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Smart home
Home automation

published on04/09/2018 sertion Blog
"Domotica" is part of the third industrial revolution served to improve the quality of life, improve safety, simplify the design, installation, maintenance and use of technology, reduce management costs, convert old environments and old systems.

The main features of Home Automation are:

reliability, the system must always work, without requiring special attention; also in case of failures should be able to provide the service or must report the non-functioning and generate a report of any anomalies;

energy saving: a fully automated system will have to avoid the costs generated by energy wastage due to oversights or other situations.

"Smart Home" is a designed and technologically equipped environment which provides intelligent equipment instead of "traditional" systems.

Sienese food culture

published on02/06/2018 sertion Blog
An important trading post ,Siena is one of the best places in Tuscany for food lovers .
One of the most appreciated products is ‘’pici ‘’ pasta , thick hand-made spaghetti -like ribbons which come from the Val d’Orcia and Val di Chiana areas, and is best enjoyed with an ‘’aglione ‘’ sauce made of garlic and olive oil.
Another dish is ‘’ribollita’’ , a hearty soup with lentils and dark green cabbage . It is said that the more it is reheated, the better it gets .Hence its name – ‘’reboiled’’.
Another popular dish is ‘’panzanella’’ , a delicious summer salad made using days’ old bread soaked in water and tightly strained , with celery ,onion, tomatoes and fresh basil, and served with a good drizzling of olive oil ,salt and pepper.
We must not forget ‘’bruschette’’- slices of bread topped with garlic and the best olive oil ,or liver paté . Also ‘’fettunta’’ ,toasted bread with olive

Quality of life in Tuscany
You live well and longer

published on04/05/2018 sertion Blog
Are you born in Tuscany? It means you should live long and well. The Tuscans are more athletic and less obese than the Italians.

In Tuscany you live longer than in other regions, and you live in good health. Many factors contribute to the good health of the Tuscans, but most of the part because the high level of prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of the health system.

But the most positive news is that most of the years have lived in good health and without disability. Fortune? In part perhaps yes, transmitted by the genes, but almost everything depends on correct lifestyles, healthy environment and health services that work.

Artisan shopping and bespoke products

published on02/05/2018 sertion Blog
In Siena the main shopping area lies in Via di Città , Via Banchi di Sopra and Via dei Montanini , with locally produced gifts, clothing and food. Of particular interest are products made from copper, iron and pottery. In the historic centre are traditional artisan shops producing their wares which reflect the colours of the local ‘’contrada’’ or district.Here you can find not just pottery and coloured tiles, but also exquisitely produced leather goods and clothing plus iron made products.The food shops are a delight for the eyes and the palate ; here you can taste delicious salamis, cheeses and local cakes: almondy ricciarelli, Christmassy panforte and crunchy cantucci biscuits which are perfect dunked in vin santo , a sherry- like liqueur.
Down the centuries , artisans,artists and other craftspeople have got the best from the land , producing their wares from wood, marble, clay ,travertine

For the farm manager's and the farm workers

published on02/05/2018 sertion Blog
The first rural homes in Tuscany date back to the 1500’s when farming families started living in homes built especially for them. These homes were usually built in pre - existing workers’ cottages ,remote outposts or watchtowers from the Middle Ages and which were then incorporated into the new buildings.
In the 1700’s farming reforms in the Gran Duchy of Tuscany led to the construction of new homes and farms as well as the renovation of older properties. In 1770 Ferdinando Morozzi published a treaty on farmers’ cottages in Tuscany ,giving an important insight into the world of rural homes.
During the 1990’s the phenomenon of urbanisation led to a gradual migration of people from the countryside to the cities and as a result many rural homes fell into a state of abandonment.Fortunately however in the second half of the last century a new surge of interest led to the rediscovery of rural

