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. […]
We did get up at 6:30am on our vacation to see what Rome looks like when it is quiet and empty. I did not disappoint, it was quiet and empty and serene – just beautiful.
This museum is located in a home of a 17th century noble family in Matera and the 7 limestone caves dating back to Neolithic times. The family used the caves for food and wine storage but today the entire residence and the caves are one great museum of modern contemporary sculpture.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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.
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 […]
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 […]
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.
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 […]
Bypassing the usual tourist sites and sticking to what we know about Siena we stuck to a lot of gelato, a bit of espresso and a whole lot of shopping which was not only productive but also very satisfying with exception of Evelina who opted to save her cash!
We either come here for gelato or to have lunch but mostly for gelato since it is the closest place to Sant’Anna. I am not sure for how much longer we can keep up the 3 square meals per day plus gelato once or twice a day. The rest is Sant’Anna getting ready for the first concert […]
Pizza making class is always a blast, especially at Podere il Casale. Making great food together is a great way to spent time with friends and family. A bit of good wine helps too. We love coming here, we love the stories and the experiences Sandra shares and are always in awe on how rewarding […]
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 […]
It is the one and only day it is supposed to rain mid day today so we are not going to the thermal baths, but taking a short scenic drive to Montalcino and catching up on dealing with hundreds of pictures which need to be sorted, edited and posted.
Sant’Anna in Campera from every which angle you can imagine. After a massive storm last night the air is so clear you can easily see the mountains far in the distance. The power is still on and off but they are working on it.
Internet out, WiFi down, power out and biblical thunder, lighting and rain. That is the kind of evening and night we had. At least the temperature dropped below 40C which was a relief.
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 […]
Last time the four of us were here was almost 7 years ago. Things have not changed much!
Finally we got to see some fog in the morning, covering the Tuscan hills. We did not get up at the crack of dawn to see the sunrise because – we ate and drunk far too much last night. Still, though, this was a great view, right here from Sant’Anna. SaveSave
Take your pick the sunset was imply glorious. Sitting in the orangery with a glass of wine with fine company – what could be better?
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 […]
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.
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 […]
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 […]
I think this is our 3rd or 4th time in Florence and finally we know the place enough to not get lost 4 times trying to walk 100m in a straight line. Once again we visited the Uffizi and the Academia for the first time. The cathedral is still there and just as magnificent as […]
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 […]
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 […]
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.
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.
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 […]
We are back. We love being back and it is easy to see why Sant’ Anna in Camprena is the best kept secret in Tuscany. Quiet and quaint, with amazing hosts, Stefano and Ornella and breathtaking views of the countryside. The food is amazing and the atmosphere second to none. We just love this palace […]
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 […]
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 […]
Getting around Rome and seeing the sights is not for the faint of heart or bad shoes. Our agenda for today was pack, but it started slowly with a breakfast at the local coffee shop. 6 cappuccinos and an espresso later we set out to conquer Rome. Colosseum, Victor Emmanuel II Monument, Palatine Hill, Borghese […]
We are back in Rome. This is the start of our 12 day mini holiday. We will be here until Sunday and then head out to Sant’ Anna in Camprena. This trip was a long time coming and this time we are joined by Susan and later on by Chris and Tamara in Tuscany. The […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
Today we ventured out on a drive from Agerola, where we are staying, to Ravello. Sine there is only one road that clings to the side of the mountain we had to drive through Amalfi. However, the drive is not as bad as everyone has said it would be. Would I drive it in my […]
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 […]
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. […]
Finally we are setting off on our summer vacation. It has been a long time coming.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]