Welcome to Santini Gruppo Immobiliare. If you are reading our website, you are interested in Italy and are possibly considering buying or renting a property there.
Santini Gruppo Immobiliare operates primarily in Tuscany, one of the 20 Italian administrative regions. Italy is still a centralized government state, but it’s 20 regions have their own decentralized legislative powers, with their own local governments and parliaments which can pass their own laws as long as they fall within the parameters set by national government and written state constitution.
This is why, Tuscan bylaws can often differ greatly from other regions’ legislation concerning the same legal points.
It is well established that Tuscany is one of the best – if not the best – administered regions of Italy, its health service being, for example, one of the best in Europe.
Each region in Italy is subdivided into provinces, with their own administrations and presidents, and each province into local councils, with their mayors. Provinces and councils can also pass local legislation and have their own bylaws.
Tuscany is subdivided into 10 provinces.
Starting from northern Tuscany:
Massa Carrara, Pistoia, Lucca, Pisa, Prato, Firenze,Livorno, Arezzo, Siena, Grosseto.
Those on the coast are : Massa Carrrara, Pisa, Livorno and Grosseto.
The province’s name is the name of the main city in that particular province.
Santini Gruppo Immobiliare operates from Follonica, province of Grosseto, one of the largest but probably least known provinces, which for you is a great plus. More on this later.
Some general information on the geography of Italy and its climate.
How does Tuscany – and in particular Follonica – sit within Italy?
Italy is a peninsula. The whole of Italy, bar the northern part, is surrounded by sea. The Tirreno sea on the West, the Adriatico sea on the east. The Ionio sea on the south. The famous Alps, with their many ski- resorts, outline the geographical border with the rest of Europe, like a zip that runs west to east along the top. The seas that altogether surround Italy are better known as the Mediterranean sea, hence a Mediterranean climate, which offers mild winter and pleasant summer months.
The northern regions are: Valle d’Aosta, Piemonte, Lombardia, Trentino Alto Adige, Veneto, Friuli Venezia Giulia.
The central regions: Liguria, Emilia Romagna, Toscana, Marche, Umbria, Abruzzo, Lazio.
The southern regions: Molise, Campania, Puglia, Basilicata, Calabria.
Sicilia and Sardegna are the two major Italian Islands: Sicily off the “ toe” of Italy (Italy is shaped like a boot) at the very south, just a shot from Calabria, and Sardegna is smack in the middle of the Tirrenean sea, between Italy and Spain. Just below Corsica.
Where is Tuscany?
Tuscany is very well placed, on the central western side of Italy. It borders with Liguria and Emilia Romagna on the north, Marche and Umbria on the east, and with Lazio on the south.
It has a long coast line which follows directly from the Ligurian Gulf offering trendy and attractive beaches, and even more unspoiled and wilder locations if you prefer, always bordered by never ending pine forests. The coast line is a flat stretch of land ending on the south with the flat land of Maremma, in the Grosseto province. Maremma is where Santini Gruppo Immobiliare concentrates most of its business. From Maremma, you will benefit from easy access to Florence, the capital of Tuscany, Siena, Pisa, and equally you will easily reach Rome, capital of Italy. The nearest international airports to Maremma are Rome Fiumicino and Pisa.
One the most interesting features is the fact that wherever you are, you will never be too far from a beach, an interesting historic city, or a mountain resort. If you are interested in wellness and SPA, check Saturnia, in the heart of Maremma, or Terme del Petriolo, between Grosseto and Siena.
From Grosseto, in Maremma, you can be on a beach in 20 minutes in summer, or on a ski-resort in 60 minutes in winter, always by car. Better still you could own a property directly on the sea, or inland in a village, enjoying the beauty of the famous Tuscan countryside, without mentioning the local food with its world famous olive oil and wine. Visit the web sites of Monte Amiata (ski-resort), and Parco Naturale Della Maremma. Also check Orbetello, Monte Argentario, Porto Santo Stefano, Porto Ercole,Castiglione della Pescaia, Punta Ala, Cala Violina, Elba Island, Giglio Island. Honestly, there is so much more, so why not look up Massa Marittima, Scansano (the famed Morellino di Scansano wine is produced here),Terme di Saturnia. Our list could be endless.
