festa-delle-cantineSecond weekend in September

The Festa delle Cantine celebrates the two great loves of every Mancianese: food and wine. For locals it's an opportunity to enjoy the incredible wines and products they are renowned for not only within the territory, but in all of Italy.

It's also a chance for them to catch up with all their friends and family who have left the town. If you were born or bred in Manciano, you come home for this festival, no ifs or buts about it.

For tourists, it's an opportunity to experience Manciano at its best and take part in traditions that have been around for centuries. Not to mention feast on the various treats that have been grown and produced under the bright Tuscan sun.

During the festival, held on Friday, Saturday and Sunday in the second week of September, the entire town comes together to enjoy live shows, musical performances, market stalls and various homemade delicacies.

Then in the evening, the town's cellars are opened and the real party starts.

Wine, ciaffagnoni (local doughnuts), fried pizzas, bruschettas and other local dishes are in abundance and everyone is invited to join in roaring choruses of traditional songs.

The streets of the old town are simply buzzing with food, music and activity until very, very late into the night. It's an incredible festival to be a part of, especially if you're around on Sunday evening, when the celebrations are closed with a breathtaking fireworks show.

Just a note about the wine though. As well as offering exquisite locally produced and award-winning wines, the Festa delle Cantine is also an excuse for the locals to pull out their own homemade 'moonshine', as I like to call it. This stuff is the strongest red wine I have ever tasted and is almost like vinegar.

If any of the locals offer it to you, and they will as the night wears on, go easy. Not all of us have as strong stomachs like the Mancianese do for their local brew!

For more info and exact dates: check out the official Festa delle Cantine website

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