Adventuring

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					AN UNFORGETTABLE TUSCAN SUMMER:
Adventuring

A Tuscan summer is a time you'll never forget. While beautiful
year-round, this region of Italy becomes utterly gorgeous under
the summer sun, with stunningly vibrant colours - dark green
cypress trees, dark brown olive groves, the bright green of
verdant vineyards, the nearly blinding yellow of fields of
sunflowers, the pristine white sand of its beaches, and the
impossibly blue sky and ocean waters.

Truly, this region is a paradise for artists, photographers, and
nature lovers alike. And let's not forget the foodies! With so
many fresh vegetables, fruits, and herbs in season, the cuisine
is simply incomparable. [Be sure to sample the fresh tomatoes,
which are among the best in the world, and part of nearly every
meal.]

Visited by millions of holiday-goers during this season, finding
the perfect accommodations can be challenging if you intend to
visit Tuscany. Villas, fortunately, are available all over the region,
and serve as the starting point for your travels through Tuscany.
Villas, as examples of local residential architecture are a perfect
introduction to local life, providing a backdrop for local
craftsmanship and the amazing scenery.

In Tuscany, villas are built to suit the climate. Shaded by
hillsides or beautiful olive groves and with views of the gorgeous
countryside, it's quite tempting to just stay in and relax with a
great bottle of Chianti. However, you'd be missing out on of lots
of great sites and attractions, some of which are only held during
the summer. Listed below are some of the can't-be-missed
summer attractions in Tuscany. Villas can always be enjoyed
later.

Il Palio di Siena

Il Palio di Siena, one of Tuscany's most spectacular bi-annual
events, is a horse race held on the 2nd of July and 16th of
August in Siena in honour of the Virgin Mary. Preceded by a
magnificent pageant, the Corteo Storico, the race itself features
jockeys riding bareback around the Piazza del Campo three
times, navigating treacherous turns on dirt tracks. Usually lasting
no more than 90 seconds, jockeys and horses tear through the
track, hell-bent on victory. Unlike normal races, only the horse
needs to cross the finish line in this race as jockeys often
become unseated due to the breakneck speed of the race.
James Bond fans may be interested to learn that the Palio was
featured in the 2008 film, Quantum of Solace.

Festa di San Giovanni

The Festa di San Giovanni is celebrated in Florence on the 24th
of June to honour its patron saint, San Giovanni Battista,
otherwise known as St. John the Baptist. Drawing both faithful
and merely curious from all over the world, this celebration
comprises many events, including a traditional parade through
the centre of Florence, an often-hilarious Calcio Storico
(medieval football) match in Piazza di Santa Croce, and, later in
the evening, a spectacular fireworks display over the Piazzale
Michelangelo on the Arno River. During the festival, stalls sell
pork roasted with herbs, snails, and other local delicacies--a
definite treat for foodies!

Mercantia

Mercantia, which has been described as a medieval theatre, is
the most symbolic cultural festival in Certaldo and in the Tuscan
region. Famous for its originality and peculiarity of its form, it has
been held every year since 1988. For five nights in July, the
streets of Certaldo Alto are taken over by a medieval village. In
this amazing performance arts event, actors, magicians,
minstrels, jesters, and all sorts of performers come together to
entertain and provide a glimpse of medieval life. Visitors are
encouraged to don costumes and join the fun.

				
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Daniel Egbune Daniel Egbune Managing Director http://
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