At the junction of Umbria and Tuscany lies the Val di Chiana, a wide fertile valley boasting lovely medieval villages, beautiful rural landscapes and the eponymous Chianina cattle breed, from which the best bistecca Fiorentina is prepared.
You have always wanted to attend Siena’s famous Palio, but never did because of the dense crowds and stifling heat that come with it when it takes place, in the heart of summer?
Well, here’s your chance of a lifetime: a Palio Straordinario, a unique “extraordinary” edition of the far-famed horse race, will be held on Saturday, October 20, 2018, to commemorate the end of World War I.
You may remember, dear readers, that I recently wrote an article about the festive sagre, these celebrations held in myriad villages and towns in Italy, all year round, and during which you can taste local delicacies and enjoy a most convivial atmosphere.
A few weeks ago, in the lovely village of Montisi, south-east of Siena, I discovered the Sagra del Primo Olio, entirely dedicated to the freshly pressed extra virgin olive oil, and a great opportunity for the uninitiated to see how this magic nectar is actually produced.
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 upon – and fall in love with – a superb garden chair with three missing legs and a broken seat. Continue Reading →