Montepulciano has very ancient roots. Its origins date back to the times of the ancient Etruscans and legend has it that the town was founded by Lars Porsenna, Chiusi’s Etruscan lucumone. The first actual date of its birth goes back to a written document dated 715 AD, in which the town is known as Mons Politianus. The little village was disputed fo...

Have I ever told you how much I love Chianti? Yeah, I thought so. But please indulge me while I spend a few minutes talking about my affection for this old Italian standard … and tell you about another good one that cost me just over $10. Chianti first caught my attention a long time ago, possibly before I was old enough to buy it legally. I would...

A priceless set of medieval relics stolen from a seminary on the outskirts of Siena in 1989 has been recovered, Italian art cops said Thursday. The San Galgano Reliquary was made in 1200 out of gold, silver and enamel. It was stolen along with another 10 works of sacred art of an inestimable value. All the works, property of the dioceses of Siena,...

Many years ago, when I was living in the town of Pietrasanta, located on the coast of northern Tuscany, a friend visited from London. Sitting down in a local trattoria, she asked the waiter to surprise her with something traditional. The waiter was so pleased with this request and promised her he would bring a local delicacy!  When the plate was pl...

When you write a book, people ask you what it’s about. When people ask me about Cucina Tipica: An Italian Adventure, I tell them that it’s the story of a disheartened American who arrives in Italy on holiday and decides he never wants to leave—pretty much what’s written on the back cover. That’s accurate and appropriate from a traditional book mark...

Of Italy’s many tempting wine regions, those devoted to producing its legendary crus are essential stops for oenophiles wanting to sample the marvels of a celebrated DOCG territory at the source. Brunello di Montalcino, which like its powerhouse counterpart in Piedmont, Barolo, has been dubbed the “king of wine” (although they rely on different gra...

If you’ve been to Tuscany, you had vin santo, the sweet, thick fragrant nectar often served with another Tuscan legend, cantucci cookies. To be fair, vin santo is typical of all regions of central Italy and some variants of it can be found also in the North-East of the country, especially in Trentino, where it’s produced with  Nosiola  grapes, and...

Italy offers first-class attractions for sea-lovers who can make spectacular journeys through the shapes and colors of the Mediterranean, tropical and exotic habitats reproduced to the smallest detail in Italian aquariums in order to discover everything there is to know about the underwater world. The Aquarium of Genoa in Liguria was designed by th...

Make me the biggest yacht in the world—bigger than anyone has ever seen,” he commanded. It was a mold-breaking commission for the Benetti shipyard more than 40 years ago, from a client keen to tout his wealth. The Italian firm had already earned accolades for making fine yachts, but this was to be a new kind of vessel, a “superyacht,” if you will....

Florence is a monument to the Renaissance, showcasing at every turn the art and architecture from that period, which continues to impress and inspire. It's clear what the Italian Renaissance looked like, but in the soaring Santa Maria Novella Basilica, "CBS Sunday Morning" got the rare chance to hear how it sounded, with music being heard for the f...