The summer is when Tuscany’s colours really stand out, the dark green of the cypress trees against the soft sandy browns of the drying grasses and the olive groves, the rows of bright green vines already hanging with this years hopeful crop, the fields of sunflowers tracking the sun like sun-worshipers.
Yes, it can get pretty hot in the summer, but it is rarely oppressive, and at Patrignone we are high enough in the hills to be significantly cooler than anywhere else.
And anyway, you have a lovely pool to cool off in, plenty of cool breezy shade in which to lounge around and read when (not if) you take time off from your sight-seeing.
Because although Tuscany is one of the most culturally rich areas of the World, you would be missing the point and the inspiration for all this art if you don’t spend some time relaxing and taking in the sounds, the scent and the colour.
There are hundreds of events on in the summer period, but here are our top tips:
For more local festivals and events when you visit have a look at The Florentine, a really useful listings site in English.
Well June marks the start of the summer season, and suddenly everyone is eating outside. The t-shirts are out, the sweaters have long been packed away. The fresh vegetables are in full flow, garlic, onions, radicchio, carrots, sage, rosemary, and plenty of wild thyme, wild mint, and wild fennel, all of which find their way into our cooking. Fresh tomatoes are in evidence everywhere, with such strong, fresh flavours that with a splash of olive oil, they make a meal of their own.
July brings mountains of sweet, succulent fresh fruit: nectarines, peaches, melons, and plums are all stunning. Chillies, onions and celery also feature strongly, as well as early summer berries. The barbeques are fired up in earnest, and mouth-watering smell of fresh salsiccia and Fiorentina steak roasting over charcoal is enough to drive you nuts.
August is the month when absolutely everything is available in plenty, including the heat. You’ll be glad you are sleeping high up in the hills with your windows open to let in the cool night air. Definitely a month for light fresh salads, filled with a dozen different kinds of fresh green leaves and ripe tomatoes, with a hint of chilli to help cool you down. And lots and lots of ice-cream!
September brings cooler days, amazing light, and stunning sunsets. It also brings super-sweet figs and grapes, pomegranates, fennel and the first of the wild mushrooms.