In the medieval Italian hill town of Orvieto, all roads lead to the Piazza del Duomo. And for good reason — it’s there that you’ll find the city’s 14th century Orvieto Cathedral.
It’s as grand and fabulous as it looks in the panorama. Open it to full screen and take it for a spin. Continue Reading »
We’d like to think of ourselves as rather savvy when it comes to Italy, having married in Tuscany and having visited a dozen times throughout the last decade. But when a friend recommended we visit the Maremma region during our 10th anniversary trip to Tuscany this past autumn, we were intrigued. Maremma? Seen it on maps, never really paid it much mind.
Names like Pitigliano, Sorano and Manciano don’t usually roll off the tip of one’s tongue when talking Tuscan hill towns. Same goes for wines and cuisine from Maremma.
But that’s what motivated us to visit – unknown, hidden, maybe even a little bit wild.
Check out the audio slideshow below to find out what we found: Continue Reading »
As we opened the door to the back patio, there they were: a love-insatiable dog, a just-loving-enough cat, and a setting on the edge of the vineyard with a view to the surrounding farms and hills. The picnic tables — one outside, another inside — spoke to the perfect place for the all-night rolling snackfeasts of local Tuscan produce we had envisioned. Continue Reading »
As autumn advances, the sunflowers fall, the golden soil is turned for the winter. Grapes, too, are ready for harvest. People celebrate.
Tuscany’s poetry is packed in the fields, the hills, the history, the food, and the people who make it all possible.
Earlier this month, we returned to Italy’s Tuscany region ten years after we were married there in September 2000. Time can do funny things to one’s perceptions; we wondered if our memories had been unfairly overcome with nostalgia.
When we were married in Tuscany, it couldn’t have been that beautiful, could it?
So we returned to investigate. And this is what we found. Continue Reading »
How do you like our wild pig?
–- A cook in Tuscany’s Maremma region pauses to ask us one of life’s burning questions.
When we think of Italy, we think of vineyard orchards populated by wild boars, happy cows and people who talk with their hands and sound like they’re yelling at each other all the time even though they are really just talking about how great the tagliatelle is.
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Have you ever read about or quaffed a famous wine and wondered how it was made? The terrain where the grapes were grown, the hands of the winemaker, or the transformation the wine has undergone from harvest to dinner table?
These were just a few of the questions piquing our curiosity about the great wines of Tuscany during our recent visit there. So we paid a visit to several wineries to get a feel for the land, the people, and the craft behind the great wine traditions of this region. Open the panorama below for a clue on how Brunello di Montalcino, one of Italy’s most prestigious wines, is made. You’ll find two important components: a charismatic winemaker, and large Slavonian oak barrels.
Panorama: Learning about Brunello di Montalcino at Capanna Winery
For best panorama viewing results, press fullscreen (four arrows) and navigate around with your mouse.
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Nearly all the best things that came to me in life have been unexpected, unplanned by me.
–- Carl Sandburg
“Are you visiting Tuscany for your honeymoon?” Lorenza, our wine tasting hostess at Avignonesi winery, asked over a swirl of 2007 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano.
“No,” I laughed. “We’re actually here for our 10th anniversary. We were married just down the road in Pienza in 2000.”
Even as the words came out, I thought: Ten years? Really? Continue Reading »
We begin a week of reflection and a reaffirmation of our love affair with Italy. Why now? Because we are revisiting the scene of the crime: our wedding, ten years ago, in the UNESCO World Heritage Tuscan hilltown of Pienza. Continue Reading »