Thursday, 10 August 2017

It's all going on at Monte Santa Maria Tiberina! Brad Pitt, a giggle, giants, singing and dancing, a bit of crying, magical beasts (and where to find them), literature, classical music and blues. Something for everyone!

Monte Santa Maria Tiberina is a hilltop village that was once an independent state, one of two places in Europe where duels were legal. Located in the Upper Tiber Valley it has Etruscan roots but a Medieval heart, with narrow streets, historic stone buildings and a panoramic position with unparalleled views of the surrounding area. Close to the border of Umbria and Tuscany it was part of the latter right up until 1927. It therefore enjoys the cultural and gastronomic pleasures of both regions, with truffles, porcini mushrooms, excellent olive oil, fantastic wines, and traditionally-made cheeses and salamis.

In the next couple of weeks there is quite a lot going on. From the 16th of August there is a week of films starting at 9.30pm. Shown in the gardens the titles include 'la la land', an Italian comedy called (in English) 'I can quit whenever I want', the Stephen Frears’ film about Florence Foster Jenkins, 'Fantastic beasts and where to find them' (the Harry Potter prequel so to speak), 'Allied', a Romantic thriller with Brad Pitt, the multi nominated 'Manchester by the Sea' and Spielberg's BFG.

There is also music on the 23rd and 25th; classical violin and blues respectively with the evening in between dedicated to the writer Carlo Cassola, an influential Italian novelist and essayist. 

There's quite a choice and something to suit all tastes!

Monte Santa Maria is well worth a visit anyway. The Bourbon palace, built in the 1500’s, dominates this tiny village along with a crenelated castle. The pretty church is dedicated, as the name of the village suggests, to the virgin Mary, and has an interesting baptismal stone font and a Bourbon family chapel. The procession of the Ascension, re-enacted for centuries on the 15th of August, honours the virgin Mary, the protectress of the village. There are several food festivals throughout the year, dedicated to the area's primary products of mushrooms, truffles, chestnuts, and roast pork.
For more information - or call +39 342 275 656


Thursday, 1 June 2017

The 2nd of June is the Festa della Repubblica

Here in Italy Republic Day is celebrated on the 2nd of June each year. It commemorates the institutional referendum in 1946 when the Italian people were called to the polls in order to decide on the type of government they wanted following the second world war and the fall of fascism. With 12,717,923 votes for a republic and 10,719,284 for the monarchy, the male descendants of the House of Savoy were sent into exile.

To commemorate this event a grand military parade is held in central Rome and presided over by the President of the Italian Republic in his role as supreme commander of the armed forces. The prime minister, formally known as the President of the council of ministers, attends along with other high officers of state. There are important celebrations in all the Italian embassies and foreign heads of states are invited. Even though the main parade is in Rome, many Italian cities celebrate the day as well.

Prior to the foundation of the Republic, the Italian national day was celebrated on the first Sunday in June, the anniversary of the granting of the 'Statuto Albertino'. From 1977 to 1999, for economic reasons, this was the day when the foundation of the republic was celebrated and it was only in 2000 that the 2nd June was officially instated.

Viva L'Italia !


Thursday, 25 May 2017

Italy is in the spotlight this week!

The Obamas have been enjoying the wonders of Tuscany this week staying in a property located very close to this villa which we are selling:

The presidential couple were guests of former US ambassador to Italy John Phillips at his luxury resort Borgo Finocchieto. They have been delighting in the historical treasures of Siena and Montalcino. In Siena they visited the magnificent Cathedral and were accompanied by the Mayor. The Cathedral is one of Italy's most illustrious Romanesque and Gothic cathedrals. Entering the Cathedral means not only experiencing spiritual elevation but also opening up to beauty and exploring one of the city's most valuable art treasures according to its website According to tradition, the present Cathedral replaces an earlier church dedicated to the Virgin Mary erected in the 9th century or thereabouts on the site of a temple serving the cult of Minerva. Equally unconfirmed rumour suggests that the building was consecrated in 1179 in the presence of Sienese Pope Alexander III Bandinelli after the papacy had made peace with the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa. The Cathedral contains numerous masterpieces from every age but its marble mosaic inlay and graffito floor is in many ways its most prized possession. Giorgio Vasari certainly considered it the "most beautiful..., largest and most magnificent floor ever made".

 The current President and his entourage have been at the Vatican meeting Pope Francis and will be heading back to Italy to attend the G7 summit in Sicily on Friday.

 Colin Firth has applied for Italian Citizenship as according to his spokesperson “Colin was horrified by Brexit and is worried about the consequences”. He already owns a home in Umbria.

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