Since 1900 the relationship between U.S.A and Russia has been characterized by decades of Cold War tensions and has never been idyllic. But now something is changing due to a kind of liaison element called the Senese and Florentine “Chianti”, the sweet rolling Tuscan hills and their clay soil, home of the famous “bacche rosse” wine. That is the reason why the now famous Anglo-Saxon place name, “Chiantishire”, has transformed over the last few years into yet a better portmanteau, what journalist Tom Kington (from the Guardian) calls “Ruscany”, a completely new word combining “Russia and “Tuscany”.
If at the beginning only English and American stars, like Sting and Bruce Springsteen, were attracted by this landscape, but now even their Russian friends are. During an interview with Dimitri Cotry, owner of “Leonard”, the famous luxury villas agency, he stated that the number of investors in areas such as Forte dei Marmi is on the decline. Lots of them are moving from seaside to hills, in preference of spa towns such as Montecatini or Chianti Hills. Obviously not everybody can afford a farm down there. A study carried out by the Financial Times in 2012, revealed that despite a severe real estate market crisis, estate prices in Chianti have remained the same (ranging from 5.5 million euros for a farm with an 11 hectares of vine in Panzano, to 4.5 million for a refurbished farmhouse in Gaiole).
It is easy to see that despite the crisis, investments in this area continue. Following estate purchases in the area by Sting, Gianna Nannini, Stefania Sandrelli and Roberto Cavalli now their rich friends from Eastern Europe are doing the same. It’s nothing to be astonished by, for the number of people attracted by this undiscovered Tuscan landscape of castles, chartreuses, historic homes and incredible vineyards is on the rise.