As you travel inland from the coast, the ground rises quite rapidly, and you can shift, from a coastal setting, to hills and mountains in no time at all. This is generally a feature for the whole of Italy, not just Tuscany. An ideal location, if you wish to enjoy a second property abroad, or even to move abroad permanently; Italy is one of the best choices, with Tuscany one of the top-top best options.
Climate in Tuscany
We previously mentioned mild climate being one of the positive features of Italy. Tuscany is no exception, and- actually- its location, not too much in the north, not too near the south, being by the sea, and protected by mountains north and east, makes it probably the luckiest region in Italy as far as seasonal temperatures. In winter you can expect moments of colder weather, of course, but it rarely falls below 0°c on the coast, as this are considered extreme temperatures here, where you can normally expect about 10°c for the most part of the winter period. If you want you can check the records, but one Christmas day not long ago, in Maremma a temperature of 25°c was recorded, and Turin, in the Northern region of Piemonte was just as warm. In summer you can expect temperature ranging from 30°c to 40°c on very hot days.
Oenology and Gastronomy in Tuscany
The oeno-gastronomic tourist will find Tuscany to be a real heaven. As much as 50% of wine production is reserved to quality wines (6 DOCG and 35 DOC). Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Vernaccia di S. Gimignano, Morellino Di Scansano, Bianco di Pitigliano, Montecucco, to name just a few.
The Tuscan culinary tradition reflects its simple origines, and for this reason the quality of its ingredients is so important. The care and pride employed in the preparation of cured meats such as prosciutto (raw cured ham), salami and sausages, as well as cheeses (for example ricotta and pecorino), are part of the traditional way of life which has remained so strong in this region.
Game features highly in the daily diet of Tuscan families, as well as in restaurants, particularly in Maremma Toscana: wild boars, hares, woodcocks, pheasants.
Mushrooms also play a big role in Tuscan cooking: porcini (edible Boletus) in particular grow a lot in Tuscany, and are used for countless dishes.
The subject is really too vast and there are variations moving from one city to the next. Leghorn (Livorno) is famous for its Caciucco, a mix of different seafood and fish served with bread. Grosseto for wild boar and pappardelle or strozzapreti (2 kinds of home-made pasta) with any kind of topping .....meat ragu’, game, mushrooms, herbs.
If you are looking for good genuine food and wine, you will not be disappointed in Tuscany, and if you visit lesser famous locations such as Maremma Toscana ( the southern part of Tuscany ), you might be so pleasantly surprised that, as many others are doing, you might even decide to buy a second home there. Here nature is unspoiled, life ticks away at a slow pace, the beach is less than 2 hours by car from the nearest sky-resort, so sit back and enjoy in front of a nice glass of Brunello before an excellent dinner.
Here is an example of what you could have on your table in Tuscany.
For antipasti, Crostini di fegato is a Tuscan food plus. A sauce made with chicken livers, butter, capers, anchovies, onion and broth, which is spread on warm Tuscan bread and literally devoured. This is a typical Tuscan starter. You can find many families in Tuscany with huge vats of fegato cooking in their kitchen over the weekend. It is a common snack to munch on as well. Something that is similar for a starter is an Antipasto Toscano, which is a cutting board full of the meats and cheeses of the region.
Pappardelle is a first course made with pappardelle which is a thicker type of spaghetti and served with a wild boar sauce. It can be seasoned with other classic ingredients: porcini mushrooms, meat sauces, artichokes, sausages, etc. Pappardelle al pomodoro is a popular soup in Tuscany with large pieces of bread in it.
Bistecca all Fiorentina is a Florence style Porterhouse steak. It is cooked very rare or al sangue. It can be served with many things such as white beans, roasted potatoes or a tender salad. You can have it be cooked more if you like you meat medium or well done. But to taste a Fiorentina you must try it very rare.
Cantucci are the famous almond biscotti that are made from scratch here in Tuscany. They are served with a glass of the very potent Vin Santo as a nice digestive liqueur at the end of a hefty meal.
