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Dear Newsletter Reader  

Welcome to the first To Tuscany newsletter of 2009 and Happy New Year to you all.  

Firstly we would like to apologise to the winner of our November newsletter competition, June Carey, whose name was unfortunately mispelt in the December newsletter.  June is a prominent international artist and as well as recommending that you visit the Castello di Verrazzano vineyard, she has also completed a fantastic painting of the vineyard and other beautiful scenes of Tuscany.  Her work can be seen on her website:

The New Year is the perfect time to plan your trip to Tuscany and Umbria and to help you with some ideas of when might be the best time for you to visit, this months newsletter is packed with information about some of the highlights taking place over the year that we think should not be missed.  You should also check on our website for details of more festivals and events:

As always, we welcome your comments, please feel free to email me.

When to visit in 2009:

February and March
: Viareggio carnival
Viareggio Carnival:  5 days of spectacular costume and float parades with the backdrop of the sea - enjoy the carnival atmosphere on February 8th, 15th, 22nd, 24th and 1st March.  All parades except for the March date start at 15.00 (17.00 1/3).  For ticket information click here
For accommodation nearby please click here:

rugbyFor sporting fans, in February we see the start of the RBS 6 Nations Rugby Tournament with the Italian team playing 3 fixtures at Stadio Flaminio (Rome) on the following dates - kick off times shown below:

15th February Italy v Ireland  kick off 15.30
14th March     Italy v Wales  kick off 16.00
21st March     Italy v France kick off 14.15

Properties in Orvieto are around an hours drive from Rome or you can take the high speed rail links.  For details of our properties in Orvieto please click here:

Easter in Italy: Easter in Florence
Easter is a fantastic time to visit Italy.  You will see many local parades and festivities and of course religious ceremonies as this is an important feast day for the Italians.  Dates for Easter 2009 are from April 10th to April 13th with Easter Day being Sunday 12th April. The most famous celebrations on Easter Sunday (outside of Vatican City) take place in Florence where the Archbishop is responsible for the "Scoppio del Carro" - the explosion of the cart.  This is a tradition which dates back over 300 years; the Archbishop fires a 'dove' (electronic) across the square into an ornate cart packed with fireworks.  A big explosion is seen as an indication of a good harvest! 

June: Saracino joust: Saracino joust
Arezzo is the setting for the Saracino medieval jousting tournament that dates back to the early 16th Century.  The joust takes place in the evening of 20th June and there is another tournament later in the
year - 6th September. 
For accommodation near to Arezzo please click here:

July: Performances and Palio: Andrea Bocelli
Andrea Bocelli and Placido Domingo will both be in Tuscany in July, although unfortunately not performing together!
Andrea Bocelli returns to his home town of Lajatico (Pisa) for a spectacular concert on 18th July in front of over 8000 fans (tickets go on sale on 31st January 2009, click here) and Placido Domingo will be directing La Boheme at the Puccini Festival on Torre del Lago (Viareggio), click here for more information.

The Umbria Jazz Festival runs from 10th to 19th July and this year there is a fantastic line up of artists to enjoy including Burt Bacharach, Simply Red, Steely Dan, James Taylor and Paolo Conte.  Details are being updated on the Umbria Jazz website.  For accommodation ideas, click here

Siena PalioThe Palio of Siena needs little introduction, even less so now it has appeared in the last James Bond film Quantum of Solace!  Why not plan your holiday around the dates of the Palio and dont forget to go in to Siena to see the practice runs too.  The dates for the two Palio races for 2009 are 2nd July and 16th August.  Many of our properties are close to Siena, click here for information.

Illuminations of the Holy CrossSeptember: Luminara di Santa Croce:
Lucca is the setting for this spectacular festival - the Illuminations of the Holy Cross - which takes place in the walled city on September 13th.  The whole city is illuminated with thousands of candles and a procession takes place through the streets of the town.
For accommodation near to Lucca please click here

October: Eurochocolate, Perugia  Eurochocolate
Eurochocolate is a 9-day extravaganza held in the City of Perugia (home to the Baci Italian chocolate brand).  Perugia turns itself into the European city of chocolate during this time and the streets are turned into an open air auditorium of stalls, cookery demonstrations, exhibitions and banquets.  Dates for this years event are from 16th to 25th October.
Our villa Morleschio can sleep up to 4 people and is just 15 minutes from the centre of Perugia, please click here for more details.  Alternatively, it is easy to reach Perugia from many properties in the Chianti, Cortona and Siena areas of Tuscany.
Feel free to contact us with any questions regarding travelling to Italy or anything within our newsletter. We can be reached at
Dympna Docherty