Unseen Tuscany

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Short Coffee Dictionary

double espressoEspresso coffee, today well known throughout the world, was invented in 1884. The machine which produced it was patented by Angelo Moriondo of Turin. The invention was then covered by International Patent after being registered in Paris on the 23rd of October 1885. 17 years later, in 1901, the machine was improved by Luigi Bezzera of Milan, who patented his improvements. In 1938, Cresemonesi introduced a piston based espresso machine, which eliminated the burnt taste associated with the steam pressure units.

Celebrate New Year on March in Tuscany!

Capodanno-fiorentinoNew Year is the time at which a new calendar year begins and the calendar’s year count is incremented. In many cultures, the event is celebrated in some manner. The New Year of the Gregorian calendar, today in worldwide use, falls on 1 January, as was the case with the Roman calendar. But there are numerous calendars that remain in regional use that calculate the New Year differently!

Italian Recipe. Herbs in Italian Kitchen and Pesto Sauce

basilIt’s difficult to imagine Italian cuisine without the distinct flavor of fresh herbs.


Basil is an essential herb in Italian cooking. Crushed basil leaves combined with oil, garlic, and pine nuts create a delicious pesto sauce. Basil is the perfect compliment to the flavor of tomato sauce, and works well in pasta dishes. Fresh basil is also commonly added to sauces, marinades, and soups.

Week‘s Place: Magic Accona Desert in Tuscany

Accona desertThe Accona Desert (It. Deserto di Accona) is a semi-arid area in Tuscany, in the center of the so-called Crete senesi, in the west and the south of the comune of Asciano. It is characterized by calanques and dome-shaped formations locally known as biancane (deriving from Italian bianco, white, due to their light shade).

According to the Peveril Meigs classification this is a semi arid landscape due to the low rainfall which is less than 600 mm yearly. Consequently vegetation is scarce, instead there is a lunar like landscape. The area has carried this name since the middle ages and was depicted in the frescos of Buon Governo di Siena.

Fast and Furious: Circuits and Racings in Tuscany

Motor Racing - Formula One World ChampionshipSunday 17 March the 2013 season of F1 World Championship will start again in Australia, very far from Tuscany but this will give us the chance to speak about Tuscany and motorsport. The connection is more tight that you can think. First of all with Mugello circuit, the biggest track of the region, a place where a fan of motorsport can find something exciting almost every day.

So while weekends are often full of important races (first of all the Italian round of Motogp), in other days you will be surprised to find some Ferrari F1 riding on the track. In fact the circuit is property of Ferrari, and it’s where the test team with Marc Gene and Pedro De La Rosa makes most trials.

Italian Recipes. Real Italian Lasagna alla Bolognese

lasagna alla bolognese by www.giallozafferanoLasagne is a wide, flat pasta shape and possibly one of the oldest. The word also refers to a dish made with this type of pasta with different sauces and baked in the oven. As with most other types of pasta, the word is a plural form, lasagne meaning more than one piece of lasagna ribbon.

There are few theories on the origin of lasagne, two of which denote an ancient Greek dish. The main theory is that lasagne comes from Greek λάγανον (laganon), a flat sheet of pasta dough cut into strips. The word λαγάνα (lagana) is still used in Greek to mean a flat thin type of unleavened bread. Another theory is that the word lasagne comes from the Greek λάσανα (lasana) or λάσανον (lasanon) meaning “trivet or stand for a pot”, “chamber pot”.

Michelangelo Buonarroti and Florence

Michelangelo-Buonarroti_cropOn March 6, 1475, in a tiny Tuscan village of Caprese Michelangelo, the most famous artist of all times Michelangelo Buonarroti was born. Michelangelo was a universal renaissance artist – painter, sculptor, architect, poet, engineer, recognised as an artist while he was still alive and called “il divino” (English: the divine). True, he was also known for his foul temper – he was constantly quarrelling with other artists and clients, even the Popes of Rome. On the occasion of genius’ birthday, UnseenTuscany.com gives you a brief synopsis of his life and works that you can see during a visit to Florence.

Caprese MichelangeloThe Buonarroti family, who were occupied in banking and marketing in Florence, were known since the 13th century. In the 15th century, the family was going through a difficult phase, Michelangelo’s father was appointed as the elder of a tiny village Caprese. After the birth of the artist, the family moved to the suburbs of Florence. Michelangelo’s father sent his son to Florence to study grammar with a teacher Francesco da Urbino. However, Michelangelo was more interested in art; he was painting and tried to get acquainted with the Florentine artists. In order to deter Michelangelo from arts, his father even beat him. Nevertheless, the stubborn Michelangelo had his will, got acquainted with Domenico Girlandaio and became his apprentice. Later Lorenzo il Magnifico personally took care of a young genius.

After several long trips to Rome, in the 1501s Michelangelo returned to Florence, where he was already known as the author of ‘Pieta’. In Florence he got involved in the process of creating ‘David’ and at the same time was busy with the sculptures of Siena cathedral. The ‘David’ was completed in about two years and now this unique sculpture can be seen in the Galleria dell’Accademia in Florence.

Accademy GalleryIn the 1518s Michelangelo returned to Florence and began the decoration works of the San Lorenzo church facade. He went to Carrara marble quarry to look for proper stones, but the project was ended until it was begun – Pope Leo X withdrew it due to the lack of funds. The Pope offered to take another project – to create a mortuary chapel for members of the Medici family and the Laurentian Library (Italian: Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana) for the collection of the manuscripts that belonged to the Medici, located in the Basilica of St. Lawrence (which lacks a façade to this day).

In 1529 Michelangelo was appointed as one of nine republican officials, responsible for the design and implementation of defensive bastions and other fortifications. The main task for Michelangelo was the fortifications of the most important Florentine fortress on San Miniato hill.

Michelangelo was invited to paint a huge fresco in the restored Palazzo Vecchio Palace, but this project was never realized. True, you can now see his sculpture ‘Genio della Vittoria’ in the main hall of the palace.

tomb of michelangeloMichelangelo died on February 18, 1564, just before his 89th birthday. During his long life Michelangelo worked for 7 popes, survived the great geographical discoveries, the Reformation, the seizure of Rome in 1527, the collapse of the ideals of the High Renaissance and the establishment of Mannerism in art, the announcement of Copernicus’ Heliocentric theory. He was never married and did not have any children. Church authorities hoped to bury him in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, but Michelangelo’s family almost secretly transported his body to Florence in order to satisfy his lasts will: ‘take me back to Florence, when I am dead, because I cannot go back there while I am alive’. Michelangelo was buried in the Basilica of Santa Croce in Florence, where his tomb remains till today.

Italian Recipes. Spring Lunch

PinzimonioSpring is already popping up! So we’ve decided to recommend a menu that matches perfectly with the season. Let’s start with a simple and tasty starter.

Pinzimonio – Fresh Vegetables

Remember this is a simple antipasto or something to nibble during your cocktails.  Keep in mind the one thing that counts is the quality of your vegs and olive oil!

Easter in Florence: Highlights, Carriage Explosion, Easter Lunch

carro by firenzecuriosita.blogspot

Those who want to commemorate Easter and to celebrate the rebirth unusually and interestingly can undoubtedly choose Florence. Easter in Florence is not just an acquaintance with one of the most beautiful Italian cities and its architectural and artistic monuments, but also a touch of local traditions, customs and food. Thus UnseenTuscany.com will tell you about the spots that are worth seeing, about the carriage, which is the most important attribute of the feast, and of course, about the traditional Easter lunch in Italian style.