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Two Churches Worth Visiting In The Mugello Valley

In this new series, we seek to highlight local landmarks that we and our guests appreciate. The Mugello is a rich land that dates back to the Etruscan period, nearby to Villa Campestri Olive Oil Resort, there are many small towns, museums, churches and villas that should be listed in your next itinerary in the region. The best way to discover it, is to visit the local monuments which will we highlight in this blog. In this edition we will focus on two churches, both with a rich history and sacred art.  (more…)

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Where To Find Etruscan Remains In Tuscany

With Italy’s long history, it’s no wonder that so many people come to explore the country’s vast artistic and cultural heritage. While most people might associate the Romans with ancient civilizations that stemmed from the boot, 500 years before them were the people called ‘Etruscans,’ one of the first inhabitants who left their local mark in Tuscany, western Umbria, and northern Lazio from 5th century BCE . They are a mysterious lot, not a lot of info has been recovered on the real details of how they came to be, however as recently as 30 years ago, there have been increasingly more sites that have been discovered and help shed light on these interesting people.

Known for loving food, wine, dancing and more — there are plenty of places around the region to have a look at the archaeological remains of this ancient culture.  (more…)

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How To Make Coffee Like An Italian

Let’s face the facts — Italians know coffee better than anyone else. Sure they may not embrace fancy lattes with pumpkin spice or large to-go cups, but ask any man, woman or child how to use a Moka machine, and you’d be impressed. After you learn how to walk in Italy, you learn how to work the ‘moka.’  The Moka pot is also referred to as a macchinetta and is fairly simple to use.

In Italy, every household owns one and when it was invented in 1933 by Luigi di Ponti, it shifted the habit of having coffee only outside to making it at home. The machine we see so often today is the brainchild of the loveable machine manufacturing Alfonso Bialetti who recently passed away. It was said that the technology was inspired by washing machines nowadays you can even get fancier versions with add-ons to make cappuccino or other various drinks at home. The standard version makes espresso, or a very strong, small shot of coffee, that you can drink on its own or add milk/steam etc.

So how does one use this magical machine? We can let you in on the secret but shhh, don’t let anyone know we told you.

First step: Unscrew the base from the top bit. The moka comes in three parts, a base (where the water goes), a metal filter (where the coffee grounds go) and the top (where the coffee comes out).

Once you’ve done that, pour water into the bottom base, filling it up to the rim (don’t overdo it).

Second Step: Take the metal filter (looks a bit like a funnel) and spoon coffee grounds in here. You don’t want to pack it too tightly as the water might not be able to pass easily and the coffee could burn.

Third Step: Screw everything back together and place it on the stove top above low-medium heat.

Fourth Step: The water should create steam which will push the coffee through the filter and voila, the magic is done. When you start to hear it gurgling, keep an eye out because you definitely don’t want it to stay on the stove too long. You can lift the lid to make sure everything is working and that it fills to the top.

Additional tips* don’t ever use harsh detergents to wash your Moka, just rinse it out after each use and let it dry. Also be careful to choose quality coffee grounds which you can then use as much as you want for stronger versions, or less, for less strong. It’s quite obvious but worth noting. If for some reason it isn’t working, it could be that you packed in too much coffee OR the rubber ring around the filter is somehow obstructing the process.

Fifth Step: Enjoy your Brew!

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Springing Into Tuscany: Tips For This Season

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While it certainly isn’t spring officially yet, the weather has already gotten warmer between rain storms in our corner of the Mugello. Since we are currently gearing up for the arrival of our 2016 guests, we want to let you in on a little secret. If you book your stay ahead — you can get as much as 20% off our best flexible rate. In honor of the coming Spring, we also want to let you know why we think it is a pretty fabulous month to be in Tuscany. (more…)

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Two Churches Worth Visiting In The Mugello Valley

In this new series, we seek to highlight local landmarks that we and our guests appreciate. The Mugello is a rich land that dates back to the Etruscan period, nearby to Villa Campestri Olive Oil Resort, there are many small towns, museums, churches and villas that should be listed in your next itinerary in the […]

Where To Find Etruscan Remains In Tuscany

With Italy’s long history, it’s no wonder that so many people come to explore the country’s vast artistic and cultural heritage. While most people might associate the Romans with ancient civilizations that stemmed from the boot, 500 years before them were the people called ‘Etruscans,’ one of the first inhabitants who left their local mark in […]

How To Make Coffee Like An Italian

Let’s face the facts — Italians know coffee better than anyone else. Sure they may not embrace fancy lattes with pumpkin spice or large to-go cups, but ask any man, woman or child how to use a Moka machine, and you’d be impressed. After you learn how to walk in Italy, you learn how to […]

Springing Into Tuscany: Tips For This Season

                  While it certainly isn’t spring officially yet, the weather has already gotten warmer between rain storms in our corner of the Mugello. Since we are currently gearing up for the arrival of our 2016 guests, we want to let you in on a little secret. If […]

How To Ski In Tuscany

Most people might be surprised to note that there is indeed a way to ski right here in Tuscany! While it is far from famous spots such as the Dolomites or the Alps in Switzerland, the town of Abetone in Pistoia is famous for skiing and is right home here in our Toscana. Here you […]

Along The Pilgrim Path: Visiting Bagno Vignoni

Salus per aquam ‘health through water’ brings us to the latest of our features on interesting places in Tuscany. If there ever was a Tuscan town that bypassed the typical crowds and maintained a peaceful sort of existence in the beautiful UNESCO Val D’Orcia valley, it is Bagno Vignoni. Part of the frazione of San Quirico […]

The Classic Recipe For Italian Apple Pie

At Villa Campestri Olive Oil Resort, it’s apple harvesting season so we put our heads together to share one of our favorite personal recipes for a delicious apple pie. 

3 Lesser-Known Spots In Florence, Italy

  Florence, Italy — cradle of the Renaissance and popular travel destination the world over. From Villa Campestri Olive Oil Resort, it is an easy 40 minute train ride or by car.  So many people have a special connection with one of our favorite Tuscan towns and visit multiple times in their lifetime. After seeing […]