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“Copate” typical Sienese torrone

This is one of the least known traditional Sienese Christmas cakes, it is delicious and among the most expensive, best enjoyed with a glass of Vinsanto

Le Copate

Le Copate

By Alice Bracciali, Fattoria del Colle

The origin of this cake is uncertain, as is the origin of its name. The word “copata” should derive from Latin “copatus” which in this case, would take on the meaning coupled, to indicate that the mixture is enclosed among two hosts, but it is also possible that it might come from the Arab “qubbaita”, which means “almond cake”, and this would prove that its story begins very far away. Read more…

Donatella Cinelli Colombini presents herself

How can I describe myself? I am imaginative, hard working and lucky. I am also short, a little plump, sensitive to the cold, and attracted by people, places and activities that I do not know

Donatella and Violante at Casato Prime Donne Montalcino

By Donatella Cinelli Colombini

First of all I would like to tell you something that very few people know. I am dyslexic, (please check  for a brilliant article by Tina Richards for those with dyslexia who rely on web accessibility).I grew up in a period where no one knew what dyslexia was and when children who per slower in learning were considered retarded. Only when my daughter Violante also showed the same disability I understood the pros and cons in having a different concept of space, but we are also determined and we have an exceptional ability in organization, for this reason many architects are dyslexic .

I studied History of medieval art. You might say << whatever for as you are a wine producer?>> Incredibly it is very useful. At the end of the 1970’s there were no computers , not even in the large libraries, and to do research meant that you had to use every little part of your brain, after then I have never again worked so hard and had such  exiting times.

History of art is my great love (after my husband obviously), for years I avoided going to museums, this because I could not stand no longer having the knack in understanding epochs, provenance and creators…just like a musician going deaf. Now I once again enjoy going to museums. I even took the Brunello producers to the Guggenheim in NY, and to the Art Institute in Chicago.

Read more…

Love at first sight for Vernaccia riserva

  • Published in Forum

Vernaccia di San Gimignano to be framed and rediscovered: finesse, personality and harmony much superior to long ago; in the Riserva version it bowls over the Gourmets

Seen for you by Donatella Cinelli Colombini

Il Mestolo restaurant - dinner with Vernaccia di San Gimignano

Il Mestolo restaurant - dinner with Vernaccia di San Gimignano

For someone from Siena to rediscover Vernaccia di San Gimignano is like for an Eskimo to realize that ice is cold. Something evident hat you have always had under your nose and consequently you do not observe with the necessary attention. This is why the members of the Union Européenne des Gourmets in Siena get bowled over in front of the lavish and elegant character of the Vernaccia Riserva. Obviously the explanations given by Stefano Campatelli and a 15 kg greater amberjack prepared divinely by Nicoletta chef at the Il Mestolo restaurant are accomplices …. the 35 diners have had a collective sense of love at first sight.
The evening was special for me too as I was celebrating my recent nomination as Cavaliere della Repubblica /knighthood) and the Consul Alessandro Bonelli awards me a plaque in the name of the club. Read more…

Siena online beats Florence, with its Palio, wine and Saints

  • Published in Forum

In the trip section of Google searches for the word Siena beat Firenze. But in e-commerce wine dominates all with tuscany wine and tuscany wine tours

Siena-Duomo-the sky's door

Siena-Duomo-the sky's door

Read for you by Donatella Cinelli Colombini
The keywords that are most searched regard hotels and apartments or trip instructions. Information regarding things to be seen also attract the online reader with the Duomo in one of the first positions thanks to its historiated flooring, the largest in the world, and also thanks to the recent opening to the public of its lofts – la porta del cielo – from where it is possible to admire the inside of the cathedral. In the midst of words that are really connected to the city appears the car Fiat Grand Siena that in 2013, thanks to a publicity campaign created an authentic increase in interest regarding this name especially in Brazil and Argentina. Read more…

Vote for the best photograph for the Casato Prime Donne award 2013

Vote for the most beautiful photograph of the Brunello and Orcia territories, a wonderful countryside that Unesco, has in part, selected as a World heritage site

By Donatella Cinelli Colombini

Check  the 5 finalist images and vote for your favourite one. Click the banner below 

"Casato Prime Donne" Award vote for the best photo

Vote for the best photo!

Want to know more? Visit

The voting box is on the right high up in the page, there is also some information regarding the award and the winners of past editions.

The 5 finalist photographs are really wonderful; they have been chosen by the  Casato Prime Donne 2013 jury which includes Francesca Cinelli Colombini, Rosy Bindi, Anselma Dell’Olio, Anna Pesenti, Stefania Rossini, Anna Scafuri e Daniela Viglione.

From these 5, with your vote, you will help decide the winner.

Montalcino, 2012 winning photo

Gianfranco Bracci, winning photo 2012

They portray the territory in Southern  Tuscany where special wines like  Brunello and Orcia are made. Hills where man and natures work have created a perfect harmony which has miraculously been preserved through time. A territory which has been photographed millions of times and so, it really is difficult to catch a special shot as everything is a  déjà vu and it is very easy to be rhetoric.

The Casato Prime Donne award, has now reached its 15th edition. It emphasizes the best journalistic and photographic contributions regarding the wine territories south of Siena, and every year it chooses a  “Prima Donna”. An emblematic personality, from the world of women, who has   given meaningful help or who has been of example to other women. In the past  we have had winners such as the stylist Carla Fendi, the astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, the scientist Ilaria Capua and the courageous mayor from  Locride  Maria Carmela Lanzetta.

Those visiting  Casato Prime Donne find a trace of these extraordinary women , as they have left a quotation next to the works of art by young artists.

In the hall dedicated to Ilda Bartoloni, the journalist to whom we owe the present format of the award,  we exhibit the winning photographs of the past 15 editions. A spectacular panorama of the Brunello and Orcia territories seen by the greatest landscape and travel photographers. We’ll be waiting for you !

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