Wednesday 22 August 2012

Wine festivals in Tuscany

Two enjoyable wine festivals in Tuscany are coming up.

Vino al Vino in Panzano in Chianti

The annual Chianti Classico wine tasting expo takes place in Greve in Chianti from the 8th to the 11th of September, 2016 in Piazza Matteotti, the main piazza of Greve. The way it works is that you buy a glass from the organisers' booth (Segretaria) and this entitles you to taste wines at the winery booths set out around the piazza. You can also buy wine, of course. There are also other events taking place nearby in Greve, musical, culinary and artistic. The programme can be downloaded from this web page: 46nd Expo of Chianti Classico wines. Be aware that parking is extremely hard to find during the fair. You might find it makes more sense to come to Greve by SITA bus, not just to avoid parking issues but also if you intend to taste a lot of wine.

In Panzano in Chianti, one week after the Greve wine fair (15th to the 18th September, 2016), we have Vino al Vino. This is a smaller wine tasting event than the Greve fair with food stands selling local specialities, plus some informal music. The main action takes place in Piazza Bucciarelli which straddles the main road (via Chiantigiana). Here you will have the opportunity to sample and buy wines from some of the smaller producers in the area as well as the larger properties.

More information on upcoming Chianti wine festivals.

More about Greve in Chianti.

More about Panzano in Chianti.

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Sunday 19 August 2012

Tuscany on Facebook

For Facebook fans, here's a list of some of our Facebook Tuscany pages where you will find current information and photos about ongoing events in the Region of Tuscany, Italy. We will be updating our Facebook pages with current information about events in Tuscany plus sharing Facebook links to news and events posted on our Tuscany websites.

Don't forget to click your "Like" button!

Tuscany on Facebook

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Thursday 2 August 2012

Where to park in Florence

Visitors aware of the ZTL (Zona a Traffico Limitato - Restricted traffic zone) covering the historic areas of Florence are right to ask the question "where to park in Florence". One answer is not to park anywhere near the historic centre but rather to drive to the suburb of Scandicci and park near a tram stop. The trams running into central Florence, currently along just one line, are large, comfortable, clean and convenient. They are also inexpensive and run frequently.  Trams and buses share the same ticket (ATAF) and cost 1.20 euro for 90 minutes.

Use a tram to avoid finding a place to park in Florence
A Florentine tram
The large “Ipercoop” supermarket in Scandicci has free parking off Viale Nenni.

Note that the Coop parking area proper closes shortly after they close (8 pm), but the parking lot right next to Viale Nenni does not close and is always open. To clarify: if you wanted to go to the Coop from the always open parking area, you would have to cross the smaller street (via Edoardo Detti) and cross the (closed) parking lot.

The tram stop is called Nenni-Torregalli and it is a short ride (10-15 minutes) straight to central Florence (SMN railway station) from there. Tickets can be bought at any tobacconist, many bars or on the tram for a slightly higher price. You MUST validate your tickets once on board – these tickets can then be used for any tram or bus in Florence for 90 minutes from the time you validate (frank) the ticket.

Warning about a common car park scam  in Florence

You find a car park by the Arno with empty spaces and pull in. You are immediately approached by an "attendant" who tells you the price to park there is 20 euros per day. (There can be multiple "attendants" approaching the other cars entering the area.) The "attendant" writes you out a ticket which you put on the car. When you get back, you find that you have been fined 28 euros for not getting the ticket from the ticket machine. The "attendants" are scammers and typically do not wear any kind of uniform. They can be quite aggressive and might be predisposed to damage your car if you don't pay. The best course of action is to find a parking spot elsewhere.

More about traffic violations in Italy.

How to do Chianti without a car.

Getting around Tuscany.

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