The village women preparing the meal for the feast

There is a saying that young communists turn into fine conservatives once they've grown up. Makes me wonder whether that's what happened to me? Whilst I used to join political activists marches on many a first of May in the past, I nowadays spend them watching a donkey race in Sant'Angelo Scalo.

Scalo (as it's known to locals) is no famous Tuscan hilltop village, and neither does it have a beautiful piazza, but it is still a part of the territory of the municipality of Montalcino. So before cheering the donkeys or listening to some folk music singing, there's plenty of opportunity to taste some fine Brunello or Rosso di Montalcino (Banfi and Col d'Orcia, two of the area's biggest wineries are based here) and one can have more than a mouthful of the local cuisine.

You'll have to come mantled with patience though, as Scalo gets incredibly packed on the day. Looks like I'm not the only one in Tuscany who has given up on activist marches these days - no wonder if you contemplate the state of affairs in Italian politics. I guess the Italians much rather watch the crowded local donkey race than giving too much consideration to the ass running around further south.


Every year on the 1st of May (and on the weekend close to it). More info with menu and contact details for dinner reservation (needed!) on the website of Montalcino's tourist office

Also remember that there is a village called Sant'Angelo IN COLLE (on the hill), but you're supposed to continue to the Sant'Angelo SCALO, which is down in the valley on the border of the province of Grosseto (follo the signs for Grosseto). If you cross the Orcia river you'll end up in Cinigiano (my Tuscan village) - plenty of festivals and wine here too! 

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