A dream-like landscape, Renaissance architecture and world-class wines induce the casual tourist to believe that life in Tuscany is as picture-perfect as its scenery. But obviously - as everywhere else - it isn't. Based in the famous rolling hills aren't just stellar wineries and beautiful olive groves, but also a handful of sheltered homes for women, who need to escape domestic violence. 

Tuscan summer sunset over Montalcino and the Val d'Orcia
Tuscany: land of perfection? 

The main prize of the 15th edition of the Casato Prime Donne Award puts the spotlight on an issue that keeps being a major problem not just in Tuscany but all around the world. 124 women have been murdered in Italy in 2012, many of them at the hands of their partners or ex-husbands. Contrary to the popular believe that violence against women is a major topic due to high immigration, 71% of last year's murders were committed by Italian men. 

Prize winner Linda Laura Sabbadini's work in Italy's national statistics office since the 90s has given the issue of violence against women concrete numbers. Now head of ISTAT's social and ecological statistics department Sabbadini has lead major research and renovated the methodology with which social statistics are collected, analyzed and shared. 

The ceremony will take place on Saturday September 14 in Montalcino's theater (teatro degli Astrusi).
The laLut theater company will accompany the ceremony and the following dinner at Fattoria del Colle in Trequanda with sketches of their most recent theater production. LaLut's work focuses on three short stories by Renaissance writer Giovanni Boccaccio, which highlight the antique roots of violence against women. 

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