- Annamaria Mongelli
Annamaria, or simply Anna, is a sweet and romantic woman in love with flowers.
She is a professional floral designer, a job she does with passion and competence, studying all the new fashion tendencies and renovating time by time her style.
Through an incredible knowledge of the botanical world, she is able to harmonize each kind of flower with the particular environment she is called to decorate, combining floral compositions with several materials and unexpected objects.
Anna is glad to communicate her art to who loves nature and her pleasant lessons, always held in splendid gardens or flowered terraces, are a chance to relax and let senses enjoy colours, cents and enchanting feelings.
- Federica Filippelli
Federica is an Italian eclectic artist who has been living all around the world but decided to stop in Lucca, where she stays and works.
Passing by Piazza Anfiteatro, probably Lucca’s most beautiful square, you can see her, in her art studio, painting, making sceneries for the theatre she cooperates with or welcoming tourists from all over the world speaking fluent English, French and Spanish.
With her sweet behaviour towards life and people, she loves communicating her passion for art, teaching drawing and painting both to adults and children and experimenting with “Colour Meditation”, a sort of sensorial workshop with colours.
She can give her art lessons both in English, for foreign students, and in Italian, for who prefers to improve this language knowledge, not only inside a studio, but also all around Lucca, researching uncommon places and beautiful landscapes in the countryside.
- Daniela Matteini
Daniela is an uncommon Tuscan woman, graduated in History of Art at the Florence University. She is a fine connoisseur of ancient jewels history, an enchanting subject…for women, above all!
What makes Daniela a real special person is her way to be Tuscan and speak about her land, talking about strange stories, curious things, ancient forgotten traditions, surprising you with her incredible knowledge. She enjoys herself in disclosing hidden special places off the beaten tracks, such as a small museum in a hilltop village or an isolated country parish, in which you may meet with unknown art treasures.
She is also an authority on the history of traditional Tuscan cookery, which she considers to be a real expression of her region’s genius. A curiouseness she loves to propose is some painting by Jacopo Chimenti, called “Empoli”, representing ancient larders. Through them, you gather tastes and flavours of past times, such as the painter’s ones, considered to be such a lot gluttonous to be often paid by food. Then, as you can see, art and food are some peculiar starting points to explore Tuscany…
- Matteo Zamboni
Living nature to understand man: Matteo, an environmental guide, dedicates himself to this.
He is convinced that exploring a territory is a continuous and enchanting research, in which you can meet with history, culture, tradition step by step, as in a puzzle to compose.
Matteo wants to make you see all what our land offers through not ordinary points of view, proposing you excursions on the hills around Lucca, along the coast, in some moist territory near lakes, on the fascinating picks of Apuan Alps, staying in mountain refuges or choosing other kinds of accommodation according to your attitude towards adventure.
You do not have but to trust him and let him guide you in an unforgettable tour into nature…
- Paladino Meschi
work in progress
Wine & Oil..................
- Cristina Fabbri
“Wine has its source from land, through extreme care, attention, passion. It’s nature inside a labelled bottle.”
Cristina is an A.I.S. III Level Sommelier and a Gourmet Expert specialized in Winery Hospitality.
Her own wine journey began between the vineyards at Tenuta dell’Ornellaia, Bolgheri, one of the most known and award winning wineries in the world, where she worked in the hospitality team.
Then she went into the wine vocation of territories like the Tuscan Coast and Carmignano, beyond strengthening her knowing of internationally known areas like Brunello and Chianti Classico.
Her passion for the marvellous synergy between man and nature led her to explore organic and biodynamic wines.
Pleasant and outgoing, she guides both connaisseurs and wine lovers in the long path from the vineyard to the glass, proposing a professional but friendly service to make whatever meeting with wine be an unforgettable and rich experience.
- Mannori Espace
Mannori Espace is a unique gallery of high quality chocolate created by Luca Mannori, an international award-winning Relais Dessert and Maitre Chocolatier, and his young and dynamic staff: Daniela, Silvia and Stefano, able to turn rapidly inputs received by Luca into a vivid and delicious reality. This is a space in continuous evolution, dedicated not only to produce chocolate of excellence in all forms and variants, but also to all those who want to tread and live the cocoa path to full possible extent: an open lab for group and individual tailor made stages, where courses with the most world famous protagonists of chocolate art are organized. Mannori Espace expresses its young griffe inclination to research and walk along new paths day after day, guided by curiosity and passion for life…
Toscaneggiando is a cultural association born in Lucca, some year ago, from the enthusiasm and the experience of three young women in love with their Tuscan culture: Alessandra, Eva and Sara.
Among its aims, Toscaneggiando has the one to diffuse and transmit Lucca gastronomic tradition through familiar and amusing cooking lessons, making people know this land in a pleasant and not ordinary way.
So, Alessandra, Eva and Sara lead their guests by the hand in a surprising world, made of wholesome food, coming from the folk wisdom, and good smells, permeating Tuscan homes and gardens since centuries.
Beans, einkorn, olives, aromatic herbs are just some of the ingredients of the ancient Lucca recipes that, in a few hours, will be prepared by all the people taking part in the lesson. Dedication, friendliness, passion: here are the features making Toscaneggiando’s cooking lessons a unique and simple way to get inside this marvellous land.
