We’re sure you’re all aware of this reason but we thought we’d tell you anyway! A top reason to go to Tuscany is the food! While Italian cuisine in general is known all over the world, Tuscan recipes, specialities and deserts are one of a kind.

Pici

Originating in the province of Siena, pici is a delicious thick, hand-rolled pasta that resembles a fat spaghetti! Served with meat sauces or a spicy arrabiata, this dish is a local delicacy that defines home cooked, comfort food.

Crostini Toscani

Tuscany’s most popular aperitif, crostini, will be found at any restaurant throughout the region, and for good reason! The perfect start to any meal, crostini Toscani is served on a cutting board of meats, cheeses and canapes. Also known as “Tuscan croutons,” the locals say that it is impossible to have just one!

Fettunta

Extremely simple, extremely delicious; Tuscan people adore their bread and adore it with olive oil. Begin your meal with a toasted slice of Tuscan bread with garlic, olive oil and a sprinkling of salt. This can be found all over Tuscany, but is a delicacy particularly in Florence.

Bistecca alla Fiorentina

Tuscan chefs are all about cooking humble dishes, with wholesome, local ingredients and Bistecca alla Fiorentina is just that; with only five ingredients, the steak, traditionally originating from Chianina cattle, is grilled over hot coals and typically served rare, but they won’t judge you (too much) if you opt for medium. A true delicacy of the region.

Panforte

The Tuscan alternative to panettone, panforte is a delicious local delicacy made from dried fruits, nuts, bold spices and lots of sugar – it is sure to satisfy any sweet tooth! Traditionally, Tuscans use ingredients such as black pepper or cinnamon to season their desert, but more recently, cocoa and melted chocolate have become quite common.

These are just a select few of the dishes that Tuscany are renowned for but we hope that these tempt your taste buds! When writing your next #TuscanItinerary, make sure you include these in your must-haves!

See you soon.

Ciao!

At Cignella, we have 13 beautiful properties to keep our guests comfortable during their trip to Tuscany; from villas to apartments and hotel-style accommodation with continental breakfast! A stay at our estate will be exactly what you’re looking for during your Italian getaway.

But which accommodation at Cignella is for you?

Olivo, a stunning Tuscan apartment with 3 beautiful bedrooms, 3 private bathrooms and a large outdoor terrace with stunning views of the world renowned rolling hills, could definitely be the perfect spot for you and your group.

Designed to offer guests an insight into Tuscan living, Olivo has been decorated with locally sourced furniture and typical accessories and paintings. Throughout the property, you’ll enjoy light-sage walls to compliment the name of the apartment, originating from olives, warm browns and oranges emulating the Tuscan landscape and stunning, vaulted ceilings.

Each room decorated with a unique, distinct feel, Olivo offers its guest privacy, comfort and relaxation. The master bedroom, located off of the living room, equipped with a large en suite bathroom, is furnished with crisp white linen and all white furniture to compliment the beaming sunshine received through the large window. The second double bedroom of the property offers a cosier feels with dark, wooden furniture and lavender linen. Lastly, our twin bedroom, perfect for children or friends, emulates a more modern Tuscan style living with all black furnishings, neutral bed linens and a minimalistic feel.

While Olivo offers stunning bedrooms, the living space it provides its guest is a top reason it is one of the most popular properties at Cignella. Described as one of the best terraces on the estate, Olivo’s outdoor area overlooks the rolling hills of Tuscany, in which you can see Lake Trasimeno and Cortona! The living room, located centrally in the property, is the perfect spot all year round; in the colder months of winter, light the fire and nestle under the blanket. During summer, spend your evenings on the terrace and enjoy alfresco dining at its best!

And did we mention it’s only a 2 minute work to the pool… what else could you want from your holiday rental?

We know that Cignella is an ideal destination for your Tuscan retreat… book now and see if Olivo is available!

See you soon.

Ciao!

There are endless reasons as to why you should go to Tuscany for your next holiday! So many so that we can’t fit them all into one blog post and so this will be the first article of our series Why go to Tuscany?

Reason number 1… the beautiful cities!

Florence (1hour 30 minutes from Cignella)

Architecture, art and history are just a couple of reasons as to why this city is world renowned; experience Michelangelo, Botticelli and Da Vinci’s finest works, return to the Renaissance and shop ‘til you drop with luxury fashion brands at every corner, and boutique leather shops for all.

View over Florence skyline

Siena (45 minutes from Cignella)

While known for its peculiar urban skyline visible from miles away, Siena is one of the most beautiful towns in Italy due to its Etruscan architecture dating back to the Middle-Ages, its breath-taking Piazza del Compo at the heart of the city which hosts its yearly Palio and its delicious Sienese cuisine. Visit on a Wednesday morning and experience the biggest market in Tuscany!

