This week we are taking you to one of the most picturesque places in Italy – Val D’Orcia. On your future trip to Italy you’ll be coming here for a visit if you are looking for that classic photo of the rolling Tuscan hills. Famous for its medieval castles, stunning farmhouses, cypress-tree-lined roads, vineyards, olive groves, and sunflowers – oh my! Val D’Orcia is located in Southern Tuscany between Siena and Grosseto (check out next week’s newsletter for a restaurant to die for in Siena). And then there’s Pienza, one of the region’s most picturesque towns. Try brunello wine at a local vineyard near Montalcino. The area is also famous for having many thermal hot springs, such as Bagno Vignoni, as well as having some of the tastiest food in Italy, like pecorino cheese, saffron, mushrooms, and truffles. You are going to want to do this area in a car, ideally a convertible and a sundress.


This week I’ve found you a cozy hotel in the Italian Alps, located in Bormio. Hotel San Vitale is a modern hotel located perfectly for those who want to put on their skis and hit the slopes. I love the wooden ceilings with the exposed beams – it just screams ski vacation!


Sicily is a never ending parade of amazing eats …. it’s pretty much a foodie’s Heaven on Earth. There’s a town called “Cefalu” on the north coast of Sicily (we stop at it on our way from Palermo to the Aeolian Islands) and it’s all about cosy boltholes, seascapes and seafood. We dig the modern menu you can find at  Locanda del Marinaio. Try their codfish tempura with fried red onion jam and chickpeas. This whole coastline is super special and if you’re coming to Sicily, make time to stop in this wonderful town. Apart from just wandering, my fave thing to do in Cefalu is sit in the cool shade of  the 16th century wash house. The women would come here and wash clothes and it’s remnants are well preserved — something we can expect in Italy around every corner. 


October in the Cinque Terre means grapes that have been drying since they were picked a month ago start going through the process of becoming Sciacchetra – AKA “Nectar from the Gods”. This sweet dessert wine is a must-try when in the Cinque Terre. Here is local Giovanni taking the grapes off the bunchstem – his grandchildren will then squish the grapes with their feet, carrying on the local tradition.



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With love + Sciacchetra






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