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Is April a good time to visit Tuscany?

Is April a good time to visit Tuscany?

The best time to visit Tuscany is really in the quieter part of the season, from April to June and from September to October when weather is usually good, prices a bit lower (often called the mid season) and there are “fewer” tourists to crowd the main sights.

No matter what corner of Tuscany you are planning on visiting this April, you will find that not only will the historical sites and museums will be opening with new hours but the locals will be active with sports, sagras, and festivals. Join in the fun, take a hike, ride a bike, run a marathon or taste the flavors … it is all great fun.

Christmas Lunch at Castello di Gargonza

Christmas Lunch at Castello di Gargonza


Our proposal for your Christmas lunch that will be served at La Torre di Gargonza Restaurant located at the foot of the village. Lunch at 1.00 pm.

Menu

Glass of Ribolla Gialla white wine with Tuscan bread soup “Ribollita”

Game cured meat with currant
Chicken galantine
Chard flan with Pecorino cheese cream
Bruschetta with chicken liver paté, with white beans

Tortellini with broth
Tagliolini with venison ragout

Baked veal chops with mushrooms, baked potatoes and carrot flan
Sliced griled beef with mixed salad

Millefoglie, Panettone

From the Cellar
Montescudaio DOC Merlo, Campordigno, Marchesi Ginori Lisci, 2017
IGT Toscana Bianco, Albizzia Chardonnay, Marchesi de ‘Frescobaldi, 2018

€ 45.00 per person
€ 22.00 per child 4 -12 years. On request gluten free menu.

Watercolour at Castello di Gargonza

Watercolour at Castello di Gargonza

Here is this beautiful watercolor of the double arched window of the church of SS. Tiburzio and Susanna in Gargonza.

The building dates back to the 12th century but was extensively remodeled between the 1600s and 1800s. Starting from 1928 the Pieve was restored and from the restoration works of the plasters this original window was found. This watercolour comes from the hand of Anna Ricceri Guicciardini Corsi Salviati, from the family who has restored all the village.

Bicycle tours in Val di Chiana

Bicycles ready for a beatiful ride to Chianti Classico.

Thanks to CICLOPOSSE, a privately owned and managed bycicle company, Gargonza was discovered by this very nice group of cyclist. The itinerary had Castello di Gargonza as the way from Val di Chiana to Chianti Classico, just as 700 years ago when the ancient village was fought between the provinces of Siena, Arezzo and Florence because of its strategic position.

Today from Gargonza you can cycle along the beautiful hills of the Crete Senesi towards Siena or in the Val di Chiana and reach Arezzo, Cortona and Montepulciano for beutiful rides.

For contacts for sleeping email at info@gargonza.it

For the tours we strongly suggest Cicloposse Tours and you can email Giuliana and Marco at info@cicloposse.com

www.cicloposse.com

Wedding photographer in Tuscany

Thanks for your photos Simone! Here are some beautiful pictures of Simone Miglietta for Antony & Morgan wedding weekend. You can check our page with our previous wedddings and we can liaise you with the proper vendors related to your desires.

http://www.gargonza.it/wedding-experiences-in-tuscany.html

@simonemigliettaphotography

Cooking class at Castello di Gargonza

We had the pleasure to have Shirley Shivhon, an enthusiast Yoga teacher who came with her group for a day of cooking class and a private tour of Castello di Gargonza and discover the History of the restoration of this tuscan village.
The group had a cooking class with hands on pasta making and pizza making but also hands on cooking to learn the secrects of a pork ragout and other typical tuscan recipes directly from Chef. The group was composed of 20 people both inside our kitchen and our kitchen laboratory.
Thank you guys for coming up to the village for this tuscan experience and thank you very much to Shirley!.
Follow Shirley Shivhon and her Yoga classes on @tuscanyyogaexperience.
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Gargonza’s kitchen: Pici all’aglione

Ingredients for Pici

1 kg of “00” flour
400 gr water
40 gr of extra virgin olive oil

Ingredients for “Aglione” sauce

6 garlic cloves
100 gr of cherry tomates
olive oil

Pici is particular kind of pasta which is made in the central part of Tuscany; mainly in Val d’Orcia and Val di Chiana, which is the valley were Castello di Gargonza is. The particularity is that is made only with flour, water and olive oil.

Few words on our sauce for this typical recipe of the Val di Chiana. Aglione is literally named “big garlic” because it is a particular variety of garlic with bigger cloves. Taste is also sweeter. Aglione is also called “kissing garlic” because it is easier to digest!. There are not many varieties of the recipe so what we suggest is to have the garlic cream with either chopped cherry tomatoes or with peperoncino.

