Barga

Our little, big, Barga (by M.Regoli & CB): La Garfagnana is a less renowned part of Tuscany. It’s a wide area of the Appennino, not far from Lucca, a town that I adore. Garfagnana The Garfagnana is rich in small villages scattered along the woods. It’s a place that sends you back immediately to autumn,…

La Leggiadra Rondinella (Italian)

LA LEGGIADRA RONDINELLA (by M. Regoli) : Percorrendo la Cassia da Siena in direzione di Roma non passa di certo inosservata ed anch’io, come tanti, sono sempre stata incuriosita da quella singolare villa isolata che si scorge in alto appena usciti da Buonconvento. ‘La Rondinella ‘ è una villa liberty bella ed elegante circondata dal…

Etruscans & the Worship of Beauty

Etruscans & the Worship of Beauty: It seems that Etruscan women were “bellissime da vedere”: very beautiful to look at, as celebrated by Greek and Roman authors who also severely judged them for being too free and extremely emancipated for their times. They also were highly knowledgeable in the field of herbal medicine and cosmetology. For these many reasons, they…

The Witches’ Oak

The Witches’ Oak (La Quercia delle Streghe) If you happen to be near Lucca, to be precise if you are  in the vicinities of  the hamlet of San Martino in Colle – in the Villa Carrara park – you have to stop : here a majestic oak tree of extraordinary shape known as the Witches’ oak, can be found.  600…

CENCI- Word of the Week

CENCI- Word of the Week: February is that time of the year announcing the imminent arrival of Spring and the approaching end of the cold months…even though, very often we have to wait until half of March to really enjoy  milder temperatures. But February in Italy is also closely related to Carnevale (actually, dates always…

Le radiche di Renato and a Torre di Pisa made in Volterra

Le Radiche di Renato – Renato’s Briar Roots: I met Renato Casini while exploring Volterra during one of my Artisan Tours. His tiny shop ( Le Radiche di Renato)  and showroom is in the centre of Volterra, surrounded by alabaster makers and souvenir shops. For many years, he worked as teacher and you immediately realize…

Juniper : the prickly one with the beautiful berries (dual language)

Juniper (Juniperus communis) is an evergreen plant very common in Tuscany; woods in Chianti are full of it. If you want to start searching for twigs or berries, you better wear heavy-duty gloves, because its countless leaves are really prickly. Juniper berries ripen in late autumn, turning dark blue and becoming more visible among the light green…

His Majesty The Basil – Sua Maestà il Basilico (dual language)

His Majesty The Basil- Sua Maestà il Basilico (by MR, AO, CH): The most Regal/Royal among the herbs…and maybe the most aromatic one as well! The name of this aromatic plant comes from the ancient Greek basilikon that means “Herb worthy of a king”. This plant has ancient origins, it was already renowned among Romans…

October on Elba Island: a detox holiday (part II)

October on Elba Island:  “Come si fa a spiegare il mare a chi lo guarda e vede solo acqua” In my mind I have divided my journey on the island in three parts, the first one starting from Capoliveri and going to Porto Azzurro, Rio Marina and Cavo. Porto Azzurro is maybe one of my favourite…

Siena and the Never-found-River

Siena and the Never-found-River legend.  Built on top of three hills, far away from natural sources of water  (lakes or rivers), the choice of Siena’s location is an unusual one to start with.  The majority of rich towns were built near water, think of famous ones! On one hand this allowed Siena to defend itself…