Welcome to the start of 2012 and we hope that 2011 ended well for you and that 2012 has started with excitement and enjoyment!

To Tuscany had an exciting end of year with our new website being launched and our new style photocompetition voting going 'live'. We havent stopped either, new properties are being added to our property on a weekly basis and bookings from our clients have stepped up as everyone is getting their year organised.

This edition reminds everyone about the photocompetition (and explains about the differences in the votes cast), we also look at a new addition to the website - winetasting - and our events & festivals page on our website that you may not have discovered just yet, plus we send another invite to you to join our Facebook & Twitter communities - we are going to be giving away bottles of olive oil but only to people who have 'liked' us or 'followed' us.

As I have already mentioned, many bookings have been made already, particularly over the school summer holiday dates, if you havent already decided on your dates, it may be worth organising them sooner rather than later. Click here to go to the website

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



Giostra dei Saracino
Last years winning entry - Giostra Dei Saracino by Jim Hartman
The on-line voting system for the 2011 photocompetition opened at the beginning of January and we have already seen lots of votes being cast for peoples favourite photos - if you havent already voted, do visit the website and have a look, it only takes a few minutes: click here

We have had some queries why the votes do not seem to tally from one website to another (for example: if you look on the Dutch website and then look on the English website), the reason for this is simple - that someone is manually counting the votes from all the websites on a weekly basis and then making a total across all the websites!
The photos are still displayed on a special page on our website (click here) and voting closes in a few weeks on 6th February 2012 (the photos are loaded in alphabetical order according to the entrants first name).

At the end of the day on 6th February, we have the job of looking at all the voting addresses to make sure there are no 'duplicates' - only one vote per IP address (internet provider) is allowed; where there are duplicates or multiple votes, the overall voting total will be adjusted for that entrant. Once we have completed this process, the top 5 photos will be decided and prizes will be allocated accordingly.

In case you have forgotten, the prizes are as follows:

First prize wins a top of the range compact digital camera or a voucher for 250 Euros off a 2012 To Tuscany holiday.
Second and Third place will each receive a compact digital camera.
Consolation prizes will be awarded to the 4th and 5th place entries.
(There are no cash alternatives for the prizes awarded)

We are very excited about the 'public vote' and look forward to revealing the winners soon!

Dont forget, entry into the 2012 photocompetition are already open!

You can view all of the competition entries for this year (and every year since we started it in 2007) on the To Tuscany Flickr photo account


Silvano Franconi For many people, a holiday in Tuscany would not be complete without a wine-tasting stop and there are many to choose from, especially in the Chianti area.
However, if the thought of just stopping at a winery is too daunting for you or if you are not sure which wines you might like, then an introduction to the Tuscan wines given (formally or informally) in your Villa could be just what you are looking for.
Silvano Franconi is fluent in Italian (of course!), German and English and has decades of experience in recommending and choosing wines to people from his time working within some of Tuscanys top restaurants. His fledgling company in the Chianti offers wine-tastings for 2-20 people and also a 'Wine Box' delivery service.
More information and contact details can be found on our website, click here to go straight to the page.


Italy has many festivals throughout the year and some of the best take place in Tuscany and Umbria.

If you are wondering when to visit, have a look at our events and festivals page which gives you the main festivals happening each month of the year.

If you have already booked your holiday, have a look to see what event or festival you may be able to join in with.

Some highlights include:
Easter in Italy - as a Country with a high proportion of people following the Catholic Faith, Tuscany and Umbria join in celebrations with gusto! In particular, Florence is famous for the Scoppio del Carro on Easter Sunday where the Bishop sends a flaming dove (fake) into a cart full of fireworks!

Scoppio del Carro by Italy Segway Tours

A Palio is an event which sees the different areas of a city compete against each other for honours for the next year. The palios vary from archery, barrel racing, donkey racing or shooting crossbows to the most famous Palio in Siena which features horses (which featured at the start of the Quantum of Solace James Bond film). Palios take place throughout the year but particularly in the summer months.

From September onwards you will find wine-festivals particularly in the Chianti area, one of the biggest is in Greve in Chianti - the Rassegna del Chianti Classico

Music is a big part of life in Tuscany and Umbria and throughout the year there are a number of large Musical events. These include the Puccini Festival; the Tuscan Sun Festival and the Umbria Jazz Festival

Whatever your interest, there will be a festival for you!


Social media has definitely arrived in the To Tuscany headquarters and we have a very active Twitter and Facebook account!
From this month we will be introducing competitions with the prize being a bottle of olive oil.
The competitions will not be very difficult BUT they are only open to people who follow us (Twitter) or like us (Facebook), so if you havent already joined our communities, make sure you visit us soon and dont forget to tell your friends too (particularly if they like Tuscan olive oil!)
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We hope that you have enjoyed reading our newsletter and we look forward to the 2012 season with you.