No “boar”dom at the Wild Boar Festival in Suvereto!

Desire to escape the ordinary?! The place then for you this weekend (30/11/14) and the next (6-8/12/14) is at the ‘Wild Boar Festival’ (Sagra del Cinghiale di Suvereto) in Suvereto, Tuscany. At this time of year, the town pays homage to its medieval history (village dating back to 1000 AD) with the boar (in the form of its prized meat) occupying pride of place and its residents dressing up in medieval costume and taking to the streets.

This year Suvereto is celebrating its 47th festival (celebrated since 1968) with a multitude of activities catering for all ages: music, art, food and wine, folklore, exhibitions, etc. Relish the gastronomic delights on offer with wild boar sausages, wild boar with olives, wild boar prosciutto and many other delicacies washed down with local extra virgin olive oils and DOC Suveretan wines. Enjoy the Tuscan talent with many recognised bands playing on the street corners and piazzas: Gli Ultrasoda, Fuochi di Paglia, Madaus, Acoustelek, Indygenie, Titos Blue Band, Soda Sisters, Francis Duende and many more… Experience the traditions of the past with historic re-enactments, medieval pageants, traditional archery contests and, in particular, on 8/12/14 at 15.45, there is the renowned historical procession and the commemoration of the concession of the Charter of Liberty (Charta Libertatis) to Suvereto in 1201 by the Aldobrandeschi family.

This is a truly enjoyable festival.

If you should require accommodation, check out

For further information on the event (in Italian):

Suvereto Wild Boar Festival (Sagra di Suvereto) 2014
Suvereto Wild Boar Festival (Sagra di Suvereto) 2014

Feast for the eyes and the palate

To reach the stunningly beautiful island of Elba, Piombino features as the point of departure for the ferries and hydrofoils that traverse the crystal clear sea. Let’s though not forget that Piombino is a bijoux nestling on the Tuscan coastline with its picturesque Piazza Bovio being positioned on a sea cliff facing Elba. On clear days, you can see Corsica and Capraia, Giglio and Montecristo (other islands in the Tuscan archipelago). Piombino as a port is also renowned for its abundance of seafood. So for those holidaying at the Marina di Salivoli self-catering apartments, try preparing this delicious seafood dish ‘Calamari braised in red wine’. The wonder of this dish is that you can leave it to braise to the point of sublime tenderness whilst you dedicate yourself to other pursuits such as sun worshipping on your balcony! The recipe is inspired by Richard Camps of who actually was selected by The Guardian as the winner of its readers’ recipe swap in April 2014. The addition of a bed of crunchy lettuce and a thick slice of toasted bread to soak up the rich sauce adds an unusual twist!     

 piazza bovio 2 squid 2   

Full speed ahead with galloping passion at il Palio

Mark not only the 16th of August 2014 in your agenda of things to do in Tuscany, but also the run-up to the 16th from the 13th onwards! We are talking about the annual ‘il Palio dell’Assunta’ in honour of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary into heaven, which is the second horse race of il Palio (the first having been held on 2 July) at the Piazza del Campo in Siena. The main race starts at 19:00 on 16th with the trial runs being held on the days prior to that, In case of rain, the race will be postponed to the following day and a green flag will be hoisted on Palazzo Pubblico. More detailed historical information on il Palio can be found on Wikipedia.

So this event is free unless you wish to pay to see it from the balcony of a building located in the Piazza. For that there is no official co-ordinated point of sale so you will need to surf the web or contact the owners of the buildings overlooking the Piazza. Please be prepared for crowds (not suitable for small children) and to stand up as it is prohibited to bring a fold-up chair or a stool (for obvious reasons). There are some stalls selling refreshments, but alas there are no toilets!

Come prepared for an action-packed day: brimming with atmosphere, passion and commotion! Start your holiday by staying in a beautiful apartment by the sea in Piombino (Marina di Salivoli) where the distance to Siena is approximately 2 hours by car – very doable.

Distance Siena Piombino

What to do in case of pitter patter raindrops

Just in case you hear the pitter patter of raindrops, it may be an idea to visit the international photography festival Cortona on the Move – photography in travel, which is being held in Cortona, Arezzo, Tuscany from 17.07.14 until 28.09.14.

See the map below to get a measure of distances. For example, from Piombino on the coast to Cortona, you are talking about a car trip of about 2 hr. 20.


Map courtesy of

Carpe noctem

As touched upon in the post of 26/07/14 where it was postured that a summer holiday is conducive to sleeping, I am steered again to discussing the issue of undisturbed slumber.

In fact, according to the Huffington Post one of the 10 annoying things about a hotel are the loud hallways: the slamming doors and the chatty guests and I add the dinging of the elevator, the buzz of the HVAC (heating ventilation and air conditioning) unit and notoriously thin walls especially when your guest next door is a high-volume TV lover. These impact greatly on your sleep hygiene (habits that help you to have a good night’s sleep) and can result in sleep deprivation (leading the next day to moodiness, reduced concentration, headaches, etc.). Another recent article in the Huffington post quoted Michael Grander of the University of Pennsylvania’s Behavioral Sleep Medicine Programme as stating that hotels should ‘think beyond the mattress’. One New York hotel has already installed airport-grade windows and soft and firm pillows for the discerning guest. At Marina di Salivoli self-catering apartments, the walls have been soundproofed to ensure a perfect night’s sleep for their guests.

Of course, if all else fails, pack your earplugs!


Zen muses on Tuscany

Here I was about to pronounce on the fact that the sign of a successful holiday was the number of books that one waded through, but The Telegraph just decried that by stating that a summer holiday is not, for most of us, a time that is especially conducive to reading rather sleeping!

Nevertheless, considering my penchant for Tuscany and my thriller safely stashed in my bag, I reflected on how Tuscany actually forms the backdrop of many a thriller. In fact, the one in my bag: Michael Didbin’s “And Then You Die” has its protagonist Aurelio Zen (the Venetian carabiniere and arch detective) lying low on a Tuscan beach in Versilia (located in the province of Lucca). Suspicion abounds. In the midst of the action, it is rather fascinating to reflect on Zen’s musings: “Above, the azure sky, streaked with diaphanous shreds of white haze. Below this vast benignity, the clustered ombrelloni, their bright primary colours an ensign declaring the ownership of each strip of beach”. Such a blissful scene replicates itself along the Tuscan coastline.

What a wonderful holiday destination! Visit our site: we are Tuscany Vacation Specialists.

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