Monthly Archives: February 2016

What Florence Sites to Book Ahead

Our guests often ask for advice on which sites to reserve in advance to avoid waiting in long lines. We know those lines so well. I remember a special excursion to Florence years ago with my young son, having driven for 2 hours from our countryside vacation rental.  He really wanted to see  Michelangelo’s Bound Prisoners in the Accademia (even more than the prospect of seeing the original David that is also there). We arrived at the Accademia that hot July day to find a line at least an hour-and-a-half long in full sun. As we wilted, my son’s impatience and frustration grew and we gave up, learning our lesson that for some sites a little advance planning is well worth it.

Here are our tips for which Florence sites you absolutely should buy tickets for well in advance, or face the prospect of waiting in line, even during off-season.  Before leaving for Italy be sure to print your ticket vouchers and bring them with you.

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Frappe’ Sweet Fritters Chase Away Winter Blues

February might bring the winter blues but it also marks Carnivale season when you can enjoy frappe’, a yummy seasonal Italian pastry. Like potato chips, nobody can eat just one!

Frappe’ are flaky strips of deep-fried pastry dough sprinkled with powdered sugar. Different regions have different names for these tasty treats. Whatever the name they are delicious. If you’re in Italy in February and spot them in bakery windows be sure to indulge.

Photo by Alessio Cruciani (CC)


The Magical Fountains of Villa d’Este in Tivoli

Villa Deste Tivoli ItalyFantasy and reality combine to create a world beyond our dreams at Villa d’Este in Tivoli, just outside of Rome. Cascading fountains draw you inside, whispering their secrets as you pass and cypress trees stand tall, guarding the estate and its terraced gardens. Looking up to the main house, you wonder if Juliette will come to the window looking for Romeo as a renaissance ball spills into the garden below.

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