Lucca Real Estate

I’m just gonna keep going with the Italian real estate, ‘cause, c’mon —  there are just too many gems to keep to myself. This beauty is in Tuscany. It’s a three-bedroom just outside of Lucca. I love Lucca — such a central place to live and it’s a gorgeous walled city. This Tuscan location has access to the countryside, the sea, and amazing cities like Florence. This is a lot for sale in Lucca right now. Here’s a link to this listing.


cold zucchini soup

I was so excited about this pretty and summery soup. All credits to Best Sicily.

My friend grows a garden and I asked her if I can just buy her veg. She even drops it off for me twice a week, and every time it’s like a present on my doorstep. There was a lot of mint in the bag this week, so I dug up this recipe.

PS Who do you know who grows a garden, and would love to make some extra cash for her next year’s seedlings? I love this arrangement more than I love shopping at the farmer’s markets ‘cause it supports a friend and also saves me time. What win-win arrangements can you make with friends for both of you to benefit? (Interconnectedness is one of our primal human needs and increases happiness.)

Oh and here’s that recipe:

Chilled Velvet Zucchini Soup w/ Mint and Feta. 

6 small zucchini
1 small potato
1 small onion
1 cup basil leaves + more for garnish
1/2 cup mint leaves + more for garnish
1/4 olive oil + 2 tbsp
4 tbsp feta cheese, crumbled
2 tbsp pistachios, toasted and finely chopped
1 or 2 Sicilian sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Chop the zucchini, potato, and onions, place them in a pot with 2 tbsp of oil and sauté for 2 minutes or so, then add just enough hot water to cover them and bring to boil.

Cook over medium-low heat for about 10 to 15 minutes. The zucchini needs to be soft but not overcooked. The final color must be bright green.

Drain the zucchini and onions and save the water. Place them in a blender, add 1 cup of the cooking water, oil, basil, mint, and season with salt and pepper.

Blend until very smooth. Taste, and add more salt/pepper/mint if necessary.

Check the consistency and add more water if you want it less thick.

Let it cool down and serve lukewarm or cold and garnish every portion with 2 tbsp of feta, 1 tbsp of pistachios, 1/2 to 1 sun-dried tomato and basil and mint leaves, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with black pepper.


italian artisan ceramics

Who else loves ceramics from Italy? I have been to one of the most amazing towns in Italy, called Grottaglie, where there’s a street dedicated entirely to ceramics production — you can browse and watch the artists at work. Our clients loved this place, too.

I would love to create something custom for our readers while collaborating with Italian artisans. Would you be interested in us bringing you dinnerware from Italy? If I get 60 people responding “yes” I’ll move forward with something cool. Send us an email that says “yes to ceramics” you’re interested.

Image: Enzafasano.com


Ischia Spa

Have you heard about the Italian island of Ischia? I’ve shared about it before. It’s a volcanic island — just a hop, skip and a ferry ride from Naples (you know, it’s pretty painless to get to Naples from Rome on the fast train — and the fancy train Italo does this route). Anyway, Ischia is known for their thermal springs. You’ll find many spa hotels, but today I’m sharing a special hideaway that you wouldn’t find unless a friend told you about it (hello, I’m that friend!). Claiming to be the oldest spa in the world, head to Fonte delle Ninfe Nitrodi for some royal R&R. When the early Greeks settled on this island they would bring their soldiers to this exact place for the healing properties. Now — for just a day pass starting at 16 euros you can come here, too. No war wounds required — just a need to put your phone on airplane and nurture your inner Italian to far niente.


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With love + menta fresca,





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