Mens Sana Siena. Mens Sana is one of the oldest sports clubs in Italy . The Ginnastica Senese AssociationMens Sana in Corpore Sano 1871” was officially born in Siena on 16 apile 1871 thanks to some college students. In a few years years it becomes a real institution in the city because of many athletes who lived in Siena. They partecipated in various national competitions and were very appreciated. In particular, at nineteenth century, Mens Sana Siena represented an important reality in Italy. Among the sports played there were gymnastics, shooting, fencing, swimming and cycling.

Mens Sana Siena

Mens Sana Siena

From the 20th century sport became symbol of playtime and leisure activity and the Gymnastics Association Senese becomes a sport club called Polisportiva. During the Fascism period there was a stop of all activities bacause the only aim was hard competition. Meanwhile in Siena they were creating two sports realities: Mens Sana in regard to cycling, skating and hockey, and Robur who became the only expression of Siena football. After the fall of fascism and the end of World War II, the revival of the sports club began. In 1945 Mens Sana obtained Sant’Agata gym and all the sports activities carried on.
During that period it started  the project forthe first Sports Palace, the “dodecahedron” the so-called Palazzetto Giannelli. The PalaMensSana came into being in 1976 on the need for more space.

It is important to say that between all the sports sections of the Mens Sana Siena, the most important and rich in tradition and history is that of basketball. To understand the origins of this sport we have to go back in time. In 1907 it took place in Venice a Gymnastic Competition and  Gymnastics Association Senese girls showed for the first time in Italy the basics of basketball, led by Professor Ida Names Minnoni.

Mens Sana Siena

Mens Sana Siena

During its history,  Mens Sana Siena Basket has won eight league titles, including seven in a row, a Saporta Cup, five Italian Cups in a row and seven Italian Super and it is  one of the teams with the most titles in Italy.
The first team colors were white and black, the colors of the city of Siena. When Mens Sana moved to St. Agatha gym, under the High School Piccolomini, it took the school colors, white and green, as most of the athletes were students of that institute.

The first appearance of the Mens Sana in  Serie A is in 1961-1962, although the Serie A of that  time was the second level after the Serie A elite. The Serie B 1972-1973  sees win promotion to Serie A. The Golden Age for the team was  from 2007 to 2013 thanks to the figure of the coach Simone Pianigiani, young Sienese who previously had been assistant coach. In 2010 the team won its fifth title (fourth consecutive) entering the Italian basketball history because no other teams had managed to win four consecutive titles since the introduction of the paly-off. In 2011 Mens Sana won his sixth title. This has been the best season ever for Mens Sana who had never won three Italian trophies and reached the Euroleague Final Four in the same season.
Following the failure of 2014, a new sport club was founded, Mens Sana Siena 1871 startinf from the Serie B. After the victory in a playoff with Agropoli Mens Sana won promotion to Serie A2.

Mens Sana Siena

Mens Sana Siena

Mens Sana Siena

Mens Sana Siena

If you are keen on basketball too and you want to see a Mens Sana game, why don’t you stay with us at Borgo Grondaie?
We remind you that our hotel is very close to PalaMensana and you can easily reach it on foot or by car.
We are waiting for you!

Ilaria Simi

Published by Hotel Siena Borgo Grondaie

On Valentine’s Day in Borgo Grondaie. Now it is less than a month and if you are thinking about how to spend your Valentine’s Day, we propose you Siena as a possibility and Borgo Grondaie of course! Look at our web site: www.hotelsienaborgogrondaie.com                  Borgo Grondaie is waiting for you for a special stay with your partner. Included in your reservation, you will find a bottle of prosecco and a red rose.

Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day

But now let’s go back to the origins of this festival and let’s see how Valentine’s Day is celebrated in the world.
The origin of Valentine’s Day is the attempt by the Catholic Church to put an end to a popular pagan rite connected to fertility. The pagan Romans, in fact, paid tribute to the God Lupercus and the names of women and men who worshiped this deity were placed in an urn and then chosen in pairs by a child. The two were supposed to live in intimacy for a year until the rite of fertility had not been concluded and achieved the real goal. In order to put an end to this practice, the precursors fathers of the Catholic Church tried a saint who could replace Lupercus and found him in Valentine, a bishop who was martyred. Thus in 496 A.D. Church instituted the feast of St. Valentine to celebrate love.

