Tuscan Life

A Stranger in the Kitchen…

Montisi is famous for its 4 Contrade (districts) and for its wonderful cooking during its many festivals. All the work is done by volunteers who will often feed several hundred people a day. The volunteer cooks are a special group and to accept a straniera (foreigner)...

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Eating in Italy….

Eating in Italy.... ......can be confusing. Where to go? Should it be an Osteria, Trattoria or a Ristorante? Rest assured there’s not much in a name anymore. Years ago, an Osteria was a basic place where you could sometimes even bring your own food, a Trattoria was a...

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Photographs by Joachim Gessinger

Landscape photography is a fine thing. You don't have to ask permission to be photographed. It doesn't complain when it's wrinkles  become visible. Landscape does not run away if you want to photograph it but you have to do some scouting to be able to photograph it....

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I Blame the Etruscans!

Take a walk or short drive in the countryside around Montisi. You will not fail to notice the many olive trees planted in neat rows on sometimes terraced hillsides. They are not native to the area. At around 400 meters above sea level Montisi is at the limit of where...

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Olive Oil – not just with salad!

It is that time of year again and all our thoughts turn to Olive Oil - but it has many uses - not just for salad! Maybe you have just bought a bottle of wonderful extra virgin oil from a supplier close to Montisi or perhaps you have a bottle hidden in your kitchen...

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Our olive harvest in Montisi

It’s October and excitement is rising – how will the harvest turn out – especially this year in Montisi! Will there be any to pick following months of drought and soaring temperatures? And last year was a poor harvest too due to the olive fly! At Poggio Secco I wish...

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It’s a Dog’s Life!

I think being here in Montisi is definitely a dog's life! My name is Bella. I’m a 5 year old cockerpoo and I live with my human Mummy in Montisi , a beautiful hilltop village in Southern Tuscany for half the year. The rest of the time we live in England. Montisi is a...

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A Visit to the Italian MotoGP

Nestling in the hills just to the north of Florence lies the motor racing circuit of Mugello. Each year this is the venue for the Italian round of the MotoGP series. Probably you will all be familiar with the car racing series of Formula 1. MotoGP is the equivalent...

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Learning the Language

Italian is easy to learn or so they say. We all know a few words -  for example spaghetti, pizza and chianti are second nature to those of us who love their food and wine. Surely then it can't be that difficult to pick up a few more and then abracadabra, we’re fluent!...

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‘Our personal paradise’

Twenty-five years ago in California my wife and I first heard the word “Montisi”. We have been discovering it ever since: first in the 1990’s as occasional renters of a beautiful farmhouse; then, in 2001 as owners of a centuries-old house in the historic center of the...

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The Contradas of Montisi

Many people know about the Contradas of Siena that compete every year in the Palios of June and August. On a much smaller scale, but with the same effect of adding vibrancy to the life of Montisi, which other villages envy, we have four Contradas. Every August they...

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Events in the Area

  1. Umbria Winter Jazz Festival

    Umbria Winter Jazz Festival 2018

    December 26, 2017 - January 1, 2018

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