Tuscany with Affie... Welcome to my Blog
THINGS TO DO…….. LA DOLCE VITA DI TOSCANA
Whether you are looking for a restaurant recommendation for a traditional trattoria, a fine-dining experience, or you simply wish to know the best places to buy the local produce, at San Luigi we can point you in the right direction.
In addition, we can arrange for a private chef to cook for you at the Villa, and for your very own personal cookery classes.
From the famous Brunello vineyards of Montalcino, the Vino Nobile of Montepulciano to the Chianti region north of Siena and the Super-Tuscans of Bolgheri, this is the land of the Sangiovese grape.
Vineyard tours and wine tastings can be organized at both world-renown wineries and smaller boutique vineyards that we have discovered and are happy to share with our friends.
As the birthplace of the Renaissance, Tuscany provides countless possibilities for exploring the culture, art and history of the region.
If you want to avoid the tourist throngs in the larger towns and cities, we can also recommend trips to smaller and less-visited places. Mediaeval fortress towns, Romanesque churches, Renaissance palazzi and paintings of the Sienese school can all be found within a short distance of San Luigi.
The beautiful and historically significant abbeys of Santa Maria di Monte Oliveto Maggiore and Sant’Antimo are 15 and 20 minutes drive, whilst the Abbazia di San Galgano is just under an hour’s drive.
Guided tours can be arranged, or you can simply pick up a guide-book from our library and see where the day takes you.
FOOD & WINE – Guests can also experience the rich cultural and gastronomic heritage of Southern Tuscany by participating in one of the many festivals held throughout the year.
During the spring and autumn months many of the local towns hold festas (festivals), unsurprisingly linked to food and wine. From San Giovanni d’Asso and its truffle festival, Montisi and olive oil, Pienza and pecorino, and of course Montalcino and Benvenuti Brunello, there is some celebration of the bounty produced by this beautiful land, almost every weekend in one of the historic towns nearby. In September Buonconvento also holds a celebration of food across nine days the ‘Sagra della Val d’Arbia’ with each of the ‘contrada’ taking it in turn to cook traditional Tuscan fare, shared by all sitting at trestle tables in the courtyards within the historic centre.
CULTURE & MUSIC – Throughout the summer months, the attention turns to art, culture and music – from classical to jazz and blues. Not only can you experience internationally-established events such as The Tuscan Sun Festival in Cortona, or Incontri in Terra di Siena held at La Foce, but also, many of the hilltop towns across Southern Tuscany, including Montalcino and Pienza, stage their own cultural and music festivals throughout the summer. Even small villages get in on the act with events such as Camingliano Blues, where you can enjoy a Tuscan community feast first, before live performances from regional and international artists.
Whether you are a serious road cyclist and would like to imagine yourself competing in the Giro d’Italia, or a casual mountain biker, the terrain around San Luigi offers something for everyone. Several well-established cycle routes including the famous ‘L’Eroica’, which hosts an annual vintage cycle race, and the Grand Tour della Val di Merse, are both literally on our doorstep.
Walking through quintessentially Tuscan landscapes, along strada bianca lined with soaring cypress trees, amidst neat rows of vines and well-kept olive trees must surely be one of life’s great pleasures. The area around San Luigi offers countless possibilities for leisurely strolls exploring the flora and fauna, or more strenuous hikes through the countryside from one historical town to another. Indeed, as the saying goes, ‘all roads lead to Rome’, and the ancient Via Francigena pilgrimage route from Canterbury to Rome passes through Buonconvento before winding its way towards Montalcino and San Quirico, providing guests with an opportunity to tread the same path used by pilgrims for thousands of years.
GOLF, HORSE-RIDING & FISHING
San Luigi is located just 15 minutes away from two of Italy’s best golf courses – Royal Golf La Bagnaia (designed by Robert Trent Jones II) and Castiglion del Bosco (designed by Tom Weiskopf). Horse-riding and fishing are also available nearby in Buonconvento.
I would love to hear from you, my contact details are: Email: [email protected] Skype: affiehussein Mobile: +44 7827 923697