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 (
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 […]
September 7, 2016

Paradiso or Inferno?

Sometimes you can really can have too much of a good thing. Just ask locals in the southern Tuscan town of Saturnia. Residents here are in the midst of a tourist boom with hundreds of visitors making a daily beeline for their hot springs. CNN dubbed them “the world’s best”. Lonely Planet called them “heaven […]
July 14, 2016

The queen’s salami

High in the hills in a small Maremman town, there’s a butcher who makes salami for Buckingham Palace. But you would never know it.   Anywhere else in the world, this very fact would have been a town’s claim to fame.  But the Maremma in Tuscany’s south has always been a humble sort of place, […]
May 28, 2016

The water diviner

In a part of Tuscany where old wives’ tales are canon, don’t be surprised to meet a modern-day water diviner.   Small Tuscan towns like mine are made up of a web of interwoven stories. To truly understand a story someone is telling you, you have to know the history of its characters, their parents […]
May 15, 2016
The Tuscan TimesTRAVEL

A spring walk in the Maremma

Walking in the Maremma is as natural as cantucci and vin santo.     One of Tuscany’s most beautiful holiday destinations outside Florence is mainly countryside: the fields and hazy forests outnumber medieval towns and its beloved sheep outnumber the residents. You can follow in the footsteps of Benedictine monks or reclusive eighteenth-century Tuscans and […]
December 3, 2015
The Tuscan TimesTRAVEL

A winter road trip in Monte Amiata

  It seems unlikely, but winter is the most peaceful time to visit one of Tuscany’s tallest mountains, Monte Amiata, and the area around it. Although it’s only mildly cold compared to the mountains of the north, the chill is enough to keep most southern Tuscans away. Their aversion is our delight as we pack […]
September 10, 2015
The Tuscan TimesTRAVEL

Tuscany’s newest archaeological discoveries

Thousands of years have passed since the Romans left, but we’re only now unearthing some of their greatest treasures. You can’t wield a shovel anywhere in Italy without stumbling on the sort of ruins that would have archaeologists in other countries turning green with envy. At