Two women leaving soft footprints through city streets, country roads, and green mountain paths. Two friends with backgrounds in Fine Art Restoration and Art History who share an appreciation for simple pleasures and a passion for introducing others to Florence and beyond.

Angelica Turi - Tuscan, Licensed Environmental Guide. Elizabeth Namack - American, Licensed Tour Guide for Florence and Province

Come share the journey with us! Reflections and Wanderings through Tuscany and Italy!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Walking in the Dolomites

I'll be leading a CW group, next week, in one of the most spectacular worldwide mountain sites. It is such a unique environment that since 2007, the Dolomites have been included in the Unesco list.

We will walk on mountain trails, in scenic valleys, and on mountain passes, at an average altitude of 2000 mt / 6500 feet asl. We visit the Puez Odle, Fanes - Senes and Dolomiti Ampezzan Natural Parks, enclosed in the Val d'Adige-Isarco and Pusteria Valley.

The strategic bases for our explorations and adventures are the charming villages of San Vigilio di Marebbe and the elegant international resort of Cortina d'Ampezzo.

The Dolomites, near Austria, have always been for centuries a border area invaded by Germanic peoples from the Middle Ages, who have lived there for over a thousand years, and then later invaded by Napoleon and the Republic of Venice, and was finally reconquered by Italy as a result of its entry into war!

We will explore also the Falzarego Pass, certainly one of the the most higher and panoramic passes of the whole area. And for this reason the place of one of the darkest and most dramatic moments in European history. Here on the front line, Austrian and Italians shot at each other from the mountain peaks to conquer just few meters of rocky territory- where nothing can grow. This fighting lasted for three endless years under miserable conditions- not enough food, extremely low winter temperatures, improper clothing-  paper shoes and wool clothes (in which freezing winds passed through just the same).

This year marks the centenary of the declaration of World War I, 1914-1918. Many war memorials are taking place in Italy and in other countries involved in the conflict.

- Post by Angelica, photo Elizabeth 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Fall 2014 footsteps...

Dear Friends,

We are back in town, for a bit!

Florence's Cathedral Santa Maria del Fiore
My summer vacation was filled with sun and sea on the picturesque Island of Elba. Located off the coast of Tuscany, it takes about one hour to get there by ferry. 
Capo Bianco beach on a very windy day- no people...!

Lido di Capoliveri

We, on the other hand, went to the coin operated laundry...

Our footsteps this fall will be taking us, in addition to tours in our beloved Florence, to different regions of Italy –

Mountain hamlet San Vigilio di Marebbe
- Trentino (where the stunning Dolomite mountain range is located)

Picturesque coastline in Liguria
- Liguria (hiking the 5-terre footpaths)

One of Saint Francis' sacred spots- the Eremo degli Caceri

- Umbria (the birthplace of Saint Francis)

Maremma countryside

Magliano in Toscana

- Southern Tuscany (the fabulous hill towns and explorations of the Maremma area)

- Lazio (Rome!)

Ah yes... you are correct... what you see is mozzarella in the shape of Elba in a sea of tomatoes!

Each area has its own special places, cuisine, art and traditions. These subtle differences make travelling in Italy so fun and unique and different from other countries. A mountain range made all the difference in the world centuries of years ago and specific regional specialties can be noted, often because of these natural geographic configurations. Areas of Liguria, for example, were rather isolated with access only by sea, until the advent of the train and the autostrada... 

For the moment savour some photos from these areas and you can look forward to some specifics about these different places in future posts.

In the meantime, the harvest season is going to start shortly in many areas of the country! So search out a great bottle of Italian red or white wine, have a toast, and think of Italy!


- Photos and post by Elizabeth 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Summertime and the living is easy.

August 2014
Enjoy the summer holidays! 
Wherever you may be and whatever you may do!
See you in September!
Baci e abbracci!
Angelica & Elizabeth 


Monday, July 28, 2014

The race is over....

(photo: nytimes)

Dear Friends,

Finally a bit of fresh air in Italy. And not just the sunny, salty, air which one can find at the sea.

An Italian, Vincenzo Nibali, has won the Tour de France! The first Italian winner of the famous French cycling race in 16 years! This is a huge morale boost for the country and for Italian cycling. And indeed, it is nice to hear some positive news for a change!

(photo: nytimes)

The last Italian who won the race was Marco Pantani (which by the way, is also my married last name). However, my Pantani has no relation to the famous cyclist (the only two wheels I can get my hubbie to ride is a scooter!).

The new winner is twenty-something Vincenzo Nibali, originally from Sicily. He left the island in his teens and went and trained with an amateur team in the Tuscan hills. He turned professional and kept moving up the ranks and the ladders. And now he has won the coveted Tour de France. It is a proud moment for Italy. Viva Nibali!

Post by Elizabeth, Photos by NY Times