From Antipasti to Dolci I don’t know to what extent we have become experts in Tuscan art and landscapes (there is simply too much of either to see and to experience), but our recent trip has certainly improved our expertise in one specific area: Italian food, more particularly Tuscan dishes.
We now know that Tuscan cuisine is meat-based, and that the Tuscans are not overly fussy about the type of pasta they consume,
… Eating in Tuscany
Once the Pilgrim’s Progress has led him to Siena, the Pilgrim may be excused for thinking that it will not get much better than this For nearly a thousand years, the 2 km stretch of the Via Francigena that cuts through the city of Siena has been the highlight of the trail.
Imagine: most of the medieval pilgrims who came here from northern Europe would have been raised in smoke-filled peasant huts that
… The Celestial City of the Via Francigena
The half-stage to Monteriggioni delivers a good lesson in authenticity –and the key to unlocking the treasures of the Via Francigena
If you have neither the time for a full trip down the Via Francigena from Canterbury to Rome (a journey of 2000 km that features 80 stages and crossings of both the Channel and the Alps) nor for the three-week trek through Tuscany (the trail’s last stretch from
… Walking in the Footsteps of Ancient Pilgrims
San Gimignano on the Via Francigena Truly great hiking trails are a mix of four elements, and the Via Francigena – stretching for nearly 2000 km from Canterbury to Rome – has them all.
Firstly and secondly, the Francigena Way features beautiful landscapes and variety: the combination that defines any “good” hiking trail. On top of that, it also offers a historical dimension: as the old pilgrimage trail from northwestern Europe to the
… New York of the Middle Ages
Columns and cupolas in search of nervous excitement Montecatini prides itself, with a certain justification, on its reputation as a “city of the arts”.
The Montecatini Contemporary Art Museum is well stocked and the proud owner of a large-scale work by Joan Mirò, and for as long as anybody can remember, artists have always loved the resort: Verdi and all the other greats of the Italian opera came here frequently (sometimes to perform
… The Architecture in Montecatini Terme
A walk through one of Europe’s most glamorous spa towns Tuscany is where two of Europe’s foremost cultural routes cross, one an ancient pilgrim’s path to Rome and the other a network of spa towns across the continent.
Such a crossing may be a great starting point, but eventually, you have to decide which way you are going – or, at the very least, which way you will be
… The Splendours of Montecatini
Tuscany: Home to Europe’s two most interesting hiking trails Now don’t get me wrong: I have absolutely nothing against the grand majestic landscapes of our planet, the Grand Canyon and Utah’s Monument Valley, or the barren rocks and icey cliffs of the high mountains, and I am as much in awe of the “the graceful indifference with which they disdain to destroy us” as the next hiker.
What annoys me a bit, however,
… The Cultural Routes of Europe