Fun with kids

Mar 14, 2015
Little Easter in a Great Garden

The Kiss… The Tomb of the Poet… Nine Astrological Aspects… Cathedral no 6… The Grass Sofas… The Eternal Lunch… An Island in an Island… The Beauty and the Beast… Mak ...

Feb 10, 2015
Florence’s Artisan Quarter

Like the Seine in Paris, the Thames in London and the Styx in the Underworld, an old dignified river flows across the city of Florence, dividing it, inevitably, into two river bank ...

Jan 12, 2015
A Voyage Back in Time

Cogito ergo sum… Fluctuat nec mergitur… Ave Imperator, morituri te salutant… How is your Latin these days? You don’t have, I guess, that many opportunities to practice ...

Nov 19, 2014
Making “Pasta al Pesto” with the Kids

The reasons we, Northerners, love Italy are numerous. One of them, of course, is the sunshine and mild temperatures that reign all over the country when the rest of Europe is under ...

Jul 2, 2014
A Great Organic Farm in Tuscany

Every time my family and I go to La Foce for a short or long stay, buying una forma di Pecorino – an entire ewe’s milk cheese – is one of the first things I do on arrival. ...

Jun 16, 2014
The One and Only Umbria Jazz Festival

It was in July 2000, I remember, in the late afternoon. I was sitting in a Tuscan bar with a good friend of mine. I was leafing through a local newspaper when I came upon a heading ...

May 28, 2014
Having a Fine Lunch in Grosseto

When travelling around Italy to visit the houses and villas featured in our Trust & Travel rental catalogue, I always try to see or do something new. This keeps my job interest ...

Mar 18, 2014
The Contemporary Mountain

“Have you ever been to the Arte Sella  biodegradable exhibition, Katharina? –        The what? Biodegradable exhibition?! Where on earth is that being held? And for how ...

Jan 9, 2014
Tuscany’s Famous Marble Quarries

Victor Hugo once wrote: “Dear God, how beauty varies in nature and art! In a woman the flesh must be like marble, and in a statue the marble must be like flesh.” ...

Dec 19, 2013
Tuscan Bath in Women’s Bay

It was in June, last spring. My husband, daughter and I were in the Maremma, and friends of ours were visiting us with their two children. One morning, we decided to go to the town ...

Dec 5, 2013
Tuscany’s Olive Oil Celebrations

“Buona bruschetta, Katharina! –        Buona what? –        Buona bruschetta! You’ve never heard this before?!” No, I had never heard this greeting phrase b ...

Nov 28, 2013
Christmas shopping in Siena

“Mummy, are we going back to the Christmas market this year? You know the one where the houses are all yellow and orange?” Her bright eyes filled with hope and anticipation, my ...

Nov 3, 2013
Tuscany’s Liquid Gold

At about this time of year, every year, when the days are getting shorter and colder, Tuscany is busy extracting its highly prized “liquid gold”: the extra virgin olive oil. Th ...

Monte Amiata in Tuscany
Sep 23, 2013
Tuscany’s Rehabilitated Prophet

I have mentioned Tuscany’s highest mountain, Mount Amiata (1738m), several times in some of my previous articles. I have never told you, however, about its neighbouring Monte Lab ...

Saturnia hot spa
Sep 10, 2013

I have just returned to Paris from Italy, where I spent the end of the summer. I have discovered many new things that I would like to share with you in the upcoming weeks. As every ...

Barrique cellar at Cast. di Bolgheri
Jun 5, 2013
The Stars of Bolgheri

“The discovery of a wine is of greater moment than the discovery of a constellation. The universe is too full of stars.” Benjamin Franklin I have never discovered a constellati ...

May 3, 2013
The Highly Picturesque Palio of Siena

The sanguine enthusiast who was sitting next to me in the stands clapped his hands in a burst of joy and glanced at me briefly: “No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the sa ...

The sumptuous Villa Corsini is usually closed to the public.
Mar 27, 2013
A Rare Occasion – The Private Gardens of Palazzo Corsini in Florence

If you happen to be in Florence in May, there is a special event you must make sure not to miss. This year again, from May 16th to May 19th (Thursday to Sunday), the 19th edition o ...

My guide & 2 English tourists
Jan 29, 2013
The Church of Santa Chiara

Off the beaten track… This is where I need to venture once in a while. And usually I don’t regret it: more often than not I get to run into something that makes a strong, p ...

MY plates - in the end I got them!
Jan 4, 2013
The Cream of Italian Ceramics

“I’m really fond of these plates, Katharina. Where did you get them? – A little less than a thousand kilometers from here. – Let me guess… In Italy, right?” Yes, in Ita ...

Barchessa Valmarana
Dec 20, 2012
A Little History of the Veneto Villas

Villa… A word that calls to mind images and lifestyles which very few people would turn their back on. Here is how the Oxford English Dictionary defines “villa”: A countr ...

Dried spagetti
Nov 30, 2012
Tuscany, so sweet to your tastebuds… once again!

No, I did not know what good, real good pasta was until… Here is the story of one the great gastronomic discoveries of my life. I was dwelling in a Tuscan farmhouse near Merc ...

Nov 23, 2012
The Trust&Travel Guest Books

This week, for the half-term school holidays, my family and I are staying at one of the two houses of our Trust & Travel Il Fontanile  estate in Tuscany. We like to come here ...

Nov 2, 2012
The Design Genius of Ferragamo

The last time I ran into Mrs. Loiseau, one of my Paris neighbours – I introduced her to you in my very first article, – she was wearing flashy sling back shoes which she had j ...

Oct 26, 2012
A Flight of Fancy in Tuscany – Niki de Saint Phalle’s Tarot Garden

It was a very special day indeed. Special evening, I should say. It was high summer. The Italian sky was slowly turning into gold and copper, as it so often does at the end of the ...

Montisi in autumn
Oct 3, 2012
Celebrating Autumn’s Bounty in Tuscany

Tuscans celebrate the rhythm of the seasons with an array of festivals and feasts adapted for each period of the year.  Autumn is particularly colorful as the leaves change and th ...

Arezzo flea market
Sep 14, 2012
The Flea Market of Arezzo

You are a stone broke student with three pennies in your pocket and an immoderate passion for antiques. Wandering up and down the alleys of a colourful flea market, you stumble upo ...

My friend Marla trying to reassure me: “He won’t swallow you whole!”
Aug 31, 2012
The Falcons of Frassanelle

“How about letting our little friend here perch on your hand? – Um… well… Is he in a good mood?” The “little friend” whom Stefania was introducing me to was a ...

Teatrino di Vetriano
Jun 29, 2012
The Tiny Tuscan Theatre

“Oh, evil, cold-hearted woman, why hast thou betrayed me so ruthlessly? – Heaven forbid! I have not betrayed you, my sweet Lord… Not yet.” These are the first two l ...

view from Capalbio towards the sea
Jun 7, 2012
Please, Maremma, Don’t Ever Change!

Each time he comes over to fix something, our plumber always says: “Heaven on earth is a pipe dream!” I’m not sure why he keeps repeating that – sometimes ten times in a ro ...

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