It’s summer, it’s time to go to the sea!

We are now in July and the desire of sea and holiday began to be felt! Borgo Grondaie want to suggest you some places where you can spend a day and relax yourself!
We are talking about Follonica, Castiglione della Pescaia, Marina di Grosseto and Principina a Mare. They are all small villages really appreciated by Siena citizens.
In just over an hour’s drive you can reach the beautiful coast of Grosseto washed by our Tyrrhenian Sea.

Tuscan sea

Castiglione della Pescaia is certainly the best known place. Also this year it has been obtained the blue flag and the five sails by Legambiente. Its origins date back to Roman and Etruscan period. The village count about 7,000 inhabitants that multiply during the summer season due to the huge influx of tourists and visitors. Not to be missed is certainly the Pineta del Tombolo and the visit at the castle overlooking the sea! Furthermore, its landscapes and its untouched nature, united to the beautiful sea make Castiglione della Pescaia as one of the most appreciated location during the summer.
For lovers of history and archaeological visits remember that from here you can reach lots of Etruscan and Roman archaeological sites like Roselle, Vetulonia, Populonia and beautiful natural reserves such as the Tuscan Archipelago National Park, the Park of Maremma, the European Centre for the protection of turtles and storks and many other oases in which you can find many protected flora and fauna species of the area.

Castiglione della Pescaia

Follonica represents the meeting place for Siena citizens during the summer. In fact here they spend the full season or just few weekends. Thanks to the presence of clubs, discos and night life Follonica is the perfect place for youngs who want to have fun. In particular, the weekend heats up thanks to events organized at Baluba, Tartana, Cala Felice (Puntone). In August you can also participate in the “Beach Party”, an event organized in the famous beach “Tony’s” in Prato Ranieri. Follonica is also a place where you can spend a day at the beach or a relaxing holiday thanks to its beaches and its beautiful sea which, in 2014, has obtained, for the 15th year in a row, the recognition of the European Blue Flag. From here it is easy to reach one of the most beautiful beaches of the Maremma, Cala Violina. The beach of Cala Violina is located between Follonica and Punta Ala, in the Natural Reserve of Scarlino. For lovers of drinks and especially Mojito, we recommend a stop at NANO VERDE (Green Dwarf), a small beach in Sterpaia Park between Follonica and Piombino. It is a gathering place for young people. Here you can drink, relax yourself, sunbathe and also enjoy live music . Very nice is the kiosk in the pine forest. Here you can drink your Mojito at sunset on the beach or in the pine forest, sitting at tables or leaving swinging on one of the hammocks provided.

Follonica

Nano Verde

Finally we arrive at Marina di Grosseto and Principina a Mare that are absolutely quieter than the previous locations. They are suitable for families with children and those who want to enjoy a relaxing day at the beach.
Here tourists can choose for a holiday “all sea” sunbathing in one of the many establishments, having fun with one of the many water sports such as sailing, kite surfing, jet skiing, or enjoy some excursions as walking and riding in Maremma areas.
These places are known for the wide beaches overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea, the hilly hinterland rich in Mediterranean vegetation and because they are immersed in the beautiful Pineta del Tombolo between Punta Ala in the Maremma Park. Thanks to the quality of water and beaches, from 1999, they receive the prestigious Blue Flag of Europe by the FEEE (Foundation for Environmental Education in Europe).

Marina di Grosseto

In addition we inform you that from Marina di Grosseto three bike paths start:
Marina di Grosseto-Grosseto: going from Marina di Grosseto to Grosseto road, you come and you pass the crossroads, and take the bike path through the city of Grosseto on the left side of the road cars. The track runs about 10 km in the countryside.
Marina di Grosseto-Principina a Mare, cross the bridge over the canal and take via San Rocco Tombolo; at the end of the street begins the cycle path of about 2 km to Principina a Mare in the pine forest.
Marina di Grosseto-Castiglione della Pescaia: going from Marina di Grosseto and passing through via delle Colonie, take the left for a short distance the SS 322 and crossing the bridge of Fiumara we take the bike trail of about 10 km in the woods for Castiglione della Pescaia.
From Siena you can also reach these places by bus thanks to the service line Mare Tiemme Tuscany Mobility service. In two hours you can easily reach Castiglione della Pescaia, Marina di Grosseto, Principina a Mare and Follonica. The daily trips depart at 7:35 a.m. from the train station of Siena. The ticket price is 11,00 euro for one way and 18,00 Euro Round Trip.

ENJOY YOUR SUMMER AND THE TUSCAN SEA!!!

