has been a busy February with the final count of the votes for the
Photocompetition, promoting Valentines Day, visiting villas and helping
with all the booking enquiries and questions that we are receiving.
Some of you will have already seen the announcement of the winner of the photocompetition on our Facebook and Twitter accounts but we would like to share the winners photos with everyone as they are so good (and so different to each other).
many of you will be starting to make your travel arrangements for
arriving in Tuscany, there is also some news on alternative flight
routes you might want to consider. For those of you intending to drive
to Tuscany, if you are going to be travelling through France at any
time this summer, read below for the most recent changes (February
2012) to what must be carried in your car.
As always, please feel free to let me know any suggestions for items you would like us to cover in our newsletters.
2011 PHOTOCOMPETITION WINNER
At the end of counting, the votes were very close for the 2011 To
Tuscany photocompetition winners with only 50 votes between 1st and 3rd
place and only TWO votes between 2nd and 3rd place!
winning photo (shown on the right) with 177 votes, was taken by one of
our Austrian clients - Markus Pesendorfer - outside the Paradiso Trulli in Puglia.
his photo, Markus said that his children Noah and Leoni had been told
not to go up the steps on the outside of the Trulli to reach the
rooftop terrace without him or his wife. The children were sitting
patiently on the steps when Markus took the winning shot.
The family enjoyed their visit to Puglia and the Paradiso Trulli
so much that they have booked to return again for two weeks this
summer. Because they are returning this summer, they decided to choose
the prize of €250 Euros credit towards their holiday rather than the
Digital Camera. (Note: To Tuscany will be increasing the number of
properties available in Puglia this year).
The runner up photos are shown below and all the entries can still be seen on the Photocompetition
page on our website. Second and third place below received a digital
camera each and fourth and fifth places received a selection of Tuscan
Second place with 129 votes, was Nicholas Read of the UK with his photo of the cafes getting ready for the lunchtime rush:
Third place with 127 votes, was Dominique Cassart from France with her photo of the sunrise over the vineyards:
Fourth place with 102 votes was Hanka Cedrowska from Poland with her photo of the rows of vines in the local vineyard:
Fifth place with 93 votes was Laura Jansen from the Netherlands with her photo of the sunset taken through an olive tree:
Dont forget, entry into the 2012 photocompetition is already open!
You can view all of the competition entries since we started back in 2007 on the To Tuscany Flickr photo account
THIS YEAR, WHY NOT TRY A DIFFERENT ROUTE?
travelling to Tuscany, people automatically search for flights to Pisa
or Florence. Two other airports should also be on your search criteria,
especially as the low cost airlines are starting to improve their services to them (daily flights from London Stansted in the summer).
Perugia airport is located just across the border of Tuscany in the
region of Umbria. When I travelled to Perugia airport just before
Christmas, I was amused by the simplicity of it - one customs officer
standing at the back of the luggage collection area checking passports
of people that stopped to show him and a car hire desk so hidden behind
a plant that I didnt discover it for 10 minutes! Imagine my surprise
when I returned to Perugia at the beginning of this month and found
myself in one of Italys most modern airports with brand new terminal
buildings, spacious areas for luggage collection, passport control,
customs and a large car hire section with plenty of room for everybody.
The whole airport at Perugia has been renovated and replaced and the
departures area is just as modern, a great improvement from mistaking
the departures queue for a queue for the coffee shop!
Driving from Perugia to the Chianti takes under 2 hours and if you are staying in one of our properties in the Arezzo area (such as Cortona, Cavriglia) or Siena, then you could reach them in around 1 1/2 hours. Properties in Umbria are also easily reached from Perugia or even Rome
is another airport often overlooked by travellers to Tuscany as it is
located in the Emilia-Romana area of Italy. This is another story of a
small airport suddenly enjoying expansion and investment and this
summer you can expect another modern airport with a variety of
restaurants and shops. For motobike and car enthusiasts, you can enjoy
that wait in the airport by visiting the Ducati shop to see a history
of their motorbikes which includes ex-racing models. If motorbikes are
not your think, how about a visit to the Ferrari shop instead. An added
bonus for airport shopping is that purchases made at the airports are
allowed to be taken onto your flight IN ADDITION to your hand luggage.
From Bologna airport, travellers can easily link to the A1 highway which offers a fast route into Tuscany - 2 hours to the Chianti, 2 1/2 hours to properties south of Siena.
you are driving to Italy (or any other country!) and will be at any
time, driving on roads in France please note new regulations that will
be enforced from July 2012:
of you will already be aware of the rule that drivers must have a
reflective jacket and warning triangle in the car when driving in
European countries - did you know though that the reflective jacket
must be within the driving area of the car and NOT in the boot - many
tourists fell foul of that law when stopped by the French traffic
this summer, motorists are required to now have on board a breathalyser
kit! French drink-driving laws are very strict and this is the latest
way that the authorities are trying to discourage any driving after
having a drink. Roadside checks will be underway from July and although
fines are not likely to come into effect until November, warnings will
be given. The recommendation is to ensure you have a couple of these
kits in the car. Breathalyser kits can be bought from major pharmacies
and also at the ferry terminals and the channel tunnel. Apps are
available for iPhones and some Android phones that show the amount of
alcohol you have consumed but it is not clear if the French police will
accept these as proof of you having a breathalyser in the car.
For a full list of what you need to have with you when driving in France, please read this article
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We hope that you have enjoyed reading our newsletter and we look forward to the 2012 season with you.