Celebrating Italy Bike Riders!

  With his recent Tour de France victory, Italian Vincenzo Nibali became the first Italian to win the world’s most famous cycling race in 16 years. It came just a few days after another important celebration for Italian cycling, the centenary of the birth of Gino Bartali. Born in 1914 in the quaint Tuscan village of […]

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Traditional Italian Ossobuco recipe – the hole truth

Ossobuco translates to something akin to ‘hole of the bone’. Asides from being further proof that almost anything sounds better if you say it in Italian, it is a great traditional Italian recipe that is easy to make and delicious to eat. In following the great Italian tradition of having friends over for dinner, this […]

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Tuscan Tastes – how good food equals good friends

One of us at Artviva has new neighbours who have just moved in to the apartment downstairs. There is the ‘nonna’, ‘mamma’ and two children, aged 7 and 9. The husband is coming along next week after taking care of their farmland a few towns over. In the evenings when we enter the apartment building, […]

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Florence city: a beauty that improves with age

  Passing through the Tuscan  countryside, with its hilltop towns surrounded poppy-peppered fields, grape vines and olive groves,  stand romantic ruins – long-abandoned farmhouses and villas, their sandstone blocks crumbling back into the earth from whence they came, wild ivy slowly swallowing these once-majestic homes. These are the images that postcards, coffee table books, and […]

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Grapes in Tuscany – from harvest to wines, mains & sweets

With the 2011 harvest for the most part completed, a little earlier this year owing to the dry weather in Tuscany this summer, there is much excitement about the forecasted great 2011 vintage. Tuscan reds from 2011 are expected to be exceptionally good, with the low rain fall meaning there is less water content in […]

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Latest Autumn Fashion from Italy: dressing like an onion?

When the seasons start to change, the Italians have  a lovely way to express how you should dress: ‘come una cipolla’ – like an onion. The saying perfectly captures the idea of layering so that when the mornings are lovely and crisp, you are nice and warm, and when the sun warms things up a […]

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The Tough Task of Training Truffle-hunting Dogs in Tuscany

  Being a truffle hunter more than a hobby, it is a lifestyle, a religion. It takes patience, and practice, dedication and determination. One of our great friends is the wife of one such a truffle hunter, and she often complains that her truffle-hunting husband adores his prize truffle-hunting dogs much more than he adores […]

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Putting their behind behind a great cause – charity bike ride against drunk driving

Italy is famous worldwide for its wine and yet most Italians consume alcohol in moderation, and always with food. The culture of binge or hobby drinking has not quite arrived on these shores. Unfortunately that means that drink driving has never been strictly regulated, and to this day, it is still not a criminal offence. […]

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The simple things in life are always the best in Tuscany

The mornings are still a little fresh in Tuscany, but the Tuscan sun soon warms up the signature rolling hills of Tuscany. Mornings in Tuscany are wonderfully passed by taking a ‘passegiata’, a walk up, over and around the hillside, passing vineyards raking the hillside and olive trees pegged out in neat lines in their […]

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