Posts made in January, 2006

Petriolo Spas full nature and wellness

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Petriolo Spas full nature and wellness Last November I wanted to spend a day with my wife and kids at some thermal spa. At that time we were staying at some friends’ house in San Gusme’ (a lovely town, by the way) near Siena. Of the many aound here, all nice and well kept, we wanted something more immersed in pure nature and free. Some friends had told us about Bagni San Filippo, but they were too far from us. Another option was Petriolo, and we decided to give it a try. Just off the road to the sea, at about 20 min from Siena, is this old road that runs along a small river. Suddenly the road opens and you can see right on the bank of the river (a shallow and clean one) many little and large pools filled with hot sulfur water coming right off the...

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Shopping Foiano Val Di Chiana Outlet

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Foiano Val Di Chiana Outlet I have been in Foiano before and while I was staying at a lovely villa there called Villa Saremo I had the chance to browse around the surroundings with my rental car, and I got to know that right near Foiano, and I mean two miles away, is a HUGE shopping outlet filled with 160 shops and first class brands for your shopping needs. Clothes, home appliances, sportswear, services, electronics, housewear, pet and plant shops, and more. The environment is lovely, as it reminds of an authentic Tuscan Farmhouse with red roofs, and red bricks, wood posts, nice plants and gardening, and plenty of free parking for all. Some of the brands are Dolce e Gabbana, Armani, Versace, Guzzini, Alessi, Tod’s, Prada, Adidas, and many many more brands...

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Lunch in Florence - Trattoria da Mario!

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Lunch in Florence - Trattoria da Mario! So I had gone round and round Florence visiting Uffizi (in line for 4 hours!!!) then strolled around the center to get in touch with the contemporary world again. It was a nice June day and while walking in Piazza del Mercato, I saw a small group of people waiting outside a restaurant. So I went closer and nosed around and every now and then I saw the owner come out and call names he had on a list (this may be common in the US, but, believe me, it’s totally unusual in Italy). So I got in and I had in front of me a pretty small place filled with people sitting at their table and apparently enjoying each other in conversations like I had rarely seen in other Italian restaurants. So I gave my name and was asked...

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Pubs in Siena: The Porta Giustizia

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Porta Giustizia - The door to just enjoyment! When in Siena the place to go is Porta Giustizia (Justice Door). The tea-room is set where the ancient Justice Door of Siena is located. A small door with a lot of artistic and political importance. Ambrogio Lorenzetti puts it in his “bad government” fresco inside the Public Palace in Siena. The not-so-big hidden tea-room opens almost every day at the end of old stairs that take you to the omonimous city door. No street signs taking you there, not even a sign outside the entrance. But when you step in you suddenly feel like you have rediscovered an old friend’s house you had forgotten was there. The big leather and vellur couches with big old leather armchairs and a large, low coffee table on...

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Cortona in Val di Chiana

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Under the Tuscan sun, Cortona Last summer I spent my vacations in Florence and one day I visited Cortona a very nice town near Arezzo in Val di Chiana. The town was built by the Etruscan and was very powerful before roman times. From the top of the village you can appreciate a breath taking view. During medieval times, the city was also important and Cortona has changed very little in its urban make up. During these last years, Cortona was also a set of many famous movies same of them are: life is beautiful by Roberto Benigni and the more recent “Under the Tuscan sun”. If you go there you should not miss a visit to one of the best restaurants i have ever tried, the place is called Osteria del teatro. The restaurant is one of the most appreciated place...

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