Home holiday - Maison de charme Even if Buca del Tasso is surrounded by the countryside, it is located in a strategic position both at national and regional level. In fact you can drive to Milan or Rome in about 4 hours. For fast movements you can reach Florence Peretola Airport or to the Pisa Airport, Galileo Galilei, in less than one hour. In less than 30 minutes, you can reach the city of Lucca (18Km), art city known as the city of 100 churches. Here you can take a beautiful walk on the tree-lined "Mura", which surround the old city, you can admire the view from  the top of Torre Guinigi and  Torre delle Ore. Enjoy a romantic walk along the small street and, even if we are in the  XXI° century, you will feel the atmosphere of  the XIV° century' s Lucca. In March there is Luccanimation. It is an international-festival competition for the best  video-animation  in the world. 27th April  is  S. Zita's day. The people who live in Lucca make a homage to the corpse of  S. Zita in  S. Frediano' s Church, with a bunch of daffodils while in  Amphitheatre's Square, there is a beautiful flower exhibition and  market. During the first fortnight of September Lucca Jazz Donna starts. On this occasion, in the old city, you can see the performances of the most famous female musicians. In the samemonth there is important for Lucca. On 13th September Lucca celebrates the Holy Cross with a "Luminara". It is very picturesque procession. People wear costumes and walk along the streets of the old city up to S. Martino's Cathedral. Another feast is S. Paolino' s, the city Patron Saint.The celebration culminates on July 12th with a competition called "Palio della Balestra da banco" crossbow competition. The city "Terzieri" challenge themselves, under the watchful eyes of the Podesta, the Lord and the notable families of the XIV°century. The Summer Festival is held in July. The most important international singers-perform on the stage in  Napoleone Square in the city centre. From the end of October to the first of November Lucca is the venue of  Lucca Comics and Games: an exhibition and market of comics and games. In the old city you can visit the Comics Museum, along with other  classical museums. Every third week-end, in some streets of the old city, there is the antique market. Montecatini Terme,  is 27 Km far. Here you will have the possibility to relax at the Spa, or go shopping in the many exclusive shops. In the evening  you can take the funicular to Montecatini Alto, have dinner there  while  admiring the  beautiful panorama and, to finish, what about a discotheque? In Pisa, which is about 50 km far, you can see the Lungarno,  the beautiful Cavallieri Square  with the tower where Count Ugolino ( Dante Alighieri is "Divina Commedia" - "Hell") was imprisoned with his children whom he eat to survive and one of most important Universities in the World  "La Normale". Of course you cannot miss the Miracles Square, with the Cathedral, the Baptistery and the Leaning Tower. In less than 40 minutes Versilia (50km far) is waiting for you with its beautiful and very exclusive (Forte dei Marmi) beach where you can go for a walk along the sea front. Do not miss the exciting night life in the many fashionable bars and restaurants and the famous "Capannina dei Franceschi" in  Forte dei Marmi. On 24th August from 7.00 to 24.00 there is S. Ermete' s Feast that closes the summer season in Forte dei Marmi. In the streets, lined the most exclusive shop, you will find a numberless stalls (about 400 authorized and as many illegal) selling good for all tastes. The celebration ends with the fireworks  on the sea. In less than one hour you can go to Florence (78Km) with its world famous collections of art in the "Uffizzi" Gallery and in other museums. If  you do not like spending your time in the museums you can visit Signoria Square, the Old Bridge, the Lungarno,  Boboli garden's etc. etc. . A very original event to see is  old Florence football's, which is not a football match but an old way to train boys in the art of fight. Today you can see this event, in S. Croce Square, on June 16th, 24th and 30th  to celebrate the Patron Saint S. Giovanni. On 30th June there is  the final match and then a fireworks show. A long parade presided over by noblemen on their horse, leaves from S. Maria Novella and reaches S. Croce Square, where the game starts with the shout "Viva Firenze!". For one hours the fighters, dressed in clothes of the XV°century, fight to recall the famous match on the 1530 and celebrate a memorable page of the glorious history of Florence. On Easter Saturday, instead, you can see the burst of the cart, an attraction which goes back to the First Crusade, where the people of Florence took  parting the Crusade led by Pazzino di Ranieri de' Pazzi. On 15 July 1099, after a long siege, the Crusade army conquered Jerusalem; and Pazzino, was rewarded by  Goffredo IV° Duke of Buillon (nicknamed "Buglione") from low Lorena, with 3 stone chips from the Holy Sepulchre of Christ. The relics were taken to Florence in 1101 and entrusted to the Pazzi family. The 3 stones were used to sparkle a "new" fire (Easter symbol for a new life). After being blessed, the fire was given to the families to light their hearth. This is how in Florence spread the habit of distributing the "Holy Spirit" to the clergy and the people, as a symbol of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. On Easter Sunday a big cart, the same as the one of the XVIII° century, decorated with festoons and drawn by  two white oxes  parades along  the streets of Florence from Porta a Prato, where it remains for 364 days, to the Cathedral' s Square. A steel wire connects it to the Altar of the Cathedral. During the Mass, at midday, in the moment of the "Alleluja" the Archbishop fires a rocket that look likes a dove ( which reminds of the Holy fire sparkled by the 3 old stones). The rocket, which is connected to the wire, reaches the cart stuffed with fireworks and makes it explode to the big happiness of the viewers. According to the old tradition, if the little dove did not reach the cart the new harvest would not be good. Today it is interpreted as a symbol of good or bad omen for the city of Florence. If you are wine lovers, you can follow the "wine street" full of famous small and big cellars where you can taste excellent types of wine. Buca del Tasso  is on this street but we do not produce wine. If you follow this route you get to the sweet Chianti hills and reach  Siena (120 km). It is a wonderful city where you can admire the Mangia' s tower in the Del Campo' s Square and many other interesting places. Del Campo Square is well know for two horse races: on 2nd July "Provenzano horse-race" and on 16th August the more important and famous "Assunta horse-race". Nine of the city districts take part in the race. The horses run around the shell for 3 times and the winner which ranks first wins, even without its jockey! The prize is called "Drappellone" and it is made by a different artist each year. The prize is then jealously kept in the district museum. Do not forget to visit the old Lucca' s Villas, where can admire the most beautiful old residences furnish with a their original furniture, and surrounded by delightful parks. In less than 6 Km there is Collodi, "Pinocchio' s" village. Here the children can spend an afternoon in the recreation ground, while the adults can visit both the park of the Garzoni Villa' - the family of "Pinocchio" is author, Carlo Lorenzini - where the Butterfly House was opened and the Villa,  restored in the 2007. In Montecarlo, a charming and fortified little village on the hills, the  traditional  harvest feast is held the second week of September. In  a few words, this area is for those people who love the countryside and sports activities like tracking, horse riding, swimming and mountain biking. But it is also for those who want to relax , visit art cities and enjoy themselves at night in the many restaurants and bars scattered in the area.           © Buca del Tasso. All rigts reserved