Saint Valentine

Saint Valentine

The day dedicated to St. Valentine, the patron saint of Terni in Umbria, is precisely on February 14.

Saint Valentine Church in Terni

Saint Valentine Church in Terni

Now let’s find out what are the traditions and customs that characterized the “Valentine’s Day“.

Of course in the Italian tradition we usually stay with our partner the whole day going out for dinner, exchanging gifts symbolic. Men usually pick up ladies by bringingwith a red rose (or better yet a beautiful bouquet of roses!) and a gift. Very welcome are those that typically are hidden inside small boxes and are possibly “sparkling”!

Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day

In Finland and Estonia on February 14 it is instead called “the day of friends”, thus recalling all the friends and not only lovers. It is celebrated by giving a coupon for a spa.
In Denmark, it is customary that women ask officially the hands of their lovers. Furthermore, young people usually send white flowers called “snowdrops” to their friends, while older men send greeting cards unsigned and rhyming poems.

Snowdrops

Snowdrops

England is the day of lovers with no name and it is the anonymity the star of the festival! Indeed sending unsigned tickets romantic and flowers so that the recipient tries to figure out who the sender. British unmarried women, the morning of February 14, usually get up out of bed before dawn to arise and face the window as a good wish for the future love: it is said that the first man that passes will be married within a year!
In the Netherlands one of the most popular gifts is the heart of licorice.
In Spain, as good Latin caliente, it is strictly a bouquet of red roses (Long live the Spanish!)
In Wales it is customary to treat wooden spoons carved.
In Hungary, boys and girls usually go to the woods to gather snowdrops.
In Japan, the true protagonists are the women who, according to tradition, must give hand-made chocolates to its partners. These can also be given away to coworkers or classmates in friendship. Japanese men return it a month later, on March 14, also known as “White Day” and in this case, the chocolates will be naturally white!

White Day in Japan

White Day in Japan

In South Korea, the celebrations are similar to those in Japan but on April 14, a day known as “Black Day“, those who had not received anything on Feb. 14 or March 14,  will go to a restaurant and eat spaghetti with squid ink complaining of his loneliness. Certainly this is not a hymn linked to joy of life!

Black Day in Japan

Black Day in Japan

Valentine’s Day in Brazil is instead completely ignored because of Carnival and is celebrated on June 12, the eve of St. Anthony which is the patron saint of weddings. Tradition holds that unmarried women bring with them during the day a statue of the saint with the hope of finding a husband soon (Dear Brazilian women, we are in 2016 now! Men are not essential!)

Valentine's Day in Brazil

Valentine’s Day in Brazil

In the US the festival for Feb. 14 involve the whole family and celebrate all emotional ties.
As for Russia instead it seems that in some regions the government has expressed his opposition about this festival beacuse it is not linked to any Orthodox feast.
In Slovenia, Valentine’s Day is postponed to March 12, the day of St. Gregory, since February 14 is the day when you start working in the fields.
In Romania, the Valentine’s Day is called “Dragobete” and on February 24. According to mythology Romanian Dragobete is the son of Baba Dochia that is the impatience of men pending the arrival of spring.
Moving to East we get to China. Here is the man who gives flowers and chocolates to the woman. There is also an old tradition called “The night of the seven” (Qi Xi) in August. On this occasion unmarried women show their domestic arts with the hope to find a husband.
In Iran instead Valentine’s Day is called “Sepandarmazgan” and is celebrated on February 17. The government prefers that people do not celebrate but it seems that lovers do it the same secretly exchanging gifts and small thoughts.
The worse the situation in Saudi Arabia where the celebrations for Valentine were banned by the government in 2008.
In Thailand, the land of smiles,it is celebrated only when it is taken the decision to marry.

