Sunday, May 19: CORTILI E GIARDINI APERTI (Open Courtyards and Gardens in Tuscany). Locations open from 10 am – 1 pm, 2 – 6 pm (unless otherwise stated). Free admission.
Those looking to discover Tuscany’s historical treasures can do so at the exclusive annual opening of private gardens and courtyards, thanks to the ADSI (Association of Historic Italian Dwellings). Over 100 historic homes, parks and wine cellars will be open to the public in an effort to preserve and promote Tuscany’s unique artistic heritage. This year’s event will showcase palaces and gardens throughout Florence, Pistoia, Lucca, Massa Carrara, Pisa, Livorno, Siena and Arezzo, and their surrounding villas, with cities offering guided tours at an additional cost (reservation required).
SITES NEAR LUCCA
- Giardino Elisa (via Elisa 54)
- Giardino di Palazzo Massoni (via dell’Angelo Custode 24)
- Complesso Conventuale di San Francesco (piazza San Francesco). Open 10 am – 7 pm. Guests will be able to explore the church and convents at this site.
- Giardino di Palazzo Busdraghi (via Busdraghi 7)
Giardino Elisa was designed in the form of a triangle, named for the Duchess of Lucca Elisa Bonaparte Baiocchi. The garden was first designed in 1812 and has since evolved to keep up with the times, now serving as a popular wedding destination.
Lucca is offering two guided tours which will commence at Porta Elisa Info Point (10 am & 3 pm; €10 for each tour, free for those 14 years and under if accompanied by an adult). For information and reservations visit www.turislucca.com or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
SITES NEAR PISA
- Palazzo Blu (Lungarno Gambacorti 9). Open 10 am – 8 pm. Free guided tours at 10:30 am & 5:30 pm, for information and reservations contact 050 2204650.
- Palazzo del Vigna, Royal Victoria Hotel (lungarno Pacinotti 12)
- Villa Poschi (via Statale Abetone 212, Pugnano, San Guiliano Terme)
- Giardino di Villa Anna Maria de Lanfranchi (via Statale Abetone 146, Molina di Quosa, San Giuliano Terme)
- Villa Alta (via Statale Abetone 110, Rigoli, San Giuliano Terme). Music performances and guided tours by the owners will be available.
- Parco della Villa di Corliano (via Statale Abetone 50, San Giuliano Terme)
- Badia di Morrona (via di Badia 8, Morrona, Terricciola)
- Giardino Venerosi Pesciolini, Il Giardino Sonoro di Ghizzano (via della Chiesa 4, Ghizzano, Peccioli). An interactive show ‘Le Metamorfosi di Ovidio’ by Immacolata Datti, Antonella Civale and Davide Barittoni will be presented.
- Castello Ginori di Querceto (via Lisci, Querceto, Montecatini Val di Cecina). The Castle’s Enoteca ‘La Dispensa del Castello’ will be open to the public (10 am – 1 pm & 4 – 8 pm). Guided tours of the village and the castle’s ballroom will also be available (10 am & 4 pm). For information and reservations contact 345 3234042.
Giardino Venerosi Pesciolini is the garden of an ancient castle that has remained with the same family since 1370, around 630 years in total. The show “Le Metamorfosi di Ovidio” is a visual and audio installation located in the Garden’s Giardino Sonoro di Ghizzano of works created from trees while Ovid’s stories of metamorphosis and change are narrated in the background.
Guests can discover the historical sites of Palazzo Blu and Palazzo del Vigna in a guided tour, meeting at Piazza Garibaldi (10:30 am; €10, reduced €8 for members and students, free for those aged 16 years and under if accompanied by an adult). For information and reservations contact 320 9154975 or email@example.com.
SITES NEAR SIENA
- Castello di Fonterutoli (Piazza La Pira 2, Fonterutoli, Castellina in Chianti). Open 9 am – 5:30 pm. Guests will have the opportunity to participate in wine tastings for a fee. For information and reservations contact 0577 741385 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Castello di Cacchiano (Cacchiano, Monti in Chianti, Gaiole in Chianti). Open 10 am – 12:30 pm & 2:30 – 6 pm. Guided tours will be available outside the castle.
- Parco della Villa di Geggiano (Geggiano 1, Ponte a Bozzone, Castelnuovo Berardenga)
- Castello di Belcaro (strada di Terrensano e Belcaro 32, Belcaro). Guests can explore the garden, the chapel, the greenhouse, an old oil mill, a winery and more.
- Villa L’Apparita (Strada di Ginestreto 1)
- Castello di San Fabiano (via di San Martino 1000A, Monteroni d’Arbia). Guided tours are offered every 20 minutes at the Conte Fiorentino Fiorentini, last visit at 5:30 pm.
- Castello Montelifré (Montelifré n. 29/a, Montalcino). Open 10 am – 2 pm.
- Parco del Castello di Castelrosi (strada Provinciale di Bibbiano, Castelrosi, Buonconvento)
- Casa dell’Abate Naldi (via Dante Alighieri 24, San Quirico d’Orcia)
Castello di Fonterutoli is located in the town on the border between Siena and Florence, which the two provinces decided in the early 13th century after a competition to see whose knight could travel faster at the rooster’s crow; Florence played a trick to make their rooster crow earlier so that their knight had more time to travel, making the emblem of this town the black rooster. The garden itself is very proud of its winery and wine tours, with one of their wines being named the Black Rooster.
Further down south in Crete Senesi is the remodeled Castello di San Fabiano, via di San Martino 1000A. Now a Bed & Breakfast, the Castello still maintains its gorgeous gardens alongside modern additions.
A guided tour will be available of the Castello di Belcaro and Villa L’Apparita, led by the Siena Guide Center (€6). For information and reservations contact 0577 43273 or email@example.com.
SITES NEAR AREZZO
- Castello di Porciano (via Dante Alighieri, Porciano, Pratovecchio Stia)
- Castello dei Conti Guidi (Castel San Niccolò, Strada in Casentino). Open 2 – 6 pm. Guided tours are offered every hour, for information contact 339 8724833.
- Palazzo Martellini – Montini (via Cappucci 8, Bibbiena)
- Parco Botanico di Villa Della Nave (via Valcello 3, Cicogna, Terranuova Bracciolini). Guests can only access the botanical garden in a free guided tour at 11 am or 3 pm, meeting in front of the Church of Santa Lucia in Cicogna. For information and reservations contact 328 2024692.
- Castello di Montozzi (via Castello di Montozzi 6, Pergine Valdarno, Laterina). Guided tours by Dr. Angela Bartolini Baldelli of the villa, park and ancient cellars will be available.
- Palazzo Guillichini (Corso Italia 113). Open 10 am – 1 pm & 2 – 6 pm. Guests can join Dr. Liletta Fornasari in the conversatory for a talk (4 pm).
- Giardino del Castello di Montecchio Vesponi (via Montecchio Vesponi, Montecchio, Castiglion Fiorentino). Open 10 am – 12 pm & 3 – 6 pm.
- Villa Sandrelli (via Lauretana 1, Camucia, Cortona)
Several gorgeous castles in the Casentino valley of Arezzo show off the ancient Etruscan and Roman history that is sprinkled all throughout the region. The Castello di Porciano is an early renaissance castle that was inherited by Italian noblewoman Flaminia Goretti and was restored by her and her husband, American soldier George Anderson Specht, after WWII.
Castello dei Conti Guidi, or Poppi Castle, is best known for hosting Dante, the world-renowned author, in 1310 after his exile from Florence.
For the complete listing and times, see www.adsi.it. (stephanie d’amelio & tessa lucia debole)