Cortona in September is magical, the streets are bustling with people, enjoying the last few days of summer heat. If you are wondering what to do in Cortona this month and what is going on in the area this is the post for you. Clear days and cooler temperatures lead us towards the beginning of Autumn and the end of most Summer events. But, don’t forget, this is the month of grape harvesting is and the olive harvest is not so far either… figs, mushrooms, grapes, the new wine… the best season for food lovers!
September in Cortona: last chances to visit the great events and to enjoy the Summer nights
CortonaAntiquaria, the antique fair exhibition ends on September 8. A few days left to see the best collections of antique sellers from all over Italy in Palazzo Vagnotti. They are also hosting special wine tastings on Fridays (both on the 30th of August and on the 6th) of Cortona Doc wines. The tasting is at 6.30 pm in collaboration with the Molesini wineshop.
Also, don’t forget to see the exhibitions of Cortona On The Move, this is the last month! The festival is worth a good walk around the town center and the exhibitions are very interesting, this year focusing on the environment and the human element. Photo themes include climate change, migration stories on the southern American border, and historical images of Italy’s modern development. More info on their website here.
Enjoy one of the last spectacular sunsets of Summer on September 8th, with the Aperitivo in Fortezza (at Girifalco fortress). Another interesting event for food lovers is Choco Cortona, the chocolate delicacies market in Piazza Della Repubblica, on the weekend of September 14 and 15.
Finally, music this month is represented by two organ concerts on the calendar: on September 8th at Santa Maria Nuova church and on September 21st at San Domenico, both at 6 pm.
More to do in September: the traditional Fair in Camucia
September is also the month when Italian kids go back to school. This makes me think of another important tradition for the area, which is the big fair in Camucia, “la Fiera”. It is a large open-air market taking place once a year, usually on the third Monday of the month – often coinciding with the first day of school. In the past, it was the big fair where farmers got tools, kitchen supplies, and baskets for harvesting season. The fair is a long-standing tradition for Camucia when it started to grow as a lively town during the 1950s and 60s. There you can find food (porchetta, crisp, and all sort of candies), home supplies, gifts, clothes, and even pets! Go check it out if you are a fan of the Saturday (or Thursday, in Camucia) markets, this is similar but bigger and better!
What to do in the surroundings: Saracino in Arezzo and Prochetta festival in Monte San Savino
In the surroundings, September 1st is the day of Saracino, the popular joust and medieval reenactment held in Arezzo. The Saracen Joust (in English) takes place in Arezzo’s main square, Piazza Grande, twice a year, in June and in September. Each neighborhood of the city has a team of two knights armed with lances on a horse. The knights ride the horse and point their lances to a wooden revolving effigy representing a Saracen warrior- The warrior is called “Buratto” and holds a shield in one hand and a heavy studded ball hanging in the other hand. The knights aim at marking the highest score on the shield without being hit by the ball when the Buratto turns on the other side. The Giostra is preceded by a costume parade, a flag-flying show, and finally the competition. Worth seeing at least once for its atmosphere of great competition and historical value.
Also, the Sagra della Porchetta in Monte San Savino is worth checking. Porchetta is the town’s specialty and has always been a big tradition for the locals, to be tasted typically on a sandwich. This year the dates are from the 30th of August to the 8th of September. Check it out for a very “local” experience outside of Cortona!