Festa del Impruneta

Impruneta, Festa del

Late October
The fair held at Impruneta, outside Florence, Italy, is one of the largest and noisiest of the autumn harvest festivals held all over Tuscany in October.
For weeks before the festival begins, the walls of Florence are covered with posters announcing when the fair will be held. Dating back three centuries, the festa originally celebrated the figure of the Virgin Mary which was believed to have been painted by St. Luke. But now it is primarily a celebration of the harvest and a last opportunity before winter to indulge in the area's special foods and the wines of the Elsa and Pesa valleys.
Chickens, pigeons, and suckling pigs are roasted on spits, and there are tables heaped with home-cured hams and loaves of country-style bread. Other foods associated with the fair include the paper-thin anise cookies known as brigidini and almond toffee, which is boiled in iron cauldrons.
CONTACTS:
Italian Government Tourist Board
630 Fifth Ave., Ste. 1565
New York, NY 10111
212-245-5618; fax: 212-586-9249
www.italiantourism.com