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"They have been able to keep up with what’s hot in Tuscany by reaching out to local experts" - Georgette jupe/girl in florence
Happy Holidays! Stop looking for the perfect gift, do all your Christmas wins shopping at CSIWines.com! Our good buddy Anthony Frevelletti is back with us, and he tells us you can have some incredible wine from Tuscany under your tree by Christmas day!
Also, Anthony is super excited to share his thoughts on what he thinks was an incredible harvest for 2019, and what makes it unique, especially for the smaller producers in the Tuscany. If you have heard Anthony on our podcast before you know that he is uber passionate bout wine and he does not disappoint in this episode.
I sat at the kitchen table between my Italian boyfriend, Francesco, and his mom near the sink, trapped in an awkward place where her insults had to pass through me to get to him. All of the blood in her body had rushed into her face as she listed off the many reasons American women make terrible mothers. She lifted a saucepan in the air like she was about to bludgeon me with it, then turned and chucked it into the soapy water, sending a tidal wave of suds crashing onto the counter. When she turned her back to violently scrub the dishes, I snuck out the sliding glass door.
That’s a passage from the book “Naked In Italy”, a memoir by M.E. Evans detailing her not so fairytale adventure of living in Florence. Sure there were the rolling hills of the Val d'Orcia, cheap wine, and good looking Italian men. But as M.E. explains in the book and in this podcast, no matter how hard you try, you can’t escape life.
Our conversation with her is candid. She doesn’t hold back and her humor that is on display in the book comes out as quick wit on this podcast. If you love to laugh, if your cherish honesty, and if you love the roller coaster of life with Tuscany as the backdrop then you are going want to buy Naked In Italy today! You won’t want to put it down.
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Opera In The Kitchen Reviews
``This was an unforgettable experience - one of the highlights of our trip to Florence! Lucrezia is a lovely hostess and a very engaging cook/teacher. We had a wonderful group, enjoyed one of the best meals in Italy, and experienced unbelievable opera while overlooking the twinkling lights of the Tuscan countryside - complete with snow-capped mountains in the background. Highly recommend this experience and Lucrezia. We will definitely come again!``
Without a doubt, the most common question we get asked about from our family, friends, and clients is about wine. Everyone wants to know two things; how good is it, and can you recommend a vineyard tour?
The answers we always give are simple; the wine in Tuscany is fantastic! Also, we can recommend hundreds of vineyard tours.
You want to know makes the wine taste even better? The presentation and the person who is leading the tasting experience.
We first met Anthony Freveletti in October of 2018 as we were leading one of our Total Tuscany Experiences. Our first stop with our private guide, Anna Madafferi from Cool Tours was at this beautiful vineyard outside of Florence, Podere Dell'Anselmo. We were greeted by this American with an Italian last name and an accent that is a mix between Chicago, New York, and Italian. From the moment we stepped out of our van, Anthony was grinning from ear to ear an had a larger than life personality. What followed was the most passionate description of the soil, the vine, the grape, and the process of producing wine we have ever heard. We remember leaving the estate thinking that was the most exceptional wine we have ever tasted! Was it? Who knows, but Anthony sure made us feel like it was.
In today's world of unique travel of experiences, people are quick to rent a property on the internet sight unseen where reviews are manipulated, and pretty pictures don't tell the whole story.
When it comes to a trip of a lifetime to Tuscany, or even Italy for that matter, why chance it? You shouldn't and why Parker Villas is the best when it comes to first-class rental properties and excellent customer service and satisfaction.
Parker Villas just added a new property in Tuscany. It's calledCatini Alto. Here's the description from the Parker Villas website:
Strategically situated midway between Florence and Pisa and rising 1000 feet above the famous thermal spa town of Montecatini Terme, Catini Alto offers an unforgettable medieval village experience, unparalleled Tuscan views and a host of luxurious, modern day comforts. Accessing Lucca, the Tuscan coast and the Cinque Terre is a breeze from this stylish townhouse.
