Everything from Galilio’s finger to a broken glass from his telescope to everything else as it was invented to make the modern world tick – it’s all here and it is well worth a visit. Alternatively – it’s worth even getting the free app and do a virtual tour of the place to explore this […]
Our hotel is right over the Arno River which gives us access not only to great views but also great photo opportunities. If you want to see something really interesting look this up here.
Some of the great sites we visited on the little vintage Fiat Tour. From vineries and olive tree orchards to monuments, churches and homes. Lots of great views, food and company. It truly was a great day.
This tours is definitely lacking in visits to the holy places but little church certainly makes up for it. You walk in here and find some amazing crypts of who is who of Renaissance and beyond. St. Francis of Assisi left his frok here. Buried in this church are Galileo, Michelangelo, Dante, Machiavelli, Marconi, Rossini […]
Fiat Fun in Florence
This was really a last minute idea for doing something different – aka something that involved less walking and more sitting. We booked it the night before and had to get up early to be there by 8:30 am. This turned out to be a half day tour through the hills around Florence with an […]
Sunset over Florence
I think one of the greatest benefits of the hotel we are staying at, other than the fact that there are a lot of great pubic areas, is the rooftop patio. You can grab a drink from the bar, park yourself and enjoy a beautiful sunset. Truly amazing. […]
Florence by Night
Took a quick stroll after dinner to figure out where we should eat tomorrow…and to find a good gelato place, and we accomplished both. […]
New Digs in Florence
We took a train from Rome to Florence. This is the first time we are on holidays where we did not bother with a car. Less than 1.5hours later we were in the centre of Florence – instead of the usual almost a 4 hour drive. I think we can get use to it. We […]
The Stadium of Domitian was dedicated in AD 86, as part of an Imperial building programme at the Field of Mars. It was Rome’s first permanent venue for competitive athletics – think Olympic Games and other things, including gladiator fights when the Colosseum burned down. It was modelled on Greek buildings and seated as many […]
Under the Trevi Fountain
To the right of the Baroque church on the opposite side of the Trevi Fountain are the ruins of an ancient Roman apartment complex located 9 meters beneath the city’s Trevi district. The archaeological site dates back to the first century, but wasn’t discovered until the late 1990s. The site is called Vicus Caprarius, the City […]
Villa Farnesina was built for a wealthy banker back in the early sixteen century and ‘painted’ by many famous Italian painters including Raphael. It’s been rebuilt and redecorated and altered and reinforced to deal with the vibrations of the traffic to preserve the amazing frescos inside of it.
Trastevere – goes as far back as the days of emperor Augustus. It has been part of the city’s 14 districts, and it was quite popular with important Romans who built villas in this neighbourhood, including Julius Caesar. It is many colourful building and narrow streets. In the old days it was primarily occupied by fisherman […]
This is a small church among some 900 other churches in Rome, and is dedicated to Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus, located in Rome. Built in Baroque style between 1626 and 1650, the church functioned originally as the chapel of the adjacent Roman College, which moved in 1584 to a new larger […]
Roman Forum and Palatine
We have done bits and pieces of the Roman Forum and the Palatine but this time we took our time. I think we spent good 4 or 5 hours meandering through the ancient ruins of a city built upon an older city built upon and older city still, stories below where the current city is. […]
Still in Rome
Still walking around Rome looking for new things to explore and new things to see. We took a full 5 minute ride on a LIME scooter that would have taken 3 minutes to walk because of traffic and a minor confusion with a car on the road. After that we promptly park the darn thing […]
Went By a Church
Perhaps if Papa Francesco was in we would have gone to the church, aka as St. Peter’s Basilica, but in truth we really just went for the nice walk after dinner to enjoy the night views without the crowds, without the noise and without the vendors. It was a long day. […]
In the gardens of Villa Borghese a chocolate festival, the richness of which you could smell from a mile away. Dangerous time and place to ‘find’ yourself in – just before dinner! […]
This little area in Rome was built around the 1920s and is was famous for its mixture of several different architectural styles, all coming together to create something never seen before. This is the place where you will find the Villino delle fate (the fairy house) and in the centre of the square the Fountain […]
Yesterday was rough, but today after a good night’s sleep and plenty of coffee we are visiting the old favourites, away from crowds, and at a very leisurely pace. First stop Campo de’ Fiori. Colourful, fragrant and lively. Nothing changed here since our last visit and that’s a good thing. […]
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. […]
Good Morning Rome
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.
MUSMA Museum of Contemporary Sculpture
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 – 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 […]
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.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
Siena Shopping Spree
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!
Daily Trip To Pienza
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 […]
Podere il Casale – Pizza Making Class
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 […]
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 […]
On the way to Montalcino
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
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.
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 […]
When in Montepulciano
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
Sunset at Sant’Anna in Camprena
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.
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 […]
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 […]
Florence in a Day
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 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 […]
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 […]
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.
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.