This is a general overview of the different traditions in the world. Certainly the fact remains that the best gift ever made was made by the Indian Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan who built the Taj Mahal for his wife as a symbol of eternal love.

Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal

For anyone who is not an emperor, king, prince, duke or count, but  want to surprise his/her partner, Borgo Grondaie is wainting for you. You can spend a romantic Valentine’s Day in the beautiful city of Siena.

Ilaria Simi

Published by Hotel Siena Borgo Grondaie

Guido Chigi Saracini. “Memories. Guido Chigi Saracini and the arts“: this is the title of the exhibition organized to celebrate 50 years since the death of Count Guido Chigi Saracini, a timeless symbol of Siena tradition and culture.
The exhibition, arranged by Laura Bonelli and the Accademia Musicale Chigiana, is divided into 7 sections in order  to present the Count through video, objects, paintings and photographs.
Guido Chigi Saracini

Guido Chigi Saracini

Inaugurated on Oct. 23, 2015, it will be open and available to the public until June 12, 2016. Free entrance. A good opportunity both for those who come to Siena to visit the city both for Siena people themselves.
For those who are interested in, consider that the exhibition takes place at Palazzo Chigi in Via di Citta 89, in the spaces below the Concert Hall and it is open to the public during the following hours: Monday to Sunday 10-13; 15-17 in high season (March 1 to June 12), while Saturday and Sunday at 10-13; 15-17 in low season (January-7 February 28).
In particular the first section of the seven in total, called Prelude, is dominated by a piano and welcomes visitors presenting the Count through his greatest passions. This is the most personal area where there are many objects, pictures of the family and important evidences of the strong bond with his city, Siena.
In the second section, called Atelier, there is part of the photographic heritage of the Accademia Chigiana, presented for the first time. The photographs portray and reproduce the daily life at the academy and the characters who have lived or attended it.
The next section is called Arturo Viligiardi and it is the room in which it is exposed the special relationship of the Count with a number of artists including, of course, Arturo Viligiardi, known for the transformation of the Dance Hall in the current Academy Concert Hall.
In Micat Summit section the protagonist is of course the music. Here it is possible to find works and photographs of teachers conductor and various musicians. Among the works there are also images, busts, casts and portraits.
In the next section, The Gallery of the twentieth century, you will find exposed unpublished thirty paintings of the first half of the twentieth century that most likely were in the houses of the Count for abbelirne rooms.
The exhibition ends with a room Le Roi de Sienne, nickname that the Queen of Belgium Elizabeth Wittelsbach attributed to the Count. With the woman Count Guido had a close friendship that lasted until the last years of his life.
Guido Chigi Saracini

Guido Chigi Saracini

Guido Chigi Saracini

Guido Chigi Saracini

Besides the exhibition dedicated to the Count Guido Chigi Saracini you can also visit the Academy, a symbol of the city of Siena.
Built in the XXIII century, Chigi Saracini Palace, host so many valuable collections. Among the masterpieces we remember the works of Giovanni d’Agostino, Francesco di Giorgio Martini, Stefano di Giovanni, known as Sassetta and Beccafumi.
The Academy has also a collection of about 90 musical instruments including violins, cellos, violas and basses. Hours are Monday through Saturday at 11:30; Thursday and Friday at 11.30 and 16.00. The ticket price is 7.00 Euro and 5.00 Euro for the whole of the reduced (for young people under 26 years and for groups of 10 people). For more information read our previous article about Chigiana Academy by clicking here.
Accademia Musicale Chigiana-Siena

Accademia Musicale Chigiana-Siena

We remind you that the exhibitionMemories. Guido Chigi Saracini and the arts “is organized by the Accademia Musicale Chigiana and created by Vernice Progetti Culturali in collaboration with MPS Bank of Siena.
If you are interested in and for more information and reservations visit our website: www.hotelsienaborgogrondaie.com
Borgo Grondaie is wating for you!
Ilaria Simi
Published by Hotel Siena Borgo Grondaie

Epiphany takes away every holiday! This popular italian saying embodies the typical italian tradition. In fact, on January 6, the Epiphany‘s day, closes officially the chapter of  Christmas break.