Tuscany is full of delicious things to munch on, don't sell yourself short by just trying the common dishes. Pizza and bruschette are great and all but open your mind to new tastes that will entice your palate.
Choose your wine
Tuscany is very famous for all its vineyards and wine-tasting galore. Chianti and Brunello bring Tuscany to a whole new level of tastefulness. There are many wines made in Tuscany, apart from Chianti and Brunello, medium to small productions or cooperatives (Morellino di Scansano), often family run, but there is a great variety of them, and the taste varies. The way the producer chooses the grapes and their mix has something to do with these differences.
Colorino comes from some wild grape vines which are widely grown in Tuscany. Such as the area around Valdarno, Val d’Elsa and in Val di Pesa. The name of this grape is taken from the deep colour of the skin of the grape. The skin is thick, of a blackish to deep purple colour, rich with colour and flavour.
Malvasia Bianca Lunga is a wine that has been cultivated for several centuries and it is vastly grown in the Chianti hills from where it comes from. This grape is used less since white grapes are no longer allowed in the Chianti Classico docg. Only a few wines take on this grape such as the traditional Tuscan dessert wine,VinSanto.
Prugnolo gentile (sangiovese grosso) can be traced back to the Sangioveto variety which is popular in Montepulciano and in the province of Siena. This grape is described as the 18th century Pignuolo Rosso. The Prugnolo Gentile/Sangiovese Grosso or "Brunello" grape is known in the areas around Montalcino and Montepulciano and is now also being cultivated in several other areas of Tuscany. Compared to the Sangiovese Piccolo, the Sangiovese Grosso has larger, more loosely bunched grapes, and thicker grape skins.
Sangiovese or Sangiovese Piccolo has two families of grapes. One has a grape that is more sweet and well-bread which is used to make Brunello di Montalcino. The other family has a smaller grapes and are stronger and rougher. The wines that are used with this grape are Cordisco, Morellino, Uva Tosca, Primutico, San Vicetro, Sangiovese dal Cannello Corto di Predappio. Sangiovese is used for Chianti wines as well. The name, Sangiovese is derived from “sanguis Jovis” meaning “the blood of Jove (Jupiter).” The Sangiovese is one of the most ancient Italian grape varieties, and is certainly one of the most widely grown. All ampelographers agree that the grape originated in Tuscany.
Trebbiano Toscano is of Etruscan origin. Its name was taken from the site of which they found it. The same name of ancient Etruria, near Luni, at the border between Liguria and Tuscany or the Trebbia River of the Piacentini Hills. This grape is the most widely grown variety of grapes at the national level. It is mainly grown in Tuscany, Lazio and Umbria. Trebbiano is used to be blended into Chianti Classico wines but now it goes into simpler Chiantis. Such as light white wines and a variety of Vin Santo.
Most important Tuscan cities.
Florence (Firenze), the symbol of the Renaissance, rose to economic and cultural pre-eminence under the Medici in the 15th and 16th centuries. Its 600 years of extraordinary artistic activity can be seen above all in the 13th-century cathedral (Santa Maria del Fiore), the Church of Santa Croce, the Uffizi and the Pitti Palace, the work of great masters such as Giotto, Brunelleschi, Botticelli and Michelangelo. In our days Florence is a historical and cultural mekka as well as an academic and industrial centre. Gucci, Emilio Pucci, Roberto Cavalli head offices are located in here. Florence is also a main transport hub, through the city passes A1 – Autostrada del Sole – connecting North and South of Italy. Air traffic is performed by International airport – Peretola (FLQ)
Siena, the capital of same-named province; burg, world famous by its Palio; and an international university centre, is a modest sized city, every year hosting thousands of tourists. Twice in summer – in July and in August – the famous
Palio (horse racing) is performed at the central city square – Piazza del Campo. For the locals who belong to their contradas since the moment of birth, Palio is a long-anticipated event, competition excitement and the all night stand celebration. As soon as two very important Universities – Universita` per stragnieri di Siena for foreigners and Universita` degli studi for Italians – are located in Siena, the major part of the city population are students.
