Fiera del Cacio of Pienza. Starting at the end of August and for a week Pienza, the ancient town recognized as a heritage site by UNESCO, is animated by the Fiera del Cacio (Cheese Fair), which officially took place for the first time in 1974.
In the early years, the Fair was intended to create the tourist movement in Pienza which was not so massive as it is today. Back then the dairies were not so many and still produced their cheese in the farms. For this reason, the Fiera del Cacio had become, over the years, perhaps the most important fair after the cattle market. In Pienza territory there are now six/seven dairies that produce high quality cheese, famous throughout the world. Moreover, already in the 19th century the Cheese of Pienza could be found at the Expo' in Paris and was also sold in America.
The Fiera del Cacio in Pienza is a week full of events (concerts, peasant games, parades...) to celebrate at the best the most popular local product, and is one of the most anticipated events by locals and tourists, attracted not only by the possibility of enjoy the precious Cheese of Pienza, but also by the curiosity aroused by the popular game “Gioco del Cacio al Fuso”, where the six districts of the town will compete for the Palio.
The “Gioco del Cacio al Fuso” is a popular game of ancient origins, even mentioned by the 16th century statutes of the city of Pienza, to testify its spread and long tradition, especially in the countryside. This is an humble game for which a spindle, one wheel of cheese and a space to roll it and plant the spindle were enough. The goal is to stop the cheese as close as possible to the spindle, around which concentric rings that delimit five areas are designed, the rings give a score from one to five; the points can increase if the wheel of cheese rotates around the spindle or if leans on it. This peasant game takes place on the uneven pavement of red bricks of the main square of Pienza, and the wooden spindle is planted right in the marble ring center.
Throughout the week shows and music enliven the most beautiful lanes of the city until late at night, stalls of cheese, from fresh to mature seeds, through the fragrant forms aged in walnut leaves, pervade the streets of unforgettable aromas. The Palio, at the height of the culinary week and rediscovery of traditions, takes place on Saturday from 3 pm onwards, with the flag wavers and drummers through the streets of the town center, which open the time of the challenge of the six districts in the “Gioco del Cacio al Fuso”.
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Fiera del Cacio