Our friend Drew was visiting for a few days and we decided to drop down to Siena for the day. To our surprise, we saw a poster as we walked in, indicating that the Palio (horse race in Piazza il Campo), was taking place that very day. Not believing what we just read, we asked […]
On the last Sunday of August, the Tuscan hill town called Montepulciano stages its annual barrel race. Two contestants from each of 8 neighborhoods pair up to roll a wine barrel through the streets of the ancient city. The race is preceded by an historic pageant complete with costumed nobility, drummers and creative flag ceremonies. […]
We were in the early throes of creating the “Uncommon Promise” website, and had many talks about what it meant to put something “out into the world.” We wondered how to do that and still maintain the sense of independence and authenticity fundamental to the life we were creating. Our friend had scheduled a retreat […]
To say that things move slowly in Tuscany would be a colossal understatement. However, thanks to that nearly imperceivable plodding pace, Toscana remains true to her simple beauty—year after year after year. However, beneath the timeless and serenely rolling landscape, change does in fact arrive in its own way—piano, piano (slowly, slowly)—Tuscan style.
Oh, the monastic life! Italy is filled with monasteries. Some are still functioning, some are museums and some are experiencing “adaptive reuse.” But no matter what the religious order, the dedicated souls that makes up each community seem to have a common purpose. Oh, sure. There’s the spiritual purpose, of course. But beyond that, they […]
Last week we experienced a serendipitous moment. While browsing online for a nearby restaurant, we came across one with a curious name: Vino y Otros Remedios (Wine and Other Remedies). The name was intriguing with its suggestion of healing the body with great foods and wines, but it was the reviews that really sold us. […]
Gordon Matthew Sumner wore a favorite black and yellow striped shirt so often, that a friend finally blurted out that he looked like a bee. The nickname stuck. You might know him better today as Sting. We’ve always enjoyed his particular style of jazz/rock, and have waited for him to show up in concert in […]
Through the olive groves, vineyards and cypress trees, there is a trail in the northern hills of Florence that leads from the Cave, old stone quarries of Maiano, to the ancient borgo, town of Settignano. On this very trail, young Michelangelo walked from his hometown to his beloved quarries to select stone for his sculptures. […]
A quarter cup a day keeps the doctor away! That’s the adage that our friend Giacomo‘s father lives by and he’s in his nineties. A quarter cup of what, you ask? OLIVE OIL. Signor’ Martini actually drinks it—in addition to what he typically drizzles over every meal, every day of his life. In ancient Greece, […]
We have a new friend. Sort of. Well, not really, because we rarely see her and haven’t ever talked much at all, but . . . we have been in communication for years now. I know this doesn’t make sense yet, but give me a chance to explain.