Bella Italia! Stanley Tucci Savors La Dolce Vita Filming New Series Across Boot-Shaped Nation
Bella Italia! Stanley Tucci Savors La Dolce Vita Filming New Series Across Boot-Shaped Nation - Tuscan Sunshine
Bathed in golden Tuscan sunshine, the undulating hills of Tuscany evoke visions of lazy days spent sipping Chianti under the warm Mediterranean sun. This sun-drenched region of central Italy seduces travelers with its picturesque landscapes and mouthwatering cuisine.
Tuscany shines brightest during the summer months when 12-14 hours of sunlight per day create optimal conditions for relaxing alfresco or exploring the region's famed hill towns. Wander the narrow cobblestone streets of Siena, gaze out over the patchwork fields and cypress trees from San Gimignano’s medieval towers, and soak up that Tuscan sunshine while tasting bold Sangiovese wines in Montalcino.
Sun-worshippers flock to the Tuscan coastline where they can bask on the region's white sand beaches or admire the sparkling Tyrrhenian Sea. Relax as the sun's rays reflect off the sea at popular resort towns like Forte dei Marmi, Viareggio, and Elba Island. For more seclusion, head to the Maremma coast where stretches of windswept beach remain blissfully uncrowded even at the height of summer.
While Florence sizzles in the summer, it remains pleasantly sunny in the hill towns of Chianti and Val d'Orcia. Position yourself on a vineyard patio with a glass of ruby-red Chianti Classico and take in panoramic views of rolling vineyards and olive groves. As the sun begins its descent in the late afternoon, the low angle light casts an ethereal glow over the landscape.
Sunny yellow hues dominate the architecture in many Tuscan towns, from the historic buildings of Siena to the sunflower-colored houses of Montepulciano. The abundant sunshine even left its impression on Tuscan cuisine. While the rest of Italy prefers tomato-based sauces, Tuscan cooks harness the power of the sun to make olive-oil based dishes taste simply divine. Savor sun-ripened tomatoes on focaccia in Lucca, feast on prosciutto and melon under the Tuscan sun, and toast your good fortune with sunny limoncello liqueurs.
As tempting as it may be to spend every waking moment basking in the warm Tuscan sun, the region also rewards those who step out of the spotlight. Find respite from the midday heat in a shady piazza or inside one of Tuscany's medieval cathedrals. Explore the cool, cavernous cellars of Montalcino’s wineries or walk the peaceful wooded trails around Lucca.
What else is in this post?
- Bella Italia! Stanley Tucci Savors La Dolce Vita Filming New Series Across Boot-Shaped Nation - Tuscan Sunshine
- Bella Italia! Stanley Tucci Savors La Dolce Vita Filming New Series Across Boot-Shaped Nation - Rolling Hills of Umbria
- Bella Italia! Stanley Tucci Savors La Dolce Vita Filming New Series Across Boot-Shaped Nation - White Truffles and Red Wine
- Bella Italia! Stanley Tucci Savors La Dolce Vita Filming New Series Across Boot-Shaped Nation - Amalfi Coast Dreaming
- Bella Italia! Stanley Tucci Savors La Dolce Vita Filming New Series Across Boot-Shaped Nation - Roman Holiday Revisited
- Bella Italia! Stanley Tucci Savors La Dolce Vita Filming New Series Across Boot-Shaped Nation - Cin Cin! Venice's Aperitivo Hour
- Bella Italia! Stanley Tucci Savors La Dolce Vita Filming New Series Across Boot-Shaped Nation - Pizza Love in Naples
- Bella Italia! Stanley Tucci Savors La Dolce Vita Filming New Series Across Boot-Shaped Nation - Gelato for Breakfast in Florence
Bella Italia! Stanley Tucci Savors La Dolce Vita Filming New Series Across Boot-Shaped Nation - Rolling Hills of Umbria
Beyond Tuscany’s borders, the undulating hills of Umbria beckon nature lovers with their unspoiled landscapes and slower pace of life. This charming region feels like Tuscany’s quieter, more mystical cousin. The Umbrian countryside unfolds in an endless patchwork of vineyards, olive groves, and sunflower fields dotted with stone farmhouses and sleepy hill towns perched on rocky outcrops.
In contrast to its more famous neighbor, Umbria remains largely off the tourist trail, with foreigners making up less than 3% of visitors. As a result, travelers will find themselves blissfully alone as they wander along quiet country roads and hike ancient pilgrimage trails. The region’s peaceful allure has even spawned its own adjective, “umbriago”, meaning to fall under Umbria’s tranquil spell.
