At Cignella we are lucky to be close to some of the most famous wineries in the world. Everyone who stays must explore one of the wine regions and our good friend Esther Juergens, at Vino Vistas, offers excellent wine tours and tastings to suit all. Her passion and knowledge of wine is amazing so we thought we would ask for her top tips on wine and Tuscany, two things she knows a lot about!

 

1. What brought you from your native Germany to the wonderful world of Italian wines?

I took a wine trip through Tuscany and was absolutely enchanted by the landscape and vineyard views. You might say, as with any good wine, the magic starts in the vineyard. Funnily enough, I did not like my first Brunello, but that has since changed!

2. Do you have a favourite Italian wine – or are there too many to choose between!

The Brunello grape (Sangiovese) , if treated well is capable of rendering amazing wines! However I also love Italian whites; Falanghina is a great food partner and there is always Franciacorta, Italy’s answer to Champagne.

3. If I had only one afternoon in Tuscany – where should I go to experience the finest vineyards?

Tuscany has around 30 wine regions but close to Cignella, I would have to say the Val D’Orcia wine region for its landscapes, and Montalcino for both landscape and wine. After all Montalcino is part of the Val D’Orcia which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

4. When you aren’t working, how do you spend your leisure time?

I love to travel and explore other wine regions and I also enjoy the cultural treasures on my doorstep. As a former salsa dance teacher I love to dance and love the summer open air dance events, especially those by the sea. I love the fact that, from Montalcino, I can get to the beach in only an hour – who could ask for more?

5. Which wines blend perfectly with some of your favourite local dishes?

My favourite pairing is the famous Fiorentina Steak with Brunello and I must mention our sweet dessert wine, Moscadello, which is lovely with (cured) Pecorino cheese.

6. What are your two favourite places in Tuscany and why?

That is a tough question! Gazing over this magical landscape with its changing colours is amazing. Also I love Siena cathedral, it is absolutely stunning BUT there is nothing more magical than watching a full winter moon rising over the magical abbey of San Galgano.

7. What do you like best about living in Tuscany – apart from the wine of course!

I appreciate the “Dolce far Niente” or “Sweet doing nothing”. Too many people rush around and we should allow time for a little chat on the street or a quick ‘caffè’. On the subject of coffee, not only am I spoilt with having to drink one of the best wines in the world (Brunello) but also Espresso and Cappuccino are better in Italy than anywhere else!

8. You offer great tours. The “Rent a Sommelier” tour is perfect for families, and the “Sunset Tastings” sounds idyllic! What future plans do you have for Vino Vistas?

Vino Vistas is growing and adapting as tourism is changing, and wine tourism is an important sector. I strive to combine tradition and new ways and to offer authentic experiences which are fun and informative. Excellent service is vital and I love sharing my passion, international experience and knowledge at all levels, from absolute beginners to the ‘wine geek’.

Thanks so much to Esther, if you want to book a Vino Vista tour then visit her website or ask our onsite manager at Cignella when you arrive. So don’t delay, check out our availability and visit the fabulous wine region for yourself.

See you soon

Cignella

Tuscany is one of the most beautiful regions in Italy and for good reason.

There is so much to see and do, and with Cignella so conveniently located it is the perfect base for any holiday. Staying in one place saves time so you have more time to explore, read and relax by the pool.

 

With our latest promotion; Stay 14 nights and only pay for 12, you can have the perfect holiday in Tuscany. Our suggested 14 night itinerary ensures you see all the best bits and includes some relaxation, so you return home rejuvenated and with wonderful memories. A car will be essential to make the most of your holiday.

 

DAY 1

Arrive at Cignella and enjoy an afternoon at leisure settling into your wonderful accommodation and exploring the grounds.

DAY 2

Today visit the tiny village of Pienza, just 15kms away. Set atop a hill you can enjoy magnificent views over the Val d’Orcia valley. Narrow streets and squares boast wonderful Renaissance architecture – don’t miss the Cattedrale dell ‘Assunta and the Palazzo Piccolomini.

DAY 3

A day of leisure at Cignella and exploring the local area. Visit Sinalunga, only 12 kms away, to stock up on groceries. Enjoy an afternoon by the pool or on your terrace.

