Italy is open for business.
There is hope on the horizon. Slowly but surely, people are returning, including the co-publisher of Total Tuscany, Pat Campagna. Pat recently spent close to a week and a half exploring his family roots. The name Campagna is a dead giveaway that he's Italian. But not from the mainland. On this trip, Pat skips out on Tuscany and enjoys the island life of Sicily.
In this episode of the Total Tuscany Podcast, Pat is the guest on his own show. We go in deep on what it's like to travel with current Covid restrictions and testing. What's the difference between Sicily and Tuscany? Where there are several, but there are also similarities.
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Rediscover San Gimignano
We can spend hours looking at the old men in this photo. Their facial expressions. Their hand gestures. Their clothes. Their shoes. Every part of them tells a story. If you stare at it long enough, you can write unique fictional attributes of each one of them. If you come back the next day and look at the photo again, the stories for each of them change.
We took the photo in San Gimignano in 2009. It hangs on our office walls as not just a reminder of our first trip to Italy but to let us know there are grace and wisdom in aging.
San Gimignano tells a story that dates back to the Etruscans three centuries before Christ. A shining city on a hill marked by its 14- towers, San Gimignano is a must stop for any tourist. 4-million people a year visit this mid-evil town in North Central Tuscany. Normally packed with people, beauty is found in the hustle and bustle of buses, walking tours, and onlookers.
Like most places in Itlay, specifically Tuscany, the worldwide pandemic of COVID-19 has taken its toll on the economy. But as you find out in this latest podcast. The people of San Gimignano are not sitting back and just crossing their fingers and hoping people return. They are using this time to rediscover themselves. Soul searching, should we say, to connect with its past so when the people do return, they get the authentic experience they want and deserve.
Just like the old men in the photo, the days go by, but the stories we share and pass down over time can live forever. Next time you visit Tuscany, make sure you make a story of your own in San Gimignano.
The 1-Euro Home In Italy!
If you believe all the news stories and headlines, buying a house for as low as 1-euro in Italy is simple. But is it?
We have been doing this podcast for several years now. We travel to Italy (when there’s not a pandemic) yearly. I would say it’s our goal to have a home or an apartment in Tuscany someday.
But where do you start? Who do you turn to? Well, our guest on this edition of the Total Tuscany Podcast knows a thing or two about purchases homes and real estate in Italy.
Chris Sobolev operates the websiteSuper Savvy Travelers with her husband, Chris.
They fell in love with Italy a couple of years ago, started buying property, and now it’s their mission to people like you and me do the same.
Property in Tuscany is SUPER expensive. That’s not a surprise as Tuscany is the most popular region in Italy. Chris and Pete and settled in by the sea in Calabria. It’s cheap, beautiful, and provides easy access to other parts of Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.
You find or interview with Chris both enlightening and educational. After listening to it, you might be ready to start the process of making your dreams of an Italian home come true!
Episode 76:Let Italy Come To You!
The two of the most popular things to do when you go to Tuscany are drink wine and take a cooking class. Well, since we can't travel right now, what if there was a way to put a sommelier and a Tuscan chef right in your kitchen?
COVID-19 has reinforced our need for connection to people. Linda Sorgiovanni from Italy Customized wants to come into your home, virtually. Linda collaborates with her friend Claudio Bisanzio on a unique cooking class and wine tasting with you and your family and friends. The 2-hour experience includes wine, a food menu with step by step coaching during the cooking process, a recording of your cooking class, a recipe booklet, and memories that will inspire you to travel to Tuscany to experience the real thing.
This virtual experience's price is very reasonable—$ 50 per person up to four people and $40 per person for larger groups. We recommend that groups are not larger than eight people.
Yes, there is a pretty big time difference between Florence and the United States. But don't fret; Linda and Claudio are night owls and will work directly with you to schedule a time that works for you and your guests. You can email Linda directly to set up your class.
Print Your Own Gift Certificate
Episode 75: buon Natale From KM Zero
If you can’t go to Tuscany for Christmas, why not bring Tuscany to you for the holidays?
On this edition of the Total Tuscany Podcast, Arriana Cini from KM Zero Tours has the perfect gift to put under your tree. A Tuscan gift box with 100% locally sourced goods from Tuscany.
The idea for the gift box is not a new one, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for her business to survive until tourists return the plan and production were expedited.
Order your KM Zero Christmas box today and give a gift that is truly unique for the Tuscan lover in your family.
KM Zero is a small boutique travel company based in the Chianti region of Tuscany. They believe in slow, sustainable travel and love creating meaningful and immersive travel experiences aimed at discovering the authentic cultural and culinary heritage of the Tuscan region.
They support and value the amazing craft and talent of passionate local farmers and artists, who deeply respect and love their land with its ancient flavours and deep-rooted traditions, and who are willing to share it with new visitors and friends.
In our current “new normal” of COVID-19 and physical distancing, sitting on the back porch with a good book sounds pretty relaxing. It won’t take you long to realize your reading a masterpiece byAuthor Laura Morelli. A historical fiction account of Michelangelo’s The David.
Florence, 1500. Fresco painter Jacopo Torni longs to make his mark in the world. But while his peers enjoy prestigious commissions, his meager painting jobs are all earmarked to pay down gambling debts.
When Jacopo hears of a competition to create Florence’s greatest sculpture, he pins all his hopes on a collaboration with his boyhood companion, Michelangelo Buonarroti. But will the frustrated artist ever emerge from the shadow of his singularly gifted friend?
Our interview dives into the labor of love writing this book was for Laura, it was 20-years in the making! Lots of research trips to Florence, and a true understanding of Renaissance Art History.
From The POdcast
"It has been a passion project for me, the subject of Michelangelo's David is something that wouldn't let me go. The drama and the unfolding of the creation of the sculpture and its journey through the streets of Florence."
Episode 73: Your Place In Florence
The streets of Florence are quiet right now. Italians are looking forward to the day when their surroundings take on a new life, and crowds can gather and feel safe as they look in awe at the architecture. Sit in an osteria and drink wine and eat excellent local cuisine. Or visit the cafe for an afternoon espresso.
When the heavy burden of COVID-19 goes away, our friend Federico Bonechi wants you do know that you have a place in Florence that feels like home.
When we first visited Federico back in December of 2014, there was only one property, Palazzo Belfiore. We have visited Federico several times on our return trips, and we have watched his buisness grow over the last five-plus years. The addition of Palazzo San Niccolo, and Palazzo Del Moro. Each property is unique, located in a different part of the city, each with the capability of providing you with a short or longer-term stay. If it's a Tuscany countryside experience you are dreaming about, Federico also offers VILLA PIETROSA.
You can find all four locations at one website address,www.yourplaceinflorence.com.
In the first half of this edition of the Total Tuscany Podcast, we talk to Anthony and Becca about what they are going through.
The second half is a conversation with Anna Madaffari, who owns and operatesCool Tours. We also spent a day with her in the Tuscan countryside when we visited last December. A day to remember that ended with a conversation we featured inepisode 67.
Episode 71: Coronavirus Impact
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Travis Justice & Pat Campagna have been traveling to Tuscany since 2009. They produce the Total Tuscany Podcast and all the content on this website.