Nine Beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Cities for Your Italy Wish List

“Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live with today, and what we pass on to future generations.” –UNESCO World Heritage Center Since 1972, UNESCO has designated sites throughout the world, both natural and man-made, as World Heritage Sites, in an effort to help preserve and protect “cultural and natural heritage around the…

Snapshots from Scarperia

About an hour northeast of Florence in Tuscany’s lush Mugello Valley lies Scarperia, a spot which has been named one of the most beautiful villages in Italy. We had escaped to Scarperia for a reprieve from busy Florence for the golf resort, Una Poggio dei Medici, which just happened to include a 16th century hunting…

While Meandering Montalcino

The quintessential Tuscan town of Montalcino begs to be wandered through, especially on a quiet morning, the air cool and still smelling of last night’s thunderstorm. On a whim we had followed one friend’s travel advice, rented a car for the first time in Italy thanks to another encouraging friend, and after a most pleasant…

Charming Certaldo

About one hour by car or train lies the picturesque little hamlet of Certaldo, home of Renaissance’s literary giant, Giovanni Boccaccio. The big cities in Italy were filled with visitors on this hot summer day, but in Certaldo it was fairly quiet and pleasantly breezy. We leisured through the cobbled streets, keeping ourselves busy capturing…

Simple, Stone, Sacred

“I never tire of going into Italian churches. The vaulted arches and triptychs, yes. But each one also has its characteristic blue dust smell, the smell of time. The codified Annunciations, Nativities, and Crucifixions dominate all churches. At the core, these all struggle with the mystery of the two elementals — birth and death.” “As…