How to make the most of your outdoor space

published on02/05/2018 sertion Blog
1. One of the first things you should consider is the actual space you have and then to split it up in a strategic way.You’ll want to think about how you intend to use this space – is it for organising al fresco lunches or dinner parties or is it just for relaxing? – and then divide it up according to your needs.
2. It’s really important to consider the issue of direct sunlight and shade.If our garden has the sun shining on it all day ,then we can probably use it more in the spring and autumn ,but during the long summer months we’ll probably use it more in the evenings.On the other hand, if it is relatively shady we’ll be making the most of it on hot sunny days to keep ourselves cool.
3. If the space is particularly sunny we might want to consider putting up a gazebo or using summer curtains or drapes.
4. If summer entertaining is your thing,try to organise everything within easy

2017 trends

published on08/02/2018 sertion Blog
Blown glass,silk and embroidery are the main protagonists of 2017.A style that regards luxury items as pieces of furniture,where light fittings are in brass,the curtains are in silk and the velvet is jacquard.
In 2017 the trend is for luxury items where tables and chairs become jewels to be admired,the protagonists of rooms,delicate curtains like paintings in a gallery and details that make all the difference.
To furnish a beautiful home,design meets quality craftsmanship creating pieces of furniture which are works of art,one-off pieces that have been made especially for a particular space.
The perfect style for a country home immersed in the Tuscan countryside,impeccably renovated and elegantly furnished, a style that makes all the difference and enhances the owner’s elegance.

In the heart of the Val d'Orcia

published on05/02/2018 sertion Blog
Pienza – a splendid town in the heart of the Val d’Orcia – was given recognition by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1996 . Today it still enjoys recognition for having been the town incoronating the Renaissance utopian ideals of the perfect city.This was due to its superb layout with a logical use of space and splendid buildings and squares.
Pienza was the brain child of Enea Silvio Piccolomini , who became Pope Pius II in 1458. He wanted to give his birthplace a make over and this task was given to Bernardo di Matteo Gambardelli, otherwise known as Il Rossellino, and pupil of the famous architect and scientist Leon Battista Alberti. The work was carried out between 1458 and 1462 in the old hamlet of Corsignano which according to local legend was founded by the soldier Corsino.
The geometrical prospectives, the amazing volume inside the Cathedral and Palazzo Piccolomini ,the

It could have 123 rooms

published on17/06/2017 sertion Blog
They are admired and worshipped like gods and everything they do ,even buying a home ,becomes news.According to some reports in the American press,David and Victoria Beckham have set their sights on a luxury villa in Los Angeles with 123 rooms and a selling price of 22 million dollars.Besides the already existing tennis court and swimming pool,the couple would love to add a cat walk area where Victoria’s latest designs can be modelled as well as adding plenty of special areas for their kids and their friends,including a dance studio for little Harper and a recording studio for Cruz ,who at the age of 11 has already released a single.
There is no need to go abroad to find such magnificent homes - Italy can also boast properties worthy of a king!The historical residence La Fortezza is one example. This perfectly renovated country home is nestling in the hills with spectacular views of San

Bedroom trends

published on17/06/2017 sertion Blog
It may not be the room in the house where we spend most of our time,but the bedroom has to be one of the most important rooms in the house.It’s where we start our days, and it’s the last place we see before we close our eyes at night.For this reason,it needs to be welcoming,elegant and airy.
Choosing the lighting for the bedroom isn’t an easy task;it should strike the balance between being functional and atmospheric.The colour of the walls is important as is the position of the furniture,depending on the direction of natural light.It’s better not to choose white walls,but go for pastel shades such as light blue or green.If you’re lucky enough to live in a traditional country home with original stone walls, go with the trend to leave part of the stone walls visible.
If you have a spacious bedroom,you could try placing the bed in the centre of the room and then adding floor lamps around the

15 million dollar auction

published on17/06/2017 sertion Blog
The Dubai Helitrope company were the declared winners of the auction for the spectacular castle of Sammezzano (FI) with their successful bid of 15,4 million euros.This stunning castle is in Leccio,in the district of Reggello ,Florence.It has been in a state of disrepair for a number of years, and the search for a potential buyer with an eye to restoring this property to its former glory has been on- going for quite a while.
This 18th century Moor –inspired castle, which used to belong to the Ximenes D’Aragona family,boasts splendid mosaics and domed ceilings with intersecting arches .It was Ferdinand Panciatichi Ximenes D’Aragona himself in the second part of the 1800’s who transformed the already existing building into what it is today,following the fashion of that period for oriental –style design.At the end of the 1990’s an Italo English company set their sights on it with plans to