Preparation for the Pici

With the flour on the table make a hole as if it was a small volcano and pour water slowly by little mixing the dow and you will see that the flour will soak the water little by little. Add the olive oil together with the water. It will take you at least 15 minutes to make the dow. The dow has to be smoth and tender and you then have to let it rest in the fridge for 1 hour. Take a piece of dow and start to roll up the dow in order to make a thicker spaghetti.

In boiling salted water cook the Pici and allow them at least a 10/15 cooking and when are “al dente” you can drain the pasta and sautée with the garlic sauce

Preparation of the sauce

Whisk the cloves and make a cream out of them. Cook them with olive oil in a pan until they turn a little lighter yellow colour. Add a little hot water (from the pasta is ok). Then you can add few cherry tomatoes and continue cooking for 5/10 minutes, add a little salt and your Pici all’Aglione are ready! You can avoid puting tomatoes and add some peperoncino.

 

 

Gargonza’s kitchen: Gnocchi di patate with beef ragù

Potato Gnocchi with tuscan meat sauce

Leaving summer behind  for Autum,  new dishes are prepared at our Ristorante La Torre di Gargonza. Here is today’s  typical tuscan recepie: tuscan beef ragout with homemade potato gnocchi.

Recepie for 4 people

Potato gnocchi
1 kg of potatoes
300 gr of flower “00”
salt, pepper, nutmeg

Tuscan beef sauce
400 gr. beef 600 gr of pork
500 gr with carots, celery, onions (less onion)
Juniper, sage and rosemary
salt and pepper
white wine

Potatoe Gnocchi- Boil the potatoes in salted hot water. Once cooked drain them from the water and let them cool down until they reach a colder tempetarture. Mince the potatoes as if you were doing puré. It is better to do it without a minipiner but with a kitchen whisk.

Add the egg and the flower and prepare a smooth dow. Once it’s done add salt pepper and nutmeg and take a piece and roll it on the table as if you were making Pici pasta but they need to be much thicker.

Add some flower on the table otherwise they will stick too much on the table. Cut them 2 cm wide. Once done put them in a boiling water pot and once they rise up pick them from the pot.

Beef ragout
Allow your self at least 3 hours of free time in order to make a “Grandma” meat sauce! This is definately the first ingredient.

A few words on the meat sauce. French call it “Ragout” which means ragoutés which literraly means “awaken the appetite”. This means it can be done with other kinds of red meat. It just need a slow cooking.

Thinly chop all vegetables and add olive oil. The quantity of olive oil has to cover at least half of the vegetables.
Add rosemary, 2/3 juniper seeds and sage as well. Let it cook for 15 minutes until the onions turn a little blond.

Mince both the beef and the pork and add them in the pot and a high fire cook for about 30 minutes until the meat stick to the bottom of the pan. Pork is a very fat meat and you need to take as much fat part away otherwise the sauce will be too heavy.

Once the meat is slightly brownish add half a liter of white wine and let it evaporate. Then at low fire add some broth and let it cook for another 2/3 hours. The more it cooks the better it is. But it need to be always very humid and don’t let the meat dry much.

People of Gargonza – Stories of our houses: Casa Argentina

Gargonza’s children abroad

efac882b-c5c2-455e-bfb2-58eb92f042feOn an autumn day in Gargonza, I see an American couple arriving at the reception. I’m standing at the front desk and ready with my hand under the counter to pull out my brochure and start my “minute show” on Gargonza and its restoration but this time I am the one who gets an incredible presentation.

I am in front of Dr. Lawrence Rossi Jr., one of the many great-grandchildren of Lorenzo Rossi, veterinarian of Gargonza who lived in the House of Argentina (Rossi) in Gargonza. What a memorable moment seeing an extremely touched Lawrence and his wife who leaf through the pages of my father’s book Il Borgo Castellano di Gargonza and retrace the life of  Nello Rossi, Lawrence grandfather who emigrated to America in 1900. Or those of his father Dr. Lawrence J. Rossi posing in a picture in 1995 during his visit to my father’s garden  in our house in Gargonza.