DAY 4

An early start to visit Florence, the birthplace of Rennaisance and Italian Art. Enjoy the Uffizi Gallery home to some of the greatest art treasures in the world and admire the open-air sculpture gallery, Loggia dei Lanzi. Climb the dome of the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore, walk along the Arno River and cross at the famous Ponte Vecchio.

DAY 5

An hour from Cignella is Siena, one of the finest medieval cities in Italy. Perched on three hills, its’ heart is the piazza Il Campo, dominated by the Palazzo Pubblico and the Torre del Mangia. The Duomo’s gothic structure houses treasures by Pisanto, Donatello and Michelangelo.

20 minutes away is San Gimignano. Encircled by a 13th century wall, you can step back in time and immerse yourself in medieval architecture and impressive valley views.

DAY 6

Time to relax!  Sunbathe by the pool, book a massage (contact the resort manager) or simply put your feet up in your villa.

DAY 7

Today visit Cortona, 42 kms from Cignella. This charming town dates back to Etruscan and Roman times. Enjoy spectacular scenery, view interesting artifacts in the museum, and stroll round the shops selling handmade local items.

DAY 8

Today unwind at a thermal bath for some well deserved pampering. Try Rapolano Terme only 20km from Cignella. Enjoy the restorative waters at the San Giovanni Hotel or experience one of the rejuvenating treatments.

DAY 9

Time to find out if Tuscany really does produce some of the best wines in the world! In Montepulciano, visit the wine cellars of Contucci and Poliziano, and don’t miss Cantine del Redi whose wine cellar is often considered the most beautiful in the world.

At Montalcino the Enoteca La Fortezza offers exemplary wine tastings from a huge selection of quality Brunello di Montalcino and other Tuscan wines.

DAY 10

Known for its delicious regional produce, visit Podere il Casale, an organic farm close to Pienza. Take a cheese tasting tour or a general farm tour, both must be booked in advance. With a wonderful restaurant, it is definitely worth staying for lunch!

DAY 11

Today visit Arezzo, 55 km from Cignella. Formerly one of the most important cities in Tuscany, the main attractions are the Church of San Francesco, the Medicean Fortress and the Roman Amphitheatre.

DAY 12

Time for a relaxing day at Cignella. Sit by the pool, read a book on your terrace, enjoy lunch al fresco and end the day with a beautiful Tuscan sunset.

DAY 13

90 km south of Cignella is the town of Orvieto.  Sitting high above the valley floor atop volcanic cliffs, the setting is one of the most dramatic in Europe. The colourful cathedral is beautiful and the highlight is the Chapel of San Brizio. Guided tours of the underground caves give a fascinating insight into how ancient Italians lived.

DAY 14

Spend the day visiting a local market or perhaps try something adventurous: hire a bicycle, take a vespa tour, hunt for truffles or go up in a hot air balloon. If you need assistance with arrangements we are always happy to help.

DAY 15

Depart Cignella relaxed and rejuvenated. We look forward to welcoming you again soon.

 

Ciao!

With bank holidays, school breaks and the weather hotting up, May is a marvelous month to take a trip to Tuscany.

Being accessible by road, rail or plane it is the perfect destination for a romantic long weekend, a shopping extravaganza with friends or a family week away. Tuscany really has it all in May.

The countryside is beautiful at this time of year. Fields are luscious and green while vivid yellow rape-seed flowers appear, and bright red poppies dot the hillsides. The weather is warm at the start of the month and gets gradually hotter, but never reaches the real heat of the summer months.

If the local cuisine has tempted you to Tuscany, then expect to sample strawberries and cherries, fresh leeks, onions and green beans, but best of all are the broad beans served stewed or raw with prosciutto and pecorino cheese. Cultivated tomatoes and courgettes, as well as melons, watermelons, and peaches, will be ready to taste.

There’s loads to do in Tuscany and if you choose to visit over the first UK May bank holiday (Monday 7th), then you will be in luck as the #DomenicalMuseo is celebrated on the first Sunday of each month. Admission into many museums is FREE, including those in Arezzo, Pisa, Siena, Florence and many more cities through Italy.  If you love antiques then head straight to Arezzo for the great antique fair (5th & 6th). You can spend an exciting day hunting for quirky antiques and visiting many free attractions if visiting on Sunday.

