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EATS REVIEW: IL SANTO FORNO, FLORENCE

Posted on
August 22, 2016
in Places to Eat

EATS REVIEW: IL SANTO FORNO, FLORENCE

Great little boutique bread shop in the Santo Spirito neighborhood with lots of goodies. This place is open by the same owners of the nearby restaurant, Il Santo Bevitore, and the snack place next to that, Il Santino, two of my favorite places to eat in the city. Il Santo Forno did not disappoint - the same top quality eats and not just the usual Tuscan loaves that you find in most places but several different kinds of breads, focaccia and cakes/sweets too. >>

EATS REVIEW: SAPORI DI TOSCANA, SAN MINIATO

Posted on
August 16, 2016
in Places to Eat

EATS REVIEW: SAPORI DI TOSCANA, SAN MINIATO

It's the kind of place that you dream to find...the hidden, off the beaten path restaurant that only locals go to, where you know they don't speak English and the food is genuine and oh so good. We happened upon it last October for my hubby's bday, strangely enough though we live in the area no one had ever told us about this place. It's an "agriturismo", what in Italy is known as a farmhouse that offers accommodations and at times, food -- what was once a simple solution for travelers that nowadays often is quite a luxurious experience topped with infinity pools and stunning views of rolling hills. Well, Sapori di Toscana is none of all that. It is a no-frills experience for die-hard lovers of the Tuscan way of life. >>

5 IDEAS FOR AMAZING DAY TRIPS FROM FLORENCE

Posted on
January 31, 2016
in Backroads Itineraries

5 IDEAS FOR AMAZING DAY TRIPS FROM FLORENCE

It is known that Florence is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Italy, but all around the magical Tuscan city there are many other interesting towns that are easily reachable for short day trips and are truly worth visiting. You can arrive there by car (if you do not have yours, you can plan to rent one) or by train and although you will have to leave the Tuscan capital, these are beautiful and fascinating destinations that will make your trip to Italy all the more richer. Manarola in the Cinque Terre, Pisa, Lucca, Greve in Chianti and Bologna are 5 ideas for exciting escapes, all within 1 or 2 hours from Florence city. >>

CHRISTMAS IN ITALY! 5 OF THE BEST TRADITIONAL HOLIDAY DESSERTS

Posted on
December 20, 2015
in Italian Lifestyle

CHRISTMAS IN ITALY! 5 OF THE BEST TRADITIONAL HOLIDAY DESSERTS

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. >>

4TH EDITION OF F-LIGHT: FLORENCE LIGHT FESTIVAL

Posted on
December 14, 2015
in Events

4TH EDITION OF F-LIGHT: FLORENCE LIGHT FESTIVAL

This year's 4th Edition of F-LIGHT, Florence Light Festival will run from December 8-27, welcoming the holidays with a celebration of life and light in an evocative journey through the majestic squares of Tuscany's capital city. As the sun sets and the evening falls over Florence, visitors are invited to take a stroll through the city and rediscover it in a unique way. Innovative light installations, videomapping and projections will give a whole new interpretation to Florence's monuments. This year's F-LIGHT Festival takes on special meaning as 2015 is also the International Year of Light proclaimed by UNESCO. The city of Florence joins the world in this celebration of light, the source of universal energy. >>

Kale, Garbanzo and Barley Soup

Posted on
December 09, 2015
in Recipes

Kale, Garbanzo and Barley Soup

Tuscan cuisine comes from centuries-old peasant traditions and is full of delicious hearty soups and stews with lots of grains, legumes and seasonal vegetables at its base. No time is better to delve into my favorite Tuscan cookbook than this time of year when the morning frost makes it harder and harder to roll out of bed in the morning! Here is another recipe using one of my favorite veggies - Tuscan kale. Combined together with savory garbanzo beans and barley grains, this dish can be considered, what they call a "piatto unico" in Italy - a complete dish containing whole proteins (an adequate proportion of all nine of the essential amino acids), carbs and greens. So enjoy this stew on its own or add a side of winter veggies! >>

THE 5 MOST STUNNING TUSCAN VILLAGES OFF THE BEATEN PATH

Posted on
November 25, 2015
in Backroads Itineraries

THE 5 MOST STUNNING TUSCAN VILLAGES OFF THE BEATEN PATH

When people visiting Tuscany ask me what are the best places I can recommend they visit, I often have to hold myself back from overwhelming them with too many ideas. Of course it's essential that first time visitors see the main destinations: Florence, Siena, Pisa, San Gimignano, Lucca... but sometimes, when their time is limited, I am tempted to suggest they skip some of those entirely. The real Tuscany, a truely authentic experience lies off the main tourist path where the crowds are less but where the sites are equally as stunning, at times even more so because of their undiscovered nature. And imagine little bread shops, botteghe, mom and pop stores where you find locals buying their goods; coffee shops full of towns folk... >>

10 Instagram Shots of Autumn in Tuscany

Posted on
November 13, 2015
in Italian Lifestyle

10 Instagram Shots of Autumn in Tuscany

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... >>

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