Category Archives: Italy up close

Tuscan cooking lesson!

Do you like Tuscan cooking?  We thought so! We are able to arrange a cooking lesson at a vineyard estate that produces wine and olive oil. Stefania is the owner along with her daughter, Irene.  They are delightful and have … Continue reading

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On or off the beaten path?

This thing called the ‘beaten path’ really isn’t such a bad place. Everyone wants to avoid it, but you have to consider that it includes many of the beautiful destinations and experiences that create the best travel memories…Michelangelo’s David, the … Continue reading

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From Lucca to the Tuscany Seaside

Our Italian friends tell us that Lucca is a fun place to live and to visit because the people from here do such a good job of getting the most out of life. The area is known for its thriving … Continue reading

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Settignano – The luxurious setting of Villa Gamberaia

Settignano is a small and welcoming village with an artistic legacy.  It’s close enough to Florence to enjoy a day of touring and then return home without a long drive.  And it’s still rural enough to offer a view of fields … Continue reading

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A luxury villa inside Rome is hard to find

Rome is a busy and exciting city, filled with timeless treasures that can be found with a brisk walk and a handy guidebook.  Its convenient underground Metro can whisk you from one side of town to the other.  Take some time to … Continue reading

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The Kingdom of Tavolara – You can see it from Villa Bianca

You might already know a lot about Italy, but have you ever heard of the Kingdom of Tavolara?  Located on the beautiful island of Tavolara off the northeastern coast of Sardinia, it is an “imaginary state” that was set up … Continue reading

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Villa Cetinale – One of Edith Wharton’s favorites

In 1904, Edith Wharton published “Italian Villas and Their Gardens“, on assignment from Century magazine. During her four month visit, she documented her observations of Italy’s most beautiful gardens.  Her book is considered one of the earliest and most important works … Continue reading

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My introduction to Italy’s craft beers

I am not a craft beer expert, but I know what I like.  Living in Denver, it seems like we are at the epicenter of an explosion of creativity and flavor that seems to know no bounds. People here really … Continue reading

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Sacre Monte – The Sacred Mount above Lake Orta

We often find ourselves going back to Orta San Giulio, the warm and friendly medieval town on Lake Orta.  There is something artistic about it, to be sure.  But there is also a sacred atmosphere here as well. This year … Continue reading

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Italy’s new tourism tax: What you should know

In March 2011, the Italian legislature passed a decree that created a new tourism tax to be paid by visitors to Italy, and collected by the accommodations where they are staying. The purpose is to raise revenue that municipalities can … Continue reading

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