The full list

Here are links to the 100 Italian Gems located, broken down by region from South to North, and by city. This is not an exhaustive list of Italian hidden gems and stand-out sites, but it is a selection based on travel and research between 2010 and 2016, in which priority was given to southern and … More The full list

Hunting for antique treasures in Cortona and Arezzo

Cortona sits on a hilltop in the province of Arezzo, Tuscany, surrounded by panoramic views of the Valdichiana and the Sienese mountains. With lots of quality local food and wine, an exceptional museum of Etruscan history, a collection of fine art in the Diocesan museum, and many interesting sites to see nearby, it is a … More Hunting for antique treasures in Cortona and Arezzo

A stroll around San Quirico d’Orcia and its public gardens

When I was preparing my trip to Tuscany while working as an English teacher in Rome, I surveyed my Italian students to uncover the best hidden jewels in the area around Siena. One of them I remember immediately suggested San Quirico d’Orcia, a town I had never heard of but that sounded ideal for my … More A stroll around San Quirico d’Orcia and its public gardens

A weekend journey through Valpolicella and Valpantena

Valpolicella in the Veneto, known locally as the “pearl of Verona”, is a hilly and scenic area of Italy where you can tour vineyards, discover the local range of wines from Valpolicella Classico to Amarone, and visit some of the most beautiful and elegant villas in the country. If you are planning a holiday to … More A weekend journey through Valpolicella and Valpantena

Naples’ Pharmacy of the Incurables: merging science, magic, and art

Naples’ Ospedale degli Incurabili is an old and still-functioning hospital in the centre of the southern Italian city that is linked to a wealth of interesting stories of early medicine, magic and alchemy, religious people and those recognised as saints for dedicating their lives to helping the poor and sick here. Founded around 1520, it … More Naples’ Pharmacy of the Incurables: merging science, magic, and art

Sicily’s puppets and the precious role of the storyteller

Sicilian puppeteer and storyteller Mimmo Cuticchio has seen the role of the island’s traditional puppet theatre change over the years, from a daily ritual for many, to an outmoded form of entertainment, to a re-emergent symbol of Sicily’s culture and heritage. Throughout all of these changes, the 69-year-old has remained dedicated to his art, unable … More Sicily’s puppets and the precious role of the storyteller