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Have you been to either of these Grape/Wine Festivals?

Have you been to either of these Grape/Wine Festivals?

Aug 2nd, 2010, 02:45 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 149
Have you been to either of these Grape/Wine Festivals?

Looking for additional information on these two grape/wine festivals in Tuscany:

1. Festa dell' Uva (Grape Festival) in Impruneta on the last Sunday in Sept.
2. Castelnuovo Berardenga Wine/Grape Festival in Vagliagli, the last week in Sept.

If you have experience attending either of these, please help answer some lingering questions:

Impruneta: I know when some of the vendors open their stalls (11:00) and when the parade starts (15:30). I've heard that you need to purchase tickets to the parade and I have the address and phone number (no email or website) of the agency that supposedly sells tickets, but they are not open on the day of the festival. Since that is the day we're arriving, do you know how important the tickets are -- or how they can be purchased in advance and held? However, parade tickets aren't as important to us as we are most likely attending to enjoy the festivities, food and vendors, and I don't think there's a cost for that... Additionally, how late does the festival typically run? We may not even arrive in town until 15:00/15:30.

Vagliagli: We have even less information about this one. We've heard that it is held in conjunction with the Impruneta festival, so that makes us wonder: Is it really the entire last WEEK of Sept. or is it just the last weekend? Is there a cost?

I'm looking for specifics and found that, as usual, Italians run on a more easy-going schedule. Suffice to say, I haven't found my answers.
Narnya is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2010, 07:45 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
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HI Narnya, I asked my friends for you -- a reply:

"In general, this was my experience: tickets are on sale the day of the festival at the festival. The vendors are inside the pay area so they must pay to get to the vendors. It was 5 euros when I went but I think it is 7 euros now for entry. The festival opens at 11am and I think the parade starts at 3pm as they stated."
annw is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2010, 10:03 AM
  #3  
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Hi again, annw!

Thanks for asking your friends for me. Will you ask them if they know of an end time? I want to be sure the festival doesn't end right after the parade... Does it go well into the night?
Narnya is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2010, 09:41 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
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I asked my friend who's been to it & he said:

"I left after the parade was over...I suspect that it was about 6pm at the time. I don't remember if the festival was winding down or ending at the time but knowing Italians, the celebrating goes on late into the night."
annw is offline  
Aug 4th, 2010, 12:45 PM
  #5  
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Long parade! Good to know we won't miss much; makes us feel much better. Thanks to you and your friend. Who knows, maybe we'll bump into each other at the festival!

Happy travels!
Narnya is offline  
Oct 4th, 2010, 03:24 PM
  #6  
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Update for travellers considering attending Impruneta's annual Grape Festival (last Sunday in September) in the future:

Impruneta blocks off most of the city center to traffic. Tickets are sold on the streets as you enter the portion of the city that is dedicated to the festival. This year, tickets were 7 euros.

The parade started at 3:30 p.m. Even though there are only four regions that compete in the fesitval's parade, this is NOT just a bunch of people in costumes escorting floats. These floats are elaborately decorated, some practically coated in grapes. There are pyrotechnics, confetti, music (a lot of American music), and choreograped dance routines to tell the "story." The floats and parade participants enter the town's center, circle around and end up front and center for their main performance.

This year, the parade ended around 6:20 p.m., but I figure it usually wraps up closer to 6 p.m. There had been an accident -- I think somebody fell from a balcony onto the crowd below, but even though we were less than 100 feet away from the commotion, we never confirmed that -- and three people were injured and rushed off in ambulances, so that created a distraction and delay.

After the parade concluded, security opened the gates surrounding the center and the festival was "officially" over, though the vendors remained open, people socialized, and attendees could go down the street and see the floats up close -- and if they're lucky, could be given some grapes from off of the displays. (YUM!)

We estimate attendance in the thousands and by the time we got there, around 3:15 p.m., it was a madhouse and we had a difficult time finding places to see the parade. So, if you want a good view in the stands or along the street, go earlier than we did!

If travelling to the festival from Florence, the most direct bus service is the CAP bus with pickup/drop off near the SMN train station. Because it's a Sunday, the CAP bus follows their "Festivo" schedule. A taxi ride would cost 30-35 Euros each way. You can also use a private transfer/tour company for 50-100 Euros roundtrip -- depending on how well you negotiate.
Narnya is offline  
Oct 4th, 2010, 04:28 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
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Here's a recent trip report that included the festa.
http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...m#last-comment
kybourbon is offline  

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