Tag Archives: Italy
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St. Peter’s

Like yesterday, first thing in the morning, we went to see a bit of Rome, but this time on the other side of the river.  We went to St. Peter’s Basilica fully expecting to see thousands of people lined up trying to get in and see the house of the richest god there ever was. […]

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Matera

Matter – known as the underground city and its historical centre “Sassi” contains ancient cave dwellings which were occupied until 1950s.  The area of what is now Matera has been settled since the Palaeolithic (10th millennium BC). This makes it potentially one of the oldest continually inhabited settlements in the world. It has also been […]

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Ostuni

No word of a lie it was 40°C so we spent most of the day either in the pool or around the pool.  In the evening when it got cooler, 31°C, we set of for Ostuni.  It is a small town with about 32K people in winter but during the summer months its populations swells […]

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Alberobello – Puglia

Alberobello is a small city of less than 11,000 people and it is famous for it’s trullos.  Trullos are scattered throughout this part of Puglia. The story behind trullo was to build a small home with only dry stone and no mortar so they could easily be reconfigured and taken down.  They were simply built […]

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Spadalunga – Puglia

We have done absolutely  nothing since we got here.  Haven’t been anywhere, haven’t seen anything yet, other than the inside of some restaurants for food of course.  We haven’t even been out for a gelato yet.  Lazy and relaxing is the name of the game and this is the perfect setting for it.

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The High Tower

To work off some of the gelato we have consumed over the last few days and excessive amount of food and wine today we are going cultural.  We are going to visit a couple of museums, some art galleries and climb the tallest tower in the city for the most spectacular view of the city […]

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San Gimignano by Night

We are, for the first time, not just visiting San Gimignano but staying in the city for a few days.  We parked the car at the bottom of the hill and will spent a few days just walking around and exploring all the great gelato places this city has to offer, but really just concentrating […]

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Montisi

It appears that after Castelmunzio, Montisi is our next favourite place to over eat at dinner.  Montisi is a tiny and serene village, steeped in tradition but largely unspoiled by tourism.   It’s also a quiet retreat for a good number of celebrities who come here to hide from the crowds.    

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Cortona

Perched 600m up on a hillside Cortona is a medical town with narrow and steep streets and architecture.  The city overlooks Chiana Valley and  Lake Trasimeno, scene of Hannibal’s ambush of the Roman army in 217 BC.  Legend has it that Cortona was built some 273 years after the Great Flood.  After Arezzo it is the […]

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Abbey of Sant’Antimo

While pretending to know where we are going without the use of the GPS we took the wrong traffic circle exit  out of Montalcino but luckily ended up here.  This is an old Benedictine Abbey dating back to 813 A.D.  Like most of Tuscany it fell under the influence and rule of either Siena or […]

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Cappella della Madonna di Vitaleta

I think everyone knows or at least has seen Cappella della Madonna di Vitality. Alternatively if you have seen a calendar from Tuscany or have visited Val d’Orcia or drove between Pienza and San Quirico d’Orcia then you should instantly recognize this UNESCO protected landmark.  This time we drove up closer to the chapel and took a […]

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Pizza Class

There are a few things that are easier to make than pizza.  Apparently, things which appear simple are quite complex if you break them down.  Long story short – I have been doing every aspect of the pizza making, right down to holding the dough all wrong, absolutely every single part, all wrong.  This was […]

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Tuscan Splendour

On the way back to Sant’Anna in Camprena from Montalcino we stopped a few times to take in the magnificent vistas and enjoy the serenity of this spectacular landscape. This truly is a wonderful place and the pictures simply don’t do its justice.

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Montalcino for Lunch

There appears to be about a thousand wine shops in this village.  There are places where you can sample over 100 wines in a single wine store.  It’s bonkers!  However, our search is for some food, because it has been at least 3 hours since our last meal, and to find another gelato place, because […]

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Paggio Dell’Aquila

Promptly after breakfast today we drove out to a small family run winery nestled just below the quaint town of Montalcino.  This place produces only 18,000 bottles of wine one Rosso and one Brunello, (read no cheap and pricey)  The local oenologist, Maria, who is Spanish, gave us a great tour and a great wine […]

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San Gimignano and Gelato

San Gimignano is synonymous with the very finest of gelato, some great artisan shops and phenomenal galleries.  There is no shortage of the run of the mill tourists traps like the Museum of Torture and other junk stores but for a refined gelato junkie this place is a paradise.  True to form, we parked the […]

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Sunrise Hunting

The idea was great, the plan brilliant, the execution none of the above.  We did not find the right hill to see the sunrise, I guess you have to be in the know to be in the right spot at the right time.  We will do better next however as we have acquired a map […]

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Back to Siena

We are back to Siena.  Unlike our last time here, this time it is all about sitting around and taking in the sights.  We did go and visit a couple of places, but mostly we just ate, sat around and admired the views – including the Piazza del Campo and Siena Cathedral.  

