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Italy,Tuscany

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.

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.
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.

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.
Andrea Szyper's picture

Our Favorite Places

on Mon, 03/16/2015 - 12:41
Sonia on the Barcelona Untour

I feel lucky to work with a small but dedicated crew of globalists. Our staff is worldly, broad minded, and very well traveled. They've elevated my thinking, stoked my curiosity about new parts of the globe, and helped me grow into a citizen of the world. I recently asked them a simple question: What's your favorite Untour? Some of their answers surprised me. Below, read their responses, and my own two-part answer to what I actually found to be a very tough question.

 

Sonia (Specialist, France, Spain, the Americas): Since I haven't actually "done" any of our French Untours (I was there in

Andrea Szyper's picture

Best of Tuscany: Making Wine and Friends on Anna's Farm

on Thu, 02/05/2015 - 09:14
Anna with her guests, Tuscany Untour

Tuscany is one of our most loved and most popular Untours for many reasons. While the scenery, the food and wine, the art and architecture, and the natural beauty all account for its special spot in our hearts, it is the people of Tuscany that make the most lasting impression. And one of my favorite people in Tuscany is Anna Ginotti, the owner of one of our host farms, where guests stay in her cozy renovated farmhouse apartments.

Anna is a people person as much as a wine person and enjoys her guests' enthusiasm about winemaking. "My guests very often ask about wine," she says. "They like to go along with us into the vineyards to walk and to see them during the different periods of the year. Very often during harvest, many guests come with us into the vineyard to cut grapes, and they are very happy!"

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