Visit Versilia: your Blog Tour in photos

The Versilia Blog Tour has recently completed, here are some pictures of the locations we inspected. You can discover more photos on Instagram with the hashtag #versiliablogtour. I would also like to remind you that you can identify your images of Tuscany with the hashtag #instatuscany so we can distribute your pics on our social media! ;)

Day 1

massaciuccoli_tuscany

Massaciuccoli lake

 

romans

Roman evidences in Massaciuccoli

Day 2

viareggio_borbone

Villa Borbone in Viareggio

luxury_hotel

Viareggio seen from the terrace of the Hotel Principe di Piemonte

Day 3

church

Badia di Camaiore

Lard of Gombitelli @ Salumi di Gombitelli

Lard of Gombitelli @ Salumi di Gombitelli

Day 4

Henraux quarries in Querceta

Henraux quarries in Querceta

Marble of Versilia

Marble of Versilia

Day 5

forte_marmi

Forte dei Marmi [Photo Credits: Ian Styan]

Events in Tuscany between April 27 and May 1

Maybe you already know that in Tuscany, as well as in all the other regions of Italy, we celebrate  the Labour Day on May 1. That is a very important celebration because  the Labour Day on May 1st is an annual holiday to celebrate the achievements of workers. During this week, aided buy the fact that there is a week-end in between, there are thousands of events spread in Tuscany. Choose the best for you and enjoy Tuscany!

ART

  • In Siena, till October 27, you have the great opportunity to take advantage of the extraordinary opening of the Porta del Cielo (Gate of Heaven) to discover the recently restored ceiling and high walkways within the building. In the crypt Caravaggio’s painting San Giovanni Battista di Michelangelo Merisi is also on display. For more information you can read this post on Tuscany Arts.
  • Till April 28 there are the “invasionidigitali”, a network of self-organized events through the entire country with the aim of disseminating and enhancing Italy’s artistic and cultural heritage through the use of the internet and social media. See here where they are.
  • In Siena, till May 31, return to unravel the treasures of the Palazzo Chigi Saracini. The historical Musical Academy Chigiana opens its doors with guided tours to discover the rooms of the Gothic building built in the thirteenth century by the Marescotti family and a part of the twelve pieces of his important collection of art.
[Photo Credits: Opera - Civita Group]

[Photo Credits: Opera – Civita Group]

FESTIVALS

  • On April 27 and 28 from 10am until midnight, the Cascine park of Florence  will relive the Middle Ages with music, games, sports and market stalls for the Giochi di Carnasciale.
  • In Florence, till April 28 at the Fortezza da Basso there is the Mostra Internazionale dell’Artigianato with artisans from 49 countries displaying their great traditions and designs.
  • As we already told you on  April 30 Florence will be filled with music, installations, shows and much more for the White Night. The civic museums will also stay open late and will be free. The night will finish at dawn with a breakfast in Palazzo Vecchio.

CONCERTS

On April 27:

  • Finaz will perform at the Viper Theatre in Florence,
  • Raphael Gualazzi at Teatro Verdi,
  • Giovanni Allevi at Teatro Politeama in Prato,
  • La Pegatina at Flog in Florence
  • I Ministri at The Cage in Livorno.

On April 28:

  • the Gatti Mezzi will be in Cascina

On April 30:

  • Melvins will perform at The Cage in Livorno.

On May 3:

  • Vladislav Delay will be at The Cage.

On May 4:

  • Francesco De Gregori will be at Florence’s Teatro Verdi
  • Baustelle will perform at the Nuovo Teatro Verdi in Montecatini Terme
cascine

[Photo Credits: Gioacchino Sparrone]

 

OTHER OPPORTUNITIES WITHIN THE NATURE

Don’t miss the appointments with:

  • the Tuscany Walking Festival in the national parks of the region with a series of guided walks for all abilities;
  • the great Maritime Walking Festival in the Tuscan Archipelago;
  • the Treno Natura in the Terre di Siena from San Quirico d’Orcia for the Orcia Wine Festival on April 28).

FOOD

  • On May 5 Sapori delle Crete will move to Arbia for the Sant’Isodidoro Festival.
  • At Rosignano Marittimo (LI), VerdeOro will take place (April 27-28), an event dedicated to the best extra virgin olive oil, including tastings, exhibits, music and visits to the Archaeological Museum.
  • There will also be Castagneto a Tavola, an event celebrating the chestnuts of the area.
  • On May 4 and 5 at San Vincenzo there will be the event Tutti Pazzi per la Palamita – an annual event celebrating sea food and traditional flavors.
  • Sagra del Baccello in San Miniato, April 25 – 28 and May 1,
  • Sagra del Tortello e della Bistecca in Vicchio
  • Sagra del Cinghiale in Certaldo, April 27-28 and 30, and May 1, 3, and 4.

