For centuries Amalfi has lured travelers hungry for sunlight and fresh sea air. Bathed in perennial summer, this corner of paradise combines the beauty of the sparkling Mediterranean Sea with a light that varies hour by hour, from dawn to twilight – an unequaled spot to enjoy a romantic getaway or a cultural feast among the
Continue reading Campania’s Amalfi: History of a Real-Life Mythical Paradise
Bellagio, Italy is one of the charms of the northern regions nestled at the base of the Alps: a small village perched at the end of a long peninsula that juts out into Lake Como. This peninsula, as well as the lake itself, owe their existence to a prehistoric glacier (active some 1.5 million years
Continue reading Bellagio (Italy, not Las Vegas): A Lakeside Jewel
Positano, Italy immediately exerts its fascination the first time you see from afar its colorful cascade of houses and villas perched above the crystal blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea. And the fascination only deepens as you arrive in the town and begin to explore its labyrinth of streets and alleyways with their fashionable shops
Continue reading Positano, Italy: Where the Path of the Gods Ends
Dominating the Amalfi Coast from an altitude of 350m, Ravello sits atop a rocky spur dividing two deep valleys. Situated thusly, the town serves as a terrace perched high over the sea, from which you can enjoy a stupendous panorama of the entire coastline as far as Calabria in the south and Capri to the north. From early in its history, Ravello became a symbol of the ideal place to live, work, and play, with famous artists, writers, musicians, and the idle rich choosing it as their preferred haunts.
Taking advantage of the rich Tuscan soil and its favorable climate, Etruscans first established a settlement high on a limestone ridge around the third century B.C. as evidenced by the tombs that have been excavated in the region ine which numerous remains of the Etruscans’ typical black pottery have been found. Today this settlement is known as Montepulciano, Tuscany.
Continue reading Montepulciano, Tuscany: the Florence of the South
Of all the many villages in the Chianti Classico region, Castellina-in-Chianti probably offers the most abundant evidence of Etruscan presence going back to the 7th century B.C. Important archaeological excavations have uncovered an entire series of Etruscan villages and hamlets along an ancient road providing links to the great maritime cities of Etruria, the markets
Continue reading Castellina-in-Chianti: A Fortified Etruscan Village
Although situated midway between the two important cultural centers of Florence and Siena, Greve-in-Chianti has retained its own unique character and architecture. A wide variety of historic residences, churches and castles built between the 5th and the 15th centuries remain in the town and in the surrounding hills, most of them exhibiting the dry stone
Continue reading Greve-in-Chianti: A Wine Market Town
The ancient Etruscan settlement of Montalcino, Tuscany is perched high on a hill with a commanding view of the valleys of the rivers Orcia, Asso and Ombrone. During its more than two millenniums of recorded history, the town has experienced much turmoil and strife. The 10th century saw the area invaded by Saracen warriors, and
Continue reading Montalcino, Tuscany: Home of Brunello
Pienza started out as a modest village surrounding the Castello di Corsignano, a castle built around the middle of the 8th century. But soon after Eneo Silvio de Piccolomini became Pope Pius II in 1458, he began to realize his ambitious plans for the place of his birth.
The first historical records of Radda date to 1003 (mention was made in an edict issued by Emperor Otto III), but human settlement in the region goes back to Etruscan times. Pottery shards and remains of stone houses found in the area attest to an original 6th century B.C. settlement. By the 1st century AD, Romans had taken over the area, and they in turn succumbed to Barbarian invasions during the 5th century.