Author: Elisa Scarton

Elisa Scarton Detti is an Australian journalist who came to Tuscany for a year, and, yes, fell in love and decided to stick around. Not one to keep amazing holiday destinations to herself, she now writes a blog and travel guide about the infinitely beautiful Maremma, Tuscany (
March 1, 2019

The last Jewish nonna in Pitigliano

Pitigliano’s last Jewish nonna is a survivor, an advocate, a local celebrity and pretty much exactly what you’d imagine an Italian grandmother to be like. It’s wet and windy Thursday morning when I finally manage to get a hold of Elena Servi. She is endearingly sweet as I apologize for my less than perfect Italian. […]
November 9, 2018

Striking truffle gold in southern Tuscany

Ask around and the city folk of Florence will tell you the Maremma, in the region’s south, is rural and, let’s be honest, a little backwards. If you ask the same question in the Maremma however, they’ll plant their feet, cross their arms and tell you the only part of their province that’s backwards is […]
September 14, 2018

What’s up with Tuscan bread?

A lifetime ago, I was on a train with a presumptuous Australian teenager who thought her eight months in Tuscany qualified her to speak authoritatively on all things culinary. I also happened to be a presumptuous Australian teenager who thought having Italian nonni made me an expert, so I listened begrudgingly as she described the […]
July 5, 2018

There’s no place like home

Why four young Tuscans decided to buck the trend and make a go of it in their very small hometown.   Fresh out of university and very recently married, I found myself in front of the sand-coloured steps of the Italian Consulate in Melbourne, Australia. I had an appointment with a white-haired gentleman named Sergio […]
May 4, 2018

Perks and pitfalls of small-town Tuscany

Moving to the Tuscan countryside is almost every foreigner’s dream, but is it really as idyllic as it sounds? I chatted to three generations of locals to find out. Buffet at a wine bar in Montemerano Montemerano is hopelessly idyllic. Cast adrift in Tuscany’s vast and often overlooked southern countryside, it has all the ingredients […]
December 11, 2017

What makes Tuscan men so attractive?

Caught up in the romance of the holiday season, Elisa Scarton Detti hits the streets of Manciano in southern Tuscany to find out what makes Tuscan men so darn attractive. One Sunday afternoon, I was fixing a loose cupboard door with my father-in-law. As he bent down to pick something up, my mother-in-law walked behind […]
July 11, 2017

Not the lady mayoress

If you want to be mayor in small-town Tuscany, you better stick to the status quo and, more importantly, you better not have a foreign-born wife. It may not have been as closely covered as the 2016 U.S. presidential race, but Manciano’s recent mayoral elections were passionately contested. In the weeks leading up to the […]
May 4, 2017

When a Kennedy came to town

Once a wild and foreboding place, Manciano is on its way to becoming southern Tuscany’s hottest postcode and the locals are anything but starstruck. It all started with Caroline Kennedy. The phone in a crumbling 12th-century fort at the top of a forgotten town rings. The ageing secretary puts down his cigar and paintbrush and grumbles […]
January 31, 2017
The Tuscan Times

Why Tuscans live forever

The secrets to longevity aren’t diet and exercise after all: just ask Tuscany’s oldest residents. On any given day in southern Tuscany, slacks are straightened, ties tied and jumpers pulled over multiple jumpers as a very particular group of locals makes a beeline for the benches in piazza della Pace. They are Manciano’s oldest residents, […]
December 1, 2016

The man behind the red suit

Every Christmas village needs a Santa, even in a small southern Tuscan town where not so long ago that job was filled by another senior citizen. In the years before I ever imagined moving to Italy, my mother would tell me stories of the Befana. It was 1960s Calabria, but it could have easily been […]