Holiday in near Siena – Val d’Orcia

Medieval castles, sunny rolling hills, isolated hilltop towns, charming farmhouses and isolated rural homes, avenues of cypresses, rows of vineyards, olive groves, and golden wheat fields are just some of the elements of the fantastic and harmonious landscapes of Valdorcia!
Crossed by the Orcia river, from which the valley derives its name, this wonderful region in southern Tuscany stretches along the provinces of Siena and Grosseto. The area is now protected as a natural and cultural park, and it has been recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO since 2004. Beautiful nature is the actual absolute protagonist in Valdorcia, with many different colors according to the season. There are few other places that are able to impress the traveler so deeply. It is almost a surreal and suspended land, which is home to the most precious and appreciated Italian wines: the Brunello di Montalcino, the Nobile di Montepulciano, the Rosso Orcia,  and other superb and fine wines with the protective DOCG denomination.
The impressive views of Val d’Orcia, which inspired so many Renaissance painters, is dotted with many little villages, castles, abbeys and hamlets, each telling a fascinating ancient history. Time here can still pass slowly and you can enjoy every second of it.
The right place where to stay to enjoy a holiday in Val d’Orcia is Agriturismo Pratovecchio , an organic Bed and Breakfast near Montepulciano and Pienza. From Pratovecchio it is really easy to reach the main towns that have not to be missed and also the thermal springs in Chianciano Terme, Bagno Vignoni and Bagni di San Filippo. Then after relaxing at the pool with its amazing view on the val d’orcia, you will be able to taste the fresh tuscan products during the dinner at the farmhouse.
Until the end of July there is also a special 15% discount. Don’t miss the occasion to visit val d’orcia, visit http://www.chiantiferie.net/inglese/dettaglio-strutture.php?test=29

Holiday in near Siena – Val d’Orcia

Last Minute in Tuscany

June is here and the official start of summer is upon us!
Want to enjoy great weather without the crowds? June and July is a good season to have holidays in Tuscany: warm days and cool evenings, and the possibility to travel around without the crowds. You can choose a good accommodation for your stay in the tuscan countryside among the early summer offers on http://www.chiantiferie.net/inglese/last-minute.php

Last Minute in Tuscany

Wine tasting of Nobile Montepulciano

Wine tasting

Summer 2012 sees the return of “I Mercoledì del Nobile” (“Nobile Wednesdays”), the cycle of meetings promoted by the Consorzio del Vino Nobile and Strada del Vino Nobile, sponsored by the Comune di Montepulciano and the Fondazione Cantiere Internazionale d’Arte.

Every Wednesday until the end of July, wine enthusiasts will have the chance to discover the history, productive philosophy and features of Montepulciano wines, against the delightful backdrop of the Consorzio del Vino Nobile wine shop: an ideal opportunity for encounters between producers and consumers.

Every tasting evening will include a combinations of wines presented by the Montepulciano producers served with some of the best local fine food products. Don’t miss this amazing wine tasting during your tuscan holiday booked on www.chiantiferie.net

Wine tasting of Nobile Montepulciano

Holiday in Tuscany

Monteriggioni Medieval Festival

Did you ever imagine how life was in medieval times? You don’t have to imagine it anymore, you can be part of a “real” medieval festival in Tuscany! History has never been so much fun: people dressed up in historical costumes, the possibility to watch a challenge tournament between thirteenth century knights, a battle with piker men, halberdiers, infantrymen and harquebusiers.

The fortress of Monteriggioni for the 22nd edition of the festival, will be animated by jesters, street artists, jugglers, men on stilts musicians and minstrels.

You will even have the possibility to watch the enactment of medieval scenes proposed by improvised actors on the streets.

Forget the Euro, after going through the fortress gates you will use ancient coins that have been minted in Lucca. How to get them? You’ll find bankers with their safety deposits offering an exchange service.

The objective of the Festival is to re-create a setting which is so complete that the visitor is transported back in time. Believe me: it’s fun and at least once in a lifetime you should live this medieval atmosphere. So book your stay at Tenuta Bichi Borghesi (http://www.chiantiferie.net/inglese/dettaglio-strutture.php?test=19) or Az. Agr. Scorgiano (http://www.chiantiferie.net/inglese/dettaglio-strutture.php?test=26) that are only 7 km from Monteriggioni.

Holiday in Tuscany

The Palio in Casole d’Elsa

A historic race on the second Sunday of July.

Palio of Casole d'Elsa

Casole d’Elsa is a medieval village in the heart of Tuscany where it remains still alive historical traditions.

The Casole d’Elsa Palio is a historical horse race that takes place on the second Sunday of July. The event is dedicated to Saint Isidoro and it has taken place since ancient times.

The track is particularly challenging as it is uneven and unusually has slopes and hills – making it all the more difficult for the horses and jockeys to race.

The name ‘Palio’ originates from the Roman way of racing or ‘Palio Lungo’ (meaning ‘Long Horserace’.) This is because, unlike the circular route of Siena’s famous horserace, the track in Casole d’Elsa has a start and finish point. There is an exciting buildup to the race itself, with lots of events taking place the week before. Many towns in the area also celebrate and host dinners in the evenings.

There are six city districts which take part in the race (Rivellino, Pievalle, Campagna, Il Merlo, Cavallano and Monteguidi.) Each district has its own theme and dress, each with different colours and coats of arms. Each district is regulated by special rules, lead by a Captain and represented by a President.

The first qualifying stage of the race happens on the Saturday before the race. A draw decides the qualification order, and qualifying races take place. The second phase starts on Sunday morning with a traditional mass in honour of the race’s patron saint, Saint Isidoro, the protector of farmers. In the evening at 18.00, the horses are blessed in Piazza della Liberta, opposite the Collegiata of Saint Maria Assunta. Afterwards, the horses and jockeys move to the racetrack, where at 18.30 the racing starts.

An hour later, the winner of the race is presented with a ‘Drappellone’ (also known as a ‘rag’), which is a banner made by local specialized artists. In the following days, celebrations continue with plenty of singing and dinners open to everyone in the winning district.

To enjoy this event you can book your stay at Casa al Prato (http://www.chiantiferie.net/inglese/dettaglio-strutture.php?test=28) near Casole d’Elsa or at La Pieve di San Martino (http://www.chiantiferie.net/inglese/dettaglio-strutture.php?test=27) only 6 km far

The Palio in Casole d’Elsa