Buongiorno Newsletter Reader, 

With the summer holidays fast arriving, it's time for everyone to enjoy a relaxing, fun holiday! In this edition we give you a few suggestions for keeping children entertained; we give you the chance to win a week in Tuscany; and we showcase a few of our new property arrivals to our website.


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


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Italian cooking - kids style

The delights of Italian cooking is an art kids can also get into and who knows maybe Mum & Dad will be surprised by their hungry helper!  

The Toscana Mia cookery school is located in the heart of the Chianti between the towns of Radda in Chianti and Castellina in Chianti. Paola and Simonetta welcome you into their family home for your afternoon or full day of cooking. Plastic step stools ensure children get a good view of all the preparations and "mezza lunas" (the wooden handle with the crescent shaped blade) ensure little fingers are kept well away from sharp blades. Children (and adults) are kept engaged throughout with stories and little breaks.  The best bit about the lessons is the chance to sit with the family to eat all the delicious food you've made. Read more here

Blessed are the Cheesemakers!

Cheese making may not be the most obvious thing to think of when organising activities for the children but here you get to take them to a farm to meet all the animals and learn about the process of making sheeps cheese, all in a beautiful setting close to one of the "Cheese Capitals" of Italy - Pienza. More about this fun day out can be read here

Pinocchio noses and much more:

It may not be full of high adrenaline rollercoasters but Tuscanys Pinocchio Park near Collodi has a special place in the locals heart and for children up to around age 10, it is a great place to spend a day. The multi-media room shows the 'real' story of Pinocchio (not the Disney version) in different languages; Dressing up clothes allow children to become the characters; shows in the theatre bring the story to life; and, large grounds following the different parts of the story ensure the children have just about the right amount of time inside and outdoors. Activity areas (make your own Pinocchio nose) and an old-fashioned fairground area delight all ages. Dont miss the pirate ship, the whale and the play area with zip wire.

Museums & sights for children 
Museums may not be at the top of the agenda for children but there are some of the museums in Tuscany which are excellent for children with lots of 'hands-on' exhibits and 'explorer packs' of things for them to find or 'treasure maps' for them to follow.  Get them interested in the culture and art without them even realizing!
The Leonardo da Vinci Museum in Vinci  is a fabulous museum depicting Leonardos life, inventions and his art work. Models for children to move and play with abound in the museum with lots of hands-on exhibits and activities for them to try.  You could buy the "Leonardo da Vinci for Kids: His Life and Ideas" book in advance which has 21 activities children can read and try the activities before travelling.
The Palazzo Vecchio Museum in Florence is a family friendly museum with daily activities, shows and guided tours with special audio tours recorded just for children about the works of art in a way that they can all understand. Try and get booked onto one of the guided tours showing the secret passageways around the museum - kids love that!

The wheels on the bus
Florence offers Hop on Hop off guided tour buses taking in the sights of the city and to the nearby town of Fiesole. Offering tours in numerous languages, these can be a great way for you to get orientated with the family and also saves Mum or Dad having to carry tired little ones back to the car or station. Why not take the open-top bus to the Piazza Michelangelo for a picnic overlooking arguably the best views of Florence!

For more ideas on how to keep the children entertained click here   




The 2013 To Tuscany Food Blogger competition is on now:
Our competition is open for anyone who writes a blog!
All you need to do is create a recipe which includes the Tuscan inspired key ingredients of Olive oil, tomatoes and parmesan cheese. Write about it on your blog, include a photo and/or video, link it to our website, and make sure you tell us all about it!
For all the competition details and links, please click here:
The prize is a weeks holiday in the heart of the Chianti for 3 people with 200 towards your flights.
Entry is open until the end of July when all recipes are put forward for a public vote; the top 3 as judged by the public then go to a final judging stage conducted by one of Tuscanys finest chefs, Nico Atrigna.
If you want some inspiration you can click here for details of the 2012 entries.



Our new additions! 
Near LuccaCasa Rocchi  sleeps up to 6. Pool, jacuzzi & a piano!  
Near San Gimignano
: Podere Montecchio sleeps 6, spacious and bright 
Near Arezzo:
Poggio alle Fonti sleeps 9, air-conditioned, house & separate cottage

Prices for 2014 are loaded, be quick and book the best properties for the best price!
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We hope that you have enjoyed reading our newsletter and we look forward to sharing our summer sunshine in Italy with you.