Here we are!

When Uptown really is Up…

We were dropping off our friends at the Certaldo train station, when on our way home we noticed at the end of the street, a rail track going directly up the hill in front of us. Suddenly, it jogged my memory about something I had read, I believe in Rick Steves guide to Italy. Of... Continue Reading →

From Farm to Table

The trend in dining is - thankfully - farm to table where one prepares and eats meals using the freshest ingredients available locally, and in the season. We took to this back in 2014 when we were living briefly in Halifax, Nova Scotia. There, we were surrounded by fresh seafood, and fresh produce from the... Continue Reading →

Head over heels for Florence

Firenze - you conquer my heart every time. The last time I saw you it was March of '78. I was a mere girl of 15, and you won me over with your fresh strawberries at every gelateria and your magnifique paintings from Boticelli, Michelangelo and Leonardo. Now, I am a mature woman of 55... Continue Reading →

Trying to be a non tourist in Venice

Italy is a relatively young country, as young as Canada actually, with the unification of all of its regions and cities finalized in 1870. I will spare you the complex historical evolution of how it came to be a nation-state, but suffice to know that prior to the unification, Italy was a collection of city-state... Continue Reading →

This Way Please for Time Travel

It occurred to me this week, as we contemplated structures aged roughly 1600 years and which still serve their intended purpose today, that the most stunning revelation on this trip so far is the idea that cities, inhabited by thousands, existed while our country was not yet born. It's actually the closest thing I have... Continue Reading →

Thinking of home

It's a cold day in Iano today, well it dipped to 14C, which for early October is still fairly warm. It reminds me of home and the crisp fall air of Ontario. Some leaves are turning yellow here, and the wind and rain from yesterday has scattered some of them, but it is not like... Continue Reading →

Celebrating failures…

In the years leading up to my retirement, my workplace had instituted a new set of company values which counted among them, the principle of celebrating failures as well as our successes. It is generally known that from failure comes eventual success, and if one can learn from the mistake without fear of negative retaliation... Continue Reading →

Is it very different where you are?

Travelling allows you to discover the way people do things in their country. As a guest in their country, it is our responsibility to respect their ways, and embrace the unfamiliarity. It is why we travel and hence the expression "When in Rome..." Take eggs for example. Here in Tuscany, we find them on store... Continue Reading →

This too shall pass

Beyond teaching us the history of early civilisations, and developing an appreciation for the natural riches of the region and the culture of foreign lands, what do cities like Volterra bring to our modern lives? Perspective The feeling overpowers me each time I suddenly become aware of how many years have passed since the cobbles... Continue Reading →

Travel, some experience required

The sudden comprehension of a problem or situation that our brain has been unconsciously working in the background is called an insight (Aha Moment). These moments often happen when we are at rest, or on auto-pilot, allowing our mind to wander and « connect dots ». The hot September days in Tuscany have provided me... Continue Reading →

La dolce vita, the roses and the thorns

Ah yes, life in Tuscany. Beautiful countryside - check! Hills of vineyards, weighted by big clusters of dark blue grapes, ready now for harvesting and fields of olive trees to be harvested in a few months. Winding roads, make you drive constantly in S formations. Left curve...straight...right curve..straighten, left curve...etc...At any time, I am driving... Continue Reading →

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