Siena Square

Cortona (45 minutes from Cignella)

The famous city known for its debut in the early 2000 film “Under the Tuscan Sun” Cortona offers a wonderful alternative to the busy tourist destinations in Tuscany. There’s a reason Cortona is known as the pearl of Tuscany, it’s a real gem…

Ancient city of Cortona in Tuscany Italy

Montepulciano (20 minutes from Cignella)

Wine! Vineyards at every turn, boutique wine bars with panoramic terraces and the origin of the one and only Nobile di Montepulciano, one of the greatest Italian wines known to man.

Montepulciano

Pienza (15 minutes from Cignella)

 Pienza, an UNESCO world heritage site located in the stunning Val D’Orcia, offers incredible views over the rolling hills, delicious pecorino cheese (with festivals every September celebrating the tasty stuff) and unique architecture at every turn – the Cattedrale dell’Assunta hosts paintings by famous Etruscan artists, an octagon bell towers and beautiful stained glass windows.

Cathedral in Pienza, Tuscany Italy

When you stay at Cignella, you can experience all of these remarkable cities with just a short drive from your villa. Surely that’s temptation enough?

See you soon for part 2 of Why go to Tuscany

Ciao!

Why do people go on holiday?

A holiday is something that people crave, long for & dream about on a day to day basis. But why?

According to The Travel Expert, there are 5 top reasons as to why we are so consumed by the idea of our next vacation!

  1. Time to de-stress
  2. Quality time with our loved ones
  3. Need something to look forward to
  4. Health benefits
  5. Experiences

And so when choosing a destination, you need to find somewhere that truly satisfies those above factors. But that can be quite a difficult task! New York City may offer quality time and amazing experiences, but will it offer time to de-stress?

Tuscany has the opportunities, experiences, landscapes, cuisines and lifestyle that will truly accommodate to all of your goals in a holiday.

Allowing yourself and your family time to de-stress is a must; having moments to breathe in fresh air and be at one with your thoughts, are some of the most refreshing and important parts of a holiday. Tuscany offers some of the most beautiful scenery and views, in all of Italy. At Cignella, our resort is located in the Val D’Orcia, overlooking the rolling hills and you can even see Lake Trasimeno and Cortona! Nothing is better than waking up in a morning, opening your curtains or terrace doors and having a miraculous view to enjoy.

Experience all that Tuscany has to offer while making memories with your loved ones; take long walks through the countryside, enjoy delicious cuisine with endless wine and spend long evenings on the terrace at Cignella. Tuscany encapsulates you in hill top towns, gorgeous vineyards and stunning landscapes… it’ll be a family holiday filled with memories that you can all cherish for years to come.

Tuscany is definitely what you make it – do you want to simply lay around, read books, eat great food & have early nights? There will be no better place than Tuscany! But the region can also offer you experiences, activities and great tours – wine and vineyards, olive oil, cheese farms, truffle hunting, cooking classes are just SOME of the fantastic opportunities that arise while you vacation in Tuscany.

Does this sound like what you’re looking for? Then get in touch… we’d love to host your next vacation!

Ciao!

While it may only be February, the first few months of the year generally fly by,  and with Easter arriving any second, it is now the perfect time to get organised and start planning your next getaway. But… where to go?

The world really is your oyster, but there are so many factors to consider when booking a getaway; price, distance, flight length, time changes, cuisine, etc.

So where can you go to satisfy all your needs?

Tuscany is a fantastic destination for family holidays with activities that cater to all; farms, adventure and water parks, historic towns and architecture, churches, cooking classes, hunting, and hiking, along with many more. When you think of Tuscany, and think “but what is there to do?” our response would simply be “what would you like to do?” because it can all be done here.

Are you looking for relaxation? Explore vineyards, take a dip in thermal baths, read your favourite book under the sunshine and eat comfort food left, right and centre.

Need some excitement? Explore the region, from Livorno to Florence, learn the history of Tuscany at gothic churches, and participate in adventures at Indiana Park.

Or are you just simply looking for quality time with your loved ones? Well, Tuscany is perfect. Or more specifically, Cignella is perfect for you; large open spaces for socialising, beautiful private terraces for alfresco dining, gorgeous and comfortable interiors, all just a few steps from a large swimming pool with pergolas and hammocks.

Cignella, surrounded by everything you could possibly want to explore during your trip to Tuscany, offers the ideal destination to enjoy the region… hilltop towns, delicious local cuisine, Lake Trasimeno, multiple UNESCO world heritage sites, world renowned cities and much, much more.

That is why, we have decided to create the perfect Easter offer for you all…

Join us at Cignella for 3 days (or longer!) and enjoy a complimentary 3 course cooking class, alongside a complimentary welcome aperitif upon arrival.

