A Florence Break – June 2013


One of the best features about our farmhouses in Umbria is the location. We sit up on a hill with gorgeous views and have complete solitude and the only sounds I hear throughout the day are usually church bells or birds singing. We are just minutes off of E45 however, and can reach many Umbrian hill towns in under an hour. Being situated in central Umbria also means we are equal distance between Rome and Florence, and when we want to get away from our quiet country life for a taste of a larger city, we often head off for the day to either Rome or Florence. A day in one of these wonderful cities usually includes lunch at one of our favorite restaurants, shopping for me, and a leisurely stroll to admire some of the amazing landmarks. We usually take off for a “city break” about once every 6 to 8 weeks and although we always enjoy our day away, the noise and crowds we find in the larger cities only makes us appreciate our quiet property in the hills of Umbria even more.

We have our niece and her family visiting this week, and once we heard that they had never been to Florence we decided we would all go for the day since we have yet to visit Florence since returning to Italy early May. It was a gorgeous day in Florence though the rain returned just as we were heading out of the city. No matter how many times I visit Florence, I am always amazed at the beauty of this Tuscan city and its breathtaking historical landmarks that one seems to find around every corner. We had a fun, full day in Florence but were all happy to head home to our place in Umbria at the end of the day.


Piazza della Signoria


Porcini Mushrooms at Central Market


San Lorenzo Leather Market


View of Florence From Piazzale Michelangelo


View of Florence From Piazzale Michelangelo


The Duomo in Florence


Piazza del Duomo in Florence

Basilica di Santa Maria Novella


Ponte Vecchio

Deborah Mele
June 2013


  1. I LOVE your newsletters and recipes. We’ve been to Italy four times thus far, and the next visit will be to Umbria. We’re seriously thinking about staying at a place such as yours. The location sounds amazing.
    Thanks, Deborah.


  2. Love these pictures! We just got back from Tuscany 2 weeks ago and I miss it already. We are a gluten and dairy free household and found the italian people to be so kind and accomodating. I still can taste the (celiac safe) farinata I was munching on while walking in Riomaggiore CT. And the first thing I did when I got home was order up some jovial olive oil. So spoiled to taste tuscan olive oil that is as delicious as a drink!

    I have your Calabrian ribs recipe cooking in my oven right now…slightly modified because of lacking a few ingredients in the pantry but they will be delicious nonetheless! I’ve made them already and they turned out fabulous.

    My husband does not like ribs (I know, odd for an american) so I was shocked when he gobbled these up. I thought they would be too salty but they are not. I thought that the ribs needed to have a sweeter element to the sauce and they do not! They are different and delicious!

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