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Luxury Villas in Florence & Surroundings

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Surprisingly small but perfectly formed, history pours from every tiny alleyway, arching doorway and soaring bell tower of Rome's little sister, Florence. An inspiration for Brunelleschi, Bernini and Michelangelo, art has left a lasting impression on the city's streets. But while its magnificent domes and stately palaces still feel like a living museum, Florence has accelerated into the 21st century without sacrificing any of its beauty and charm. Once dilapidated piazzas have been sympathetically revitalised, while contemporary art galleries have sprung up to join the Uffizi and Pitti Palace, the grand dames of the art world. Visit the Duomo at dusk, when its pink, green and white marble façade reflects the dying light, before eating at a palazzo-turned-restaurant for dinner.


Florence & surroundings

Surprisingly small but perfectly formed, history pours from every tiny alleyway, arching doorway and soaring bell tower of Rome's little sister, Florence. An inspiration for Brunelleschi, Bernini and Michelangelo, art has left a lasting impression on the city's streets. But while its magnificent domes and stately palaces still feel like a living museum, Florence has accelerated into the 21st century without sacrificing any of its beauty and charm. Once dilapidated piazzas have been sympathetically revitalised, while contemporary art galleries have sprung up to join the Uffizi and Pitti Palace, the grand dames of the art world. Visit the Duomo at dusk, when its pink, green and white marble façade reflects the dying light, before eating at a palazzo-turned-restaurant for dinner.

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March:
  • Birthday of Michelangelo:

  • On March 6th a procession starts out in piazza Signoria heading towards piazza Santa Croce where the great artist is buried in the cathedral. After leaving flowers at his tomb, the procession carries on to the home where the renaissance artist lived in Florence, in via Ghibellina no. 70.

  • Florentine New Year:

  • Until 1749 the city had a different calendar and used to celebrate the New Year on March 23rd. Today this day is celebrated throughout the city with concerts and cultural events. The programme changes from year to year.

    April:

  • Explosion of the Cart (Scoppio del carro):

  • One of the must things to do in Florence in April is to witness the Scoppio del Carro (Explosion of the Cart) in Cathedral square. This event is part of Easter celebrations and consists of a majestic white oxen leading a wooden antique cart through downtown to reach the Duomo. A dove takes off from the church altar and ignites the fireworks. Accompanied by a marching band and the Florentine Republic parades in historical clothes.

  • Mostra dell’artigianato, Arts & Craft fair:

  • One of one of Europe's most important Arts & Crafts fairs with exhibitors from all over the world.

  • White Night, April 30th:

  • This event has become a fixed appointment on the Florence events calendar for the month of April attracting thousands of people each year. The white night sees special openings of shops and museums until midnight, street performances, live music, DJ sessions in the streets and film showings.

    May:
  • The Rose Garden:

  • The garden is open all year round but it is in the month of May that the roses are in full bloom. The garden also displays sculptures of the Belgian artist Jean Michel Folon.

  • Iris competition at the Florence Iris garden:

  • Every May in Florence there is an annual Iris competition held at the city's Iris Garden. The Iris is the symbol of the city.

  • Maggio Musicale Fiorentino:

  • Every year this Italian music celebration opens up a variety of venues with music and ballet performances at the Teatro del Maggio. Costs vary and the days of events go from the beginning to the end of May.

    June:
  • Estate Fiesolana/ Fiesole Summer:

  • Festival of music, arts, drama, dance and film.

  • Saint John the Baptist celebrations:

  • There is a parade in historical costume that starts at the Church of Santa Maria Novella and ends at the Church of Santa Croce, where the Calcio Storico is then played in the dirt-covered square in front of the church. The game is a combination of soccer, rugby, and big time wrestling, all played while wearing 16th century costumes. The four teams represent the four traditional neighborhoods of the city: Santa Croce (blue), Santo Spirito (white), Santa Maria Novella (red), and San Giovanni (green). The prize is a whole Chianina calf.

    August:

  • San Lorenzo Day: August 10th

  • The celebrations take place in and around the San Lorenzo church, Florence's oldest basilica and the former church.

    September:

  • The 'Festa della Rificolona', September 7th.

  • On this day children parade through the streets downtown mostly in the evening holding a thin pole with a paper lantern attached to the end, lit up with a candle inside. People gather on the streets to see who has the most original, strange etc ect. This is a traditional celebration dating back to the 1600's.

