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Posts Tagged ‘Siena’

Ceramics and Passion in Siena

Friday, August 24th, 2012
La ceramista Sonia Staccioli

Ceramist Sonia Staccioli at work in her workshop

We were taking a stroll near the Duomo of Siena on a warm evening this past July, trying to decide whether we had enough time to go visit the Opera del Duomo museum or rather to relax and enjoy an ice cream, when our attention was caught by a young ceramist painting a dish on the threshold of one of the many (so it seemed) ceramics shops in Siena.

We were about to take a picture of her and the beautiful ceramics when we saw the sign which said: “NO PHOTO (as I don’t eat with photos)”. So we just kept admiring as she continued to work in respectful silence and watched the design take shape under her short, decisive brush strokes.

We then also notice a second sign that I find funny and certainly want to take a picture of that says Made in China Siena, so I interrupt her to ask if I may take the photo, thus marking the occasion to start chatting.

Read more about our meeting

The Cathedral of Siena hosts “The Baptism of Christ” by Tiziano

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

If you are visiting Tuscany and you make your way to Siena, don’t miss the exclusive exhibition in the Cathedral of Siena running from March 1st through to August 31 which hosts the sublime masterpiece by Tiziano “The Baptism of Christ” .

To celebrate the 500th anniversary of its creation, the painting for the first time in history travels out of its permanent exhibition space at the museum Pinacoteca Capitolina in Rome to Siena to mingle with the works present in the Crypt of the Dome.

Read more about the Exhibition of Tiziano in Siena>>

Christmas Markets in Tuscany 2010

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

Christmas Tuscany

Wow! Today is December 1st and the countdown for Christmas has started! Florence has been lighted up with thousands of Christmas lights all around the city. As usual during the Advent there are several Christmas markets and lots of events all around Tuscany.

Christmas markets are the ideal places for finding unique Christmas decorations, handmade gifts and for tasting Christmas sweets and local products. Here you have a list of main Christmas markets in Tuscany 2010:

Read more »

Goblets of stars

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

On the night of Saint Lawrence, August 10th 2010, most of the wine cities in Tuscany will be animated by “Calici di Stelle” (Goblets of stars). For all night there will wine and food tastings, concerts, craft markets, guided tours and stars watching.

In the Chianti Classico region there will be many events: in Greve in Chianti there will be wine tastings, craft market and stars watching from 9.00 pm, in Castellina in Chianti the center will be animated by street musicians, craft market, wine and food tastings, and in Gaiole in Chianti wine and food tastings will start at 6.00 pm.

In Siena wine tastings will take place under the Loggia of Palazzo Pubblico from 9.30, together with guided tours to the Civic Museum and to Torre del Mangia, while in San Gimignano there will be in Piazza Sant’Agostino from 9.00 pm.

There will be also wine tastings and other events in Montepulciano, Castelnuovo di Berardenga, Castiglione d’Orcia and Campiglia Marritima, as well as other minor destinations. In fact the calendar of Calici di Stelle 2010 have many different events scheduled.

So look up high in the sky for your falling star while drinking a good glass of wine, and don’t forget to make a wish! ;)

Finally July is here!

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

meonteriggioni medieval festival

Finally it’s summer with hot days, unfortunately the heat has also called given life to lots of mosquitoes as well. The gray rainy days of just two weeks ago are a memory and summer begins with the first Palio of the year. In fact, today July 2 is the Palio of Provenzano. I won’t go to Siena but I’ll watch it on TV while sipping something cold in the company of friends. Read more »

Treasure hunt, wine tastings and more in Tuscany

Friday, June 4th, 2010

siena piazza del campo

Finally June has arrived! From the weather you wouldn’t say it, but I’m not worried for my plans for this weekend in Tuscany. Yes, this weekend I don’t plan to stay in Florence but plan on going around Tuscany. So, these are some of my plans.

Saturday morning early wake up, about 9.00, because I want to go to local markets. First I want to go to Impruneta and then to Greve in Chianti. I want to have a “light” lunch in Greve eating some schiacciata (Tuscan bread) filled with sbriciolona (a typical ham) at the Macelleria Falorni in the main square. Then I’ll head to Siena, have to be there before 5 p.m., because at that time starts a big treasure hunt in the historical center. The event is the conclusion of the great wine festival Chianti è. The treasure hunt will also meet the traditions of the Palio and will end with a typical dinner in Contrada. English speaking staff will assist you and reservations are required. Read the full post »

Classico is Chianti

Monday, May 24th, 2010

Chianti wine cellars

If you happen to see a Fiat 500 around Florence making sounds like a rooster, don’t worry, it isn’t a maniac out driving having fun. The cars making the rooster’s cock-a-doodle-do are actually promoting an upcoming event in Chianti’s wine region, Chianti Classico, whose symbol is the black rooster.

Starting May 29th and continuing on to June 5th the event “Chianti è” is an important wine festival organized this year to promote the wine and culture of Chianti Classico, the most regulated and traditional of the various Chianti denominations. Eight days of wine tastings, open cellars, exhibits, concerts, guided tours, cooking classes and much more. Read the full post »

European Culture Week in Tuscany

Monday, April 12th, 2010

Medicean Villa in Florence

From April 16 to the 25th the 12th European Culture Week will be taking place all over Italy and Europe and thus in Tuscany as well. The event, successfully organized by the Italian Ministry for Cultural Assets and Activities, opens State museums, monuments, archeological sites, archives and libraries, both for Italian and foreign visitors with free entrance.

In Italy there will be over 2900 events during the week, with over 200 just in Tuscany. Free guided tours, as well as special exhibits and events, will be organized across the region, such as the extraordinary opening of the Gardens at Villa La Pietra and its Acton Collection.

The European Culture Week is certainly a unique occasion to discover and visit unique Italian masterpieces, as well as hidden Tuscan treasures enriching your unforgettable holidays in Tuscany. Aside from free entrance into state museums, you can enjoy a full schedule of events.

The Day After

Monday, August 17th, 2009

palio di siena august 2009photo by fairlybuoyant

The Palio in Siena finally took place on Sunday as the sky was darkening at dusk.
The evocative historical parade was followed by a long and complicated “mossa“, the time where the jockeys and horses are supposed to take their alloted order so that the race can be run.
Over an hour later and after 3 false starts, the start of the race was finally decided by the setting sun rather than by the “mossiere“, the figure responsible for deciding that the alignment of the horses was mostly respected and thus the start and race valid.

The Civetta or Owl contrada won the race after a 30 year dry spell. No other contrada had waited so long for such a sweet victory. One could say that nature just took its course: running after sunset helped the nocturnal creature as it entered the race at its prime time for activity.
The contrada, known as the “prior” district for having hosted the priors of the districts during a time of conflict with city hall in 1887, was also able to secure victory thanks to the ability of its jockey in taking the spot assigned to the Unicorn, its great rival, and then in masterly handling the experienced horse it had received through lottery.
Read more about The day after the Palio

“Knick-knack” wins the Palio in Siena

Thursday, August 21st, 2008

photo by one from rm

The Palio of the Assumption took place on the 16th of August in Siena’s Piazza del Campo as it does every year, but this particular edition truly showed its ancient, exciting roots more so than past races.

It all began with the traditional Sienese way of sorting out who had the best chances of winning and this race saw a serious factor to be considered: “4 greens” would be racing on the piazza that day (contrade with green in their flags) and this is believed to be a portent of something unpleasant to come.

To start off, the weather was so unpleasant that it impeded not one but two trial runs. This also made it necessary to lay down another layer of tuff on the piazza almost as the drums were starting to beat.

Read more about the Palio race »