Can I or Chianti?

by Bianca @ Italian Fix

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Scroll on for today’s “cypress and cobblestone” vibes…

POST ON YOUR DREAMBOARD

A wild departure from everything familiar is a big idea. But maybe untamed imagination and spontaneity are exactly what you’re craving… Ever dreamed about selling it all and living a life of solitude on a farm in Tuscany? This website will help you scroll through all the luxury farm properties that are available in this region. Imagine waking up to birdsong rather than an alarm clock… to a lifestyle governed by the seasons and shifting daylight. Wouldn’t it be comfy to fill your closets with coveralls and natural fibers? Go ahead— trade in your computer and keyboard for grape snips and a keen attentiveness to soil fertility. Funny thing about dreams — they morph and vacillate as conditions change. And in Tuscany, the big, beautiful, expansive skies are the limit. 

Image: Luca Micheli


MANGIAMO

Game to zip around in a vintage car? In Italy? I did the 500 Touring Club years ago and it was so fun and convenient — it’s operated from a 15th-century villa — just a cab ride above Florence in the Chianti Hillside. Even though it’s easily accessible from Florence, the vibe is totally different from the city. I have some great pics from that day because we made plenty of stops at all the pretty places. Then, upon return to the villa, a beautiful aperitivo was served. It’s a day where you just smile the whole time. 

Image: 500 Touring Club


SLEEP HERE

Sustainability is where it’s at as we evolve towards conscious tourism. In Italy, there are special licenses called agriturismo (which you may have already realized if you’ve been drooling over those luxe farm properties we mentioned). To get these special licenses you need to produce products on your property — so Italy is full of places where you can stay and also enjoy some of these products. Think veg, honey, cheese, wine, and olive oil. Salcheto Winery has made a dedicated effort to minimize (and calculate) their carbon footprint while welcoming guests into the cozy fold of farmhouse nights and garden-to-table meals (all rooms include breakfast – yum!). During your stay at Salcheto, you have the opportunity to tour extensive cellars and discover the processes involved in making extraordinary wines. See what your olfactory is made of and raise your hand for a blind “sensorial” tasting… then tuck a bottle of your fave variety into your suitcase for later. But before you move on to your next adventure, plan on soaking your sweet self in a garden hot tub. This pinnacle of “ah-yes” is not to be missed. Powered by natural wood heat, these casks are amazing— which is exactly how you’ll feel after your stay at Salcheto.

 


WISH YOU WERE HERE

September is next week! The height of summer has passed and fall is just around the bend. Which has me Montepulciano-dreaming…I’ve been asking myself, “Can I or Chinati make time for a fall trip?” And my instinct is saying, “Heck yes!” Because there’s nothing like leaning against a medieval cobblestone wall and gazing out towards a sea of cypress trees in autumn. They turn fiery orange and cinnamon and ignite the horizon. Like Montepluciano’s Vino Nobile wine, everything about this town is divine. The view, the churches, the thermal baths, and the carefully crafted wine are totally heavenly. It’s a view and a vibe that embodies the charm of Italy. It reminds me of what I set out to do when I founded Italian Fix. Which was — and continues to be — an intense desire to create opportunities for people to see Italy the way that I do… from a local perspective on Italy’s best everything. And… (drumroll please)… 

I’m so excited to say that next month we will release the 2023 Italian Fix tour dates! Keep those eyes peeled

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With Fiats + fall flowers

Bianca

 

 

 

 

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Seaside Italy

by Bianca @ Italian Fix

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Scroll on for today’s “striped umbrella” vibes…

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Cruising on a boat through the Aeolian Islands, off the coast of Sicily, is beyond dreamy. Clear water, steep cliffs, and secluded beaches of black volcanic sand create a perfect backdrop for radical self-care. When you step off the dock and onto a swaying boat, it’s a move towards being in flow. Right away your shoulders start to relax. Pretty soon the wind is blowing your hair back (and all your stress away). Drift past the sea arches and picturesque coves, and drop anchor for a dip into the sea. The minerals in the saltwater are good for skin, the sunshine is good for internal systems, and the Aeolian Islands are good for your heart (as in, you’re gonna love this place!). As for your sweet tooth? Not to worry, once we’re sun-drenched we’ll go grab an icy cold granita. This is what we do on our Sicily Tour – and sometimes we even see porpoises along the way. Are you ready for this? We’d love to create some epic memories and meet you in Sicily…our 2023 schedule is out soon.


MANGIAMO

It’s not sorbet, it’s not gelato, it’s granita! If you know — you know! Granita is an icy cold treat that comes in all kinds of flavors. Cold, coarse, fluffy, and super refreshing, granita is often served with a brioche in Sicily. Have it for breakfast, it’s the traditional way! Granita has a 4000-year legacy – once upon a time it was made out of snow from Mt. Etna – and then mixed with sugarcane and flavors. To experience granita for yourself, stop in at BamBar, located in the historical center of Taormina. They serve “breakfast” all day! You can even pair a few varieties in a cup, which makes it easier to choose from their 24 flavors. Or, you can be a purist and go with lemon (the first granita flavor ever). My favorite is almond which is made of ground almonds — I’ve never found anything remotely like it outside of Italy. 

Image: BamBar


SLEEP HERE

Hotel La Palma, Capri’s oldest hotel, has emerged from the chrysalis. And yes….her wings are beautiful. Originally built in 1822 as a private residence turned haven for traveling artisans (artisans who contributed to the decor and eccentricity of the original property), Hotel La Palma laid dormant until recently. Refurbished and reopened in June — 200 years after the doors first opened — the motif is 1950s Capri. I love that the hotel’s beach club is open to non-hotel guests so they can spread the beach club love. Of course, I love that “Bianca”, a newly created rooftop restaurant, overlooks Capri and the ocean. “Bianca” has a glam vibe, and a chef whose previous restaurant had earned him 2 Michelin stars. Hmm … I’m already brainstorming special occasions and picking out my dress!

Image: Hotel La Palma


WHAT WE’RE LOVING RIGHT NOW

Things that don’t change — like traditions in Italy. Traditions carry continuity through time and connect Italian culture to its ancient entity. Classic recipes on the coast of Italy use local ingredients and specific techniques. Capers, olives, and seafood are all locally available and prevalent in Sicilian cuisine. Saffron is often incorporated into seafood dishes. No wonder, as it’s been grown and harvested in Sicily since at least 300 BC (which is quite amazing — as this spice comes from the crocus stigma — a flower that blooms for just 1 week each year). Traditional techniques are used to make arancini, a staple fried rice situation that is my fave. Another tradition — cannoli — has Arabic roots. Eating in Southern Italy is more Marrakech than Milan — and I’m here for it!

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With goodness + granita

Bianca

 

 

 

 

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How to Italy: Summer Edition

by Bianca @ Italian Fix

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If you’ve ever had the misfortune of traveling to Florence (or Rome, or Milan) at about this time of year you’ll see all the CHUISO signs on front doors. Why? Because the whole country pretty much goes on vacation from August 15th (unless you work in tourism, then you’re just sweating it out with your apron and waiting until November). Yup, it’s Ferragosto and that means many Italians are Out-of-Office and at the beach. Beach activities and beach accommodation triple in price and intensity around this time. Here are my recommendations for what to do in August in Italy. Continue Reading…

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