While vineyard laden hills marked by the long, sinewy shadows of cypress trees in the late afternoon call to mind the Tuscany of most imaginations, orchards of succulently ripe cherries seem a distinct departure from the expected. The tiny burg of Lari, located in the Province of Pisa and just outside of Florence, is the setting for a unique festival entitled La Sagra delle Ciliegie (The Cherry Festival), dedicated to the ruby red fruit. Although not the number one cherry producing region in Italy, Lari is said to be the proud home of over 15 cherry varietals, which the locals showcase with joy at their annual festival. Set amongst rolling, orchard lined hills, Lari is a medieval stunner replete with an ancient castle, Il Castello dei Vicari or otherwise affectionately known by the locals as Il Castello, which serves as a lofty backdrop for the festival that takes place within the town’s historic quarter.
3rd weekend of September