Girl in Florence

A Tuscan Texan immersed in Florentine life

Malmantile Medieval Festival 2012


This past weekend we had to embrace our boring and domestic side which included moving furniture, namely our old Soviet-era masterpiece outside and move our new ikea Ektorp one from a friend’s house which meant Sunday I was as sore as an Olympic gymnast.

Overall it really wasn’t difficult to do at all, just needed to call Taxi Merci for the transport but seriously, sometimes I get the feeling many Italians are secretly hoarders. Not quite the insanely unhygienic ones you see on US tv shows with diaper mountains, but more like small-scale hoarders protecting every knickknack they receive from 30 years of vacations or their 10-year-old’s drawings (that child might be now pushing 40) and uncomfortable almost unusable furniture like our couch. Maybe I am jaded about being attached to “things” after moving my life so much but geez, if you need a new couch or bed, you should be able to get one right? It shouldn’t be 10 annoying conversations later about the pro’s and cons of one couch.

Ranting aside, we did actually go through with getting a new ( well used one), and like I knew it would be, everyone is happy. :O mamma mia..

When we weren’t dealing with that “bang my head against a wall” scenario, we decided to head to Ikea on sunday (suicide mission)  to pick up some new cushions for the couch, some wine glasses t-man broke and never told me about, and tons of crap we didn’t need. Afterwards, I convinced t-man to take me to Malmantile for their famous medieval festival that I mentioned here. Unlike some of the other more famous medieval festivals, this one was located nearby in Lastra a Signa.

Once again I am wowed by how beautiful places that I never think will be (Lastra a Signa for me has the connotation of being where Ipercoop is located..) actually are. The Medieval festival itself was really cute, less internationally touristic than Monteriggioni, the area surrounding the castle was filled with locals dressed in medieval garb, kids, couples and pets and I think I may have accidentally stepped on a paw or two. It was beautiful afternoon, the weather being like Goldilocks porridge, not too hot, nor to cold. Just right! 

Walking around the tiny streets, we saw this clay-maker above which seemed to be a really popular attraction as well as live music, lots of snacks including meat-filled panini, fresh cherries (cherry season is upon us!), cakes, spirits, beer, sangria, nuts, and even a hosteria. You could also try your hand at archery, beat someone off a bench with a pillow and get a chance to throw your best shot and drunk someone into a water basin. Classic!






I was impressed by the ruins of the castle/fortress itself which was an impressive site. Built in the 15th century for military purposes by the Florentines as defence from their rival, Pisa. Inside the walls, you can actually see homes built inside that are still being used today. You can learn more about this fortified town here.

Of course what midieval fair would be complete without a few weirdos or those just get a little too much into the role-play? We saw one falcon trainer asleep with a beer in his hand and a strange performance including glass globes in various positions and one very intense man. It reminded me somewhat of the machine at Terre Futuro that claimed to read your “aura”. Nothing makes me happier in life than life’s oddities such as these men so I have to say, was this town/festival worth visiting? Absolutely! Lastra a Signa is about 15-20 minutes outside of Florence and is accessible by bus.

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Georgette Jupe

Welcome to my personal blog by a curious American girl living and working between Zug, Switzerland and Florence, Italy with my husband Nico, our newborn Annabelle and Ginger the beagle. This space is primarily to share about my love for Italy (currently on a 13 year romance) with a fair amount of real talk, practical advice, travel suggestions and adjusting to a new culture (Switzerland). Find me on IG @girlinflorence @girlinzug

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