Winter is approaching and it is time to turn on the stoves, wear heavy sweaters and spend increasingly shorter days with loved ones. There is nothing better 1309772422229than beating the cold grey winter days with a warm bowl of Tuscan soup.

To prepare it, we will take advantage of the help of a dear friend from Ville in Italia. Her name is Roberta Paris, food lover and Tuscan born and raised, who enchants and delights Italians (and not only!) with the recipes from her blog called The Dreaming Seed.

With this traditional Tuscan recipe, she describes her experience.

The italian presepio

Italy has been a strong Christian based culture for generations and through the years has adopted Christmas into their traditions. Italy is known for its strong traditions, and people from around the world can easily share in their experience. An Italian Christmas follows uniquely region specific traditions that are respected by almost all the households in the country. If you're looking to spend your Christmas among warm, passionate people who collectively share in the festive season, then Italy is the place to be.

Oscar winning actresseffie-image-emma-thompson-dakota-fanning-600x421 Emma Thompson and the British art critic John Ruskin are united by a love of Venice which they both discovered at the age of 16.  They have never met – that would have been impossible as Ruskin died in 1900 – but they have been “reunited” on the big screen thanks to “Effie”, written by and starring Ms. Thompson, most of which was filmed in the famous city on the Lagoon.

The story focuses on John Ruskin and his stormy marriage to Euphemia – “Effie”- Gray.

Shopping in Tuscany can be an absolute delight, whether you're picking up handmade linens from a street market or unique ceramics with Tuscany 1.1244394567.window-shoppingdesigns from a tiny boutique. But have you considered spending some of your shopping time visiting some malls or outlets in Tuscany? You might be surprised by what you'll find.

We've unearthed a treasure trove of Tuscan malls and outlets that should please the most discriminating shoppers as well as those searching for bargains on quality goods. Though it's necessary to go a bit outside of Florence to visit these shopping centers, we think you might enjoy a brief break from touring the city's churches and museums.