Epiphany

Epiphany

Symbol of this holiday is of course the witch, figure beloved by children. In the Christian tradition the Epiphany recalls the arrival of the Wise Men, Melchior, Balthazar and Gaspar who go to Bethlehem in order to celebrate Jesus’ birth by bringing him as gift gold, frankincense and myrrh.

The Wise Men

The Wise Men

Today Borgo Grondaie wants to tell you something about Epiphany traditions in Italy, Europe and other countries!

According to Italian tradition, the with, which is called Befana in Italian, is an old ugly and weak woman, with grey hair and a headscarf, badly dressed with a big skirt and tight torn.
The night between 5 and 6 January she  flies from house to house riding his broom to bring sweets, chocolates, candies, dried fruit or toys inside the stockings of good children, and coal, garlic, onions inside those of children who are not so good. On the night of January 5, all children hang their stocking, complete with their names, on  the chimney  with the hope that the witch decides bring them something.

Befana

Befana

Epiphany

Epiphany

In Spain, however, the morning of January 6, all children wake up at dawn to find out what gifts they received from the Wise Men.
According to tradition, on the evening of January 5th, children prepare to welcome them by putting in front of the front door a large glass of water for the thirsty camels and something to eat.
In addition, the day of Epiphany, in many Spanish cities held the Wise Men procession , whith a parade through the city streets aboard in order to give to children gifts and sweets.
The Spanish tradition was inherited in many Central American countries, like Mexico and Cuba, and also in South America.


In France, the Epiphany is not a public holiday, so it is celebrated usually on the Sunday before or after January 6.
Usually it is prepared a dessert inside which there is a small stone. Who will be lucky enough to find it in his slice of cake, he/she will be elected king or queen for a day. In northern France, from the fourteenth century, you can eat for this occasion, the “Galette des Rois“:the dessert is cut into many slices as there are guests, plus one. This last part is called “the part for the poor one””, and was the first part traditionally destined for poor who stood at the door.
In southern France, in place of the Galette, it is used to prepare a croissant-shaped crown, decorated with candied fruit and sugar.

Gallette des Rois

Gallette des Rois


According to the Orthodox calendar, in Russia on January 6 it is the day when they celebrate Christmas. According to tradition, the gifts are brought by Father Frost accompanied by Babushka, a nice old woman who helps him to deliver presents to children.
In Germany on January 6 is the day of the coming of the Wise Men. For this occasion, priests and altar boys knocking from door to door seeking tenders and sing songs in thanks.


In Iceland, the Epiphany is called the thirteenth day, because from Christmas until January 6, there are 13 days. From 11 December until 25, a Santa Claus arrives every day, and then, from December 25 they go away till the thirteenth Santa Claus with which there is official end of the holidays .
In Romania, however, the Epiphany is linked to the coming of Wise Men and it is a public holiday. Even today children go through the streets and knocking on doors to ask if they can come to tell stories. Usually they receive as compensation a few coins. Even the priests go from house to house to bless them.

Whay don’t you spend your Epiphany in Siena and in Borgo Grondaie as well?

We are wating for you with lots of surprises, sweets but also coal!

For further information visit our web site: www.hotelsienaborgogrondaie.com

Ilaria Simi

Pubblicato da Hotel Siena Borgo Grondaie

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Wine&Siena. On 30 and 31 of January 2016 Siena will host the first edition of Wine&Siena, a can’t miss event designed to promote the excellence of Siena wines. The location chosen will be Rocca Salimbeni, the original seat of Monte Paschi Bank. Wine&Siena Event will be a showcase dedicated to Siena, Tuscany and Italian wines’ productions.

Wine&Siena

Wine&Siena

Wine&Siena

Wine&Siena

Wine&Siena: you can find the best combination for the city characterized by well-5 DOCG areas: Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino, Nobile di Montepulciano, Chianti Classico and Vernaccia di San Gimignano. In this sense, Siena can undoubtedly be called the symbol of Italian Oenology. Moreover, Wine&Siena event will be surely appreciated by Siena people. Everybody have waited so long for such an event. They are aware of the historical tradition of the that characterizes Siena itself and the surrounding territory. Wine&Siena has involved the most important organization, the Gourmet’s International, which has over 25 years of experience about selection and organization of food and wine events including Merano Wine Festival 2015.

