Planning Spring and Summer Travel
Two Parts Italy Blog
by Joanne Bartram
4d ago
Spring is just around the corner and all of Tuscany will soon be in bloom. It’s a perfect time to visit. This view is from Fattoria Fubbiano in the hills just beyond Lucca. The end of February, the longest short month of the year, is in sight.  The last few days have been damp and chilly in Lucca. Today, there is a constant rain pouring down. That makes it perfect weather for staying inside and writing.   I always forget that 50 degrees in Lucca, with its deeply shaded medieval streets, cold stone buildings, and dampness, feels a lot colder than 50 degrees in the sunshine and dryne ..read more
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Carnevale Lucca Style
Two Parts Italy Blog
by Joanne Bartram
1w ago
La Tigre in Gabbia (The Caged Tiger) by the carrista Luca Bertozzi peers out from the loggia in Piazza San Michele, Lucca 2024 Venice, 2020  If you come to Italy during the month of February, be prepared for some excitement.  February is the month of Carnevale - the big post-Christmas season event that brings fun and celebration in anticipation of the more restrained period of the 40 days of Lent which precede Easter.  Picture processions, costumes, fantastic masks, balls, parties, sweets and lots and lots of confetti.  The character of the celebrations may vary, from the ..read more
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A British Style Sweet With an Italian Twist
Two Parts Italy Blog
by Joanne Bartram
2w ago
Afternoon tea with date “pudding” Before I get to the description and recipe for this British-with-an-Italian-twist sweet, we must take a minute to talk about the word “pudding”. Date “pudding”, served alongside some fruit, goes well with a morning coffee. I remember being quite confused hearing my friend, a lovely English lady whom I was visiting in Hampshire, ask her cat if he was ready for his pudding. Pudding for a cat?  I must have misunderstood.  My friend explained that in this context pudding simply meant a mid-afternoon treat. Not literally what I thought of as a pudding ..read more
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Winter Reading, Italian Stories
Two Parts Italy Blog
by Joanne Bartram
3w ago
A booksellers stall, Lucca January has finally dragged itself into February on its slow crawl out of winter.  Is it just me or did last month seem unusually dreary?  And long.  I spent all of January in New Mexico so I can’t speak for the weather anywhere else, but in New Mexico it was cloudy, gray, and drizzly for days on end which is quite unusual here in the land of sunshine.  Two light snowfalls were pretty but cold.    Pontremoli, a city where books are everywhere. Dreary winter days are perfect for sitting with a cup of coffee and reading a good book.  ..read more
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The Basilica of San Lorenzo in Florence
Two Parts Italy Blog
by Joanne Bartram
1M ago
Basilica of San Lorenzo, Florence. It’s hard to have a favorite church in Florence.  It may even be wrong to choose a favorite considering the number of historic and significant churches in the city.  The Duomo, officially the Church of Santa Maria del Fiore, with its magnificent façade and campanile, is famous for good reason.  Consider Santa Maria Novella, Santa Croce, Santissima Annunziata – and those are just the basilicas inside the historic center.  Add in smaller churches, chapels, baptisteries, oratorios, bell towers and wonderful churches outside the center and, w ..read more
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The Everything in 1 Carry-on Bag Myth
Two Parts Italy Blog
by Joanne Bartram
1M ago
I've read at least 100 articles about the virtues of fitting everything needed for a trip of any length, from 2 days to 2 months, into a single carry-on bag. I've read and reread them. I've tried to follow this advice, really I have.  I can almost do it too. I pare down to the essentials, I compress and I cram and I get the suitcase shut only to find that it is then too heavy for me to lift into an overhead bin. Oh, the sense of failure that has plagued me each time I've packed, realizing at the last minute that I would not get everything into one carry-on sized bag that I could lift. V ..read more
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Palazzo Davanzati. A Glimpse into a 14th Century Florentine HOme
Two Parts Italy Blog
by Joanne Bartram
1M ago
A madonna and child tucked away in a painted niche at Palazzo Davanzati. There are so many museums and historic buildings in Florence that it is all too easy to overlook some of the city’s lesser-known places. One of those is Palazzo Davanzati, the Museo della Casa Fiorentina Antica (Museum of the Antique Florentine House). The Davanzati is one of Florence’s “minor” museums, which has fewer visits by tourists but is much loved by locals. Step inside and be immediately transported back in time as you visit a 14th century home in Florence.  The palazzo was constructed in the mid-14th centu ..read more
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From My Italian Kitchen: Pollo alla Cacciatore
Two Parts Italy Blog
by Joanne Bartram
1M ago
The arrival of winter in Tuscany brings colder temperatures, rain, and a chill that goes right through you.  The change in weather signals the beginning of the season for heartier meals – roasted meats, soups brimming with winter vegetables and beans, peppery stews, and risottos with pumpkin and sausage.   One of my favorite winter weather dishes is cacciatore, the hunter’s stew. This is something my mother often made. She may have been Irish, but she had a good Italian neighbor who taught her this dish.  In Tuscany, Cacciatore is most often made with rabbit or chicken.&nb ..read more
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Welcome to 2024
Two Parts Italy Blog
by Joanne Bartram
2M ago
January 2019. Can you spot the snow dusting the roof tiles? Happy New Year !  When a new year rolls around I always find myself reflecting on Januarys past and toasting to Januarys yet to come. That is especially true this year as I begin my 6th year of having a home in Italy and 8th year of writing Two Parts Italy. Time really does fly! On January 1st of 2017 Two Parts Italy posted for the first time. I was fairly newly retired and headed to Italy to celebrate the new year with my friend (and then co-author) Judy. We wrote that first post from a lovely vacation apartment in Lucca. Writ ..read more
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Buon Natale !
Two Parts Italy Blog
by Joanne Bartram
2M ago
Wishing everyone, everywhere a wonderful holiday full of joy. Buon Natale! Merry Christmas Buone Feste! Happy Holidays Ci vediamo nel nuovo anno! See you in the new year ..read more
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