Italian Government Tourist Board - North America

ITALY NEWS #26 - August 9, 2007


August 12, 2007 - Massa Marittima


Held twice a year, on the first Sunday after May 20 and on the second Sunday in August, in Massa Marittima, a beautiful gem in Tuscany’s Maremma area, the Balestro del Girifalco is a crossbow shooting contest between the town’s the districts known as terzieri: Cittanuova, Cittavecchia and Borgo.  The contest ends with the shooting down of a symbolic mechanical falcon, which is followed by the beginning of town-wide celebrations with food, drinks and fun to be had by all participants.


September 16, 2007 - Asti


Asti, a charming town lying amidst the Piedmont's famous wineries, returns to the Middle Ages for the Palio, an ancient bareback horse race dating back to 1275, in which the 21 contrade (neighborhoods) compete.  While the participants wait in the central square to begin the race,  over 1200 people wearing medieval costumes parade through the streets and enjoy the traditional foods sold in kiosks.  What better occasion to enjoy the taste of past centuries?  The exhibition of the Sbandieratori, traditional flag-wavers, is a true highlight of this event, as they run a show of their own with their magnificent acrobatics.  This unique Palio is truly an event not to be missed.


Through September 9, 2007 - Stresa and Lake Maggiore

Founded in 1961 by the Venetian lawyer Italo Trentinaglia de Daverio and inspired by his great love of music, The Settimane Musicali di Stresa is one of Europe’s most important classical music events with performances by illustrious artists as well as new talents from all over the world. The works presented during the festival span from baroque to contemporary styles and include original productions. In 1999 the name of the festival became Settimane Musicali di Stresa e del Lago di Como to reflect the expansion in the number of venues in which the performances were held.  Held annually in perfect settings on the banks of the Lake Maggiore, the 2007 season kicks off officially on August 18 with the Swedish Chamber Orchestra conducted by Thomas Dausgaard performing Mozart, Beethoven and Schumann at the Palazzo dei Congressi in Stresa.


September 7th - 16th - Ancona


 Since the very beginning of time, Rome has been an inspiration to many composers and librettists.  Its many mysteries and wealth of history has been a great influence on their work throughout the ages.  So, the seventh Pergolesi Spontini Festival  entitled "Image of Rome" will take the journey from "Adriano in Siria" by Metastasio to "Vestale".  They combine the Roman glory of the Roman republic with that of the Napoloeonic Empire. The angelic sounds of Pergolesi and Spontini are truly rediscovered throughout this festival various original periodic instruments, as well as reviving traditions used during their time. The festival will take place over 10 days in 7 different cities.  For specific venues and times, please consult the website.   


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