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Mondo Albion in Florence

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What made Tuscany such a big hit in the world is not only the beauty of its landscapes, but also the many arts and crafts schools from which so many artists came out to create the works of art that we can still appreciate. As it always happens for every top master workshop producing the best artists there were hundreds of smaller artisan shops for every craft. Sculptors, glass artists, ceramists, painters, became to be those who produced artists we can remember since their products have been able to withstand the test of time and arrive to us intact. But what about the hundreds of leather cutters, wood carvers, shoe makers, wools and fabrics weavers, straw weavers, and goldsmiths, just to name a few. Their products for many reasons could not get to us, apart for...

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Christmas Markets in Tuscany

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December 8 is near. It is the date of the Immaculate Conception festivity in the Catholic calendar. It is also the traditional date that once kicked off the Christmas season. Nowadays the beginning of the season has been anticipated by two or three weeks, and even Christmas Markets in Italy start earlier. December 1st usually is the day when squares are decorate with festive lights and kiosks abounding with many products from Tuscany, but also other parts of Italy and Europe. The most relevant Christmas Markets in Tuscany in 2010 are the following: Chianciano Terme. From December 11 until January 6, 2011 Chianciano will be the host of Dolce Vita with live music, shows and quality products shopping. Florence. In Piazza Santa Croce there will be the German Christmas...

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Antiquity Fair in Arezzo

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It was June 2, 1968 and it was the first Sunday of the month. Since that day every first Sunday of every month Arezzo is turned into an open sky antiquity fair. I am not talking about a cheap flea market full of things you may just want to throw away in the first place. This is a well established event that gathers collectors from all over Italy (and sometimes from abroad), to provide other collectors, passersby and occasional buyers with miles of open-air kiosks filled with all kind of objects and memorabilia worth from a few cents to thousands of Euros.It was June 2, 1968 and it was the first Sunday of the month. Since that day every first Sunday of every month Arezzo is turned into an open sky antiquity fair. I am not talking about a cheap flea market full of...

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The Secrets of a Tuscan Kitchen, in Your Kitchen

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If there is anything Italy is famous for, besides the ruins, castles, beaches, mountains and Medieval villages, of course, it is the food. Tuscany, with its rolling vineyards, olive plantations and world-famous cuisine is likely the most well-known culinary region in the country, so it is no surprise there are thousands of cookbooks on the market that cater to Tuscan food foodies. My new home, Calabria-the “toe” of the boot, an emerging culinary destination in its own right-is more than 700 kilometers south of Tuscany, so when I crave authentic Tuscan stews, soups and hearty pasta dishes, I can’t dash to the diner down the street. I have to take matters into my own hands. Literally. My favorite Tuscan cookbook and one that is particularly useful as Autumn...

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Tuscan Food Connoisseurs Fair

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The Valtiberina is a portion of Tuscany that remains hidden from mass tourism. It is a wonderful region at the foot of the Apennines across the border between Tuscany and Umbria. The Tuscan part is in the province of Arezzo, and features a score of wonderful little towns rich of local color and traditions. Monterchi is one of these. Easily reached from Arezzo, and surrounded by splendid properties perched along the slopes of the mountains all around, this little town is also home to one of the most delicious culinary fairs in Tuscany. The fair is titled I Buongustai, which in Italian means food lover and connoisseur. Here you can find artisan foods of the Valtiberina, but also artistic hand crafted products. The fair unrolls along the streets of the historic...

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Organic Farming in Tuscany

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The land of Tuscany is extensively cultivated. Olive groves, fields covered with barley, wheat, and sunflowers, vineyards, and orchards are the main cultivations that you will see over large pieces of land when visiting Tuscany. The beauty of the Tuscan agriculture is that it uses antique farming traditions and methods to maintain the delicate natural ecosystem intact. After a period of intense exploitation of the land during the Seventies and the Eighties, which saw a heavy usage of chemicals, a new consciousness about farming sprung up in the Nineties. Analyzing the land agronomists discovered that years of chemicals had impoverished the land and there were fears to be at a point of non-return. Therefore more and more attention started to be paid to traditional...

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