Life in Tuscany

Volterra’s Amphitheater: the “Archaeological Discovery of the Century”

the discovery of a Roman amphitheater in Volterra is getting seriously exciting. here’s the latest news

Part II: Life in Tuscany in the Age of Coronavirus

for Chapters 1-4 see my previous post CHAPTER 5: FEELING NUMB Early April: I really don’t know how to describe things now. There are too many changes, too much to take in. The whole world is spinning, but not in the direction we are used to. It reminds me of the feeling I had when […]

Life in Tuscany in the Age of Coronavirus

Here’s the good news: we’re alive, and my American and Italian families are in good health. I feel immensely fortunate. At least for today. And I wish to sincerely thank, from the bottom of my heart, all of the people that have reached out to us over the past weeks with words of concern and […]

Carnevale… enlivening the Tuscan winter.

In the winter I realize how much of my social life in Tuscany depends on good weather: the passeggiata, or evening stroll through town; a chat over gelato as the kids act out imaginary battles in the playground; dinners in the piazza with friends (as our rambunctious kids run around the pedestrian square); hikes and […]

Good morning!

It’s a surprisingly warm October. It would be delightful if it weren’t for the fact that this comes on the tail of a treacherously hot and dry summer. But looking on the bright side, it’s Sunday morning, my first work-free day in ages, and a beautiful day to go take a walk in the woods […]

A view that never ceases to amaze…

Wherever I go in my travels, whether to nearby wonders of the world that I am blessed to now call my “backyard” such as Florence, Siena, or even Venice, Genova, Naples or Puglia…. or farther afield to Burgundy, Seville, Thailand or Ireland…no matter how incredibly gorgeous and unique each place (and it’s people) may be, […]

Truffles, Dogs, Friends, Good Food & Great Fun

Today I took an American family to spend a day with a Tuscan family on their farm. We began with a truffle hunt, following Viola, a 3 year-old Lagotto pup, through mud and late-summer grass as she excitedly dug up four scorzone truffles. It’s impossible to describe how magical and delicate the relationship is between the dog and […]

Blackberries and Oregano

There are few things I look forward to more than the late-summer ritual of a meandering car ride with my husband and kids along the dusty Tuscan roads to hunt for drooping branches of wild blackberries and flowering wild oregano. There is no jam quite like the one made with wild blackberries, especially in the […]

the magnificent Palazzo dei Priori

Built between 1208 and 1257, it is the oldest Town Hall building in Tuscany, the first of its kind in that revolutionary Age of City-States. The mayor’s office is still inside, it is where town council meetings are held and spectacular weddings are celebrated. A steadfast presence in Volterra’s vibrant civic life. Historic, but also […]

scorched earth overlooking the village of Mazzolla

this year it has been dry. that’s an understatement for ya’. ARPAT (the Region of Tuscany’s Environmental Agency) said that Western Tuscany has had less rainfall than Northern Africa over the past two years. in fact it never rained a drop from the first week of June until the first week of September. centuries-old trees […]

a beautiful spring wedding

last week holly and lou were married in the town hall of Volterra, serenaded by the magnificent voice of the mezzo-soprano elisa bartolini. it was a magical moment, a beautiful setting for two people so very much in love. after all the spring rain, our garden is bursting with flowers, and the roses are particularly […]

spring skyline of Volterra

Spring is flying by. The empty winter streets of Volterra are a thing of the past. Every year it takes some getting used to being around people again, when visitors descend on the town and we locals end our winter hibernation. Every now and again, on totally random days, the town is packed full of […]

does it snow in tuscany? … yes indeed.

while spring seemed ready to bear her head, winter decided to be more assertive. on february 1st we got a massive snow storm combined with gale-force winds originating in Siberia that created tree-covering snow drifts. a week later everything is still covered with snow – the olive trees, the artichoke patches, the narcissus, the tiled […]

spring’s around the corner…

“giglio fiorentino” present on all things Tuscan, from stationary to printed Florentine paper, to the soccer jerseys of the Fiorentina team, the “giglio” (bearded iris) is also used to make perfumed powder, soaps, eau de toilette etc. It was a historic, traditional source of perfume, and places like the famous pharmacy of Santa Maria Novella […]

Midnight in Volterra

A winter’s night in Tuscany. The babies are sleeping soundly, the Christmas lights are still up and on the trees outside, making the dark night a little less so. They’re almost the only lights to be seen for miles… there are the far-off twinkles of the lights of Pomarance, the town on the next high […]

grey morning

off in the distance to the west, the sun pokes its way out of the otherwise complete blanket of grey clouds. it highlights the tufts of vapor rising out of the land that, if you hadn’t seen them up close, would seem to be surprisingly white refuse coming out of smoke stacks of some industrial […]