“What do you know about Siena?”

A question like that is pretty normal in Italy, when uttered by a visitor. “How far’s Rome?” “Could we go to Venice and back in a day?” Questions we’ve heard and answered typically end up taking us on an unsuspected day trip. Just a “little” outing. We always enjoy the possibility of further exploration. So once a question is asked, we go into gear, planning and heading out on the new adventure. (more…)

It was some sort of modern day eco party that was pretty spectacular. Evidently thousands were invited unbeknownst to us. There was more than enough room for everyone to either sit down or flit around—their choice. Drinks were plentiful and unlimited while there also seemed to be an endless supply of goodies to eat. No fights broke out as the day of drinking wore on. (more…)

We had a plan. But things in Italy often times don’t go according to plan.

The idea was fairly straightforward: Grab a panino, sandwich then catch the 5:30 movie. Then after the movie, we planned to get a primo, first course dish, such as pasta just before making the rounds to all of Florence’s great museums since it was “Art Tuesday,” from 7-11 pm. The three of us were excited and couldn’t wait to see how the evening would unfold! (more…)

My Italian lawnmower and I have a long and rich history together. But, I have to admit that I was ready to part ways when it’s tattered grass-catcher-bag snagged the top of the sprinkler head, shearing it off and subsequently chopping it into hundreds of tiny unrecognizable pieces scattered across the lawn. I was really angry with my favorite little IBEA push-mower and was forced to take a “time-out” to cool down a little. (more…)

We’ve taken up “stamp collecting” in Italy.

No, I’m not talking about keeping a dusty book full of various century-old Italian stamps. Instead, it’s about the very contemporary art of “stamping” in Italy. Now that’s worthwhile and is of utmost concern . . . and it’s a lot more fun! This is an interactive blog entry. Help us decide what could possibly be behind the thunderously noisy and exacting art of stamping. Who are these maniacal officials and can we find a way to stamp out stampers? (more…)

Simone and Alessia arrived around mezzogiorno, noon the other day for lunch with us in the country. The sun was bright and the air was clear with that unmistakable fall crispness. We hadn’t seen them for over a year, so it was especially fun for us to have that time together to sit and talk awhile. And even though we enjoyed our conversation, there was a bit of a distraction that occupied most of our attention. As you might have guessed from their pictures, they were not alone! (more…)

Italians are very clever people—a trait that we like a lot!

Especially in the country, people have always had to struggle just to get by. Tuscany has to be the rockiest ground in the world, and that alone is enough to get the juices going as to how to make a living on the land. Resourcefulness is in their blood. Someone once said that if he was a farmer and found himself in Tuscany, he would have to ask God what he did to make him so mad. (more…)