Wine&Siena

Wine&Siena

At Rocca Salimbeni the majority of exhibitors will be Tuscan. The path will lead to Scala Spadolini, in Sala Rocca and the Galleria Peruzziana. Outside from Piazza Salimbeni, there will be other food & wine stands.
Tickets for the event can be purchased online at www.wineandsiena.it
The price is 40.00 euros for the daily and 25.00 euros for half a day.

Rocca Salimbeni in Siena

Rocca Salimbeni in Siena

An important event will be the Showcooking Double Fire Chef vs Blogger at 13.30, 16.45 or 19.15 p.m. at the price of 15,00 euros.
You can will also take part at Small Plates Gala on Friday, 29 on January, starting at 20:00. This event will take place at Enoteca Italiana in Siena where there will be 8 restaurant owners from Siena that will welcome you with their typical dishes at a price of 40.00 euros per person.

Enoteca Italiana-Siena

Enoteca Italiana-Siena

Another event that will be held instead at the Grand Hotel Continental, will be the Gala Dinner on Saturday, January 30th at 20:30 at the price of 60.00 euros per person.

Grand Hotel Continental Siena

Grand Hotel Continental Siena

For information, reservations and purchase tickets visit www.sienaincoming.it or call the numbers 3480216972/3476137678 by Tuesday 26 January 2016.
Remember that Wine&Siena is organized by Gourmet’s International Merano, Confcommercio of Siena, Siena Municipality, Chamber of Commerce of Siena and with the participation of Monte Paschi Bank of Siena and Grand Hotel Continental.

If you decide to come to visit the city in those days, and you need an accommodation, don’t hesitate to contact us at www.hotelsienaborgogrondaie.com

Published by Hotel Siena Borgo Grondaie

Borgo Grondaie closer to the city center. In November 7th the new bus terminal in Viale Lombardi in Siena, was finally inaugurated thanks to the underpass which connects directly to Piazzale Rosselli in front of the Train Station of Siena. It makes easier to reach the city center of Siena.

stazione

Entrace- Piazzale Rosselli

francigena

From the new bus terminal you can get all the blue buses that lead you to Buonconvento-Torrenieri-Montalcino, Castelnuovo Berardenga, Chianciano Terme, Pienza-Montepulciano, Villa a Sesta-San Gusmè, Asciano, Gaiole in Chianti-Pianella-Pievasciata, Montevarchi and Pitigliano. Moreover from there, you can also get all the orange traditional urban buses.

Bus station

Bus terminal

A beautiful work that will surely be appreciated from all the guests of Borgo Grondaie. It is an important change that allows Borgo Grondaie to be closer to the city center of Siena. Thanks to the underpass connecting with the Train Station of Siena, you can make a pedestrian path only, completely covered in case of rain, leading you to the city centre of Siena through the escalator from Piazza Rosselli that leads you till the Antiportoof Camollia.
From Borgo Grondaie you will reach the new bus terminal in Viale Lombardi (in front of Chianti Bank) and from there, once you have done the underpass, inside you will find escalators which take you directly into the shopping center Porta Siena (which is located in front of the train station); continuing with the mechanized lifts you will exit at Antiporto of Camollia.

IMG_3525SiPedala

Once you have reached Porta Camollia, a medieval gate of Siena, with a short walk you can easily reach Campo Square.

From Borgo Grondaie you can reach the city centre in only 20 minutes through completely covered path which is and heated during the winter months and air-conditioned in summer.

3areedirezioni

It is important to say thanks to those who designed this work that will certainly appreciated by the Siena people, but also by tourists who decide to stay in Siena.

percorso mappa

Ilaria Simi

Published by Hotel Siena Borgo Grondaie

The Market in Campo Square. On Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th of December 6 the traditional winter meeting of “The Market in Campo Square” come back in Siena. A real dive in the fourteenth century among history and culinary excellences and craftsmanship. This year the event is dedicated to “Siena, the capital city of Italian Culture“. As in the fourteenth century, the Campo Square will be the place of business and social life of the city.