    October:

  • Biennale dell’antiquariato:

  • Outstanding antique fair held every 2 years in the fabulous venue of Palazzo Corsini (1600's) along the lungarno overlooking the river.

    General Activities IN TUSCANY

    • Pharmacy of Santa Maria Novella - visit the pharmacy of Santa Maria Novella in Florence and discover all the different perfumes, herbals and soaps
    • Opera - head to Torre del Lago and attend one of the many performances based on plays written by Puccini (only in summer)
    • Wine and Olive Oil tasting - travel to Badia di Passigano and visit the abbey with its wine cellars before relaxing in the abbey's Osteria di Passigano, for a real Tuscan wine and olive oil tasting experience
    • The Chocolate Valley Tour - visit the Chocolate Valley which lies between Pisa and Montecatini and visit an esteemed factory where you will be tantalised by aromas and flavours of the process of traditional chocolate making and tasting session (not available during summer)
    • Carrara and Pietrasanta Marble - enjoy the marble caves of Carrara, the marble that Michelangelo chose to immortalise his masterpieces. Afterwards see artisans at work as you visit a Sculpture Studio in Pietrasanta
    • Fantastic Gelato - located in central Florence to visit one of the most well known " gelaterias"
    • Private Villa Concert - the ultimate Italian music experience in the intimacy of your villa. A Violin-Piano Duo, Harp and Flute, a String Quartet with Soprano and Tenor singers as well as Jazz and Neapolitan Folk formations can be arranged
    • Ferrari Touring - drive on winding roads through the hilltop villages of Tuscany, down cypress-lined avenues and along the coastal freeways of the Mediterranean…all behind the wheel of a Ferrari

    Sporting Activities IN TUSCANY

    • Golf - 18 holes: 10 clubs; 9 holes: 10 clubs (golf is well established in Tuscany and a secret golfers paradise)
    • Jogging/ Walking - put your running shoes on and enjoy the beautiful countryside
    • Mountain Biking - many routes are on offer including challenging tours like the Monti Metaliferi
    • Horse riding - Tuscany is a paradise for going horse riding
    • Swimming - is offered in many touristic locations
    • Surfing - is possible along the Tuscan coastline
    • Diving - is recommended especially in the Archipelago della Toscana and the Golfo di Baratti
    • Tennis - is offered in many touristic locations

    Local Attractions IN TUSCANY

    • Florence, Uffizi Gallery - Open all year round
    • Florence, Ponte Vecchio
    • Florence, Bargello National Museum - Open all year round
    • Florence, The Boboli Gardens - Open all year round
    • Florence, Santa Maria Novella - Open all year round
    • Lucca, Forte dei Marmi - beach and exclusive beach resorts
    • Lucca, Palazzo Pfanner - climb Giunigi Tower
    • Lucca, San Frediano Church - Open all year round
    • Lucca, Villa Reale Gardens of Villa Real - House and Garden open all year round
    • Arezzo, Gothic Cathedral
    • Arezzo, Main Square with Vasari's loggia
    • Arezzo, Mecenate Archeological Museum - Open all year round
    • Arezzo, Medieval and Modern Museum and Gallery - Open all year round
    • Arezzo, Petrarca Theatre - Changing program
    • Arezzo, Piero Francesca's fresco cycle "Legend of the True Cross"
    • Pisa, Campo dei Miracoli and Duomo - The Dome is open all year round
    • Pisa, Leaning Tower and Cathedral - Open all year round
    • Pisa, Zoological Museum - Open all year round
    • San Gimignano, Medieval Towers
    • Siena, Il Duomo - Open all year round
    • Siena, Piaza del Campo
    • Siena, Pinacoteca Nazionale - Open all year round
    • Siena, Torre del Mangia
    • Grosseto, Tarot Garden - Open from April to mid October
    • Grosseto/Maremma, Rocca di Franssinello - winery designed by Renzo Piano
    • Livorno, Fortezza Vecchia (Old Fortress)
     

    PRACTICAL INFORMATION FOR YOUR TUSCAN VILLA HOLIDAY

    Time Zone

    GMT +1 hour

    Language

    Italian

    Currency Information

    The Euro (€) is the official currency of Italy. Coins are available in 1 cent, 2 cent, 5 cent, 10 cent, 20 cent, 50, cent , €1 & €2 denominations. Notes are available in €5, €10, €20, €50, €100, €200, €500 denominations.

