Welcome to another exciting episode of Total Tuscany with Travis Justice and Pat Campagna. We bring you the stories of individuals who have embarked on unique journeys and found their passion in the heart of Italy. In this episode, we have the pleasure of hosting Sara Amrhein, an extraordinary artist known for her exquisite polymer clay handmade jewelry. Join us as we delve into Sara's creative process, her inspirations, and the fascinating tale of her relocation from the United States to the enchanting city of Florence, Italy.
Journey To Florence
Sara's journey is about her art and the life-changing decision to move from the United States to Florence, Italy. The podcast explores the reasons behind Sara's move, the cultural adjustments, and the impact it has had on her artistic expression. Discover the challenges and joys of immersing oneself in a new environment and finding inspiration in Tuscany's rich history and artistry.
Crafting Beauty From Polymer Clay
Sara is a master of her craft, creating one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces from polymer clay. Listeners will get an exclusive peek into Sara's workshop, learning about her intricate techniques to mold, shape, and color the clay into unique and stunning jewelry. From earrings to necklaces, each piece is a work of art that reflects Sara's creativity and passion.
Cultural Influences on Art
Florence is renowned for its artistic heritage, and Sara shares how living in this cultural hub has influenced her work. From the architecture to the local traditions, listeners will gain insights into the various elements of Tuscan culture that have left an indelible mark on Sara's jewelry designs.
A Glimpse into Sara's Future Projects
As the podcast unfolds, Sara offers a sneak peek into her upcoming projects and the direction she envisions for her art. Listeners can look forward to hearing about Sara's future endeavors and the exciting developments in her journey as a polymer clay jewelry artist based in Florence.
Whether you're an art enthusiast, a jewelry lover, or someone curious about the intersection of art and life, this episode promises to be a delightful exploration of the world ofSara Amrhein. Tune in and immerse yourself in the beauty of polymer clay art and the charm of Tuscany.
Tuscany, with its picturesque landscapes, rich history, and, of course, delectable cuisine, has always been a source of fascination for many. In the heart of this Italian region, a culinary enthusiast and expert, Chicca Maione, takes center stage, sharing her passion for Tuscan cooking through her platform, cookingintuscany.cc. Recently, Chicca enjoyed joining Travis Justice and Pat Campagna on the Total Tuscany Podcast, where the trio delved into Tuscan cuisine, culture, and more.
Cooking in Tuscany: A Gastronomic Journey
Cookingintuscany.cc serves as Chicca's canvas, where she paints a vivid picture of Tuscan cuisine. From mouth-watering pasta dishes to succulent meats, each recipe is a testament to her commitment to preserving and sharing the authentic flavors of Tuscany. Through her website and online cooking classes, Chicca invites you into her kitchen, providing step-by-step guides and personal anecdotes that make the cooking experience not just about food but a journey through the heart of Tuscany.
Culinary Education with Chicca: Online Cooking Classes and Cooking Club
Beyond her delectable recipes and engaging blog content, Chicca Maione extends her passion for Tuscan cuisine to a broader audience through her online cooking classes and exclusive Cooking Club. These initiatives serve as a virtual gateway for enthusiasts worldwide to experience Tuscan cooking in the comfort of their own kitchens.
Online Cooking Classes: A Hands-On Experience
Chicca's online cooking classes are a unique opportunity for individuals to learn directly from the expert herself. Through live and recorded sessions, participants are guided through the intricacies of preparing authentic Tuscan dishes. Whether you're a seasoned chef or a novice in the kitchen, Chicca's classes are designed to be accessible, informative, and, most importantly, hands-on. Participants acquire valuable cooking skills and gain insights into each dish's cultural and historical significance. The classes foster a sense of community as participants share their culinary creations, creating a global kitchen where food lovers from different corners of the world unite through their shared love for Tuscan cuisine.
Cooking Club: A Culinary Community
Chicca's Cooking Club furthers the culinary experience by providing members with an immersive and interactive community. Club members enjoy exclusive benefits such as access to premium recipes, behind-the-scenes content, and priority registration for online classes. This culinary club is not just about recipes; it's about forging connections, sharing experiences, and celebrating the joy of cooking together. Club members receive regular updates on new recipes, cooking tips, and invitations to virtual events to engage with Chicca and fellow members. The Cooking Club transforms the solitary act of cooking into a collaborative and enriching experience, fostering a sense of camaraderie among individuals who share a common passion for Tuscan gastronomy.
