Archive for February, 2011

February 28, 2011

Featured Property: Matchless, Marina di Scarlino

An elegant and rare sailing sloop on the Mediterranean

Unusually for Invitation to Tuscany, a sailing boat. But this is no normal sailing boat; it is a Swan 57, considered by many to be the Rolls Royce of yachts. Large enough for comfort yet fast enough for Regattas, this is a beautifully crafted vessel, built in the Nautor ShipYard in 1978 from a Sparkman & Stephens blueprint. Owned by a very good friend of ours, these vessels are rarely up for charter and are a delight to spend time on. Leave from Marina di Scarlino, in southern Tuscany, and navigate round the Mediterranean Isles, Corsica, Sardinia and the smaller islands. With an expert skipper on board you can participate in the sailing or lay back and sip your Campari as the mood takes you.

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February 20, 2011

Chef Andrew Garrett Escorts a 10 Day Tuscan Holiday

I have been working with Chef Andrew Garrett to organize this amazing travel opportunity, so Iwanted to share it with you. He would like you to join him in Italy for a once-in-a-lifetime journey and culinary adventure.  See the details below and let us know if we can add you to this culinary journey…

“Our culinary adventure will begin in the city of Florence, the birth place of the Italian Renaissance, and then continue into the picturesque, cypress-clad Tuscan countryside. We will visit the surrounding sights and towns and enjoy the locally grown, lovingly prepared food and wine of the region.”
– Chef Garrett

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February 20, 2011

Featured Property: Villa delle Rose, Arezzo

Provided by Invitationtotuscany.com

A charming apartment and pool in the countryside near Arezzo Italy

The main entrance is through the wide brick arche to the side of the villa.In the countryside just outside Arezzo, Villa delle Rose offers in miniature the reasons visitors include this part of Tuscany in their wanderings. For like the medieval city a mere 3 km away, known for its antiquarian market, the famous frescoes of Piero della Francesca, and the wide piazzas and ancient archways that grace its historic centre, this charming villa combines the traditional look of a respectfully restored limonaia, or lemon house, with the contemporary design and furnishings perfectly in keeping with the Aretine love of artistry and decor.

The charm of the villa is seen even as you approach it – its golden stone facade is covered with the pink roses that give the villa its name and the furnished ivy covered pergola set on the wide terracotta terrace surrounding the house is the ideal place for gazing out to the green hills it overlooks. It is sufficiently set apart from the owner’s large villa whose flagstone piazza it shares that it enjoys a sense of protected peace.

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February 16, 2011

Carnevale, the Festival of Masks

Carnevale, also known as carnival or mardi gras, is celebrated in Italy and many places around the world 40 days before Easter, a final party before Ash Wednesday and the restrictions of Lent.

Carnevale in Italy is a huge winter festival celebrated with parades, masquerade balls, entertainment, music, and parties. Children throw confetti at each other and play tricks one each other in fun.

Although carnival is actually one day, in Venice and many other places in Italy the carnival celebrations and parties may begin  2 weeks earlier.  This year February 19th,  the “Grand toast in Venice” will be the opening event, an elegant and joyful “cheers” for tourists and locals alike  to officially welcome the Carnival. The main attraction will be a big wine fountain spouting vino for all.   The dancing commences and a full agenda of activities continues  throughout the 2 week long festival.

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February 14, 2011

Romance, museums and history in one of Italy’s top cities, Milan

Romance is on everyones mind this week, but one of Italy’s romantic cities is also rated as a top destination! Can you guess which city?  Well, it’s Milan that I want to tell you about today.

“Romantic Italy beckons lovers of all ages to its magical countryside. Couples can tour several of its beautiful, historic cities including Milan, Florence, Naples, and Rome. Each of these beloved cities has a unique Italian flavor just waiting to be experienced.

Milan’s history dates back to 400 B.C., and contains many wonderful museums, galleries, churches, and other historical buildings for couples to tour. Some of the most famous museums include the Cenacolo Vinciano which houses the painting of The Last Supper, and the La Scala Theater Museum which is home to wonderfully historic costumes and theater sets. Historical and breathtaking churches that must be visited include The Duomo, which includes nearly 3500 statues and Santa Maria delle Grazie, the church where Leonardo da Vinci painted The Last Supper.

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February 12, 2011

Spending Easter in Italy will more than fill your basket

Italian Easter…

April 24th 2011 – Chieti in the Abruzzo region is believed to have the oldest Good Friday (pre-Easter) Procession in Italy. A highlight being ‘Selecchi’s Miserer’ played by 100 violins!

The Easter Sunday tradition in Florence dates back to 1679. It is a pageant lead by an elaborate multi-storied wooden wagon drawn by a team of white oxen adorned by floral garlands. The procession ends in front of Bascilica di S. Maria del Fiore and after the mid-day mass, the Archbishop ritualistically lights a dove shaped rocket that ignites decorated wagon now in the center of the piazza, setting off spectacular fireworks and loud explosions, which ensure a good harvest!

Let me know what you’re looking for and I can make all your arrangements.  Let me set up a daily chef service in your villa and activities around the region like winery tours, concerts and much more.  Just contact me at 503.546.1058 – direct, 866.297.1058 – toll free or Email: CLamont@peaktravel.com to discuss your travel needs.

In my last post I offered a special deal for the Easter holiday, but there are many places in Italy to experience this spiritual holiday.  Here are a few of my top rated rental villas near Florence.  There are many other options too.

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