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18/08/2023 - 22/08/2023
ore: 19:00 - 23:30

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Centro storico Santa Maria a Monte
centro, piazze e luoghi limitrofi
Santa Maria a Monte


In anticipation of the 50th edition of the Santa Maria a Monte fried potato festival, for three days from 5 to 7 August, the Tavolata Sotto le Stelle (Table under the stars) will be held in Piazza della Vittoria. Three evenings on the central square of the small and charming medieval village with good food, music and fun for young and old alike

Considered a poor foodstuff, the potato is, instead, a precious underground treasure, rich in vitamin C and potassium, which must be sifted by digging with hands dirty with earth; harvested early in the morning, at the end of July, before the sun burns too much. They know this well in Santa Maria a Monte, where the cultivation of the ‘Tosca’ potato has its roots in ancient times: generations of farmers have tilled the countryside around this ancient village, a military outpost of Valdarno in the Middle Ages, so much so that Pisa, Lucca and Florence fought bitterly over it.

The Tosca is a very tasty yellow potato that only gets its flavour from these lands. It is a registered trademark and the few producers, who harvest several hundred quintals of it every year, are very proud of their ‘nuggets’, whose cultivation is followed step by step by an agronomist.

At the end of the season, the potato becomes the queen of a festival that has carried it in triumph through the streets of the village for half a century now. Thousands of people gather every year, at the end of August, to taste the potatoes, fried in the big frying pan in Piazza della Vittoria. And they perhaps take the opportunity to go up to the village in its characteristic spiral form and visit the Carducci House Museum, the Museum of the Blessed Giuntini (the patron saint) up to the Archaeological Park ‘La Rocca’, inaugurated after years of excavations that brought to light Etruscan and Longobard remains.

The festival is, in short, an excellent ‘excuse’, a valid reason to explore this jewel set against the Cerbaie hills, to climb the same narrow streets trodden by the poet Giosuè Carducci, who every Saturday from San Miniato, where he taught in a classical high school, returned to greet his father, the town’s doctor.

 

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