ILARIA SIMI

Published by Borgo Grondaie

It’s time for Contrada festivals! Summer in Siena is synonymous of Contrada festivals ! The summer season brings with it the desire to stay outdoors, to eat out and enjoy the city as much as possible. And this is precisely the spirit of Contrada festivals that are organized in various Contrada districts of Siena and that take place from May to September.

Siena Contradas

Every Contrada organizes dinners and wine and food menu, food stands. You can decide to eat at the restaurant, pizzeria or braziers. There is live music, a disco for teenagers and young people and games for the little ones as the “Barberi track”. All contradas do that in order to make attractive these events for tourists and as many people as possible.

Bruco Contrada

Among the main important and well organized Contrada festivals we must remember the “Oliveta” festival which is organized by Chiocciola contrada (the Snail) in the beautiful gardens in the San Marco, the “Bao Bello” festival in the Bruco contrada (the Caterpillar) that is on-going in these days until next Friday, “Eat & Drink” festival in the Tower contrada, “Pania” festival for the Shell contrada, the” Leco in Valle “in Leocorno contrada in August, “Brazier” in Istrice contrada from August 9th till 19th. Then follows the Forest festival from 19th till 24th August, “Under the stars” organized by Lupa contrada and finally there are Pantera and the Eagle festivals.

Oliveta Festival in Chiocciola Contrada

Generally all these events take place in the gardens of each contrada. Here you can find lots of tables set for dinners in order to welcome tourists or local people who want to have dinner and have good time. You can eat at the restaurant or at the pizzeria or at the so-called “Braciere”. The menus can range from Tuscan specialties, traditional cuisine to rich menus of fish or meat. And waiters are all contrada supporters!!! They work here every day and night for free in order to facilitate the success of the event.
Moreover you can find lots of stands for young people where you can get drinks, beer or eat a burger or a sandwich. And just for teenagers and youngers during the weekend all contradas organize open-air discos. In this way they become a real meeting place for the city night life! There are some bands that play live music and Djs who play disco music. If you want to eat at the restaurant reservation is compulsory unlike the pizzeria or the braciere. The food stands close at 23:00 while the open-air disco or live music in can continue until 1.00.

Here are some of the major events linked to Contrada Festivals, planned for this summer:

Torre Contrada, which is the winner of the last Palio of July 2, with the jockey Andrea Mari called “Brio” and the horse Morositas First, organizes the famous “Eat & Drink” festival from 17th till 24th July. In this way all Tower supporters will continue to celebrate the victory of the Palio!!!! Also here you will find restaurant, pizzeria, food and wine stands, live music and games through the streets of the district. You can have dinner where you prefer and taste grilled meat in the gardens of the contrada and you can drink a beer or eat a hot dog or a hamburger until late at night. For children there is a dedicated space with the race horses track called “Pista dei Barberi” and lots of funny games. For info and reservations, please contact Tower contrada at number 0577-222555.

Nicchio Contrada, with the so called “Pania festival” will organize from August the 49th food and wine fair with dance and musical entertainment. Here you can tast Chianina meat and local fish wich come from Orbetello lagoon. For info and reservations 0577-222666 www.nobilecontradadelnicchio.it

Istrice Contrada organizes the so-called “Brazier” in the Guido Chigi Saracini square, in Porta Camollia with dinners, live music and disco for 10 days non-stop!

Lupa Contrada will organizes the “Under the stars festival” in Fontenuova. This event will take place in a picturesque setting. Don’t miss it!

And you, have you already decided which Contrada Festival in Siena will you participate? Don’t miss them!

ILARIA SIMI

Published by Hotel Borgo Grondaie

Accademia Chigiana International Festival & Summer Academy 2015. With the event “Accademia Chigiana International Festival & Summer Academy 2015“, Accademia Chigiana opens to the world and to the intercultural and musical dialogue.

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Chigiana Academy

On this occasion, the famous Accademia Chigiana meets the big concert scene in an amazing series of events. There will be two months of performances with six thematic areas (Expanded Today, Legends, Factory, Mix, Off the Wall) and  with the most famous international stars and orchestras.

Borgo Grondaie wants to give you more detailed information about this Sienese “Excellence”.

Chigiana Academy

Th Academy Chigiana school is internationally recognized as one of the most prestigious Italian musical institutions. Its founder, Count Guido Chigi Saracini, made it a real center of musical activity. His aim was to open the Academy to foreign students; in fact lots of them arrived in Siena in 1932 in order to attend the first musical course at Palazzo Chigi, held by famous musicians. Over the years, the number of students coming from all continents increased and today they  represent about 50 nations.

