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Dear Newsletter Reader  

Welcome to the November edition of the To Tuscany email.  As the days are closing in on the end of the year and Christmas, this edition of our newsletter covers some of the things you can do in Tuscany and Umbria in December.  Dont forget that if you have any ideas that you would like us to cover in the newsletter, please feel free to send them to me.

Thank you to all of you that sent in your recommendations for things to do with children in Tuscany, we will be adding all the suggestions on to our section of the website dedicated to this subject.  The best suggestion we felt was from Navita Sachi for her recommendation of the interactive tours for families available at the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence - details are being added to our website.

See below for this months competition regarding Tuscan vineyards.

Umbria 'Winter' Jazz Festival, Orvieto
30th December 2008 to 4th January 2009
Jazz Festival OrvietoThe Umbrian Jazz festival brings 5 days of music, culture and events to one of the most beautiful, historical cities in Umbria - Orvieto. The concerts are held from noon an on into the night with a magnificent New Years day concert in the magnificent Orvieto cathedral.

The shows take place in a variety of indoor and outdoor venues around the walled city, all with a true authentic Italian atmostphere.

For details and online ticket sales, please go to the official website:
Where to stay:
Why not gather together a group of like-minded friends or your family and enjoy the New Year Festivities in our beautiful villa Bellaluce.  Close to Orvieto and sleeping up to 17 people, this is an ideal place to base yourself to enjoy the delights of this region.
Umbria has the Worlds largest Christmas Tree!
Christmas Tree Gubbio
According to the Guinness Book of Records, the record for the Worlds largest Christmas Tree has been held by the town of Gubbio in Umbria since 1991.  In a slight break from tradition, it is not actually a 'tree' though, it is in fact an illuminated outline of a Christmas tree that extends from the last house in Gubbio and on up Mount Ingino to the church of Sant Ubaldo. The residents have been creating the tree since 1980 and it is visible from parts of Umbertide and Perugia. In total, the tree is 800 metres high and 400 metres wide and comprises of over 500 coloured lamps powered by 12,000 metres of cables.  This Christmas spectacular is lit from 7th December to 10th January.

Where to stay:
To visit Gubbio and other spectacular parts of Umbria such as Assisi and Perugia, why not consider staying at our property Morleschio which can sleep 4-5 people and is only 25km from Gubbio.
Christmas in Italy
Nativity Scene Assisi
You will find large Christmas markets in all the main cities throughout Italy; one of the largest Christmas markets is in Siena which also celebrates the feast day of its patron saint - Saint Lucia - on 13th December.
Italy is also famous at Christmas for its recreations of the Nativity scenes (Presipos) in all the towns and villages.  The nativity scenes are the focal point for the locals celebrating Christmas and in some towns, there are dramatic re-enactments of the Nativity story with local people acting out the story each evening.
St Francis of Assisi was the first to introduce this tradition back in the 13th Century and the town of Assisi is still famous for its spectacular Nativity scene.

Hamlet Navico, Accommodation Il Melograno
Il Melograno, hamlet NavicoNavico is a lovely quiet hamlet just 6km from the Chianti town of Castellina in the heart of the Tuscan Countryside.  Il Melograno forms part of the original mansion house of the property and has 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms plus further sleeping for 2.  The owners have given us special offer prices for Saturday arrivals from 28th February to 28th March for up to 6 people at a cost of 450 Euros per week     
WIN A 65 EURO VOUCHER (or equivalent in your currency)
We have been busy behind the scenes and another new addition to the information we provide online is a section on the wines of Tuscany
What we would like to know from our customers for this months competition is  WHICH WAS THE BEST VINEYARD YOU VISITED IN TUSCANY OR UMBRIA AND WHY?

The best tip will win a 65 Euros voucher (or the equivalent in your currency) which can be used against any booking with To Tuscany in the next 12 months. We will look at all ideas and add any that we think are helpful to our website link.

All entries should be sent to the best entry will be announced in Novembers newsletter
Feel free to contact us with any questions regarding travelling to Italy or anything within our newsletter. We can be reached at
Dympna Docherty