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Cardoons in the Val d’Orcia style

  • Published in Forum

The most frequent recipe in Val d’Orcia is the winter one for cardoons, even though in Montalcinowe use the same recipe for celery which we eat

Leone Rosso Orcia DOC with "gobbi rifatti" recipe

Gobbi rifatti Tuscan recipe and Leone Rosso DOC Orcia

in August

Seen for you by Donatella Cinelli Colombini

Cardoons are among the tastiest and most refined vegetables that can be found. The term “gobbo” is used mainly in Tuscany while in Veneto it becomes “cardo” and in Nizza Monferrato “cardo-gobbo”. This is a wild artichoke, beautiful to see, in fact its leaves and flowers dominate the damasks , brocades and two pile velvets from the 17th and 18th century. Read more…

Sweet Easter bread from Montalcino

It is called schiacciata, which means flat, but it is anything but flat. In Montalcino and in Siena it is a typical cake for Easter to make at home.

by Donatella Cinelli Colombini

Ingredients for a Tuscan cake for Easter time

Easter time ingredients for "schiacciata di Pasqua"

Be careful though, in the eastern part of the Siena province the schiacciata di Pasqua is savory, enriched with cheese and prosciutto. It is used to interrupt the fasting period on the Sunday morning before going to high Mass.

I remember that for my first Easter Sunday at Fattoria del Colle in Trequanda I had prepared a wonderful menu for that day in the restaurant I had just opened. Half way through the lunch the Maitre Walter Marconi, from Montalcino like me, ran to tell me that the schiacciate, instead of being sweet, as we were used to were savoury, so we could not use them as a dessert. We remedies somehow but it was a real shock, because I was sure I knew the territory well but instead I learnt that the Val d’Orcia and the Valdichiana are two separate worlds, both fascinating, rich in stories, but to know one does not mean you know the other. Read more…


A tour in a winery in Tuscany to discover traditions

I would have never thought that some of the old traditions I have discovered during my working experience at Fattoria del Colle were the same I already knew and grew up with. It has simply been a rediscovery.

I was born in Chiusi, a small village located on the border between Tuscany and Umbria, south of Siena. It is an old town with Etruscan origins surrounded by countryside and small lakes.

I have always wished to leave the countryside, and sometimes I did, to look for different spaces, different ways of living and views. Always very nice!

the kitchen of the farm

the kitchen of the farm

At Fattoria del Colle, located between Crete Senesi and Val d’Orcia and not far from Chiusi, I have found a place projected into the future but with strong ties with the past and its traditions. It is a place that makes its key feature the old customs, the old tales, the old winter games and folk evenings, nature and contact with it.
All this is a precious cultural richness which it is worth to transmit to all the guests who come for a visit  or for a holiday  in Tuscany.
And the interest that all this inspires in them is evident..
I remember once, I was carrying out a guided tour of the estate trying to catch the attention of a group who’s wish was to visit a real old farm, beside their interest in wine .
I had the impression that at the beginning they where thinking I was telling something I had only heard about, but when I specified that at home I had the same old jars for the extra virgin olive oil that I was showing them, their interest immediately changed. This increased when I showed them the old kitchen with the original fireplace. It has a corner used in the past as an incubator for the small chicks during winter. I added that my grandmother used to bring the chicks next to the fireplace to protect them from the cold winter. This habit was the same until some years ago in large and small houses. I thus became a witness and not only a teller!

All of this I had already experienced in my childhood in the small village I was born in and the experience at Fattoria del Colle helped me to rediscover and to share with people some of my most vivid memories:

My grandmother who every Sunday morning made hand made pasta and ran behind me screaming because I pressed the pici against the table ruining her job.
The vegetable garden so dear to my father and so rich in fresh vegetables and fruit all year long.
The long walks in the countryside looking for chamomile or mauve and other medicinal plants.
The hand made jams! How delicious and what fun to prepare them at home!

