in Pisa and Siena...
an Italian woman who manages two vacation rentals
in Tuscany, Behind
the Tower in Pisa and Casina
di Rosa in a village between Siena and
the coast of the Maremma. Here are my suggestions
for women travelling to my part of Italy.
spa lovers Southern Tuscany offers many opportunities
to spa lovers. If you are looking for a spa center
and some luxury and comfort, my recommendations are
Spa and Resort, Terme
di Saturnia. If you are looking
for something simpler, you should look into La
Melosa near the village of Roccastrada
in the Upper Maremma, or Podere
Santa Maria near Paganico in the
Maremma. They have a fabulous underground hot pool.
Further north towards Pisa, Il
Calidario in Campiglia Marittima
is a lovely place. If you like gardens as well, then
the beautiful Grotta
Monsummano Terme is what you are looking
for. For something less expensive, the Thermal
Park in Uliveto Terme and the
in Montecatini Terme are a nice
love music, you might be interested in Lucca
Jazz Donna, a jazz festival dedicated
to women and female jazz players organized in Lucca
every year in February. Some hotels in the city offer
special rates to women who visit Lucca for the event.
In Arezzo, “notte rosa”, the pink night,
is held every year with events organized by and dedicated
to women: plays, concerts, dinners and other events.
This year the 'notte
rosa' is on July 24 and the main event
is a cooking exhibition with cooks from all over the
Cinelli Colombini in Trequanda,
near Siena is a unique example in Italy because the
owner and all the oenologists working there are women.
Mrs. Cinelli Colombini chose to challenge the system
which had always relegated women wine experts to the
margins of the wine industry. She has had much success
and has set an important precedent. It is possible
to lodge at the winery and visit the cellars and vineyards.
The guides are all women of course! Another “unusual”
women-only enterprise is the “Grapperia
Nannoni”, near Civitella
Marittima (Grosseto) in Maremma. Three women produce
some of the best and most appreciated grappe in Italy.
is a shopping tip for those women, who like me, like
nice clothes but can’t easily find their size
in most Italian boutiques. In Pisa, I would like to
recommend the very reasonably-priced Coin
Department Store and the more expensive
boutique in Corso Italia (right next to the Furla
store by the way!). Also, the high-scale boutique
in Borgo Stretto and my favourite, Più Donna
in Borgo Largo (Via Oberdan 54) with really nice clothes
in all different price ranges. My favourite shoe shops
are Charlot in Corso Italia and Samarcanda in Via
Oberdan. In Navacchio, by the “I Borghi”
shopping mall, Scarpe & Scarpe
has an amazing selection.
visit Pisa and you like ceramics and houseware, you
should not miss the 2nd floor of the Upim
department store in Corso Italia,
the two Pasqualetti stores (Via Oberdan and Via Pascoli),
I Mercanti in Via San Lorenzo and a fabulous store
on the corner of Via Benedetto Croce and Via Turati.
If you take a trip to Lucca, go to Mamma Rò
store in Piazza Anfiteatro. Amazing!
especially those travelling alone, should avoid hotels
in the area of the Pisa Centrale train station. At
night it’s quite rough. I would recommend Hotel
Royal Victoria for its excellent
location: right in the heart of the city, with a bus
stop on the line to and from the airport right opposite
the main entrance. Another nice hotel is Hotel
Verdi near the theatre in a safe
and popular area in the centre. Of course if you are
looking for a nice apartment in the center, there’s
the Tower which I manage.
a hairdresser or a beautician in Pisa? A drycleaner?
A tailor? Just a few steps away from Piazza dei Miracoli,
in Via Galli Tassi there are a good hairdresser and
a beauty center. Another excellent hairdresser is
in Via Crispi, Maurizio Serretti. If you are looking
for a laundromat there is one in Via Cameo, just outside
the Porta Nuova city gate. It works with special coins
obtainable from a machine located in the laundry itself.
If you need a proper drycleaner there is one on the
same street right before the entrance of the parking
La Torre (they might not be able to give you back
your clothes in an hour or two). Otherwise, near Corso
Italia, there is a good drycleaner in Piazza Chiara
Gambacorti. If you need a tailor, you should go to
Carnet, in Via Consoli del Mare 13, for custom made
clothes. For small jobs, you can ask at the haberdashery
Fantoccino in Via del Castelletto 12.
is your passion, you should know that it’s also
a good way to make friends in Pisa. There is a group
which organizes regular meetings and has international
Gloria writes a blog called
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