CINQUE TERRE – National Park and Protected Marine Area

From Tuscany, in just over an hour drive you reach La Spezia, Lerici or Portovenere where in summer the boats depart regularly several times a day. The Cinque Terre can also be reached by train, although from the boat you can enjoy a unique view of the sea and have a truly breathtaking view of the coast.cartina

Cinque Terre is a territory in which sea and land are founded forming a unique and evocative area. 18 kilometres of rocky coastline abounding with abundant bays, beaches and deep sea, surrounded by mountains running parrellel to the coast. Terracings cultivated with vineyards and olives, kept under control by old dry stone walls. A naturalistic heritage of great variety. Paths and mule tracks look onto breathtaking views. Five villages, Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, Monterosso face onto the sea. An environment in which centuries old work of generations has transformed an inaccessable territory into a landscape of extraordinary beauty. A Protected Marine Area and a National Park which protect the absolute uniqueness. The “Cinque Terre” has been declared a World Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO since 1997.cinque-terre-italy-2-1024x768

How to arrive

During  spring and summer there are daily connections several times a day by sea from La Spezia, Lerici and Porto Venere to Monterosso, Vernazza, Manarola and Riomaggiore. The Cinque Terre line has as  terminus Monterosso.

For departure times of the boats 2014 download here:
Orario Battelli: La Spezia – CinqueTerre, ING 2014


Trips are quite often from La Spezia, especially during the summer season and local trains stop at all railway stations of the Cinque Terre: Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso al Mare.

More infos on:

The Historical Florentine Soccer: 14th, 15th and 24th June 2014

Florentine Soccer has ancient origins: Roman army adopted the Greek game, transforming it into a type of training for their warriors. Most likely played by two even-numbered teams on the sandy ground using a large ball stuffed with rags or leather, the only objective was to get the ball into the opponent’s field, by any means. Competition was a continuous body to body, head to head combat for the possession of the ball. It had big success among warriors who spread it throughout various zones of the Roman Empire.

It’s certain that, in the second half of the 5th century, soccer had become so widespread among young Florentines that they frequently practiced it in every street and square in the city.  It was so popular that in January of 1490, finding the Arno river completely frozen over, a field was marked off and several games were played. Calcio_Storico_Corteo

The parade of Historical Procession of the Florentine Republic, composed for the occasion by 530 participants, dressed in strict military costumes of the Renaissance, refers to the same period of history, recalling the deeds and the Arms of the Republic, when Florence was ruled by people. It a real tradition, deeply rooted in the social fabric of the city.

A later reorganization of the game, during the rule of the Medici dynasty, lead Florentines to attempt their own, real matches. Teams boasted grandiose names of nobles, notable figures in public city life from the most powerful families in Florence. Games were only organized during the Carnival period.

The match that gave way to the 20th century rebirth of the game was played on May 4, 1930, for the 400th yearly observance of the Siege of Florence. By the initiative of Alessandro Pavolini, key member of the National Fascist Party, the first tournament was organized between the four quarters of the city, with players dressed in historic costumes from the 16th century.calciostorico-102

The official rules of calcio were published for the first time in 1580 by Giovanni de’ Bardi, a Florentine count. Just like Roman training, it was played in teams of 27, using both feet and hands. Goals could be scored by throwing the ball over a designated spot on the perimeter of the field. The playing field is a giant sand pit with a goal running the width of each end. There is a main referee, six linesmen and a field master. Each game is played out for 50 minutes with the winner being the team with the most points or ‘cacce’.
Originally, calcio was reserved for rich aristocrats, who played every night between Epiphany and Lent. In the Vatican, even Popes, such as Clement VII, Leo XI and Urban VIII were known to play.


On 20th April, in a Piazza del Duomo full of people reunited for the ritual Explosion of the Cart, is also performed the draw of the two semi-finals of Calcio Storico Fiorentino edition; these are the combinations:
14th June 2014 First Semifinal
BLUE Santa Croce – WHITE Santo Spirito
15th June 2014 Second Semi-Final
GREEN San Giovanni – RED Santa Maria Novella
The final will be played between the winners of the two semi-finals on 24th June, 2014 in the beautiful setting of Piazza Santa Croce.


More Infos:
To buy tickets on-line:

22nd edition of the Ceramic Festival in Montelupo Fiorentino: 19th – 22nd June 2014

This festival, now in its 22nd year,  will take place in Montelupo Fiorentino from June 19th 22nd 2014, and which offers exhibitions, meetings and demonstrations that are based around a very old factory in Montelupo Fiorentino.

Traces of ceramic workmanship date back to the 12th century, but it was from 1400 to 1530 that Montelupo worth its immense fortune as the ceramic production centre of Florence. The Medici, Strozzi, Peruzzi, Pandolfini, Pucci, Machiavelli, Corsini and Minerbetti families competed against one another to own a dinner service with their coats-of-arms, plates with their heraldry or pieces in majolica made in Montelupo. The finished products were then sold in the Mediterranean basin and even further afield. In 1600 the plague and economic decline slowed down the production, which became a minority for years until the beginning of the 20th century when Montelupo revived its former splendour with the historic Fanciullacci factory. Artists and designers of the calibre of Ettore Sottsass have worked for this enterprise. Ceramics is still an important sector for the town’s economy today, although the crisis has also had an effect here and many companies have seen a sharp decrease in orders.Festa_Ceramica

On show are products from all the companies that manufacture or sell finished items guaranteed by quality markings.
The ceramics festival is above all a time for fun, a chance to admire the master craftsmen at work, to buy finished products in the open-air ateliers or to sit down and enjoy a traditional dish in one of the many food points. This is a good time to discover a town at the gateway into Florence, which offers lovely corners and monuments of a certain importance, such as the Villa Medicea dell’Ambrogiana.

