Halloween in Tuscany
Halloween in Tuscany? Of course, it is not an Italian festivity, but in Tuscany, we could not resist to the temptation to wear a witch costume and go around along the narrow streets of one of the many medieval villages, questioning “Trick or treat?”. We are hilarious people, and we like having fun.
How Halloween became the Festivity we all know
Halloween is something of archaic. At the time of ancient Romans during the last days of October, Pomona, the Goddess of seeds and fruits, was celebrated for all the precious works she did for the harvest. In addition, in February they also celebrated the Parentalia, a domestic celebration of family ancestors, early version of Halloween.
Looking back to the history, in northern Europe, we can connect Halloween to the Keltic celebration of Samahin, which was a feast for the end of summer, when any sorts of supernatural events were happening.
All Saints day (or All Hallows’ Eve like in ancient Scotland) was established by Pope Gregory IV, replacing the previous pagan feast of Halloween in United Kingdom, with a new one in name of the Christianity. However, Halloween survived to the attempt to cancel it in name of the religion, and the British kept it as laical celebration. After the half of the 1800’s, Halloween has been also exported in the USA, because of the Irish immigration.
How we celebrate Halloween in Tuscany
When I was a kid, on 31 October, I remember my friend Francesca asked to me to spend the afternoon at her place. Once I arrived, her grandfather gave me a necklace made with chestnuts instead of pearl drops and with a red apple in place of a pendant. I was surprised and I asked what it was for. He told me in dialect “This is to protect you against the evil soul of the death tonight”. I was just 8 year old, so I was a bit scared. Why did anybody inform me about something like that before? At that time, Halloween was something of too much exotic for me and I heard about it only on American TV shows or movies. I remember I spent all night long hoping to not seeing any evil presence in my room, and I felt asleep with lights turned on.
Nowadays, new generations have learnt everything they need to celebrate a proper Halloween in Tuscany, their parents buy them any sort of costumes and adults enjoy attending Halloween parties. Even if it’s not a traditional festivity of my birth land.
What to do for a scary Halloween in Tuscany
All events take place on 31 October and they all deserve a visit, at least to enjoy the atmosphere of the Halloween in Tuscany:
The Devil’s Bridge of Borgo a Mozzano – Photo Credits: Glenn Bowman
Borgo a Mozzano, has the most famous festival of Halloween in Tuscany, and from 29 to 31 October the centre is literally invaded by any sorts of horror lovers and grotesque creatures, all attending the most ghastly dances or exoteric experiments. The village of Borgo a Mozzano, which is well known for its Devil’s Bridge, do a completely mutation into a horror village with alleys haunted by role games, theatrical reenactments, concerts and fireworks. Nicola and I will be there for those interested on being scared by us!
If you opt for Livorno, it could be a good idea to take the Hallowen Boat, a haunted boat with the typical evil characters such as monsters, vampires and witches. They will entertain you and your children telling horror stories while admiring the town centre.
Cerreto Guidi hosts an event called “Enchanted Lake”, ideal for children and adults. The program includes Keltic rituals, musicians, a traditional market, bards, street performers, historical reenactments and of course a lot of traditional food.
If you are a Twilight saga fan, for your Halloween in Tuscany, take the chance to organize a tour to Volterra, the city where the book NewMoon by Stephanie Meyers takes place. Keep in mind that the real set of the movie was Montepulciano if you would like to track down Edward and Bella while hosted by the Volturi family.
San Galgano Abbey
If all you need is a suggestive location for a mysterious Halloween in Tuscany tour, well, I suggest you to visit San Galgano Abbey, and discover the legend of the sword in the stone. Or visit the Giardino dei Tarocchi (the Tarot Garden) and its odd sculptures, in southern Tuscany close to the city of Grosseto.
Finally, if you love comics books and games, keep your costume on and go straight to Lucca Comics & Games, for the most important festival of Europe of Comics and Games. Thousands of people wearing costumes on of their favourite cartoons or TV characther crowd the downtown from the 29 October until the 1 November.