Siena and the Piazza del Campo

On the other side of the Chianti countryside from Florence is Siena, a Tuscan town rife with tradition and mood. Siena is best known as the site of the Palio. This twice-yearly, bareback horserace is held in the central Piazza del Campo, the heart of this UNESCO city. The Palio is a race that can … Read more

The Best Ever In-Depth Video of Siena’s Palio

Inspiration always seems to find me when I’m not looking and that is exactly what happened as I settled in to watch a few minutes of television last night. Lucky for me, I clicked over to Kenny Mayne’s Wider World of Sports, a show on ESPN that puts sports into a cultural context. One of … Read more

Chianti: Tuscany’s Subregion Known For Its Famous Red Wine

Chianti landscape

The verdant swath of winding hills and country roads known as Chianti is what Tuscan dreams are made of. Silvery olive groves, lone cypresses, and an almond and green patchwork of tilled land form a gorgeous terrestrial tapestry. And, set among the rows of grapevines are medieval walls and Renaissance villas that seem to materialize … Read more

The 20 Regions of Italy

Italy is made up of 20 regions, each with its own history, flavors, customs, and local dialects. Some regions, like Tuscany and Sicily, are well-known as travel destinations, while others like Lazio, Lombardy, and Piemonte, are overshadowed by their capitals Rome, Milan, and Turin. It’s worthwhile to educate yourself about the regions of Italy before … Read more

Where I’ve Been: Interactive Map of Italy

where i've been map

I haven’t been everywhere in Italy. But I have traveled extensively throughout the country, both as a guidebook writer and as a resident. I have been to 16 out of Italy’s 20 regions. I have also visited Vatican City and San Marino, two tiny countries that share the Italian peninsula with Italy. It is my … Read more

Tuscany Travel Guide

Tuscany blue sky landscape

A harmonious landscape of vineyards, olive groves, and rolling plains dotted with cypress trees, Tuscany is one of the most beautiful regions in Italy. One could easily spend an entire vacation here visiting historic towns, touring wineries, and taking in the serene scenery. Florence, the capital of Tuscany and one of Italy’s most famous destinations, … Read more