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Patty’s 5 local favourites

Category: Insiders Guide | 10.15.2018

Palio de San Casciano

If your vacation dates coincide with Siena’s Palio, you’re in for a treat. But you may be lucky enough to celebrate Patron Saint Casciano as well and join in the fun for this annual festival commonly referred to as the “Palio de San Casciano”. This incredibly lively event has been going on for several hundred years and you won’t want to miss the action. The basic premise is that four local districts compete in some rather zany contests – the sack race, climbing the greasy pole, the blindfold walk – all to secure the coveted lead spot in the finale, known as the “Frog Race”. The goal here is for the competitors to push a wheelbarrow to the finish line without losing the frog that’s riding on top! It must be seen to be believed! It’s a true glimpse into the local culture!

Campo dell’Amato is a perfect villa from which to enjoy this local festival.

The Passeggiata

Throughout Italy, in villages, towns and even in certain neighborhoods of the major centers, Italians of all ages, all walks of life, stroll around the streets between 6 and 8pm, to see and be seen. This social event gives rise to a vibrancy in the town centers which is truly infectious. To be within this throng, this social interaction and bella figura, is an experience which, we think, will bring you back for more.

The Villagers enjoying their Daily Game of Boules

While you’re out exploring in Provence, you will undoubtedly come across, in some village square, a group of locals (mostly men) playing their daily game of boules. Also known in southern Provence as petanque, it is played with passion but for the most part, the participants know that if they don’t win today, there’s always another chance tomorrow.

Mas Fleuri is perfectly located to enable you to take on the locals in the many surrounding village squares.

Bistro du Paradou

The “no choice, just one all-inclusive” menu at this wonderful establishment near Maussane attracts a full house of locals and visitors on an almost daily basis. Fresh, local ingredients convert to well prepared meals and are followed up with homemade desserts. The room is lively and the service is friendly and unhurried. Count on a good two hour lunch at this favourite spot of mine. And be sure to make reservations!

Bistro du Paradou is a short walk from the authentic Provencal villa Mas du Maussane

Early Hours at Casa Batllo

Every day a few lucky ticket holders can visit Gaudi’s Casa Batllo before it opens its doors to the public. It’s the most peaceful and tranquil time to admire the fascinating architecture and design of this Barcelona treasure.

A hop and a skip from Casa Supremo – a Catalonian beauty.

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