Excerpt From Always Italy by Frances Mayes with Ondine Cohane

Editor’s Note: In a world that has gone mad, let’s close our eyes and dream of Italy. No one writes about Italy the way Frances Mayes does. In the midst of the chaos, she has a stunning new book out from National Geographic – Always Italy – along with her fab travel writer extraordinaire co-author Ondine Cohane. We’re offering a …

Podcast Episode #7: Exploring Florence While Staying at the Grand Hotel Minerva

 Florence simply enchants us…and some much of the Florentine experience is where you stay. Host Kathy McCabe has a favorite Florentine hotel and it is the Grand Hotel Minerva.  At the hotel’s stunning rooftop pool Kathy sat down with her friend sales and marketing director Andrea Bargigli to talk about what makes the Minerva unique and how to explore …

What’s New in Italy in 2020: 500th Anniversary of Raphael’s Death

This article originally appeared in the November 2019 issue of Dream of Italy. Find the main What’s New in 2020 article here. As one of the three most highly regarded, yet rival Renaissance artists – along with Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci – Raphael enjoyed success as a painter during his lifetime and even greater fame after his death. Just as with the 500th anniversary …

What’s New in Italy in 2020: Plautilla Nelli Restoration

This article originally appeared in the November 2019 issue of Dream of Italy. Find the main What’s New in 2020 article here. Renaissance-era nun Plautilla Nelli became the only known woman to paint the Last Supper in 1528. Dream of Italy documented the painting’s restoration in the Florence episode of the Dream of Italy TV series on PBS – and now the four-year restoration is …

Florence’s Wine Windows Revealed in New Art Exhibit

Florence’s proximity to some of Italy’s most celebrated wine country, combined with the many noble families who resided in the city, has contributed to a charming tidbit of history: Florence’s buchette del vino, or wine windows. Hidden in plain sight, these wine windows look like small, arch-shaped cutouts in the walls of former villas around the city. Since 2015, an …

Discover Florence’s Wine Doors (October 2019)

This article originally appeared in the October 2019 issue of Dream of Italy. Walking around the historic center of Florence, you are sure to notice strange, small cutouts in the walls of the old large family homes. They are called buchette del vino, referred to in English as “wine windows” or “wine doors.” Originally, the Nobile families in town also had …

Author Nardia Plumridge on How to Get “Lost in Florence”

The journalist and author of Lost in Florence shares her passion for the Renaissance capital. Nardia is also the author of  Florence Beyond Overtourism in the September 2019 issue of Dream of Italy. Nardia Plumridge is an Australian writer who did what many of us dream to do – pack up and move to Italy. After living in London for …

Book Excerpt: From Scratch by Tembi Locke

We had our book club with author Tembi Locke on September 25, 2019 to discuss her book From Scratch. Click here to watch the video. You can purchase a copy here, but first enjoy an excerpt: I exited the plane in Rome, jet-lagged with a gaggle of fellow college coeds headed for customs and immigration, my passport in hand. I was twenty …

Stunning Renovations at Florence’s Boboli Gardens

Florence is home to some of the most beautiful art works in the entire world. Not all of these masterpieces hang on gallery walls, though. The picturesque yet wild Boboli Gardens have been undergoing renovations, enlargements and changes since the Medici and Lorraine families began curating them in the 16th century. Given that the gardens are at the mercy of …

See Da Vinci’s Codex Leicester in Florence

Until January 2019, one of the most famous museums in the world, the Uffizi Gallery, will display the Codex Leicester book. The Codex Leicester contains studies Leonardo da Vinci did on a variety of topics, and will be displayed to honor the 500th anniversary of his death. From water studies to the history of our planet and deep studies on …