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Why winter holidays and Panettone are crucial in Italy !

The vine is part of the family of deciduous plants, i.e. those plants that lose all their leaves between autumn and winter and enter a state of vegetative rest, in which the vital processes slow down considerably.

The vine thus finds itself sister to plants such as the highly fragrant and spectacular Budleja, the smooth and white Noce,  and centenary Bagolaro "Spaccasassi", plants which, if it were not for this particularity, you would never have said that they have such a common destiny. All three excel in our garden and on the farm, and this certainly unites them.

Winter is a very important month in the countryside. For those who live in the city, it is a cold month, and it is certainly an underrated season. For us winemakers who live with our plants in the countryside, the cold is as important as the heat. Indeed, we are very worried if it doesn't arrive, or arrives too late.

With the cold, the vine falls into a phase of physiological rest called "dormancy": the plant, after having lost its leaves, reduces its metabolic function (a bit like us during the Christmas period, where it becomes crucial to eat panettone).

For the plant it is a crucial period for its survival, it protects itself from frost damage and dormancy favors energy recovery

Once upon the time life in Tuscany

When I travel for work, I like to listen to the radio. Radio still has many more creative possibilities than television, and it’s incredible! also on the web! First of all  it’s fantastic entertainment in the car – which can’t be instagram or facebook –  I listened to the interview with the architect Paola Viganò, who wrote an interesting book, it’s called “the biopolitical gardens”.

Why am I talking to you here about this book?

Because basically the architect says something that escapes us, but is very important: that in the city we try to create something new, more eco-sustainable, greener, closer to our idea of the ideal, but unfortunately we still have old parameters in our heads, and that therefore, we risk camouflaging our cities, but then we don’t change anything substantial. Because all the paradigms linked to the “old” modern city influence us.


Among the old paradigms that still influence us, there is still one that contrasts city life with that of the countryside.


In the 1970s, as a child, I came to Statiano to thresh with my father, or with my uncle and my cousins and spend Sundays.

The regional road 68 was state road and much narrower, to travel it from Cecina it took a good, good hour and you couldn’t take it from the center of Cecina, but only from San Pietro in Palazzi, a small hamlet further north.

Yet, it was the most immediate road that connected the Florentines to Castiglioncello, to the sea,  but they didn’t take it into consideration because they took the motorway.

From Ponteginori, we took the provincial road 47, which was a 5 kilometer dirt road, all stones and potholes, and which had to be traveled with a certain tranquility. To cover 5 kilometres, it took us half an hour.

And here’s what we found once we arrived: first thing,

-Roberto and Mirella and Roberto’s parents, who have worked in the family business for many years;

-Mirella’s chickens, who laid eggs of all colours

– Roberto’s mother’s goats, with their milk, made a fantastic cheese that she kept in the cupboard together with the very fragrant bread that she always made,

-5 fat rabbits that were in the hutch,

-the water from the well that needed to be pumped,

-a generator for electricity

-, the hay when it was in season on which we climbed onto the bales and then slid along its bales, or jumped from one bale to another.

– Mirella’s desserts, delicacies made with the eggs of her chickens and which she affectionately prepared for us.

-The fireplace, which we lit with wood from the forest.

– a sour wine, in large one and a half liter bottles, with oil on the surface to be removed with stubble or cotton. A wine that lasted a maximum of 8 months, and which was bright red, but very dense and tannic.

-Extra virgin olive oil, tasty, spicy, where you can dip the bread.

In 2000, when my husband and I came to live here, many things were changing, and others remained the same.

The road has changed: it is regional, it is larger and more accessible, less wild. Now many tourists pass by from Florence and the province to go to the seaside.

Even the provincial road is now asphalted, and you can reach Statiano in 5 minutes from the village of Ponteginori. The water arrives with the ASA and the electricity with the Enel poles. Some nearby towns are heated with steam.

For years we worked side by side with Roberto and Mirella and got to know the inhabitants of Micciano, and the life of the town, of this little jewel and many other towns around.

