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Discover Tuscany!, Issue #010-- the "Oily" issue!
November 11, 2003

Discover Tuscany! is a FREE monthly Newsletter dedicated to helping you get the best from your holiday in Tuscany.

In the Dolomites they are already skiing, in Calabria they are still sunbathing! Must be too much ozone or something! Here in Tuscany, the countryside is bathed in a warm golden glow, autumn is in full swing. All over the shop, squads of little old men can be seen swinging from the tops of olive trees, combing them! Like a kind of giant, outdoor, hairdressers convention, Should know better at their age, I say! This ancient “tree combing” custom takes place every year around the beginning of November when the locals harvest the olives to make some of the finest Extra Virgin Olive Oil in the world. If you’ve never tasted dark green, peppery flavour, newly pressed oil you are missing out on one of life’s simple pleasures. What are you waiting for! Grab a comb, Get over here now and lend a hand!!

This month’s handy “cut out and keep” – “Oily” Issue of Discover Tuscany has a round up of what’s going down in Tuscany. Great Flight offers, New sumptuous villas, specially decorated over the festive season, where to find the best Nativity scenes and the coolest hot springs in town.

So, Kick off your Gucci moccasins, curl up on the sofa, pour yourself a pint of Chianti and enjoy this month’s “Discover Tuscany!”

1. Intro
2. Contents & Thanks
3. New properties
4. Flight info
5. Christmas offers
6. Presepes
7. Local festas
8. Thermal springs
9. Coming soon – golf breaks

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To “DISCOVER TUSCANY!” the Newsletter. We hope you enjoy reading it and find the information and advice useful when planning your holiday in Tuscany. We have lots of great ideas for the content but if have any ideas, comments or suggestions, please feel free to get in touch. We’d love to hear from you, just email us. Maybe there is something you need to know before you arrive or a great tip you’d like to pass on after your holiday, (when you get home don’t forget to sign our guest book on the site to tell us about your holiday and upload your favourite holiday snaps!).

New Properties
This month we’ve been busy photographing our new Luxury properties. These properties are really special, both in terms of their décor and also in the quality of service they offer. Casa Felice, Villa Lucchese and Villa Controni are all situated near the beautiful city of Lucca. They offer every modern comfort including full concierge service if required. If you are planning a family reunion or would like to enjoy a special holiday with a group of close friends, these superb properties offer amazing value for money. In low season they can even be rented by the night, bed and breakfast. Check out our New Properties & Luxury Villas pages for more stunning properties soon.

Head in the clouds
Low cost airline flyglobespan have added a couple of new direct routes for summer 2004. Edinburgh – Rome/Venice direct for £45 + taxes. Excellent value and no stopovers in Stansted.
Irish budget airline Ryanair have a great “until midnight tonight” sale. As usual, unbelievable prices – London (Stansted) – Brescia/Bergamo/Forli one-way £1, Glasgow – Milan £19.99, London – Pisa £19.99, Luton – Milan €4.99, all plus taxes. At these prices it’s possible to do your Christmas shopping in Florence or at some of the great local designer factory outlets.

Christmas Offers
Any of you who have looked at the site in the last few days will have noticed a new page Christmas in Tuscany , full of great Festive offers including FREE “Panettone and Spumante”. A number of our owners will be decorating their villas especially for Christmas. A candlelit, Tuscan farmhouse kitchen with an enormous fireplace draped with Christmas decorations has a magical atmosphere and the superb local food and fine wines make Tuscany a perfect place to celebrate the festive season.

Until fairly recent times, a decorated Christmas tree complete with fairy lights and star was not to be found in Italy around the festive season, instead, a nativity scene or crib was the traditional Italian Christmas custom. There are various types, even “Living” Nativity scenes with local people in costume taking part (Grassina nr Florence). The materials used also changes depending on the area. In the south of Italy, in Sicily, materials such as coral, shells, mother of pearl and alabaster are used to create the scene. In other areas terracotta or beautiful hand carved wooden figures are used. Many local towns and villages have special “Nativity scenes”, some outdoors, some in local churches. The Ferragamo Estate village called “Il Borro” even has a mechanical, moving, nativity scene in the village church hall complete with lights and sound.

Local Festas
Autumn is one of the best seasons for local food based festivals. Taste the new season’s Olive oil in Siena 30 Nov, Rapolano Terme 30 Nov, Arcidosso 16 Nov, Trequanda 25/26 Nov, there is even an olive oil/soapbox derby festival in Montemurlo 30 Nov. For white truffles there are festas in San Giovanni d’asso 15/16 Nov, San Miniato 22/23, 29/30 Nov. A wild boar festival takes place in Suvereto near Livorno 30 Nov. Various chestnut festivals are taking place throughout the month in the Casentino area and the area to the north of Florence near Borgo S. Lorenzo and Marradi. New wine festivals are also taking place at various venues this month such as Montespertoli, Siena and Pisa. Check out local magazine “Toscana Tascabile” for full info on these and lots more.

Thermal Springs
Need a little pampering before winter sets in? Tuscany’s hot thermal springs could be just what you need. Last year, I went swimming in an outdoor, hot thermal pool with snow falling all around. Invigorating! Tuscany has lots of areas with thermal spas, Montecatini Terme, Chianciano Terme, Rapolano Terme, Bagno Vignoni and Saturnia to name but a few. The water in each spa has slightly different properties, said to cure various illnesses. Various treatments such as Mud Therapy, Massage, Aromatherapy, Hydrotherapy and Stress Management are available. Contact Us for more info and details of accommodation near to a spa. Go on take the plunge!

Coming soon!
Tuscany has some fantastic golf courses. We are about to add a fantastic “ Golf in Tuscany” page to the site. The facilities and accommodation are top class and there are a number of superb packages for golfing weeks. Perfect for small groups or company incentives. Anyone interested in an investment opportunity in Tuscan property? One of our owners has a large, completely restored, Tuscan farmhouse with enormous garden and pool for sale. Interested? Get in touch for more details.

For this month, That’s all folks


Dedicated to “Wee Tam” (1990 – Nov. 2003) The best wee cat in Tuscany

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