Kathy McCabe is turning into the face of Italy in America. Her PBS show, Dream of Italy has skyrocketed in popularity, and her stories are inspiring thousands of people to follow their dreams of traveling to Italy.
On this episode of the Total Tuscany Podcast, Kathy joins us from where else, Tuscany! Cortona to be more specific as she is on a trip with her 81-year old father. However, she is also visiting Under The Tuscan Sun author Frances Mayes. Kathy has a special Tuscan Sun episode of Dream of Italy coming out in August. Kathy and Frances have developed quite a friendship and have done several promotional events together leading up to the release of Mayes' new book; See You The Piazza.
Some of you may know, some of you may not. Dream of Italy is a business Kathy Started back in 2002. She was blogging before it was even a popular thing to do. She started and still publishes a subscription newsletter that was printed and mailed to subscribers. As her influence has grown and so has per business. Visit her website now, and you will find a host of offerings from travel planning, travel guides, and a newly launched podcast.
Kathy has no intention of slowing down, season three of Dream of Italy is right around the corner, and who knows may her dreams take her there to live full time, or part-time. Find out as by listening as Kathy gives an inside look at her dream of Italy!
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.
Hosting a podcast explicitly dedicated to Tuscany has many advantages. The one we like the most is the network of friends that we have made over these 59-episodes. We hope that when you listen to every episode that you feel you have created a bond of some sorts with our guests as well.
We have discovered that not one size fits all when it comes to travel. Some of you like to do your planning. Some of you are not that detailed and want everything mapped out down to the smallest detail. This service is where Italy Customized comes in and is here to help.
Linda has lived in Florence for the past 18-years; she has dual citizenship, Australian and Italian. Her credentials described on the Italy Customized website tell you she had cut her teeth in the travel and tourism industry.
Our interview covers a lot, like the strangest request Linda has gotten when putting a tour together. She also reveals her hidden gems. Those places off the beaten path that tend to go unnoticed by tourists because they are on the road(s) less traveled.
Linda is part of our network of friends. We share a common passion, a love for Italy and the desire to tell stories or create an experience that inspires you to travel, experience a different culture, and take in a part of the word that still seems it like it was centuries ago.
We would love to hear your stories! Email us your pictures, and where you are at and with your permission, we will share them on our social media channels. The more we share, the more we inspire. The more we inspire, the more we live!
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 the latest edition of the Total Tuscany Podcast, we welcome back one of our most trusted partners who we have been working with for almost ten years now. Mario Scalzi from Parker Villas. Mario has been a guest on the podcast several times before and offers a wealth of knowledge on the latest trends in traveling not just to Tuscany but all of Italy.
You might be thinking is a villa right for me? Mario is open and honest about what makes sense and what doesn't. The sweet spot for Parker Villas is groups of 8 to 12 and even higher. So if you are traveling with just you and a couple of friends, a hotel or hostel might be the road you want to go down. Airbnb and VRBO are also options, but again you have to be careful about what you are paying for and what your expectations are.
What makes Parker Villas unique and a company you can trust is that all their properties are exclusive. This means the property you are paying or is not getting brokered like a commodity all over the internet. Mario or members of his staff personally inspect all the properties throughout the year. Parker Villas also has a team in Italy just in case you run into any problems and need help.
What stands out to us the most is the level of customer service Parker Villas gives. Every time we have rented from them; we felt like they genuinely had a vested interest in our entire trip. For many of you, going to Tuscany and Italy is once in a lifetime, so you want to make sure you have a "friend" by your side while you are there.
All of the properties that Parker Villas rents combines Italian charm and history with American amenities. Such as air conditioning, an equal number of bathrooms to bedrooms, and more little things we have come to expect when traveling.
You will find this podcast informative, entertaining, and enlightening. Are you ready to take that trip to Tuscany? Join this fall on our next Total Tuscany Experience. Or if you already have a trip planned but need help with your itinerary and finding things off the beaten path, we are here to help on a consulting basis. Just email us firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.
Travis Justice & Pat Campagna have been traveling to Tuscany since 2009. They produce the Total Tuscany Podcast and all the content on this website.