It is a habit of the Italians to turn all and any seasonal change, harvest, custom or historical date into a festival. Typically these festivals are community social events at which everyone enjoys a good gossip over a glass of wine, but they are also occasions for local artisans to congregate and sell their wares on a sea of stalls. One of the most charming of the summer was the Lari cherry festival in Tuscany – tables bursting with dozens of varieties of colourful cherries – children dripping cherry juices down their chins and all manner of cherry themed baskets, tablecloths and condiments. Lari is a spectacular medieval town with impressive squares, 15 foot walls and views of surrounding countryside. I bought as many cherries as I could carry then had a perfect expresso on the sun terrace outside the unassuming La Bottega delle Specialita and watched the world go noisely by.
Lari is about 30 minutes drive from Villa Lena, and it holds the festival over two weekends in either May or June, depending on the weather and harvest. The dates are published in advance on local websites, as well as numerous posters found on every possible visible corner.
You can have more hints and tips about what to do in Tuscany, in our Local Area page.