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An insider's view of Tuscany

Raymond Lamothe Facebook



This is a basic set of short descriptions with links to the major events and museums.

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 public events that can be really interesting and give you a taste of what Italy and Italians are all about. I am limiting the list to some of the major links you can click on that are printed in different languages so you can choose at will.

One of the attractions is the Palio di Siena horse race that is held twice a year on July 2nd and on August 16th. It involves the whole city and is much more than a horse race with a lot of choreography and involvement of the citizens of Siena. More about it is at: Official Palio website.

The most important museum in Siena is the reconverted hospital/hospice that used to be a major refuge of pilgrims walking along the Via Francigena on to Rome. Santa Maria della Scala started as a religious hospital, then it was transformed into other uses, then in modern times it became the central Siennese hospital, until the large Polyclinic was built, and it was returned again to its original splendour as one of the best preserved museums and exhibition places of Tuscany. Here is its link: Santa Maria della Scala.

Another really interesting Siennese museum is the Museo di Storia Naturale: Accademia dei Fisiocritici.

This is the general site relative to all the museums and initiatives in Siena: Musei Senesi.

This is the general site relative to all the museums and initiatives in Florence, including ticketing office so you can also book your visit to the Uffizi Gallery without having to wait in line for hours: Musei Fiorentini.

Music, what would we do without it? – here are references to the Siennese Accademia Chigiana and to the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino and the jazz festivals: Accademia Chigiana - Siena Jazz Festival - Florentine May Music Festival - Florentine Music Event ticketing office - Music Events in Lucca - Jazz in Pistoia.

Mmmmm, Wine – here are the websites of the major wine Consortiums of Tuscany with information about wine tastings, tours and useful maps of their protected denominations of origin (DOCG): Vino Nobile di Montepulciano - Brunello di Montalcino - Consorzio Chianti Classico - Vernaccia di San Gimignano.

Two more interesting wine events are both related to the 10th of August, when the night of the falling stars (Notte di San Lorenzo) takes place, and the sky is lit up with small particles of a comet that cross through the skies and burn up in the high atmosphere: the first is a visit to the ancient train station with its antique trains and a wine tasting is held there: Wine Station tastings. Another unique initiative is the wine tasting held under the open sky on the night of San Lorenzo and that involves more than 150 Italian wine cities: Calici di Stelle.

For the shopping mall maniacs among you, here are the website addresses of two of the better organized outlets that at least have high standard, good quality merchandise: The Barberino Outlet and The Valdichiana Outlet.

I will add additional events and links as they come to mind, so you may want to check this section regularly to find out the latest things happening. The purpose is to give you a general reference guide.

Another thing you don't want to miss is a visit to the weekly markets held in all the towns and cities of Italy. The pictures that I have attached to this blog page are of a wine tasting held at my Casamonti wine Estate, of a stand run by a friend of ours who produces his own organic Tuscan Pecorino cheese (sheep's milk cheese) Cheese shop, and of our Cinta Senese stand in an outdoor exhibition held at Sant'Appiano (wine estate that belongs to a friend of ours who makes fantastic wines and just inaugurated his new wine cellar).


Wine Tasting Pecorino toscano cinta stand " cinta stand

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