Category Archives: Italy


Walking in the Dolomites. Nice work if you can get it.

Does this sound like a job for you?

You go to Italy twice a year, in spring and autumn to avoid the main tourist season. On each trip you spend a week or two walking through attractive countryside with a jolly group of like-minded people, staying in boutique hotels, eating the best local food and sampling the local vintages.

You get paid to do this.

Simon Tancred and a cafe that bears his name, plus a bit.

At the end of the walk you say arrivederci to your friends and for a few weeks you head off on your own into unknown regions, researching some history and looking for new footpaths, food and lodgings. And deducting your expenses from your tax.

Lots of us aspire to converting our love of travel into a paying job or business.

Simon Tancred seems to have it nicely worked out. Continue reading


Filed under Hiking, Italy

PISTOIA, BARGA, BAGNI DI LUCCA – Tuscan towns worth a visit

The Lima River and Ponte a Serraglio, Bagni di Lucca

We steered clear of the Tuscan tourist traps (Florence, Pisa, Sienna) on this trip and instead concentrated on the lesser-known towns to the north. Good decision! Continue reading


Filed under Italy

LUCCA, ITALY – roadside bio-milk

The Latteria.

Our food guide Heather brought us to see this innovative little project. At various roadside stops in Lucca province are mysterious cabins like the one above. Continue reading


Filed under Italy

CARRARA, TUSCANY – Michelangelo’s marbles

Monument to the cavatore, the quarry workers, Colonnata.

Michelangelo carved it, mighty cathedrals are built from it, and it’s tiling bad taste bathrooms around the world. Continue reading


Filed under Italy

TUSCANY – blessed are the cheesemakers

This is hand-made cheese...

In the tiny north Tuscan village of Vitiana, Marzia makes cheese.

Our local food guide Heather from Sapori e Saperi took us to see how she does it.
Continue reading


Filed under Italy

COLLODI, TUSCANY – Pinocchio and Garzoni gardens

Giardino Garzoni. It may be a bit over the top, but at least the water's cool.

Carlo Collodi wasn’t really from the Italian village of Collodi; his mother was. Florentine-born Carlo Lorenzini adopted the pen name Collodi when he began writing Pinocchio and other children’s stories.

That doesn’t stop little Collodi cashing in on the Pinocchio connection for all it’s worth. Continue reading


Filed under Art, Italy