- Elena Mattei
Elena is a splendid Florentine woman and an excellent chef.
Inspired by the women in her family, she bases her cookery on the old Tuscan culinary traditions integrating it with one of the pinnacles of cookery, the book "Science in the kitchen and the art of eating well" by Pellegrino Artusi.
After managing her restaurant in Florence, she opened the cooking school, “Cucina con Vista”, a special place, where cooking is relaxing and pleasurable, lessons are warm and friendly and she appears like an "expert sister", who transmits the art that Tuscan women had the fortune of learning from their mothers for centuries.
- Paola e Simonetta De Mari
Paola and Simonetta, working for almost twenty years in their school of Italian Language in Florence, noticed that many foreigners coming to Italy miss a true contact with the real Italian life.
So, they thought to create “Toscana Mia”, a kind of familiar cooking and Italian school, welcoming people to an evocative stone farmhouse in the hills of Chianti, surrounded by vineyard & olive groves, where they live with all their family.
Lessons are held in a friendly atmosphere, using fresh and natural ingredients, and take place in their family traditional kitchen. While cooking, participants have the chance to make new friends and learn a few secrets from Simonetta and Paola.
- Gianluca Pardini
Honorary Professor at Chicago's Du Page College, Honorary Member of the Society of Friends (Escoffier), guest speaker, teacher and consultant at important cooking academies and restaurants in Japan and the USA: just some of the qualifications Gianluca gained in his career as a chef.
But if you know him, you discover a fun and warm man, who believes in his work and welcomes friends in his kitchen.
As a result of his love for cooking and teaching to cook, he created the International Academy of Italian Cuisine, based in Lucca, attracting in this marvellous city people from all over the world.
This initiative has been enriched by a strong reawakening of the regional gastronomic culture in Tuscany, the concept of 'slowfood', and by the interested support of local restaurateurs.
Speaking fluently English, French and Japanese and handling perfectly the situation, thanks to a deep knowledge of his craft, Gianluca makes his lessons informal and entertaining and the meal which follows becomes a great social experience. The Academy, recognized for its professionalism and years of experience is between the (most) beautiful hills of Tuscany, the right place to combine study, work, and fun.
- Marta Stroeder
Marta Stroeder was born in Florence and still lives here in its most characteristic district of Sanfrediano.
After dealing with fashion and home decoration, she started her career as a personal shopper.
Under her expert guidance, you will walk through the most secret and ancient streets of Florence discovering some enchanting boutiques, wonderful little stores and old and almost-forgotten artisan workshops.
Moreover, Marta can guide you through an exciting and modern variety of the most famous Italian designer’s boutiques and showrooms.
You will be enchanted by their sophisticated displays of luxurious, contemporary clothing, accessories, leather garments, shoes, bags, and jewelry.
All are made with extraordinary care, illustrating the creativity and talent of Italian fashion designers.
- Cristina Ferro
Cristina is a personal shopper with a various and interesting experience, matured in some creative environments. After her international studies, she worked in the communication field for Gucci and for several fashion and design press offices, also planning events. Her curiosity made her study Cool Hunting, reaching such a creative world as Polimoda and organizing contemporary art exhibitions.
So, thanks to all these experiences, she got a good picture of the fashion trends but, above all, of the Florentine survey: what to do, how moving, where buying and eating in Florence, a city rich in tradition, but never foreseen, thanks to its most dynamic, innovative and trendiest features, all keeping that “Florentine” peculiarity. Cristina will show you this Florence, disclosing you a fashion world made of exclusive pieces, vintage, concept stores, design jewellery and much more you do not expect.
- Mirella Conconi
Mirella spent many years entertaining numerous guests from Italy and abroad in her historic villa in the gorgeous Tuscan countryside in Lucca. Allow her to entertain you in the same grand style. Mirella will share her hospitality with you as she guides you around the Lucchese countryside to uncover the hidden secrets known only to those who live there. She will introduce you to the style of Tuscany and Lucca. She will show you the hidden palaces, villas and gardens, and will above all, lead you to her favorite spots for buying fabulous cooking ingredients and traditional Lucchese foods. Then, allow Mirella to take you to the best in local dining. Perhaps a seaside trattoria, or an exceptional local restaurant. Mirella will guide you in your menu selection, give you some background on the food and the ingredients, and then perhaps introduce you to the chef.
- Barbara Rigamonti
Barbara and her family left the hectic city life in Milan several years ago in search of the beauty and sweetness of Tuscan living. They were fortunate to land in Lucca and settled there. Barbara worked for a long time in communications, but her appreciation of good design and fine craftsmanship became her hobby. She came to know all of the small, out of the way shops where one can find good Italian design and grew to be friends with artists, designers and craftsmen. Spend a day with Barbara and find the best in fabulous Italian design. She will show you her favorite places to find clothing, lingerie, shoes, jewelry or perfumes. She knows where to go for true Italian elegance in home décor, home textile and antiques. Let her guide you through the small shops, meeting the owners, discussing the latest arrivals, and finding hidden treasures and exclusive pieces. On the way, stop at her favorite pasticceria for a cappuccino or at aa wine –bar for an aperitif. Shopping with Barbara is like having a best friend that lives in Tuscany!