Bridging Gaps and Fostering Connection
Chicca Maione's commitment to providing online cooking classes and creating a vibrant Cooking Club is not just about sharing recipes but bridging geographical gaps and fostering connections. In a world where physical distances often separate us, these virtual platforms unite people, creating a global community that transcends borders.
Whether you're a participant in one of Chicca's online cooking classes or a member of the Cooking Club, the experience goes beyond the culinary realm. It's an opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals, share stories, and create lasting memories around the shared love for Tuscan cuisine.
Total Tuscany Podcast: A Meeting of Minds
The Total Tuscany Podcast, hosted by Travis Justice and Pat Campagna, celebrates all things Tuscan. When Chicca Maione joined the podcast as a guest, it was a meeting of minds that promised to unravel the secrets behind Tuscany's culinary excellence. The episode showcased Chicca's expertise and provided listeners with a taste of the vibrant and diverse world of Tuscan gastronomy.
A Feast for the Senses
In Tuscan culinary exploration, Chicca Maione's cookingintuscany.cc stands as a beacon for food enthusiasts and those eager to embark on a gastronomic journey through one of Italy's most iconic regions. The Total Tuscany Podcast episode featuring Chicca was not just an interview but a sensory feast for the listeners, offering a taste of Tuscany's flavors, traditions, and the warmth that defines its culinary heritage. As Chicca Maione continues to inspire and share the magic of Tuscan cooking, her collaboration with Total Tuscany Podcast is a testament to the vibrant and ever-evolving world of culinary arts in this enchanting region. So, join the trio on this podcast journey. Let the aroma of Tuscany's finest dishes transport you to a world where every meal celebrates life, love, and the simple joy of savoring exquisite flavors.
A Culinary Adventure Awaits
As Chicca Maione continues to leave an indelible mark on Tuscan cooking, her online cooking classes and Cooking Club serve as beacons guiding enthusiasts through a delightful culinary adventure. By embracing these initiatives, individuals not only savor the flavors of Tuscany but also become part of a global community united by a passion for good food, cultural exploration, and the joy of cooking together. Join Chicca on this virtual gastronomic journey. Let the aroma of Tuscan dishes fill your kitchen with the warmth and vibrancy of Italy's culinary heritage.
Esperienza personale.Translated to English, personal experience. Urbano Brini is on a mission. He wants everyone who visits Florence and Tuscany to have a once in a lifetime adventure.
Several years ago, he started Florencetown Tours. What began as a simple self-guided bike ride around the city, has grown into something much bigger. Something more unique. Something more personal.
Last December, I visited Urbano in his office, located a stone's throw from the Arno River. The view alone must provide Urbano with some of his most creative ideas. He is laser-focused on customer service and has a keen understanding of what savvy tourists desire. Urbano will be the first to tell you what visitors want changes over time.
Take Florencetown, for instance. Many of the company's offerings are group outings. Several people, many who you don't know, take a tour to see David, ride Vespas, or retrace the footsteps of the Medici family. Typical things a lot of us do when vacationing to Tuscany, but leaves us feeling more like a tourist rather than having the authentic experience we yearn for when visiting Italy.
Urbano and his team noticed this and wanted to offer their clients something more. They didn't need to reinvent the wheel; they just needed to look at the way people want to experience Florence and Tuscany differently. By differently, we mean privately, uniquely, and off the beaten path. Something that when you tell your friends what you did on your trip, they say, wow! How in the world did you get to do that?
Urbano makes dreams come true. It shouldn't be that much as a surprise, as you will find out by listening to this podcast, Urbano is one of the biggest dreamers of them all. We are lucky that he wants to share them with the world.
More Florencetown Priviate Offerings
It was a bright sunny morning mid-December in Florence. My wife and I waited outside our hotel in Florence, about 400 yards from the Duomo. We were meeting our friend Anna Madaffari who operates Cool Tours.
Our plan for the morning was simple. We would walk to Caffe Gilli, have a cappuccino and a pastry, catch up with Anna whom we hadn't seen in a year. In the large crowds walking to and from the most famous landmark in Florence, emerged the spunky Italian with a smile a mile wide dressed in her traditional black. She was bundled up more than we were as the temperatures were cooler for her, but mild for us considering we were coming from winter in the Midwest.
"Buongiorno!" Anna lets out, followed by a peck on each cheek; she repeated the greeting for my wife.
"I am parked around the corner, let's get in the van," Anna said.
"But what about our morning plans?" I said.
"Oh, we will stop and get a coffee, but it's too nice of a day not to go for a drive and see something new," she said.
