Jazz Festival 2013 in Barga (Lucca)

Barga Jazz Festival 2013 is entertained  in Barga, ( in Garfagnana area of Tuscany, province of Lucca). From August 17 to 31 the city of Barga is not only jazz music: there is an arrangement and composition game for jazz orchestra, concerts, masterclass, a contest denominated Barga Jazz and “enojazz” that  represents wine tastings accompanied by jazz music!

Edit in 1986, BargaJazz Festival arrives at XXVII edition and it should be the perfect opportunity to visit this delightful town situated between the Tusco-Appennine hills and the magnificent Apuan Alps. Barga exists from the early Middle Ages (VI-VIII centuries), it is surveied by a castle and defended by the city walls. Some steep and restricted streets lead up to the cathedral at the top of the hill, with beautiful panoramas over the town and surrounding valley.

Barga Jazz Banner

Barga Jazz Banner

Calendar of events

August 17 – 9 pm Stefano Onorati Trio plus Francesco Bearzatti

August 18 – 5 pm Barga in Jazz: music in the streets and squares of the centre of Barga with Magicaboola Brass Band and more.
6 pm – Opus Duo in Duomo di S. Cristoforo
9.30 pm Note Noire

August 19 and 20 – Barga Jazz Contest 2013 (for emergent bands)

August 21 Tonolo – Tchakerian – Birro

August 22 – Impermanence Dance Theater: improvisation of music and dance with musics of Nicolao Valiensi

August 23 and 24 – XXVI International contest of composition and arrangement for jazz orchestra. Barga Jazz Orchestra directed by Mario Raja with special guest Pietro Tonolo presented by Michela Lombardi

August 25/26/27 – Jazz for Dinner in the restaurants of the city centre.

August 28 – Arrighini – Bassi Duo

August 29 – Jacopo Martini Quartet feat Mirco Mariottini

August 30 – “Sonata di Mare” Project

August 31 – Barga Out Jazz… Enojazz Night: concerts and wine tastings in the squares of the city centre.


[Photo Credits: Adrian Fagg]

Information and reservations

tel. +39 0583 723860
[email protected]

Discover the Top 10 beaches on Elba Island in Tuscany

Each person has her/his own favorite beach: some like sand, others choose rocky coastlines; some seek wild, natural beaches, others require beaches with well-equipped resorts. The Island of Elba presents you all of these opportunities – you just need to know where to go!

1. Cavoli

The beach of Cavoli lies on the southern littoral of the island, at about 4.5 km from Marina di Campo, in the direction of Fetovaia. Its 300 meters of beautiful white sand are judged the most cosmopolitan on Elba because there are a always a lot of parties and young people there. The Cavoli beach is always very congested, so it is not ideal for those looking for quietude and repose, or for families.



2. Sansone

The beach of Sansone is lsituated after the beaches of Acquaviva and La Sorgente, and before the Enfola headland, beside the road from Portoferraio. It is a white pebble seaside that exhibits crystal clear waters. It is largely popular and a splendid backdrop for photographs!


Sansone [Photo Credits: Serena Puosi]

3. Fetovaia

The town of Fetovaia is about 8 km from Marina di Campo. It has magnificient views of the Punta di Fetovaia, expanding out to the sea, and it also boasts golden sandy beach, and crystal clear waters, with the mountains and rocks in the backdrop.


Fetovaia [Photo Credits: Alessandro Gambadoro]

4. Chiessi

Chiessi is on the west side of the island and has a pebble littoral, limited by unusual rocks with smooth sides. If you like to slide off rocks and have fun in the water, this is your area!


Chiessi [Photo Credits: Roberto Miliani]

5. Sant’Andrea

Sant’Andrea is a incredible small sandy beach with big rocks on the borders, in the Sant’Andea bay in the north-west side of the island, about 6 km from Marciana Alta. The little beach of Cotoncello, located at 800 metres on the right side of Sant’Andrea, also merits a stop.


