Italy & the Italians

We created these pages to help you really Discover Italy. Journalists Donald Strachan, Steve Keenan, Jasmine Boni-Ball, Sara Sherwood, Sabrin Hasbun, Alicia Peacock, Chloë Sibley— who visit several times every year — have gathered a rich crop of local stories and written destination guides to help you make the most of your vacation. As they say in Italy, “Buon viaggio!”

When is the Palio di Siena and How to Plan a Visit

Over the course of four days twice each summer, the city of Siena comes alive with an intensity of colour, excitement and history, culminating in the iconic Palio horse race. Taking over the main Campo in Siena, the festival is hugely important to the local Sienese, just as much as it is a fantastic spectacle for international visitors.

Celebrating the women of Tuscany Now & More

In celebration of International Women’s Day we are spotlighting five of the remarkable women we have had the honour of working with over the years here at Tuscany Now & More. Get to know their unique roles, what they love most about working in the luxury travel sector and what it means to them to be able to share their beautiful homes and heritage with you.

Carnevale di Venezia

February in Italy is the time of Carnevale. The festival marks the period traditionally known as Shrovetide before Lent. And since Lent is a time of sacrifice and fasting, Carnevale is the ultimate last hurrah.

7 Sustainable Italian Fashion Brands You Need to Know

As consumer habits are erring more towards environmentally responsible, ethical and sustainable fashion brands, it isn’t surprising that the Italians already have countless independent labels ready to meet demand. From greater transparency along the production chain to slow-fashion dedicated to limited-edition capsule collections, and made-to-measure brands, the Italian fashion industry is already making great leaps towards a more sustainable future.

The Coffee Lover’s Guide to Pisa

If you’re a coffee connoisseur eager for new experiences, then Pisa has a lot to offer you. Italy has a rich history with this aromatic drink dating back to the 16th century, and coffee remains a significant part of Italian culture. These 3 best coffee places in Pisa will give you great coffee and stunning areas to get your caffeine fix in.

Dario Cecchini

Dario Cecchini is a genius who could only be Italian. He may be a Netflix star (a whole episode of Chef’s Table is devoted just to him) but he could just as easily have lived during the Renaissance, for this eighth generation butcher’s approach to food is as classic as the art that comes from the hills around his native village. Read about his story and how he came to be the world's most famous butcher.

Tuscany Essentials: Recommended Books & Movies

The cradle of Italian art and literature has inspired, and continues to inspire dozens of writers and directors. To help you fire up your own Italian dream, we’ve compiled a list of our favourite Tuscany books and movies. These lesser known authors and titles will reveal hidden treasures and make you see and experience Tuscany as never before.

Galateo: The Do's and Don'ts of Italian Food Etiquette

During your holiday in Italy, you're likely to end up in many historic and renowned gourmet osterias and restaurants. While certain rules and etiquette such "fare la scarpetta" (using a piece of bread to mop up the remaining sauce on your plate) are embraced fully, actions like mixing salad with pasta or ordering a cappuccino with your meal, is frowned upon. Brush-up on Galateo (manners), and discover the do's and don'ts of Italian dining etiquette.

Singing like an Italian

What better way to learn about Italy, the Italians and the language if not by singing your heart out in the shower? Soak up the drama and romance of 4 famous Italian hits by famed Italian singers Lucio Battisti, Mina, Lucio Dalla and Rino Gaetano.

Driving like an Italian: What you need to know

Renting a car and driving around Italy is one of the best ways to explore the country. Driving in a foreign country can be overwhelming, but our short guide will help you learn the tips and tricks for driving in Italy. Discover road rules, speed limits, parking rules and emergency contacts, and make your holiday in Italy stress-free.

Shopping in Florence

Florence is one of the best cities in the world to shop. From Italian haute couture to crafted leather and jewellery pieces, the city offers the modern traveller all the tools needed to “shop till you drop”. Whether you’re after leather shoes or a silk robe, take a step away from the high-street and discover 5 shops of the beaten path in Florence.

4 Luxury Outlets Around Florence and Tuscany

To find a bargain on haute couture fashions, you should visit one of Tuscany's luxury outlets near Florence. Many of the city's (and Italy's) top design houses sell end-of-line garments at big discounts. Our short guide tells you where to go, how to get there, and what to buy when you arrive.

4 Famous Italian Fashion Designers from Florence

Think Italian designer brands and you might think "Milan". But among the most famous Italian fashion designers are the "Florentine Four": Gucci and Pucci, Cavalli and Ferragamo. Our short guide to these 4 icons of Italian haute couture covers their history and influences, and how to find their clothing stores in Florence. Jasmine Boni-Ball has joined the document.

Italian Coffee

Italians hold a love of coffee close to the national heart. They introduced the drink to the rest of Europe from Egypt, and Venice opened its first café around 1683. There are many ways to enjoy a coffee in Italy, and almost as many methods to brew it Italian style when you’re back home. This short guide covers four of our favourites.

A Guide to Buying Leather in Florence

As early as the 14th century, around 1,600 shoemakers were working in the city of Florence — around a third of them based close to the tanneries of the Oltrarno district. Leather was also in demand for book covers, saddles and other horse tack, and it is still closely associated with Florence. We speak to a traditional Oltrarno shoemaker and offer advice on how and where to bag the best leather in the city.

8 Ways to Know You’re Embracing Italian Culture

Everyone loves the taste of Italian culture they get from renting our villas. But what if you stayed longer, and even set down new roots? Those who do, often find life starts to change in unexpected ways. We speak to four expatriates who embraced their new lifestyles, to see what they consider the telltale signs you’re living life like an Italian.

Italian cityscapes: how art is so much better than photographs

A picture is worth a thousand words, so the saying goes. But in Italy, sometimes an artist's-eye view tells us more than just a photograph. According to New York-born painter Steven Assael, “there are dramatic differences between how the camera looks at and experiences the world and how we see it.” We examine some landscape photos and paintings side-by-side.

An Introduction to Italian Neorealism

This hugely influential film genre emerged towards the end of World War II, and largely focused on the lives of ordinary people in the aftermath of war. Neorealism offered an uncompromising take on the struggles of the working classes at a time of economic collapse, and the desperation and moral ambiguity that resulted. Its impact has not lessened with time, as our brief article and audio from a talk we hosted in Leeds, England, explains.

Olive Oil Harvest in Tuscany

You’ll often hear Tuscans refer to extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) as oro verde (“green gold”). Unlike regular olive oil, extra-virgin is pressed without heat and chemicals, making it the most expensive and desirable oil in the world. From the culture and tradition rooted in the extra-virgin olive oil harvest to the experience of pressing olives at the mill, discover the art and skill behind the production of Tuscany's green gold.

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