The city of Pisa rises above the banks of Arno just before the mouth of the river at Marina of Pisa. It is one of the most important cities in Tuscany and it is extremely well-known in the world, because of its famous symbol: the leaning tower, known as Pisa Tower.
Pisa is both an ancient and modern city. On the one hand, It is proud of its past , when it was a Marittime Republic and became a world power during the Middle Ages. On the other hand, is now famous for having three of the most important universities in Italy: The Sant` Anna school of Advanced Studies and the University of Pisa.
Pisa can be considered also an international city, due to the intercontinental Galileo Galilei Airport (PSA) that joints it to anywhere in the world.
There are also curiosities about Pisa: in the city there isn’t only one leaning Tower, but two other ones too: the Bell Tower of San Nicola Church which is near the banks of Arno and the Bell Tower of San Michele of Scalzi Church.
Lucca is a city in Tuscany, northern central Italy, situated on the river Serchio. It was founded by the Etruscans (it is possible to find traces, there, of a pre/existing Ligurian settlement) and became a Roman colony in 180 b.C. In 1160 it gained a status of independent republic maintaining it for almost 500 years. In 1805 it was taken over by Napoleon. After 1815 it became a Bourbon-Parma Duchy, then part of Tuscany in 1847 and finally part of Italian State. Unusual for cities in the region, the walls around the old town were retained intact as the city expanded and modernized. As the wide walls lost their military importance, they became a pedestrian promenade ringing the old town although they were used for a number of years in the 20th century for racing cars. They are still fully intact today; each of the four principal sides is lined with a different tree species.
There are many richly built medieval basilica-form churches in Lucca with rich arcaded façades and campaniles, a few as old as the 8th century. Some of the most important sights are: Piazza Anfiteatro,St. Martin’s Cathedral, Basilica of San Frediano, Piazza San Michele and a botanical garden dating back to 1820.Lucca’s ramparts protect many reminders of city’s long and rich history. The magnificent city walls are ideal for taking a stroll or riding a bike offering a spectacular view of the city with its piazzas, medieval buildings and churches. Apart from incredible architecture, visitors can enjoy in many antique and craft markets locally, or tasting Lucca’s traditional dishes, as the region of Lucca is also well known for the excellent olive oil and the large range of wines produced.
We already have mentioned Maremma area and Grosseto city, with a province named after it, above. But it`s absolutely essential to point Punta Ala – a real pearl of Maremma cost. This beauty spot had been discovered by an Italian pilot Italo Balbo in 1930 while he was performing his transatlantic flight from Orbetello. At height he`s noticed a pure paradise of silky sandy beach immersed into untouched pine forests. He felt in love.. And so you will! Now Punta Ala is an area where luxury villas carefully hidden into beautiful gardens are mostly located. The center itself offers green leisure terraces, lovely boutiques and the best Tuscan yacht port services. The importance of Punta Ala is underlined by the international polo field and several gulf clubs situated around. Every year a number of sports, cultural and noble events is performed in Punta Ala.
The Tuscan Archipelago is a chain of islands between the Ligurian Sea and Tyrrhenian Sea, west of Tuscany. The largest island is Elba, then there are Pianosa, Capraia, Montecristo, Giglio, Gorgona and Giannutri, all protected as a part of the Tuscan Achipelago National Park, established in 1996.
Each island is unique, each is different. Each of the islands has its own history, each is worth careful attention. But one should be aware of some visiting restrictions due to ecologic reasons, like on Motecristo. Unlike of Montecristo, islands of Elba and Giglio are always open for holidays and living. Those islands with their crystal sea water, white rocks, silky sands and rich vegetation are very popular among eco-tourists. History admires love visiting antic churches and former imperator Napoleon residence. Yachtsmen enjoy a high class servicing of Portoferraio port, capable of taking up even an ocean yacht. Gourmands are fond of local cousin variety and of finest local wines.
Islands are positioned not far from the coastline and all are very easy to reach by regular ferries from Piombino and Porto Santo Stefano. The air transportation is presented by Marina di Campo airport on Elba island.