The Market in Campo Square

Two days to relive the atmosphere of the historic “Great Market” which took place once a week in Siena during the fourteenth century: over 140 stands will showcase the best products of food, agriculture, crafts and manufacturing stuff to give life to a unique event aimed at reviving what happened in the Middle Ages.

The Market in Campo Square

The program also includes guided tours, children’s activities, a rich program of tastings and live entertainment.
The Podestà courtyard inside the Public Palace, in Campo Square, will host “Vinarte” where you can taste our best wines acquiring your own cup, and a book of taste. Here you can also watch the shows of the Siena Jazz Foundation.
Do not miss theatrical improvisations in medieval style of Aresteatro with Francesco Ravines.

Another interesting initiative is the “Market of Ideas“, a literary salon with some books presentations and their authors from five cities that have shared with Siena the title for Italian Capital of Culture 2015, Cagliari, Lecce, Perugia-Assisi and Ravenna.

Things to buy- Market in Campo Square

Among the events “format baby” we must remember the laboratory directed by Podere Forte of Castiglione d’Orcia whit the intention of get new flavors to little tasters, and always dedicated to babies and youngers, there will be the Francigena path on Saturday, December 5th departing at 15.00 from Piazza Salimbeni to know the history and stories of the pilgrims with Gino! You can book within Thursday, December 3th at 17:00 at Centro Guide Siena, number 0577 43273 or by e-mail to info@guidesiena.it. The route will make a stop in the Public Palace in Campo Square and will end with a snack inside Orto de ‘Pecci. Moreover you can find lots of thematic workshops and cooking food shows in collaboration with the High School Artusi of Chianciano Terme that will bring its students directly in the Campo Square.

The invitation also comes from a lot of restaurants of the city of Siena will offer special menus with typical Tuscan flavors in order to appreciate so much more Siena.
The restaurants that will be present are: Antica Trattoria Botteganova, Fori Porta, Grotta del Gallo Nero, Grotta di Santa Caterina “Bagoga” The Bandierino, The Brewery, Millevini, Osteria Babazuf, Restaurant Window, Te Ke you.
The Market in the Campo Square is part of the program of events “All the Christmas of Siena“, promoted by the Municipality of Siena with the support of Monte Paschi Bank.

A unique event that we recommend to all our guests in Borgo Grondaie and those who will arrive in the next days.

Ilaria Simi

Published by Hotel Siena Borgo Grondaie

Let’s go hunt mushrooms. Mushrooms are among the ingrediets of tasty recipes and we find them in many dishes from around the world.
In addition to being delicious, mushrooms are able to make us feel better, not only for their nutrients but also because hunt mushrooms is a very nice way to spend a relaxing daywalking in the woods and mountains which Tuscany and in particulary the area around Siena, is rich.

risotto funghi

Risotto with porcini mushrooms

Pizza with mushrooms

Depending on the period of growth, we can say that we can find mushrooms almost everywhere. Despite their adaptability, their ideal habitat remains the woods. Their growth is also linked to seasonal cycles; as a general rule it can be said that in order to hunt mushrooms it is necessary that there are certain atmospheric conditions and temperature, generally between 15 and 25 degrees and that these are accompanied by a certain degree of humidity of the soil. It is known that for their development, the mushrooms require a hot, humid climate, provided that it has between mid-August and mid-October.
The stormy days, as well as wind and drought determine the contrary unfavorable conditions for their growth. Not necessarily the plant, or the “spawn”, dies; it can simply stop its activity and it went into “hibernation”.

funghi 1

Mushrooms

For all those who want to experiment with this new hobby and look for mushrooms, remember that their recognition is an art that you learn with a bit of study and a lot of experience!
In general you have to keep in mind that the best time to devote to research runs from early August to late September. Moreover, according to people with some experience, the hours of the day most suitable “to hunt mushrooms“, are those of the afternoon with two advantages, the best lighting conditions and terrain. In fact, in the afternoon is the grass that the undergrowth have lost the dew, the soil is drier and the same fungi are in better condition to be collected.

