HeartRome

My life and times in the eternal city and beyond

Tag wine

Under the Tuscan Sun, A quick guide to Siena

Well not really under the sun I have to say. On a mid-week break in May, as rain absolutely poured, I finally ticked Siena off my bucket list. I’ve visited many a medieval town and hamlet across Italy, so I’d convinced myself that it was ok that Siena hadn’t yet made the list. Now that I’ve been there – it is actually not ok! Located 70km south of Florence, the

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A guide to Rovinj: the turquoise jewel of Istria

Located a short two hours’ drive or ferry from Trieste in Italy’s Friuli Venezia Giulia, Rovinj is the pearl in Istria’s sparkling turquoise coastline. Istria is the most north-west region of Croatia and was once a part of Italy (for about 30 years between the first and second world wars), and was part of the Venetian republic centuries before that. This influence can be felt and seen to this day,

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Putting Abruzzo on the map

As is the case around most of Abruzzo, the drive into the hamlets and towns of Chieti province can be a bumpy one. Many of the roads around here aren’t really taken care of. Many of the buildings look abandoned or are in need of repair and it’s as though life just keeps passing them by.  Abruzzo from an economic standpoint is one of Italy’s struggling regions. Yes, Italy has

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The photos that will make you want to visit Chieti Province, Abruzzo right now

You know my parents were born in Abruzzzo right? It’s in my blood; it’s in my heart. And slowly it’s becoming a destination of choice for travellers to Italy who are looking to explore Italy that bit further beneath the surface. From UNESCO heritage sites, lakes, mountains, beach, it really offers it all as a destination (and it’s much cheaper than say a Tuscany or Puglia).  I recently explored the

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8 Things to do in Florence 

Life and work recently took me back to Florence. The city of Michelangelo’s David and the Renaissance is so pretty with its ochre tones, picture perfect piazzas and narrow sidewalks. With so many things to do, it’s hard picking out a select few, but after this short trip, here are 8 unique and tried and tested things to do in lovely Firenze.  DO The Other Side of Florence Food Tour

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10 things you should know about Italian wine

This week, I was a guest of Eating Italy Food Tours at their new, Italian Food and Wine Journey. This new and exciting venture brings together a certified Roman sommelier, a cozy little restaurant tucked right away from the tourist hordes, a lot of wine and up to 8 food and wine enthusiasts with an appetite (or should I say, thirst!) to learn. Marco Lori, our consummate host and Eating

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Italian Lakes: Lago di Orta 

If you haven’t heard of Lake Orta, you’re not alone. Not many Italians have either! French novelist Honorè de Balzak described it as a “A grey pearl in a green jewel-box”. And I couldn’t agree more, for grey pearls are rare and unique and this encapsulates exactly what this stunning treasure of the world is. Lago di Orta is the smallest lake in the northern lake district of Italy. This

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Sicilian Wine and the Small Businesses that Make Italy Tick 

All businesses have their place in their world, but small businesses are the ones I love the most. The ones that are family-run, by passionate people who are committed to producing and selling quality products in a responsible way. And after years, still love what they do! Pietro Morreale is in his 60s and has been running Casa Vinicola Morreale in the Province of Agrigento, in south-west Sicily for around

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Uncovering the Real Florence 

With millions of tourists each year, it’s hard to not bump into a couple here and there in old Firenze.  I’ve visited the city about half a dozen times over the past 15 years but recently, I experienced a very different Florence from the one that sits under the watchful eye of the Statue of David replica in Piazza della Signoria, the grand Duomo and Uffizzi Gallery.  Actually, getting to

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50 Photos that will make you want to visit Piemonte right now! 

Piemonte. The industrial heart of Italy. Boring and grey? Think again. With award-winning and internationally renowned wine (from Barolo to Nebbiolo to Moscato d’Asti), the largest number of Michelin star restaurants of any region of Italy, the home of Italian Slow Food, museums and historical sites galore, an elegant and classy capital like Turin, the Ferrero factory and the prestigious white truffle of Alba (DOC), the region of Piemonte has

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