December 11 2014 / Art & Archaeology

Striking Gold in Lucignano

Lucignano, Tuscany

In the small main piazza, stately fortified towers, soaring like stalwart guards, bear witness to Lucignano’s bellicose past. For centuries contested


November 25 2014 / Events

Celebrating l’Albero del Pane

San Martino, Umbria

Rural people baptized it l’albero del pane (“the bread tree”) for this tree grew on the mountains where wheat would not grow (and if


November 6 2014 / Local Interest

Le Tre Sorelle

Abruzzo

From L’Aquila, we drove east towards majestic Gran Sasso, mountain behemoth, passing medieval hill towns – clinging like lichen to


October 24 2014 / Food & Wine

Gorga – Milking Time!

Gorga, Lazio

A bandana on his head to hold back dripping sweat, Giulio sat on the steps just outside the family caseificio


October 9 2014 / Places

Ventotene Checklist

Ventotene, Lazio

Before you leave for a few days on paradiso, aka the island of Ventotene, you’ll probably want to jot down a


September 26 2014 / Events

A Day of Memory in Assisi

Assisi, Umbria

At 11:42 a.m. today in Assisi, all the bells will solemnly toll reminding all of the devastating earthquake on September


September 17 2014 / Food & Wine

Scheggino Enticements

Scheggino, Umbria

A five-kilometer-long tunnel now links the Valle Umbra Nord (North Umbrian Valley) pastoral landscapes – sweeps of vineyards, silvery olive


September 4 2014 / Events

Picantissima Pila!

Pila, Umbria

According to some scholars, the late Etruscan life-sized bronze sculptural masterpiece, “the Orator” (now in the Museo Nazionale Arcaelogico di


August 7 2014 / Food & Wine

Make it Peachy!

Italy

Back in our “farming years,” we’d ride our old Gilera motorcycle to nearby Bettona for peach-picking in July. I’d rather


July 7 2014 / Places

Talla, Town of Uncertainties

Talla, Tuscany

Pino dubbed Talla, tiny town in the Casentino Valley, “il paese delle incertezze.” Yes, “uncertainties” threaded through our visit there. Where


June 19 2014 / Local Interest

Tracking Down Tuscany’s Last Mill

Loro Ciuffenna, Tuscany

The colorful stuccoed houses of Loro Ciuffenna seem stacked like multi-colored children’s blocks along the gorge flanking the Ciuffenna River


June 6 2014 / Events

A Glorious Festa della Repubblica

Gubbio. Umbria

I wonder if Gubbio’s children realize that their Corsa dei Ceri Piccoli is probably the most unique celebration of la Festa della Repubblica


May 29 2014 / Events

Where Wild Asparagus Reigns

Eggi, Umbria

Eggi (pop. about 400), medieval castle village near Spoleto, is celebrating la Sagra degli Asparagi triumphantly this year: with all the rain,


May 13 2014 / Events

La Grande Passione dei Piccoli

Umbria

Missing out on la passione, means missing the full Italian experience. La passione is in the Italian DNA. And that


April 17 2014 / Places

Poppi: Castles and Falcons

Poppi, Tuscany

Medieval churches and hilltop castles crowning gently curving slopes – emerald green in springtime, sprinkled with wildflowers like confetti –


April 4 2014 / Local Interest

L’Aquila Must Soar again

L'Aquila, Abruzzo

L’Aquila (“the eagle”) must once again take flight: now, its wings are fractured. Graced with medieval churches and elegant Renaissance and


March 24 2014 / Places

Trequanda Treasures and Curiosities

Trequanda, Tuscany

Incredible: treasures wherever you head in Italy, no matter how tiny, how “insignificant” the locale. This country is a treasure


March 7 2014 / Food & Wine

Pleasures of Piacenza

Piacenza, Emilia-Romagna

Founded by the Romans, devastated by the Goths and resurrected by medieval noble families, this elegant Emilia Romagna city flourished


February 26 2014 / Food & Wine

World’s Best Street Food

Palermo, Sicily

The world’s oldest – and best – “street food”? It’s that of Palermo where – for centuries – the piazzas


February 11 2014 / Art & Archaeology

Bewitched

Foligno, Umbria

People might line up to see a president, to ask a star’s autograph, to shake hands with a music idol,


January 30 2014 / Food & Wine

The Torcolo of San Costanzo

Perugia, Umbria

The Torcolo di San Costanzo is a rich raisin, pinon, and citron-laden, sweet bread created in honor of San Costanzo,


January 15 2014 / Events

Sant’Antonio’s Dish

Santa Maria degli Angeli, Umbria

“Che Sant’Antonio li benedica” (May St. Anthony bless them), an elderly signore murmured as he caressed the collies. Patron saint of


December 20 2013 / Events

Natale del Poverello

Assisi, Umbria

In Assisi, the contest of “presepi artistici” is on! The locals (including school classes) create cribs in every imaginable artistic