Skip directly to content

Italy

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

Shock of the New: 3 Contemporary Sculpture Gardens in the Hills of Tuscany

on Tue, 01/23/2018 - 14:04
Contemporary art sculpture gardens in Tuscany
Above: Tarot Gardens photo by s9-4pr, CC
 
Interested in contemporary sculpture? Tuscany is a surprisingly furtile place for it! See how the shock of the new and surreal commune with the deep natural beauty of the Tuscan landscape. There are some fantastic sculpture gardens to explore near our farm house apartments on the Tuscany Untour. Here are our favorites.
 

Site Transitoire

 
Set off the small road between Leonina and Mucigliani (near Asciano), you will find this monumental sculpture by Jean Paul Philippe, a sort of 1990s stonehenge that inter-
acts strikingly with its natural setting.
Untours staff's picture

Home Cooking from Tuscany: A Recipe for Gnocchi with 4 Cheese Sauce

on Wed, 10/25/2017 - 10:00
Cooking classes in Tuscany

Tuscany is a wonderland for those who live to eat and believe in vino veritas. So the Tuscany Wine and Food Untour was a natural. Here Donella, Serenella and their family, who will lead one of the events, share one of their favorite recipes. It’s a a hearty and satisfying dinner for a cool, dark winter night: Gnocchi ai Quattro Formaggi.

Special guest's picture

A Marvel & Maze: Untourists' Venice Report on the Regatta, Churches and Other Marvels

on Wed, 09/13/2017 - 10:32
The regatta in Venice, Italy on an Untours apartment stay

The Toepfers just returned from the Venice Untour and shared these thoughts and images.

Venice is a miracle marvel:

A unique city with its magical and spectacular scenery that claims a priceless art and historical heritage was a true miracle of creative genius. It is an engineering marvel built on mud, sand, and slime in a difficult and inhospitable landscape.
 
This engineering marvel is due not only to the skill and intelligence of the builders but also to the nature of the place itself.

Venice is a mysterious maze:

There are so many narrow streets (calle), alleys and pathways in this maze
Special guest's picture

Jerry's Italy: The Lovely and Delicious Amalfi Coast

on Tue, 08/22/2017 - 15:39
Amalfi Coast on and Untour

Jerry and Deena Koffler have traveled with Untours at least 18 times, taking more than one trip in some years. Whether they find themselves Untouring in Italy or cruising on an Untours Venture, the Kofflers always have a good time and eat well. As they love good food and scenery, it is no surprise they fell in love with the Amalfi Coast. Here Jerry has captures some of their favorite sights, impressions, and tastes of the Amalfi Coast and Naples. The Kofflers have traveled to Italy many times, but Amalfi stood out. Check out Jerry's gorgeous and evocative images!

Untours staff's picture

The 5 Best Restaurants in Amalfi (plus one in Atrani)

on Wed, 03/01/2017 - 15:29
Amalfi Coast restaurants, Amalfi Untour
The Amalfi Coast is a place of dramatic beauty, of pastel villages built into cliffs and hillsides overlooking sandy beaches and shining sea. Anyone who has taken our Amalfi Coast Untour will tell you about its natural beauty.
 
But one thing that surprises some travelers to the region is the quality of the local cuisine! In southern Italy, fresh vegetables are abundant and the basis of lots of local dishes. Add the crisp wines of Campania, the abundance of seafood and citrus, and the flair of Neapolitan cuisine, and you get the picture.
 
Come for the beauty, stay for the food.
RachelWortmann's picture

A Cat Sanctuary and Other Roman Secrets: Q & A with Mary, Untours Rome Staff

on Tue, 10/04/2016 - 11:50
Mary, Rome Untour local host
Mary heads our Rome Untour, working and living on the ground in Rome. Recently she took some time to fill us in on her hometown.

What do you love about living in Rome?

Apart from the very obvious art, architecture, history, food and wine, the climate definitely cannot be underestimated. All the seasons show the wonders of this magical city in different perspectives and shades, so it's never boring.   

What are some of your hobbies and passions? 

Growing my own vegetables is pretty high on the passion list. There is something so exhilarating about producing your own veggies year round.
Untours staff's picture

8 Tips for Painting the Tuscan Landscape

on Thu, 03/10/2016 - 09:36
The light in Tuscany has inspired painters and artists going back to the Renaissance. Indeed you will feel like you are moving through a painting most days, the landscape and setting are so lovely. We have hosted several painter groups in the area near Montalcino, on the Tuscany Untour. Our farmhouse apartments there provide a comfortable and scenic refuge for painters and artists. Some of our past trip leaders have made the following suggestions for how best to capture Tuscany while painting outdoors.
 
1.  Simplify the scene. Squint your eyes and focus on the total landscape.
Untours staff's picture

Sue Tells All: Favorite work and family memories from Untours

on Thu, 09/03/2015 - 10:59
Sue on the Umbria Untour

It was a VERY cold spring day (the kind of day you never quite pack right for) in Umbria for the olive oil tasting group event. It was held in an unheated stone walled building on the farm. It was a great event. We learned so much about extra virgin olive oil. But nothing ever tasted so good as the warm grilled bread with garlic and new olive oil. It really warmed all of us in the group.

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.

Pages