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.
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.
When we plan a podcast we are always looking for new, and unique experiences to inspire you to travel to Tuscany. We have done just that in this episode.
Lucrezia Cannito is and entrepreneur who’s taken her passions, cooking, and opera and brought them together in a quaint setting in the Tuscan countryside.
Opera in the Kitchen is specifically designed for small groups, 10-12 people and promises to make memories that will last a lifetime. You get to pick your own vegetables and herbs. You learn to make and cook pasta from a professional chef. You dine at sunset while drinking some of the finest Italian wine.
``A fantastic evening set in the amazing countryside of Tuscany. Beautiful views all around. Fantastic cooking course followed by dinner and intimate opera performance. Lucrezia and the other women were so helpful and gracious. They have a passion for what they are doing and it shows. This isn’t just another cooking class. This is a memory in the making! Thank you for this experience. I won’t forget it!``
``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!``
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.
Aside from the incredibly strategic location, another perk of staying in a medieval village is walking access to a couple of restaurants, cafes, and a local grocer within a few hundred yards. Start off the day with a frothy cappuccino or return home after a day of seeing the sites and walk up the street to the local trattoria.
Sound like a dream? It's a perfect property for a group of 8 as it has four bedrooms and four bathrooms.
Mario Scalzi, owner, and founder of Parker Villas has been a regular on our podcast. We have used Parker Villas in the past and have come to appreciate the exclusivity of their properties. By exclusive we mean the only place you can rent Cantini Alto or the other locations you see on the Parker Villas website is from Parker.
Mario is the first to admit the competition is fierce, but he refuses to get into a bidding war like a typical internet property broker.
Mario or someone from Parker Villas has visited every property it offers. There is 24/7 customer service in the United States as well as Italy to guarantee your satisfaction.
There is a difference between a three-star and a five-star experience. If you are planning a trip to Italy, don't take chances, where you sleep and call home for a week, or two, or three will make all the difference.
Italy, in particular, Tuscany is something we want, and our guests want to share with the world. We do it with our podcasts and our Total Tuscany Experience. Today's guest, Linda Sorgiovanni is a partner in the agency, Italy Customized. Anything you want, Linda and her partner Alberto Bassilichi can make happen.
"Her work in Italian Travel and Tourism began in the UK where she worked as a consultant and travel planner of events to Verona and Milan for opera, ballet, and classical music.
After obtaining certifications as a Tour Leader and Chauffeur Driver, she worked as a freelance professional for top travel agencies and direct clients from all over the world as a Be-Spoke / FIT travel planner all over Italy.
Her role as a tour leader included Small group and private luxury food, wine, and active vacations — tours to exclusive boutique wineries and famous hill towns."
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
KM Zero Tours
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