Easter and the symbolic of Easter food: enjoy Italian traditions in Chianti!

Easter traditional food at Villa le Barone : the "Colomba" (Dove) for dessert

In Italy, out of all Christian holidays, Easter is undoubtedly the most important because it celebrates the resurrection of Jesus.

For this reason, Easter menus are prepared with food recalling Christian symbols: eggs are a must, as a symbolic representation of transmutation. Hard boiled eggs are often decorated by children, brought to Church, blessed and then shared with friends. Fish is also very important, because the Greek name for it, “Ikthus”,  was also the code term with which the persecuted Christians named  Jesus Christ (Iesous Christos Theou Yios Soter,  meaning: Jesus Christ Son of God the Savior). The real Easter fish, if you want to fully respect the symbolism should be the one with scales, but -by extension- every fish is welcome on the table.  Lamb (agnello in Italian), is the other ritual food, as it recalls   Jesus Christ’s peaceful and voluntary sacrifice. Lamb is sometimes replaced by kid, similar flavor, but a bit away from the traditional symbolic.
These plates are then served with other foods of the pagan tradition, such as season vegetables (often artichokes) that have always represented abundance, rich pork meat and all of the first fruits of spring.

Easter eggs in shops in Tuscany


To end the Easter dinner with dessert, nowadays the “colomba” (Dove) is mandatory as well as Neapolitan pastries. The dove (cooked wheat and eggs) is the symbol of the end of the 40 days of rain having generated the Flood recounted in Genesis (Noah sets free a dove that eventually returns to the ark carrying an olive branch in its bill:  flood is over, trees have surfaced again…).
If Easter is a great and solemn celebration, the Italian custom for Easter Monday is the “outing” if the weather permits, leaving the children to run in the meadows and adults to enjoy the first warm days. In Greve in Chianti there is usually a nice flea market where people are strolling, looking for a good bargain!
While in Chianti at Villa le Barone for Easter, (our Easter special offfer) you can attend Saturday night’s Mass in the close by San Leolino Romanesque church, witness the blessing of the eggs and watch afterwards the Colombina tradition (a long a wire a little mechanical rocket propelled dove flies carrying an olive branch in its beak -symbol of Peace- and its goal is to reach a cart with an ignited fuse to light the fireworks the cart holds. By tradition, if the explosion is perfect and the dove flies back to its point of origin, the coming year will be a positive one for health, harvests, business …).  On Sunday children can hunt Easter eggs in the Villa’s gardens, enjoy the chocolate egg given at breakfast, and all can savor the Easter menu served for dinner!

Hotel Villa le Barone, in Chianti, Tuscany, announces the winners of its 2012 photo competition

Chianti Landscape - Mitch Freedman
Chianti Landscape - Mitch Freedman

The yearly photographic competition organized by the luxury boutique hotel Villa le Barone in Tuscany is always a great success.

After long deliberations of the jury, we now know the winners of the 2012 contest! The photo competition will also take place in 2013.

Nearly 300 pictures from Guests having stayed in the Villa in 2012 were received for the contest. The pictures were focused on the Chianti region and the Villa: views, gardens, birds, terraces, lounges, rooms …. The first prize of the competition is a two days stay for two people in Villa le Barone, the second  a one day stay, and the 10 following prizes are a bottle of Chianti Classico wine.  The jury, composed of photography experts from many parts of the world, had a difficult time making its selection, given the high quality of all submissions.

The first 2 winners of the photo competition are:

  • Mitch Freedman, for the overall quality of his submission and in particular his pictures “Chianti landscape” and “San Francis in the Vineyards”, has won  2 days in Villa le Barone
  • Cecilia Betancourt, in particular for her picture “Foggy Chianti hills”, has won 1 day in Villa le Barone
Foggy Chianti hills - Cecilia Betancourt
Foggy Chianti hills - Cecilia Betancourt

The following applicants have won a bottle of Chianti Classico:

  • Jo Drake, for the series of butterflies’ pictures
  • Bonnie Goldsmith, for his picture “Chianti Classico vineyards seen from Villa le Barone”
  • Julie Rodrigue-Carbonola,  for her picture  “Fruit platter on Villa le Barone’s buffet”
  • Malcolm Travelstead, in particular for his picture “ A  dove “
  •  Susan Laudato, in particular for her picture “ Flowers  and tea cup”
  • Gerald Bek- Areschew, for his picture “ View of the San Leolino church  trough Villa le Barone’s  berberis”
  • Manuela Frigg, for her night and sunset pictures
  • Cathy Huff, in particular for her picture “ Chianti Black Rooster on a loggia at Villa le Barone”
  • Cornis Van der Lugt, for his picture “ Poppy in Chianti fields”

Members of the Jury were:

  • Angélique Droessaert, Artistic Photography, www.adartphoto.com
  • Barbara Di Palma, réception,Villa le Barone
  • Blanche de Crepy, Directrice, Tectona, www.tectona.net
  • Chantal Nedjib, Founder, L’image par l’image agency,  www.chantal-nedjib.com
  • Ellen Schneiders, Architecture and Townplanning, winner of the 2011 photocompetition
  • Robin Calderon,  Painter, robincalderon.com

The boutique hotel Villa le Barone is organizing again the photo competition  for 2013!

Wonderful exhibition in Palazzo Strozzi in Florence: The Thirties, the Arts in Italy beyond Fascism

As the exhibition’s organizers state it, Italy in the 1930s was the scene of an extremely vigorous artistic battle in which every style from classicism to Futurism, from expressionism to abstract art, and from monumental art to decorative painting for the bourgeois home was involved.

The situation was further complicated by the arrival on the scene of design and mass communication—posters, radio, the cinema and the first illustrated magazine—which stole numerous ideas from the “fine” arts and transmitted them to a broader audience. It was this complex and lively workshop, open to the international scene that introduced the concept of modernity to Italy.

Masterpieces of over forty leading artists of the period are exhibited in Palazzo Strozzi, including Mario Sironi, Giorgio de Chirico, Alberto Savinio, Achille Funi, Carlo Carrà, Corrado Cagli, Arturo Nathan, Achille Lega, Ottone Rosai, Ardengo Soffici, Giorgio Morandi, Ram, Thayaht, Antonio Donghi, Marino Marini, Renato Guttuso,Ivanhoe Gambini, Carlo Levi, Filippo de Pisis, Scipione, Antonio Maraini and Lucio Fontana. They tell the story of a crucial era characterized by an extremely vibrant and innovative arts scene. The 1930s also witnessed the increasing mass production of household objects, which led to dramatic changes in people’s lifestyle, allowing ordinary families to live out a dream of modernity surrounded by designer objects, a practice that continues to this day. It was the era that defined what we might call “the Italian path to modernity” in architecture, design, painting and sculpture.

The Thirties. The Arts in Italy beyond Fascism provides also opportunity for interactive activities. Children are not forgotten as they can get audio guides specially made for them (also in English), as well as a suitcase to visit the exhibit in family in a joyful way!
Don’t miss the opportunity of Villa le Barone All Saints holiday‘s offer, “Art, scenery and wines”, to take the last break before winter.