At the end of May there are some great celebrations, including the Greve festivities in Chianti (27th)  when locals display goods from their gardens and kitchens, and great bargains, food tasting and music is all around. Also held on May 27th is the Montalcino Cycle festival (Eroica Montalcino), where you can expect to see vintage bikes, try delicious food and wine, while surrounded by beautiful countryside.

Cignella is a perfect location to enjoy everything the region has to offer and our staff promise to make it the best holiday it can be. Check our availability and book soon to avoid disappointment.

If you are travelling with your family over the school holidays this May, rest assured that we do not increase our prices during school holidays. We have one peak season which runs from 7th July – 25th August 2018. The rest of the year remains off peak. See our fairer for families policy.

We are currently running an offer for May stays – this will run out 30th April 2018!

Cignella May Promo

Cignella’s May promotion: Stay 7 nights pay 6! Click here for more details.

 

 

We look forward to welcoming you soon.

To Travel is to Live

With Spring on the horizon and the bank holiday happiness encapsulating us, the idea of what to do for your next holiday must be on your mind! Naturally, a holiday out of the country would be ideal, but sometimes they can just be far too expensive with far too much to consider… car hire, accommodation, flights and so much more! That’s why we thought it’d be useful to really know how much a holiday to Cignella, Tuscany, could cost you!*

Accommodation: 1 week in one of our beautiful 2 bedroom apartments, €800.

(PS. If you book before 31st March 2018, you’ll receive 1 night free so could cost even less!!)

Flights: Return flights to Perugia equal £143.52 for the group! (Roughly €161)

Car hire, if booked with your flight: For a Nissan Qashqai or similar, £152. (Roughly €171)

Spending money: Obviously it’s up to you how much you splash the cash while on holiday, but Tuscany is very affordable! Meals for 4, on average, cost less than €30, with local markets and farms providing wonderful and inexpensive days out! If we based your spending on €100 per day for the family, this would provide ample to have a great dinner and partake in a couple of activities throughout the day. Also, with Cignella offering you a home away from home, cooking homemade dinners & making tasty pack lunches can also keep the costs down!

In total:

A week-long holiday in Tuscany for you & your family of four could cost just over €1800!

*All of these prices are subject to change. Based on 2 adults & 2 children from 16th of April – 23rd April 2018. All prices obtained via Expedia.

To Travel is to Live

Bored, tired and feeling fed up? If so, it could be time to book a holiday! Going away, even for just a few days, can make such a difference to your mind as well as your body. If you still need convincing then take a look below and then check out our website and get booking!

  1. Reduce your stress levels: Boss setting you tight deadlines? In-box out of control? You know your stress levels are high and a holiday gives you the chance to forget work pressures and de-stress. Sit by the pool, read a book on the terrace, explore stunning cities and countryside, all sure ways to take your mind off work and relax.
  2. Get away from monotony: A trip away gives you a break from the daily routine. Re-energise your mind with new decisions, change the scenery, try new food and wine, and enjoy no order to your day!
  3. Get outdoors, it’s good for your mind: Holidays inevitably mean you will be outside more and not stuck indoors at a desk. Take in the fresh air, re-oxygenate your blood and let your body catch up on vitamin D production – sunscreen compulsory of course!
  4. Meet new people: Make friends from different countries, learn a few words in a new language and enjoy a warm welcome and kind Italian hospitality after all socialising is good for the soul!
  5. Put the spark back into a relationship and enjoy family time: appreciate leisure activities with your loved ones and savour meals together without interruptions – mobile phones and ipads prohibited! Rekindle that spark and go home feeling fulfilled and revitalised.

The more you travel the more new experiences you will have and the more worldly you will be! Just think about all those interesting stories you will be able to tell family and friends when you get back home.

Simply having a holiday to look forward to can put a spring in your step so why not get the organiser out and book yourself a vacation. We would love to welcome you at Cignella and get you away from your everyday routine – we promise you will feel start feeling wonderful the moment you arrive!

See you soon

Cignella

If you love movies then you may be interested to hear that great movies have been filmed in wonderful Tuscany! Siena, Florence and Pienza have set the scene for many great films and being just a stone’s throw from Cignella you can tread in the footsteps of movie stars while enjoying history, art and wonderful cuisine.