Many, many things have changed. First of all, the generations. Here we will talk once a month about this relationship, between city and countryside, and about life in the countryside, to stimulate a debate, I hope lively, and stimulate memories.


Visiting the protected areas of the Val di Cecina is a profound experience of Nature. Impossible to
 remain indifferent to her: she captures you and you are immersed in her belly.
 When I decided to live here, I looked out the window in the evening and thought: this is my Africa!

 Since the forest is very close, my summer evenings for twenty years  have been characterized by the songs of nocturnal birds which alternate with those of the mornings.
Here Nature shows its wildest and proudest side, but also its most welcoming, thanks to the interpenetration of the Culture and gives us back a peculiar and captivating landscape.
It is a mosaic skillfully modeled by the civilizations that have come and gone since the time of the Etruscans.

Here you can find areas visited by rare birds such as the kite, the oriole, the hoopoe,  and mountain landscapes that alternate with coastal ones, landscapes that embrace castles, parish churches, perfectly preserved ancient villages.
More than other areas of Tuscany, Val di Cecina presents an emerging geological and geothermal landscape with fumaroles, putizze, thermal springs.
This is why we offer educational itineraries and nature trails suitably set up, capable of giving great emotions.

Tuscan wine and sketching holidays at Statiano farm, from 2nd to 9th september 2024. Book Now!


“Tuscan wine and sketching holidays “in Statiano farm.

Book now for holidays in September 2024 at Statiano in Tuscany. 


We are offering a week-long sketching holiday with tuition by visiting artist,
Jane Smith. We will explore places and have experiences that will not only provide a slice of authentic Tuscan life but will also be a great source of
inspiration for drawings, sketches and photos.
• Sketching workshops with tuition by visiting artist Jane Smith
• Exploring Val di Cecina and other localities
• Accommodation at Statiano Farmhouse for the true Tuscan experience
• Beautiful surroundings; vineyards, hills and fields with plenty of places
to walk.

From Monday 2nd til Monday 9th September 2024 we are offering a 7 night sketching holiday with tuition by visiting artist, Jane Smith. The holiday will include visits to local villages and markets, wine tastings with our own winefrom the farm and wine pairings with Tina, one of the owners and a  qualified sommelier. Excursions to local places and markets will provide excellent sketching subjects and the authentic Tuscan experience. We can also trek along the wild and beautiful riverbanks of  Trossa river. Visits to the medieval hilltop town of Volterra (Tuscan Capital of Culture 2022), the market of Cecina and the Mediterranean coast will be included.

Guests stay at Statiano, our beautiful country house in a quiet corner ofMaremma, Tuscany. Tiny hilltop villages perch above rolling fields;
Montegemoli, Querceto and  which are still relatively undiscovered. Nature will provide plenty of inspiration too; we are surroundedby beautiful woods where wildlife, including foxes and turtles and jays, lives among the oak trees.

The area is famous for Sangiovese wine and typically the cuisine will include “bruschetta”, “pappa al pomodoro” and “ribollita”.

Statiano,our beautiful stone farmhouse lies in a quiet rural setting surrounded by woods 5 km from the lovely village of Micciano and 5 km from Ponteginoriwith its own ‘panetteria’. We can shop daily for ‘pane toscano sciocco’ here or you can have a typical aperitivo or prosecco at the lovely bar down in the village.

Statiano offers 5 double, twin or single en suite bedrooms. There are 4 large
apartments with panoramic views.
Apartment A: ground floor with two bedrooms, en suite bathroom, kitchenette
and private terrace with breathtaking sunset views.
Apartment B: private garden, ground floor kitchen, 2 upstairs bedrooms with
panoramic views and two bathrooms.
There is an outdoor pool with a covered terrace and shaded surroundings
ensuring plenty of relaxing spots.