Economy and business opportunities
The world recession has hit hard most advanced economies with Italy being no exception, and in fact, despite Italian banks having proved to be among the safest in Europe, the Italian public dept remains a real problem, and Italy is at risk as Greece, Spain, Ireland and Portugal.
On the other hand, The Italians are one of the lowest personal debt nations, owing to family resources regularly and diligently passed on from one generation to the next. Hardly any family exists without a second home, which belonged to grand- parents, or a piece of land somewhere that often provides fruit and vegetables for the family all year round.
If there is something strong about the Italian economy, is family assets that seem to be able to absorb the blow inflicted to all economies by the current global crisis.
This should not really scare a foreign buyer off. If you come in from a stronger economy, or simply possess good income or assets, you will probably find better bargains and cheaper prices.
Tuscany isn’t very industrialized. Business opportunities may exist in the tourist sector, such as agritourism, or related sectors. Tuscany remains very rural and - rightly so- produces wine, olive oil, good cheeses and cured meats, and it is very successful in this.
A good business opportunity would be to choose a good location where to set up an agritourism, converting an old farm house in a bed and breakfast, also providing the pursue of activities related to agriculture and animals such as horses etc. Or finding an agritourism for sale. Swimming pool a must, of course. However, one ought to take into account, that seasonal fluctuations in this line of business do exist.
Sailing Race (Regate di Barca a Vela)
Italian championship on Sailing in Punta Ala.
Where: Punta Ala, Grosseto (Punta Ala, Gr)
Trout Holiday (Sаgrа della trоtа)
This holiday combines the useful with the pleasing
Competition in fishing the trout, followed by cooking the catch!!!
Competition winner will be awarded the prize "Golden trout"
Where: Loro Ciuffenna, Arezzo (Socorro Beach Ciuffennа , AR)
International festival of ceramics (Festa internazionale della ceramica)
Ceramic art, the origin of which goes back to the beginning of 15th century is an important part of the history of Montelupo Fiorentino which was famous for manufacture of majolica (a type of ceramics made of burnt clay with use of painted glaze) for noble Florentine families. All 9 days you can enjoy the art of potters and artists and observe a variety of pottery for all tastes. Within the framework of the festival the inauguration of the Museum of Modern Art and the Exposition of Nanni Valentini works, presented by 30 works of the artist (pictures, sculptures, the pottery of fifties-eighties of the last century) will take place.
Where: Montelupo Fiorentino, Florence (Montelupo Fiorentino, Fi)
Europlà International Festival (Festival internazionale Europlà)
International Festival of comedy, puppet and street performances. You will enjoy an unforgettable evening show with the participation of Italian and foreign artists. Free entrance.
Where: San Giovanni Valdarno, Arezzo (San Giovanni Valdarno, AR)
Fish Festival (Sagra del pesce)
This Festival is for all fish lovers and connoisseurs of fish dishes that abound in Italy
Where: Ceretto Guidi, Florence (Campo di Tamburello in località Bassa, Ceretto Guidi, FI)
Hunger and Thirst Holiday (Festa della fame e della sete)
This gastronomic event held in the historic centre of the city with a varied musical background will help you quench the hunger and thirst. Here you can learn about, taste and buy the typical gastronomic specialities of Lunigiana.
Where: Filattiera, Massa Carrara (MS, Filattiera)
Antiques Fair (Mostra mercato dell'antiquariato e dell'usato)
We invite all lovers of antiques and collectibles to visit the exhibition and sale of Antiquities.
Where: Republic square, Londa, Florence (Piazza della Repubblica, Londa, Fi)
Medieval Festival in Meleto Castle (Festa medievale al Castello di Meleto)
Jugglers and Jesters, artisans and standard-bearers are the main heroes in the halls of the old Castle of year 1256, located on a high Hill in the heart of Chianti, not far from Siena. Tasting of the best wines and traditional dishes of Chianti.
Where: Gaiole in Chianti, Siena (Gaiole in Chianti, SI)
Reopening of Dante Alighieri's House Museum (museo del Riapertura casa di Dante Alighieri)
Dante is back home! Dante Alighieri's House-Museum finally openes after three long years of furniture restoration and reconstruction of the original documents after the fire.
Where: Florence (Firenze)