Monthly Archives: February 2011

Say Cheese! Delicious Italian Cheese Varieties

From tasty, crumbly parmesan (paired perfectly with pear), fresh soft cheese that goes spread on a crusty ‘crostino’, or perhaps some blue cheese like gorgonzola whose refined enjoyment makes you glad to be a grown up ? especially when paired … Continue reading

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‘Santo Subito’ – Pope John Paul II steps closer to sainthood

Pope John Paul II is to be beatified on 1st May, 2011. If sainthood is the home-run of Catholicism, beatification is the third base. Just one step away from sainthood, it means that people can pray to the beatified person … Continue reading

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Italy DOs and DON’Ts – pushing in is fine, just don’t touch the apples!

The Uffizi Gallery has just issued a list of rules for visitors to the museum. It got us thinking about etiquette generally in Italy. For instance, when you entre a store, you should ask permission to browse. In Italian you … Continue reading

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A Perfect Morning in Tuscany!

This morning in Tuscany, walking in the beautiful countryside along the river Elsa, a beautiful mist rose off the still Elsa waters as one early-riser Artviva staff-member was out this morning walking Greta, the bi-lingual, expert-stick-catching* dog. The trees stood … Continue reading

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It’s a boy! Is this the secret behind Mona Lisa’s enigmatic smile?

In Italy, when there is a birth in the family, the proud parents and grandparents put a pink or blue ribbon accordingly on the front door of their home, with details of the new addition to the family such as … Continue reading

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La Dolce Vita: Keeping it sweet this Valentine’s Day

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, the red-heart window displays, the florists’ fireworks of flowers, it all got us thinking to romantic things to do on Valentine’s Day ? or good ways to avoid the hype for the singles amongst us! … Continue reading

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Hotel Tax in Rome: Visiting Rome becomes delightfully taxing!

Rome has recently announced a new tax for people who stay in Roman hotels. The funds are promised to be utilised in providing and improving services, security, infrastructure transport and other aspects helpful for visitors the Italy’s great capital. For … Continue reading

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Slow Food Fabulous February Events

Forget fusion, exempt exotic, and move over modern. The Slow Food movement goes old-school on food. Slow Food is all about old-fashioned, good quality cooking utilising locally produce (‘zero kilometre’ food) which is simply and sensationally turned into delicious, healthy … Continue reading

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Oh that old thing? Taking things for granted in Florence’s historic city centre

Florence is often called a ‘living museum’ for all the fascinating, historical, stunning elements that lie within. Whether you’re lucky enough to call Florence home, or just equally fortunate to be visiting Florence, it is easy to take for granted … Continue reading

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The Cinque Terre – Five reasons why ‘la vita è bella’!

The Cinque Terre, or ‘Five Lands’ is just that: five little village towns on the Ligurian Coast. The villages that comprise the stunning Cinque Terre are: Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, Monterosso. Sitting in a cafè in any one of these … Continue reading

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