Taste Tuscany

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Perhaps not everyone knows that the Patron Saint of Santa Croce sull’Arno, the Blessed Christian, Oringa Menabuoi was born between 1237 and 1240 in a house in Via dei Menabuoi 36 in the municipality of Fucecchio. The building in question is the one that on the map is highlighted with the red circle. Note the dotted municipal border: the house is located in the territory of Fucecchio and also shows a painting on the house to commemorate the religious (imm.1).

At that time the town of Santa Croce was still at an embryonic level and more than a common one could speak of a union between 4 churches, San Vito, San Tommaso, Sant’Andrea and San Donato in Mugnana, none of which was authorized to baptize.

Oringa-Cristiana belonged to the church of San Vito. The church of San Vito was under the jurisdiction of the Parish Church of Cappiano, the master church with a baptismal font. In the years when Oringa was born, he also began to be baptized in minor churches. It is possible that the future Saint was baptized in the Church of San Vito, but always with holy water coming from the Parish of Cappiano.

The theme is smoky, the borders especially at the time were elusive, but today they are very clear in the map that I attach. The santacrocises are used to place the birthplace of S. Cristiana where her image is located, that is at the corner between Via dei Garibaldini and Via Del Bosco, but who has read his story will notice that via dei Menabuoi has many more historical evidence starting from the name of the road, from the close proximity that the Canale Usciana. Via Menabuoi, however, is located between two municipalities (Santa Croce sull’Arno and Fucecchio) as well as between two provinces (Pisa and Florence).

A fucecchiese, therefore, this medieval heroine, who however feels belonging to Santa Croce despite the memories of a childhood of pain, loneliness and misery. It is the path of the hero who never chooses the easiest path, but the right one. After suffering for her mother’s death and the insolence of her brothers who, out of misery, wanted her to marry a rich landowner, Oringa chooses to make a leap into the void and divine providence extends her hand. He manages to escape through the Usciana Canal to Lucca and after years of conscious exile returns to Santa Croce sull’Arno to found his Monastery, a place where women, with other visions, could have a life alternative that was not only to be a man’s slave, but to educate himself and live the life of the city in an active and concrete way, helping the hungry population, promoting peace on every occasion and trying to sensitize the rulers not to fight. Always choosing the path of diplomacy and example.

A life grown on the edge therefore, far from the inhabited centers, in a natural and timeless space, has allowed this noble creature to learn the highest mysteries of the Universe and then give us back a new world. From birth Oringa teaches us that the boundaries are there in the head and we must never lose hope because if we can go beyond what we know, with confidence, the stars are rooting for us.

In the end it does not matter where you were born dear great little woman, the important thing is that you are remembered and that you can be a source of inspiration for future generations who no longer have to define themselves as belonging to Fucecchio or Santa Croce, but who build together the Way to get out of our mental boundaries.

Sources:

Anonymous “Vita della Beata Cristiana” traduzione di Tommaso Cardini – Ed.TGA San Miniato

Giorgio Papàsogli “Uno core et anima in Dio” Ed. Ancora Milano

Alberto Malvolti “Santa Cristiana e il Castello di Santa Croce tra Medioevo e prima Età moderna” Pacini Editore SPA

 

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Tuscany has a long coast. Here as follows we give you some informations for the most famous locations.

Marina di Pisa the nearest beach (50 kms far – west direction) with good restaurants, but sea is not so good.

Viareggio (60 kms far – north/west direction) with good restaurants, pizzerias, bar, but sea is dirty, apart from Darsena Beaches  where there are wonderful beach resorts with large parking, beautiful swimming pool, restaurants, but it is very far from the center.

Marina di Massa (75 kms far – north/west direction) for us is the best: clean sea and many facilities, it is also good to catch the boat to Cinque Terre.

Pineta di Marina di Cecina (80 kms far – south/west direction) beach with woderful pine forest where to have a pic nic, restuarants are a bit far. Acqua Village an water park in Cecina very beautiful but expensive.

The White Beaches Rosignano (80 kms far – south/west direction) a particulare beach with white sand… someone say it is due to the pollution!! But it worth a visit.

Baratti Gulf (120 kms far – south/west direction) a wonderful place with beautiful beaches and an historical site to visit and near harbour to get to Elba Isle. A day cannot be enough to see all.

There are many other little pearls on the Mar Tirreno, follow the the street along the sea, enjoy the views and stop when you feel inspired!

 

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Have I ever talked about Siena? Maybe not, because here in Pisa that borders the Florentine we are a bit ‘envious of so much beauty. Already in the Renaissance period Florence was struggling to keep up with Siena.
So let’s do it!

