The medieval town of Certaldo in the middle of the Valdelsa is renowned as hometown of the Decameron author, Giovanni Boccaccio. The magnificent red brick buildings and tiny streets attract many visitors every year, especially during its several festivals. Among these is Mercantia considered the largest and most famous international street performance event in Italy.
The festival involves numerous street performers from all over the world as well as a handicraft market with artisans working on the spot. Inaugurated in 1988, every edition involves over 90 companies participating with about 500 artists, for over 110 shows a night in 40 different spaces. It takes place in mid-July.
The event is unique in itself since it combines traditional busking with conventional theatre, prose and cabaret. All this combines so that in the end the spectators interact with the shows and become themselves protagonists of this huge open-air performance.
Practically a never-ending dream.