Whatever they are, our roots are so important that each one of us should be aware of their value and utility, without loosing the curiosity to discover the new and the modern, of course!
Alessia Bianchi

 

Massage therapy and Spa during your holiday in Tuscany

Regenerate with massages, heat, relax and Jacuzzi in front of a magnificent panorama, this is what is on offer for guests coming to Fattoria del Colle on holiday

Jacuzzi con vista sulla Val d'Orcia

Jacuzzi con vista sulla Val d'Orcia

In the wellness centre at Fattoria del Colle the massage room is ready. It is an intimate and comfortable place where the same character of the whole structure is re-proposed with its old stone walls, tile frames with floral designs, windows over a beautiful breathtaking panorama … there is even an old cloche hanger to get away from the “new feeling “ of the place. . It is connected to the wellness centre through an opaque glass door and allows one to view the wellness itinerary made of water, heat, relaxation, panoramas and if desired a toast with great red wines in the Jacuzzi.

The wellness centre at Fattoria del Colle is in the court yard behind the 16th century. It looks over the wonderful panorama of the Crete Senesiand of

Particolare Sala relax centro benessere

Particolare Sala relax centro benessere

the Val d’Orcia where no building interferes with the immense landscape, which is harmonious and unchanged through the centuries.
A maximum of six people can enter at a time, but it is also possible to use the structure exclusively. The itinerary includes sauna, Turkish bath, sensorial shower and footbath, relaxation room and Jacuzzi. This is in fact the most exceptional factor thank to the beauty of the panorama and the possibility of being cradled by the water and lights, sipping Brunello and other wines by Donatella Cinelli Colombini in goblets made of plastic especially for being used in water.
All around the stone walls and the hand made tile which recall the “Odalisques” and the “Bagnanti”  by Jean August Ingres contribute to create that well being and romantic and voluptuous atmosphere necessary to transform a farm holiday in Tuscany into a moment of physical and psychological regeneration.

Seen for you by Donatella Cinelli Colombini


The sexy mermaids in Val d’ Orcia

  • Published in Forum

Everyone knows about the Andersen mermaid but here in Val d’ Orcia we have sexy mermaids with two tails and posing in a provocative position

Pieve-di-Corsignano-Pienza-luring-mermaid

Pieve-di-Corsignano-Pienza-luring-mermaid

Near Fattoria del Colle in Trequanda and Casato Prime Donne in Montalcino, in southern Tuscany, it is possible to find the luring-mermaids. Here are the instructions for a very enjoyable cultural experience. The most famous luring mermaids are at Pieve di Corsignano in Pienza, in San Bartolomeo in Montefollonico and in the archaeological museum in Pienza which has just opened. The latter is an urn made of a type of stone that when wet smells. Found in Cretaiole. Such mermaids are found also on the handles of Etruscan vases found at Poggio Tolle della Foce. So in prehistoric times up until Romanic times the mermaid with two tails appears often in Val d’Orcia and always in a provocative pose. Well mermaids have always been known as temptresses, remember Ulysses? The local one has her finned legs wide open and her feminine groin well in view.

But who is this luring mermaid from the Val d’ Orcia who surpasses civilizations, religions, and even the new millennium by being re-proposed from Etruscan times up until medieval times?

According to Elemire Zolla, Silvio Bernardini and Iris Origo it is a pagan god of

 Montefollonico-San-Bartolomeo-Mermaid

Montefollonico-San-Bartolomeo-Mermaid

fertility who survived into Christian times in a farming ambit. A bit like the “tirso dionisiaco” at the ”festa di Santa Maria ad Lamulas” in Arcidosso. In fact for the luring mermaids it was also thought that they recall Dionysian rites.

So here is a nice adventure, a mix of sacred and profane, legend and archaeology: discovering the luring-mermaids

Ceramics-in-Montefollonico

Ceramics-in-Montefollonico

If you like you can even buy one, as the church called San Bartolomeo in Montefollonico has now been transformed into a ceramic laboratory and the artist who works there has created many splendid objects in terracotta representing this subject.

Who would you give a luring mermaid to?

 

Seen for you by Donatella Cinelli Colombini

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