Romantic holiday in Tuscany

Romantic holiday in tuscany

The medieval walled village of Lucignano sits comfortably on top of a hill at 414 meters above sea level in southern Tuscany, half way between the major cities of Arezzo and Siena.
The village of Lucignano is ideal to romantic holiday in the heart of Tuscany.
Lucignano is remarkable for its singular layout, an elliptical plan with ramparts which enclose narrow streets that move in concentric circles.
Strolling around the alleys may recall the experience of a labyrinth, finally solved once you arrive at the top of the village, where the Council Palace (formerly the Courthouse), the museum, the San Francesco and Collegiata Churches are.
The main museum by the Council Palace hosts the Albero d’Oro or Albero dell’amore (The Golden Tree or The Love Tree) which is must if you are visiting the Lucignano area. The Albero d’Oro is a beautiful and probably unique piece of jewellery of the shape of a tree, about 2 meters high, made of gold and silver with the 12 branches decorated with corals and crystals. The top part is decorated with a crucifix and a pelican that peaks his own chest to feed the cubs.
The tradition among lovers to promise love to each other in front of the Albero d’Oro is a very old one: you will find some Lucignanese ready to swear that a promise made in front of the Lucignano Golden Tree has always been kept. The least we can say is that it is had to believe it but the two Euros that is the cost of the entrance to the museum it is well worth a try! Whatever the case, it is a fact that the Golden Tree is a very popular destination among betrothed couples from all over the world, who  come to Lucignano and make their promise in front of this touching symbol. For couples looking for the most charming places of Tuscany to get married, Lucignano and az agr. Cepina (http://www.chiantiferie.net/inglese/dettaglio-strutture.php?test=16) with its 3 independent houses with private pools and great privacy are the right destinations.

Romantic holiday in Tuscany

The Palio in Siena

Palio di Siena

The Palio is the most important event in Siena, taking place on July 2 and August 16 every year.
In the Palio the various Senesecontrade“, or areas in which the city is divided, challenge in other in a passionate horse race in the heart of the city in the Piazza del Campo.
Originally, there were about fifty-nine “Contrade”; now only seventeen remain, ten of which take part in the historical pageant and in the race at each Palio (seven by right and three drawn by lots).
The 17 Contrade are: Eagle, Snail, Wave, Panther, Forest, Tortoise, Owl, Unicorn, Shell, Tower, Ram, Caterpillar, Dragon, Giraffe, Porcupine, She-Wolf, Goose.
Each Contrada has its own unique emblem and colors and represents an area of the city. As one walks through the streets of Siena it is easy to know in which Contrada you currently are in by observing the flags and emblems displayed along the street.
The Palio horse race has its origins in the distant past, with historical records indicating horse races in Siena already taking place in the 6th century.
The Palio is much more than a simple event for the Sienese, it actually is a large part of their lives since the time of their birth. Each person belongs to a Contrada, participates in the life of the Contrada and the organization of the Palio throughout the entire year. The Senese live the Palio with great passion and you’ll certainly be able to see this if you have the chance to attend one of the races.
The Palio is a pretty complex event that has gained additional rules through the centuries, as well as traditions and customs, many which only members of the contrada are aware of. Below is a highlight of some of the main rules and traditions of the Palio, which should be useful in better understanding the event.
The Palio horse race takes place twice a year, one the 2nd of July (Palio of Provenzano, in honor of the Madonna of Provenzano) and on August 16th (Palio of the Assumption, in honor of the Virgin Mary’s Assumption).
During this special occasion, the main square in Siena, the Piazza del Campo, is prepared for the race as the ring around the square is covered with tuff clay.
Ten out of the seventeen contrade take part in each race: seven are those that did not participate in the previous race on that day, while the other three are drawn by lots.
The Palio actually takes place over 4 days, the race taking place on the fourth day. The first day is for the “Tratta”, or the drawing of the lots and assignment of the horses to each of the Contrade.
Before the official race there are 6 trial runs or heats, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. The fifth trial, the one run the evening prior to the official Palio, is called the “prova generale” or general trial while the last which takes place the morning of the race, is called “provaccia” or bad trial given the little effort the jockeys put into it in order to avoid tiring the horses too much. The jockeys always mount their horses without a saddle.
The Palio prize is called “Drappellone” or large drape, a large painted canvas each year designed and created by a different artist and which the winning contrada displays in their contrada museum.
On the day of the Palio race the city is in full turmoil and the entire day is dedicated to the event. Around 8 a.m., in the chapel next to the Palazzo Comunale, the Bishop celebrates the “Messa del fantino” or mess for the horse jockeys. Shortly after the mess the last trial takes place in Piazza del Campo, the one called “provaccia”. Immediately after within the Palazzo Comunale and in the presence of the mayor, the “segnatura dei fantini” takes place. The name of the jockeys are confirmed and can not be substituted from that point. Early afternoon each Contrada performs a benediction ceremony of its horse and afterwards joins in the large parade in historical costume, with over 600 participants, that winds through the city. The parade arrives around 5 p.m. at the Piazza del Campo, and ends by around 6.30-7 p.m. Shortly thereafter the explosion of a firecracker signals the entrance of the horses into the piazza. As the jockeys come out, each one receives a whip made out of ox sinew which they can use to prod their horse or to irrate the other opponents in the race. The horses must run three laps around the Campo, overcoming dangerous points such as the very narrow curve of San Martino where collisions between the wall and between horses have led to many falls in the past (the reason why many animal activists oppose the Palio).
The first horse that crosses the finish line, even if he arrives without his jockey, wins the race. The winning Contrada receives the Drappellone, as the victorious Contrada members head towards the Church of Provenza (after the July race) or towards the Duomo (after the August race) for the “Te Deum” or prayer of thanks.
The Palio represents without a doubt a unique opportunity to live the warmth and passion of the city of Siena.
If you have the opportunity of attending, do not pass up on this chance to experience such a passionate and special celebration.

