Posts made in January, 2011

Thrifty Restaurant in Arezzo

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Mariano is a large man. On slow days he sits behind the restaurant counter to check his emails and catch up with his Facebook contacts. He loves to have friends. You can tell from the smile on his face when he greets you. If good food and a happy humor go well together, Mariano is living proof of it. But you should not imagine his restaurant to be like one in those Mafia flicks, where you have big guys sitting in a corner with garlic hanging from the ceiling, all sorts of paraphernalia on the walls, and red and white checkers tablecloths. His restaurant is a sleek and classy one, without being posh. His cuisine is elaborate and tasty. Prices are not on the low side either. But there are two days of the week when Mariano becomes a very inexpensive place to eat,...

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Museums In and Around Arezzo

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Arezzo in Tuscany offers plenty of cultural initiatives, which are a fantastic occasion to learn more on the Tuscan land and enjoy the fun activities it also offers. Permanent museums and seasonal art exhibits in the territory of Arezzo create a dense network of cultural spots to visit in order to appreciate the history, and therefore the present, of the city and its province altogether with that of Italy. Those interested in restoration will treasure the occasion offered at the Public Palace of Arezzo. In occasion of the 500th year of the birth of Giorgio Vasari, the restoration rooms of the Public Palace will be exceptionally opened to the public until March 31st, 2011. The work of art being restored is a large altar-piece by Vasari titled...

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Joan MirĂ² in Pisa with His Mediterranean Myths

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The Blu Palace of Pisa is hosting another great exhibition after the 2010 one dedicated to Chagall. This year it is the Spanish artist Joan Mirò that will be hosted at the palace in Pisa until January 23rd. Not much time left to enjoy this 20th century artist, therefore you better hurry up if you are coming to Italy during the following week and make it to Tuscany. The exhibit is themed around the Mediterranean myths reviewed through the Surrealist art filter. A combination of poetry, engraving pieces, sculptures, color paintings, pictures and lithography works through a path of logic familiar to the author that loved and was much influenced by these myths. The heart and thought of Mirò are poured out on these artworks, like the Spanish civil war...

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A Day at Calidario Thermal Baths

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The spring-like temperatures that are blessing Tuscany, and other parts of Italy, since Epiphany have been the perfect addition to an already perfect day of relax at Calidario. I had been at these Tuscan thermal baths in Venturina before, but I had never taken full advantage of all it offers and stayed the residence. I have to say that overall it was a very good experience, but some things could have easily been better. I decided to get there during the weekend of January 9, and got lucky. It was the closing day of the season (they open again on March 8), thus the residence was offered at 45 Euros per night per person instead of 75. In addition, guests of the residence get a discount on both the restaurant and the wellness center entrance, in addition to total...

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Walking Around Florence

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Yesterday I was in Florence for a pre-shopping-spree-madness tour. Starting January 7th, all stores are having a sale that continues until spring (with increasingly less merchandise at increasingly higher discounts). Never mind if everything is just 10% off, you will see some crazy lines outside shops. Needless to say, I had to get to Florence before the 7th to enjoy some quiet shots of the city. I got there by train, on a slow and warm regional train, almost empty. It was nice to be inside dashing through the frozen countryside while the outside temperature steadily stayed at minus 6 Celsius (21 F). I could take shots of some nice Tuscan villas and frosted fields. They will work as nicely contrasting images when the summer days come and show another beautiful...

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