ciao darling ~ la dolce vita

 
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Italy - The land of 'la dolce vita' of astounding cultural and gastronomical experiences, of style, organised chaos, village life, city centres. 'Ciao Darling' and welcome! Here you will find useful information for travellers. This site was developed by an Australian/Italian who returned to rediscover that Italy is so much more than a country - its a state of mind and a way of life.

Welcome to Italy ~ Ciao Darling ~ la dolce vita

Italy is a land celebrated for the arts, and not the least among the arts that have attained their highest expression in Italy is the art of hospitality. The Italian welcome is as warm and traditional as a glass of fine wine. Italy is one of the most popular vacation countries in Europe, all seasons being good for a visit. In summer, Italy is an international playground, with visitors from all continents mingling with vacationing Italians at the famous resorts.

Spring comes early to Italy and autumn lingers - and so will the wise traveller who wants to enjoy at a more leisurely pace the art centres, the large cities and the holiday resorts such as those in the Lombardian lake region where spring and fall are ideal seasons.

Visions of Tuscany An inside into the editor's affair with Italy.

From my Journal - 19th June 2001. Last Sunday, I had a great day, one of those days that last in your memory for a lifetime. My friend Carlo invited me for a day out on his Motorbike. We left mid morning, after a 5.30am finish from the night before and headed for Siena. A stroll around the Piazza where the Palio di Siena will shortly occur (a huge event which is totally Sienese and which I am sure to get to this year) and then lunch in a Trattoria, Tuscan anti pasta and Pizza, two bottles of wine and coffee - does it get any better??

From there we headed off to Montalcino, a small village 'su un Collina' where they make "Brunello" considered the best Italian wine (according to my research on the Internet) There is a 10th Century Castle in Montalcino, the last to fall in the 'Florentine wars' perched on the top of the 'Collina' overlooking the Sienese, we wondered around for an hour or so, then Carlo introduced me to Brunello, in fact to 'Banfi' which is a type of Brunello - boy did I like that. I've always liked a little wine, but that Banfi will stay with me for a long time I think, maybe it was the setting as well; in the courtyard of the castle, mid afternoon, classical music in the background, gently breeze. mmm I felt like I was in a film.

It was at Montalcino that it really started, we slept in at the foot of the castle for an hour in the afternoon, on the grass, awoke and headed for Gelato and coffee, then boarded the Bike and headed for Monticchiello, winding country road, soft rolling hills and the odd villa, splashed with colour from the spring flowers.

The ride was about 40 minutes (at 160kph). That stretch of countryside is among the most beautiful places I've ever visited. We arrived to a village that apart from the cars is exactly as it was 1000 years ago, no tourist, really unknown and a small dot on the map. I had the good fortune of being able to visit it with a local person, other wise I would perhaps never have discovered it. Perched on a hilltop, overlooking several valley and on to another village in the middle distance also perched on a hilltop. I've loved being in Tuscany - everything here is so picturesque, colours, classical, tasteful, warm. But this particular valley and village has no comparison. This is when I knew I had fallen for Tuscany. Read the whole story here

This website is proudly designed, produced and edited by Alessandro Sorbello, a freelance travel writer and publisher based in Italy and Australia.

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