Can’t Get Enough of Italy?  10 to Follow on Instagram

Sometimes you can’t get away.  Instagram is a great way for a Virtual Retreat when life is busy but you need to feel the love of la dolce vita.  Here is my list of 10 people to follow on Instagram if you are looking for that fix. 

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Valentina Dainelli (@toomuchtuscany) informative and beautiful.  Mostly Tuscan based but she ventures out of her region occasionally.


Linda Martinez (@thebeehiverome)  An American who, through blood ,sweat and tears, has made her Italian dream come true. She owns a fantastic hostel in Rome and posts about the Eternal City, her second home in Orvieto and the wonderful guests who come through Rome.  Fun!


Elizabeth Minchilli (@eminchilli) Rome, Food.  Food, Rome.  And sometimes Umbria.  Gorgeous. 

Emiko Davies (@emikodavies) A stunning account.  She is a cookbook author so the posts are food centric but you will fall in love with Emiko, her daughter and her recipes.  A good follow.


Giulia Scarpaleggia (@julskitchen)  Giulia holds cooking classes at her home outside of Florence.  Spending the day with here is a treat.  Here Instafeed is fabulous.  Warning: Do not look at it when you are hungry. 

Laura Thayer (@ciaoamalfi)  — no one can ever get enough of Amalfi.   When I need a “beach day” I check out @ciaoamalfi.

Georgette Jupe (@girlinflorence)  Georgette has an eye for the everyday in Florence.  I love the way she captures the daily activities of life in the city.  And her beagle is adorable. 

Italophilia (@italophilia) Ishita covers the whole of Italy with a passion for the country and its culture. 


Turin Epicurean (@turinepi)  Lucia introduces you to her fabulous hometown of Torino through food and more. 


Ciao Tutti (@blogciaotutti) a Dutch blog covering all of Italy.  Great images and observations. 

If you haven’t checked out my Instagram account yet, I would love to have you follow me:  @italy_lesperta.  Mostly Italy, some family and dogs.  Let me know if you have a favorite Instagram account.  I am always looking for new (to me) ones to follow.

The Food of Romagna - A Photo Essay

Nothing tastes good. It may be that I am still jet lagged or that the bug that was being passed around our little group of bloggers made its way to me. Or maybe it's that once one feasts for four days straight and is treated to three hour banquets of fresh, delicious food, the need to eat is really secondary for quite some time.   So while I munch on toast, apples and baked potatoes back here in the States, I will dream of the glorious food of the Romagna.  I dare you not to drool....

Passatelli - A Romagnolo tradition

Passatelli - A Romagnolo tradition

It takes a lot of restraint to eat only two!

It takes a lot of restraint to eat only two!

Our picnic in Santarcangleo

Our picnic in Santarcangleo



ravioli with juniper berries

ravioli with juniper berries

a sweet finish

a sweet finish

I will be featuring the recipes and stories from my most excellent adventure on the blog over the next few weeks so stay tuned.  I am really #lovingromagna and can't wait to introduce you to the people of this beautiful land. If you are looking for another drool worthy post, check out my fun adventure on Context Travel's Florence for Foodies tour. 

The Wine Store Wanderer


I love wine. Red, White, Sparkling- it’s all good as long as it’s not too sweet.  With all apologies to my dear sister-in-law Linda, I do not drink Moscato or White Zinfandel or anything that makes me reminisce back to my high school years of drinking Bartles & Jaymes wine coolers.

The beauty of travelling in Italy is that I usually just go for the house wine and it is always pretty good and pairs quite well with the local food.   When I do buy bottles, it is often times at a vineyard and I have just tasted the wine that I am about to purchase.  That really does take the mystery out of the whole process. 

Shopping for wine at home is a totally different story.  Sure, I have my favorite go-to wines. But sometimes, I really would like something new and different and I wander aimlessly through rows and rows of bottles, inspecting every label and in the end coming home with the same wines I always buy.  I curse myself every time, longing to be more adventurous, wishing that the liquor store had a wine guardian angel to guide me along in the process.    Thankfully, all that has changed.

Now I have a wine guy. His name is Gary.  Those of you in the social media world have heard of him I am sure.  Gary V. has a new venture on Instagram and I encourage you to check it out.  It’s called Wine Deals and everyday (often a few times a day), he posts a deal on a wine that he has selected.  He describes the wine, the nose, the taste and what it will pair well with.  All you do is follow the link in Wine Deals Bio, enter the promo code and fabulous wine is delivered to your doorstep with free shipping.   This week I got four bottles of Tuscan red for $27.   I trust Gary’s assessment of wines.  He is honest and down to earth.  This is not Wine Spectator.  It’s wine for real people.  

Check out wine deals on Instagram or at Wine Library.

Thanks Gary for making my Friday family dinner even better!  Salute

What are you drinking this weekend?  Let me know in the comments below.