Knit Picks Autumn Fashion

Knit Picks Autumn Fashion: A Cozy Shoot at Villa di Petroio

We had the pleasure of working with the Independent and The i Paper’s award-winning fashion publication at our very own Villa di Petroio for a glamorous fashion photoshoot. A beautiful Tuscan backdrop for next season’s cozy knitted look.

Read the article.

Independent I, 10th August 2015


The Independent, 10th August 2015



The Independent Online, 10th August 2015

Independent Online 1

Independent Online 2

An American Expat’s Tuscan Story

Lots of people dream of moving to Italy for its lush scenery, wonderful food and delicious wine. We got in touch with Rachel Vermiglio Smith to get insider tips on what it’s like to move to Tuscany from America, and how you can prepare for a cross-country relocation.

Rachel 1

Rachel graduated in 2006 from University of Rhode Island with a degree in Italian Language and Literature. A study abroad semester in Florence ignited an intense passion for more than la bella lingua and she has since devoted her time to Italian life, art and culture. After a second degree in Art History from Marist College’s branch campus in Florence, Lorenzo de’Medici, she went on to graduate with an M.A. in Art History from Arizona State University. She’s lived full time in Italy ever since and enjoys helping other expats decode and enjoy their new life in il bel paese.

How did you end up in Tuscany?

As an Italian American, I had heard a lot about Italy growing up. Thanks to having an Italian grandfather and a big family proud of our heritage, I think it was sort of engrained in me from an early age to be fond of all things Italian. Italian was the first class I ever walked into as a college student, and my life changed forever. I couldn’t tell you exactly how or what it was about that class that changed the course of my life, but it did. I declared my major as Italian language and literature and spent the next four years absorbing Italian culture, food, wine, art and stories from my grandfather.

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The Personality of Italian Business

One of the best features of Tuscany, and indeed all of Italy, is the number of independent local businesses that are on offer from bustling cities to small towns in the countryside. No matter where you turn, you can see people selling local produce: handmade, home-grown and undoubtedly wearing the proud label of ‘made in Italy’.

Italy is flushed with small to medium sized businesses, many having operated for years and steeped in family tradition. In fact, 98% of the over four million companies in Italy have an average of just four employees!

Business etiquette

It’s no surprise that Italian business etiquette is much more personal than other European countries, as merchants value quality relationships with their customers that keep them coming back for more. Rather than visiting the supermarket every week, you’ll be strolling from market stalls to butchers and winemakers before stopping by a local tailor, and at each of them you’ll find a happy face welcoming you in and recommending the best of their local goods.

Mario Bemer

Meeting Mario Bemer

To learn first-hand about the personality of Italian business, we got in touch with Mario Bemer, a shoemaker in the Oltrarno region of Florence, south of the Arno River and a neighbourhood renowned for craftsmen and artisans. Mario has been running his current store since 2014, but his background is a rich history of quality craftsmanship always with an eye towards taking care of customers:

“The relationship with my customers begins before the shoe is even made; I need to understand the lifestlyle, habits, and uses my client will need their shoes for. I like to understand their taste, and be able to make suggestions that can enhance the style and look they are going for. These are the details that I find create a relationship of reciprocal trust with the client. From there it becomes an ongoing relationship, where I listen to their requests, and make recommendations to suit different styles.”

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Discover Italy with our food and wine pairing tool

Italy is a breath-taking country filled with history, culture and tradition with arguably its defining characteristic being its food. The pastas, sauces and luxurious wines are a delight wherever you visit, though you may not realise just the variety that Italy has to offer.

You may have ‘eaten Italian’, but what about Sicilian, Sardinian or Tuscan?

That is where our new Fine Wine and Food Pairer comes in.


It’s the twenty regions of Italy that bring a wonderful variety to its cuisine, each one specialising in its own variety of wine and signature dish that go together perfectly.

Browse the country as a whole, or search for a specific region and we’ll give you the premier dish for you to make at home and the wine to enjoy with it to give you the authentic experience no matter where you choose.

From soups and fondues to succulent lamb and sausage, there’s always something new to try.

But why keep these superb recipes just to yourself?

We recommend getting your close family and friends over to eat as the Italians do, with a wealth of dishes and choices while catching up with old friends.

Rather than just one recipe, pick and choose your favourites to create an evening of fine Italian dining for your guests, starting with Piedmont’s Bagna Càuda and Valle d’Aosta’s Zuppetta di Cogne  before settling into Basilicata’s Orecchiette alla Potentina and Tuscany’s Stracotto alla Fiorentina. Of course, each dish has its own wine, so be sure to prepare some glasses to enjoy and taster session in the comfort of your own home.

Let us know which region’s local cuisine you’ll be enjoying – or your favourite wine and food pair – by getting in touch with us on Twitter: @TuscanyNow

#TuscanyNominate Competiton Winners!

Thank you to all of our wonderful entrants!

Tuscany Now would like to send out a big thank you to everyone who nominated their loved ones in our #TuscanyNominate competition.

We received stories of overwhelming companionship, dedication and support. Picking our winner was no small task, but we’re pleased to announce the winner of the weekend stay in the wonderful Limonaia villa is Lisa of The Dame International!

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Lisa nominated her mum for all of the hard work and sacrifice she’s dedicated to not only her daughter, but also through working as a live-in care worker. We’ll be whisking them away in October, so they can both enjoy the sights, sounds and smells and of Tuscany’s picturesque countryside, busy streets and fantastic cuisine! You can read Lisa’s full heart-warming nomination on her blog here.

