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Climate Change Hits the Tuscan Vinyards

“We have always trusted in nature to take care of us,” said Andrea Meini, the agronomist for the Cantine Leonardo da Vinci, a wine-growers cooperative in Italy’s Tuscany region. “We’ve really only begun to notice the extremes in the last ten years,” Meini continued. “It’s not that any one year has been terrible but year [...]

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Photo Essay: The Cheesemaker of I Due Falcetti

~ ~ ~ The cheesemaker Francesco Bagnoli lives with his parents and grandmother Lorena on the summit of an outrageously steep and pointy little Tuscan hill near Lamporecchio. The house seems cubist-inspired, all stacked both on top of and next to itself all at the same time.  Countless dogs, cats and chickens come and go from [...]

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One Tuscan Hill in Five Photos

It was just a month ago….outside my window at Casale di Valle,  down and across a string of vinyards, there was this one Tuscan hill crowned with these Lombardy poplars, heavy in personality. The mood of that hill changed almost by the minute over the course of my time in the casale and I found [...]

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Chef Anna’s Italian Crostata Recipe – Try It!

Ok. If you’re only here for the recipe and not the amazing and outstanding and simply mouthwatering photography then jump on down to the bottom where you will find Chef Anna’s Italian Crostata Recipe as presented by chef Karista Bennett of Karista’s Kitchen my friend and fello DaVinci Storyteller for 2013.  Fine. Go ahead…make the [...]

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Magnificent Tuscan Food and Wine in Fifteen Photos

Editor’s Note: Rules being rules and laws being laws, please note that you have to to be at least 18 years old to read the rest of this post. Ya silly I know.  Its because of the alcohol…. Tuscan Food and Wine One of the main things that I wanted to work on while in [...]

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Larciano Castello – My Shot of the Day – October 9, 2013

It is more than a little difficult to imagine that dirty, bloodied violent armies slugged it out back and forth over those green and golden rolling hills for centuries. It wasn’t always that way. The Romans established a villa on that hilltop in the 4th century BCE and called it “Villa Larziana”, the name coming [...]

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“No. No. You May Not Have an Americano” – My Shot of the Day – October 5, 2013

In the Bar dell’Orso on the road to Montalcino I needed a break from all the espresso shots I was kicking back. Instead, I wanted to just sit and sip at a coffee. Take my time. Enjoy it. I asked him for an Americano. His jaw dropped, his eyes nearly popped from his head. He [...]

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Sangiovese Grosso – My Shot of the Day – October 3, 2013

This is the Sangiovese grosso. Some think this grape has been cultivated since Etruscan times. Yesterday we drove south to the Montalcino where the the Sangiovese grosso is raised specifically for the Brunello wine produced by Cantine Leonardo DaVinci. We visited a hill side grower. His vines line the slopes above the Sant’Antimo abbey. On [...]

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Five Photos of Tuscany – September 29-30, 2013

I can’t seem to stop myself.  All my photos of Tuscany so far are of this magnificent landscape.  It is classic and stunning with rolling hills and heavy in agriculture – although that is declining as part of the regional economy.  I have yet to seen an uncultivated piece of land.  Lets be honest, this [...]

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On The River Arno – Florence – My Shot of the Day, September 28, 2013

A man poles his way up the River Arno just outside the Uffizi Gallery, one of the very first modern museums, open to the public since 1765. At 150 miles long, the river Arno originates up in the Apennines at Mt. Falterona.  It passes through Florence, Empoli and Pisa and empties into the Ligurian Sea [...]

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Off to Tuscany!

On Wednesday I leave for ten days in Tuscany. I’ve been to Italy a number of times but never Tuscany and I haven’t been back to Italy since my last visit to Venice in 1998. Needless to say I’m excited. Oh and…before you read any further I have to do this: By choosing to click [...]

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Losing My Venetian Codega

The irritating little Spaniard followed me onto the traghetto near dawn and we crossed the Grand Canal to the markets at Rialto. “I’m like your codega, amigo!” He told me again. “You know, I really don’t want you following me around again today.” In Venice Italy the codega was a professional guide, an escort, protector, guide [...]

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