Sant’Andrea [Photo Credits: ingridf_nl]

6. Laconella

The “little sister” of the biggest and best-known seaside of Lacona is undoubtedly quiet and relaxing. The sea is cristal clear and the rocks under the water are full of fishes. laconella_elba

Laconella [Photo Credits: ed.h]

7. Pareti

Pareti is one of the several beaches of Capoliveri. The sandy lido is approximately 50 meters long and, due to the secured position and the services provided, it is perfect for families with children


Pareti [Photo Credits: ViviCapoliveri]

8. Le Ghiaie

Le Ghiaie is the “town beach” of Portoferraio, with crystalline and limpid waters and a pebbly beach. It is also a protected territory. You can also discover gardens on the side of the beach.


Le Ghiaie [Photo Credits: malpelo61]

9. Biodola

Biodola coast is the largest beach in the Biodola gulf, where you can also discover the beaches of Scaglieri and Forno. You can facilely arrive at it; it is just 3 kilometres from Procchio. It has beautiful, white sand and all the essential services and facilities for families.


Biodola [Photo Credits: fabcom]

10. Barabarca

Barabarca is located just about 1.5 km from the town center of Capoliveri. It is a little pebbly beach in front of the Capo Stella peninsula and is encircled by green territorys.


Barabarca [Photo Credits: luiginter]


Where to go for Surfing in Tuscany

Tuscany is not California, but this doesn’t signify there are no chances to surf in Tuscany! Here you can encounter a lot of surfers along the coast expecting the ideal wave! Indeed, Versilia is the centre of surfing in Italy, since the high recurrence of large waves and the winds of Libeccio and Maestrale virtually secure constant surfing, ideal for surfers of all grades. But there is also Livorno and Piombino for example.  Here you can find the names of some places where you can surf.

Pontile – Forte dei Marmi

Description: Beach Break with sea storm from south-west and west without wind.

Something about the position: the promenade at Forte dei Marmi was builded at the end of the road designed by Michelangelo Buonarroti to transfer the marble he needed for his statues. Now the pier is not longer used for this function but it still presents the best panorama of this marble Riviera and it’s a place where surf aficionados are in the running.


Forte dei Marmi [Photo Credits: Daniel Depaoli]

Lido Di Camaiore

Description: Beach Break with sea storm from south-west without wind.

Something about the position: “Bagno Aloha” Surf School is a confluence place for surfers in the territory, from beginners to advanced. There are also many surf stores up and down the littoral. From the landing place in Lido di Camaiore you can include the long expanded horizon from the sea to the Apuan Alps.

Piazza Mazzini – Viareggio

Description: Beach Break with sea storm from south-west and west without wind.

Something about the position: Piazza Mazzini is one of the biggest square in Viareggio, where the annual Carnival and all the most important events take place. Many palaces like Palazzo delle Muse and Palazzo Moretti overlook on Piazza Mazzini and you can also 9observe the statue of Burlamacco, the emblem of Viareggio’s Carnival. On the sea side of the square there is an extended sandy litoral.

Darsena – Viareggio

Description: Beach Break with sea storm from south-west and west without wind.

Something about the position: Darsena is well known for the extensive beaches of fine sand and for the glory district where you can perform during the nights or sample seafood specialities at restricted restaurants. But Darsena is also fishermen who employ hours together thanks to their attachment for the sport and their affection to the sea.


Viareggio [Photo Credits: David Gemignani]

Il Sale – Livorno

Description: Reef A-Frame on rocks with sea storm from south-west and west without wind.

Something about the position: the place is located 6 km south from the anchorage of Livorno, on the right side of Bagni Roma.

Perelli – Piombino

Description: Beach Break left on sand with sea storm from south-west without wind or with big sea storm from west without wind.

Something about the position: The shallow water and wide beach at Perelli, and at nearby Carbonifera, make it possible to practice surf, windsurfing and kitesurfing in absolute safety. This site is very popular in summer with its hot winds, and can occasionally offer extraordinary days when unsettled conditions generate east winds and south-generated waves of up to two metres.

