The Italian Capital Within Arm’s Reach

Good news: all roads lead to Rome and, in some cases, will take you back to your starting point before the end of the day!

I experienced this two or three times last summer. After an early morning swim in the Tyrrhenian Sea, I hopped on a train, spent the day in Rome – combining business with pleasure, – and returned to my Mediterranean seaside just in time for the sunset extravaganza.

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An Electrifying Ride in the Chianti

Shortly after starting to work at Italy’s oldest winery, during the first years I spent in the bel paese, I was already dreaming of touring the bucolic Chianti region on one of those beautiful vintage delivery bicycles, the rusty, creaking, ramshackle type…

I must admit that I quickly gave up on the idea – even though I have always thought that there is no better way to explore a place than by walking or cycling. For the Chianti is a pretty hilly patch of land!… up, down, up, down… So much so that there is an official bike race, the Eroica, which re-enacts those heroic times when cyclists had to tackle the rough bumpy dirt roads of the region on unsophisticated heavy-set bicycles.

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A Cool Place to Visit this Summer

The Leaning Tower of Pisa… Who has not seen it, at least in pictures, and tried to imagine what it feels like to be at its top, precariously tilting some 50 meters above ground?!… The prospect of such a thrill will definitely make your children pull you by the arm: “Mum, Dad, let’s climb up there!”

But in the high season, when you’re assailed with the hot spells and sightseeing hordes, even the most magnetic landmarks get a lot less attractive – to youngsters and grown-ups alike! So it’s always nice to have in store satisfactory alternatives.

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Venice, an Endangered Species?

I was introduced to Jane da Mosto a few months ago at a social and arts event in Venice. Holder of a zoology degree from the University of Oxford as well as a Masters degree from the Imperial College London, Jane is an environmental scientist and an experienced consultant on sustainable development and climate change.

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Quote

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”
Marcel Proust

A Ghost Abbey in the Heart of Tuscany

Where on Earth had we landed?… A frolicsome sprite, hidden somewhere behind a decrepit stone wall, replied to me in a hushed voice: “In the depths of the Middle Ages, in a world long sunk into oblivion…” And my daughter – who had been devouring a Harry Potter book lately, – looked up at me with her round, sparkling eyes:
“Mummy, did you hear that little voice?”
“What little voice, darling?…”

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In Venice and in Grand Style: the Art of Damien Hirst

“The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.” Aristotle, the ancient Greek philosopher, enunciated this, and would probably have upheld this view if he had seen the artwork of Damien Hirst, one of the most famous creators of contemporary art and reportedly the United Kingdom’s richest living artist. Or would he?

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Proper Italian Usage and Civilities

“And that is how Italians are. So terribly physically all over one another. They pour themselves one over the other like so much melted butter over parsnips. They catch each other under the chin, with a tender caress of the hand, and they smile with sunny melting tenderness into each other’s face…”

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Play it Again, Alan

La Foce… This name, and the superb Tuscan estate which it designates, have now become familiar to you if you have been a regular reader of this blog. Trust & Travel was actually born there – a little while ago! – when the Origo sisters, owners of the property, asked me to help them promote and rent out some of the villas and farmhouses located on the premises.

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Italian Porcelain Art at its Peak

My friends were stealing a glance at me with a quizzical eyebrow. I know what they were thinking deep down inside, especially their two teenage kids: “You’re really taking us to a porcelain museum, Katharina? Are you sure it’s worth the detour?… Are you in your right mind?…”

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