Combine amazing food, artistic genius, awe inspiring scenery and a plethora of celebrities…then add a dash of wellness and a large splash of wine and you have the Tuscan Sun Festival.
We happened to move to Toscana at the beginning of last year’s festival, which also coincided with my better half’s birthday. The lucky boy enjoyed an intimate and moving performance by Trudie Styler and Sting, while I enjoyed a nice lunch at Corys with Frances Mayes and co. It was one of the best experiences of my life, with some of the best food and conversation. And of course the wine helped…
This year, Sharon Stone and Jeremy Irons join the festival, amongst other performers and culinary artists. You can take tango lessons, Tai Chi, or sip wine with James Suckling, Senior Editor of the Wine Spectator. The list goes on and on.
If you are going to be renting a car and have a family ( or if you don’t mind taking a taxi), stay slightly outside of Cortona in Hotel Oasi Neumann, which is a former monastery with incredible views and lots of room ( inside and out). The hotel is relatively cheap as well. Call them ahead of time and make sure the restaurant will be open; it was closed for several nights when we stayed, due to there not being many guests.
My second choice of lodging, especially if you are going alone, with your spouse or a friend, or with a group is Corys. You will be near the action, and yet will have tremendous views and spectacular food. You’ll also love the family who owns it. Cortona gets very crowded during the summer, so being slightly outside of the town will give you some breathing room, and again the views are worth it.
The festival begins July 30 and goes until August 2011. You can get your tickets at http://www.tuscansunfestival.com