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 lake



Roman evidences in Massaciuccoli

Day 2


Villa Borbone in Viareggio


Viareggio seen from the terrace of the Hotel Principe di Piemonte

Day 3


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 dei Marmi [Photo Credits: Ian Styan]

The Chianti Classico wine in Tuscany

If you passage out from the A1 motorway at “Firenze Sud”, you will encounter the Florence – Siena road. It seems that these two antique cities, Florence and Siena, never really wanted to “get closer” regardless of their rescrited geographic distance. For centuries, in fact, these beautiful hills were the theatre of cruel battles between the governors of Florence and those of Siena. But if you consider about Chianti, the principal thing that comes to your mind might be its wine production, since this institution has been effected there for three centuries. Today, the Chianti Classico wine has become famous all over the world, with the denomination that associates these provinces and with its symbol, the “Gallo Nero” (black roaster).


The black roaster [Photo Credits: Antonio Duilio Puosi]

To arrive at these productive hills, leave the Firenze-Siena roadway at the Poggibonsi exit. There you’ll arrive at a series of country roads that pass through forests and mounts which divide them from the principal urban centers of the territory, full of history and antique fortresses. To illustrate the Chianti, just think that in every single extension exposed to the sun there are vineyards and olive trees. It’s doubtlessy the reason so many outlanders are exceptionally attracted by these territories.

The most proximate  city to Florence is Greve in Chianti, where the predominant fascination is the funnel-shaped piazza Matteotti,  encircled by arcades with small shops and emporiums selling local products and creations. There, you can also meet some “historic” butchers selling: wild boar, cinta senese, and Florentine T-bone steaks (the famous “Fiorentina”). On the longer side of this triangular square, you’ll find the public edifice, home to a attractive statue by Mitoraj.


Mitoraj statue in Greve in Chianti [Photo Credits: Antonio Duilio Puosi]

From Greve in Chianti, proceeding south toward Siena, you will meet the so-called “Chianti Triangle”, embracing the towns of Castellina in Chianti, Radda in Chianti and Gaiole in Chianti. Castellina and Radda have very nice city centers, saturated of cafes and restaurants provisioning good food and, of course, wine tastings. While Gaiole is planar, the other two towns are positioned in the hills and they also exhibit beautiful panoramas of the surrounding countryside. Near Gaiole, there are smaller towns that merit visit, together them Lecchi and Vertine. In the same  locality, there are two castles, extraordinary for their beauty and for the fact that they host two of the most important wineries in the area: Meleto and Brolio, appertaining to Barone Ricasoli,  prince of Florence.


The Castle of Brolio [Photo Credits: Antonio Duilio Puosi]

The Castle of Meleto coordinates guided tours of the castle’s main floor and its little theatre and cellars. It also presents events and weddings (there is the parish church of Spaltenna, dating back to the tenth century).

The Castle of Brolio can be contacted by driving, walking or cycling along a 600-meter extreme road. The Ricasoli Barons still reside there, but you can visit the gardens, the private altar and the crypt, where family members are interred. Part of the secret and remote interior of the castle can be visited only through guided tours. If you regard out of the castle, you can observe Italian-style gardens and vineyards as far as the eye can see. This is the most representative Tuscan scenery: vineyards, olive groves, white dirt roads and sequences of cypress trees.



Italian garden [Photo Credits: Antonio Duilio Puosi]


Coastline, Islands and Sailing in Tuscany

I’m rather sure you recognize  that Tuscany has a western coastline on the Ligurian and Tyrrhenian Sea and a Tuscan Archipelago, composed by the largest Island of Elba and other six island denominated Capraia, Gorgona, Montecristo, Giglio, Pianosa and Giannutri.

Do you know what the ancient  legend says about the Tuscan archipelago? That these island were generated when Venus springed up from the Tyrrhenian Sea to involve the sunset and, while performing this, seven pearls descended from her necklace into the sea generating the Tuscan islands. Isn’t it enchenting?! Ok, let’s go back to our main subject!

Since the islands of the Tuscan Archipelago are not very close one to each other, a good manner to inspect them is sailing! The Tuscan archipelago presents open sea sailing without exception with land in sight. The marinas of Tuscany are well furnished, with most of the big harbors providing a full serie of utilities, including refueling equipments and parking.


[Photo Credits: Who killed Gregory??]