Count Guido Chigi Saracini (Siena 1880-1965), after inheriting a considerable fortune in 1906, he began to invest his wealth in order to promote the musical activities of his city. Among the major events organized by the Earl, there has been the execution in 1913 of Giuseppe Verdi’s Requiem in San Francesco church in Siena.

Later, after the end of World War I, the Count devoted himself to the renovation of the Palace in order to make it suitable to the needs of music. In particular, the Salon Concert was opened on November 22, 1923 with the first performance of the season, Micat in Vertice. After founding in 1932, the courses that would have made the Academmia Chigiana world famous, the Count created the Senese Music Week Festival in 1939, with the collaboration of Alfredo Casella.

Chigiana Academy

An important recognition, which is a symbol of the Academy is also the international prize “Accademia Musicale Chigiana“. Founded in 1982 and reached up to 2010, it has been created for young musicians. They were chosen by a jury composed by representatives of international music journalism, including Enrico Girardi (Il Corriere della Sera Milan), Andrew Clements (The Guardian, London), Peter Hagmann (Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Zurich), Julia Spinola (Frankfurter allgemeine Zeitung, Frankfurt), as well as the artistic director of the Accademia Chigiana.

The prize consisted, in addition to a sum of money, in a silver sculpture by Fritz König, a great contemporary artist who also designed the famous monument of the World Trade Center in New York.

Chigiana Academy

The Palace hosts many valuable collections. The art collection includes many items including paintings, sculptures, silvers, ivory and porcelain collection. The Academy has also an important collection of musical instruments consisting of approximately 100 instruments among violins, violas, cellos and basses of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

There is also the library, which is definitely worth a visit. Inside you can find around 75,000 volumes. There are works of authors such as Palestrina, de Victoria, Frescobaldi, Arcadelt, Marenzio, Asola, Diruta, Gastoldi. And many others are manuscripts dating from the Renaissance to the 20th  century.

Chigiana Library

The Library is divided into the following sections:

Music library of about 30,000 volumes consisting of scores, scores and parts for the performance of symphonic pieces, autographs, manuscripts, librettos;

Literary library of about 20,000 volumes, consisting of texts and manuscripts belonging to the families and Chigi and Saracini;

Donation “Gigliucci” of about 5,000 volumes composed musical scores belonged to the famous singer Clara Novello;

Donation “Franco Capuana” of about 7,000 volumes and consists of scores and books that belonged to various conductor Franco Capuana;

Donation “Adelmo Damerini” Circus 6,000 volumes, consisting of books, magazines, sheet music, manuscripts and documents, belonged to Damerini, member of the Artistic Committee of the Academy Chigiana in the 50s of the twentieth century;

Donation “Stelio Maroli” of about 4,000 volumes and consists of scores and scores belonged to lying, former pianist of the Academymia Chigiana;

Journals with approximately 100 titles between ancient and modern.

Moreover you can find microfilm, letters, historical archives belonging to Chigi and Saracini families among which the most important collection of 65,000 letters of the Count.

During the year the Chigiana Academy organizes a concert schedule and program. The Chigiana International Festival and Summer Academy is recognized as one of the most important festival in Italy. In particular this year the Festival will host  some famous artists such as: Max Richter, Daniele Pollini, Matthias Görne, William Kentridge, Roberto Prosseda, David Krakauer, the Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart and many others.

For reservations and information please contact the call center at 366-8642092 from Monday to Friday from 9.00 am to 11.00 am, or contact the number 0577-220911. For the full program, visit the web site http://www.chigiana.it/

ILARIA SIMI

Published by Hotel Siena Borgo Grondaie

In the immediate vicinity of Siena, along the hills that surround the city from the south-east, opens up a territory, one of the most striking: the Crete Senesi. Here you can find a landscape characterized by a succession of gray hills, alternating rugged areas where nature has shaped in the wild territory. The water, in fact, running out of control along the hills slopes dug deep furrows on which vegetation cannot take root. These ravines and deep grayish tens of meters, known by the name of “calanchi”, often stretch for hundreds of meters from the ridge to get to the valley floor. Another erosive form present in the Crete Senesi are the “biancane”. These reliefs that appear like white domes are due to forms of water erosion of clays, from which white sodium sulphate exudes and is deposited on the surface. In limited areas you can see also the “frills” (balze in italian), which are points where the hilly terrain is interrupted.

