To-Tuscany Newsletter- July 2010
Dear Newsletter Reader,
Welcome to the
July issue of our newletter.
July and August are some of the best months to
be in Tuscany to experience the many festivals
that take place over the summer holidays. This
month we are showing you some of the lesser
known festivals that are taking place that are
definitely worth a visit.
please let us know your views on our newsletters
or contact me for any other information or help.
Fish and Chips in
The Tuscan Sun
Tuscan Sun Festival was established in 2003 in the
medieval setting of Cortona (which is in Arezzo
province 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. Daytime sees the town
showcasing local produce and wine, artists,
musicians and wine. There are also a number of
open-air yoga, pilates and wellness programmes in
the day led by Trudi Styler whilst the evenings are
given over to first class performances.
This year sees the world-renowned artist Sting
performing alongside his wife Trudi Styler and the
actor Charles Dance in "Twin Spirits".
Other performers during the festival include Renee
Fleming, Ekaterina Scherbachenko and Marcello
The Festival runs from Friday 30th July through to
Friday August 6th. Please click
here for more information.
Barga Fish and Chip
Barga, in the north of Tuscany, is a pretty town of
just 10,000 residents that just happens to be
twinned with the town of East Lothian in Scotland.
It has its own nickname of the "Most Scottish Place
in Italy" and local residents do often speak English
with a Scottish accent!
The connection between the two places dates back to
a visit by the Duke of Argyll in the 1890's when he
employed a number of locals to work on his estate
back in Scotland. The descendents of these first
emigrants established a number of ice-cream parlours
and cafes and restaurants in Scotland serving the
local favourite dish of fish and chips! There are
an estimated 100,000 Scottish/Italian descendents of
these original workers in Scotland today.
Bargas most famous Scottish/Italian descendent is
the singer/songwriter Paolo Nutini whose family
still owns a fish and chip shop in Scotland today.
The Sagra del Pesce e Patate (Fish and Chip
festival) complete with bagpipes and gentlemen in
kilts takes place from 23rd July to 19th August.
Barga is 30km to the north of Lucca
Volterra AD Festival
Volterra AD Festival dates for 2010 are from Sunday
15th - Sunday 22nd August.
The Festival sees the stunning hilltop fortified
town transformed back to the days of 1398 AD with
everyone wearing period costumes. Visitors are
charged a small fee to enter the city and for that,
you are given access to duelling knights, beautiful
dames, jugglers, flag throwers, crossbow tournaments,
music, pagentry, history and food and drink 'merchants'
- it is well worth the small entry fee. Visitors
are also able to hire medieval dress costumes if
they really wish to get into the mood of the
Ferragosta is one of the most important National
Holidays in Italy. There has been a holiday on
15th August since Roman times and although today
it is celebrated in the Roman Catholic tradition
as the Assumption of the Virgin Mary into heaven,
it was originally a holiday to celebrate the end
of the harvest. The name Ferragosta still
refers back to the original Feriae Augusti or
Festival of the Emperor Augustus.
The Romans celebrated the Ferragosta with horse
races - a tradition still continued in Siena
with the Palio race (on 16th August), but just
about every village, town and city across Italy
celebrate this feast day in some way.
Today, the Italians tend to head to the coast or
the mountains but almost all shops close for the
day. Restaurants that do open are extremely
busy and booking in advance where possible would
You will also find that some supermarkets,
restaurants, petrol stations and other services
are closed or have limited opening hours over
the weekend of Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th
forget about the To Tuscany 2010
photocompetition. Entries (maximum
of 5) must be sent in JPEG format and the
prize is a hamper of Tuscan delicacies. Send
your entry to
firstname.lastname@example.org with your name,
reservation code and a title for each of the
This photo was by Natalie Ridgeway and shows the
Baptistry building in Pisa after a rainshower.
Natalie was a runner-up in the 2009 competition.
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 summer wherever you are
spending it! Click
for contact details