Click here to find out about all the food festivals in Tuscany.

Last but not the least, enjoy the Tuscan countryside!

countryside

[Photo Credits: Francesco Sgroi]

2013 The fourth edition of the White Night in Florence

 

piazzale_michelangelo

Florence by night seen from Piazzale Michelangelo [Photo Credits: William Sun]

On April 30 the city of Florence is predisposed to stay not sleeping until dawn for the fourth edition of the Notte Bianca (White Night).

Do you know what a “Notte Bianca” is? It is when all the avenues, and boulevards and streets of the city are full of people until after the usual time; it is a commemoration of spring and an all-night party full of events. The opulent program of events established by the artistic director Felice Limosani offers a great assortment of installations, performance, music and projections. The ambition is to offer an unforgettable night to a big public (the last programme counted over 100,000 people).

Every time the performance follow a peculiar theme, this year is carried from Richard Bach’s “Jonathan Livingston Seagull”: “the higher the seagull flies, the more he sees”. The program of happenings will consequently examine, through performances, installations and more, the locution “fly” in its beautiful and fantastic metaphorical meanings.

florence_night

Ponte Vecchio [Photo Credits: Paolo Margari]

In Piazza Santa Croce you will observe aerodynamic statues, while in Piazza della Repubblica an action painting duo will present graffiti writing on canvas, and an air show will be celebrated in Piazza Santa Maria Novella.

The opening will be conducted by the Boys’ Choirs of Florence and Scandicci, who will executed at 7pm in Piazza Signoria with Andrea Pellizzari, vocalizing to benefit the children of Haiti. The main performances will be repeated three times (from 7 to 10pm, from 10:30 to midnight, and from 12:30am onwards).

The program will be divided into three time channels:
7 to 10pm: events for children and families; many competitions at the Gucci Museum and the Teatro della Pergola; acrobatic exhibitions at Ponte Santa Trinita;
10pm to midnight: musical performances, mainly concentrated in Piazza Annigoni;
from midnight to sunrise.

All the civic museums in Florence will be open till night and provide free guided tours and exhibitions. The Notte Bianca ends at aurora with a breakfast in the Palazzo Vecchio.

 

 

 

 

 

Some romantic holidays for next summer in Tuscany

Have you already programmed your nearest holidays in Tuscany? Well done!

We have assembled some ideas to facilitate you decide what to do once in Tuscany and how to employ your time in the best manner!

  • If you are with your partner delight all the romanticism of Tuscany!

arno_florence

[Photo Credits: Gemma Maree]

  • If you desire to visit the territory around Pisa here are some essential points.

leaning_tower

[Photo Credits: Visit Tuscany]

  • If you desire go to Versilia and revitalize yourself.

versilia_tuscany

[Photo Credits: franz rossman]

  • If you require to do sport.

vada_beach

[Photo Credits: Christian Ostrosky]

  • If you demand to take part to some exhibitions.

Medioevo_eventi

[Photo Credits: Renzo Ferrante]

  • You can go catching fishes….

retoni

[Photo Credits: Jacqueline Poggi]

  • … Or playing golf.

golf_toscana

[Photo Credits: Renzo Ferrante]

  • Or listen to a concert at Lucca Summer Festival.

lucca_summer_festival

Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds

What are your coming ideas for a summer in Tuscany?

A memorable New Year’s Day in Florence and Pisa

In Pisa and in Florence the New Year is celebrated twice: on January 1st, just the same with the rest of the world, but also on March 25. Do you know why?

This is because in the middle of the tenth century and 1749 the New Year’s Day corresponded with the Annunciation, exactly nine months before Christmas (December 25).

In Pisa, this specific celebration correspond with a sort of solar clock, a physical phenomenon that involves the Duomo in Piazza dei Miracoli: at midday, a ray of sunlight enters the Duomo through a round window and lands on a marble egg on a shelf surmounting a column next to the pulpit made by Giovanni Pisano, on the diametrically opposed side.

pisa_2014

[In Pisa is already 2014!]

Florence commemorates on March 25 as well and for both the Tuscan cities this data identifies also the beginning of the tourist season. Let’s see jointly the programs.

