Easter in Italy is not a short celebration but rather, celebrated over five days starting the Thursday before Easter Sunday and finishing the following Monday. It starts with a wide range of religious and folkloric events then ends with colorfully wrapped chocolate eggs with hidden surprises and picnics in the countryside.

Easter in Tuscany for many signals the beginning of spring, with its colorful blossoms and mild temperatures. The event, which varies every year according to the Christian calendar (falling anywhere between the 22nd of March and the 25th of April), is also synonymous with parades recreating events from the Crusades, revocations of religious events, elaborate floral decorations in churches like that in San Casciano (only 1 hour from Villa Sensano) and many folkloric festivals.


The first of the Easter celebrations, starting on Holy Thursday, will have churches opening their doors and welcoming followers to visit their altars which are elaborately decorated with flowers meant to pay respect to Jesus during his time of death and to celebrate His rebirth. All are welcome to visit the churches to see the various celebrations in both the city center and in the surrounding hill towns, thus making this a great day to take a day trip to one of the surrounding towns like Volterra or San Gimignano.


Good Friday

If you are walking around on Good Friday or the Saturday before Easter, you may catch a glimpse of one of the many religious processions that parade through the city centers of many towns in Tuscany. They can be quite intriguing as participants are dressed up in historic costumes and they proceed through the streets with a statue of the Virgin Mary and Jesus on their shoulders.


The tradition in Pienza on Good Friday includes a procession which starts and ends in front of the Cathedral and entails the statue of Christ preceded by twelve hooded figures from the ‘Scalzi‘ organizaiton who walk barefoot and with torches in their hands, announcing the arrival of the other protagonists of the procession, accompanied by the solemn music of the band.

Every three years (and 2018 is one of them), during the Easter period, Casole d’Elsa goes back in time with the representation of the Historical Procession of Good Friday starting at 9:30 pm and it is free entrance. The entire historic center will be surrounded by the evocative atmosphere created by the presence of ancient Romans and commoners who will accompany the body of Jesus deposed from the beautiful Collegiate Church of Santa Maria Assunta. On the Monday after Easter there is the Fiera di Albis.

Both this two lovely villages are close to Villa Sensano, Casole only 30 minuts by car, in any case you can visit it going to Siena.



In Italy, the day after Easter, Easter Monday, is known as Pasquetta and it is a national holiday celebrating Jesus after His resurrection. Italians usually spend this day with their families, however, this does not mean the city shuts down and closes its doors because many Italians, as well as tourists alike, enjoy going out to eat and taking a stroll through the center or along the Arno (in Florence and Pisa).

Italians take this day typically to enjoy a picnic with family outdoors with traditional foods of the season such as pecorino cheese, fresh fava beans, bread, olives and red wine.

You can do it, stopping you on the way and sitting on a green land around the area of Villa Sensano or directly in the wonderful garden of the Villa.



In the spirit of Easter, many towns in Tuscany have outdoor markets selling various things from food to homemade goods to antiques and handcrafts. Siena usually holds a large market all day starting at 9:00 a.m on Easter Monday which sells everything from food and deserts to toys, ceramics, leather goods and books.

Happy Easter at Villa Sensano!




What about spending your anniversary in Tuscany? Maybe you’d like to be in Tuscany. Maybe you’re planning to visit Tuscany with the one you love and you’re looking for some special spots to pick up.
Anyhow, here are many romantic places in Tuscany next to Relais Villa Sensano and here are some of them!


San Galgano abbey
The abbey of San Galgano stands in the valley of the Merse river, between the villages of Chiusdino and Monticiano, a few kilometers south of Siena and 50km from Villa Sensano. This Gothic cathedral is not only one of the most beautiful and striking buildings in Tuscany, with its roof of sky, clouds and stars. San Galgano is also the most romantic location that you could ever imagine for a wedding (yes, is possible to get married here!).


San Pietro a Romena church
The church of San Pietro a Romena is a Romanesque architectural jewel, surrounded by the beautiful Casentino countryside. It is dedicated to San Pietro Apostolo and is considered one of the most important churches in the area, with its beautiful architecture of the interior: three naves divided by decorated stone pillars and asymmetrical windows that create a special effect with the light that pours through them. … and yes, you can get married here, too!


Lucignano and the Tree of Love
In Tuscany there is an actual “village of love”: Lucignano, in the hills between Arezzo and Siena and only 36km from Villa Sensano.

A small walled medieval town, whose museum holds the only example in the world of a tree-shaped reliquary: the Golden Tree, also known as the Tree of Love. It’s a sculpture in gilded copper and silver, over two meters high and shaped like a tree, with gold leaves, crystals and corals falling from the branches. Tradition has it that in front of this masterpiece of the goldsmith, couples are to exchange vows of eternal love.


The Christmas Family

This is a tradition that celebrates the very origins of the Christian holidays, the physical representation of the birth of “bambino Gesù“. The Italian word for nativity scene or crib is “presepe”, and it is here in Italy that the tradition of representing the Holy Family at Christmas time became popular.


Though the nativity scenes in themselves vary as to the size, the material they are built with, even the number of elements, people, animals, dress, and activities that are figured – the main concept is always the same: la Madonna, Joseph and baby Jesus and though not mentioned in the original story, tradition will frequently add an angel presiding over everything, an ox and a donkey to the image. Sometimes it is located in a manger, sometimes a cave – sometimes with shepherds, and frequently with the three wise men.


Another common variation, is a “live presepe”, a solemn event where real people dress and pose in “character and parade through the city streets before establishing themselves in a ready made stable or cave.”