We visited the whole village together and I showed Kimberly and Lawrence, the former Olive press room, the Limonaia garden in ancient times the wash house of the town and the House of Argentina. Lawrence is full of anecdoct about his grandmother Isolina Bonjean Rossi wife of Nello and figure always very remembered in the book of my father Roberto Guicciardini. In fact, the House of Argentina and Pietrino were not owned by Gargonza estate but were purchased by my father in 1967 from the numerous Rossi heirs. The photo of Lorenzo Rossi who is still in the Casa Argentina was given by Isolina to my father in 1973. He placed above the fireplace  in the house as a sign of gratitude to the former inhabitants of Gargonza.

Here are some pictures of past and present of Casa Argentina!

 

Thanks Lawrence and Kimberly for coming back to Gargonza. It is thanks to your visit that we can thus maintain a bond between the old inhabitants of Gargonza, your descendants, and their Houses of Gargonza.

Neri

Yoga retreat in Tuscany

Yoga retreat in Tuscany

Experience a Yoga retreat in Tuscany. Castello di Gargonza, with its authentic houses and its common areas, both outside in the gardens and inside in our living areas is ideal to recreate yourself with Yoga.

Barbara Maccioni can organize Yoga Lessons for groups starting from 4 people, kids are welcome as well. With sunny weather the garden of the pool or one of our gardens inside the village is ideal to start the day with a 50 minutes lesson.

In Gargonza you will find the right atmosphere to practice this wonderful activity. Immerged in 600 hectares of forest with very pool phone signal, a medieval village entirely restored with simplicity, these are the ingredients for a Yoga retreat!

Gargonza is also ideal not only for individuals who wish to practice this activity but also for groups.

Send us an email to book your lesson and we will confirm the availability –  info@gargonza.it

 

 

 

Car rally in Tuscany

Castello di Gargonza is also ideal for Car Rally’s. We had the pleasure to have MINI CARS CLUB.

Located between Arezzo and Siena, Gargonza is located along a beautiful paved road from where you can reach Siena, the hills of Chianti through the SS 408 del Chianti, or head to Val di Chiana to visit Cortona or Arezzo.

If the cars don’t mind dirt roads you can also visit the beautiful lunar landscape of the Crete Senesi and the Monastery of Monte Oliveto Maggiore and end up to Montalcino or Montepulciano.

In Gargonza we can organize a nice welcome cocktail in our Limonaia garden and then continue to eat at our Restaurant La Torre di Gargonza with a typical tuscan menu. We can host also larger groups, up to 90 people all inside the village in our restored apartments which have retained the simplicity and the authenticity of its former inhabitants.

 

 

Symbolic ceremony in the panoramic garden

Viola and Andrea could not get married elsewhere. Why? Because Viola’s family have a strong relationship with Gargonza. Infact, her grandfather and his 8 brothers were born in Gargonza and lived here since they were teenagers. That explains why they have been so attached to the village and to Count Guicciardini family.
The bride and groom decided to have a symbolic ceremony in the Lecceta garden followed by an aperitif in the Limonaia garden and a typical tuscan lunch at the restaurant where guests stayed all day.
We wish you all the best guys and welcome back to Gargonza!

Wedding in a Tuscan Castle

Our lovely couple Nech and Claudio, a turkish and italian couple with a swiss blend, living in Hong Kong, decided to celebrate their special wedding weekend with a lovely ceremony inside the renaissance cloister of Monte San Savino Townhall. After the ceremony the bride and groom had a lovely and lively aperitif in the garden of the swimming pool with an incredible live band “Rudy e i Baleras” followed by a wedding dinner in the courtyard of the restaurant “under the tuscan lights” of Wedding music and lights. We had the most amazing time with Nech and Claudio organizing all details, mostly through mails and telephone since they are based in Hong Kong but with just a couple of site inspections we could manage to set all details, do the menu trial and decide where to accommodate all their family and friends.

We wish them all the best with a piece of tuscany in their hearts.

 

Gargonza Storybook

Con queste foto vorremmo portare alla vostra attenzione che dietro il restauro di un borgo, c’era la necessità di recuperare le memorie dei vecchi abitanti. Quasi a simboleggiare la fine dei restauri, Roberto Guicciardini, non appena finiti i lavori iniziali di restauro, volle rendere omaggio ai suoi “Gargonzini” raccontando le loro storie a presa diretta con la registrazione dei racconti. Accanto a questo importante lavoro di memoria orale, volle unire i racconti dei personaggi che gravitavano nella vita di Gargonza, e dei suoi 7 fratelli andando a scegliere delle foto dall’archivio di famiglia che ci offrono uno spaccato di società a cavallo tra le due guerre.