Map

Based on my experience and my preferences, I have created a 5-hour ring, where we must pay maximum attention to speed, speed cameras and perhaps even animals crossing the road.
Never forget a bottle of water, some snacks and a hat (for sun and rain).
There are no highways, but only regional roads. Here the time has stopped at the last century, so even the wifi will suffer a bit in some places. Pure nature topped with dozens of churches and monuments, which despite the saints are still there while the bridges built 50 years ago collapse like ice that melts in the spring.
A long route, but with various stops that will make you admire the best places of true Tuscany.
After only one hour of travel, you will be in San Gimignano. There is not a CasaLina guest who has not visited it. A medieval fairy-tale country.
Short walk in the center, breakfast in one of the many bars, and again you leave for another destination.
In less than an hour, here is the imposing Siena. Here everything has been said and the opposite of everything, I will only tell you about the cafes of Piazza del Campo if you do not want to find yourself paying too much.

At lunchtime, better bet on a farmhouse outside the city, excellent food, excellent wines and reasonable bills, perhaps along the way to the Abbey of San Galgano, a mystical place for some with a church where the roof has collapsed and nearby building where a fascinating relic is kept, the one that is thought to have been the famous sword in the rock. Here we are right at the end of our journey, so you will not be surprised if around you you will see nothing but hills and natural landscapes, postcard views that you will have seen only in Tuscany advertisements. Here I am here. I think it was worth getting here to see what the real Tuscany is, a land that emerged after the last glaciation that in its low and rounded hills still reminds the waves of the sea.

Last obligatory stop Volterra. Impossible to skip it, it would be a sacrilege. Like San Gimignano, Volterra is also a jewel of architecture. I myself who live here and now I am used to my territory, I am still amazed and I feel a huge emotion in seeing so much beauty. Volterra is famous for its alabaster. Even if it will weigh a little in your suitcase, you will certainly not be able to resist taking it away for a while.
It was a tiring day and maybe I made you run a bit too much. In fact, one day is just a little to visit all these places, but it will be worth it.

While you calmly return home, I suggest you choose a restaurant for dinner. There is nothing better than a dinner in one of the many restaurants in San Miniato. Any one will be fine, they are all excellent. I recommend trying the truffle specialties in the area, a little pricey, but a taste is a must.

A really full day that will surely remain in your heart and you can say that you have known the real Tuscany.

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#guestsloveus

It has been such a frantic year that we have not even noticed that it is over. If not when the email from Booking says “Hey, not bad this year, your guests consider you one of the best accommodations in your area!”. Who? We? Really? You make us blush!

What to say? Here at CasaLina we have this and perhaps it is not much, it is not perfection, but we put our soul and do everything to make our guests feel at home and enjoy every moment of their stay. This obviously means sacrificing a bit of our free time, but the satisfaction of our guests repays us.

So it is to you, dear vacationers that I want to dedicate in our recognition, because without you our efforts would be in vain.

 

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The sea in winter seems a sad and nostalgic concept. Not in Viareggio when there is Carnival! The temperatures are still cold, but mitigated by the presence of the sea. The air you breathe is a natural aerosol. The party explodes all around. Lights and colors, art and imagination, satire and irony. You’re joking, but you think, you laugh, but you are moved. It is difficult to explain the emotions that inspire the parade of allegorical wagons. You are captured by that mixed feeling of amazement and euphoria, which makes you forget the winter and catapults you into the summer. CasaLina & CasAlfredo, as we know it, is in the center of Tuscany, so from here to reach Viareggio it’s really easy and fast. So much that there is a sort of twinning between the two locations. Also in Santa Croce sull’Arno the preparations for the Carnival are quivering, but we’ll talk about this next time.

Below the program of the event:

 

Carnival of Viareggio 2018

 

From 27 January to 17 February

Here is the calendar of the 2018 parade

Saturday January 27 – 1st Masked Parade, at 16:00

Sunday February 4 – 2nd Masked Parade, at 15:00

Sunday February 11 – 3rd Masked Parade, at 15:00

Tuesday, February 13 – 4th Masked Parade, at 17:00

Saturday February 17 – 5th Masked Parade, at 17:00

At the end proclamation of the winners and closing fireworks show

Sources : http://viareggio.ilcarnevale.com/

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At CasaLina & CasAlfredo you never stop. Starting from June our new inground pool will be available to our guests. Soon we will begin work, to be ready for next summer. The pool will be placed in our large garden, surrounded by greenery and finished with an elegant anti-slip flooring. The outdoor environment will be furnished with a solar shower, sunbeds, umbrellas, gazebo with audio / video system, wifi.

What you see in the image is the simulation of the pool created by our Arch. Stefania Gori, who has dealt with the slightest details regarding the structure, installation and construction as well as the bureaucratic part.

The realization of this complex is a source of pride for us and we hope that our guests will appreciate our efforts to make their holiday more and more pleasant and relaxing.

