Expo 2015 and Abitare la Storia

Milan The cathedral

The best time to visit Italy is “Now”, at the occasion of Expo 2015: it is an opportunity to visit Italy and stay in prestigious Historic Hotels!

Italy will host in 2015 (from May 1st  to  October 31st, 2015)  the Universal Exposition (Expo 2015) in Milan.     Attended by  Country representations, Companies, NGO’s, Individuals from all over the world  Expo 2015 will focus during these six months, on the theme “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life”.  Italy itself, with its centuries old tradition of fine food and drink will showcase each of its region’s accomplishments highlighting taste, quality and sustainability.

Coming from afar to visit Milan is certainly worthwhile for this event, but to fully take advantage of this occasion, why not take an extra few days and visit some of the Italian regions?  Hire a car, use the Freccia Rossa speed train, travel safely on well kept highways and provincial roads to discover restaurant, hamlets, awesome sights, art cities … from the Alps down to Sicily Italy is a constant surprise.  This year, also, some of you will have a big ally to make your trip more affordable:  the Euro (€), our national currency, has gone very significantly down with respect to many currencies and 20% against the US Dollar … so it’s a good occasion to take advantage of this, buy your tickets and reserve your Hotel!

Villa le Barone: view on the Chianti Hills from the gardens

And where to stay in Italy?   The prestigious historic hotels, partners of “Abitare la Storia”, of which Villa le Barone is a member, are located in beautiful places, from the north to the south of Italy. Staying in an  Historic Hotel , you will discover Italian art and culture, live in style,  and enjoy the tradition of Italian hospitality. Most of the time, you will be greated by the owner itself, who will be happy to tell you the story of his mansion and will give you advice on how to discover the region “out of the beaten tracks”.  It will be also the occasion to sample many of our regional foods and wines: risotto allo zafferano, bollito misto, spaghetti alla carbonara, cassata Siciliana, ribollita, Cannoli … and a thousand more specialties are available for you to taste together with Barolo, Chianti Classico, Aleatico, Brunello, Lambrusco, Amarone!

So, we , in Villa le Barone , are waiting for you  and can help you make a wonderful itinerary across Italy or the part of Italy you have chosen going through our list of Historic Hotels of Abitare la Storia.

Abitare la Storia and Contemporary art in Chianti

Villa le Barone, an historic hotel, member of Abitare la Storia

Villa le Barone, a Chianti member of Abitare la Storia,   the association of Italian Historic Hotels, will host an exhibition from the contemporary sculptor Marina Destombe from 29 Settember to 5th October.

Villa le Barone has developed long time cooperation with Marina Destombe, a Dutch sculptor and painter now living in Tuscany.  From the 20th to the 27th September, Marina exhibits some of her sculptures via Roma in Greve in Chianti.  Afterwards, she will display them on the terrace of Villa le Barone , in Panzano in Chianti,  where guests will be able to admire them.
Marina Destombe has studied in the Netherlands at the Academie Minerva, Groningen and three years at The Kunst Academie Ruud Wackers, Amsterdam. She decided afterwards to continue her studies in Italy at the Florence Academy of Art. It is in Tuscany, in Greve in Chianti, that she comes into contact with the renowned Fonderia Del Giudice, where the art and technique of lost wax casting has been handed down for now 3 generations. Marina is also a painter, and she has a particular passion for portraits, as she explains “Portraits create a juncture between my painting and people’s personalities. They unite the two perfectly”.

A sculpture by Marina Destombe, exposed at Villa le Barone

Marina has exposed held many exhibitions of her works, combining paintings and sculptures, in Holland, Switzerland. Marina has now decided to live and work in Italy, where she has a studio. She also offers watercolor and oil painting courses for adults and children (www.marinadestombe.com),  and guests of Villa le Barone can benefit of exchanges with her!

Villa le Barone, a historic hotel member of “Abitare la Storia” showcases contemporary art in Greve in Chianti!

Wine Festivals in Chianti

Greve in Chianti Wine Festival Piazza Mattteotti

The dates of the 2014 wine festivals in Chianti, close to Villa le Barone, are approaching!  September 11th to September  14th in Greve in Chianti and September 18th to September 21st  in Panzano.

The first wine festival to take place from September 11th to September 14th in Greve in Chianti is the “Chianti Classico Expo”, where nearly 100 Chianti  producers will  give visitors the opportunity to taste their wines : buy a glass, labeled with the Chianti Classico  rooster, and you can taste all the wines you want! But many other festive events are also taking place at the occasion of the festival: olive oil, salami and cheese tastings, many street concerts by the Attraroba Street band, Gli Amici di Chianti, I Blasconati,  and many others. There will be also conferences: ”Responsible drinking”,  “From wine lover to sommelier, an easy step”. The exhibition of Lorenzo Galligani, a contemporary sculptor, will be inaugurated at the San Francesco Museum…The”Chianti Classico Expo” is certainly an event that should not be missed! A lot of fun! Only 10 minutes driving from Villa le Barone to Greve and, if you wish to hike,  we also propose a scenic  walk  in the countryside of about 1hour one way to reach that small town.

Panzano in Chianti The Wine Festival Vino al Vino

The second wine festival taking place is “Vino al Vino” in Panzano in Chianti from September 18th to September 21th. It is smaller and only the vintners of Panzano meet in the village square to show their wines, often judged as the best of the region. Here too visitors have the chance to sample the different styles of wines, chat with the winemakers and listen to some great jazz! The Vino al Vino Festival is not to be missed either. It is organized by the “ Unione Viticoltori di Panzano”,  a free and independent group of 20 wineries founded by Giovanni Manetti, (Fontodi), working to promote a “Sustainable Panzano”. The main things that unify those producers are – the love for the land, Panzano, where they live, work and raise their children. -the passion for their work as vintners and winemakers, each of them making wine with their own grapes and running their winery directly taking care of all principal aspects. -the commitment for furthering the quest for quality, a quest that sometimes can become obsession. The Union is aiming at contributing to a “Sustainable Panzano” with a viticulture, that, if sustainable and organic, will allow to live and work in a cleaner environment,  and that will enable a healthier production of  wines, without chemical residues and of higher quality.. Hotel Villa le Barone, located in Panzano, also contributes to a “Sustainable Panzano” and has been designated as an “Eco-leader “ by Trip Advisor.  One can easily walk from Villa le Barone to the Vino al Vino Festival: it takes only 20 minutes!
Take a week end break and stay at Villa le Barone to enjoy the Vino al Vino festival.