Sound like the perfect plan? BOOK NOW!

Or should you need any help, or have any questions, send us an email! We’re always happy to help our guests make sure they get the holiday they’re looking for.

Ciao!

The January blues…

Bitterly cold weather with a definite lack of sunshine and a withered bank balance after the festive period makes it quite understandable as to why January is considered the most hated month of the year.

But rather than focusing on the now, why don’t we look forward?

At Cignella, we understand the feeling of melancholy during the month, but we like to count down the days until the beautiful Tuscan summer returns to us. Why don’t you do the same?

January is a fantastic month to plan your year, set your goals and start working toward a bigger picture.

Talking of planning… why not plan your next getaway? January is one of the best months to do so, with many companies participating in January sales and airlines such as Ryanair offering thousands of discounted tickets. And we have lots of lovely offers to get you excited for the approaching summer season.

Summer Early Bird:

Book your summer getaway by 28th February 2019 to receive 10% off your stay. Valid on 7 nights or more, during stays 6th July – 24th August 2019.

Holiday offer:

Book your trip to Cignella, Tuscany by 30th April 2019 to receive 15% off your stay. Valid on 4 nights or more, during stays 2nd March – 6th July 2019 and 24th August- 31st December 2019.

Rather than focusing on how terrible January is, why not look at the silver linings… like great holiday deals! If you book directly with us, not only do we offer great discounted rates, but we’ll also offer a complimentary welcome hamper which will be in your villa upon arrival.

Brighten up your January by booking your next break! #TraveltoTuscany

Ciao!  

At this time of year, so many of us are concerned with making sure that we provide our loved ones with the best gift possible!

But honestly… what is the best gift? We, at Cignella, think the best gift that anyone can give, is quality time… be it with your family or friends, a little down time with one another is oh so important.

And Tuscany is a great place to do this; the beautiful region offers the perfect balance of adventure and relaxation, and at Cignella there is ample space to socialise with everyone whether you’re in one of our modern villas or traditionally Tuscan apartments.

Book a trip away and explore Tuscany with your loved ones; revel in delicious cuisine, enjoy fantastic, locally produced wine (by the bottle!) and discover hill top towns, quaint cobbled streets and fantastic architecture.

Start your days with a continental buffet breakfast, made up of cold cuts and cheeses, Tuscan pastries, a selection of fruit and piping hot espresso! Venture out into town to visit picturesque local markets, stunning cathedrals and make sure to have a pit stop at a café for a cornetto and cappuccino.

Pienza, Montepulciano, Cortona; striking hilltop towns, all within a short drive from Cignella, offer a great family day out for all… walk around Etruscan museums, partake in a session of wine tasting at a vineyard or even enjoy a horse ride through the rolling hills.

The gift of experience and the gift of time will always surpass any materialistic item that we can buy.

We hope that we can welcome you all to Cignella, very soon.

Merry Christmas!

Tuscany, famous for its beautiful landscapes, culture and gastronomy, can act as the perfect escape during the festive period as it offers the opportunity to unwind, shop and get in the Christmas spirit.

If you’re planning a December getaway, why not read our tips as to why Tuscany should be top of your list this holiday season!

  • Eat, drink and be merry: At Christmas, Italians boast Pandoro and Panettone as their festive treats, but in Tuscany, you can taste local delights such as Ricciarelli, a delicious marzipan delicacy, which originated in the fourteenth century and cannot be found anywhere else. They even say it’s perfect served with Tuscan Vin Santo – sweet treats and authentic vino. But not only are the deserts unlike any other, the festive gourmet is phenomenal. Visit Le Bindi, in Monte San Savino, and enjoy the atmosphere and cuisine like no other; with the restaurant being made up of only one table and a set menu for all, it’ll definitely be an unforgettable experience.

  • Shop ‘til you drop: Leather bags and purses are at the top of every girls Christmas list and Tuscany has a reputation for the finest! Visit The San Lorenzo Market in Florence, which originated in the 1300s, and explore luxury boutiques, vast bazaars and unique trinket sellers. Experience Tuscany’s Christmas markets in all of its glorious hill-top towns; in one of the most outstanding town squares in all of Italy, Siena, visit “Mercato del Campo” and purchase one-of-a-kind crafts, local delicacies and gorgeous gifts for everyone, all which listening to the chimes of “Astro Del Ciel”.
  • New Year Tuscan style: New Year in Tuscany is all about the food and wine. Whether you’re celebrating in a restaurant, in a town square or in a private villa, look forward to sparkling Chianti, stunning bottles of Brunello and delightful aperitifs made of pecorino and cold cuts. Traditionally the evening ends with a toast, sipping on a piping hot Bombardino – Tuscany’s version of eggnog made with brandy, egg liqueur, whipped cream & cinnamon. Buon appetito!

