A Day of Activities in the Green of Vallombrosa

VALLOMBROSA MUSIC FESTIVAL: full day of activities, free fun for all the family on June 22. 10 am – 9 pm, Pratone of Vallombrosa – Reggello (Florence) 

A day of music, tastings, guided walks and talks will take place in next to the village of Vallombrosa, just 20 miles or a one hour drive East of Florence. As the inspiration for John Milton’s Paradise Lost, and its impressive historical and natural points of interest, Vallombrosa, which translates to ‘’Shady Valley’’, is the perfect location for a Music Festival in a cool sanctuary hidden from the hot Italian sun. Morricone is known for his soundtracks for many well known films in both Italy and overseas, ‘’Discovering Morricone,’’ performed by the Ensemble Symphony Orchestra and conducted by Maestro Giacomo Loprieno, will celebrate the composer’s legacy. 

The music festival will open at 10 am and commence at 11 am, not with music, but with a talk by Edoardo Baldini and Pietro Pelliciari about the history of music linked to the Abbey of Vallombrosa. This abbey was originally built in the 13th century and then rebuilt in the 15th and today still welcomes visitors and houses a shop that sells products such as liqueurs and honey, produced on the premises, and religious objects and books. 

At 12 noon the Biodiversity Department of the Forest of Vallombrosa will present a workshop with activities focusing on wood enhancement. Vallombrosa is home to an arboretum, or botanical garden dedicated to the cultivation and preservation of trees, and is also surrounded by woodlands. The village’s nature reserve of the same name and its lawn, popular with visitors, provides the area with a vast array of wildlife including; deer, wild boars and many striking breeds of birds, pheasants, owls and buzzards. The brown bear probably also inhabited the woods a long time ago as it continues to be the emblem of Reggello, a local town. 

Next in the programme is the yoga session in the meadow at 3:30 pm with Ginevra Margiacchi. Vallombrosa’s green meadows are a great relaxation point for those seeking rest between hiking, the heat and exploring the forest and village.

Vallombrosa will be brought into the 21st century with the talk ‘’Vallombrosa Revival,’’ from local associations, at 4.30 pm, delving into the village’s lasting relevance despite its historic reputation and appearance. Two guided excursions will also take place during the day, to venture into the biodiversity of the ecosystem of Vallombrosa, organised by the social enterprise geco. The two options for the walk are either 7.5 km or 3.5 km, thus catering to however adventurous or lazy one feels.

Food will be available all day with a food truck nearby serving traditional Tuscan delicacies. Also organised is a picnic in the meadow at 1 pm and a ‘Naturaperitivo’ at 5.30 pm with local products and live music. 

The main event, the music show, is scheduled for 7:30 pm and will feature the Ensemble Symphony Orchestra performing ‘’The Discovery of Morricone’, again in the meadows of Vallombrosa, to close the festival. 

Admission to the music festival is free, however, it is recommended to book the tours in advance at https://m.facebook.com/gecoimpresasociale. Suitable shoes are advised.  (Lucy Turner)