Crete Senesi

It is also worth noting that this area was completely submerged by the sea 2.5 million years ago. Here you can find lots of villages as Asciano, Buonconvento, Monteroni d’Arbia, Rapolano Terme, Trequanda and San Giovanni d’Asso. A feature of the area is the presence of many Spa known for the beneficial properties of its waters. Among the most popular we suggest visit the Terme di San Giovanni Rapolano and Terme Antica Querciolaia Spa, both in Rapolano Terme where you can enjoy indoor and outdoor pools and also some beauty treatments! The Crete Senesi are therefore a place where you can enjoy a little ‘well-deserved relax and unwind from everyday stress!

Rapolano Terme Spa

Any person crossing the territory of the Crete Senesi immediately realizes what this is really rich: clay. This has encouraged the production of this material, originally “poor”, to turn it into something of greater value. This stemmed from the art of baking clay to produce “cooked”. To understand the importance that has baked in this area should visit two architectural masterpieces: the Abbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore and the old town of Buonconvento. The first one founded in 1313 by John Tolomei, is constructed almost entirely in brick. You can access to the abbey from the fortified palace erected in 1393 to defend the monastery. The interior of the abbey, divided into three cloisters, preserves important works of 400 and 500 and a magnificent library containing over 40,000 ancient books. As the abbey also near the center of Buonconvento, still enclosed by its walls, has most of its medieval buildings constructed in brick. Remember also the presence of the Via Francigena, the long pilgrimage route that linked Europe to Rome.

Monte Oliveto Maggiore Abbey

 

The main center of Crete Senesi is however represented by the village of Asciano, which is about 30 km far from Siena and where you can go through Monteroni d’Arbia along a scenic road made of curves and hills, perfect for lovers of bike and photography. Here you can watch and contemplate a beautiful landscae in the silence of nature and the woods surrounding it. In Asciano, which has been the granary of Siena, you can see farms, isolated buildings in the countryside, where in the past families lived. The farmers have cared for centuries the balance and beauty of the landscape based on the main crops such as wheat, vines and olive trees. In the ’60s, with the end of sharecropping begins the abandonment of the countryside partly offset by real immigration of Sardinian shepherds who import in Tuscany the culture of cheese.

Asciano landscape

The Crete Senesi are an inevitable stop for lovers of cycling and mountain biking. Cycling in this area is certainly a fascinating experience for those that prefer frequent changes and trajectories. Among the main roads we can mention two in particular: the path of Monte Sante Marie (Asciano- Torre a Castello) and the way of Pieve a Salti (Buonconvento – San Giovanni d’Asso), where you can go by bike or by walk. For lovers of road bike we suggest you  Lauretana road from Siena to Asciano and arrives till Chiusure, Monte Oliveto Maggiore and Buonconvento.

At this point we can only wish you good visit to discover one of the most beautiful areas of Tuscany!

ILARIA SIMI

Published by Borgo Grondaie Hotel

Passignano Abby a hidden gem in Chianti is  even called Abbey of San Michele Arcangelo in Passignano; it is located in Tavernella Val di Pesa area, near Florence. The building surrounded by the houses of the village is still a monastery. Passignano Abby was repeatedly destroyed and rebuilt and  its present appearance  is that of a fort rather than a monastery.

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Passignano abby

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Passignano abby – IL Chiostro

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Passignano abby

The abbey of San Michele  is dedicated to the angel warrior San Michele. The statue of the angel on the top of the chapel roof  and the Templar cross that lies within are clear symbols of it. The abbey which once contained over 6600 scrolls it is a real  treasure to visit and discover. The monks who live in only ask visitors for a  donation but we guarantee that what you see is worth well over. Very beautiful is the medieval kitchen never renovated during  nineteenth century and  the hall of the refectory where “The Last Supper” by Ghirlandaio dating back to 1476 and  covers the entire wall of the room.

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Passignano abby – Medieval kitchen

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Passignano abby – Medieval kitchen

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Passignano abby – Medieval kitchen

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Passignano abby – Medieval kitchen

 

thanks to Wikipedia

Last Supper from Ghirlandaio

Currently the fresco is covered because under restoration. Lack of funds are, however, lengthening the time of the restoration. This is also why I suggest you a  visit at the Abbey of Passignano and leave your generous contribution that will be critical to the preservation of  this beautiful fresco, a symbol of Italian culture. Beautiful view from the gardens and from the terrace.

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from the garden of Passignano Abby

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Passignano Abby – a view of the chiostro

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The garden – Passignano Abby

Have a nice tour

posted by Hotel Siena Borgo Grondaie

A week end trip to Val d’Orcia Tuscany – in the south part of Siena area -worth by sure a visit but if you don’t have enough time to see all its territory just Pienza and Moltancino give you the idea of how beauty is this part of Tuscany. For those who have more time we suggest to follow the river Orcia till the castle of Rocca d’Orcia (also called Rocca di Tentennano), just a few meters away from the main town of Castiglione d’Orcia. The castle is open to public and  offers an incomparable view: The near mountain Monte Amiata, the castle of Radicofani , the town of Castiglione and the hot springs just on the opposite slope of the Val d’Orcia, the spa town of Bagno Vignoni.

