It might make more sense for all of Tuscany's festivals to be held in the peak tourist season that is July and August, but that's not how we do things in the Maremma.
As the weather finally heats up, the region will descend into a contented slumber. Things are slow at the best of time in Italy, but in summer everyone is too busy enjoying the weather to get too much done. Stores and businesses will close for the summer holidays, families will head to the beach and gelato will be the meal of choice.
The best Tuscan festivals are to be had now in June when the weather is nice and there are plenty of people around to enjoy them.
So if you're in the Tuscan Maremma this weekend (8-9 June), here are four festivals that can't be missed:
1. Sapori D'Italia e d'Europa, Castiglione della Pescaia
It's not often that an international food fair makes its way to the Maremma. Take advantage of the global smorgasbord at Castiglione della Pescaia
this weekend and be sure to check out all the stalls before you settle.
The best of Italy and Europe will be on display with a heavy emphasis on organic and artisan products. Think handmade cheeses and maybe even a bratwurst or two!
2. Manciano Street Music Festival, Manciano
Photo: ROBERTO DEMARIA
One of Manciano
's oldest celebrations, this musical feast crosses all genres from funk to rock to country. Watch the Fiora Valley's best bands as they perform in the gorgeous streets of Manciano from 9pm each night this weekend and get ready to dance.
3. Festa degli aquiloni (Kite Festival), Case Rocchi, just outside of Sorano
A beautiful and new festival inspired by Khaled Hosseini's novel The Kite Runner
. From 2pm on Sunday, Sorano
's skies will be filled with the vibrant colours of a thousand kites.
Spectators will be invited to join the fun, so you know the kids will love this one! Stay for the free barbecue.
4. Festa della Birra (Beer Festival), Boccheggiano
Enjoy the best beers in the region in a setting that couldn't be more different from your typical dingy pub - the chestnut fringed sports ground in Boccheggiano. The catchphrase for this festival is "solo per i veri appassionati' (only for the real connoisseurs), so you can rest assured that they won't be serving tap beer.
The tipple of honour will be served with some equally good food and live performances from a Zucchero tribute band from 10pm.