The Val d’Orcia attracts home buyers from all over the world.

published on17/06/2017 sertion Blog
Economic crisis or not, those who are looking to buy a stunning country home usually think of Tuscany ,or more precisely the stunning area in the south of the province of Siena known all over the world for its breathtaking countryside .We are talking about the Val d’Orcia.
There is an ever –increasing number of foreigners who choose to leave their homeland and pursue a life -long dream of buying a property in this much sought- after part of the world, to use either as a holiday home or to open a hotel.
The Val d’Orcia is recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for the following reasons:
● The Val d’Orcia is an exceptional example of how the natural landscape was used in the Renaissance period to reflect the principles of “good government” and at the same time to create an asthetic model.
● The countryside of the Val d’Orcia was adored by painters of the Sienese school which bloomed

The best places

published on17/06/2017 sertion Blog
How many of you have watched a movie and dreamed of being able to actually see that particular villa or elegantly furnished appartment or of strolling through the garden?This is quite natural as the actual setting is a fundamental part of the film and at times it just stays in our hearts.Here are some properties that have also made cinema history.
In the province of Viterbo we have the house that appeared in the film ‘’Le meraviglie’’ by Alice Rohrwacher, which won the Grand Prix special jury prize at the Cannes film festival in 2014.In Cortina d’Ampezzo there is the villa which was made famous twice over,firstly in the 1963 film ‘’The Pink Panther’’ starring David Niven and Peter Sellers ,and once again in 1981 in the unforgettable Bond movie ‘’For your eyes only’’ starring the recently departed Roger Moore in the role of the of the most famous secret agents in the U.K. and starring

Mini and the architects

published on17/06/2017 sertion Blog
For Design Week in Milan,Mini and New York architects SO-11 designed the Living –Breath concept, a visionary solution to create liveable spaces in over - chaotic cities.Welcome to Living –Breath, a house for up to 3 people in 50 sq metres.
Living-Breath has a modular metallic framework covered with a flexible transparent material, making maximum use of vertical space. On the ground floor there is a kitchen which also serves as a general living area.On the upper floors there is space for sleeping and working divided onto 3 levels.The rooms have walls made from a semi-transparent material so you can just barely make out the movements in the next room and so privacy is guaranteed. There is even a terraced style garden and a container to catch the rain water.
This innovative concept undoubledly looses its appeal when put next to the fabulous homes you can find in Tuscany and Umbria where

A trendy investment

published on17/06/2017 sertion Blog
Buying a dream home in Tuscany is one of the most popular investments. Now just because Tuscany appeals in a way that no other place in Italy or indeed the world does,but also because buying a property in Tuscany means investing in a certain quality of life,opting for a peaceful home surrounded by stunning countryside far away from the stresses and strains of modern life.
It is for this reason that the property market for this sector hasn’t suffered in the economic crisis, and that more people than ever are coming to Tuscany looking for their dream home.It isn’t easy to find your dream home.How can you navigate these waters?We have put together some top tips for you.
1. First of all it’s really important to find the right estate agent,someone from the area with first hand insider knowledge of the best places and with competence and professionalism.
2. It’s really important to have

An increase in the demand for financial help

published on17/06/2017 sertion Blog
Italians are starting to have more faith in the property market and there is an increase of activity.In the first months of 2017 there was a rise in requests for financial services needed to buy a property.According to the mortgage data from and ,in the first three months of 2017 there was a 17% increase in demand for mortgages and further encouragement given by the fact that the granting of mortgages was up by 21% from the same period last year.
But what are Italians looking for exactly?The average financial request is for a sum of 130.000 euros to buy a property worth 224.000 euros.For the first time in years,the fixed rate 21 year mortgage is the most sought after.The average age of clients is about 40.
Regarding Tuscany in particular most Italian buyers are looking for appartments in old historic quarters,while foreign buyers are looking for luxury villas