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The small hamlet of Rocca d’Orcia with its medieval fountains and churches from the 13th century makes you feel back into Medieval time. Here Saint Catherine of Siena learned reading and writing during their stay in 1378

The entrance fee for the castle is 3 euros and it also includes the entrance  to the small museum Sala d’Arte San Giovanni in the center of Castiglione d’Orcia. Here you can admire paintings of Simone Martini, Giovanni di Paolo and Vecchietta.

museisenesi

Museum and castle are always open on Saturdays and Sundays (10:00 to 13:00 / 16:00 to 19:00).

Have a nice tour!

 

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Tarot Garden Capalbio Italy

The Tarot Garden is an art park developed in the late seventies by the French artist Niki de Saint Phalle, populated by statues inspired by the shapes of the Tarots. Definitely inspired by the beautiful park Guell in Barcelona, Niki de Saint Phalle, with this fantastic garden, realizes the magical and spiritual dream of her life, to create giant sculptures, high around 12/15 meters, full of symbolic and esoteric meanings. Glittering sculptures, which seem to come from a storybook, built of steel and concrete, covered with mosaics in fine glass and ceramics. Many, from all over the world have already traveled this path of imagination, a place where not only nature and art meet, but that also remains suspended without space or time … ..
The Tarot Garden  is located on the southern side of the Garavicchio hill near Pescia Fiorentina, an hamlet close to Capalbio (GR). It is about 1 ½ hours from Siena and being located between the coastal road  and inland hills, it is perfect solution for those who want to spend a pleasant day taking a nice break from the beach.
Tarot Garden is open every day until October 15th  from 2:30 p.m to 7:30 p.m. For reservation email to tarotg@tin.it

We visited this wonderful park and here same photos:

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Tarot Garden Capalbio Italy

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Tarot Garden Capalbio Italy

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Tarot Garden Capalbio Italy

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Tarot Garden Capalbio Italy

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Tarot Garden Capalbio Italy

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Tarot Garden Capalbio Italy

 
For more information contact Hotel Borgo Grondaie

 

Posted by: www.hotelsienaborgogrondaie.com

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For two days, Sarteano, a nice village near Siena (about an hour by car), will be transformed into a wonderful show of colors, art and fragrances. All this thanks to “Artinfiore”, the first festival of flowers and creativity.

Located in the historical center of Sarteano you’ll admire different art installations inspired by the “greenery” theme. It will be also possible to visit the trade show dedicated to flowers , uncommon plants and crafts related to gardening.
The event will also provide children’s workshops and classes for all ages to learn something new about the world of flowers.
You can find more information on : www.prolocosarteano.it
Source: Siena News

Posted by: www.hotelsienaborgogrondaie.com

 

sottotetto duomo

It took months of work but on  April the 6th the Cathedral of Siena opens its attics that were never opened to the public.
With an experienced guide you walk  spiral staircases almost hidden from visitors’ view and  in small groups you are taken over the vaulted stars of the right aisle. From there it begins a journey where view range from inside to outside the cathedral. You can visit Ulisse De Matteis windows with the representation of the Apostles and the gallery where you can admire the view on the main altar. From the left aisle  visitors can admire a breathtaking view of the Basilica of San Domenico, the Medici Fortress and the entire cupola of St. John the Baptist.
Much more is to discover if you decide to  participate in an event of historical and emotional impact like no other, organized by Opera – Civita Group
For information  www.operaduomo.siena.it

Posted by: www.hotelsienaborgogrondaie.com

 

In the beautiful village of San Quirico d’Orcia, about an hour’s drive from Siena, we celebrate the Festival of Barbarossa. It is the recollection of the meeting between Frederick I, called Barbarossa and the Cardinals sent from the Pope Adrian IV.

In 1155 King Frederick I was named to become Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. To obtain the coronation he should ask for the assent of the Roman Church. He obtained the agreement for his coronation by the Church but only in exchange for the capture of the heretic Arnold of Brescia.
The festival runs from Wednesday, June 13th to Sunday 17th June .You can enjoy parades, lucky dinners, flag bearers, archers competitions and medieval shows.

For more information contact Hotel Siena Borgo Grondaie.

Posted by: www.hotelsienaborgogrondaie.com

 

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