So sit back and enjoy some trivia, these well-known movies were filmed in Tuscany!

The English Patient, filmed over 20 years ago, tells the story of a nurse living in Italy during the final days of the Italian Campaign in WWII. The list of actors is impressive including Ralph Fiennes, Colin Firth and Kristin Scott Thomas. The film won 9 Academy Awards and we think Pienza and Arezzo played a vital role in this!

Ridley Scott must have liked Tuscany as he chose to film some of the Gladiator here in 2000. Russell Crowe becomes a gladiator to avenge the death of his family and Emperor and the final scene shot in Val d’Orcia in Siena, shows Tuscany’beautiful rolling hills and stunning landscape.

Another great movie filmed in Tuscany is Tea with Mussolini starring Dame Judi Dench, Dame Maggie Smith and Cher. The film is set in 1935 and San Gimignano with its famous Piazza Cisterna and Collegiata Church feature prominently in the film.

Fans of the Twilight Saga will be pleased to hear that the beautiful Piazza Grande in Montepulciano was the location used for Volterra in New Moon, 2010. So while you enjoy a glass of local wine and a delicious lunch at one of the many lovely restaurants, you could be sitting in the same seat where Kristen Stewart or Robert Pattinson sat!

Tuscan Dawn

Lastly and most definitely not least, some of the Quantum of Solace was filmed in Tuscany in 2008. Bond movies always film in exotic locations far and wide and Siena played host to a thrilling chase scene with Daniel Craig racing across the rooftops. The beautiful Piazza del Campo also features prominently in crowd scenes.

So you may have missed Russell Crowe and Judi Dench last time but you never know who you might bump into on a visit to Tuscany. Come and stay at Cignella and enjoy some wonderful sights in the surrounding area, you might just be lucky enough to bump into a movie star or two!

See you soon

Cignella

With the summer officially over and the cold winter breeze encapsulating us all, the idea of what to do for your next holiday must be on your mind! Naturally, a holiday out of the country would be ideal, but sometimes they can just be far too expensive with far too much to consider… car hire, accommodation, flights and so much more! That’s why we thought it’d be useful to really know how much a holiday to Cignella, Tuscany, could cost you!*

Accommodation: 1 week in one of our beautiful 2 bedroom apartments, €800.

Flights: Return flights to Perugia equal £143.52 for the group! (Roughly €161)

Car hire, if booked with your flight: For a Nissan Qashqai or similar, £152. (Roughly €171)

Spending money: Obviously it’s up to you how much you splash the cash while on holiday, but Tuscany is very affordable! Meals for 4, on average, cost less than €30, with local markets and farms providing wonderful and inexpensive days out! If we based your spending on €100 per day for the family, this would provide ample to have a great dinner and partake in a couple of activities throughout the day. Also, with Cignella offering you a home away from home, cooking homemade dinners & making tasty pack lunches can also keep the costs down!

 

 

In total:

A week-long holiday in Tuscany for you & your family of four could cost just over €1800!

*All of these prices are subject to change. Based on 2 adults & 2 children from 12th January– 19th January 2018. All prices obtained

31st October can mean only one thing. Ghosts, ghouls and sweets – its Halloween!

In Italy the main celebration is 1st November, All Saints Day, while 2nd November is All Souls day however the custom of Halloween has not escaped Italy and you will be pleased to know that Tuscany has embraced the spookiness of Halloween!

Florence has heaps to do on 31st October. In the city centre there is a scary night time walking tour where you listen to medieval ghost stories and wander through mysterious alleyways while taking in the amazing architecture around you. Starting at 8pm, it is a fun event for all the family to enjoy.

Also that day at the Ferragamo Museum in Florence, a fancy dress competition for children is held where home-made costumes are judged, with the most original winning a prize. For the more active amongst you, why not take part in a fun run (5kms or 3kms for families) with your fellow zombies in Cascine Park. It is free to participate and a make-up artist can perfect your monster make-up before you set off!

Siena also gets a spooky vibe on Halloween. On 31st October the restaurants offer delicious street food as this also when the “Strade Gialle” (Yellow Streets) festival takes place. From the end of October to the start of November there is a carnival atmosphere everywhere. The Siena Art Photo Travel Festival also takes place at this time so prepare to be wowed by fantastic photos to inspire future travels.