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Tuscany – The Scenic Route

We are taking it easy today – in the plans is the short trip to Sienna. Instead of the regular Autostrada we are taking the SR2 which is essentially a local secondary road that winds through the Tuscan country side.  Slow and enjoyable, lazy morning drive, it’s perfection.

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Sunset in Pienza

About 10 min drive from Sant’ Anna is Pienza.  A small town that came to prosperity and prominence under one of the Popes.  But we did not came here for religion, we came to experience something much more spectacular, something much greater than god – a stunning Tuscan sunset.  We also scoped out some places we would […]

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Orvieto

Today we are travelling to Sant’ Anna in Camprena. We stayed here last year in the spring and loved it so much we thought we would come back and bring some friends with us to enjoy.  However, because the drive from Rome to Camprena is not long we are taking some detours.  First on the […]

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Last Night in Rome

Today is our last day in Rome, tomorrow are going to pack up and head for the Tuscan Hills.  Having said that though, there are still a lot of places to explore.  This morning we started with Eataly and a lot of food sampling and a huge lunch – naturally.  Then we wondered around through […]

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Ciao Roma!

The only thing on the agenda for today was to take it easy and relax and eat less. Failed on all three accounts.  We stopped at Eataly, an old train station that has been converted to a 5 story Italian Shop with 18 or so restaurants.  The store has pretty much everything you can imagine […]

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Villa Borghese

Our schedule for today is very relaxed.  A nice stroll through the Borghese gardens towards the Spanish Steps and a bit of shopping.  The Borgheses were  a wool merchant family from  Sienna.  The head of the family, Marcantonio, moved to Rome in 1541 and this Sienese family rapidly gained access to the upper echelons of Roman […]

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Revisiting Rome

After the morning museum trip and an extensive siesta from the unyielding and relentless heat, we set out for a lap around Rome.  Last time we were here the Trevi Fountain was being renovated and cleaned, which apparently is done once every 50 years or so. There are over 2000 fountains in Rome but this one […]

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MAXXI

MAXXI – National Museum of the 21st Century Arts, is a national museum of contemporary art and architecture in Rome and is about 5 min walk from the gorgeous apartment we are staying in. The museum was built on the old and decommissioned military compound site.  This spectacular building was designed by Zaha Hadid who passed away this […]

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Path of the Gods

We set out for a short walk, from the village of Agerola to Priano – it turned out to be about 8.5km.  Path of the Gods is one of the most famous and most spectacular trails in Italy with stunning view of the Amalfi coast and its towns, mainly Positano, Priano and Amalfi.  There are […]

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Divina Costiera

We are finally here… We are checked into Divina Costiera which is located in the Latter Mountains, 2 km outside Agerola.  We are really really hight up in the mountains, it is 10:44 and it is 26C and humid! It’s beautiful, despite the heat.                         […]

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Bagno Vignoni

Our last tourist stop on this trip is the ancient village of Bagno Vignoni located in the heart of Tuscany, in the Val d’Orcia Natural Park.   At the heart of the village instead of the usual piazza is the “Square of sources” – a huge hot springs pool dating back to the sixteenth-century.  This spot was […]

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Vitaleta Chapel

If you have ever seen a calendar of Tuscany, postcards or even some promotional material chances are you have seen Vitality Chapel in at least one of the pictures.  The chapel of Our Lady of Vitality originally built around 1590 is located on a private property on the road between Pienza to San Quirico d’Orcia and […]

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Back to Siena

This is our third visit to Siena.  We always find something new to see and to do. After two hectic days of driving around and looking at towns and villages today we are taking it easy.  This time around in Siena, we decided to climb the Torre del Mangia which is 88m in height – same […]

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Sant’Anna in Camprena

Sant’Anna in Camprena is in the heart of Tuscany – about 6km from Pienza.  It is a monastery from the 15th century perched on the top of hill with spectacular views of the rolling Tuscan hills.  The buildings are beautiful, the garden is huge and the food is simply amazing.  Having said that this place would be nothing if it […]

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Foiano della Chiana

Relatively speaking this is a large town compared to some of the smaller villages we visited.  There are about 10K people living in Foiano della Chiana today.  This is also an agricultural town which used to be surrounded by marshes on three sides, and not a hill top town like all others.  If it was […]

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