Val d’Orcia - Well, it is in Tuscany but it isn’t a district you hear about a lot compared to say Siena or, well, Florence :). And yet, it is stunning as these photos attest. You would find it if you embarked on the scent of Montepulciano, Brunello do Montalcino or Rosso di Montalcino. Its the agrarian belt of the region with rolling hills like the rest of Tuscany but also very productive ones that grow primarily grains, legumes and beans. And, yes wine too! Val d’Orcian wines are not well-known outside the region but they are just as spectacular as the neighbors’!Read More
When I think of Venice, I think of a lady dressed in a flowy velvet dress with a black gold eye mask, walking down an alley looking back at you with mysterious smile and a sparkle in her eyes….. One makes an attempt to follow her. She laughs a tinkle and jumps onto a passing gondola and forever skips out of your reach even as you just make the landing where she was not a moment ago. Yet, her laughs echos and rings in your ear forever thence…. You never manage to catch or catch up with her and yet she will always be with you as a memory that always brings a smile and lifts you up!
I feels this about Venice today…. Truth be told, I visited Venice at the lowest point of my life.Read More
Cinque Terre is the quintessential Summer Riviera spot.
For those tired of the French coastline, its crowded beaches and uber expensive real estate, the Italian coast line next to it is very appealing alternative. They may share the sea but not much else, from attitude to cuisine to lifestyles.
While I was living in Italy, my friends and I decided to make a day trip from our apartments in Reggio Emilia in the mid-central Italy to the North-Western coast where the stretch of the riviera is. A quick research on the place told me it was a hot spot for visiting Americans. Somewhere I read that it had been featured in a 70s Hollywood movie and had since become a bucket list destination.Read More
Indeed, it isn't about the food or the place. Truly, Florence is the one place I have felt so close to beauty and never felt overwhelmed by it. Rather, it has always sent my spirit soaring, filling me with hope and bringing smiles on my face. Rome may have the power of mind and the history of greatness but Florence has the grace that captures hearts and holds them true for lifetimes. I'll take the gutters of the Florentine streets to the ravishing Trevi fountain because even these smell of metaphorical roses.