Montecatini Alto in Tuscany - Medieval meets Modern
The medieval town of Montecatini Alto (Upper Montecantini) in Tuscany is two hundred and ninety metres above Montecatini Terme. I know because I have walked every one of them both up and down. But it was worth every step to explore this hamlet frozen in the past yet embracing the present ...
Montecatini Terme in Tuscany - A Very Special Spa Town
Montecatini Terme is the ideal base from which to explore its more famous neighbours in the Italian region of Tuscany. Early every morning cavalcades of touring buses roll down the wide, tree-lined avenues to collect their passengers. But those who take the time to stroll around its streets will soon find clues that suggest a glorious past ...
San Gimignano – breakfast with the workers, lunch with the tourists and dinner with the locals
When I got up and threw open the heavy wooden shutters I was very surprised to find that my room overlooked the Tuscan countryside surrounding San Gimignano. It was so beautiful ...
Five New Experiences in Florence
Florence is truly a treasure trove of sights to see and things to do and I always leave this beautiful city with a list of things I still have not done...
Ten Top Memories of Tuscany
Tuscany must be one of the few places that looks exactly the same in photos as it does in reality. Its capital Florence may be a well-worn tourist trail but it still has some surprises round its corners …
Palazzo Pitti - a snapshot of Florence
I have visited Florence many times and followed the usual tourist trail but as soon as the official tour is over and I am free to wander I always make my way to the same place, a snapshot of this famous town and an oasis from the throng – Palazzo Pitti ...
Two Days in Pistoia - Day Two
Captivated by this fascinating town I was back in Pistoia the following week and this time there was no doubt regarding the whereabouts of the centre. Crowds of people were flocking to the Piazza del Duomo ...
Two days in Pistoia, Tuscany - Day One
I had heard a whisper that Pistoia was worth a visit so on a free day in Tuscany I set off to find out if this was true. On arrival it seemed the town was sleeping and I asked the one passer-by I encountered between the centre and the station if I was going in the right direction for the old town...
Siena Beyond the Palio
The Palio may be the jewel in the crown of Siena but this town has other gems worthy of consideration and in particular the old hospital of Santa Maria della Scala...
Siena and the Palio
The Palio is essential to the life of the Contrade. The Contrade in turn are essential to the life of Siena. The Palio, the Contrade, and Siena thus constitute a virtually interdependent trinity – a quote from the historian Judith Hook