When is the best time for navigating? Anytime is ok for sailing here, notwithstandin in July and August it weather is considerably hot, the sea a bit crowded and sailing more expensive. The marinas are open all year round and temperatures in Tuscany are generally quite warm, so anytime of the year could be contemplated. Best periods are April, May, June, September and October: it’s warm but not too hot and it is not congested so it is possible to find unfrequented anchorages.

The climate in the Tuscan sea is essentially Mediterranean: summers are warm, dry and airy and the ordinary wind is W – NW and it rarely arrives at tornado force.  Around Capraia, Elba, and down the mainland coast to Giannutri there will often be SE winds with recurrent periods of quiet.  At night there is often a fair W or SW wind.

Let’s discover where you can go sailing in Tuscany:

  • Elba is the largest island and is opposite the gulf of Follonica just 6 miles off Piombino on the Tuscan Coast;
  • Giglio is a splendid paradise lying facing the Argentario peninsula;
  • Giannutri has attractive bays and evocative vestiges of old Roman villas;
  • Capraia is an island of volcanic derivation which is the closest island to Corsica;
  • Pianosa is a little, levelled island not at great distance from the isle of Elba;

The Islands of Gorgona and Montecristo have no open passage: there is a special penal institution on Gorgona while Montecristo is a natural reserve that can only be visited with a special authorisation.


[Photo Credits: PrinceVlad]

Sailing schools in Tuscany:

  • Circolo Nautica Foce Cecina

Località Porticciolo, 57023 Cecina Mare (LI)
Tel: 0586 620 602

  • Circolo Velico Artiglio

Porticciolo di Torre.del Lago, Viareggio (LU)
Tel: 0584 351 211

  • Circolo Vela Mare ASD Viareggio

UISP V. Leonida Repaci 1, 55049 Viareggio (LU)
Tel: 0584 407 270

  • Aquaria Natura Club

via Lago di Varano 47, 58100 Grosseto (GR)
Tel: 338 501 0513

  • Circolo della Vela Marciana Marina

Viale Regina Margherita 52, 57033 Marciana Marina (LI)
Tel: 0565 990 27



Thermal waters and holidays in Montecatini Terme.

Montecatini Terme is positioned in the Valdinievole territory, 15 kilometres west of Pistoia (it is portion of this province), 50 kilometres northwest of Florence and just 40 minutes by auto from the beautiful Tyrrhenian coast. This Tuscan city is celebrated for its thermal waters and can be considered the biggest “spa town” in Italy.

At the turn of the twentieth century, the services connected with tourism became more qualified and expanded. There were more establishments and the exigency to associate the thermal bathing with fun, relax and sport. In those years, a miriade of fashionable restaurants, theatres, night clubs, a casino opened and a lot of celebrities initiated to visit the territory. Indeed, it was not difficult to meet persons like Giuseppe Verdi, Pietro Mascagni, Ruggero Leoncavallo, Trilussa, Beniamino Gigli and Luigi Pirandello in the city centre and in the thermal parks.


Tettuccio [Photo Credits: Giuseppe Moscato]

What to see and do in Montecatini Terme

The thermal waters and the mineral springs.

Thermal waters are the fortune of Montecatini: in reality, spas were erected around them. You can both drink the water of the Terme di Montecatini or do spa therapies – from manipulations to mud baths, saunas to beauty treatments. There are nine thermal centres contained in the green of the great thermal park. Finally, in terms of construction, the spas of Montecatini are a big prototype on-air Art Nouveau that are not-to-be-missed!

For more cognizances about the spas and their benefits: “Bathing in thermal waters, with history all around!” via Tuscany Arts.


Montecatini Terme

The fountains

In Montecatini Terme, fountains are true chef d’oeuvres. Water is the essential factor of life and in Montecatini there are several fountains not only within the spas, but also along the roads and boulevards and in the main squares. Fountains welcome tourists, appearing from the entrance of the spa town. The most important ones are the Fountain Mazzoni in the square in front of the railway station, the Guidotti Fountain in Piazza del Popolo and the Fountain of Shingu, which encircles the two spas of Leopoldine and Tettuccio in Piazza Giusti at the extremity of the long Vialone dei Bagni. There is also the fountain made by Pol Bury, in the higher sector of the thermal pleasure garden.

