A Nice Little Mess in Montisi

A few weeks ago, under clear blue skies, I was on my way from Montalcino to Perugia when the fancy of a good Italian coffee insidiously took me. I decided to make a stop in Montisi, a lovely village which I hadn’t visited in ages.

I was strolling down Montisi’s main street, heading towards the bar I had made out from a distance, when I got sidetracked by a little shop on my right. Atop the entrance I could read the words Macelleria Casini – “macelleria” being the Italian word for “butcher’s shop”. Not a single chunk of fresh meat was displayed in the window, though; just a colourful kaleidoscope of printed textiles.

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Architecturally Yours

Are you, dear reader, a candid Instagram addict like me? If so, you must have seen – perhaps even reposted ? – a photograph of an indoor swimming pool which, by now, is probably familiar to millions of people around the world. This picture appears in the “slideshow” just above this article.

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A Great Mix of Wines and Stones

In the heart of Tuscany lies a magnificent town which is exceptional in many respects. Founded by the Etruscans in the first millenium BC… Home to a historic center that has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO… Famous for its architecture, gastronomy, art museums and a colourful medieval horse race taking place twice a year… And the answer is…

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The world’s densest vineyard

If you like good coffee, as I do, the brandname Illy must be familiar to you. Last August, during a concert given in Tuscany by Mark Springer, I was introduced to Francesco Illy, a member of the Italian family who founded the now internationally renowned Illycaffè company.

At one point in our friendly conversation, Francesco revealed to me that he owned and ran a winery near Montalcino, a town located 120 km south of Florence in the heart of one of Italy’s best winemaking regions.

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Behind the Scenes of Siena’s Palio

 

– Mummy, I want to “vote” for the Leocorno, my daughter told me with big round eyes.
– The Unicorn? You want to support the Unicorn team?
– Yes! And George says he wants to support the Elephant!
– Well… I’m afraid there is no Elephant team in the race, darling.
– Ah… I’ll go tell him to support something else then.
– Good idea. Continue Reading →

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, positive and lasting impression on me. Continue Reading →



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