About Jane






Artist and Illustrator Jane will guide you through sketching and drawing, giving suggestions and encouragement, whether out on trips or back at Statiano. She will show you techniques and tips for sketching architecture, markets, restaurants, people and landscapes, using a variety of media. She says of herself :
“I am an artist and Illustrator based in east London. I love drawing and have been doing it ever since
I could hold a pencil. Originally from the rural north of England and Wales, I studied at what is now
the University of Northumbria then moved to London. Working briefly for the BBC led to a freelance illustration career that has lasted until the present day. Other clients have included Marks and Spencer, Jamie Oliver, Ted Baker, Greenpeace and many others. Also I exhibit widely in galleries, cafes and shops around London.
I have given art workshops for lots of groups including an art retreat in France, staff at Facebook and Marks and Spencer’s head offices and local schools and community .
I have travelled widely, but these days concentrate on Europe and the UK. I never go anywhere without at least a small sketchbook in my pocket. If I am away for more than a couple of days, I will pack a variety of sketchbooks and art materials, a box of watercolours and a few pens and brushes. To me there is nothing better than sitting sketching outside a cafe somewhere, with a nice coffee or cold beer, totally in the ‘zone’, with the sounds, smells and general ambiance of life going by, whether in a Roman piazza, a small street in Marseille, at home in London or the beautiful Tuscan countryside”.




                                                                        Your Host



Tina has lived with her husband in Statiano since 2003, and there she has planted deep roots. She is devoted to her land, as well a sto good food and wine.
She has a degree in English language and literature from Pisa University and is  a certified sommelier, too.
She loves to make pasta with friends and guests.
In Winter she likes to read classic novels or attend to her studies as well as spending a lot of time managing the farmhouse and tending the garden. Moreover, she is in charge of bookings.
Tina also enjoys making jam, discovering new wines, and trying out new recipes for you. She will happily make pasta with you as well as let you in some wine-related secrets.







Day 1: The holiday begins at 7.30 pm at Statiano, settling in with a well-
deserved aperitivo on the terrace before a relaxing dinner with wine.

Day 2: A leisurely breakfast and a chance to get to know the farm and the vineyard. Jane will be available to introduce you to her sketching workshops and you’re free to start drawing. Lunch at 1 pm on the shady terrace and time
to relax by the pool before the next sketching session. Opportunity for pleinair sketching in the garden. Dinner at 7 pm with wine.

Day 3: Breakfast and a working trip to the Etruscan/Mediaeval hilltop town of Volterra, visiting Piazza di Priori, the Roman Theatre plus coffee in a lovely café and a delicious lunch at the “Chich and Chock” café and ice-cream shop. Plenty of time to sketch, take photos and paint while there. A visit to the Saline of Volterra, before returning to Statiano in the afternoon, with time to sketch, relax or swim before a delicious dinner with wine.

Day 4: Breakfast and a working trip to Querceto, a picturesque, well preserved village. Time to explore, sketch and take photos before going on to
Montegemoli and Pomarance with lunch at a local pizzeria. Back home for an afternoon of painting, relaxing and dinner on the terrace with wine at 7 pm.
Day 5: Breakfast followed by a morning visit to the colourful market in Cecina, then to the beach, with lunch at the ‘Delfino’ restaurant and a walk in a
beautiful maritime pine wood. Home in the afternoon with time for sketching, relaxing or swimming before dinner at 7 pm with wine.

Day 6: After breakfast, pasta tuition with Tina. We can enjoy making pasta together, for example ‘fettuccine e gnocchi’, then having it for lunch on the
terrace and a relaxing afternoon. You’re free walk around the area, up to thebeautiful hilltop village of Micciano, along the river, continue sketching or helpTina to prepare a nice ‘apericena’.

Day 7: Breakfast followed by time to devote to sketching with lunch at 1pm. Evening wine tasting with Tina. Dinner at 7 pm with wine.

Day 8: Breakfast and ‘arrivederci’. Transfer to Pisa Galileo Galilei International Airport.

Please note: the itinerary may be subject to minor changes due to weather and/or after consultation with the tutor.

ph + 39 3385057879