If you are visiting Lucca between the end of October and the start of November the town holds a host of events including zombie walks, workshops and films. Lucca Comics and Games festival will also be on so find something that suits you, relax and enjoy the fun!

So polish your fangs, pack your broom and dust down those devil horns as they will be required on your visit to Cignella. If you have not made a reservation yet, then it’s not too late, just check availability as we still have some rooms left. A stay at this time of year is certainly a treat and we are looking forward to spooking….sorry greeting you!

See you soon

Cignella

As the cold weather sets in everyone starts thinking about next years summer holiday. So we thought now is a great time to tell you about the wonderful things Cignella has to offer so that next year you come and visit us!

 

  1. Spacious villas accommodating up to 6 people. Our accommodation offers plenty of room to cook, eat, socialise and relax, perfect for a family holiday or vacation with friends.
  2. Kitchens with all the mod-cons you could ever need. You will find a dishwasher, fridge, washing-machine, and oven so that Cignella feels like a real home from home.
  3. Close to all the famous sights of Tuscany. You can easily enjoy a day trip to Florence, Pisa or Siena from Cignella.
  4. Supermarkets are a short drive away. Groceries, household items, and fresh produce can be bought in Trequanda – just what you need on a self-catering holiday!
  5. Great value.  Villa’s sleeping up to 6 people are available for as little as €167 per person per week so a vacation with friends and family, it won’t cost you the earth.
  6. Thermal springs are a stone’s throw away. Enjoy a spa treatment or massage to really rest those bones so you return home rejuvenated and refreshed.
  7. Perfectly located to sample the worlds best wines. Surrounded by wineries, you can sample the produce and learn how these wonderful wines are made.
  8. Outstanding staff on hand 24hrs. If you are having a great time, then we are happy, so just ask us for anything either before you arrive or when you are here.
  9. Wonderful views. Surrounded by stunning countryside you can enjoy the scenery from your balcony, veranda or beside our lovely pool.
  10. Family friendly. Cots with bedding, highchairs, plastic bowls and cups are available to make traveling with children that bit easier.

So we are up to 10 and have not even mentioned our generous special offers, free parking, wifi and environmentally friendly heating and cooling system!  We would love to welcome you back or make your first visit to Cignella a holiday to remember.

So if we are now at the top of your list, just check our availability, and make Tuscany a reality next year.

 

We look forward to welcoming you soon.

Cignella

Whether it’s a celebration, a shopping or golfing getaway, or a cheeky escape to recharge your batteries, holidaying with friends should be a yearly event! However looking for a place to stay can be a challenge but a villa vacation offers the perfect solution.

At Cignella we have villas accommodating up to 6 people with ample room to socialise, cook, sleep and relax. There is loads of storage space for everyone to tuck their belongings away and plenty of bathrooms and shower rooms so you won’t be queuing up to get ready like you do at home!

 

The kitchens have all the mod-cons you could ever need including a dishwasher, fridge, washing-machine, and oven so rustling up delicious evening meals and yummy lunches is a breeze. The small town of Trequanda is just a short drive away and with a choice of supermarkets you can stock up on groceries to suit everyone’s tastes.

The price may also be better than you thought! Villa’s sleeping up to 6 people are available for as little as €167 per person per week leaving you plenty of euro’s to treat yourself. Maybe a spa treatment at a local hot spring is just what you need, or perhaps a wine tasting tour or a spot of antique shopping is just the tonic.

Our lovely pool (open seasonally) enjoys the perfect location offering wonderful views of the surrounding countryside. If you simply want to sit back with a good book we have loungers and parasols on the pool terrace, or you may choose to relax on your veranda or balcony.

If you are here to celebrate something special then let us know in advance and we can help you make it a trip to remember. Perhaps you would like a private chef to cook a celebratory meal in your villa, a restaurant recommendation for a special meal, or a memorable trip such as a hot air balloon or horseback riding? We know the area and speak the language so can make it happen and take the stress away from you.

So once you have the date agreed, just check our availability, it will be easier than you think we promise! There are heaps to do all year round in Tuscany that it is always a great time to visit.

We look forward to welcoming you and your friends soon!

Cignella

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