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Archive for July, 2010

A sweet little one-bedroomed house has just come onto our books near Montepulciano, Tuscany. (Great location for those who enjoy the odd glass of wine; the streets of Montepulciano are lined with wine merchants tempting you with samples of their wares!)

This small villa has its own pool, solar panels and airconditioning. See photos and details of Casa Cervognano here. Rental price for the property from Euro 520 per week. Still some availability for summer 2010, especially late August and throughout September. Now booking also for 2011.

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An introduction today to the Italian ‘sagra’ or festival.

These are held in towns and villages all over Italy. They are essentially local fairs usually – but not always – devoted to food.  Quite often they relate to a local product. For example you might go to a ‘sagra della cipolla’ (onion) or, perhaps more invitingly, a ‘sagra delle fragole’ (strawberries). You will be able to try and buy lots of different dishes containing the product in question.

The most charming ‘sagre’ are those with historic origins in tiny villages, not designed in a commercial fashion to pull in foreign tourists but purely an annual event enjoyed by local people. For example, a village I know well in Tuscany will be holding its ‘sagra della pizza’ on 6th August.

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Weddings in Italy 2011

Today I’ve been dealing with enquiries from two sets of clients looking to get married in Italy in 2011.

We can provide the accommodation for a wedding group, plus as many of the add-on services – catering, flowers, photographers etc – as the couple requires. However, we only offer this wedding planning facility in Tuscany, where we have the experience and the personal contacts so can be confident that clients will receive excellent service.

For more information, please call +44 (0)1603 812212 or contact us here.

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We are now busy updating our website with the 2011 rental prices for our Italian villas.  In most cases the 2010 prices have been held, and in some cases have even been reduced.  You can already see a selection of holiday villas of various sizes where we are already taking bookings for 2011. Villas sleeping 6-8 people and villas sleeping 9-12 people for a start.  More to follow.

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An amusing story from the Italian press to share with you this morning.

A security lorry carrying over two million euros in coins overturned along a motorway in Southern Italy this week. Its rear door popped open, shedding its load. Before the police arrived, incredulous motorists had picked up and made off with around 10,000 euros.

The money, all in 1 and 2 euro coins, was en-route from Cesara to Bari. The coins had come from the Italian mint and were due to be distributed amongst local banks.

In the light of austerity measures being imposed on Italians because of the recession, it is not surprising that one newspaper saw fit to describe the event as  “the miracle of the coins”.

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A bit of information for you today about Siena’s famous horse race.

The Palio, which takes place in the Piazza del Campo in Siena, is an exciting horse race contested by ten bareback riders representing different areas of the city known as “contrade”.  The race and its attendant rivalry goes back centuries, and is preceded by a colourful pageant which is viewed by spectators from all over the world who cheer on from vantage points around the square.

Unlike at conventional racecourses, the Palio is won by the horse representing its contrada, not the jockey. So if the jockey is unseated whilst negotiating the treacherous twists and turns of the Piazza, this does not affect the result.

The race is always held on two occasions during the summer: 2nd July and 16th August. Last week’s race was won by a horse called Fedora Saura, representing the contrada of Selva. It was the second time the horse had won the race, and the first time for its jockey.

There’s still time to book a holiday house in the Siena area to see the next race on 16th August!  Contact us here and let us know the kind of accommodation you are looking for.

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Very busy this week with last-minute enquiries for July/August 2010 and also taking bookings for 2011!  It helps that the £/Euro exchange rate is steadily improving. And we are offering some great discounts.

4 easy steps to help you find a last minute holiday in Italy.

Step 1: Tell us your dates and the size of your party.

Step 2: Tell us your budget, if you have one.

Step 3: If you need a swimming pool, does it have to be private or is shared OK?

Step 4: If you are looking for 2 weeks, would you consider a 2 centre holiday i.e. 1 week in one place and 1 week in another? (This is often the best solution for peak weeks when availability is limited).

Contact us here or on (01603 ) 812212.

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