Welcome to the Tuscan Enterprises online catalog.
Plan now for your Italian Holiday!
Blog    Login
HomepageInfoVilla indexPrint CatalogBooking formShort staysContact usReal estateTipsLinksCasamonti Tour

RSS Click here to send Raymond an email

Blog

An insider's view of Tuscany

Raymond Lamothe Facebook

Tuscan Food

AUTHENTIC TUSCAN FOOD – MORE THAN JUST PIZZA AND PASTA

Authentic Tuscan Food – More Than Just Pizza And Pasta Italian food has been extremely popular in recent decades. Go to any English speaking country and their streets will be filled with chain Italian restaurants, most of which serve the same kind of dishes while trying to capture the rustic, c...

Lorenzetti's Buon Governo

BRIEF STORY AND DESCRIPTION OF THE CINTA SENESE BREED OF PIGS.

I have received a few emails asking me what the small animal I am holding in my arms in the photograph I used in the introduction to the blog is. It is not a mysterious creature, it is a 2 month old piglet of the Cinta Senese breed that we raise on our farm. Let me give you some background informati...

OIL BOTTLES

WHAT YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL

Italy is one of the major producers of olive oils, but it is rather easy to get lost in the complicated distinctions and meanings of the denominations and qualifications that these oils are given. The ones I am most familiar with are the Tuscan Olive Oils, so I will be more precise in describing the...

Sony Camera

WEIRD IMPRESSIONS OF A NEW DIGITAL CAMERA.

I have always taken all the photographs we put in the Tuscan Enterprises catalogue, (and then, later on, the ones used for the websites) since we started our Villa Rental business some 30 years ago. I remember my first camera was a simple Minolta and all settings were by hand – no TTL, no automati...

Vulcano 1

WHAT ARE YOUR TRAVEL RIGHTS AND YOUR OBLIGATIONS?

In the course of 29 years of operation as Tour Operators, here at Tuscan Enterprises we have witnessed practically everything that the world can throw at travelers coming to Tuscany or Europe in general. From early 1990 terrorist attacks on trains and airports, to the cancellation of all flights rig...

Asparagus1

WILD ASPARAGUS

If you happen to be driving along the back roads of Tuscany (or Italy, in general) and you see people bent over in funny positions scrutinizing the ground up and down the slopes or tangled up in the thickets and underbrush, don’t think they are crazy lunatics or in that they are in trouble – the...

Blooming daffodils

SPRING IS IN THE AIR

Spring is in the air. You can feel it here in Tuscany and smell it. The daffodils are popping up their yellow heads all over the place and the almond trees are covered with tiny white flowers. At Tuscan Enterprises we are getting last minute requests for Easter and the April weeks, and on the farm a...

Gun Rack

HUNTING AND GUNS IN ITALY

Bang bang whammy shoot shoot kapow!! Every year come September, here at the Tuscan Enterprises office we get several phone calls from guests staying in one of our Villas wondering what all the early morning shooting is about: who is shooting? Who are they shooting at? Why are they shooting? And shou...

Passport and ID Card

PASSPORTS, INTERNATIONAL DRIVING LICENSES AND OTHER GOODIES

In answer to questions posed from citizens of different countries, I thought that Tuscan Enterprises should address the need or lack of need of documents for visiting Italy (you can pretty much extend this to all of Europe). For European citizens, the requirements for tourism-related travel are all...

Piggy Bank

BEWARE THE DISCOUNT TRAPS. NOT ALL THAT GLITTERS IS GOLD.

After 29 consecutive years working as a Tour Operator renting Villas, Farmhouses and Residential complexes through our Tuscan Enterprises Travel Agency, I believe that I have seen practically all the discount gimmicks and ploys that have been invented by operators in this competitive holiday rental...

Casamonti snow 1

MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM A WHITE TUSCANY IN THE SNOW

Everyone associates Tuscany and the Chianti with summer, but we do have our winters here too. They are usually a lot milder than those many of our friends face in northern Europe or in some areas of the United States and Canada, but we do have snow and cold nonetheless. These pictures are of the...

Concierge Service

CONCIERGE SERVICE

In collaboration with a local tour operator, we are offering our guests a variety of services and activities aimed at making their stay in Italy more interesting. By working directly on location we can assure you dedicated and personalized assistance in planning your activities. Transfer Service...

