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La Notte Blu: A Weekend of Celebrations Along the Etruscan Coastline

Posted on
July 04, 2013
in Events

La Notte Blu: A Weekend of Celebrations Along the Etruscan Coastline

The Costa Degli Etruschi, the Tuscan coastline named after its first settlers, the Etruscans, is getting ready for its fourth annual appointment with La Notte Blu, The Blue Night. The towns along this stretch of beaches will see their streets lit up in a blue hue this Saturday and Sunday, July 6th and 7th. There will be live music, animation, sporting events, outdoor markets, cultural and culinary events, fun for kids, beach parties, dancing, shopping, kite-flying, cake-baking, barbecuing, poetry-reading, hot-air ballooning, scavenger-hunting and much much more. >>

The Real Ligurian Pasta al Pesto: String Beans and Potatoes

Posted on
June 21, 2013
in Recipes

The Real Ligurian Pasta al Pesto: String Beans and Potatoes

Pesto is a delicious cold sauce used on pasta and its simple ingredients are basil, pine nuts, garlic, parmesan cheese (or pecorino), salt and extra virgin olive oil. But on a trip to Liguria you will discover that there is an added surprise to the real Ligurian pasta al pesto, two special ingredients that they throw into the pot while the pasta is boiling: string beans and potato. These add an extra zest to an otherwise simple dish. >>

Calcio Fiorentino, Medieval Soccer in Florence: June 15-16th and 24th

Posted on
June 13, 2013
in Events

Calcio Fiorentino, Medieval Soccer in Florence: June 15-16th and 24th

Every June, ancient Florentine soccer is re-enacted in one of Florence's main historical squares, the Piazza Santa Croce. The tournament is quite a spectacle; nothing quite like it exists. The 27 players on each team, dressed in medieval soccer costumes, can use ANY MEANS to get the ball into the goal, that includes kicking, punching, head-butting, elbowing, choking, and biting and the sight resembles more a battle scene than a sporting event. Today's Calcio Fiorentino tournament, held annually the 3rd week of June, is a renactment of the first match held on February 17th in the year 1530, a crucial moment in the history of the city. >>

Buffet and Ambiance with the Artisans

Posted on
June 10, 2013
in Places to Eat

Buffet and Ambiance with the Artisans

The concept for Maestri di Fabbrica was created when a group of artisans decided to put their talents together to invent a new kind of shopping and dining experience. Handmade in Tuscany crafts are sold on the ground floor of an ancient palazzo owned by the Frescobaldi, a prominent noble Florentine family. The ceilings and walls are adorned with original centuries-old frescoes. But the surprise comes at lunchtime and at aperitif-hour when the back kitchen starts to churn out pot after pot of delicious homemade regional specialties and a buffet is set up right smack in the middle of the store. >>

Fried Sage Leaves and Zucchini Flowers

Posted on
May 30, 2013
in Recipes

Fried Sage Leaves and Zucchini Flowers

In spring and summer in Italy, you can find zucchini flowers adorning every market stall and they can be used in many ways - in a creamy risotto, in pasta sauces or as a fun filling for a hearty frittata but everyone's favorite is when they are fried. Zucchini flowers can be fried plain, but a real treat is when they are filled in the empty space between the petals with a piece of mozzarella and a small dab of salted anchovy. Mmmm...the soft melted cheese against the bold flavor of the anchovy, all wrapped inside a warm and crunchy flower shell is just simply exquisite! Since I was going to fry, I thought I'd throw in the sage leaves too. A lesser known specialty dish, fried sage leaves are a real delight and a surprise for everyone. >>

Classic Tuscan Mushroom Crostini

Posted on
May 29, 2013
in Recipes

Classic Tuscan Mushroom Crostini

One of the most versatile of Tuscan dishes is the crostino. The concept is simple: a slice of toasted or grilled bread and any variety of toppings. The classic starter of crostini toscani normally consists of a few slices of bread, each with one of the most basic of Tuscan toppings, usually: chicken liver paté, fresh tomatoes and basil, sautéed mushrooms. Each restaurant however, usually tries its hand at some creative variation or other of the classic crostino. Sautéed mushrooms is definitely one of my favorites. The secret ingredient for the following recipe uses a hard-boiled egg to give it a firm consistency and a more delicate flavor. >>

19th century Tuscany in a horse-drawn carriage

Posted on
May 23, 2013
in Things To Do

19th century Tuscany in a horse-drawn carriage

Imagine the hypnotizing click-clack of hooves beating the path as you admire the vibrant greenery slipping lazily by. Atop a tall carriage drawn by two genteel horses, it is like rewinding the clocks back one or two centuries. Our elegant coachman, Giacomo, offers us the chance to turn the clocks back and to relive a very special and unique experience. Giacomo conducts classic panoramic rides in Florence's historical center, but what really makes him stand out is his offer of scenic excursions in the Tuscan countryside. A slow and relaxing ride offers you enchanting sights and sounds and panoramic views that are a rare and exclusive experience. >>

Dante-Brown Inferno Tour

Posted on
May 18, 2013
in Things To Do

Dante-Brown Inferno Tour

Dan Brown's latest novel Inferno once again takes place in one of Europe's main cities, this time in Florence. His gripping and suspenseful tales receive criticism from historians and religious figures but do tend to leave his readers curious for more. The cities where his plots unravel become meccas for curious travelers wishing to explore the sites where Brown's mysteries are hidden. Our Dante-Brown Inferno Tour not only takes you through the streets, palazzi and piazze through which his characters move, it also focuses on the life and death of the Supreme Poet, Dante Alighieri. >>

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