Browse beautiful imagery from our trip to Argentina’s Patagonia, including floating glaciers.
We got a very positive response to our Five Breathtaking Tuscan Villages article and thought we would follow it up with a similar piece about Umbria. One of the few landlocked regions of Italy, Umbria is well known for its beautiful landscapes and historic towns. With that in mind, here are 5 breathtaking villages in Umbria that you must see.
Spoleto – One of the largest towns in southern Umbria, Spoleto is a sight to behold. With both Etruscan and Roman roots, this walled hill town offers beautiful views, including the Ponte delle Torri (the Bridge of Towers). Music lovers will especially want to visit in late June/early July to catch the famous Festival dei due Mondi, a world-famous music festival.
After you’ve had gelato there is no going back to ice cream. Better yet, after you’ve had authentic Italian gelato there’s no going back to anything else. With that in mind, here are our choices for five great gelato flavors that you must try when you visit Italy.
Stracciatella – Translated from Italian, “stracciatella” means “a little shred”. Appropriate for this milk-based gelato that includes fine, shredded bits of chocolate. This is the gourmet version of chocolate chip ice cream, with a smooth, delicate flavor. A modern classic!
Ask anyone who has visited Tuscany, and they will tell you all about the many breathtaking villages that can be found there. From beautiful views to gorgeous houses, there is a feast for the senses around every corner. That is why I wanted to share with you 5 breathtaking Tuscan villages that you must see the next time you’re in Tuscany.
With a population of less than 6,000 people, Montalcino is a small but beautiful walled village located west of Pienza. Sitting upon a hill, the town grew out of a church that was built my monks in the 9th century. These days the town is known for its stunning views, old-world charm and the procution of Brunello di Montalcino, one of Italy’s best-known wines.
Of the many sights you see while traveling in Italy, some of the most breathtaking are the churches and monasteries. Dating back centuries, these remarkable buildings have their own histories, waiting to be explored. But what is the difference between a church and a monastery?
Visiting Tuscany is a palate-pleasing experience, which is understandable because food seeps into every aspect of life in Tuscany and vice-versa. When you eat a meal here, you’re eating its history and culture.
Tuscan food is known for hearty meals with simple flavors. Plenty of fresh breads, cheeses, fruits and vegetables are used to create a luscious, regional meal that leaves you feeling connected to the community. With all that in mind, here are our choices for 5 must-try Tuscan meals.
Technology has come a long way, and we have every reason to be excited about it. After all, the sheer volume of information available at our fingertips is staggering. Where we get into trouble, though, is when we start to assume that this technology has made the human experience irrelevant. After all, no number of online reviews writing about clothes can replace an experienced style expert telling you the best shirt to fit your frame. Along the same lines, there is no travel app that can replace an experienced tour guide.
Now it should be noted that we’re not here to trash travel apps. There are plenty of great ones out there, some of which we even use personally. We don’t want to imply for a second that they shouldn’t be used, only that they shouldn’t be used as an alternative to a real-life guide.
For many foodies olive oil isn’t just an ingredient, it’s a ritual. Which makes a lot of sense, as the notion of ritual is visible in every facet of a fresh Italian olive oil’s creation. All over Italy it is produced in largely the same way now that it was thousands of years ago with a process called first cold-pressing.
Before we get to the first cold-pressing process, it’s important to discuss what makes extra virgin olive so special: purity. In fact, less than 10% produced each year qualifies. Extra virgin means that the oil is extracted from the olives without using heat or chemicals. Usually this means that it is extracted when the olives are crushed or pressed at room temperature. Any taste or odor defects that happen in the process will lead to the oil being labeled as virgin, rather than extra virgin. That’s why first cold-pressing is such a valued process, it takes longer and requires more work, but you get purer oil out of it.
Anyone visiting Italy knows that they’re in for some fantastic meals, and for many food-lovers cheese is foremost in their mind. Naturally Italy is brimming with delicious cheeses that will tantalize any palate, so here are our suggestions of Italian cheeses that can’t be missed.
Buffalo Mozzarella – Starting off with the basics here, everyone knows Mozzarella, but until you’ve tried the fresh Italian variety you have not truly experienced this cheese. Italy’s soft, fresh cheese offers a rich, creamy texture that must be tasted fresh to be appreciated. The most popular variety is the Buffalo Mozzarella, which is made from, yes, water buffalo’s milk. Ever wonder where the name comes from? It’s from the Italian word mozzatura meaning to cut by hand, which is how the curd is separated into small balls.
Awesome Machu Picchu in Peru.
1. Galleria degli Uffizi. Filled with paintings by the most noted Italian artists visitors marvel at the mastery of Botticelli, da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael to mention a few. Purchase advance tickets.
2. The Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore. Brunelleshi’s dome and Giotto’s Tower dominate the Fiorentine skyline. Visitor’s never tire of these two most visited highlights of Italian architecture
3. The National Museum of the Bargello. Located near the Piazza della Signoria is a museum that houses sculptures of leading artists of the Renaissance era.
MY FIRST TIME IN ITALY AND I WENT WITH EVIA
BY: TONI PERL
May 12, 2014.
I am not a savvy traveller when it comes to European destinations so I look for direction and help to achieve my most desired results. I have heard stories of difficult trips with many details required and thought, I just cannot do this on my own.
At the top of my list of fabulous things is walking through Tuscany’s network of white roads. These winding routes were originally carved out centuries ago by the enigmatic Etruscans, and later expanded by the Romans so that their war horses and soldiers could reach all parts of Europe from France to England. As a matter of fact, the sentence “all roads lead to Rome,” actually refers to this network of interconnecting trails. As cities grew they became neglected, left to be used by farmers and locals as they strolled from town to town.
While French wine tasters roll the wine around in their mouth and spit before tasting the next, this is definitely not the custom in Argentina. I spent a week cycling through Mendoza where lunch often included 5 or 6 wines, following which we’d cycle to another winery a mere 10 kilometers away, and begin the tasting process again. I managed one sip from each glass while watching others drain their liquid happily and with ease. I did learn how to check the colour or a red and the clarity of a white, inhale the bouquet, and differentiate between citrus, chocolate and tobacco flavours of a good Malbec.
Southern Patagonia: The Bottom of the Earth.
Published in: “inTravel Magazine.” January 01, 2013
Mount Etna on Sicily’s east coast rises gracefully from a sapphire sea. The peaceful scene contradicts the power of the most active volcano in Europe.
“Eviactive planned a wonderful holiday for my husband and I in Peru. All the hotels and tours were recommended from personal experience so I knew I could trust each place and operator. Eva made a lot of personal recommendations as far as hotels, restaurants, and things to try. The private guided Lares Trek was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that we will never forget. Eviactive worked hard to accommodate our dates, and planned a logical, packed but not too-packed, fascinating itinerary. I would recommend her services to everyone and definitely use her for my next holiday planning.”
-Naomi Wohl, Toronto, Ontario
Wine tasting etiquette. To spit or not to spit?
On a recent walking holiday in Sicily I took a group to the Etna vineyards for a wine tasting adventure. Lava rich soil nourishes the grapes yielding a distinctive – and strong – flavour. Our group of mixed neophyte tasters and experienced oenophiles wanted to know, “Do we spit the wine after tasting or swallow it?”
You can usually find me writing or leading some walking holiday in Italy. I took a detour so that my husband, a self-proclaimed oenophile, could discover the wines of Mendoza. I searched for a holiday that combined his love of wine with my passion for bike riding in the countryside. Trying to find one to merge our two and very unrelated loves could have been a challenge. Thanks to Duvine, it was as easy as signing the application form and writing a check.