Festa della Ceramica a Montelupo Fiorentino 19th – 22nd June 2014
tel. 0571.917552 / 0571.913465

The Cherry Festival in Lari

The tradition of cherry production in the Pisan hills, particularly in the the Municipality of Lari, dates back several centuries and is also evident in the presence of the numerous native varieties.

The basis of the particular nature of the Lari cherries lies in their variety combined with the distinctiveness of the soils and the climate of the area. Another important factor is the harvesting expertise, the conditioning and packaging skills and techniques that local producers have been able to safeguard and hand down.ciliegie Lari2

The Cherry Festival, one of the oldest in Tuscany, takes place this year on the 31st of May and 1st and 2nd of June and on the 7th and 8th of June. It is the best opportunity to taste the sweet red fruit in all its traditional varieties at an event that is still held in keeping with tradition and folklore.

The festival also features artistic and cultural events and a highly popular food stand. The main town square plays host to the producers of the Lari cherries, each with their own stand, offering cherries and cherry products. Also on offer is the extra Lari cherry jam produced by the Committee for the Safeguarding and Promotion of the Lari Cherry.

Saturday 31st of May and 7th of June from 3.30 pm until 12 pm.
Sunday 1st and 8th of June and Monday 2nd of June from 10.00 am until 12 pm.


Also this year in Pisa the XIV Edition of the CANAPISA STREET PARADEwill be celebrated, a national anti-prohibitionist demonstration.
Saturday, 31st May at 4:00 pm, thousands of people will meet in Piazza Sant’Antonio to parade and protest against the repressive and prohibitionist policies of the Italian Government in recent years, claiming more freedom of consumption and production.image

The event organizers point the finger at the Department of Political Anti-Drugs (DPA) and the pharmaceutical companies , which are considered the leaders of the ” Witch Hunt ” began after the entry into force of the Fini-Giovanardi Act of 2006, against the soft drug users.

The anti-prohibitionists manifest for the Regulation of production and consumption, believing that people are able to self-regulate their own styles of intake when they have the ability to access information free from prejudice, stereotypes and discrimination. They argue that society must contribute to the achievement of environmental conditions that favor the autonomy and self-management of people rather than against them.12 

The protesters will gather for a cultural, political and social advancement:
They support the practices and experiences of risk reduction.
They support the cannabis social clubs (CSC) for medical and recreational purposes.
They contrast the security-culture and mass incarceration.
They contrast the medicalization of society in which psychiatric drugs and electroshock are emblematic symbols.
Consider hemp as an environmental alternative in the medical, food and manufacturing fields.

More infos and Canapisa Manifesto 2014:

For adhesions, mail:

Greve in Chianti – Le Cantine di Greve in Chianti – Wine Tasting

This is the right place for those who want to know the Chianti wine in all its different shades.

Cantine di Greve in Chianti is one of the largest and most important wine shops in Italy. It is located underneath Greve in Chianti’s old town centre, in the ancient cellar which was used to age wine by a very large and important winery in Chianti. The location has been carefully restored in order to bring back to light its ancient red brick vaults and columns. The result is a unique location with a very charming atmosphere.2

What makes this wine shop very special is also its unique tasting system, which by using a Wine Card allows you to taste more than 150 wines. Wine tasting at le Cantine is very easy, it works automatically with a winecard. You can buy it there directly of different amounts 10, 15, 20 or 25€ and you just insert into the different wine dispensers all around the shop. All wines are divided by their kind ( Chianti Classico, Brunello, Nobile, White wines ecc ecc). Every tasting price is different, depending on the bottle price and all tastings start from 0,60 € to 5€ approximately. With the same card you can also try olive oils and cheeses or salami samples.

At the end of the tasting, if you still have some credit left in the winecard you will receive the money back or you can keep it and go back another day.1

In Le Cantine di Greve in Chianti you will find more than 1000 labels from all over Tuscany and a selection of the best wines from the other Italian regions. The most important section is certainly the one dedicated to Chianti Classico, the wine which represents our territory. But you will also find other Tuscan wines: various Brunello di Montalcino, and the famous Supertuscans.

Le Cantine di Greve in Chianti
Piazza delle Cantine 2, 50022 Greve in Chianti (FI)

For further information

Montecatini Opera Festival 2014 in Montecatini Terme

The Festival is devoted to classical music and opera fans, its main purpose is to highlight the town’s musical tradition, especially the great operas.dsc_1373 

This season’s program, from April to October, presents 22 events, set in the most attractive thermal buildings of Montecatini Terme, either in the amazing historical hall of the Excelsior SPA, a real jewel of Liberty architecture and the perfect place to enjoy music with the same intimacy as a late 19th century salon or inside the Tettuccio, which welcomes everybody as in a warm hug and where you can still hear the musical echo of the great composers who have made Montecatini famous all over the world.

More infos on: www.montecatinioperafestival.itmontecatini-opera-festival


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