Vineyards in autumn

WHY I LOVE AUTUMN IN TUSCANY

Some of my friends ask me what I find so fascinating about autumn in Tuscany and especially in the Chianti Classico region. They are all lovers of hot Tuscan summers, while I prefer the calm serenity of the fall months. I think it has to do with completion of so many different things tied to my l...

Beautiful Grapes

GRAPE HARVESTING IN THE CHIANTI CLASSICO

I think a lot of people have a romantic idea of what picking grapes is all about. Basically, it is just a lot of back-breaking work and rather monotonous at that. Yesterday, I was sitting outside my office here in Castellina in Chianti and I saw two young college kids limping slowly by as if they ha...

MOON AND UFO

UFO SIGHTINGS THROUGHOUT ITALY

Unusual, because many people just do not pay any kind of attention to UFO's or strange sightings in the sky, but there have been a series of articles and news feeds saying that Italy has had a peak of declared UFO sightings this summer. Apparently, sightings have been more intense in southern Ita...

Fan 1

THE HIGH COSTS OF ENERGY

I had an interesting exchange of messages with a cousin of mine who lives in upstate New York and with a couple of American clients regarding energy and fuel-related issues and comparisons between costs in the United States and here in Europe. Diesel fuel currently runs 1,34 Euros per liter in Italy...

Mini

TELEPASS PROBLEMS ON THE AUTOSTRADA

Message received from Mr Franz Hammert: Last week we had the experience of driving on the Autostrada with a rental car and entering the cash payment toll booth which was unfortunately unmanned and we do not speak Italian. We drove from Occieobello to Roma but were charged the maximum of E55, sin...

Money

TIPPING THROUGH TUSCANY

First of all let me start by saying that tipping is something that you face in many different forms. It runs from what you tip a waiter in a restaurant to how much do you give the busboy that carries your luggage to your room, to how you should compensate the really nice cleaning lady who kept your...

Pizza

WHO WANTS PIZZA?

I think that pizza is one of those particular categories of food that fits comfortably between a serious meal and street food. What is interesting is the story of its origins going way back in time, and the modifications and developments that have brought it to the present day in all its combination...

CIPRESSI

SO WHAT MAKES IT SUMMER FOR THE CHIANTIGIANI?

Ahh, summer in Tuscany. So what is it really all about for the Chiantigiani who live here year-round? What makes it summer for us and what brings it to mind? Well, I think that if you ask anyone here, they will automatically point to the vineyards and olive orchards that seem to lay a pattern over t...

CASAMONTI WINES

ALL YOU REALLY NEED TO KNOW ABOUT WINES

I have received a few emails asking me opinions on wines and on which are my favorites and what I look for in a wine. What strikes me is that people generally have two major attitudes when they address wines: either they are curious and want to know more about wines, or they are afraid to express th...

Wine Tasting

MUSEUMS, MUSIC, GENERAL EVENTS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT

When you are planning to travel to Italy, one suggestion I have is that you check what is going on during your holiday. There are always special exhibitions in museums, fairs, concerts (not only classical music, but jazz, opera, rock), and in many cases the smaller towns also offer their own small p...

Cinta che mangia

EATING AND DRINKING IN ITALY

The different regions of Italy offer an incredible variety of dishes. Italy was once a series of city-states that later developed into regions with their own very distinctive cooking traditions. Tuscan cooking is fairly simple. It is based very fresh products, on mixed grills of meat and poultry...

Range Rover

QUICK REFERENCE TO DRIVING IN ITALY

I have received several questions relative to driving in Italy asking for suggestions and what to watch out for, so I am going to put a blog in the TRAVEL ADVICE section addressing traffic issues in general and the particularly interesting points raised by George from Australia and by Elisabeth fro...

Storia

DRIVING IN ITALY

Driving in Italy or in any of the European countries is not the terrifying experience some people think it is. With the developing of the Common Market, for example, a license that is valid in one country is valid in all the EEC countries and, theoretically, the road signs and symbols are supposed t...

House View

HOW REALLY IMPORTANT ARE DISTANCES IN TUSCANY?

I often receive messages from guests who ask to have a villa "within easy access" to Florence or to Siena. The last person I wrote to is Effie, so I want to thank her for bringing up the topic. Tuscany is one of the best known of Italian holiday destinations and has been on everyone's favorites l...