The Return of The Amazing Spider Orchids

A Spider Orchid in the garden of Ca di Bracco
Springtime in central Italy means wild flowers and an abundance of wild orchids. A Spider Orchid in the garden of Ca di Bracco Spider orchids appear every April on one particular patch of ground beyond the swimming pool at Ca di Bracco, our house on the Tuscany UmbriaRead more

Aerial Photos Of Preggio

An aerial view of the hill top village of Preggio in Umbria
I took this photos of Preggio in the Niccone Valley last autumn but haven't got around to posting them on the blog until now, I hope you like them. An aerial view of the hill top village of Preggio in Umbria A view of the hills aroundRead more

A Visit to Cantina Bianchini

Wine tasting at the Bianchini winery in Umbria
Bianchini Winery, Selci, Umbria The Bianchini winery is in the small town of Selci, situated just north of Città di Castello in the Upper Tiber Valley, Umbria.  I went there yesterday with a group of trainee sommeliers to learn how to prune vines and course, to tasteRead more

La Trattoria In Pissignano

An outside table at La Trattoria, Pissignano
On our trip out to visit the Fonti del Clitunno last Sunday we went for lunch at La Trattoria, a restaurant on the opposite side of the road to the natural springs. We had first eaten here on a trip to Pissignano Antiques Market and a visit toRead more

The Tempietto del Clitunno

The Tempietto del Clitunno
The Tempietto del Clitunno is about a kilometre from the Fonti del Clitunno, it is a small, early Christian church built from recycled Roman materials. The Tempietto del Clitunno, Umbria, Italy It's appearance led many to believe that it was an original pagan temple described by PlinyRead more

The Fonti del Clitunno

The Fonti del Clitunno in Umbria
Today we went to visit the famous Fonti del Clitunno, natural springs that have inspired poets since Roman times. In the 19th Century the springs were the inspiration for the line, "Umbria, green heart of Italy" that has since been used by almost everyone promoting the region.Read more

San Gimignano

Medieval towers in San Gimignano, Tuscany
The town of San Gimignano in Tuscany is famous for its medieval towers and, despite its small size it is on many people's "must see" list when visiting the region. Medieval towers in San Gimignano, Tuscany In the middle ages Italian towns could be dangerous places, aristocraticRead more

Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2011 Release

Wine tasting at the release of 2011 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano
Last week I went to the Tuscan hill town of Montepulciano to try the latest release of Vino Nobile, the town's famous red wine. There were around forty wineries at the event and most had brought several wines including whites. Wine tasting at the release of 2011 VinoRead more

Santa Croce, Florence

The facade of Santa Croce in Florence
On our visit to Florence last week we visited the huge Franciscan church of Santa Croce, a short walk to the east from the centre. Several famous Tuscans are buried here, including Michelangelo, Galileo and Dante. The facade of Santa Croce in Florence Giotto and his followers decoratedRead more