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Early spring in Italy: this year our friend Stefano, an expert in the world of plants and trees, taught me the time-honored art of pruning olive trees. What’s the big deal?, you might ask. Well, actually, we’re talking about the heART of the Tuscan culture, and not just a simple snip, snip, snip, and you’re […]

The ancient proverb “Seeing is believing” has been around since 1639, and means that only tangible evidence is truly convincing. However, living in Italy has shown us that just the opposite can also be true—”believing is seeing.” Thus begins a short tale about a window. We live in an old Italian farmhouse in the hills […]

One might call an abandoned house a haunted ruins, but we like to think of it as a container, filled with stories just waiting to be told and retold—built and rebuilt—lived and relived. While walking the woods and back-roads of Tuscany, it is inevitabile that you’ll come across at least one unexpected hidden gem. The […]

We love hiking the Tuscan “anelli” (rings). We typically drive to a trail head, hike the route and return to our starting point. Each anello is unique. The one to Nipozzano Castle was exceptional! If you like castles, wine, beautiful Tuscan scenery, we suggest you visit the site called Sentieri di Toscana (Tuscan Trails). The […]

We set out on a Friday morning in search of some simple, older halogen light fixtures. The task seemed straightforward enough. But we soon discovered that our little errand morphed into a scavenger hunt. One store led to another and then another and so on. The fixtures we needed weren’t readily available anymore. From big […]

It all started with a cup of coffee. During casual conversation, a trusted friend mentioned a great place at Liberty Station in San Diego called “Moniker General.” They said that it’s the best coffee in the city! In addition, they also sell surfboards, and stuff like that—which explains the “general,” as in general store? As […]

Soaring and diving along the tracks of the 20-year old rollercoaster, my friends and I honed our courage, risk-taking spirit, and love of adventure. The roller coaster gave us an early zest for the freedom that comes by exploring personal edges. We encouraged each other, gathering strength from shared experience. Note: You may also be […]

The valley drifts away in layers that fade into the deep russet tones. In the fields, cypress, vineyards and olive groves seem about to awaken after the long winter. I muse on the days that have rolled in ancient succession over this scene: winter in her tattered clothes, weary once again in her cold March […]

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 […]

Visiting the incredible masterpieces of Medieval Europe gives us broader perspective on who we are and a glimpse into the lives of our ancestral line, no matter how remote or loosely connected. But, more importantly, as we follow our muse, wandering through the shadowy halls and moody attics of the world’s most treasured places, we’re […]