Knives and Music Merge at Scarperia and San Piero Festivals

Palazzo dei Vicari in Scarperia hosts of this year’s knife festival. Photo courtesy of La Mugella Tourist Board.

Sounds are sharp at this Saturday’s festivities in Italy’s Mugello region. Inaugurating this year’s knife showcase, Scarperia welcomes the 45th edition of its traditional festival, while San Piero a Sieve transforms into an outdoor disco for the 18th Ingorgo Sonoro.

These two initiatives occur only once a year, acting as a draw for tourists and locals alike who have come to eagerly anticipate the events. Scarperia’s Ferri Taglienti begins on July 7 and remains open through October 28, whereas the San Piero a Sieve performance is limited to a one-day only, sunset-to-sunrise celebration.

A city known for its knives, Scarperia boasts a history of craftsmanship since the Middle Ages, making it the perfect location for the exhibition. This year’s display will feature 140 pieces from the 19th through 21st centuries, including knives, daggers, and scissors.

The exhibition will open at 11 am on Saturday in Scarperia’s Palazzo dei Vicari, which is an architectural symbol of Scarperia’s rich history. Built in the 14th century, the Palazzo once housed the Vicars, and its façade still displays the various coats of arms connected to the previous governors.

New this year, Scarperia’s presentation embraces the theme “Navajas Dream” in collaboration with the Municipal Museum of the Cutlery of Albacete. Under this category, the demonstration synthesizes the traditional production of Scarperia blades with the Spanish village of Albacete, bringing a history of artistic production to a contemporary audience.

Moving a few miles southward, 10,000 to 15,000 people are anticipated to join the happenings at San Piero a Sieve on July 7. In the city’s historic center, 20 of Tuscany’s best DJs will perform, tempting visitors to dance as the temporary disco takes over.

In recent years, audiences from the region and beyond have flocked to Ingorgo Sonoro. Tickets for the rave cost €2, and the celebration provides free parking near the San Piero roundabout. The event starts at 6 pm when a market opens in the garden, giving guests options for street food and drink before the music commences.

At 7 pm, diners become listeners as the first of the festival’s DJs take to the stages. Due to the number of performers, festival organizers have chosen to spread the merriment over four stages, and the location of each DJ depends on the musical genre. Piazza Cambray features techno, Terrazzina features underground, the Piazza del Comune features soul funk, and Via Calimbra features house.

Beyond the concerts, Ingorgo Sonoro consists of a commercial exhibition area where visitors can access handicrafts, clothes, costume jewelry, and Italian specialties.

Following the festivities, the San Piero a Sieve party will offer a decompression zone from 3 am onward for exhausted or intoxicated  festival goers looking to relax. Hoping to combat drunk driving and promote safety, the area allows visitors the chance to recover from the music by providing breakfast food in a quiet atmosphere before sending guests home. Located in the Area Feste, the decompression zone is located near the center, easily accessible by foot.

While visitors to the Mugello district cannot likewise walk between Saturday’s dual-city celebrations, guests in either venue are certain to be entertained. Hosting events of different natures, the cities of San Piero a Sieve and Scarperia come together on the same day to give travelers a taste of Tuscan art, whether through blades or with beats. (anna staropoli)