Category Archives: Explore Italy

Escape to a Tuscan Villa

The house is in shambles. I ping pong from one project to the next, dropping whatever I am doing as soon as I notice a potentially more pressing task sitting across the room. Nothing is done. Everything is everywhere. We are moving. Again. It’s a happy move. It’s an impulsive move. A move undertaken due […]

Pietrasanta: A Weekend in Tuscany

Roman rain is dreary in January, which is why we escaped to slightly-warmer Spain over the weekend. The Barcelona jaunt was short lived and being back in the land of unpredictable downpours and unreliable transport has me longing for summer in Tuscany. Rome is photogenic if you get below its chaotic facade, but Tuscany is […]

Exploring Tuscany: Bagno Vignoni

I love November in Tuscany. November in Tuscany is cozy. It means olio nuovo, which is one of things I can’t live without! The days can be rainy, or they can be surprisingly sunny, though always with a chill that nips straight through and makes you long for hearty soups and evenings by the fire. […]

Day trip from Rome: Siena

You can do Siena in a day from Rome. You can do it, but you will be tired. I know this because I did it and regretted it slightly… we probably should have stayed the night. Siena is large enough to draw crowds (especially during July and August when the Palio is held in the […]

The Badia Castle and Bridge

There is something about castles that appeals to my American sensibility.  In fact, when driving near Vulci (Viterbo), I think I actually said: “Ohhhh! Look! Look! A castle! Can we stop!?” Seriously. Medieval towers and fields of poppies hold plenty of appeal. But the most impressive feature is not the castle at all, but the […]

Strawberry Festival in Nemi, Italy

A sagra is a festival, usually centered around a local delicacy.  You can have sagre for porcini mushrooms, gnocchi, beer, lavender… but the sagra I most wanted to go near Rome is the sagra della fragole- the Nemi strawberry festival. With a fearless (and manual-transmission trained) fellow explorer, we navigated the strange world of Italian car […]

Day Trip from Rome: Calcata, Italy

The spring has been so strange, with thunderstorms and freezing winds marking the first day of June. So you’ll just have to trust me when I say that sometimes when the weather is hot you get a nagging urge to leave Rome for the day. One such place to skip off to is the ancient […]