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city guide

A Cinque Terre getaway

If I could describe the summer break we just had in the Cinque Terre in a handful of words, it’d be a list of some of my favourite things, especially when experienced together: saltwater, anchovies, lemons, sea breeze, pesto, winding coastal roads, chilled white wine and cheesy focaccia that leaves your hands deliciously greasy with olive oil. It’s been over 10 years since my last trip to the Cinque Terre, and even then, we always visited... Read More

Venice, post-lockdown, is still about the cicchetti

I don’t know if it’s just me but even after leaving Venice I feel like I’m still swaying on a pier waiting for the vaporetto. Maybe it’s the heat, maybe it was one too many spritzes or a little bit of Venice’s version of Stendhal’s syndrome (also called Florence syndrome, from the feeling of dizziness and like you might faint after being exposed to the great beauty of the Renaissance city that I call home) but... Read More

A guide to eating through charming Bergamo

In October 2019 I found myself lucky enough to be in Bergamo, Lombardy, to judge the Guild of Fine Foods World Cheese Awards, which was an exciting and delicious opportunity — I tasted 50 cheeses tasted in one morning! It was a busy time and surrounded by almost 4,000 cheeses in the industrial outskirts of the city near the airport, I must admit that I had no idea how utterly charming and beautiful Bergamo was until after the awards when I took... Read More

Trento Mini Guide and a Buckwheat Cake

Last month we spent a few wonderful days visiting our friends Rosa and Massimo who live just outside of Trento. It was our third visit to the area (on one of them I snapped up this recipe for persimmon cake), so I feel it’s about time to share some our favourite things that we’ve been shown by locals. Trento is only a four hour drive from Florence — passing Bologna and Verona on the way, which could make very good pit stops if... Read More

The Perfect Tuscan Coast Getaway 2017

I’ve been coming to the Etruscan Coast — the stretch of Tuscan coastline from Livorno to Piombino and all the islands in between — ever since I met Marco, over ten years ago. His grandparents, like so many Tuscans, have had an apartment here since the early 60s, so it was their stomping ground; their childrens’ and their children’s children spot for their annual summer holiday. The summer can be busy and crowded, when... Read More

A winter’s day in San Gimignano

It’s a blustery, drizzly, foggy winter’s day. A day that might normally send you straight back to bed to take refuge under the covers, a cup of tea and a pile of good books close by. But we’ve got a lunch date. In San Gimignano. So, fuelled with coffee, we hop on a train from Florence to Poggibonsi where we meet my good friend, Sarah, a San Gimignano local. She runs her family farm, Poggio Alloro, 10 minutes drive from San Gimignano... Read More

The Venice List

There is nothing like Venice covered in fog. The cold, damp air and the threat (or excitement, at least for me) of the water-filled streets of acqua alta. It all makes for a good excuse to escape the cold damp air by popping into a warm bar for a hot chocolate (possibly rum-spiked or topped with whipped cream) or an ombre, a little glass of wine, only to emerge shortly after with flushed cheeks, ready to head to the next bar. It’s why Venice... Read More

Settignano, the Other Florence

We’ve moved again. I’m losing count but I think it’s the seventh move since I started this blog which I began while living in a shabby fifth-floor apartment that I fell in love with for its rooftop views of Florence’s Palazzo Vecchio, never mind that it was freezing in the winter and a sauna in the summer (the bathroom may have been miniscule with no water pressure but who could pass it up when there was a view of the Duomo... Read More

Rome.

I’ve always thought of Rome as incredibly romantic. It probably has something to do with watching Roman Holiday over and over again as a teenager. It’s ingrained in my mind: a princess wandering the cobblestones, buying sandals and gelato, losing and finding herself. Of course, life is not a film, and mostly when I am in Rome I end up being overwhelmed by the chaos and the traffic and somehow it’s always just ridiculously hot... Read More

Favourite Florence Eats

{Updated 16 January 2020} One of the things I was keen to include in my first cookbook Florentine was a little address book of my favourite places to eat and shop for food like a local. They’re places I like to go to, places where you are guaranteed to find really typical Florentine dishes, at a good price, and eat well. For those who don’t have my cookbook yet, I wanted to compile a little list of some of my favourites, many of which... Read More