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There are many reasons to visit Tuscany and Umbria at all times of the year, but for music lovers these regions of Italy really spoil its visitors. Throughout the year you will find carnivals and festivals of some sort.
Of course opera plays a big part in Italy’s musical history so a great place to experience this genre is at the ancient San Galgano Abbey in Chiusdino. The abbey was consecrated in 1268 and provides a wonderful setting for a series of operatic performances held here during June and July. With room for 800 people there have been some wonderful performances of works such as Don Giovanni and Carmina Burana to name but a few.
The performances at San Galgano are complimented by others held at Boboli Gardens in Florence. Here up to 3,000 guests can enjoy the experience of live outdoor performances. Details of booking and the programs can be found on their website.
Operas, concerts and ballets and held between June and September in the Roman Amphitheatre at Estate Fiesolana. There is always a breeze here to offset the heat, which can be quite oppressive in nearby Florence at this time of the year. As a result this is a beautiful setting to relax and enjoy live music.
Jazz is also hugely popular in Italy with numerous live shows and festivals held throughout the year. Jazz is closely associated with New Orleans in the United States but there is a rich source of this music variety in Tuscany and Umbria. In fact Umbria Jazz Festival at Perugia is sometimes referred to as the ‘New Orleans of Italy’.
Held annually in July, the festival is considered one of the most important of its kind in the world. Some huge names have performed here since its inception in 1973 with the likes of Dizzy Gillespie, Herbie Hancock, BB King, Tony Bennett and Elton John amongst the roll call of famous musicians and singers.
A winter jazz festival is held from the end of December through to early January in Orvieto. The summer and winter programs always stir up a wonderful atmosphere and tickets are accessible through the Umbria Jazz website.
This is a great time to visit the region, not just because it will be quieter, but also because there are some great value places to stay. Especially self catering accommodation with charming farmhouses, cottages and villas providing music fans with a wonderful and authentic holiday.
Siena is home to Accademia Chigiana where classical concerts are held during July at medieval courtyards and palaces. The Medici Fortress hosts a series of open air concerts called Rassegna del Jazz. In fact visitors can enjoy many events during other times of the year here too.