Viale Verdi

Viale Verdi is also recognized as “Vialone dei Bagni”. Along the “Viale” you can see:

  • The “Palazzina Regia”, a sober building which was the summer residence of the Medici family.
  • The War Memorial in the Royal Park, opposite to the Town Hall: it is a fine work of Giuseppe Petroni.
  • The Town Hall is located on the right side of Viale Verdi: it was built between 1913 and 1919, in the place where there were the Grand-Ducal stables, to provide the city with a proper civic representative and appropriate to the size and role the city was taking.
  • The Padiglione dei Sali (Pavilion of salts) is at the entrance of the Verdi theatre; it was a former kiosk for the sale of salts in the early twentieth century, now home to several businesses.

Montecatini Alto and the funicular

Montecatini Alto is the village with medieval foundation, situated on the top of the hill that overlooks Montecatini Terme.You can make contatct with it in 5 minutes by car or in 10 minutes with the funicular railway, which exist from to the end of the 1800s and is still intact and functional. You can see the church and convent of Santa Maria a Ripa, built in the Romanesque style of the 12th century; the Church of St. Peter the Apostle of the 11th century with its white marble baptismal font; and a series of relevant and famous frescoes. There is also a church built by the Carmelite Fathers, called the Saints James and Philip (and also known as the Church of the Carmine).


[Photo Credits: Jackie Proven]

Art Academy “Scalabrino”

Art admirers shouldn’t miss a visit to the art academy “Scalabrino”, which is situated in the spa area: here you can appreciate 150 productions by Lorenzo Viani, Galileo Chini, Amalia Dupre and Primo Conti.

Around Montecatini Terme

There are many medieval towns around Montecatini: Pescia, Montevettolini, Massa, Cozzile, Buggiano, Colle, Uzzano, Collodi with its Pinocchio Park and the beautiful Villa Garzoni, and Ponte Buggianese, with the famous frescoes by Annigoni.

For your free time

Montecatini is a good objective for shopping because there are many high-quality fashion clothes shops. There are discos, cinemas and theatres, such as the famous Teatro Verdi, home to Miss Italia and many concerts. If you are a sports lover, you have plenty of choice in Montecatini: from golf to tennis, from biking to swimming and there is also a racecourse.


Montecatini Terme

How to get there


The nearest airports are:
– Florence (“Amerigo Vespucci” Airport)
– Pisa (“Galileo Galilei” Airport)


Take the “Firenze Mare” motorway and exit at Montecatini Terme.

  • From Milano: Autostrada del Sole (A1) towards Florence, take the Firenze-Mare (A11) direction Pisa, exit at Montecatini Terme.
  • From Rome: Motorway towards Florence (A1), take the Firenze-Mare (A11) direction Pisa, exit at Montecatini Terme.
  • From Genoa: Genoa Livorno Motorway (A12), take the Firenze Mare (A11) towards Florence, exit at Montecatini Terme.


Montecatini has two train stations – Montecatini Terme and Montecatini Centro – and can be considered a good starting position for a daily excursions to Lucca, Florence, Pisa, Pistoia and more.

Funicular railway

In Montecatini Terme, there is also a funicular railway. Here is the timetable: http://www.funicolare1898.it/english/index.htm

Volterra and surroundings: a beautiful photos by Diego Colivicchi

Is there something better than reporting a countryside through photos?

Diego Colivicchi is Tuscany-born and loves photography as well as his land, the area encircling Volterra characterized by curvy little mounts and lovely panoramas. The main theme of his photos is the rural districts of the old Etruria in all seasons.

Diego Colivicchi Photographysi


Around Volterra

This is one of the perspectives of my land I prefer. It’s just 5 minutes from Volterra on the road to Montecatini and Val di Cecina. You can see this sunset from “Podere Citerna” looking to the “Casa del Vento”. Here there are sheep cultivation and wheat areas. In spring, the territory is intense green with yellow spots of efflorescences. In summer, field are gold and black due to separate kinds of wheat.


