Arezzo: Master of Etruscan Gold Artistry

Renaissance coats of arms can be seen on major buildings in Arezzo

Arezzo’s current population of 100,000 is many tines what it was during Etruscan and, later, Roman rule, but the city has remained a commercial and cultural center for millennia. One of the hallmarks of Etruscan civilization – the working of gold to produce fine filigree jewelry – has continued to the present day: Arezzo is one of Italy’s three recognized gold districts (the others are Vicenza in ... Read Full Article

Visiting Dario Cecchini’s Butcher Shop and Restaurant in Tuscany

Have you ever contemplated the unique textures and flavors of each piece of meat inside of a sausage? Dario Cecchini certainly has. Thanks to the show, No Reservations, the book Heat, and his vivid personality, Dario Cecchini has become one of the most famous butchers in the world. Located in the Chianti region of Tuscany, his little butcher shop, Antica Macelleria Cecchini, stands across the ... Read Full Article

Leaning Toward a Trip to Pisa?

Leaning tower of Pisa

The Leaning Tower is one of the first landmarks that come to mind when one thinks of Italy. The famous tower (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) is definitely the main tourist draw to the central Italian city of Pisa, however there are plenty of other reasons to visit this historic Tuscan center. How to get to Pisa Pisa is located in Tuscany, one of the most picturesque regions of Italy, on ... Read Full Article

Italy From Bottom to Top: Luxury at the Riserva di Fizzano Resort

Dining in the Apartment at the Riserva di Fizzano

I’m writing poolside at the Relais Riserva di Fizzano resort  in Tuscany’s Chianti region. “Resort” isn’t really the right word. The enclave of luxury apartments was once a medieval village. Located on top of one of the tallest hills around, its grounds offer a panoramic view of Tuscany’s countryside, hills of cascading grapevines included. Architect Fabio Zingarelli, son of Director and Winemaker ... Read Full Article

A Visit to Rocca delle Macíe Winery in Tuscany

Wine Making Facilities at Rocca delle Macie

An hour of curvy roads brought me to Rocca delle Macíe winery in Tuscany. It’s a special time of year because the olive trees are in flower, the tiny, white, star-shaped flowers lasting only five to six days. This morning, I had a private tour and wine tasting with the winery’s top sommelier, Georgeta Perhald. Georgeta’s personality is laudable: She’s honest and direct and has an interesting ... Read Full Article

Italy From Bottom to Top: Wine Tasting in Chianti

  To travel through Italy’s Chianti region is to visit the den of Bacchus (the god of wine and merriment) and forget about reality’s freeways and traffic jams. Its only a 45-minute drive once you get out of Florence, but first, you have to get out of Florence. I made the mistake of thinking that we should go and pick up the rental car (30 euros/day), then pick up our luggage from the ... Read Full Article

Enjoying an Aperitivo in Florence, Italy

Apertivo Buffet

I’ve been walking and bicycling Florence’s busy and beautiful streets for five days now; it’s been hot and muggy, rainy and thundery, and absolutely breathing. Florence has many sides, but my favorites are its sights and its food. Since I’ve seen most of its sights before such as the Uffizi Gallery, and the Duomo, I’ve been focusing on Florence’s aperitivo culture and fine dining. Florence ... Read Full Article

Siena, Italy: Tuscany’s Medieval Treasure

  Fleas are responsible for the charm that draws admiring visitors to Siena. That’s because the damage they caused back in 1348 left the city crippled, unable to change, and stuck in the Middle Ages. The dreaded Black Death, brought by flea-carrying rats, struck Europe’s crowded cities and decimated entire populations. Half the people of Siena died. Unlike Florence and Milan, the city ... Read Full Article

Wine Tasting in Chianti, Italy

I never realized how easy it is to go wine tasting in Chianti until I gave it a try. My girlfriend Kristin and I were staying in Florence and decided to rent a car for twenty-four hours and drive into wine country. It didn’t take more than forty-five minutes and we were in the rolling, vine-covered hills of one of the most important wine-producing regions in history. The main town in Chianti is ... Read Full Article

A Honeymoon in Tuscany

When my husband, Dan, and I were planning our honeymoon, we tossed around several options for honeymoon locations. We wanted a mix of relaxation and excitement, of city and country, of days filled with shopping and sightseeing and days where we had nothing to do but enjoy wandering slowly around town. We wanted delicious food, excellent wine, rolling hills, dramatic cliffs, cobbled streets, and ... Read Full Article