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Betty Albert's picture

Exploring the Marble Caves of Carrara, Home to Michelangelo’s White Marble

on Tue, 02/13/2018 - 11:41
Carrara on a day trip from the Florence Untour
Used for the Pantheon, Trajan’s Column, and Michelangelo’s David in Rome, Carrara marble was valued above all other stone. The mountains were first exploited by Julius Caesar with origins from the 2nd century BC. Located in the northernmost tip of modern-day Tuscany, this blue-grey or white high quality-marble is coveted by artisans and used worldwide.  
The ruling Cybo and Malaspina families established the “Office of Marble” in 1564 to regulate the marble mining industry. By the end of the 19th century, the quarry workers were among the most neglected laborers in Italy.
Andrea Szyper's picture

Tuscan Table: 10 Things You Must Taste in Florence

on Mon, 04/24/2017 - 12:11
Never plan a vacation when you are hungry. If you do, you will surely end up in Tuscany. On second thought, let your stomach guide you. When you consider the region’s sublime natural beauty and Florence’s countless Renaissance masterpieces, it is easy to overlook the food.
But Florence is a great place to connect with the region’s culture and history through its markets and restaurants. From some of Europe’s best fine dining to cheap eats around its global student culture, Florence has something for every budget. Many dishes evolved from scarcity, and the cucina povera of the peasants.
Andrea Szyper's picture

Florence with Kids: 15 Things to Share and Enjoy

on Wed, 02/15/2017 - 10:14
Florence Untour family travel
Cities can be a lot of fun to share with kids, with their parks and museums and markets and rich histories. And now that Untours has added the Italian cities to the Kids Stay Free program, you can tour young travelers though the ancient sites of Rome, the carfree alleys and canals of Venice, and the vibrant Renaissance cityscape of Florence.
If Florence is on your itinerary, here are some fun things to share with your kids or grandkids. Please note, they are good for all ages!

1. Visit the straw market and look for the wild boar statue.

2. Browse in the toy stores on Via Cavour & Via

Andrea Szyper's picture

Your Italian Bucket List: See These 12 Places Before You Die

on Tue, 06/02/2015 - 21:27
Montalcino on the Tuscany Untour

So much to see and do in Italy. Of course you will likely start with Venice, Florence and Rome, what we knowlingly call The Big Three. (Wink. Nudge.) You may have gotten to Tuscany or the Amalfi Coast. If you're lucky (and/or savvy), you've dug more deeply into these places. Or you've ventured a little further afield. Check out our Italian Bucket List, places you really shouldn't miss. Some are little towns that might not make the main itinerary. Some are special neighborhoods in our favorite popular cities. Others are big cities in their own right, but ones that tourists tent to overlook. Either way, we hope there are some wonderful places on our list that you might not have considered or even heard of.

Andrea Szyper's picture

Breaking World News: American Investors Make Bid for Leaning Tower of Pisa

on Wed, 04/01/2015 - 09:08
Leaning Tower of Pisa, Tuscany Untour

Citing the extremely favorable exchange rate, American investors have submitted a bid to buy Italy's iconic leaning tower.

At an exchange rate of $1.07 to the euro, the dollar is stronger than it has been in Europe in over 10 years. Five investment bankers in New York cited this fact and concerns about preserving the iconic monument when they submit their bid Friday to buy Pisa's famed Leaning Tower.
Pisa is an important commercial center,” said Antonello Admonti, the lead investor on the project. He is a 2nd generation Italian-American who says he is proud of his heritage.
Untours staff's picture

Italian Cities Q&A with Andi: Venice, Florence and Rome from the inside

on Thu, 01/15/2015 - 10:53
Andi at Trevi Fountain, Rome Untour

"My favorite spots are always places a little off the beaten path. Or sometimes so on the beaten path that you would think that they are tourist traps. For instance, the little cafe just across from the Trevi Fountain makes a fabulous cappuccino. One of my Italian friends who was with me nearly died when I suggested we have our morning cappuccino there. I had been so many times before I knew that he’d be wowed by the little hole in the wall’s coffee and pastry selection. He was pleasantly surprised. The trick is to keep an open mind."

Untours staff's picture

Top 10 Florence: The sites you can't miss, including a couple you've never heard of...

on Mon, 01/12/2015 - 09:50
Ponte Vecchio, Florence Untour
If you are planning to visit Florence, we urge you to follow the paths of the Rennaissance artists who built and adorned this magnificent city. You’ll find a lifetime of art and architecture to experience. This is a list of the things you must see first, but please don't stop here! You could spend a lifetime walking the stones of Florence
1. The Bargello sculpture museum is a must. Read The Agony and the Ecstasy before you head to Florence, and you will love it even more.
2. Visit the Brancacci Chapel in Santa Maria Carmine to see the master frescoes of Masaccio. (Reservations
nickfortunatus's picture

Timelapse of the week: Florence

on Mon, 06/16/2014 - 19:02

I'll talk a bit more about my first time in Florence in our Eurozine next week so I'll just skip to the amazing timelapse I came across. Grab some limoncello and take a gander below. Bella vista, indeed.

mtaussig's picture

Diane and Lawrence Brenner (Untourists of the Week) ...the more Untours the merrier.

on Wed, 03/19/2014 - 10:07
Untourists Diane and Lawrence Brenner share a bit about their Untours in Florence, Paris and Leiden

When we were in Florence in 1970, all the museums were closed for civil service strikes, so we wanted to see everything we missed. Without Mary Jane's help we'd have never poked around the south side of the Arno, nor figured out how to take the bus to Fiesole to see the Roman ruins.

nickfortunatus's picture

And the Unny winners are...

on Mon, 03/03/2014 - 11:44
Untourist Ron Anderson captures a great vineyard shot from his Tuscany Untour

As you may know, we had the inaugural Unny Awards just recently. These awards are our way of recognizing the regions which have welcomed Untours all these years.

The Unnies are fun and lighthearted and that's how we like things around here.

We like to think of them as the Oscars® for Untours, though I admit we can't top the touching, heartfelt acceptance speech by Lupita Nyong'o last night.