Blog

Tuscany meets Africa

18/03/2015

The idea to celebrate weddings in a foreign country was born from my need to get new inspirations away from Tuscany and explore exotic spots at the same time. South Africa was the perfect location for a lot of reasons. Since I got back there in 2010, after my first trip in 1993 when the apartheid regime was still on, this country has been inspiring me in a lot of different ways. Now how to…

Driving in Tuscany

13/03/2015

Renting a car is easy in Italy and the rental agencies ask only for a valid driver license from you own country and a credit card – debit cards are not usually accepted.   International driver licenses are not mandatory, but are useful should you have an accident.  When renting a car you should ask what type of fuel the car uses.   Some cars run on unleaded (benzina senza piombo), however diesel (Gasolio) and some even…

Siena, a picturesque city revered for its art and beauty

26/02/2015

Although it is a relatively small city of fifty-two thousand people Siena is a cultural behemoth and rightfully has earned its place as a Unesco World Heritage Site. This picturesque hill town  has played a huge role in western civilization. Originally settled by the Etruscans, Siena rose to prominence when the Lombards conquered the city and built the Via Francigena, linking Rome with what is now France in the sixth century.   The city became…

Picking the perfect villa for your Tuscan holiday

18/02/2015

Trying to pick the right villa in Tuscany for your family’s vacation is not an easy task.   The internet is full of pictures and descriptions, but as we all know the pictures are staged, and the descriptions are written to entice you to come rent the villa and tend to omit anything that might deter you from renting the estate. How do you tell?  Of course getting on an airplane and flying to Tuscany and…

Gaiole in Chianti

12/02/2015

If a Hollywood set designer was asked to create the Tuscany of our dreams, chances are good that they would erect a model of the medieval town of Gaiole in Chianti, the small vineyard dominated village nestled fifteen kilometers north of the provincial capital of Siena and only forty kilometers southeast of Florence. In 1215, Gaiole became the central market town for the small villages of Radda, Castellina in Chianti and the nearby castles of…

Castagnaccio (chestnut flour cake) recipe

30/01/2015

This is an amazing recipe for the winter weekend! It is not too sweet and it is healthy. It’s a cake, but no sugar, yeast or baking powder are needed. It also contains pine nuts and walnuts that are good for your system. In Tuscany we typically make it in November & December because we pick up the chestnuts and prepare the flour in November and like all the flours is better if you use…

Travel to Tuscany

20/01/2015

Getting to Tuscany by air is quite easy.  We have two international airports in Pisa and Florence, but many of our TuscanDream luxury villas are less than a two hour drive from Rome’s Fiumicino airport, Bologna and Genoa. It depends where your villa or hotel is located and where you are flying from to determine which airport is best to fly into for your Italian vacation. If you are staying in a TuscanDream villa in…

2014 Favorite Table Arrangements – We love long tables!

13/01/2015

This past year we really had the chance to create some beautiful long table arrangements. Here some quick snaps of the ones we loved the most! All the 3 of them will be featured in wedding blogs in the month so stay tuned for more details. A castle setting is the perfect place to use long tables and in this case we did a U shape table to create that medieval banquet feel. Using silver…

Tuscany, a shopper’s paradise!

05/01/2015

Tuscany has always been a shopper’s paradise – and now with the United States dollar having gained over 10 percent against the Euro it’s even better! Whether you’re looking for designer goods, ceramics, shoes and other leather goods, antiques or jewelry, we’ve got bargains galore! The Luxury Outlet “The Mall” is located 30 minutes southeast of Florence on the Via Europa 8, Leccio Regello (Florence) features a host of designer goods at about thirty percent…

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