Creating Handmade Italian Marbled Paper in Florence, Italy

The art of paper marbling is mesmerizing. An artisan applies droplets of paint to a small pool of water. The colors appear to gracefully dance upon the surface of the water, but these individual splotches of paint respect the neighboring colors’ boundaries. As the artisan adds more and more colors, this dance continues. Finally, whenContinue reading “Creating Handmade Italian Marbled Paper in Florence, Italy”

The Art of Florentine Marquetry: Watching Italian Mosaicists “Painting with Stones”

The arts have long flourished in Florence — the so-called “cradle of the Renaissance.” Hundreds of years ago, there were tens of thousands of artisans in the city, each dedicated to everything from leather goods and hand-decorated paper to jewelry making. Over time, the number of workshops has declined. Nevertheless, Florence still has a sizableContinue reading “The Art of Florentine Marquetry: Watching Italian Mosaicists “Painting with Stones””

The Windows of Pordenone, Italy

With its pretty palazzi and mountain vistas, the northeastern Italian city of Pordenone offers a superb blend of beautiful architecture and nature. Home to just over 51,000 people, Pordenone is located a mere 90km (55 miles) from Venice. This makes for a delightful day trip. But, Pordenone can also be a great place to baseContinue reading “The Windows of Pordenone, Italy”

The Windows of Asti, Piemonte, Italy

Perhaps best known for its annual Palio, a 700-year-old bare-back horse race replete with pageantry and tradition, Asti also has a lot to offer architecturally and gastronomically. The Northern Italian city once had more than 70 towers, which symbolized wealth and power. While there are less of them punctuating Asti’s skyline today, the city also features impressive churchesContinue reading “The Windows of Asti, Piemonte, Italy”

Piedmont, Italy: The Wine Landscapes of the Langhe

In the vineyard-dressed landscape of the Langhe, in Italy’s Piedmont region, hillsides rise steeply on one side, then drop off more gradually on the other. The name ‘Langhe’ is believed to have Celtic roots, meaning ‘tongues of land,’ alluding to these steep hillsides, and the area’s raised valleys. Our host, Marco Scaglione, from Meet Piemonte, described it thisContinue reading “Piedmont, Italy: The Wine Landscapes of the Langhe”

The Renaissance of Leonardo da Vinci’s Vineyard in Milan

“The discovery of a good wine is increasingly better for mankind than the discovery of a new star.” Leonardo da vinci In 1482, Leonardo da Vinci moved to Milan, where he would work for the ruling Sforza family doing engineering, sculpting, and architectural projects, and most famously, painting his mural masterpiece, The Last Supper. What’s less known, though, is that theContinue reading “The Renaissance of Leonardo da Vinci’s Vineyard in Milan”

Pastoral Piedmont: An Agriturismo & Epicurean Experience in Italy

When you think of Italy, it’s likely that home-cooked pasta, verdant agricultural landscapes, and gourmet food products like Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and traditional balsamic vinegar come to mind. A lesser-known concept is that of the agriturismo — a compound noun that marries the Italian words for ‘agriculture’ and ‘tourism.’ As the name implies, an agriturismo is a place where visitors canContinue reading “Pastoral Piedmont: An Agriturismo & Epicurean Experience in Italy”

Piedmont, Italy: Monferrato’s Slow Food, Wine & Truffles

Motoring through Italy’s Piemonte or Piedmont region, I sometimes felt as though I’d been whisked back in time a few decades, perhaps even centuries. The dramatic hills of the Langhe, Roero, and Monferrato districts were wrapped with rows of grapevines and orchards, crowned with handsome fortresses, and dotted with villages wearing terra-cotta rooftops. Large-scale industry was largely absent from this swathe of the Northern ItalianContinue reading “Piedmont, Italy: Monferrato’s Slow Food, Wine & Truffles”