This morning, the Social Media Team “Voglio Vivere Così” met Sandra Lutz, grand prize winner of the Regione Toscana contest “Happy New Tuscany”, over breakfast before her return to Germany after her wonderful Tuscan vacation.
“Happy New Tuscany” is one of a number of contests that the Regione Toscana is unveiling this year. It is part of the “Wintuscany” campaign, a project that promotes tourism in Tuscany through social networks thanks to its Social Media Team”Voglio Vivere Così”. This and other contests can be entered on the website www.wintoscana.com.
The first prize winner won a vacation in Tuscany between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Specifically, the award for 2 people included airport transfer to and from the winner’s home, return flight to Florence, 4 star luxury hotel accommodation for a week, a special New Year’s Eve dinner in elegant restaurant in Florence, luxury car with valet parking, and free entrance to museums.
Sandra Lutz is the Happy New Tuscany grand prize winner and she decided to share this amazing experience in Tuscany with her family: a three-year old boy and her husband. The Social Media Team met her at Savoy Hotel in Florence before she left for Germany in order to chat over breakfast.
Sandra found out about the Happy New Tuscany contest on Facebook. One of her friends shared the link and said: A Tuscany lover like you can’t miss this opportunity!. She didn’t expect to win; the good news came as a kind of Christmas Angelâ. Although she already had plans for new years’eve (a raclette with friends) she said they were rather understanding of her cancellation, though they would have liked to come with her!
Sandra, a well-traveled 30-something events marketing executive, loves Tuscany. This was not her first trip this region: they often drive down from their home in southern Germany for a long weekend, or for longer stays in the summer. She appreciates Tuscanys beautiful and smiling people, the art cities, the countryside and food, so simple, home-made and tasty.
During her stay, Sandra and her family used the car to visit cities she had never seen such as Arezzo, Siena, and San Gimignano. She also went to Pisa, although they had some trouble arriving due to highway closures caused by the heavy rains and flooding that afflicted the region this holiday season.
She is a self-confessed fashion victim, so the Prada outlet near Montevarchi was an important destination at which she found some great deals (like a pair of 900 euro boots she’d tried on in Germany, at the outlet for 200). We asked her what she had planned before her afternoon flight; she confessed that she had an eye on some clothes at Belstaff, as she says prices are 50% less than in Germany (even before the end-of-season sales that start Jan 7 2010!). Given her love of shopping, we at the Social Media Team suggested that on her next trip she hit up the Barberino Outlet Village and The Mall (near Incisa).
The Savoy Hotel was another nice surprise for Mrs Lutz. The staff was friendly and discreet, and her huge fifth-floor suite has a view of the whole city. The New Years’ Eve dinner at theGolden View restaurant was great; she had worried that it might be difficult with a young child, but found that the menu (not set) was appropriate to everyone, and her son stayed up until past 1am! There was a wonderful view over the Arno, with its famed fireworks. While usually she celebrates with family and friends, she found New Years in Tuscany to be a pleasant experience, and one she intends to repeat: while in Germany there is much dressing up and forced happiness, she said here there was a more relaxed and authentic atmosphere.
Mrs. Lutz has already booked her summer holidays in Tuscany, first in Radda in Chianti and then at the beach at Castiglione della Pescaia. As she hadn’t reserved the hotel for the latter, we suggested our favourite resort in the area and a few good restaurants. Also we recommended a day trip to the nearby Isola del Giglio.
The time came to say our goodbyes; she’s a little sad to return to a foot of snow at home Sandra had a wonderful experience and heartily thanks the Regione Toscana and the Social Media Team for the prize. We exchanged Facebook contact information so that she can keep up to date on events in Tuscany that will help her plan her return trips. We hope she has a fine trip home and look forward to hearing from her soon, and helping her with her next trip!
We at the Social Media Team encourage you to enter the contests now open on wintoscana you can win an art weekend or a spa weekend and have a great, luxurious trip just like Sandra did. Furthermore, keep on top of news from contest winners, as well as of upcoming contests and events in Tuscany, by following us on Twitter (Twitter Social Media Team list).