She sits 45 feet high above her visitors, her reflective surface mirroring the surrounding landscape and those that take in the view. She symbolizes beauty and connectivity, a contemporary interpretation of the mythological goddess Venus. The installation seeks to raise awareness and support for organizations like International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children.
There once stood 72 tower houses within this double walled city, each built to demonstrate the wealth and power of the competing noble families. The fourteen that remain, rising proudly above its palaces, preserves the history of a feudal town controlled by rival factions ever ready for conflict.
San Gimignano mainly developed in the first three centuries of the Millennium, thanks to its favorable geographical position becoming an important transit stop for pilgrims traveling from France to Rome. The city flourished until 1348 when two thirds of its population was decimated by the Black Death. San Gimignano knew a long period of decline in the shadow of dominant Florence. This decline served to insulate San Gimignano from the influence of different architectural styles as there was little subsequent development. San Gimignano remained preserved in its medieval state until the 19th century when its status as a tourist and artistic destination began to be recognized. Today San Gimignano continues to preserve its authenticity thanks to the strict enforcement of the restoration principles.
To celebrate Penny’s 8th birthday we hosted a cooking party with chef Wendi James of Rutabaga Sweets. The menu included handmade cheese ravioli, fresh tomato sauce and garlic bread. The kids were attentive and focused and created some delicious food! Penny loves to cook, what a treat it was to share this with her friends.
One of the experiences I insisted on having during our trip to Italy was a cooking class. There are many options and it becomes challenging to discern one from the next. Fortunately our hotel recommended a private class offered by La Piaggia. This experience was beyond all my expectations; it was intimate, immersive, elegant and casual all at once.
Podere La Piaggia is a family run estate nestled among the hills of Chianti Classico. Situated on the slope overlooking Siena and the Val d’Elsa, the estate occupies an area of just over forty hectares, half of which are uncultivated and consist of woods, while the rest of the land is divided between vineyards and olive groves. In the center is the farmhouse, with the cellar below dating back to the 1600s. Three generations tend to this land. Despite the necessary modernization carried out over the years, La Piaggia holds to the ancient winegrowing tradition with a respect for nature in all of the production phases.