Monday, September 5, 2016

Italy Blog #47 - On the Road to Rome: Olives, Terra Cotta and the Church of the Flea?!?

In the last Italy blog we showed you a pretty spectacular view of the city of Florence from a hill. In this blog, we've left Florence and had a driver who took us to Rome. However, along the way we made some interesting stops. Today we'll tell you about Chianti country and a "Church of the Flea."
   On Sunday, May 15, 2016 our driver Allessandro picked us up at our hotel and we began our day-long trip to Rome with some interesting stops that most people wouldn't likely know about.

 olive groves and vineyards. Credit  The
WHAT IS CHIANTI COUNTRY?  Chianti is one of the most attractive territories of Tuscany, Italy. The panorama of holme oak, pine and chestnut forests, olive groves, vineyards and cypresses, its steep hills and the red-tiled roofs of the farm houses make it instantly recognizable.(Thanks to for the description). Allessandro told us that the region is characterized by the silver-green olive groves, vineyards, and small stone cottages.

OLIVE GROVES ABOUND! As we drove south from Florence on our way to Rome there were countless olive groves. Most of them seemed to be bordered by tall trees that looked almost like arbovitaes. (Since we were driving and I couldn't get a non-blurry photo of the olive trees, I found one on the Internet that resembles what we saw).
DO YOU KNOW THE VARIETIES OF ITALIAN OLIVE OIL?  Toscana,or Tuscany in English, is considered the classic olive oil region of Italy by many.  The oils of Lucca and the Chianti regions of Toscana are best known.
  The oils produced in the area around Lucca, near the coast, tend to be yellow, light and fluid. In the Chianti region, near Siena in the heart of Toscana, the oils tend to be more green, and spicy with hints of artichoke and pepper.  Further south in the area around Montalcino, the oils tend to be deeper colors, more rustic, and more intense flavors. (Info from

Rob and Tom waiting to go to Rome
TERRA COTTA - Impruneta is famous as the main center for terracotta manufacture in Tuscany and, in the past few years, it has also become well-known for production of hand-painted ceramics, art and architecture.

CHURCH OF THE FLEA - We stopped at an ancient church (in need of restoration) called "Santa Braggio" Allessandro said it means church of the flea. Of course, we don't know if he was kidding us, but it was pretty well run-down, smelled musty and appeared "flea-bitten"!  Neither of us remember taking pictures of it, but we certainly remember the name of it!


Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

About us

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!
Wondering what home project to do next