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

As the end of the summer holidays appear to be coming closer, the burning desire for another break can take over. With the long summer season often leaving you more exhausted than you were prior to the vacation, why not book another family trip in the October half term, to truly relax?

The autumn season in Tuscany offers average high temperatures of 22 degrees, with an abundance of activities to partake in, for you and your family. Enjoy Italy without the crowds, extreme heat or expensive pricing!

October in Italy is widely known for the beautiful array of colours during the harvest – attend food festivals to taste the authentic cuisine, pick grapes at a local winery or wild mushrooms in hidden woodlands. Italian delicacies are recognized globally and tasting a traditional pasta dish is on everyone’s bucket list, so why not visit when Italian produce is at its finest?

Exploration and discovery are always an activity that should be at the forefront of any holiday itinerary – why not visit Mugello & Monte Amiata and take a ride on a real-life steam engine. Not only will you be taken back in time, it’s also a great way to discover the landscape of Trequanda.

But perhaps you want to enjoy nature and the great outdoors during your stay in Tuscany?

Pistoia Zoo presents a great day out for the family, situated on the hill of Pistoia, with a large complex of natural environments for animals from around the world! Experience all corners of the globe from Italy!

If exercise and releasing endorphins is top on your list of activities for your half term holiday, why not enjoy a cycle with the family through the rolling hills of Tuscany.  But don’t worry if exercise doesn’t completely entice you, I Bike Tuscany offer electric bikes too. Explore your surroundings and view the true beauty of Italy.

At Cignella, we believe that every family should enjoy a holiday together! But unfortunately, with strict school terms and increasingly expensive pricing, many families miss out on that oh so special quality time. We think half term holidays should be #FairerForFamilies! Cignella will not raise our prices during off-peak school holidays and our prices throughout October will be the same. Cignella does not want you to feel the pressure to take your child out of school and risk receiving a fine or miss out on a family trip because of extortionate and unreasonable prices.

Visit Cignella this half term and we promise you’ll have the trip of a lifetime, that won’t break the bank. 

See you soon

Cignella 

Your villa is booked, now all you need is a car! The first thing to know is that your UK licence is valid in Italy. The older, all-green UK paper licence and older Northern Ireland paper licence with photographic counterpart are also valid but to make the hire smoother we suggest you update to a photocard licence before travelling.

When it comes to car-hire, always book well in advance to get the cheapest deal.  There are a number of comparison websites which will speedily give you the best price, try: skyscannerTravel SupermarketCarrentals and Kayak. Make sure you check all the inclusions, exclusions and fuel/driver surcharges so you aren’t caught out.

Always work out exactly what you need as you will be faced with a number of options: air con, sat nav, extra drivers, fuel policy etc. Don’t forget your smart phone could be turned into a sat nav so check this out too.  Also, look carefully for the cheapest excess insurance before you leave, try a comparison site for this too such as MoneyMaxim.

For those who getting to Cignella as part of a big car adventure across Europe, don’t assume that your current insurance will automatically cover you. Most comprehensive policies become third party outside the UK but within the EU. You may also need to advise your insurer before you go. Also check your breakdown cover and upgrade to a European one or buy special temporary cover.

If you have small children, it may be free to take car seats on the plane to avoid local hire costs which can start from £5 per day. Check your airlines policy before you go.

Speed limits are signposted but if not, the standard speeds are: built-up areas 50km/h, outside built-up areas 90km/h, dual carriageways 110km/h in dry weather and motorways 130km/h in dry weather. If you passed your test less than 3 years ago you must not exceed 90 km/h on dual carriageways and 100 km/h on motorways.

Lastly when it comes to filling up, credit cards are accepted at most filling stations but you should check with your card issuer before travel.

So there you go, a few handy tips to help you on your way! The country roads will be a breeze to drive around and stunning countryside will be your friend at every turn.

Enjoy your travels and we look forward to welcoming you soon.

Cignella

If you want to escape the sun and explore a lesser known wonder, then it may be time to venture underground. Siena is known for its beautifully historic centre but as you wander around the magnificent Duomo and famous Piazza del Campo, there is a mass of intricate waterways trickling under your feet!

Just over a 1 hour drive from Cignella, the wonderful town of Siena is home to the “Bottini” – a maze of tunnels stretching over 25kms whose function is to take water to wells all over the city. Located away from a water flow meant that long ago, the Sienese people had to carve long waterways by hand, through the sandstone. These galleries still take water from the surrounding hills to fill the fountains you see in every square in town. This engineering wonder, created many hundreds of years ago, has evolved over time and still provides water free from impurities.

The construction work was tough and life was poor which has given birth to some memorable legends of monsters inhabiting the underground and causing illness and trouble for the workers.

Only groups of 8-10 people can explore this hidden wonder at any time, so you need to book in advance (ticket@comune.siena.it). The tour is subject to weather conditions and water flow, and you must wear suitable footwear, a cardigan and take a bottle of water.

Other spectacular caves around 3 hours from Cignella are at Antro del Corchia (in the Regional Park of Apuane Alps) which is made up of 60kms of tunnels and shafts, and the Grotta del Vento near Lucca with its shining stalactites and stalagmites.

There are many other surprising wonders close to Cignella and our team are always happy to help with your queries, before you arrive and once you are here. Whether you have a question about booking a balloon ride, hiring a motorbike, the best place for a romantic picnic, watch a spectacular sunset or simply where to buy the best olive oil, we will always get the answer for you.

We want you to have the best time with us in Tuscany and look forward to welcoming you soon!

Cignella

Translate