The White Truffle Season

01-tartufesta-04Autumn is not only the mushroom and chestnut season over here in Tuscany. It also means white truffles, the “diamonds of the kitchen”.  Since the Tuscan hilly countryside, especially around San Miniato, is abundant with these pungent smelling tubers, the season is plentiful with Truffle Festivals.


The first to kick off is Volterra with its White Truffle Fair to be held within the event Volterragusto. On October 22nd and 23rd, and again from October 29th to November 1st, the event will be promoting the excellencies of Tuscan food and wine products, e.g. olive oil, cheese, cold meats, chocolate and wine, just to name a few.  At the loggia of Palazzo Pretorio, instead, the sole protagonist will be the precious white truffle, typical of the hills of Volterra.


On October 23rd, 29th and 30th it will be the turn of Montaione, in the heart of Tuscany. Here again the white truffle reigns over the TartuFesta. Local producers will offer tastings, whilst cooking art shows, musicians and artists will animate the town centre. Further away, in the woods adults can go hiking or horse riding while the children are involved in an entertaining truffle hunt.


Back in the province of Pisa, San Miniato is hosting its traditional White Truffle National Fair on November 12-13th, 19-20th and 26-27th. Here over 150 exhibitors will be present with their truffles, wine, olive oil, cold meat, cheese, cakes and many more delicious specialities. On programme also meetings and exhibitions.


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Boccaccesca Food and Wine Festival 2016


The narrow medieval streets of Certaldo Alto, in the province of Florence, will be hosting its traditional food and wine festival from October 7th to 9th. There will be stalls everywhere offering the best of Tuscan specialities.


From full bodied Chianti Classico wines to Brunello di Montalcino, from Tuscan salt-less bread to heavenly almond cakes, from the prosciutto and salami to the tasty pecorino cheese, everywhere visitors will be tempted whilst roaming the streets.


There will also be typical Tuscan dishes to taste and warm you in case the Autumn day is to cool: from the mouth-watering ribollita soup to the savoury porchetta pork roast, from venison such as wild boar, hare or deer to the more homely Florentine steak, from pizzas to plates of pici pasta, and much more tempting dishes.


In programme also musical events, book shows, street art, vintage and handicraft markets and obviously cooking classes, shows and prizes such as the Premio Chichibio. So if you’re in the Valdelsa area this weekend pop over to Certaldo and come thrill your taste buds.


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Eroica – the vintage bike race is back


L’Eroica is a vintage bike event which takes place every year in October in the Chianti countryside around Gaiole in Chianti on the famous ‘white roads’, the dirt ones. This year will be its 20th edition and it’s being held on the 2nd October.


There are various routes for various cyclists, ranging from the 46 km Leisure Route to the 209 km Long Route, just as long as a vintage bicycle is used. To be considered ‘vintage’ the bicycle must have been made before the 1980s and have a metal frame with gears on it and cage pedals.


Not a competitive race, the participants and the volunteers along the route, who offer local food products at the various stations, are dressed in historical outfits turning the whole event into something very picturesque.


It might not seem comfortable but the routes cover some of the most beautiful roads of the Chianti, Valdarbia and Val d’Orcia area. Cyclists will have the opportunity to admire the striking landscape surrounding the Brolio Castle, the Chianti Classico vineyards, the quaint streets of Radda in Chianti, the medieval walled village of Buonconvento and obviously Siena. So what are you waiting for? Grab a bike, your vintage jersey and goggles and sign up.


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Salvador Dalí – The Classic Dream, at Pisa


Opening on October 1st at Palazzo Blu in Pisa is the exhibition “Dalí. Il sogno del classico” organized together with the Fundación Gala-Salvador Dalí and MondoMostre, curated by Montse Aguer, director of the Dalí Museums.


On until February 5th 2017, the show is meant to offer a large selection of the works of the Spanish artist which were greatly inspired by the Italian artistic traditions, especially the great masters of the Renaissance, such as Raffaello, Michelangelo and Benvenuto Cellini.


Over 150 major works from the Fundación Gala-Salvador Dalí Museum in Figueres and the Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg in Florida, the two most important world institutions to treasure the artist’s works, but also from the Vatican Museums.


Among the masterpieces on display there is a selection of extraordinary oil paintings, of which four are completely unknown and belong to his last creations painted in the eighties. There will also be the woodblocks with which Dalí represented the Divine Comedy as well as numerous illustrations and drawings.


Opening hours: Monday-Friday from 10 am to 7 pm; Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 8 pm. Full price ticket costs 12 Euros.


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Palazzo Strozzi, Florence hosts Ai WeiWei. Libero.

01 Ai Weiwei. Libero

Opening on September 23rd at Palazzo Strozzi, Florence, is Italy’s first major retrospective of one of the world’s most renowned and prominent contemporary artists: Ai WeiWei. Libero (‘Free’)

02 Palazzo Strozzi

Chinese contemporary artist Ai Weiwei , also well-known around the world for his political activism, will be the first artist to ever exhibit all over the spaces of Palazzo Strozzi. From the building façade to the courtyard, from the piano nobile to the Strozzina gallery, Weiwei presents a series of new and major works which mirror his relationship between tradition and modernity in this magnificent 15th-century palace.

03 @Large, 2014, Alcatraz Prison

On show will be monumental installations, sculptures and objects, as well as photographs and videos produced during the length of Weiwei’s career. These range from his New York years, the 1980s, to his recent controversial works on political dissidents with LEGO bricks and his projects on migration in the Mediterranean region.

04 Bang, 2013, Venice

Open every day from 10 am to 8 pm, except Thursdays open until 11 pm. The exhibition will end on January 22nd 2017,

05 Safe Passage, 2016, Berlin

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