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Easy Going

Travel stories + tips from seasoned explorers

Culture + Cuisine

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An Italian Wine Blog That’s Worth the Time

July 1, 2015

Continuing on the theme of Italian wine from two weeks ago, I’ve been reminiscing about a brief stay on Lake Maggiore a few years back when I discovered some interesting wines. Gattinara and to a lesser extent Ghemme, products of the fickle Nebbiolo grape grown in the relatively chilly environment…

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The Three V’s: Vermentino, Vernaccia and Verdicchio

June 15, 2015

Just back from western Tuscany, where I had the chance once again to taste some delicious, if lesser known, Italian white wines. The hardest to find here in the US is Vermentino, known in France as “rolle”. The grape is widely planted in Italy’s Piedmont region, where it’s known as…

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CAPRI WALKS

June 8, 2015

I’ve just completed the 2015 Amazing Amalfi trips. While these weeks are always a series of highlights, this year for me the hike on the Sentieri dei Fortini (“Path of Forts”) on the Isle of Capri was without equal. You can begin the walk, which extends 4-5 km depending where…

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Who likes Italian Trivia?

May 12, 2015

Here are some fun facts I’ve come across over the last few weeks: • The name “Italy” comes from the Greek “italos”, which means calf. It was originally given to the region of Calabria by Greek settlers in the 8th century BC, and was extended to the whole peninsula under…

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Say “Si” to Florence – Wine and Food

April 21, 2015

Final days of my stay in Florence I decided to travel a piedi (by foot) to meet Chef Marcella on my last day in town. This is the best way to make your own discoveries in Florence, especially as you put a little distance between yourself and the Duomo. After…

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Tuscan Cioccolato

April 10, 2015

Wine and Chocolate Pairing in Florence Okay, you’re all waiting for my review of the wine and chocolate pairing lesson, right? First, even if you don’t partake in this amazing experience, make the Ballerini Chocolate Shop a stop on your next trip to Florence. It’s only a block from the…

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Say “Si” to Florence

March 30, 2015

Are the Florentine crowds worth the stop? Preparing to leave for Italy a few years ago, I wasn’t so excited that the last few days of the trip would be in Florence. On my last stay there, in October 2008 for just a night, I told myself: it’s just not…

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“Chiesa”? “Duomo”? “Cattedrale”? “Basilica”?

March 20, 2015

Have you ever wondered what in the world the Italian guidebook is talking about when it uses these terms? For years I sort of lumped them all into the same category — “house of worship” — and moved on to more interesting topics. But the distinctions are actually worthwhile information….

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Olive Oil in the Season of Sagittarius

March 9, 2015

This past fall I returned for the umpteenth time to a most memorable meal and always lively visit with Janet and Stefano, owners of the Sagittario Olive Farm. Located just south of Florence, this stop is the highlight for many of my clients among countless exceptional Tuscan experiences. Janet and…

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Loving Lucca!

February 22, 2015

Lucca is a city that I had by-passed many times. Sure, I’d heard about the magnificent olive oil, jogging around the Renaissance-era city walls (which total about 4 kilometers – a nice little morning passeggiata!), and all the Puccini paraphernalia. But the city never caught my interest like some of…

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