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In the town of Santa Croce sull’Arno in Via di Poggio Adorno, suburb Cerri there is a religious icon dating back to the century XIX dedicated to the Immaculate Conception. The Madonnina is located on the edge of the road near the intersection of  Via di Poggio Adorno, Via del Bosco and Via Lungovalle.

For the travelers who once crossed the dangers of the forest along the path of the Via Francigena, the niche represented an important reference point. When they saw it they knew they had arrived “at the bottom of the coast”, where Gusciana flows, today called Usciana, the canal that comes from the Padule of Fucecchio and crosses this valley until it flows into the Arno river at Pontedera. At that time, without bridges, the stream crossed through a ford. Later a small canal control building was built with a guardian inside. Only a few years later the bridge was built. It is said that Beata Cristiana to escape from the brothers who wanted to punish her for her generosity, escaped from her house to Usciana and not knowing how to cross it stretched out her apron and believed in the help of the Lord. So Oringa de Menabuoi saved herself and fled to Lucca, a disastrous departure for a final full of glory, but this is another story and I’ll tell you another time.

But let’s go back to our niche. The first historical notes, as well as the first photos date back to the early ‘900. It is interesting to note the florid foliage of the cypress behind the Madonnina. The fact that this tree was already so voluminous, suggests that this religious corner was also present many years before.

Before the last restoration in 1987, the icon appeared as in the image below. Proven by time and two wars, the fresco was about to disappear altogether.

In 1987, the painter Enrico Fornaini took care of the restoration by Mrs. Liana Lami.

Today, 40 years later, our Madonnina has found a new owner who has great plans for her. Soon the new table will be placed with the replicated image of the fresco by Fornaini himself, waiting for the Belle Arti to follow to the recovery plan of the original fresco.

Historical sources:

  • Santa Croce D’Antan – I corpi i luoghi le storie
  • Sacra – nella terra del pane e del companatico di Marisa Baratolesi, Lisandro Chiari, Andrea Orsini e Savino Ruglioni – Rotary Club Fucecchio-Santa Croce sull’Arno FM EDIZIONI
  • Grandmother Carla Pagni
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Autumn in Tuscany explodes with events and certainly could not miss a Sunday in the name of Nature. Tired of spending the weekends at the shopping center? Did the doctor order long walks? Are you curious to know what’s in the end of that dirt road, but do you care about yourself alone? Do you want to bring children in safe places away from traffic and away from the temptations of modern life? Then it is time to slip your trekking shoes and join them in the woods walks organized by the Cerbaie Forestry Consortium in collaboration with the Municipalities of Santa Croce on Arno and Castelfranco di Sotto inside the splendid Montefalcone Reserve. The ring route starts from 9am to 4pm with a short lunch break with tasting typical products in the area. A whole day in search of our origins, to find that the essential is invisible to the eyes. To really breathe a different air and bring home an experience that will definitely change your vision of life. These are addictive trips, then do not say I did not warn you!

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Tuscany is a land that never ceases to astonish you. In every season you always surprise. Normally you think about autumn is a dry and gray season. Not in Tuscany, starting from the wonderful colors of our hills, this season, in addition to their usual lush greenery, they also take on all the shades of yellow, red and brown. Autumn in Tuscany means wine, oil, chestnuts, mushrooms. A great variety of excellent food products.

San Miniato, about 5 km away from CasaLina & Casalfredo, dedicates to Truffle a whole month of events. Perched on its hill, dominated by the Tower of Federico II of Swabia, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire in the 13th century, San Miniato is a medieval village of great importance in the territory. The town’s historic center has a steady flow of tourism throughout the year, thanks to the fact that it is on the route of the ancient Via Francigena, even more in the autumn during the weekends dedicated to the fairs and the Market Show of the rare White Truffle of Sanminiatesi Hills (Tuber Magnum Pico, this is its scientific name). For 47 years San Miniato offers its visitors to discover with her the mysterious fruits of the earth. The search for truffles is a tradition that is rooted in the night of the times. San Miniato’s truffles have always come out the night, accompanied by their dogs to explore the woods and to find the precious tuber. An inevitable Slow vocation of this territory, which I invite you to visit, but above all to taste.
When I talk to you, the Tartufigena season has already opened in San Miniato.

The next appointments are:

22-24 settembre – Sagra del Tartufo Bianco e Fungo Porcino – Suburb LA SERRA

30 settembre – 1 ottobre – fiera Mercato Del Tartufo Bianco – Suburb CORRAZZANO

14-15 ottobre – Sagra del Tartufo Bianco e del Fungo – Suburb BALCONEVISI

28-29 ottobre – Sagra del Tartufo – Suburb PONTE A EGOLA

4-5 novembre – Tartufo al Pinocchio – Suburb SAN MINIATO BASSO

11-12, 18-19, 25-26 novembre – 47^ Mostra Mercato del Tartufo Bianco di SAN MINIATO