Have You Visited Orvieto in Italy?

You may well want to visit Orvieto after seeing this interactive 3D aerial panorama by AirPano which, personally, I think is fabulous. As a result of seeing it, I think I’ll pay a visit to Orvieto in 2015. As you will see, aside from Orvieto itself and its stunning cathedral, the surrounding Umbria region countryside […]

Crossbows and Arrows in Tuscany?

We have just returned from a wonderful few days in Sansepolcro in the Tuscan province of Arezzo, having been completely overwhelmed by the annual Palio crossbow shooting contest between the crossbow archers of Sansepolcro and its arch rival Gubbio in Umbria. This bi-annual event dates back to the 15th century and is held in Gubbio […]

More Chips From Tuscany – This time with Fish!

Fish and Chips in Italy

If you read my article on Barga in Tuscany being “the most Scottish Town in Italy”, you will no doubt recall the historic connection between Barga and Scotland resulting from the mass emigration from the town in the 19th century. Those who settled in Scotland and intermarried were largely responsible for the fish and chip shops in […]

Bath Time – With Chips in Tuscany

The Casino Bagni di Lucca

If anyone asked you where was the first casino in Europe, what would you say? Monte Carlo? If so, you would be wrong, because the first legal casino was opened in Italy in a place you’ve probably never heard of in Northern Tuscany called Bagni di Lucca. The Royal Casino in Ponte a Serraglio, a district […]

Chianti Wine Wars: Blogger v Blogger

In the Chianti we are used to conflict. Our beautiful hills saw many battles between Florence and Siena as they fought for supremacy centuries ago. Hence the region is dotted with castles and fortified towns and is rich in history. Peace came to the Chianti in 1550 when Florence overcame Siena and since that time […]

R.I.P. The English Cemetery at Bagni di Lucca

To me, graveyards are not only fascinating and informative places, but also places of great peace. Despite more than three years in this part of Tuscany, I had failed to visit this one until very recently. Better late than never, for sure, and what is also sure is that I shall go back there, again […]

A Priest, his Museum, a Saint, and a Village in Tuscany

All about the largely unknown San Pellegrino in Alpe area of the Garfagnana zone of Tuscany in Italy. I like museums, but sometimes find their sheer size, and the number of exhibits, daunting; not the Don Luigi Pellegrini Ethnography Museum in this little village though. It’s an absolute delight, and certainly leaves me wanting to […]

In the Valley of the Beautiful and the Good: Tuscany’s Serchio Valley

sunset over the apuan alps

Giovanni Pascoli wrote the words In the Valley of the Beautiful and the Good, “Nella Valle del Bello e del Buono”, to describe the Serchio Valley in northern Tuscany; specifically the Middle Valley (la Media Valle). Pascoli (1855-1912) was a famous Italian poet, and a famous “son of Barga“, although not by birth. He moved […]

Legendary Bridges and the Devil’s Work in Tuscany and Wales

Ponte della Madelena, Tuscany

A couple of weeks ago I sat down to watch the first episode of a new Welsh police drama (“Hinterland”).  I was riveted as the legend, connected to the place where a body was found, was related, (I love legends). The legend was that of the Devil’s Bridge; a rural spot about 12 miles from […]