Hot Volterra

The summer in the farmland of Volterra it’s extremely hot even for animals. This veal is protecting in the coolness of a tree during the hottest periods. In the background you can see the structures left by the work of agricultural apparatuses during the harvest in Bacchettona, between Volterra and Montecatini Val di Cecina.


Black and Gold Volterra

Here is the spectacle given by the maturation of cereals. On your left hand  you can observe the darker colour of durum wheat and on the right the gold wheat.


Fattoria Lischeto countryside

Primordial signs of the fountainhead and a ruin in Corbano, near Volterra. Photo taken from the farm Lischeto.


Botro ai buchi di Castel San Gimignano

This is an fascinating locality, it appear as different planet. A unseen gem in the forests between Castel San Gimignano and San Gimignano. This is a typical canyon several meters deep and encircled by mosses and shrubs on the aqueous walls of the impressing rocks. All these circumstaces give rise to a magical place full of charm.


White Volterra

This is Volterra seen from the main panoramic point on the Viale dei Ponti. It is a view of the baptistery and the roofs of Porta all’Arco after the snow in February.


Snow on the Roman Theatre in Volterra

This is one of the most important archaeological places of Volterra, it’s the Roman theatre under the snow. In other part of the picture you can see the majestic basilica San Giusto.


Mauro Staccioli’s sculpture under the stars

The Volterra farmland is home to many productions by the sculptor Mauro Staccioli (born in Volterra). This is just one of many, the shooting is taken under the stars while a car was proceeding on the main highway from Volterra to Borgo di Roncolla.

Where to find Racecourses in Tuscany

There is a long historic tradition of racecourses in Tuscany, let’s realize together where you can find them.

Racecourse in Pisa
Address: Viale delle Cascine 153, 56122 Pisa
Phone: +39 050 52611
Fax: +39 050


The Pisa Racecourse is posotioned inside the San Rossore Park, about 2 km from the city centre. Leopold II of Lorraine established the racing track of San Rossore (called Prato degli Escoli) in 1829. The most celebrated race that takes place on this track is the Premio di Pisa. The annular track in the grass is 1,610 meters. The racecourse has two grandstands: one uncovered and another one covered. The amplitude is about 10,000 seats. There are also a restaurant, four bars, a playground, a nursery, the ATM and a spacious car park.


[Photo Ctredits: pasma]

Racecourse in Livorno
Ippodromo Caprilli – Livorno
Address: Via dei Pensieri 46 – 57128 Livorno (LI)
Phone: +39 0586 814481 fax: +39 0586 814497

The Caprilli racecourse exist from back to 1894 and it is situated near the littoral, in the south part of the city, next to the stadium and the sports hall. It interests an area of 182,000 square meters assigned to the public, the racetracks, the space for training and the stables.

Racecourse in Montecatini
Address:Viale Cadorna, 30/B
51016 Montecatini Terme (PT)
Phone: +39 0572 92541

The racecourse is established in the south-west of the city and includes an area of 16.5 hectares, of which 1.68 is for public and 2.2 are for race, preparations and training tracks. The stable area offers 468 boxes, saddle rooms, barns, farrieries, an indoor training cavalcade ring, a veterinary clinic with count lab, separation boxes, employees accommodation and services, canteen, restaurant, coffee bar and private vehicle park.

Racecourse in Grosseto
Ippodromo Casalone di Grosseto
Address: Via Aurelia Antica, 35 – 58100 – Grosseto (GR)
Tel: +39 0564 24214 – +39 0564 24241 / +39 0564 20237 fax: +39 0564 20237

The racecourse was inaugurated in 1925 to encounter the growing attraction of the citizenship of Grosseto for horse riding and horse races. It is positioned in the southern environs of the town of Grosseto, in Principina a Mare. The spectators’ area, the racetracks, the cross-training and the stables are disposed on an area of 210,000 square meters. The racecourse has enlightenment for executing night racing. There are 10,000 places for the public; the grandstand has a amplitude of 1,500 seats.