Anna introduced us to Nicola, who helps manage the estate and the three large but friendly dogs whom Nicola tries desperately to keep from escaping. While Anna made a couple of phone calls, Nicola took the time to give us a tour of the organic farm. The small cellar that houses what we are about to find out are some amazingly great tasting wines. Next, it was off to the tasting room for lunch and food. On the table were red, green, white, and black label wines. Each with its own unique taste that paired perfectly with our appetizers, pasta, and chocolate lava cake for dessert. My wife and I were seduced by the atmosphere, the smells, the tastes and purchased six bottles, two red labels, two white labels, and two black labeled bottles. They arrived at our home in Nebraska about three weeks later.
After about two and a half hours at I Balzini we climbed back into the van to head back to Florence. We made one more quick stop at the Florence American Cemetery and Memorial. This is the final resting place for 4,398 Americans who helped liberate Italy in World War 2. It is one of two American cemeteries in Italy and a must-visit for any American.
We left the cemetery in the late afternoon as the sun was setting into the horizon. Anna maneuvered the streets of Florence and was able to find a parking spot on in the Oltrarno side of the Arno river. We walked to a tiny but upscale wine bar where we sat next to a large window overlooking the Arno. Anna ordered water, my wife and I ordered wine. It was like a dream, and I didn't want the day to end. So I counted down, 3, 2, 1, and started interviewing Anna with my portable recorder. The result, the 67th episode of the Total Tuscany Podcast which you can listen to by hitting the play button at the top of this page.
We talked about our perfect day together, her growing business, and what you can expect when you hire Anna to be your guide a day or even longer.
Anna is simply the best! If you are going to Tuscany, do yourself a favor and hire her. Your experience with this sweet, spunky Italian will most likely turn into the most memorable part of your trip. You will see Tuscany through her experienced eye and know the place better.
What started as a simple website and blog telling you about the unique and chic in Florence, Italy, has now turned into a 200+ page book.
Nardia Plumridge has published the ultimate guide for the Renaissance City, "Lost In Florence." The travel book is a comprehensive dive to the very best places to eat, drink, shop and explore; so on your visit, you feel more like a local rather than a tourist. Nardia takes you behind the facade of the palazzi to a magical journey down the cobblestone side streets of Florence to discover vintage stores housing designer names, restaurants offering farm-to-table dishes and boutique hotels in 16th-century buildings.
Nardia was a guest on the Total Tuscany Podcast back in 2015. She's a journalist by trade; her passion is telling stories that inspire people to travel and search for the hidden games that are one-of-a-kind. Nadia has contributed to the New York Times and is considered the Tuscan expert for Expedia. The conversation we have with her on this podcast focuses on what went into writing the book, the best times to visit Tuscany and Florence, and where she plans to get "Lost In" next.
The book, "Lost in Florence" features five main sections; Wine, Dine,Fine Sublime and Nine, covering the very best in food and drink, fashion, cultural experiences and Nardia's top nine Florentine markets, Gelatarias, Pizzerias and more. Full day itineraries help you navigate the best of the city, and the day trip section to nearby Siena, Cinque Terre and the Chianti wine region allows you to make the most of your trip.
We hope you enjoy our conversation with Nardia as much as you enjoy her book.
We have done several interviews here on the Total Tuscany Podcast. This being the 58th episode we have introduced you to fascinating people who make Tuscany so unique. With no disrespect to our previous guests, our discussion with Andrew Cotto just might be our favorite.
Why do you ask? Well, there are a number of reasons, but the number one reason is we just connected with him. We are similar in age, love food, wine, people, and most of all Tuscany.
Andrew lives in New York City. He is an author, academic, and if you can’t tell by his last name, comes from Italian descent. When he was in this 30’s Andrew was looking for a life change (don’t we all go through this?) Unlike so many of us he actually acted on his impulse, quit his job, sold some property, and moved to Italy for a year this wife and young daughter.
What came out of that one year? Memories to last a lifetime for sure and the inspiration to write! Andrew has penned three novels; his latest, Cucina Tipica: An Italian Adventure. We dive deep into the book throughout the interview but here’s a taste of what the book is about... food!
Andrew has a dynamic personality. He’s and award winning author and has written travel articles for the biggest newspapers and magazines in the world and today we are fortunate enough to have him be our guest and share his amazing story with you.
In this latest conversation with Mario we discuss the following:
Travis Justice & Pat Campagna have been traveling to Tuscany since 2009. They produce the Total Tuscany Podcast and all the content on this website.