  • Relax and unwind: Balance the madness of Christmas with some much needed downtime, with a visit to one of the many thermal spas. Rapalano Terme, offers unmistakable landscapes and relaxing spas in the stunning province of Crete Senesi.

We’d love to host your Christmas stay in #Tuscany so visit our booking page to see our fantastic, festive offers!

See you soon!

 

As summer is well and truly over and the crisp Autumn season is now in full swing, your next holiday must be on your mind. But where to go?

October is a wonderful month to visit Tuscany; the harvest offers wonderful markets and experiences, the temperatures start to cool but still allow for alfresco dining on the terrace and last but not least… Cignella has a fantastic offer on stays during this month!

If you join us at Cignella throughout the month of October, you could get up to 2 nights free and lots of lovely goodies! Check out our offers now.

Need some more persuasion to book your next Tuscan trip? Here’s a few reasons why it’s definitely a must-do! (And if you’re a foody… this is 100% for you!)

  1. Amazing food (even more so than usual!): With the harvest in full flow, fresh produce will be readily available at every fingertip! And all of the restaurants will definitely be taking advantage of all of the local produce, making their Tuscan dishes even more delightful!
  2. Great markets: Fruits, vegetables, cheeses, meats – everything you could ask for! The local, hill-top towns of Tuscany, like Pienza and Montepulciano will have fantastic daily markets, that not only sell the delicious produce, but also beautiful goods such as leather, paintings and antiques! They also host brilliant harvest festivals that allow your tastebuds to be tempted, as well as get involved in traditional celebrations.
  3. Truly experience the harvest: October is a fantastic month in Tuscany to experience the harvest; enjoy hunting the white truffle, visit a vineyard during the picking season and taste pecorino like you’ve never tasted before! Our dear friend Paolo can take you just a few miles from Cignella to explore the woodland and discover many wonderful truffles with his four-legged assistants – you can then spend the evening cooking up a Tuscan dinner with your discovered goods!
  4. Stunning weather: Gorgeous morning sunshine, clear afternoon skies and cooler afternoons and evenings – perfect for nights on the terrace, with a blanket and Italian coffee. October offers the perfect weather to gaze over and appreciate the stunning rolling hill views, that Tuscany has to offer!

Come join us soon – we’re waiting for you! 

 

While packing for a holiday might be a walk in the park for some, sometimes essentials can be easily overlooked! To make it easier for you, we’ve broken the necessities you need for your next visit to Tuscany.

1. Camera

This should be the first thing you pack! Take pictures in Tuscany like you never have before…snap away while taking in the breath-taking views, enjoying a Tuscan dinner or walking through the quaint cobbled alleyways. Take as many photos as you can… as they say, you can always delete the blurry ones when you get home!

2. Cardigan

While Tuscany’s rolling hills are beautiful, they can incur a chilly evening breeze! Pack a little cardigan so you can still enjoy sunset alfresco dining on the terrace.

3. Jeans

Your favourite pair of jeans is an absolute essential wherever you go! With jam packed days full of exploration on your itinerary for Tuscany, a comfy outfit is key!

4. Comfy shoes

With Tuscany being packed full of gorgeous hill top towns, and sightseeing musts, you will be out from morning until night. You will just want to go, go, go and with cobbled streets at every turn you will need something comfy so that your feet can keep up with you!

5. Backpack

During your holiday, there’s nothing better than being hands free- to shop, to take photos, to eat, to explore. Bring a backpack along that you can fill with your daily essentials – sun cream, water, map, camera – you name it!

6. Sunglasses

Summer or winter, spring or autumn, Tuscany is always filled with beautiful sunshine (although agreeably some seasons, more so than others!) and so don’t forgot your favourite pair. (Don’t worry too much if you do forget or find yourself in need… Tuscany is renowned for its beautiful markets where you can always find affordable designer lookalikes!)

7. Travel Guide book

Tuscany is full of hidden gems and buying a guide book from the experts is always a great idea! They include maps, must-sees, prices and great information! But should you want a more personalised itinerary, ask our resort manager Luca to assist!

8. Italian phrase book

While out and about, you may come across some locals who don’t speak a common language with you and so carrying a little phrase book will help immensely!

9. Battery packs

With long days of exploration and phones being constantly used to take pictures of every moment, an external charger could save the day! Pop it in your backpack and keep the family fully charged.

10. First aid kit

You don’t want anything to stand in your way of visiting every Tuscan gem you can during your holiday! Pack a first aid kit in your suitcase and take a few essentials in your backpack for your days out, so you’re completely prepared!

At Cignella, we always want our guests to have the perfect holiday. Pack these necessities, and with our help, you’ll never forget your time in Tuscany.

See you soon!

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