Vasari Corridor re-opens – Last opportunity to visit before its closure

After its closure last July, the Vasari Corridor has now re-opened to the public. Visitors now have the once in a lifetime opportunity to visit the famous secret passageway before it is closed once again this December. It should then be open again more than a year later, as major renovation works are expected to […]

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Learning Italian: Italy’s 3 magic words

Travelling to Italy, you may wish to be prepared with a few key words of Italian to get you by. Of course there is ‘Grazie’ (thank you) – making sure to also pronounce the e at the end, like grazi-è, as there are no silent letters in Italian. Same goes for how you say ‘Per […]

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It’s a sign – what to do in Italy

The best way to experience Italy is with the locals. And to do so, there is no better way than to follow the signs. Around cities and small towns, Italians place posters advertising events, markets, concerts, festivals, Renaissance fairs, parades and – some of our favourite events – ‘sagre‘. Sagre – local specialty food festivals […]

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Calcio Storico: Florence’s toughest footballers… in those trousers?!

  Florence is getting ready for the latest series of Calcio Storico (also known as Calcio Fiorentino), a unique sport which originated in Tuscany in the 1500s. ‘Calcio’ translates to both ‘kick’ and also to ‘football/soccer’ in Italian, thus ‘Calcio Storico’ can be translated as ‘Historical Football/Soccer’. However, this unique Italian sport is more like […]

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Enoteca: the great Italy wine tradition

It is quite normal for Italians to take a long lunch break to enjoy a nice lunch of pasta followed by a meat main, usually accompanied by local wine. Now, if it’s so common for Italians to have a glass or two of wine a day each – and that’s just at lunchtime! –  you […]

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Tuscany’s most famous trees

In the rolling countryside of Tuscany, the hills undulate so smoothly it looks like you could row a boat over them. Driving through Tuscany*, we passed through the stunning area of Torrenieri, a locality in the Val D’Orcia – Montalcino area of Tuscany where we stopped to take photographs of the most famous little cluster […]

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Romance Made to Measure – Valentine’s Day in Italy

Everyone has their own idea of what is romantic. For some, it’s red roses and chocolates. And if you like red, roses and chocolates, that’s great. However, if you’re looking for some out-of-the-chocolate-box ideas for the most romantic day of the year, here are some unique and romantic things to do for Valentine’s day: 1. […]

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Happy Harvest: Extra Virgin Olive Oil in Tuscany, Italy

Olive oil used to be stored in specially made terracotta vats

Talk in Tuscany at this time of year is all about oil – the time of the harvest, the amount of olives collected, and finally the ‘liquid gold’ itself – Tuscany’s beloved cold pressed, extra virgin olive oil. Harvest is done when the olives are a nice mix of ripe (but not overly so) and […]

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Shopping in Italy: the fashion for fine food, friends and fun

Shopping in Italy: the fashion for food, friends and fun

Italians generally don’t shop in mega shopping complexes*. Rather, shopping is done by visiting farmers markets and small stores run specialists in their trade. If you want bread, visit the baker. For meat, see the butcher. In the interest of ensuring top quality, it makes perfect sense. And loaf by loaf, slice by slice, storeowners […]

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