What you should ask your estate agent

published on17/06/2017 sertion Blog
Buying a home,whether or not it is your first,is certainly not something to be taken lightly.One of the most important things you can do is find professional people who can provide you with a complete top quality service.It’s also important to know just what you should be asking your estate agent.We’ve put together some things you should bear in mind.
● Let the estate agent know exactly what you need – is it a main home or a holiday home for a large family, or maybe a place to set up a business?This information really helps the estate agent to come up with the right proposals.
● Each to his own space.Do you need a home for a large family with young children or are you a young couple looking for a place for romantic getaways ?If it is the latter,the space you require will be a lot different from the demands of a large family.
● Don’t be afraid to ask questions.Ask as many questions

How to choose the right one for you

published on16/06/2017 sertion Blog
Buying a property is something that needs to be done carefully and it’s really important to find the right person who can give you all the help and advice you need along the way.So, how do you choose the right person?Let’s have a look at these 10 traits which we think the perfect estate agent should possess.
1 Top of the list – they really need to be competent.A really good estate agent knows everything there is to know about the property he/she is going to show you,right down to the tecnical details.
2 Transparency – a truly great estate agent won’t hide any problems from you but will talk you through them and look for solutions.
3 In third place is the ability to work as part of a team.The fact that he/she knows a lot of stuff doesn’t make him/her expert in every field.Being able to delegate to people with more expertise in certain sectors certainly isn’t something to be regarded

Buying a house in Tuscany
The most beautiful villages in which to buy a house

published on04/06/2017 sertion Blog
Tuscany remains one of the preferred destinations of tourists from all over the world who, once they have fallen in love with this place of rolling hills and charming villages, choose to buy their second home here, or to relocate themselves on a permanent basis in this beautiful Country. Also, many Italians choose to buy a property in Tuscany in order to spend several days of relaxation far from the city.

Which are the best villages in which to buy a house?

If you love history, art and culture, Tuscany offers a huge array of villages in which you can spend extremely magical moments. For both those who would like an apartment in an historic town
centre, and those who would prefer a farmhouse in the middle of the countryside, the Val d’orcia and the Valdichiana are excellent starting points.

Montepulciano, Pienza, San Quirico, Sarteano and also Chiusi, Cetona and San Casciano

What to ask the estate agents
How to find the perfect house

published on04/06/2017 sertion Blog
Looking for the perfect house can be difficult and stressful, but there are things you can do in order to clarify your ideas and to help to point the estate agents in the right direction.

In the first instance, it is important to analyse your situation and to ask yourself basic questions such as what is the purpose of the house that you are looking to buy, or how much time you will be spending in this property? If you are looking for a permanent home, it is essential that this house has all of the commodities and all of the space required, but if you are looking for a house in which you plan to spend only a month or two during the year, you could perhaps also consider something much smaller.

It is also essential that you tell our estate agents how many people will be living in the the property you would like to buy. If you are a large family, or if you are used to accommodating numerous

5 good reasons to buy a house in Tuscany
Why buy in Tuscany?

published on06/04/2017 sertion Blog
You are looking for a suitable house, but you don’t yet know where to buy? Here are the reasons why you should choose to buy a house in Tuscany:

1) Anyone who has visited Tuscany will have told you how beautiful it is and this could be a good reason, but not everyone thinks about just how accessible this region is. To have a second house in Tuscany in fact will allow you easy access from any part of Italy.
2) Tuscany encompasses all types of landscape; you can find mountainous areas, the famous rolling hills, but also the sea and splendid coastlines. In conclusion, whatever your taste, here you will find something which works for you.
3) In every season of the year, from the largest and most well-known cities, to the smallest hamlets, there are numerous events in which you can take part to amuse yourself, have fun and immerse yourself in the art, culture, theatre and many other things
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