Florence

The Annunciation is conventionally a popular commemoration that induces the Christian people in the streets on a pilgrimage to the Basilica dell’Annunciazione, in order to pay adoration to the image of the Annunciation, a picture that, according to the legend, was painted by angels. In order to solemnize the event, the municipality of Firenze coordinates an historical procession with traditional costumes, music and flag-wavers. The historical procession (called « corteo storico ») of the Florentine Republic will depart at 3.30pm from the palace Palagio di Parte Guelfa, heading toward the Basilica SS. Annunziata.

capodanno_fiorentino

[Photo Credits: Umberto Fedele]

Pisa

In Pisa, there will be:

  • guided tours of the Piazza dei Miracoli (at 11.30am from Friday 22 to Monday 25),
  • the “Io Busketo” tour dedicated to the cathedral,
  • the floral festival Fior di Città (from Friday 22 to Sunday 24), the New Year’s Dinners (Sunday 24),
  • the historical procession in the city centre from 10.00am and the sunbeam ceremony at 11.30am (Monday 25),
  • on Monday afternoon at 3.30 a special edition of the Galilean Tour.
pisa_new_year

[Photo Credits: Marco Conti]

Associated activities and special offers for Pisa’s New Year’s Day:

  • Free ingress on Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 to Fauglia’s little Kienerk Museum. The museum is a notable starting point for a tour of the Pisan Hills or for the Valdera Museum Network it is part of.
  • Volterragusto (Saturday 23 and Sunday 24) provides a perfect occasion to visit the attractive city of Volterra and the entire Val di Cecina.
  • Tour of San Rossore Park.
  • Tour of the Certosa di Calci.
  • Walking Festival and visit to Vicopisano’s surroundings.
  • Bagni di Pisa Spa in San Giuliano Terme offers a Pisa’s New Year’s Special, with ingress to the exclusive Grand Dukes’ Hammam Grotto.
  • Sports and spa wellness at Casciana Terme, with the great pool in the town centre, the wellness centre and the Inkospor Long-Distance Race for cycling enthusiasts.
  • San Miniato, the country of origin of white truffle, is one of the bases along the Via Francigena and offers some principal  itineraries and is an ideal  place for weekends and day trips to the captivations of the Valdarno.

 

Easter: have a trip in Tuscany: some ideas

As the climate warms up and the days get longer, there are many happenings for all tastes that will replenish the days of those who want to pass Easter in Tuscany! Whether you love the mountains or the seaside; whether you estimate art or social life; whether you want to eat good food or drink quality wines; Tuscany is an excellent alternative for your next holiday. Here are some indications for you. Enjoy!

tuscany

[Photo Credits: Giuseppe Moscato]

If you like eating (or drinking)

Gastronomes from all over the world can take part in the many events devoted to good food. There are a enterteiner of taste tours in the province of Arezzo; a wine and olive oil trail in Lucca, Montecarlo and Versilia; and a “wine experience” in Tuscan castles. You can also examine at Tuscanycious for more ideas.

If you like culture

Easter (and spring in general) is an excellent time to visit Tuscany, if you are an art lover. You can select from a great selection of museums and temporary shows or organize a tour of the Medici Villas. Here you can observe a long list of art events. I  propose you to have a look at Tuscany Arts for more ideas.

villa_medicea

Artimino [Photo Credits: Corrado Matteoni]

If you like nature

Tuscany is prospering at Easter and it’s the perfect time of the year to appreciate the countryside and the rolling hills. One way to do this is to hop onto the Nature Train, which lets you have a look around the province of Siena. If you just want to relax and be  involved in nature, you can arrange a Tuscan picnic: keep in mind that we usually commemorate Easter Monday by passing the day outdoors.

If you like thermal spas

Tuscany includes about a hundred various places to enjoy the hot springs. If you desidre to relax and re-charge your batteries, a trip to a Tuscan spa would be a splendid option during your holiday. Some of them are outdoors; others are indoors. Some have an entry fee; others are free.

hills

[Photo Credits: Robert Crum]

If you like history and tradition

Easter in Tuscany offers many kinds of traditions and celebrations. In Florence, there is the historic “Explosion of the Cart” (“Scoppio del Carro” in Italian) in front of the Duomo; while in Prato the Virgin Mary’s Sacred Girdle will be put on public exhibition. On Easter Monday, in Bibbona, there will be the ancestral barrel-rolling competition, called the “Palio delle Botti”, and in Grassina (Bagno a Ripoli), on Good Friday, there will be a representation of the Passion of Christ, including around 600 participants. At Piteglio, on Easter Monday, there will be the Festival of Sweet Flour, where turists and visitors can taste chestnuts, sweet “polenta” and many other traditional Tuscan foods.

If you like sport

You can hike a mountain, go golfing and fishing, ride a bike or a horse, go out for a run or just for a walk with the Walking Festival.

Tuscany in September: the capital of 2013 UCI World Road Championships

 

bike_tuscany

UCI Road World Championships in Tuscany

Do you remember when we introduced Tuscany Active few weeks ago? We announced you that one of the reasons why we were opening this section of the blog was the fact that the 2013 World Road Championships is going to be operate in Tuscany from September 21 to 29, 2013 and we will be present to update you. So it’s time to tell you something more about these World Road Championships!

