"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. >>
These days it is just too hot outside to even poke your head out the door. The problem is, unless you're a super savvy techy and you've got one of those innovative cold-air shooting inventions in your home (known as air-conditioning, a rare find in Italy!), it's been way too hot even to keep your head poked indoors! This year is on its way to becoming one of the hottest summers ever in Italy and I've been cooling myself off the Italian way...with my daily dose of a smooth, creamy and mellow caffè shakerato, at least once every afternoon. >>
Medieval festivals in Italy are a truly special experience for the simple fact that they take place directly in what were once real medieval cities. These cities today still breath the air of ancient times and its winding stone streets come alive with fiery warhorses, fearless knights, noblemen, damsels, artisans and merchants, common people and peasants, flagwavers and crossbowmen, musicians and jesters....as if by magic they bring back the mystery and enchantment of the Middle Ages. This year from Aug 15th to the 23rd the ancient city of Volterra celebrates its 17th edition of its annual medieval festival: VOLTERRA A.D. 1398. >>
Il Palio is a popular medieval bareback horserace around the sand-covered Piazza del Campo of the beautiful city of Siena. The race takes place twice every year on July 2nd and August 16th during which the city's various contrade compete for the banner dedicated to the Virgin Mary, known as il palio. The immense Piazza del Campo square is filled with costumed pageantry before the race and afterwards massive feasts are set up on long outdoor tables that can stretch for blocks on the side streets. Tickets for favored locations provided with seating can be quite pricy but a good view of the race can also be obtained from the middle of the piazza where a large crowd stands. >>
This week on our series ITALY'S EXPAT EXPERTS we are featuring Tina, originally from Vermont, USA, who has been living in Italy for the past 30 years - first in Florence, now in Rome. Tina describes herself as "a single, working mother either entirely competent or confused in two languages, two cultures, at least two mindsets." Her current work as Director of Arcadia University in Italy takes her often to all corners of Italy and here she shares with us some of her most impassioned insights and affections for her adoptive country and culture. >>
The first annual ITALIAN STREET FOOD FESTIVAL in Florence will take place this weekend, April 10-12, 2015, at the Parco delle Cascine!
After serving about 50,000 people in Rome, the festival will move north stopping in Florence for the first time. Besides the 28 trucks serving all kinds of foods from Northern Italy to Southern Italy there will also be live music, entertainment and workshops. For three days these Italian "cooks on wheels" will present specialties from all over the country. Click here to see some of the culinary delights visitors can expect to find. >>
It's springtime again and with this season's sunshine and sprinkles come a whole array of delights that mother nature has to offer. Here in Tuscany as the kale, broccoli, fennel and pumpkins are fading away, a visit to the local farmer's market shows stalls filling up with the first signs of asparagus, fava beans, spring peas, Tuscan artichokes, radishes, arugula and strawberries!
Here is a quick and delicious pasta recipe filled with the springtime flavor of fresh asparagus. >>
This week on our series ITALY EXPAT EXPERTS we are featuring Espen from Norway, now living in Florence! Espen is an art director running his own design studio and he has collaborated with major European fashion houses. He spends his free time jogging through the city he loves, cooking up a storm in his kitchen with fresh seasonal ingredients from the local market and just enjoying life in his new adoptive country.
Our EXPAT EXPERTS series takes a look at expats from around the world who all have one thing in common: they have chosen to make Italy their home. They share with us quick blurbs on their impressions, their loves and their favorites about this country. >>