Italia Mia Lodge

Fun In Tuscany

May 15, 2012

Malgrate Castle – Malgrate in the Lunigiana

We took friends on a Lunigiana castle tour this weekend. The weather wasn’t bad. The surprise came at Malgrate Castle, where the normally empty parking lot was full, and a  tour bus had parked smack in the middle so that people had to gingerly back out of parking places. The unmarked and as yet untried Ristorante La Torre di Malgrate was animated with voices of coach tourists at 2:45 pm, which happens to correspond to the time we arrived. The castle opens at three. Well, it’s Italy, so 3:05. The tower, when observed in the right light, looks a bit ominous, as if stained with the blood of those...

Mar 25, 2015

Matera, Italy

Matera hasn’t changed a whole lot since I was last there many years ago to see its most spectacular festival, the Festa della Modonna Bruna. Hotels are still hidden in the monochromatic landscape. In September, the crowds aren’t so visible, although the restaurant we chose to eat at was fully booked at lunch, Ristorante Nadì. It was so good we booked a table for dinner. And they have the provocatively titled “crapiata”, a soup of grains and beans like ceci, fave, and white beans, drizzled with some spectacular olive oil. I’m now a crapiata fan. I wish we could get “I heart Crapiata” bumper...

May 08, 2015

The Best Way To Find a Quality Apartment

Last week, my nephew told me he was trying to find his own apartment. He said that he had been thinking about it for a while, because he really wanted to get out of his parents' house, but he really had no idea where to start. He asked if I would help him, and I told him I certainly would, because I have lived in several apartments in my time and have developed a really effective approach to find an apartment that will best fit your individual needs. He came over for lunch and then we went to work.

I told him that the first step to find an apartment was to determine what price range he found


May 16, 2015

Going For Break? Get To Know The Area first

Going outside, into nature to try a Skye ridge guiding experience, for example , or to a new place like Italy is always exciting. Especially if you are going to visit new areas and see new things – it is a trill that only true travelers can enjoy. But its an experience is twice as pleasurable when you discover it for the first time and this is why many people decide to visit new places rather than the ones they already know. However, going in new places can sometimes be dangerous. On the one hand some people say that researching the place you are going to visit kills the surprise, while others


May 25, 2015

Wow - Our Marketing is Taking Shape

We have recently just had some smart new presentation folders designed and printed - thanks to the guys at Ashgrove Trading - - and damn nice they were too. But, as well as making me think about marketing, the whole process got me to thinking about how you present your business and the importance of brand identity. Heres an interesting piece I found about the power of good presentation folders. Designing presentation folders does not simply involve choosing pretty pictures and pretty words. The good kind of custom folder printing requires a degree of finesse...

Aug 25, 2015

We've Been To A Wedding

One of my very dear friends was getting married last weekend in Tuscany - one of my favorite places in the whole world so, naturally, I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to go along and help them celebrate. I have known Sylvia and Pascal for over 10 years now and so it was with a little surprise that I learned they were finally ready to tie the knot. I had actually resigned myself to the fact that they would just grow old together outside of marriage - they certainly were the kind of couple that I could never imagine being apart but, having lived together for so long, it was something that...