff Beck, Seal, Paolo Nutini and Simply Red in Lucca’s piazza Napoleone. Until July 22, Prato will be bouncing with the Festival delle Colline, including a performance by astoundingly talented jazz singer and bassist Esperanza Spalding. The original pioneers of heavy metal and hard rock Deep Purple, Scottish indie pop band Belle and Sebastian and a host of Italian and International superstars will be hitting the Tuscan stage during the Play Arezzo Festival (www.playarezzo.it). If you’d rather turn the volume down a little, head to Barberino Val d’Elsa for the Linari Classic international classical music festival (July 18, 21 and 24; see www.barberinovaldelsa.net).