God sometimes gives us unexpected gifts. Our gift has been a grandson who enlivens our lives and makes retirement very different than the one we anticipated. He is a special joy. And that's "Casey." In 2006 we fulfilled our dream of living in Italy for a year. It was every bit as wonderful as anticipated. This blog begins in 2005 as we prepared for that experience. Since then we have explored many places together. That's the "Travel." And finally, I am a person of opinions--spiritually, politically, on just about anything and that's the "Other Stuff." Welcome to my blog.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

When Traveling in the Chianti

If you have been to the Chianti area of Tuscany, you know that many things happen in out of the way places. The trick is to know about and then find them. Most of them are announced on the community bulletin boards found just about anywhere. These are a great way of letting people know what is happening--where there are festivals, shops with sales, musical offerings, drama presentations, upcoming sports events or anything that is of importance to someone. These boards serve as silent town criers announcing life.

The problem for the tourist is that, of course, they are in Italian and, even if one can read Italian, they don't provide much detail about what will be happening. The locals know and are primarily interested in the date and reminder but those traveling through don't have that advantage. As one ponders the words, it is difficult to know if what you see is a place you want to be, an experience to add to a collection of experience. Is there a special treat lying there just waiting for you to discover?

So today, let me give you two special ways to learn of memory makers that aren't in the travel books you tote or in the research you have meticulously conducted. These promise to enrich your time here.

First is the Toscana & Chianti magazine which can be found at many tourist offices in Chianti. Definitely it is available at the Greve tourist office in Piazza Matteoti.

This is published monthly. It has full page spreads on various aspects of the area and then smaller notices of upcoming activities and events. It is a good resource and one to pick up when you can.

The other excellent and comprehensive resource for the area, covering not only special events but village markets--often sought activities by travelers. Is the:

This is the English speaking newspaper in Florence and covers the surrounding areas including Chianti. It sometimes can be difficult to locate but one place to look is at the English Book Exchange Store in Florence. It is usually at the Odeon Cinema as well. Other than that, just keep eyes out for it where ever you are.

If you have internet connection, you can go to the website and peruse the entire newspaper--a little hard on the eyes but sometimes worth the effort.


Jerry said...

Jane - that is very helpful information! Like others I struggle because I am unable to read the notices that appear everywhere! I think I need to take a course.

Tourmama said...

Jane - thanks for the pointers to what promise to be great resources!

I can think of another important function of the community bulletin boards - death notices. It has struck me several times on past trips to Italy that these, perhaps as much as anything, point out the nature of Italy's tight-knit communities - the passing of a neighbor is important to everyone!

Thanks for continuing share your Italy with us.

Jane said...

Jerry and Judy, I'm pleased that you will be able to use this info. I hope others will, too. Judy, you are right about the other type of notices.

Sure wish we could all be here at the same time, some day.

Nancy said...

Jane, thank you so much for that info! I am sure that other parts of Italy have those same bulletinboards and local publications.

Now, to learn to read them . . .


Jane said...

Nancy, yes these boards are a major source of communication all over Italy. In fact, the picture I used here was one I had taken a few years ago in Montepulciano.