[Photo Credits: Nicola Albertini]

Racecourse in Follonica
Ippodromo dei Pini di Follonica (GR)
Address: Via Massetana, 2 – 58022 – Follonica (GR)
Phone: +39 0566 58650 fax: +39 0566 58651
Email: [email protected]

The racecourse of Follonica is situated in the centre of the town and absorbes an area of 90,000 square meters distributed into the public, the racetrack, the training and the stables. The racecourse is furnished for effecting out night racing. The dimensions is for 8,000 spectators and the public has 2,200 seats.

Racecourse in Florence

Florence has 2 racecourses: one is Le Cascine and one is Le Mulina, closed in 2012.

Ippodromo Le Cascine di Firenze
Address: Viale Visarno, 16 – 50144 Firenze
Phone: +39 055.4226076 Fax: +39 055.411094

The racecourse of the city of Florence at Le Cascine is also recognized as “Ippodromo del Visarno” and invests an area of 233,000 square meters: there is accomodation for the public, for racing and training, for stables. The racecourse can entertainer up to 15,000-seated viewers.

Le Muline was a different example of racecourse in Florence and it was assigned to the trot. In 2012 closed in order to trnfrt the park to the municipality of Florence.


[Photo Credits: Aldo Cavini Benedetti]

Racecourse in Siena
Ippodromo Pian delle Fornaci di Siena
Address: Strada Statale Ponente 73 – 53010 Costalpino (SI)
Phone: +39 0577 394347 Fax: +39 0577 394071

The racecourse is easy to access from the exit of the motorway (exit Porta San Marco). From this point, consider the signs conducting towards Costalpino – Follonica – Grosseto (without going in the direction of Siena). Continue for 2 miles and the racecourse is on the left.


Don't miss these 10 things in Siena

Siena is one of the most famous Italian cities and a city every traveller aims to visit during an excursion to Tuscany. It is celebrated for its Palio that happen twice a year, and for its characteristic conscrited streets flanked by brick edifices. The famous city is catalogued as a world patrimony site by UNESCO and is filled with beautiful and interesting places to visit. But imagine you have just one day in Siena: what are the things you shouldn’t miss, on any version?

This support will help you by enphasizing a selection of monuments, churches and building, and accomodating useful points.

siena_landscapepointshoto Credits: Ondablv]
  1. Piazza del Campo prevail over the city centre and is the first step point of evertrip. It is one of the biggest antique squares in the world and has an unmistakable extraordinary shell profile. Every year on July 2 and August 16 the famous Palio Horse Race takes place here. Since 1300, it has been the center of life in Siena and, an operative market and place where the Sienese assembled during serious political occasions, as well as for festivities and celebrations. At the top of the square is the Fonte Gaia, one the most  famous and beautiful fountains in Siena (the one in the Piazza is a copy, while the remains of the original are safeguarde in the Museum complex of Santa Maria della Scala).
  2. Torre del Mangia receives its name from Giovanni di Duccio, its first guardian, whose nickname was “Mangiaguadagni” (literally ‘earning eater’), as he dissipated all his remunerations eating in the taverns of Siena. If you are alarmed of heights, you might not want to hazard up the 88 meters (400 steps!) of the Torre del Mangia, but you’ll omit a wonderful panorama. From here the vision is truly breathtaking. You can see all of Siena: Piazza del Campo, the Cathedral a little further away and beyond, the distant  and remote hills.
  3. The Cathedral has a generally white and black façade. The best part of this church, which is devoted to the Assumption, is its interior: the floor, full of esoteric symbols and religious stories; the Piccolomini Library with frescoes by Pinturicchio; the Piccolomini Chapel, where Michelangelo worked from 1501 to 1504, carving the statues of the four lower niches. Don’t miss the pulpit by Nicola Pisano, with Biblical scenes and the Life of Jesus.
  4. The Baptistery. Situated just after the Cathedral, the Baptistery, constructed in 1325, is one of the most significant religious sites in the city. For many centuries all the residents of Siena, famous or not, were baptized under the rib vault of the Baptistery. Interior you can see frescoes and the bronze and marble baptismal font, placed right in the center of the Baptistery.
  5. The Complex of Santa Maria della Scala used to be an primary civic hospital consacrated to protecting for derelict children, the poor, the sick, and pilgrims. Right in front of the grandiose Duomo of Siena, the complex is now a museum. In the 1330s Santa Maria della Scala engaged many important interior and exterior frescoes as well as several significant altar pieces. The whole structure presents several museums and magnificient monumental areas. The museum is extended over four floors.
  6. The Public Palace of Siena is the place of Siena’s political power: all the rulers of Siena have lived here. In the Palace you can find the Civic Museum of Siena, with its famous frescoes by Ambrogio Lorenzetti representing the Allegory of Good and Bad Government.
  7. The Civic Museum of Siena contains one of the world’s most famous allegories: the Bad and the Good Government by Ambrogio Lorenzetti, painted on the walls.
  8. The Church of San Domenico is identified by the impressive architecture and the relic of the Holy Head of Saint Catherine from Siena. The most important part of the church is the St. Catherine Chapel in the middle of the right nave wall. The chapel has frescoes by Il Sodoma.
  9. Food in Siena: you candiscover many traditional plates in Siena. Wild boar (particularly the Cinta Senese) and hare make for appetizing croutons, pappardelle pasta and grilled meat. Then there are local sausages, cheese, liver, ribollita soup and more. Siena and its province also have great wines: Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino, Montepulciano and Vernaccia di San Gimignano. There is also abudance of selection for dessert: cantucci biscuits, Ricciarelli, Panforte and Cavallucci, with a glass of the classic Vin Santo.
  10. Siena by night: Siena doesn’t offer the fascination of a big city but, after a day spent inspecting museums, churches, palaces up and down the steep streets, you’re unbelievable to have the courage or desire to go to a club. I propose a good dinner at a restaurant and then a slow promenadel through the narrow streets.

