Tuscany Now: Bloggers, Wine & Music -- Oh My!

tuscany now bloggers-meetup Two weekends ago I was invited to a blogger meetup hosted by Tuscany Now. I wasn't sure what to expect, but I ended up having a ridiculously silly good time. I got to hang out with friends, meet new people and laugh...a lot.

The meetup was held at the gorgeous Villa di Petroio. The owners are lucky that the blogger group didn't throw our bags down and refuse to leave. I can't picture a more peaceful place to spend a week -- perfect for big families and groups.

tuscany now villa petroio

Perhaps my favorite part was the entertainment. No one was safe with this singing comedy troupe on the loose. Such a fun time. The entertainment is covered in depth over on Georgette's blog.

Living in Florence: A Saturday Stroll

In an effort to get this recovering lady some fresh air on Saturday we went out for a nice walk through the city. As expected, it was crowded out, but the walk was still wonderful. The stroller acts as a bit of a battering ram through the tourist crowds.

I was tired by the time we got home, but mentally refreshed from the fresh air. Flus/bugs are the worst because it takes so. darn. long. to recover. I'm hoping that by Livia's baptism this coming weekend I'll be back to fighting form.

Living in Florence: City Details

florence italyWhen we were walking home from our palazzo tour on Saturday I looked up and said to Rob, "Wow, I've never noticed that before." Story of my life here in Florence. This city is so rich in beautiful architectural, artistic and design details that it seems like you are discovering something new every time you go outside.

Anyway, what I noticed was a beautiful corner with the red cross, beautiful lamp posts and a sweet little devotional box (is that what they call them?). It was a crowded, but lovely little corner.

Hidden Florence: Palazzo Portinari Salviati

Palazzo-Tour-1 Palazzo-Tour-3

On Saturday Rob and I had the opportunity to tour Palazzo Portinari Salviati, an amazing palazzo "hidden" in plain site on via del Corso and just minutes from the Duomo. In fact, when I studied abroad I lived just down a nearby side street and never knew the palazzo existed! Part of the palazzo was most recently a Banca Toscana, which I would like to say contributed to some of my ignorance.

It was definitely a treat to take the tour. The palazzo is currently undergoing a lot of renovation and refurbishment to bring it back to its old glory. That being said, a lot of the frescos, stained glass, ceilings and other decorative elements are just as beautiful as ever. It was a visual feast for someone like myself that loves these details. Rob, of course, loved learning the fun historical details (see below for more), including the fact that the ceiling in one of the rooms was completed by the same artist as the Uffizi ceiling. If you've been to the Uffizi you'll recognize the ceiling above right away.

30-Second History Lesson...

Palazzo Portinari Salviati has an invaluable historical importance, closely related to the most significant cultural events of the city of Florence. The Palace, which dates back to the 13th century, was inhabited by European rulers, diplomats and politicians and was the birthplace of both Cosimo I de' Medici Grand Duke of Tuscany and Beatrice Portinari, Dante Alighieri's muse. Throughout centuries of history, the Palazzo has hosted prominent figures of the Renaissance, sculptors and artists and now it features important frescoes and invaluable works of art by famous artists like Giambologna.

Palazzo-Tour-2

We absolutely love discovering places like Palazzo Portinari Salviati. It's a huge tease to know there are more palazzi just like it lurking around almost every corner of the city!

I shot a hopelessly terrible video during the tour, but decided to share it anyway so that you can see just a few of the wonderful rooms that we were privy to on the tour.

[flickr video=8545819108 secret=5903b18df7 w=400 h=225]

Still Beautiful: Florence in the Rain

Florence-in-the-rain On the way home from a tea date this afternoon I snapped this photo of my beloved city. Maybe it's the fact that the temperature is pretty mild, but the rainy week that we've had hasn't particularly bothered me at all. Florence is like a lot of cities in that it looks quite charming in the rain.

I'm yearning for the bright blue skies of late spring, but for now the rainy haze isn't so bad.