Rolling through the Umbrian hills by car, bike or Vespa reveals an unchanged landscape that appears frozen in time. Gaze at the same bucolic scenes that inspired Renaissance masters like Perugino and Raphael centuries ago. Little wonder that St. Francis of Assisi chose these timeless hills as the setting to rediscover his faith.
Today, modern pilgrims continue to flock to Assisi, where they find spiritual renewal while following in the saint’s footsteps. Beyond Assisi, trace your own spiritual journey to the Franciscan basilicas of the Valle Umbra or seek enlightenment amidst the sacred geometry of Spoleto’s cathedral. For an adrenaline rush, paraglide over Assisi and float gently over olive groves and vineyards.
While Umbria may move at a slower tempo, its people are far from idle. Umbrians channel their creative energy into ceramics, textiles, and artisanal food products. Throughout the region, artisans keep ancient traditions alive, from Orvieto’s intricate mosaic woodwork to Deruta’s medieval pottery-making.
Umbria’s rich agricultural bounty also ends up on the table, with ingredient-driven cuisine sourced from local mills, vineyards, orchards and farms. Savor just-pressed olive oil, handmade pastas, and hearty lentil soups, washed down with Sagrantino wine from the Montefalco hills.
Bella Italia! Stanley Tucci Savors La Dolce Vita Filming New Series Across Boot-Shaped Nation - White Truffles and Red Wine
The sublime scents drifting from Piedmont’s woods point to one thing: white truffle season. From September to December, this costly culinary treasure incites truffle fever across northern Italy. During the height of the season, the rare white variants sell for up to $5,000 per pound!
Yet for all the hype, a humble tuber lies beneath the extravagance. The white truffle grows wild in the forests of Piedmont, Tuscany, and Umbria, fruiting underground among the roots of certain trees. Specially trained dogs and pigs sniff out these pungent nuggets, guiding handlers to the truffle’s hiding spots.
Once unearthed, the muddy truffles undergo careful cleaning and inspection before an expert determines their quality and market price. Only flawless specimens earn the title of Alba white truffles, named for the Piedmont town of Alba that hosts a massive truffle market each fall.
While white truffles are revered across Italy, it’s in Piedmont that they’re most exalted. At local restaurants, the raw truffles are shaved tableside over pastas and risotto, releasing their alluring aroma into the dining room. The truffles' earthy, garlicky notes employ the full aroma arsenal, rendering all other flavors obsolete.
Leave traditional truffle dishes to the experts and instead try white truffles on novel creations. In Bra, a local gelato artisan whips up white truffle gelato, its sweetness balancing the mushroom’s pungent flavor. Or visit a cheesemaker in Alba who envelops robiola cheese in white truffles, producing an indulgent, meaty cheese infused with truffle aroma.
To fully savor Piedmont’s white truffles, pair them with the region’s stellar wines. The hearty reds of Barolo and Barbaresco complement truffles with their nuanced flavors and delicate tannins. Savor slivers of white truffle over creamy risotto, then sip one of these complex yet elegant wines to experience an exalted taste of Piedmont.
Beyond the cellar, Piedmont’s rolling vineyards also host marvelous wine experiences. Walking or biking between vineyards reveals picture-perfect views of orderly rows of vines, with the snowy Alps looming in the distance. Stride up to tiny vineyard chapels to sample communion wine straight from the barrel, or wander into a vineyard shed where an affable winemaker pours his family wines.
For the ultimate view, hop in a hot air balloon at dawn to witness the sun cresting over endless vineyards.The Alba International Balloon Festival each October pairs stunning balloon rides with wine tastings and white truffle lunches prepared by acclaimed chefs.
Bella Italia! Stanley Tucci Savors La Dolce Vita Filming New Series Across Boot-Shaped Nation - Amalfi Coast Dreaming
The jaw-dropping Amalfi Coast has been inspiring artists and dreamers for centuries with its dramatic cliffs, pastel-hued villages, and shimmering Mediterranean vistas. As you travel the cliffside roads overlooking the sea, you’ll swear the saturated technicolor scenery is enhanced by Instagram filters. Yet the vivid blues and yellows exist in reality, almost too beautiful to believe.
This stretch of southern Italy excels at seducing the senses. Breathe in the subtle fragrance of lemon blossoms on the breeze. Pause to listen to the gentle lapping of waves against the rocky shoreline. Savor just-caught seafood like swordfish involtini and spaghetti with Colatura di Alici anchovy sauce. Run your hands over handmade ceramics with bright Mediterranean motifs.
Up and down the coast, photogenic towns beg to be photographed from every angle. Positano’s pastel houses cascade down towards the sea like a vertical neighborhood, linked by stairs and shadowy lanes. The larger town of Amalfi is famed for its striking cathedral with Byzantine-style mosaics. And cliffside Ravello draws visitors to its panoramic gardens overlooking the entire coastline.
