Skip to main content


Showing posts from November, 2012


Have you ever joined a guided visit for children in a museum? Or at least eavesdropped on one? It's in those situations that I realize why kids have the time of their life, whilst the adult visitor is yawning his way through yet another painting. Clever information is presented to the little ones in a playful way and complicated concepts are explained for everybody to understand.  In this sense guided tours are similar to guidebooks. The hard facts are served appetizingly to the k ids, whilst adul ts churn their way through lists of historic data prone to be forgotten immediately. As if academic and entertaining couldn't go together! No surprise then that my favorite Siena guide has been written with, exactly - kids in mind. My kids' (and their cat's) favorite reading material Explore and Discover Siena and Italy's Gazzetta dello Sport

WHAT TO DO IN SIENA: Classical Music November 2012

Italian violist Giuliano Carmignola By tradition the winter concert season in Siena starts on the 22nd November (the day of St. Cecilia, patroness of musicians), to celebrate the founding of the Micat In Vertice Chamber Music Institution in 1923. A brainchild of Count Guido Chigi Saracini, Micat in Vertice is going into its 90th season this year. The opening concerts are a fine tribute to this round anniversary. The first evening this month will see superb Italian violinist Giuliano Carmignola playing his Stradivari in company of the Orchestre de Champs-Eysées. Wheras the second concert will be given by Latvian born star violist Gidon Kremer.  Gidon Kremer in Concert in Vicenza this year Thursday, 22nd of November - Teatro dei Rozzi, 9 pm Orchestre de Champs-Elysées and  Giuliano Carmignola (violin) play Haydn and Mozart.  Friday, 30th of November - Teatro dei Rozzi, 9pm Gidon Kremer (violin), Giedre Dirvanauskaite (cello), Khatia Buniatishvili (piano)


From time to time I'm asked by people who have very limited time in Italy, which one winery is an absolute must see in Tuscany.  My answer is simple: n one.  You've got no more than an hour in Siena? Spend it with an aperitif on Piazza del Campo. Your husband can't handle more than one museum in Florence? It will have to be the Uffizi then. But asking a similar question in regard to Tuscan wine just doesn't work. Luckily, I'd say.  Looking for the one and only may have made sense when travelling Tuscany in the 60s or 70s, at a time when a handful of vineyards towered above all the others. However, in the last 50 years the region has undergone massive transformation in regard to wine making. Thousands of new wineries have opened up and the production philosophy of most of the old ones has moved from quantity to quality.