Excursions in Chianti
The whole area surrounding the Villa, in the heart of Sienese Chianti, is studded with mediaeval villages, churches and castles, easy to get to (some of them even on foot). Distance from: Castelnuovo Berardenga 10 km; Gaiole in Chianti 15 km; Radda in Chianti 20 km; Monteriggioni 25 km; San Gimignano 50 km; Montalcino 50 km; Pienza 65 km; Montepulciano 60 km.
Sightseeing Tours of Towns
The location of the Villa is the ideal starting point for cultural tours (even one-day long) of the main Tuscan towns. Distance from: Siena 15 km; Arezzo 60 km; Firenze 65 km; Pisa 130 km. The Mediterranean Sea and two lovely seaside resorts, Castiglione della Pescaia and Punta Ala, are about 80 km from the Villa.
Trekking and Cycling
For the lovers of trekking and cycling there is a wide range of charming paths and white roads crossing breath-taking landscapes: your excursions will plunge you into an uncorrupted natural scenery, far from mass tourism. Every year, in November, the Comune di Gaiole in Chianti (15 km from the Villa) organises the famous bicycle race in 1930s costume called “L’Eroica”, a must for every real lovers of the history of cycling.
Art, Museums, Exhibitions
The Provincia of Siena and all Tuscany boast a lot of museums known all around the world, where one can find all through the year Renaissance, Mediaeval, Ancient, Etruscan works of art. Moreover, very often, modern and contemporary art exhibitions are organised in the main towns, all easy to get to by car.
Music, Concerts, Drama
There are many music and theatre events, especially during the summer. The world-famous Accademia Musicale della Chigiana in Siena (15 km from the Villa) organises teachers and students’ concerts from June to September. In July and August, at the Cistercian Abbazia di San Galgano (about 30 km from the Villa), in an impressive mediaeval setting, you can enjoy open-air operas. All through the year, the famous “Teatro Povero” plays are put on in the streets of Monticchiello, near Pienza (40 km from the Villa).
Mediaeval Traditions and Events
In the Provincia of Siena, which boasts a millenary history, a lot of mediaeval traditions are still alive. The Palio di Siena, the historical horse-ride of the Sienese Contrade, takes place twice a year (July 2nd and August 16th) in the impressive Piazza del Campo (15 km from the Villa); just before the ride starts, one can see the mediaeval costumes of the Contrade during the spectacular Passeggiata Storica. The Prove (“rehearsals”) for the final ride start four days before the Palio itself; after the ride, everybody can take part in the celebrations of the winning Contrada, with Chianti wine toasts. In last Sunday of August, in the village of Montepulciano (60 km from the Villa), there is the famous Bravìo delle Botti, a race in costume where the competitors push barrels along the main street. The Festa Medievale in Monteriggioni (25 km from the Villa), in July, is a revival of mediaeval daily life: one can taste food and venison cooked according to the Tuscan tradition.
At about 1 hour drive from the Villa there are many Outlet of prestigious Italian Brands, where you can buy with discounts up to 60% compared to normal shops. Outlet Val di Chiana Foiano (AR): Cavalli, Ferré, Laura Biagiotti, Versace. Outlet Montevarchi (AR) Loc. Levanella: Prada. Outlet Valdarno (FI) Loc. Leccio-Reggello: Gucci, Giorgio Armani, Ungaro, Valentino, Ferragamo. Outlet Rignano sull'Arno (FI): Fendi, Dolce & Gabbana.
Food & Wine
The Villa is set in the very heart of Sienese Chianti, one of the most famous precious-wine-producing areas in the world. Here you will enjoy the aroma of genuine Chianti wine, and travel along beautiful roads in the very heart of Chianti countryside, studded with mediaeval churches, castles and villages. A few kilometres from the Villa is Montalcino, home of the famous Brunello. Moreover, in the streets and squares of the mediaeval villages scattered around the Provincia di Siena, many village festivals are organised in spring and summer.
Fairs and Markets
Mercato Settimanale delle Merci (Weekly Open-Air Market):
all Wednesdays, over 500 sellers from everywhere in the Tuscany gather in Siena, about 15 km from the Villa: many of them sell women’s shoes and “Made in Italy” women’s wear.
Mercatino dell’Antiquariato (Antique Market):
the third Sunday of every month, a market made up of about 80 stalls is organised in Piazza del Mercato, in Siena (about 15 km from the Villa).
Festa di San Giuseppe (St Joseph’s Day):
on the occasion of St Joseph’s Day celebrations, from March 19th to the beginning of April, along Via Giovanni Dupré in Siena (about 15 km from the Villa) you will find picturesque stands selling delicious sweet rice fritters and traditional hand-made wooden toys.
Festa di Santa Lucia (St Lucy’s Day):
on December 13th, St Lucy’s Day, along Pian dei Mantellini street in Siena (about 15 km from the Villa) you will find picturesque stalls selling pottery, hand-painted earthenware and baked-clay bells.
Fiera del Mestolo (Ladle Fair):
this amusing, uncommon fair takes place in Arezzo (about 60 km from the Villa) around September 10th. It is made up of over 300 stalls selling kitchenware, especially ladles, humble and precious kitchen implements here available in all shapes and sizes.
Fiera della Madonna del Conforto:
this fair takes place in Arezzo (about 60 km from the Villa) in mid-February, during the religious celebration of the Virgin Mary. On the stalls you can buy sweets and toys.
this exhibition, dedicated to photography amateurs, takes place in Piazza Grande in Arezzo (about 60 km from the Villa) the last week of April and September. There are more or less 100 stalls, showing everything about the history of photography: old cameras, lenses, tripods, second-hand objects.
Mercatino dei Ragazzi (Children’s Market):
this particular charity fair takes place in Piazza Garibaldi in Arezzo (about 60 km from the Villa), towards the end of March. It is organized by children, who sell goods they have been gathering in the last few months.
Mercatino dell’Antiquariato (Antique Market):
this fair takes place in Piazza San Francesco and Piazza Grande in Arezzo (about 60 km from the Villa) on the first weekend (Saturday and Sunday) of every month. It brings together over 100 sellers from all Italy and many other European countries.
Mercatino di Natale (Christmas Market):
all over the Christmas period, in Piazza San Jacopo and Piazza Risorgimento in Arezzo (about 60 km from the Villa), you will find a lot of stalls selling Christmas decorations, gifts and trinkets.