To Tuscany logo ENG
Dear Newsletter Reader,

Spring is in the air and as the temperatures warm up nicely in Tuscany and Umbria, many of you are now putting your final plans together for your forthcoming visits

Summer is the main music festival season within Tuscany and Umbria and it is always a favourite time for our To Tuscany guests to have the chance to see internationally renowned artists perform in some of the most spectacular stage settings - usually outdoors to make the most of the warm evenings.

If you have ever wanted to see Elton John, Mark Knopfler, Jamiroquai, Carlos Santana or Tony Bennett live or performances of Puccinis Madame Butterfly or Turandot in Puccinis home surroundings, then this summer could be your opportunity.

Below is a round up of the main music festivals along with performers and weblinks for buying tickets and gaining more information.

Continuing our recipe ideas is this months Ragu recipe from Simone of Malborghetto restaurant in Lecchi.

Photos for the 2011 competition are starting to arrive from those who have visited Tuscany early, we have some lovely entries already and are looking forward to receiving many more.

As always, please feel free to let me know any suggestions for items you would like us to cover in our newsletters.



BB King
BB King
Perugia is the capital of Umbria and from 8-17 July, the medieval streets of this lovely town will be transformed into a series of open-air concert venues. 2011 is the 32nd year for the world-renowned Umbria Jazz festival, where musicians from all over Italy and the rest of the world gather together to perform.

The headline stars perform at the Santa Giuliana Arena in the town and this year BB King, Herbie Hancock, Carlos Santana, Tony Bennett, Randy Crawford, Manhattan Transfer, and Mark Knopfler are scheduled to appear.

The Teatro Morlacchi and Oratorio Santa Cecilia are the venues for
afternoon and evening performances of more traditional jazz music, plus free open-air concerts for all the family take place throughout the town with a wide range of artists performing different styles of music.

Perugia is within 60-90 minutes drive of most areas of Tuscany so you really do not need to be staying in Umbria to enjoy the Festival.
Herbie Hancock - Umbria Jazz 2010 - Cantaloupe Island
Herbie Hancock - Umbria Jazz 2010 - Cantaloupe Island

Tickets for the Festival go on sale from Monday 9th May. The website and ticket information is in Italian and English:

Umbria Jazz Festival

You can click here for a map showing all the To Tuscany properties close to Perugia or please contact us for assistance.

Did you realise that there is a another Jazz Festival in Umbria? The Umbria Winter Jazz Festival takes place in the spectacular hilltop town of Orvieto during December and early January (December 28 2011 - Janurary 1 2012). More details nearer the time!


Lucca is fast becoming the place for music Festivals in Tuscany and alongside the famous Puccini Festival (see below for details) the Lucca Summer Festival is attracting some of the top International performers. This years Festival runs from 28th June to 21st July.

Some of the International artists lining up for the 2011 Festival include Elton John, Zucchero, Arcade Fire, Blink 182, Burt Baccarach, Jamiroquai and Amy Winehouse!!

The ancient and medieval walled City has for many years been of interest to tourists and the annual music festivals are one way to ensure that more people visit this historic City and enjoy the surroundings.

One of last years festival highlights was an appearance by the Scottish/Italian artist, Paolo Nutini:

2010-07-20 Lucca Summer Festival - Paolo Nutini - These Streets
2010-07-20 Lucca Summer Festival - Paolo Nutini - These Streets
Tickets are onsale now through the Ticket One website. Information and tickets are in Italian and English.

Lucca Summer Festival

For details of To Tuscany properties in and around the Lucca area. Click here for a map showing the locations and links to the properties or please contact us for assistance.


The Tuscan Sun Festival was established in 2003 in the medieval setting of Cortona in the East of Tuscany. Cortonas resident novelist, Frances Mayes ("Bella Tuscany" and "Under the Tuscan Sun", to name just two) was instrumental in introducing a number of international artists to this beautiful setting. The Festival has become famous for wine and culinary events, wellness and lifestyle classes and musical, theatre and dance productions - it is billed as Tuscanys premier Arts and Lifestyle Festival and is a sister Festival to the Sun Festival in Napa Valley, California - the dates for 2011 are from Sunday 31st July through to Sunday 7th August.

Tuscan Sun FestivalDuring the daytime, local produce are on sale at stalls throughout the town. There are also a number of open-air yoga, pilates and wellness programmes led by professionals at different venues throughout the day, some of these are even led by Trudi Styler (wife of the rock star Sting and residents of the area)

The evenings are given over to first class performances which in 2011 include the actors Jeremy Irons and Sharon Stone narrating a theatrical performance of Nocturne: Seduction, Smoke and Music - The love story of Chopin and George Sand.