With regard to the method, remember that you’ll need a stick of wood that will be used to move the leaves, a wicker basket or other material that allows air to circulate inside, however, and the spores fall in order to ensure the rebirth in the future, and a knife. When you found a mushroom is important not to touch it with your hands if you do not know the species. In case you’re sure that this is a non-poisonous mushroom, helping you pick it up with a knife, clean thoroughly the stem so that the earth, the mycelium can fall on the ground. It is important to gather mushrooms that we are sure of their edibility.

The best-known mushrooms are definitely the following: porcini, champignons and the most poisonous, amanita falloide.

funghi si

Porcini

amanita falloide

Amanita Falloide

funghi 2

Amanita Falloide

Mushrooms are then linked to legends and curiosity. It is said for example that the greek hero Perseus, after a long journey, managed to find comfort thanks to water which was contained in the cap of a mushroom. To show his gratitude, then he founded a colony called Mycenae, whose name derives from the greek word for mushrooms. In the Middle Ages it was believed instead that mushrooms grow in circles after a Sabbath, a meeting between witches and wizards, or after a dance of gnomes and elves.
Mushrooms are moreover valuable allies of man: in agriculture, for example, are  they are useful in order to recultivate the land precisely because they absorb pesticides and pollutants. So pay attention where you collect them!

2547294845_08fa84ebec_o-2

Mushrooms variety

A very particular and less known mushroom is the Reishi or Lingzhi, used for teas and liqueurs. It is considered by the Chinese medicine “the mushroom of immortality”.
Then we have a curiosity that we hope will make you smile! It may sound incredible, but it seems that Viagra accelerates mushrooms’ growth. The reaction was discovered in Switzerland and has been published in the prestigious journal Annals of Improbable Research.
At this point we wish you to have fun! Let’s go hunt mushrooms and and good luck from Borgo Grondaie!

Ilaria Simi

Published by Hotel Siena Borgo Grondaie

 

Be Tuscan! It’s not an hard work…for us. Today Borgo Grondaie has decided to surprise you with an unusual article! We hope you will enjoy it!

Tuscany

Be Tuscan

We are going to talk about most common linguistic mistakes of our fantastic guests! It could happen to hear from an English-speaking person the word “Grazi” istead of “Grazie” (thanks). They don’t pronunciate that final “e” because in English that sound is “i” and not “e” as in Italian.

Another word which is very difficult for English people is “San Gimignano” because the diphtong “gn” does not exist in English! So you hear perople say “San Gimignino”, “San Gimgggnano” …..

San Gimignano

The list with linguistic mistakes made by foreigners that try to speak Italian could be endless and so we prefer focus on what a Tuscan person is, all his characteristics that made him DOC like the wine!

First of all, everybody knows that Tuscan people love to laugh, make fun and are very ironic and self-ironic people. They love have fun and share with friends their free time. They use a lot nicknames to take joke of friends (and not only) calling them “nasone” (big nose)” if he/her has a big one, “Kojak” (from the TV series of the famous detective) if he’s bald, “secco” (thin) for who is tall and thin and the exclamation “che scemo” (what a dummy) is a regular way to say to a friend when he/her makes something funny or unusual.

We use a lot our hands while speaking and we demostrate our affection for someone giving him/her strong pat on their shoulders.

What are the most important characteristics of a true Doc Tuscan?

First of all the right knowledge of Tuscan language. In Tuscany people don’t speak a dialect like in other Italian regions. In Siena and Firenze we are fomous for how we pronounce the “C”. Coca Cola for us is HOHA HOLA, “casa” (home) is HASA and “cannuccia” (straw) HANNUCCIA. Remember that Tuscany is the cradle of Italian language and we are very proud of that!

A symbol is represented by the film “Il Ciclone” by Leonardo Pieraccioni. It is a MUST for all Tuscan people! We suggest you to watch it!