Both of these traditions are very much alive during the holiday season, especially in the period between the 25th of Dec and the 10th of January.


Where did it all Start? In Bethlehem.

The earliest re-enactment of the nativity scene we have on record is that of Saint Francis, who spent quite a bit of time in Tuscany. After having visited Bethlehem, he was compelled to ask the Pope for special permission to recreate the nativity scene, thus offering us the first “presepe vivente. It was set in a cave, with only a manger, straw, a cow and a donkey; San Francesco celebrated Christmas in 1223 in the small town of Greccio, and where they have built the Santuario di Greccio.

Shortly thereafter, we have a 3D representation by Arnolfo di Cambio, the man responsible for Palazzo Vecchio and the Castle of Poppi that is situated only a couple of hours from Villa Sensano.

The scene was commissioned by Pope Niccolò V with the idea to imitate that which San Francesco created in Greccio. It started as a “bas rilievo” (attached to a wall or stone slab) and over the years was re-worked by other artists to give it a “tutto tondo” look – meaning a stand alone sculpture look. It can now be seen at Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome.


Where to find these Amazing Scenes

In Tuscany, you are bound to find a presepe in every church you visit, many times though you will note that the manger or crib remains empty until the night of the 24th of December. However, some places go beyond the call of mere decoration and have poured heart and soul into creating an image that will express all their emotions during this very special time of the year.

One of the most beautiful close to Villa Sensano is Il presepe of Castelfiorentino, only 30 min by car.

Over than 60 cribs of various types and sizes located in 50 locations in a path between the streets of the old town. In addition to the now famous and partially renovated monumental “meteorological crib”, you can visit cribs of remarkable artistic thickness.

Presepe artistico Castelfiorentino gimp,




All the reasons why visiting between September and November and in April make perfect sense!

There are many good reasons for avoiding Tuscany during the summer months, including not experiencing some of the heat common in July and August. The high season for Tuscany starts with good weather between April and May and ends in September, generally speaking. The “low season” are the remaining months. If you’re afraid that coming in the off season means seeing less, think again: there are many events which take place in late autumn and through the winter months to keep you out and about as well as the chance to head to the main destinations without fear of the crowds.


First, let’s start with a list of the main reasons coming to Tuscany in the low season is a wonderful idea, in case you need some convincing ;) .

This is the main reason we love and recommend you visit during the off months of the year, where you will get a chance to see a different face to the region. There are less people around as you visit the main sights, less long lines and more space as you visit the region’s top museums, such as the Uffizi Gallery and Accademia in Florence. You can take your time and not feel rushed as a consequence of having less people around you.


Inevitably, during the period with higher demand, prices on some things go up, especially as regards accommodation and travel in general. For sure, airfare is generally cheaper in the off season (not counting large holiday periods) and but of the various types of lodgings will have rates for the low season and the high season. Villa Sensano always has a “mid” season and price accordingly. You can see dates for each period on our websites, where you can see all the wonderful apartments with their availabilities.



There are many temporary exhibits organized year-round and it is impossible to organize them all during the high season. There are very many special exhibitions that often start in September and end in January or February, if we are lucky for them to last that long. For example, the current exhibit (2017) on Ambrogio Lorenzetti in Siena is quite spectacular but will only last from October through January 2018.


A related benefit of visiting Europe during the autumn or spring season is that you can travel when there is less heat. Of course, some might find the temperatures a bit on the cold side, but it is all relative to what you’re used to. If you don’t like hot weather, then travel during these months is optimal and an advantage to consider.


As far as food is concerned, keep in mind that Tuscan cuisine is very seasonal and while prices don’t change, some products are best found in this period: freshly pressed Villa Sensano’s olive oil starts appearing in October and November, truffle and truffle festivals also take place during the same month.

olio pane

I hope I’ve given you enough reasons to plan for visiting Tuscany in the off season although it isn’t always easy to find the time off to travel during these months and book an apartment at Villa Sensano with a special rate!




From a small Italian community in 15th-century Florence, the Medici family would rise to rule Europe in many ways. Using charm, patronage, skill, duplicity and ruthlessness, they would amass unparalleled wealth and unprecedented power.


They would also ignite the most important cultural and artistic revolution in Western history–the European Renaissance. But the forces of change the Medici helped unleash would one day topple their ordered world. An epic drama played out in the courts, cathedrals and palaces of Europe, this series is both the tale of one family’s powerful ambition and of Europe’s tortured struggle to emerge from the ravages of the dark ages.


A tale of one family’s powerful ambition and of Europe’s struggle to emerge from the ravages of the Dark Ages. Beginning in the 14th century, The Medici used charm, skill and ruthlessness to garner unparalleled wealth and power. Standing at the helm of the Renaissance, they ruled Europe for more than 300 years and inspired the great artists, scientists and thinkers who gave birth to the modern world.


Medici: Masters of Florence is an Italian-British television drama series about the Medici dynasty set in 15th-century Florence, starring Dustin Hoffman as Giovanni di Bicci de’ Medici, Richard Madden as Cosimo de’ Medici, and Stuart Martin as Lorenzo de’ Medici (The Elder). The series was co-created by Frank Spotnitz (The X-Files and Man in the High Castle) and Nicholas Meyer (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan). Sergio Mimica-Gezzan (The Pillars of the Earth) directed all eight episodes


Volterra has been choosen  as location for the next season, at the end of September has been organized tha casting.



Villa Sensano is about 17 km fro Volterra, could be a wonderful experience partecipating in filming.