What to do in June in Cortona? Medieval events and “sagre” food festivals are the highlights of this month in the town of Under the Tuscan Sun.
June is definitely the month of Archidado in Cortona.
The Archidado events celebrate a historical fact of 1397, the wedding of the Lord of Cortona Francesco Casali and a noblewoman, Antonia Salimbeni from Siena. It is the historical reenactment of the celebrations before and after the wedding and the joust that was invented for the occasion. In the Archidado Joust, the five quarters of the town compete in a crossbow tournament. This event includes costume parades, flag flyers, and music performances. There is even a nice medieval market on the first weekend of June.
This year the actual Joust will be on Sunday, June 9th. The day before there is the parade and the re-enactment of the wedding. On Friday night (June 7th) flag flyers and musicians will perform in the square to relive the old splendor of Cortona.
In the joust, the five quarters (S. Maria, S. Vincenzo, S. Marco e Poggio, S. Andrea, and Peccioverardi) must shoot with their crossbows and arrows at a target. Depending on where they hit the target (20 m distance) they can score from -2 to 5 points. Shooters have two turns each and the winning team will get a golden arrow as a prize.
June is also the month when the sagre start – our traditional food festivals.
At a sagra you can’t reserve tables – just go there, chose and pay your menu at the cashier desk and then go find a free spot at the tables. They are super casual but consider them as an experience if you want something really local and different.
One of the biggest and very popular is the pasta festival, in Fratta S. Caterina. It is a small town in the countryside, 10 minutes drive from Cortona. The sagra can be very crowded but prices are honest and the pasta sauces are super traditional and delicious. The dates this year are 7-8-9 and 13-14-15-16 June.
On June 1 and 2 there is also the escargot festival in Fossa del Lupo, in the countryside just outside Camucia.
The Sacred Music Festival and others
Finally, another important event is the Sacred Music Festival, starting at the end of the month (June 29 to July 10). It is an inspiring series of organ concerts, choir, and chamber orchestra concerts that take place in churches and other “spiritual” locations in Cortona. The festival includes a special closing concert played at sunrise at Le Celle Franciscan hermitage!
Other events of the month are some Fortezza events – an aperitif on Sunday, June 2nd, their health & wellness event on June 7-8-9, and a deejay disco night on June 22nd.
And, only in Italian but probably still interesting, a theater play at the Archaeological Park, on June 16th at 6 pm. There will be a guided tour of the tombs and a wine tasting offered (bookings required through Maec Museum).