Motorway Services the Italian Way

The laws or quirks of fate, call it what you want… I had driven by this former petrol station at least a dozen times before, either in too much of a hurry to drop by, or frustrated by the fact that it was after closing hours. But two weeks ago, at long last, fortune smiled on me: the store was open and I wasn’t, for once, in any big rush.

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The Best Time to Enjoy the Maremma Park

I must have told you once or twice, in previous posts, that the Maremma Regional Park in Tuscany is one of my favourite nature reserves in the whole of Italy. It is also known, by the way, as the Parco dell’Uccelina, the Park of the Moonraker – this beautiful word, “moonraker”, referring to the small sails flown at the very top of old sailing ships. Don’t ask me where this second name comes from, though; I haven’t looked into the story yet.

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Paolo, the Tuscan Fisherman

Do you remember Talamone, this little harbour town lying on the Southern coast of Tuscany? I told you about it in a previous blog post. Well, true, this was almost two years ago, so I won’t blame you if you haven’t kept in mind this piece of information…

Anyway, my daughter, husband and I have made it a family tradition to drive to Talamone whenever we are staying in the Maremma in the summer months. We usually go there in the late afternoon, primarily to jump into the Mediterranean sea from the high rocks of Women’s Bay – my daughter and I just can’t get enough of these aerobatic stunts, I confess – and to enjoy a refreshing aperitivo at the beachside bar, where they serve superlative mojitos.

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Grand Harmonies in a Grand Setting

 

Oscar Peterson once said: “I believe in using the entire piano as a single instrument capable of expressing every possible musical idea.”

I have always loved the piano; music written for or played at the piano. Katja, who organizes our “expert tours” in Tuscany – and who happens to dwell in the beautiful hills of the Maremma, – had been telling me for a while about the now celebrated Amiata Piano Festival held once a year in the small Italian town of Cinigiano, a festival which has been inviting from the international scene some of the finest musicians. “You really have to discover this festival, Katharina. I swear you’ll be sent into transports of delight!”

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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 interesting – and my blog as well, doesn’t it?

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A Magic Underground World – The Antinori Winery

“Katharina, this wine is absolutely divine!
–        Well, it’d better be, Jonathan. I have never paid that much for a bottle of wine!
–        Oh! Is that so?”

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Not a bad job after all!

Phew! I’m a little out of breath. I have just spent a week running around Italy! And now I am at the Venice airport waiting for my return flight to Paris and thinking: “Gee, it can get very hectic sometimes, but the fact remains that I do love my job!”

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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.” Continue Reading →

A Seafood Heaven on the Tuscan Coast

“You don’t know Lo Zazzeri, a friend of mine asked me once, disconcerted? Luciano Zazzeri, owner and chef of  La Pineta ?! Continue Reading →

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 constellation, so it’s difficult for me to compare these two pleasures. But when I light upon a great wine, it’s assuredly for me a great moment. Continue Reading →



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