Many liken driving the Amalfi coastal road to a rollercoaster ride with its sheer cliffside drops, blind curves, and narrow lanes. Instead, experience the coast by boat for a smoother perspective. On a small wooden boat, cruise into sea grottoes where the sun’s rays filter through crevices into the sparkling emerald water. Gaze up at Positano’s hillside homes looming overhead as you pass underneath arches and through sea tunnels.
Or retrace ancient maritime trade routes on a sailboat, tacking along the craggy coastline like merchant ships centuries ago. Stop to swim in hidden coves or enjoy lunch at a waterfront trattoria only accessible from the sea. For the ultimate view, charter your own boat or hop on a sunset cruise and watch the fading light set the pastel buildings aglow.
When the days draw to a close, make your Amalfi Coast dreams come true by staying in exquisite cliffside hotels. In Ravello, relax in tropical gardens next to infinity pools hanging over the sea. Or live out your Positano fantasies staying in a colorful cliffside room with panoramic sea views. Fall asleep to the sound of waves gently crashing on the rocks below.
Bella Italia! Stanley Tucci Savors La Dolce Vita Filming New Series Across Boot-Shaped Nation - Roman Holiday Revisited
As dawn's rosy fingers stretch across the eternal city, Rome comes to life once more. Vespas buzz down slender vicoli while locals sip cappuccinos at corner bars. The sounds of a city awakening echo across the streets - yet no cars crowd the cobbled lanes. In these precious early hours, Rome belongs solely to the romantics.
This is the city Audrey Hepburn fell in love with while playing a princess turned pauper in the 1953 classic Roman Holiday. The timeless scenes of Hepburn and Gregory Peck careening through Rome on his scooter epitomize the romantic ideals of La Dolce Vita. Sixty years later, travelers still seek out the movie's iconic locations to recreate their own Roman holiday.
Begin your cinematic tour at the Spanish Steps, which play a pivotal role in the film. While tourists pack the stairs by day, arrive at dawn to enjoy solitary views of the sleepy piazza. Stroll up to the Church of Trinità dei Monti perched above the steps, then sip cappuccino on the Piazza di Spagna as the first rays of sun wash over its rosy façade.
Hop on a Vespa to channel Hepburn and Peck's wild ride through Rome. Feel the wind in your hair as you zoom past the Colosseum and careen down the Via Veneto, once the epicenter of 1950s cafe society. This ride winds you through Rome's rulers from ancient emperors to “la dolce vita” era celebrities. Stop for a well-deserved gelato before visiting the Fontana di Trevi, where Hepburn joyously plunges her hand into the aquamarine waters.
As the sun climbs higher, head to the Palatine Hill, one of the seven iconic hills of Ancient Rome. Meander through the ruins as Hepburn did and channel her childlike wonder at this crumbling vestige of bygone civilizations. Descend into the Roman Forum to conjure images of vestal virgins, gladiators, and the emperors who once paraded down the Sacred Way.
End your stay with a secret picnic on the rooftop terrace of the Hotel Eden. This luxurious hotel featured prominently in Roman Holiday’s final scenes. Dine al fresco on regional delicacies as Rome unfurls below, a modern urban wonder built on the foundations of the ancient city. Raise a glass to the enduring magic of the Eternal City!
Bella Italia! Stanley Tucci Savors La Dolce Vita Filming New Series Across Boot-Shaped Nation - Cin Cin! Venice's Aperitivo Hour
As the fading afternoon light bathes Venice’s Grand Canal in a golden glow, bars and bacari fill with locals congregating for that beloved Italian ritual – aperitivo hour. All across la Serenissima, glasses clink and lively conversations flow as residents kick off their evening over nibbles and drinks. In Venice, aperitivo hour represents so much more than pre-dinner drinks. It’s a celebration of slowing down to savor life’s fleeting pleasures.
This daily happy hour anchors Venetian social life, providing a chance to unwind and reconnect after busy workdays. Friends, colleagues, and extended families catch up over spritzes and cider while snacking on cicchetti, Venice’s answer to tapas.Popular seafood cicchetti include crispy fried squid, shrimp skewers, or tender octopus drizzled in olive oil. And no aperitivo plate is complete without a few meatballs or chunks of creamy baccalà mantecato codfish paste.
At bacari like All’Arco and Cantina Do Spade, crowds spill out from tiny wine bars onto the street. Inside, customers pointing animatedly at the cicchetti case are served with amusing banter. bartenders slide drinks across the zinc bar and scribble customers’ running tab on paper tablecloths. Up and down Venice’s backstreets, this casual camaraderie plays out nightly during peak aperitivo.