But Lisa and her mother aren’t the only winners! We randomly selected 12 further entrants to the competition to win luxurious bottles of Italian wine. Our lucky dozen bloggers are:

Be sure to stay up to date with the Tuscany Now blog to hear of our future competitions, as well as our guides on what wonderful Tuscany has to offer.

Nominate to Appreciate Competition


Tell us who you #TuscanyNominate for a chance to win a weekend in Italy

Tuscany Now wants to help you pass on an act of kindness to a special person in your life. All you need to do is nominate them!

This October we are giving away a free weekend stay in our luxurious Limonaia villa, a beautiful 18th century cottage on the outskirts of Florence with fantastic views of the River Arno and olive groves surrounding the iconic city. Tell us who you think deserves a refreshing holiday and we could be flying you and your nominee away to an Italian experience of a lifetime.

Villa Thumbnails

Perhaps it’s your mum who’s always there to give advice? Your best friend who has been there for you? Or someone at work who deserves a break? Whoever you #TuscanyNominate, we want to hear why you’ve picked them and what you’d like to get up to in Tuscany if you win. Tuscany is home to some of the world’s finest fashion, richest cuisine and outstanding culture, so the hardest part might be choosing what to do!

Our judging panel will pick the winner of the competition based on the most deserving post. This could either be an amusing, emotional or touching story which really captures the reason why your nominee deserves this weekend away.  As well as the winner of the holiday, twelve runners-up will be chosen at random, and will win a bottle of fine Italian wine!

Here’s how you and your nominee can be in with a chance to win a fantastic getaway:

    1. Choose who you would like to nominate
    2. Create and publish a post about why you feel your nominee deserves a weekend away in Tuscany and what you’d like to do there
    3. Add the Twitter hashtag #TuscanyNominate in your blog post
    4. Include a link to this Tuscany Now competition post


Nominate who you want to appreciate now for the chance to win a weekend getaway for you and your nominee to beautiful Italy!

Competition closes on Sunday the 12th of July

Please read the rules below to make sure your entry is accepted!


1. Entries must be submitted via a blog post featuring the competition hashtag #TuscanyNominate and a link to Tuscany Now’s competition post.
2. Tuscany Now’s Nomination Giveaway will only allow one entry per person.
3. Entrants warrant that the post submitted is original and that they are the sole owner of the copyright in it.
4. Multiple entries will be disqualified.
5. Copyright in all images submitted for this competition remains with the respective entrants. However, in consideration of their providing the competition, each entrant grants a worldwide, irrevocable, perpetual license to Tuscany Now to feature any or all of the submitted images in any of their publications, their website and/or in any promotional material.
6. The competition will run from 15/6/2015 until 12/7/2015.
7. The winning and runner-up entries will be uploaded to the Tuscany Now website.
8. By entering our competition, you give us the permission to use your images and information on our social media pages.
9. This competition is open to any bloggers over the age of 18. Certain restrictions on the shipping of alcohol products are applicable for certain countries. In the event that wine cannot be shipped an alternative bottle of Organic Tuscan Olive Oil will be provided instead.
10. The competition winner will be chosen by a panel of judges.
11. Winners will be contacted via the email address provided.
12. The competition winner and runners-up will be notified by 3/8/15 by a contact method provided in the entry. Acknowledgement of the prizes must be received by Tuscany Now by 24/8/2015. Should Tuscany Now not receive confirmation from the winner by this time, Tuscany Now reserves the right to select the most successful runner-up.
13. Competition prize villa is only available the weekend of Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th October 2015.
14. Flight costs for the competition winner will be covered from UK destinations only.
15. You cannot pass your prize onto someone else. If you do not wish to accept the prize, the next runner-up will be chosen. You can also not request a cash prize.
16. Tuscany Now reserves the right to check validity and reject entries with reasonable cause.
17. Tuscany Now is compliant with the data protection act. Our policy is such that we will not pass on your details to any third party without your prior consent.

Why We Love Tuscany

There is no better way to explore a region than taking recommendations from friends, family, and those that have experienced it first-hand. Why do all of the hard work wasting precious holiday time, when you can discover the nooks and crannies from someone in the know!

We spoke to experienced Tuscan traveller and writer of, Danika Garlotta, about her experiences and what she could recommend. Does this sound like your perfect Tuscan retreat?


Could you start off by providing a little bit of background on your experiences in Tuscany!

We stayed in Florence for about a month and during our time there we took many day trips to various regions of Tuscany. We went to Lucca, areas of Siena, including San Gimignano. We would hop on the train and then just get off as close to the city centre as we could.


All the areas we visited were great for walking around and we would just get lost in the city. We would walk in and out of churches, grab pizza and a bottle of wine and just take it all in.


What is it about Tuscany that you love?

I loved the historic buildings, the cobblestone streets and looking as far as you can see – and only seeing rolling hills. Although each town we visited was unique, Tuscany as a whole is just so romantic and beautiful to see.

Where is your favourite place to go in Tuscany? and why is it that you love this place?

San Gimignano was my favourite area of Tuscany. I loved how this small medieval village was perched on top of a hill with its skyline of towers rising from the Tuscan countryside. The town was pretty small so it was really easy to visit in a day (or a half day). After walking around for an hour or so, we got a pizza and a bottle of wine and sat in the town square and just watched people walk by.


What advice would you give to people going on holiday in Tuscany or traveling through the region?

Ensure that you visit a winery tour, and don’t be afraid to get lost in the individual towns and scenic landscape. Also try to visit as many areas as you can. My only regret is that we didn’t take more day trips from Florence. Next time we’ll plan to stay in the towns longer and see more areas


If you have shared any similar experiences of Tuscany to Danika – or would like to tell us about your own regional loves – we’d love to hear from you on our Twitter: @TuscanyNow