Carnevale Colored Sweets

I bought my first bottle of alkermes in Florence at Santa Maria Novella Farmacia on Via della Scala 16 down the street from the Santa Maria Novella train station. A fragrant universe filled with terra-cotta jars and gilded urns that was already well-known in Dante’s time. It was established in the 13th century by the Dominican friars … Continue reading Carnevale Colored Sweets

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Travel Like Mozart

You think you know Italy. You've traveled to Rome, Venice and Florence. You've been to Siena, Cinque Terre, the Amalfi coast and Como. You've been to Pisa, Parma and Pompei and basked under the Tuscan sun. Seen the towers of San Gimignano and drunk the Brunellos of Chianti. Bravo fellow Italian traveler you've just began to … Continue reading Travel Like Mozart

21 Undeniably Signs You’ve Traveled in Italy (on more than a “show and tell” tour)

Are you part of the confraternity of Italian travelers who have truly seen and savored Italy? Off the tourist flow to see Italy's iconic sights a little differently. Traveling le stradi dei vini e sapori to taste regional Italy food at the gastronomic epicenter of the world. Ready to return home boasting about the most … Continue reading 21 Undeniably Signs You’ve Traveled in Italy (on more than a “show and tell” tour)

Burning Paper

Paper that reacts like incense. Famous throughout Europe, these amazing papers, called carta  d'Armenia are exactly as they were in the 16th century. Fibrous looking papers with resinous scents of frankincense and myrrh. Folded into a fan-like shape and carefully lit the slip of paper unfolds into wisps of sweetly scented smoke like a concertina releasing … Continue reading Burning Paper

The Elixir of Popes, Painters and Lorenzo the Magnificent

Referred to as the “Godfathers of the Renaissance”, the Medici are known for many things. Their political skills, papal legacy, ambition and struggle for power in 15th century Italy were equally matched by their cultural and artistic patronage of some of the most famous artists and scholars of the Western world. Da Vinci, Donatello, Raphael, … Continue reading The Elixir of Popes, Painters and Lorenzo the Magnificent

A Breath from the Renaissance

A weary traveler could benefit from knowing about the ancient workshops and antica farmacia (pharmacies) where healing ingredients from nature create an Italian sense of benessere. They can be found all over Italy if you know where to look. Behind an unassuming entrance on Via della Scala 16 down the street from the Santa Maria Novella … Continue reading A Breath from the Renaissance