Glass & Crystal: Being clear about Italy’s most precious arts

Not always the most luggage-friendly things to buy in Italy, these special made-in-Italy items are definitely worth checking out. If you can’t squeeze in one of the glorious chandeliers, maybe you could splurge on a cute pair of earrings or some wine glasses instead… MURANO: The Glass Island, Venice The history of glassmaking in Venice […]

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The Secret to Beauty & Fashion, Italian-style

In Italian, the idea of making a good impression is expressed as ‘fare una bella figura’ – that is, to make a beautiful figure of your self. In the land of great art and artists, some of the world’s best artisan craftsmen, and the top fashion brands, it is no wonder that beauty in Italy […]

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Traditional Italian Recipe: Just add wine

The secret to all Italian dishes is great quality ingredients…and a dash of know-how. [Photo by Thomas Tolkien] A good excuse for opening a great bottle of wine is known in Italian as ‘cena’ – that is, dinner. Italians usually drink at least a glass of wine with each meal*. The wine may be bought […]

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Vatican Visits – You say tomato, I say Pomodoro

When we exit from the amazing Vatican corridors to enter out into the Cortile della Pigna (Courtyard of the Pine), the sunlight stings our eyes at first, the sunshine so delicious we instinctively turn our faces to bask in its gently warming rays. Facing into the courtyard are a range of façades, all with varying […]

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Arch of Constantine – Rome’s most modest monument

‘Caput Mundi’ is  Latin for ‘Capital of the World’, which the Romans not-so-modestly called their beloved city. It was however quite an apt nomination for Rome, being that the Romans did rule over the ancient world to include much of Europe’s south, as well as Northern African and Southwest Asian regions. Starting from the 2nd […]

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Grateful for Thanksgiving – in Florence, Italy

Italy is one of the best places to visit to experience age-old traditions that have continued through to this day. But one tradition you’d probably not expect to experience is a traditional Thanksgiving dinner in Florence. But if do happen to be in Florence for Thanksgiving (which in 2011 falls on Thursday, November 24th), you’ll […]

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Florence: Bob Dylan, Mark Knopfler …and Nelson Mandela?

Seeing Bob Dylan live in concert is being involved in a part of history that thankfully has not yet become the past. He manages to put new twists on his classic songs, with lucky concert-goers witness to his ever-evolving musical genius. Florence is now lucky enough to be hosting one of Bob Dylan’s concerts which […]

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New Wine & Roasted Chestnuts – Tuscany’s best fruits & nuts combined

By an open fire, we sat around a large wooden table which had been handmade by our friend’s great-grandfather some centuries past. As we chatted away, we worked at scoring an X into the flat side of a great mound of chestnuts, just collected from our friend’s chestnut grove.   We then laid the nuts […]

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