Christmas is on its way and the Italians are ready to celebrate! By the time December rolls around, supermarket shelves and displays in coffee shops, bakeries and bread shops are literally overflowing with colorful and festive traditional sweets to bring in the holiday season. Afterall, Italians take their food VERY seriously and this is the time of year when they go all out. Anyone on a diet will find it literally impossible to keep to it during this month - Italians just resort to the logical solution of postponing their virtuous attempts to after the holidays...which in Italy does not end with Christmas or even New Year's but rather with the Epiphany on January 6th. >>
10 of our favorite shots this week that capture the mood of Autumn in Tuscany. Every week we pick 10 of the best shots on Instagram that represent Tuscany and Italy in its true spirit. Here are this weeks favorites, from castles to abbandoned churches, from archways through the green hills of Chianti and the Val d'Orcia... >>
10 of our favorite shots today that captures the essence of Tuscany in this particular moment in time...
Every week we pick 10 of the best shots on Instagram that represent Tuscany and Italy in its true spirit. Here are this weeks favorites, from that special Tuscan sunlight, to pecorino cheese and truffle...from Pisa to Florence to the hills of Chianti. >>
Despite the chilly weather and the fact that I am a total summer enthusiast and beach freak, fall is one of my favorite times of year in Tuscany because it's harvest season - and that means....lots of my number one passion: FOOD! October and November in Tuscany are full of food festivals, the year's new oil and new wine to taste, lit fireplaces where chestnuts and meats are roasting away and some of my favorite pasta and risotto toppings like mushrooms and truffles are abundant on all menus.This past weekend I packed my family in the car and drove to the Olivicoltori Toscani Associati complex in Chianti to celebrate the beginning of olive harvest season together with the Tuscans themselves. >>
This article from The New York Times' Travel section delicately and exhaustively explores the poetic nuances behind the culture of olive oil. As the author notes, in Italy olive oil is not simply a condiment to use when having guests over...it is a profound way of life. Many people come to Italy to tour the wineries but the art of olive oil - from cultivation to harvesting to pressing to the table - is layered with just as many subtleties and overtones. A tour of an olive mill, especially during harvest time in October and November, is a must when visiting Tuscany. Tasting of various gradations of this liquid gold is great fun, a wonderful way of celebrating the harvest and can open you up to a whole new way of experiencing flavors! >>
"Every step you take, I'll be watching you."
The words ring out across the Tuscan landscape, amidst the mystic light of a warm August sunset. Accompanied by the chords strum on an acoustic guitar and the almost sacred silence of an enraptured audience, Sting performs for a private audience on his magnificent estate, Il Palagio, nestled cozily in the sweet hills of Central Italy.
This August the singer and his wife once again opened the doors of their home to friends, neighbors and family in a loving tribute to yet another sensuous and indulgent Tuscan summer immersed in a rolling countryside of vineyards, olive groves and lush cypress and oak forests. >>
15 things to remember when dining in Tuscany, especially if you are dining with Tuscans, a finicky group who demands the highest of standards and who likes their food cooked and served in a certain way with no questions asked! >>
The simple task of stopping for a coffee could be bewildering for a first time visitor to Italy. Which coffee to order? How to order? Can I sit or should I stand? When to pay? How to pay? The Italian ritual of coffee consumption is as sacred as Sunday mass. It is the highlight of the morning, it marks the passage of time during the day, it offers that breather needed every so often that reminds one to slow down and make room for life's simple pleasures...because the world can wait. But as with all rituals, the art of drinking coffee in Italy comes with its own set of rules...rules that are ingrained into the consciousness of Italians but for an outsider can seem mysterious and almost cultish. >>