 

HIKE & WINE, A NEW EXPERIENCE IN GARGONZA

HIKE & WINE, A NEW EXPERIENCE IN GARGONZA
The experience consists in taking a hike in one of our new trails immersed in the nature surrounding Gargonza’s castle. These itineraries are within the Castle bounds and will give a chance to rediscover some of the histories of the place by visiting what was the heart of the old agricultural habitat outside the hamlet’s wall. Following the hike, you will have a wine tasting inside the Castle’s wine Bottega and learn about the restoration of the place that my father undertook over a period of forty years. For more info: https://www.airbnb.com/experiences/180098
camminata all'ombra1

 

GARGONZA MUSIC FESTIVAL

GARGONZA MUSIC FESTIVAL

A new initiative for the summer. Gargonza Music Festival – Music at the Castle, 4 chamber concerts and a wide selection from “Le Nozze di Figaro” by Mozart, Maestro at the piano David Boldrini, costumes by Fabio Miari. A new chamber ensemble, I Solisti Medicei, with the musical direction of Lorenzo Fattorini, Michele Sarti and Asif Anichini. Brilliant vocal soloists in a magical place, immersed in the Val di Chiana.  Info and tickets +39 388 8183714 / +39 0575 847021. Entrance is 15 euro per person, includes a ticket and a glass of wine.


FESTIVAL PROGRAM:
GARGONZA_MUSIC_FESTIVAL

Sunday June 10 2018, 21:00hr

Dal Barocco al Classicismo

FRANZ SCHUBERT Trio in Si b maggiore per archi

JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH Estratti dalla Cantata del Caffè, BWV 211

GEORG FRIEDERICH HÄNDEL Cantata HWV 132 “Mi palpita il cor”

JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH Concerto n.4 per oboe e archi, BWV 1055

soprano, oboe, violino I, violino II, viola, violoncello, clavicembalo

Thursday June 28 2018, 21:00hr

Musique française

CAMILLE SAINT-SAËNS Sonata per oboe e pianoforte

CLAUDE DEBUSSY Nuit d’etoiles; Beau soir

CAMILLE SAINT-SAËNS Berceuse per violino e pianoforte

DEBUSSY: Romanza per viola e pianoforte

CAMILLE SAINT-SAËNS Susette et Suzon

FRANCIS POULENC La belle jeunesse

GABRIEL FAURÉ arr. HENRI BUSSER Pavane per violino, viola e pianoforte

GABRIEL FAURÉ arr. MICHELE SARTI

La lune blanche luit dans les bois; Mandoline

GABRIEL FAURÉ Clair de lune; Apres un reve

CAMILLE SAINT-SAËNS arr. MICHELE SARTI Guitares et Mandolines

soprano, oboe, violino, viola, pianoforte

Sunday  July 1st 2018, 20:00hr

WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART

LE NOZZE DI FIGARO

ampia selezione dall’Opera

Venerdì 27 luglio 2018. ore 21

Maschere del Novecento

CARL NIELSEN arr. HANS ABRAHAMSEN Two Fantasy Pieces Op. 2 per oboe e

trio d’archi, prima esecuzione in Italia

ERIC SATIE arr. HANS ABRAHAMSEN Gymnopédie n.1 per oboe e quartetto

d’archi, prima esecuzione in Italia

IGOR STRAVINSKY arr. MICHELE SARTI Estratti da “Pulcinella” per oboe e

quartetto d’archi, prima esecuzione assoluta

ENNIO MORRICONE arr. MICHELE SARTI Gabriel’s oboe per oboe e quartetto

d’archi prima esecuzione assoluta

SAMUEL BARBER Adagio per quartetto d’archi

BÉLA BARTÓK arr. MICHELE SARTI Danze Rumene per oboe e quartetto d’archi

prima esecuzione assoluta

oboe e quartetto d’archi

Sunday August 12 , 21:00hr

Salotto all’italiana

GIOACCHINO ROSSINI Ouf! Les petit pois

GIOACCHINO ROSSINI Arietta spagnola; La fioraia fiorentina

GIOACCHINO ROSSINI Duo, I tempo

GIOACCHINO ROSSINI La promessa

GIOACCHINO ROSSINI Petit caprice

VINCENZO BELLINI Per pietà, bell’idolo mio

GIOACCHINO ROSSINI Petite polka chinoise

GIOACCHINO ROSSINI Sonata a quattro n. 6

soprano, pianoforte, violino, viola, violoncello, contrabbasso