Local secrets of Provence, The Italian Lakes, Tuscany and Umbria

Provence, The Italian Lakes, Tuscany and Umbria present a dazzling array of places to visit and things to do - but it's good to have some inside information to find out exactly what they are. On this page you'll find a wealth of articles on how to have a wonderful time no matter where you book your villa - including some very special local secrets.

Naturally, you'll find information about the best villas for certain holidaymakers (couples, groups, families) or particular events (weddings, birthdays, reunions), including romantic retreats, rustic cottages, historic properties and 5-star villas.

From countryside hideaways to accommodation in hilltop towns and medieval villas - here you'll find all the inspiration you need for your next holiday in Italy or France.

September 28, 2018

Watercolour Course in Tuscany

Culture, Dan's drawings

In 2014 Dan Wrightson will be running 2 courses in Tuscany: a one week watercolour course and a one week untutored course for those who wish to work on their...


September 28, 2018

Visit the Stately houses of Lucca

Lucca and Pisa, Tuscany, Museums, Historical landmarks

A surprising number of Elegant and beautiful historic villas for summer dwelling surround Lucca, set in formal designed gardens in the hills surrounding the city,


September 28, 2018

Tuscany Wines to make moves into UK market

Tuscany, Food and wine, Wineries

A wine distributor in the UK has added Tuscany’s Fattoria Le Pupille to their selection, as the interest in Tuscan wines by UK consumers is at an all-time high.


September 28, 2018

Tuscan wine maker showcases award winning vintages in VinItaly exhibition

Tuscany, Chianti, Food and wine, Wineries

​A Tuscan wine maker will be showcasing their award winning vintages at the 50th edition VinItaly exhibition in Verona


September 28, 2018

Three sights to see in Siena

Siena and surroundings, Tuscany, Museums, Historical landmarks

Siena is well known as one of Italy’s richest cities, due to its beautiful architecture and rich artistic heritage


September 28, 2018

The Puccini Opera Festival

Lucca and Pisa, Events, Tuscany

The Annual Puccini Festival is performed in an open-air theatre in a park in Torre del Lago near the home of the famous composer.


September 28, 2018

The Matanna mount ring

Lucca and Pisa, Tuscany, Hiking, Active, Climbing, Garfagnana and the Apuan Alps

A one-day adventure trek in the southern Apuan Alps


September 28, 2018

The local Palio at Casole d’Elsa

Central Tuscany, Events, Tuscany, Culture, Festivals and Events

It's not just Siena! Lots of villages have their own races, and so does my home town, Casole d'Elsa!


September 28, 2018

The Garfagnana

Tuscany, Hiking, Active, Climbing, Garfagnana and the Apuan Alps

In the North of Tuscany there are 2 mountain ranges that run parallel with each other and form deep and beautiful valleys


September 28, 2018

Taste of Tuscany: Brined pork chops with salsa verde

Tuscany, Cookery Classes, Restaurants, Food and wine

Our Tuscan holidays are memorable for many reasons, but one of the main ones is the fantastic food on offer in the region


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