Yet the best way to experience aperitivo hour is to simply wander Venice’s calli and campi as residents do.Duck into whichever tiny bacari tempts you with laughter and tantalizing scents drifting from within. Strike up conversations with fellow aperitivo lovers crowded elbow-to-elbow and you’ll soon feel like a local. Customers patiently waiting for counter space chat merrily with strangers about their days.
In this way, aperitivo hour brings Venetians of all ages and backgrounds together, strengthening social bonds. School kids tease each other over plates of fried seafood, while pensioners reconnect with familiar faces. And when the dinner hour approaches, new friends exchange warm “arrivederci” farewells until their next aperitivo encounter.
Throughout it all, Venice’s spectacular scenery forms the backdrop. Postcard scenes unfold along the Grand Canal, where vaporetti pull up to floating docks outside waterside bars. Locals sip spritzes on sun-dappled terraces in Campo Santo Stefano as the church’s bell tower looms overhead. Or wander narrow calli near Ponte dei Pugni lined with hole-in-the-wall bacari buzzing with pre-dinner revelry.
Bella Italia! Stanley Tucci Savors La Dolce Vita Filming New Series Across Boot-Shaped Nation - Pizza Love in Naples
The mere mention of pizza conjures immediate visions of Naples, its undisputed birthplace and spiritual home. Nowhere else on earth showers such adoration and devotion upon this humble pie. Neapolitans express their endless pizza passion in neighborhood pizzerias, boisterous family trattorias, and even in back-alley pop up stands.
To experience Naples’ feverish pizza worship, join the throngs at L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele. Since 1870, hungry crowds have packed this iconic pizzeria, drawn by Michele’s heavenly marinara and margherita pies baked in wood-fired ovens. Although the restaurant recently expanded, long lines still snake down the street filled with tourists and locals alike. Flavors remain true to traditional Neapolitan pizza, with hand-crushed San Marzano tomatoes and drizzles of olive oil anointing the perfectly charred crusts. Michele keeps toppings minimal to let the high-quality ingredients shine. Even at its busiest, the talented pizzaioli work with assembly-line efficiency, sliding hot pies into the oven one after another to sate the hordes. All dining rooms maintain the original vintage decor, paying homage to Naples’ glorious pizza past.
Equally beloved by locals, Pizzeria Starita slings their signature Neapolitan pies to three generations of customers in the lively Materdei neighborhood. Unlike at Da Michele, diners can watch the pizzaioli shaping dough and tending to the domed wood ovens. Patrons recommend starting with Starita’s signature montanara, an airy fried dough base topped with tomato sauce and creamy smoked mozzarella. Their decadent fritti pizza envelops fried bites of pasta, rice balls, and zucchini inside the blistered crust for a guilt-free sampler plate. Starita fills a cozy corner site, so expect to wait with the cooks until space opens at shared tables. Visitors find the gregarious staff and bustling atmosphere part of the pizzeria’s charm.
Bella Italia! Stanley Tucci Savors La Dolce Vita Filming New Series Across Boot-Shaped Nation - Gelato for Breakfast in Florence
In a city synonymous with art, architecture and delicious Tuscan cuisine, the passion for gelato reaches impressive heights. Forget 4pm being gelato hour, Florentines devour these creamy frozen treats morning, noon and night. While tourists queue up at big-name gelaterias near the Duomo, locals head to favorite neighborhood gelato shops for their daily fix. They'll gladly dig into gelato cones before their morning cappuccino or indulge in an after-dinner flavor explosion. But the time that gelato tastes sweetest? Breakfast.
Across Florence, bleary-eyed students stumble into gelato shops to kickstart their day with an energizing jolt of sugar. Banana gelato provides a nice potassium boost to get the brain functioning. Nutella or chocolate hazelnut gelatos offer a pick-me-up similar to chocolate croissants, but creamier. For school kids, breakfast gelato equates to eating dessert first! Adults also frequent gelaterias in the morning, grabbing tubs of yogurt-based gelato to eat at home with coffee. The lighter, less creamy gelato makes for a cool, refreshing breakfast. Even health-conscious Florentines enjoy gelato at breakfast, ordering fruit-filled gelato made with yogurt instead of cream. Tropical fruity flavors provide day-starters high in vitamin C. Rice gelato offers another lighter option, with its pureed rice base that resembles a frozen pudding.
Still, plenty of Florentines opt for more decadent choices in the morning hours. Pistachio remains an iconic breakfast gelato, whether enjoyed solo or swirled together with cream. Hazelnut still ranks high in the morning with its chocolatey undertones. And traditional options like creamy milk gelato or velvety stracciatella satisfy daily cravings.