A WORKSHOP AT THE FLORENCE LEATHER SCHOOL
Scuola del Cuoio was founded in Florence after World War II with the purpose of reviving the minor arts and drawing from the experience of master craftsmen. You are invited to attend a special workshop at the school to prepare a wonderful, handmade Christmas present to surprise a loved one with or enjoy for yourself.
A three-hour workshop will teach you how to make a beautiful leather-covered journal under the guidance of a master craftsman. A six-hour workshop is also available for you to learn how to assemble, hand stitch and finish a cowhide belt with solid buckle. The belt will be personalized by embossing a monogram by the buckle.
A six-hour workshop can also take place to create a special and unique ladies’ purse. This workshop can have a maximum of two participants and will teach you both cross and straight styles of hand stitching. You will be offered a selection of leathers, linen treads, colorful beads and small jewels to further personalize and embellish the bag.
The lessons are private, and the cost depends on the number of participants. Payment must be made in advance via wire transfer or credit card.
Reservation upon advance request and availability.
WATCHING THE STARS IN A CASTLE
Stargazing is fascinating and relaxing and Casali di Casole is positioned in an idyllic area without light pollution.
About 15 minutes away from the estate you can immerse yourself in the unique experience of watching the stars in an astronomical observatory built in the ancient castle Castello di Montarrenti.
The area where the castle now stands has been inhabited since the VII century and has seen many famous faces from the Longobards in the XII century to the senese aristocracy during the XVIII century.
We can arrange a private night in this special setting to watch the stars with an expert who will lead you through the mysteries of the stars, their cycles and the laws that regulate the universe we live in.
The activity will start at varied times based on the season and you will need dark, clear nights to watch the stars. In case of cloudy skies or inclement weather the event can be moved to a later date or cancelled without penalty. The activity will take place outside, so we recommend wearing comfortable, warm clothes. The reservation is upon availability and has to be made 15 days in advance. The cost is €100 total to be paid in cash at the end of the experience. The experience must be cancelled four days in advance to avoid charges.
WINTER EXPERIENCE AT PODERE LE RIPI
The winery Le Ripi, located in the Montalcino area close by the wonderful S. Antimo Abbey, has quickly become one of our Owners’ and guests’ favorite.
Located an hour and a half from the property, the winery is run by young and talented specialists who treat Casali di Casole guests extremely well and are always offering fun activities related to their delicious wine and the Tuscan food culture.
Starting in November they will lead you on an exclusive journey that will allow you to discover the winter flavors such as white truffle, porcini mushrooms and the best game meat dressed with freshly pressed olive oil.
You will be able to customize your experience, enjoy the magical atmosphere of the fall and the winter in the Tuscan countryside and taste the wonderful fresh meals and wines.
Please inquire with your Concierge about specific details and costs.
HIKE ON THE MONTAGNOLA SENESE
Our favorite hiking guide will be pleased to take you on a journey to rediscover the Montagnola Senese on paths that combine nature, history and food.
You will explore the ancient road that connects the small town of Stigliano to Torri, where you will admire the medieval cloister, a hidden jewel off the touristy paths. You will then admire a beautiful view over the countryside. The walk will end back at Stigliano, where you can have the traditional Tuscan snack, merenda, in a wonderful organic store or have a traditional Tuscan lunch.
This experience includes two hours of easy to medium walking a distance of four miles. The meeting point is Bottega di Stigliano and the total duration including time for lunch or a snack is three hours.
The cost, not including meals, is €170, which will added to your final bill. The cancellation policy is four days prior to avoid charges.
A SPECIAL TOUR OF FLORENCE
Winter is the best time of the year to stroll around Florence and enjoy its treasures and art without traffic or large crowds. Our wonderful, professional guides will lead you off the beaten path to discover the glorious history of the protagonists of the renaissance era.
Michelangelo, called “Il divino” by his contemporaries, was considered the greatest living artist of his time and he has since been described as one of the greatest artists of all time. This tour will focus on Michelangelo’s life, his expertise, his passions and his enormous love for art. You will discover why popes and bankers were willing to pay anything in exchange for one of his works.
The cost for this private tour of up to 4 hours is €280.00 while a full day tour up to 6 hours costs €415.00 not including the entrance tickets to the museums. Payment will be added to your final bill and museum entrance will be paid directly to the museum. The cancellation policy is 4 days in advance to avoid charges.
EVENTS IN THE AREA
For New Year’s Eve the local towns will arrange concerts in the squares open to everyone.
Florence and Siena will be especially lively, and in San Gimignano smaller events take place.
Please ask your Concierge about the details that will be available from mid-December.
LIVING NATIVITY IN CASOLE D’ELSA
Casole D’Elsa, center of the town, January 1,5, and 6, 2020
An important holiday season event is the Living Nativity of Casole, an impressive and accurate reconstruction of Bethlehem two thousand years ago.
With 250 characters in costume and many food and drink stands, this is a fun event suitable for both adults and children. The first section portrays the Roman presence in Palestine in an amphitheatre where richly dressed patricians gathered, bought slaves and generally looked imperial and indolent.
This event will transform you back into a different era as shepherds care for live animals and bonfires to warm themselves, soldiers supervise the census, and elderly women spin wool with a drop spindle and prepare flour being stone-ground, sifted and made into bread. The very realistic marketplace is complete with geese in wooden cages along with spices and food for sale.
On January 6, live camels arrive in the village bearing gifts for Jesus along with the three wise men. The cost to enter the village and experience the nativity is €10 per person to be paid on site.