Book your stay on www.chiantiferie.net

The Palio in Siena

Holiday and visit of Tuscany

holiday and visit of Tuscany

A year is passed and June has come. On the third Saturday of June there will take place a great medieval festival, very famous in Italy: La Giostra del Saracino or the Saracen Joust .
The Saracen Joust takes places twice per year (June and September) in Piazza Grande, beautiful square in Arezzo. The Joust animates Arezzo for one week. In the tournament the 8 jousters or knights of the 4 Quarters of Arezzo (Porta del Foro, S. Andrea, Porta Santo Spirito and Porta Crucifera) fight each other to win the golden lance. Every jouster gallops his horse with wooden lance against the Buratto and its shield. The Burattto is an armor-plated dummy holding a shield that is divided into sectors corresponding to points. The jouster has two runs along the lizza (jousting track) that runs obliquely in Piazza Grande. The Joust is won by the Quarter whose jousters obtained more points. The price is a golden lance. During this period in Arezzo there will be many Open-Air Quartiere dinners, the traditional  outdoor antiques fair and many other events.

So decide to visit Arezzo and the Val di Chiana and book your stay on www.chiantiferie.net

Holiday and visit of Tuscany

Enocene in Siena at Enoteca Italiana

The direct contact with the produder that tells his land, his wine inviting you to taste it, together with  a ”km 0 meat or fish dinner” in the amazing Enoteca Italiana that collects more than 1600 italian wines. This is “Enocene”, to meet the wine producers. Each Friday until the end of August at Enoteca Italiana, in the heart of the ancient Fortress in Siena.
Treat yourself to a enogatronomic week, book your holiday on www.chiantiferie.net

Enocene in Siena at Enoteca Italiana

New Moon in Volterra

New Moon in Volterra

Return to the trail of Edward and Bella, visit again the locations of New Moon, where  the centuries-old art and history frame the fiction by Stephenie Meyer…
Enter the gate of the dreaded town of the Volturi…
Look up at the imposing palazzi, here both light and dark are dangerous, life and death run on a razor’s edge…
An unexpected wind whirls around you: Edward is there, you feel him behind you…
Run at a break-neck speed towards the bell tower, you want to save him at all costs…
Hear the swish of the Voltur’s mantles along the dark alleyway, look for the entrance to the underground part of Volterra, a dreaded town but at the same time extremely safe…
You’ll be guided to see the most powerful rulers of Volterra, the danger is tangible, but it is worth it! New Moon will let you feel its freezing touch on your skin…
The Tour is a walk to discover the settings of New Moon, with a breathtaking finale and takes about 1 hour and half.
The tour will take place on April 28th and alla Saturdays in July and August. Don’t miss the occasion to visit the place where Edward and Bella walked, book your stay on www.chiantiferie.net

New Moon in Volterra

Gastronomy on farmhouse in Tuscany

Franco Bordoni i san avid curator and creator of the past. Podere Pereto his biological farmhouse in Tuscany, on Serre di rapolano since 1993 recuperates ancient varieties of pulses and cereals such as beans, black eyed peas, Florentine peas. The list is endless. He has been growing pulses since the beginning even when pulses were rarely grown in Italy and the limited home market was supplied from abroad. The fruit of his research are a notable improvement in the nutritional value of current crops, compared to standard mass-produced foods, as wellas the maintenance o fan agricultural patrimony, which would otherwise have been lost.

Gastronomy in Tuscany

The farmhouse in Tuscany has more to offer: an Agritourism (3 holiday apartments and one bedroom) where his produce may be enjoyed. Visit http://www.chiantiferie.net/inglese/dettaglio-strutture.php?test=12

Gastronomy on farmhouse in Tuscany