Inspirations

Passeggiata 101:  A Walk Through Rome’s Trastevere

Passeggiata 101: A Walk Through Rome’s Trastevere

The neighborhood of Rome’s Trastevere sits on the west bank of the Tiber River. A series of bridges connect it with Centro Storico, the historical center of mankind’s most powerful civilization. In these last 2,000 years, Trastevere (from the term “attraverso il Tevere” or […]

A Walking Tour of Caravaggio’s Rome

A Walking Tour of Caravaggio’s Rome

He was a rebel at a time when the public bowed at the knee of the Catholic Church. He was a carouser, a brawler and, indeed, a murderer. But Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio was also a genius, a master of shadow and light. And […]

Vernazza, Cinque Terre: A Thousand Years of Beauty

Vernazza, Cinque Terre: A Thousand Years of Beauty

When in 2013 the New York Times included Vernazza, Cinque Terre (lit. “Five Lands”), in its list of the top 20 destinations to visit in the world, the village was still recovering from the flood and mudslide that had hit it two years before. The […]

Montepulciano, Tuscany: the Florence of the South

Montepulciano, Tuscany: the Florence of the South

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 […]

Castellina-in-Chianti: A Fortified Etruscan Village

Castellina-in-Chianti: A Fortified Etruscan Village

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 […]

Greve-in-Chianti: A Wine Market Town

Greve-in-Chianti: A Wine Market Town

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 […]

Montalcino, Tuscany: Home of Brunello

Montalcino, Tuscany: Home of Brunello

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. […]

Pienza, Italy: A Renaissance Village in Tuscany

Pienza, Italy: A Renaissance Village in Tuscany

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.

Radda-in-Chianti: Tuscany’s Heart of Chianti

Radda-in-Chianti: Tuscany’s Heart of Chianti

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.

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