Wine and shooting stars: the night of San Lorenzo in Tuscany

The night of August 10th is a special and magical time in Italy: every year Italians head to the hills with blankets and turn their eyes skyward to see the stars of San Lorenzo.  It is around this period in the year that the Perseids meteor showers dance in the night sky: for every shooting star they succeed to see, Italians claim a secret wish, that’s the reason why the night of San Lorenzo is also called the Night of wishes. The shooting stars are believed to represent tears shed for San Lorenzo during his August 10 burial after he died a martyr’s death in 258 A.D. For several years this tradition has been accompanied – in Tuscany and throughout Italy – by tastings of magnificent wines in enchanting and evocative locations, to look at the sky with a wonderful glass of delicious wine.  Here are some ideas to plan your Night of San Lorenzo and enjoy both the shooting  stars and the excellent Tuscan wines:

In Siena  from 9 p.m. to Midnight: the wonderful Loggia of the Town Hall, in Piazza del Campo, wine tastings and the observation of stars from the enchanting Loggia where the view streches to Mount Amiata and the Val d’Orcia magnificent landscape.

Moving to Montepulciano, the homeland of  Vino Nobile, from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m.  the evocative historical center is  the place of itinerant tastings of the spectacular wines of the territory, live music and from 7 a.m  the 8 contrade (districts) of the typical Bravìo delle Botti, an original race with wooden wine barrels),  open their headquarters to visitors for the tasting of typical local food. A street market of handicraft and typical products will enrich the night.

If you are in Chianti, in the hamlet of Castellina a market of handicraft and typical and local food products will be on the streets from 10:00 a.m. till Midnight, whereas food and wine tastings will run from 5 p.m. to Midnight.  In Castelnuovo Berardenga from 7 p.m. to Midnight the wonderful park of Villa Chigi will be the stage for the tasting of wines produced by the best wineries of the area,  enjoying local food and live music, under the attentive eye of the medieval Clock Tower.

In the territory of Arezzo the main initiatives will take place in two locations: in the city centre of Arezzo, the splendid Park of Villa Severi will host a whole night dedicated to wines and food of the territory, with the presence of over 100 different wines, a corner dedicated to the union between Tuscan Cigars and local sweet wine Vinsanto, live music and observation of the sky and its stars;  in the small village of Campogialli, municipality of Terranuova Bracciolini in the Valdarno valley, where visitors will be able to take part in an itinerant tasting of wines, local dishes and products accompanied by music and shows.

If we move to the Tuscan cost from North to South, in Suvereto (Livorno), an extended gastronomic track will go across the street and alleys of this enchanting medieval uphill hamlet from 7 p.m. on with tastings of the delicious red and white wines of the area, local food,  observation of the stars and live music.  Still in Livorno’s territory, in the nice hamlet of Campiglia Marittima the best wines of the Val di Cornia area will be tasted together with the tipical food and dishes. Also, all the monuments will be open for a visit under the stars, that will be observed with the use of a telescope.  In the fascinating Capalbio (Grosseto) wine tastings and free guided tours to the historical centre will animate the night.

Finally in the lovely  Carmignano, a hamlet in the Province of Prato, from 8 p.m. visitors will  be heading the Fortress and offered great wines, explained in details by the producers and accompanied by delicious typical food. A fantastic view over the plain between Florence. Prato and Pistoia and the stars above is guaranteed! Organizers recommend to take a blanket to lie down and watch the stars, and park the car beneath the hamlet and take the shuttle buses.

We still have to decide which of these inviting events we will head to, the choice is so hard! For the ones of you that will be visitng the marvellous Tuscany, we wish you a great August 10th, fantastic wine tastings and many shooting stars to which you will entrust your secret wishes.  Have fabulous holidays!

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