Highlights include a rare appearance and performance by the world renowned pianist Martha Argerich who will be bringing an evening of Tango variations to life.
Milos Karadaglid
Milos Karadaglid

Other artists due to appear are: leading violinist Pinchas Zukerman, cellist Amanda Forsyth; Italian flutist Andrea Griminelli; the Zukerman Chamber Players; cellist and Co-Founder of the Tuscan Sun Festival Nina Kotova joins the Nocturne evening; violinist Michael Guttman presents a night of Schubert; award-winning pianist Leif Ove Andsnes plays Beethoven in a concert that will include young guitar sensation Milos Karadaglid; and soprano Danielle de Niese returns to the Festival.

Tickets are already on sale, information on the website is in Italian and English but tickets can also be booked with German language speakers:

The Tuscan Sun Festival

To Tuscany have properties in and around the Cortona area. Click here for a map showing the locations and links to the properties or please contact us for assistance.


Following on from the Umbria Jazz Festival in July, the City of Perugia turns its attention to Classical Music for the Music Fest from Wedneday 3rd to Tuesday 16th August.

Music Fest PerugiaOver the two weeks in August, Music Fest Perugia produces classical concerts in the historical and sumptuous surroundings of Sala dei Notari, Basilica di San Pietro, the Cattedrale di San Lorenzo and the Caio Melisso in Perugia town. The concerts will be performed by a combination of world famous professionals, and their most promising students, Music Fest Perugia aims to keep the classical repertoire vibrant and alive and bring present and future stars together.

2011 performers include the opera singers Daniella Lugassy and Sasha Starchevich; pianists Masahiro Kawakami and Michael Lewin and Violinists James Buswell VI and Paolo Franceschini

Information and tickets are avaialble through the website in Italian and English

Music Fest Perugia 2011

For a map showing the To Tuscany properties in and around Perugia please click here or please contact us for assistance.


Turandot Puccini FestivalThe composer Giacomo Puccini was born in the Tuscan town of Lucca, to the north of Pisa. He made his home in Villa Puccini, in the charming area of Torre del Lago which is close Viareggio and the Tuscan countryside but still only 18km from Lucca and Pisa. It was during his time at Torre del Lago that he found the inspiration to compose his music.

Torre del Lago is host to the annual Puccini Festival which takes place on a specially built stage with the spectacular backdrop of Lake Massaciuccoli that was so inspiring to Puccini.

The 2011 performances will be three of Puccinis most well loved operas - Madame Butterfly, Turandot and La Boheme. The Festival dates run from Friday 22nd July through to Saturday 27th August.

Information on the website is available in Italian, English, German, French and Spanish. Tickets can be booked directly online and collected in Italy.

It is also possible to book to have 'Dinner with the artists' for after the performances. The tickets for the dinners are 65 Euros each and can only be purchased with a Performance ticket (you cannot book the dinner only).

The Puccini Festival

For properties in the Lucca/Pisa region please click here or please contact us for assistance


Many To Tuscany guests have enjoyed great meals at the Malborghetto restaurant run by Simone in Lecchi in Chianti (not far from the Montebuoni, Montefiorile, San Sano and Pretaccione hamlets).

This months recipe is the basis for many an Italian recipe and is one of the easiest to master. Below is the Ragu recipe Simone learnt from his Grandmother which my husband and I had great fun practising with Simone at his cookery school.

Ragu Sauce
3 Onions
2 Carrots
2 sticks of Celery
Ikg of ground beef mince
1/4 litre of red wine
Can of chopped tomatoes
Large spoon of tomato puree
2-4 cloves of garlic

Finely chop (or put in the food processor) the onions, carrots and celery. Place in a large pan with some olive oil and cook until soft.
Add the tomato puree and crushed garlic cloves to the softened vegetables and cook for a minute or so on a medium heat.
Add the beef mince.
When the beef begins to brown, add the wine.
When the wine has been absorbed, add the chopped tomatoes.
Season with salt and pepper according to taste.


Vignale sunset
May sunset at Vignale - Jaap Romers 1192NL

Dont forget about the To Tuscany 2011 photocompetition. Entries (maximum of 5) must be sent in JPEG format and the prize is a hamper of Tuscan delicacies. Send your entry to with your name, reservation code and a title for each of the photos.

This months photo was sent to us by Jaap Romers from the Netherlands who stayed at Vignale hamlet in May 2010.

Quick Links

We hope that you find the information in this months newsletter useful.

Please let us know of any content that you would like to see included in our newsletters and we wish you a fantastic year wherever you are spending it!

Click here for contact details

Tanti Saluti

Dympna Docherty