[Photo Credits: Steve Jurvetson]

How to get there

Siena is 75 kilometers (47 miles) from Florence and 40 kilometers (25 miles) from San Gimignano. For this reason a lot of visitors combine a trip to one of these other cities with their time in Siena. Siena is placed in the centre-south of Tuscany. It is suggested that you plan your visit earlier because is not directly related to all cities.

By train The train station is about 3 kilometers from the celebrated center of Siena. But don’t worry! Adjacent to the train station there is a bus stop and the bus condusts you to the centre of the town in about 15 minutes (drop off in Piazza Gramsci or Piazza del Sale). It is better to buy your bus ticket before getting on the bus as it’s cheaper, but then you must keep in mind to validate your ticket inside the bus.

From Florence: direct line and/or change at Empoli (1h30’)

From Rome: change at Chiusi (3h)

From Pisa: change at Empoli (2h)

From Bologna: change at Florence (2h50)

By bus

From Florence: Bus Station: opposite Santa Maria Novella Railway Station ‘rapida bus’ (1h 15mins) ‘diretta bus’ (1h 35 mins) Autolinee TRA-IN spa (tel. +39 0577/204245)  http://www.trainspa.it/en/home.html Autolinee SITA (freephone: 800 – 373760) http://www.sitabus.it/

From Rome: Bus Station: Roma Tiburtina, (2h 45m) SENA (freephone: +39 0861 554889)

From Bologna: Airport – terminal arrival: 11.45 / 13.50 Siena Railway station Airport – terminal arrival: 18.45 / 20.50 Siena Railway station


[Photo Credits: Lovro67]

By car

From the North: A1 exit “Firenze Certosa” Dual carriageway Firenze/Siena (40 min.)

From the South: A1 exit “Valdichiana” then Bettolle-Siena link road (2h 30min.)

From Florence: Take the “Autostrada Siena-Firenze” and follow the traffic signs to “Tangenziale Siena Ovest” (towards Arezzo/Grosseto). Exit at “Siena Sud” and follow the road signs to “Porta Romana” or Piazza Gramsci where you can look for paid parking spots.

By plane

From Florence: “Amerigo Vespucci” Airport Shuttle bus to S. Maria Novella railway station every 45 mins

From Pisa: “Galileo Galilei” Airport (150 km)

From Bologna: “G. Marconi” Airport (170 km)