Tuscany will present a road World Championships for the first time in 2013 even with the fact that has a long cycling tradition and that it is the country of origin of some of the greatest cycling names of all times (just consider about Gino Bartali, Fiorenzo Magni and Gastone Nencini in the past times and Mario Cipollini, Michele Bartoli and Paolo Bettini in the last generation of cyclists). In addition, we can’t forget to mention top women cyclist from Tuscany, for example Fabiana Luperini conquered the women’s Giro d’Italia four times and the Tour de France three times.

bike_countryside

[Photo Credits: hippydream]

The thirteen itineraries that will influence cyclists to Tuscany are part of the history of Italian cycling and will show the world some of the most important, artistic and beautiful cities of our Region: from Florence to Lucca, from Pistoia to Montecatini Terme, from Fiesole to Prato, cyclists and fans will enjoy the Tuscan countryside rich in naturalistic and architectural treasures. Various events will be established to pay tribute to Tuscany’s great cyclists and to enjoy its territory.

The 2013 World Championships will incite to spread the message of cycling as a lifestyle, saving energy, protecting people’s health and the conditions and fight the battle against pollution.

mascot_uci

Pinocchio, the mascot

The mascot of the event is Pinocchio, the worldwide popular puppet created by Carlo Collodi, a Tuscan writer of XIX century. The Pinocchio of 2013 World Road Championships is completely different from the original one: this one looks like a cyclist and brings a helmet under his left arm to remember everyone that safety is always a imperative.

The nature train in Tuscany

From March to December, you can discover the Terre di Siena thanks to sixteen ‘slow’ itineraries on a vintage train. The vintage train is the perfect means of transport to slowly savor the uniqueness of Tuscany’s countryside, traditions, art and culture.

The 2013 edition of the Nature Train permits tourists to appreciate incomparable itineraries, the beauty of the landscapes and enjoy a myriad of special events that will welcome guests at each destination. Each itinerary on the Nature Train, in fact, is associated with fairs, festivals, exhibitions, markets and initiatives, which aim to mix rides with a visits to discover excellent local foods and the extraordinary artistic and cultural traditions of the province of Siena. This tour is perfect for Italian and foreign tourists and, in particular, families with children. The trip takes place on a vintage locomotive steam train, which brings visitors into the area of the Crete Senesi, the Val d’Orcia and Monte Amiata, making stops at folk and historic feasts and festivals addressed to truffles, mushrooms, olive oil and wine, chestnuts and cheeses.

nature_train

[Photo Credits: Frank Andiver]

The first itinerary of the program is in San Giovanni d’Asso (March 10), which explores a local exquisiteness – the March truffles. In April , the next stop is in Buonconvento, where guests and tourists can promenade through the alleys and the squares of the pretty town searching unique objects from the past at the Antique Fair (Sunday, April 1st). The program goes on in Castiglione d’Orcia, near the Rocca di Tentennano, having the view of the valley from a large rock of limestone (Thursday, April 25) and then in San Quirico d’Orcia to have knowledge of the excellent wines of the Orcia Valley along the Via Francigena (Sunday, April 28).

In May, the Nature Train presents four new itineraries: the historical Maggiolata di Sant’Angelo Scalo, in the burgh of Montalcino, is represented by music, market stalls and good food (Wednesday, May 1); the special edition of the Mercatino delle Crete di Asciano to taste a special pecorino (Sunday, May 12); the Festa del Treno (Feast of the train) in Torrenieri to discover the small village found along the Via Francigena and look round the stalls selling organic food products and local crafts (Sunday, May 19); and the flavors of spring in Sant’Angelo Scalo, with bus transfer to Monte Amiata to enjoy cherries and wine (Sunday, May 26).

nature_train

[Photo Credits: Frank Andiver]

The journeys on the Nature Train end on Sunday, October 13 at Vivo d’Orcia, with the essences of autumn, and on Sunday, December 15 in Siena to visit the museums, towers and squares of the city of the Palio.

The full program of the 16 itineraries is obtainable at www.trenonatura.terresiena.it. Each trip of the Nature Train continues the whole day and upon arrival at each station there will be a bus service to the various places. The steam train ticket costs 29 euro for adults and it is free for children up to 10 years (without the right to a seat, accompanied by at least one paying adult). For groups, there is a free ticket for every 25 people paying. A reservation is required and the registration fee for each participant is € 3.

nature_train

[Photo Credits: Frank Andiver]

For information: www.ferrovieturistiche.it

Ferrovia Val d’Orcia: [email protected] tel. 0577 207413 / 338 8992577

Agenzia Viaggi Visione del mondo: e-mail: [email protected] 0577 48003

Terre di Siena:

  • Siena Piazza del Campo, 56, phone 0577 280551/0577 283004; fax 0577 270676, email [email protected];
  • Chianciano Terme, Piazza Italia, 67, phone 0578 671122 and 0578 671123, fax 0578 63277, e-mail [email protected],
  • Abbadia San Salvatore, Via Adua, 21, phone 0577 77581, fax 0577 775877, email [email protected]