Traditions, Values and Young People

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Calendar of Festivals in Italy

This section refers to festivals in Tuscany, not in Italy in general, because the school that contributed this section is in Pontedera in Tuscany.

The Palio of Siena is the most known Palio in Italy. It’s a horse race and it’s celebrated twice a year: on 2nd July and on 16th August. Every knight represents one of the seventeen districts of Siena. Before the race there is a big parade. The knights and the horses wear the colours and the weapons of the districts where they live.

On 9th September 2000 there was another Palio in occasion of a jubilee because Siena is on the Francigena way, the road that the pilgrims walked to reach Rome.

riders at the palio
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Viareggio Carnival is one of the most important carnivals in Italy and Europe thanks to its allegorical floats. These big floats are funny parodies of famous people (e.g. politicians, sportsmen …). They are  made of papier mâché and iron bars. The floats parade on the seafront for 3 kilometres among crowds of people. Viareggio’s Carnival is celebrated in February.

float at Viareggio carnival
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Cherry production is a secular tradition in Lari, a small village near Pisa. Cherry-growing in Italy is concentrated in four main Regions: Puglia, Campania, Veneto and Emilia-Romagna. A rough estimate of Lari's yearly cherry production is 50 t, which means about 0,03% of the total Italian production, but half of the Tuscan production. For a long time the initiatives around the product have been based on the traditional annual village cherry festival (Sagra delle ciliegie) that has always involved a large share of the local population for its organisation and implementation (local public institutions, schools, citizens, local tourism and cultural associations), attracting a great and increasing number of visitors.

selling cherries at Lari
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The Luminara festival of Pisa: To celebrate the festival patron (San Ranieri), every year on the evening of June 16 about 70,000 lights are laid out along buildings, churches, bridges, towers and the river banks of Pisa, offering a fascinating spectacle. At the end of the evening, around midnight, fireworks offer a magical atmosphere to share with relatives and friends. The celebrations in honour of the Saint continue the next day with the famous Regatta San Ranieri.

Luminara lights, Pisa
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