Certaldo, atmospheric medieval town of Certaldo Alto, near our vacation villa in Chianti, Podere Patrignone www.patrignone.com

Certaldo – a classy medieval town with beautiful atmosphere

Now, our agriturismo is in the very centre of the Chianti Classico wine region, and with so many beautiful towns to see near us, sometimes it’s hard not to feel a little disloyal to suggest places to see outside the area. … Read More

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Mercantia – an enchanted experience in a medieval setting

We’ve been to Mercantia before, but never with young kids. So we were a little worried about the crowds. But we needn’t have stressed. They absolutely loved it, and it wasn’t as crazy as we had feared. We went on … Read More

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Chinese food in Tuscany? You’ve got to be kidding. Right?

Only, I’m not kidding. Yes, we all know Italian cuisine is the best in the World, and that Tuscan food is amazing, but when you live here, and you’ve come from the UK where we’re used to a million different … Read More

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Drama, excitement, intrigue…donkeys…what more do you want?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDE4ow36PDQ You’ve seen the Palio, Senese-style, now see the Palio, San Donato-style. Intrigue, excitement, near-death accidents, flag-waving, this has it all. There’s great street-food, lots of stalls selling arts & crafts, games for the kids, processions, drummers, flag-throwers. We got … Read More

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The Palio di Siena, www.patrignone.com

The Palio di Siena – extreme horse-racing, medieval-style

  Italians don’t do things by halves, and the Palio is no exception. A 4-day horsing event culminating in the final race, with the Palio (an ornate banner, made by a different artist every race) going to the first horse … Read More

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Ordering a good coffee in Italy is easy…and tricky

If, like me, you love Italian espresso coffee, then ordering a coffee couldn’t be easier. “Un caffè, per favore?” Job done. But if you’re from the other side of the Big Pond, and you’re expecting your usual pint of black, coffee-flavoured … Read More

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Beautiful Towns of Tuscany – romantic Radda in Chianti

For those of you keen to get away from the more touristy spots, Radda in Chianti should definitely be on your list. It has a really lovely _lived-in_ feel to it, and that’s probably because a lot of local people … Read More

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What kind of traveller do you want to be?

  Plan the perfect trip to Italy  –  Part 2 Ok, so you know you want to come to Italy for a long-ish vacation, and you have a few ideas of the kind of things you want to do. But … Read More

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The real football, near our Tuscan villa rentals in Chianti

You think rugby is tough? Meet the real football.

In the historical centre of of Florence in June every year, in the square in front of Santa Croce, there’s a sporting competition like no other on the planet. Forget football, soccer, or rugby. Meet Calcio Storico Fiorentino, a game … Read More

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Get your itinerary right

Plan the perfect trip to Italy | Part 1 A trip to Italy can be fairly cheap, especially if you live in the UK and buy your flights early. But if you’re crossing at least one major ocean to get … Read More

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