Il Ciclone

Everybody knows Roberto Benigni, the symbol of Tuscan person. Does anyone remember his Oscar award in 1999 for the fim “La vita è bella”? A mix of happiness, spontaneity and exuberance!

Roberto Benigni- Oscar 1999

Roberto Benigni- Oscar 1999

Another characteristic of Tuscan people is their love and passion for good food and wines like Brunello or Chianti. We are proud of our recipes.

First of all we must remember the so-called “Ribollita” which is a soup of bread and vegetatables. The most important ingredient is the borecole. Ribollita means “boiled twice” because you must boil vegetables and bread two times!

Ribollita

So, in order to win over a Tuscan you must be ironic, make him/her laugh and love wine and food!

And you, what do you think about Tuscan people???

Ilaria Simi

Published by Hotel Siena Borgo Grondaie

Tuscan Pecorino. One of the most popular products of our region is without any doubt Pecorino cheese. Tuscan Pecorino is cheese with a PDO, or Protected Designation of Origin. It obtained this prestigious acknowledgment from the European Commission in 1996, after 10 years from that one obtained by the Italian State.

Pecorino is a general word used to indicate every kind of cheese made of ewe’s milk. In Italy it is possible to find a huge variety of Pecorino cheese. It depends on their origin arereas. In Tuscany you can find productions in Cortona, Barga, Pietrasanta, in Maremma, Casentino and Valdichiana areas. Closer to us don’t forget Chianti and Crete Senesi. A little curiosity: Pecorino cheese, produced in Crete Senesi was really appreciated by the Pope Pio II, Enea Silvio Piccolomini, who was born in Pienza in 1405.

The earliest historical references regarding Pecorino cheese get back Roman period, in particular in Naturalis Historia written by Plinio Il Vecchio. In reality it’s thought that the production was started even before, dating back to the Etruscan period. In XV century Pecorino cheese was known as “cacio marzolino” because of the period of producion (marzolino: marzo=March) that started in March and continue still all the Spring.

As regards its characteristics everybody knows that the basic element is milk, wich must be exclusively ewe’s milk. All the sheeps must be raised inside the territory under the PDO. In particular sheeps can belong to various breeds: Appenninica, Sopravvissana, Massese, Comisana or Sarda.

The Tuscan Pecorino PDO is kept in special natural places of fridges until it reaches the right ripeness. The Tuscan Pecorino PDO is consumed primarily as a dessert cheese. When it becomes very mature, it can also be used as a cheese for grating. The ripeness can last from 40 days till 6 months. It can be produced with ewe’s milk of two varietis: fresh or matured. The fresher type has a rind that varies in colour from yellow to straw yellow; the cheese is white or light yellow. It has a fragrant taste. The mature cheese has has a yellow to deep yellow rind, but depending on the daubs (tomato, ash, oil). The cheese inside is straw-yellow; its flavour is fragrant but never strong. Marking is done on the side of the cheese with ink on soft cheeses and with heat on semi-hard chesees. Among the most recommended wines with fresh Tuscan Pecorino there are Vernaccia of San Gimignano and Bianco of Pitigliano. With mature Tuscan Pecorino there are Brunello of Montalcino and Morellino of Scansano.


And now I write you two recipes in order to taste this amazing tuscan cheese!

Pasta with eggplant and Tuscan Pecorino

Ingredients for 4 people

2 eggplants
1 garlic clove
2 tomatoes
2 slices of pecorino
Oregano, olive oil, pasta

Wash your eggplants, dice and put them in a skillet with olive oil for 10 minutes. Put in garlic, oregano and tomatoes.
Meanwhile boil the pasta and dice Pecorino. When pasta is ready put all together and serve with olive oil and grated pecorino.

Grilled pecorino

Ingredients

Pecorino 400 gr
Peppermint
Oregano
Olive oil
Slice the pecorino and put all the slices inside a mixture of olive oil peppermint and oregano. After 1 hour grill them and serve when they are still hot.

And now… Enjoy your meal!!!!

Ilaria Simi

Published by Hotel Siena Borgo Grondaie

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