    Money Matters

    Travellers cheques are widely accepted for exchange or purchase in major cities, but in more rural areas, visit a bank to exchange them for Euros. Major credit cards are widely accepted here (though a limited number of merchants have American Express accounts) and ATM access is widespread. Exchange currency only at authorized outlets such as banks and hotels, and exchange only what you think you will spend in-country. Coins cannot be reconverted on departure. Save all receipts from any currency exchange transaction. You may be asked to produce them when you exit the country, and they are required if you intend to reconvert local currency.

    Tipping IN TUSCANY

    You are not expected to tip on top of restaurant service charges, though leaving a small amount is common practice. If there is no service charge, you might consider leaving 10%/15%, but it is not obligatory. In bars any small change is left as a tip. Tipping taxi drivers is also not mandatory but suggested.

    Arrival & Departure Formalities

    Travel documents are your responsibility. In general you should have:

    • A signed, valid passport that will remain valid for at least 6 months beyond the completion of your trip. Your passport must have enough blank pages (excluding amendment pages) available for entry and exit stamps issued when entering and exiting immigration points.
    • Visas are required for certain nationalities and you are strongly advised to check your status allowing plenty of time for visa application.

    Weather IN TUSCANY

    In general, the climate in Tuscany is very mild with little difference between the various provinces. The summers are hotter on the coast and in the valleys than in the hills. It rarely rains in the summer months. The average temperature varies between 27°C and 33°C and can even reach 40°C. Spring and autumn are rainy and milder; however, there are still plenty of dry and sunny days. By May there is less rain and the days become longer with up to 10 hours of daylight. The average temperature in spring is between 19°C and 24°C, in autumn between 21°C and 24°C. The winter months alternate between rain and sun with an average temperature of around 10°C.

    Health

    It is advisable to contact your doctor before you travel if you have any specific health concerns and take out appropriate travel and medical insurance.

    Electricity SUPPLY IN TUSCANY

    Electrical service in Italy is supplied at 220-240 volts/50 hertz - a converter/adaptor may be required.

    Driving IN ITALY

    There are some important rules of the road -

    • At crossroads drivers coming from the right have priority excluding crossroads with traffic signs/lights.
    • Always carry your driver's license accompanied by the International Driving Permit, the car insurance papers and ownership (rental) papers.
    • The minimum driving age is 18.
    • Traffic drives on the right.
    • Seat belts must be worn - children under 12 must travel in the back seats, unless the front seat is fitted with a child restraint system.
    • Headlights must be on all the time except if driving in a city during the day with good visibility.
    • In the event of a breakdown a red warning triangle must be displayed in the road.
    • National speed limit is 50kmh (31mph) in towns, 90kmh (56mph) on secondary non-urban highways, 110kmh (68mph) on dual carriageways, 130kmh (80mph) on motorways.
    • Speeding fines: Euros 30 - 300.
    • For use of the highways it is invariably necessary to collect a ticket at toll booth marked " biglietti" before entering the highway. DO NOT pass under the lanes marked Telepass. Pay the toll at the exit. Payment can be made by coins or by credit card.
    • There are strict laws concerning drinking and driving. Blood alcohol levels must not exceed 0.05%. There are random breathalyzer tests carried out regularly by the police.

    Parking in Italy

    • In many large towns, the historical town centre is subject to traffic restrictions (authorised vehicles only may enter) indicated by large white sign with a red circle saying " Zona a traffico limitato".
    • Street parking is organized and designated with signs and by the colour of the lines for the parking spots. The colour of the lines on the parking space indicates the type of parking; white is for free parking, blue is for paid parking, yellow is reserved for special use. Signs will tell you if you are required to pay or to use a parking disc to time your parking (more details below). In most regions, blue lines mark paid street parking. There will be a payment machine nearby. Place the receipt from the machine on the dashboard. In many towns, white lines mark free parking spots on the street but they may be limited by time. The closest parking sign will tell you if you must set your parking disc to show when you arrived. Set your parking disc to the time you parked and display it in the window. You must return within the maximum allowed time.

    Featured Villas

    Featured Villas


    Chateau les Tours de Lenvege

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    La Tortue

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    Le Mas des Roses

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    Villa Jasmine

    Bedrooms: 5 | Sleeps: 8


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