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."
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.
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"So Mario, what about Etruscan history can you tell us?"
Again, if you want the answer, listen to the podcast! Not only will you get lots of information in detail, Mario tells us the best places to visit if you want to experience the history of the ancient people had had a significant impact on Roman culture.
Enter the Promo Code: TOTAL TUSCANY at checkout and get an automatic 5% savings on your tour.
It seems like Anna is always working. If you follow her on social media, you know she is doing tours almost daily. Her silver Mercedes van that seats eight is perfect for a trip to the Tuscany countryside. After our quick hits of caffeine, we were off on a new adventure.
Our first stop, a place we have never visited before, a small hilltop town in Chianti, Barberino Val d'Elsa. For the most part, everything was closed, and the streets empty. I don't want to paint a gloomy picture; it was quite peaceful. We were able to roam at our own pace taking in the historic structures and spectacular views of the countryside from the city wall.
After about an hour's stroll, it was time to climb back in the van. It was nearing lunchtime, and we were getting excited about our next stop - even though we didn't know where we were going.
Winding through the switchbacks of the Chianti hills, the Cool Tour's van ascended a steep incline. Once at the top, there was a gated villa on our left. A small wooden sign hung on the gate that was hard to read unless you were three feet from it. It read, I Balzini. I can try and describe the estate, but I wouldn't do it justice; their website captures it perfectly.
From the website: www.ibalzini.it
I Balzini is a classic example of a Tuscan working farm that has grown from the former country farmhouse around which vineyards and olive groves were cultivated. The central block of vineyards is located directly in front of the house, which serves as the owners’ residence as well, while a second vineyard parcel is just a short distance away. A wood and a small lake complete the property, giving it a harmonious and cozy air, one gathered in upon itself, and from which one looks out over some of Tuscany’s most celebrated villages. The long sunsets over the vineyards are perhaps some of the loveliest images to be admired at I Balzini and are the result of the extremely felicitous exposure of the property, which enjoys a special luminosity.
The name “Balzini” comes from the Tuscan word for small terraces, the exact site on which the vineyards were planted.
What It's About
New author M.E. Evans debuts with a profoundly intimate and wildly entertaining portrait of a young woman trying to cope with life’s lemons by drowning in limoncello.
What It's Not About
NAKED (IN ITALY) is the "anti-Eat, Pray,Love." This is not your typical travel memoir. Think Running with Scissors meets Under the Tuscan Sun.
All Photos By: Dustin Todd
With Naked (in Italy), Evans questions the myth of la dolce vita and reveals the struggle of fitting in and being an outsider when all you really want is a seat at the table (preferably one where your new mother-in-law isn't hurling pans nearby).
But this isn't a sad book: Evans' journey is incredibly funny as she marries the tragedy and hilarity of the human condition as only she can. Evans' wit, compassion, and vulnerability make reading this book a rarely authentic experience. You'll cry, you'll cackle, and you'll want Evans to be your best friend.
This is a memoir for people who crave honest storytelling and who enjoy a good laugh with their pathos. Naked (in Italy) is heartbreaking, brilliantly funny, and the perfect book to help you feel better about your own crazy family.
Travis Justice & Pat Campagna have been traveling to Tuscany since 2009. They produce the Total Tuscany Podcast and all the content on this website.
Barberino Val D'Elsa
Camino De Santiago
Extreme Adventures In Tuscany
Find Yourself In Tuscany
Florence American Cemetery
I Found Myself In Tuscany
Italian Villa Rental
Jacopo Di Battista
Lost In Florence
Love 4 Win
Naked In Italy
Opera In The Kitchen
Palazzo Del Moro
Palazzo San Niccolo
Panzano In Chianti
Querceto Di Castellina
Rent A Ferrari In Tuscany
Total Tuscany Experience
Tuscan Women Cook
Tuscany Private Home
Tuscany Women's Tour
Urban Adventures Florence
Vacation Rentals In Italy
Villa In Tuscany
Villas For Rent In Italy
Way Of St. Francis
Your Place In Florence