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I love Italy guys, even more than Japan. Lived there for a couple years and have gone back many times for extended periods, I simply can't get enough of it's beautiful inconveniences. We went back to visit a few months ago and don't know why we ever left.

In 2004 my wife and I lived in villa in Isola Vicentina north of Venice owned by the Laverda's who founded an Italian motor cycle company. Our bedroom was above a tiny church dated hundreds of years old while our living room was above the Laverda's personal museum, the grounds featured artifacts from the roman era and the most delicious fruit.

Sorry for the over sharpened pics, FB chew's up images like this.

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Some pics of Rome, yes its touristy but if you know where to go and how who to hire it can actually be relaxing. I love the food. I love the people. I love Italy.

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One of the most beautiful things I've seen a crumbling city called Civita Di Bagnoregio in Lazio

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Cortona

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Osteria di Passignano a 1 star michelin rated restaurant located in the Chianti Classico region at an ancient monastery dating back to 395. Even today it is still inhabited by monks of the Vallombrosian order.

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If you anyone is going to Italy for at least 4+ weeks with a few bucks to spend look me up I will show you the way.

Instead of staying in a busy city in a hotel spend some time in a serviced Villa, actually cost less per night! this is one I rented for a week and my words nor these photos can describe how beautiful it is, totally private and better yet show your wife some crummy hotel pics then surprise her she will be in tears of joy, I hired a personal chefs on the day we arrived so worth it. These things may look expensive but it cost way less than staying in the city doing similar.

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We started the day by going to the town square in Greve to visit the butcher for tonights pizza toppings, after we visited a couple of delicious wineries and the town where the man who America is named after Amerigo Vespucci was from. The evening was finished with many bottles of wine and home made pizzas that we made back at the Villa.

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Other pics from the following days

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Of course florence, again don't do hotels stay in Chianti or nearby and taxi into the city for the day.

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We head back to Greve and visit a famous butcher then take our florentine steaks back to the Villa to cook. Guys grass fed florentine steaks cooked the right way rivals any Waygu, different experience totally but when done perfectly it's as mind blowingly good if not better.

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Siena and morning wine

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One thing I noticed was Italian men absolutely adore children, I've been all over and usually it's the women who pay attention to youngsters but in Italy waiters would feed my daughter, pick her up, sing to her every where we went. When you delete all the bulls**t in life I truly feel there is another side to us guys that is more connected to the important things in life.

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One of my favorite places on earth, Venice. Many people go here but they rush, they don't know where to go, they eat s**t food but there is another side to venice and a mindset & tempo to have when "being" here. I lived right up the road for a while, it took me at least 5+ visits to get my brain into that mode, sometimes it takes time to get into the groove of a place.

Stay inside venice, it doesn't have to cost a fortune if you know where to go, during the day thousands of people come in by boat but they all gotta be back by 5-6pm so after that it's empty and at night time is when the city is most beautiful so drink yourselves silly, sleep in the day and have at it in the evening!

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What a pleasant post to wake up to. Thank you!!

Please sir, may I have some more food... oh and another glass of Tignanello Per favore?

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Gotta go and eat something after seeing all of those photos! Yes I agree that Italy has so much to offer and a wonderful place to visit. Venice is a favorite, but the golf courses there have too many water hazards for my liking. The Italians make great cars - amazing clothes - the cuisine is sensational - it's all good....just wish they made golf clubs!!

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Not only beautiful locale, but the food pics, man, you're making my mouth water!

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Thank you for the write-up. Beautiful and well written. I've been to Italy a few times but after reading this, I don't think I've really been to Italy.. I'm a sucker for Brunellos and Super Tuscans so may have to plan a real trip with your expert advice Chris.

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Wow!!! Sensational! Would love to wake up to this everyday!!

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Thank you for the write-up. Beautiful and well written. I've been to Italy a few times but after reading this, I don't think I've really been to Italy.. I'm a sucker for Brunellos and Super Tuscans so may have to plan a real trip with your expert advice Chris.

oh yes sir a good brunello and super tuscan rivals anything from Bordeaux & cali the only issue is that Italy doesn't ship out the good stuff. I usually buy from wine.com and the best years and bottles are not on there. Chianti gets a bad rap in the states because there is so much bad and very few good but in Italy I swear the 5 euro jug is better than the $50 bottle in the states.

They say 2015 will be the best year in recorded history for the harvest in Italy of course its still another 2+ years before the 2015's are ready then collectors are pre ordering them like theres no tomorrow but if you order directly from the vineyards italian website and pay in euro and ship fedex you will have the good stuff.

Going to Italy or going anywhere for that matter just once or twice doesn't give you the full picture making it hard to have an authentic time. I have a theory on this...

Hawaii - Locals need to experience living like a full blown tourists in Waikiki, Luau's, nice resorts while Tourists need to experience life as the locals, 4X4 truck, fire on the beach, dog+ fishing from the shore, opihi picking, night tsubo, golfing in tee shirts on a cheap course with your own 12 pack and spam musubi's, hire a uke player to hang out and play music

Italy - tourists need to expereince an old old villa where almost everything doesn't work, gotta have a pizza oven and a small coal grill, truffle hunting with dogs and wine, a fire every night, eating, drinking all day long in places where there are zero tourists, hire a mandolin payer or chef to prepare meals. I've got so many off the road places to visit if anyone needs in Tuscany especially, so cheap, so good and so much food. I pitty anyone that chooses the four seasons or a luxury resort over this type of experience, they burn money and never really get to experience it.

In both Hawaii and Italy I think it takes a good 5-7 days to slow the mind down then things psychologically can heal or adapt.

Japan is a different story, I've lived there 3 years, been there more than 30 times since, I'm actually moving back in just a couple of weeks but I've tried the live like a local thing and it's nice in Okinawa and other places but really I like the hotel/ryokan/resturaunt/city drinking expereince the most. If anyone has suggestions for the authentic "local" experience in Japan let me know. I do like to get a serviced apartment with a kitchen and buy ingredients from Tsukiji and Daimaru's.

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2015 what region? Chianti Classio? I've bought as much 2010 Brunello as I could afford, best ever, but only opened one bottle yet. I'll have some good wine years starting 2020 or so.

A good friend of mine, Swede, has lived in Osaka for 16 years. He is not a golfer but an all-star drinker 😄 Maybe he has some ideas Chris

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great post Chris, thankyou

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2015 what region? Chianti Classio? I've bought as much 2010 Brunello as I could afford, best ever, but only opened one bottle yet. I'll have some good wine years starting 2020 or so.

A good friend of mine, Swede, has lived in Osaka for 16 years. He is not a golfer but an all-star drinker Maybe he has some ideas Chris

I was there in October and everyone was saying 2015 will be the best harvest in history and theentire Tuscany region is on fire for 2015. Last year there was a horrible harvest due to weather so make sure you don't go 2014's, 2015's weather is best on record when it comes to Chianti and Tuscan wines. Brunello 2010 is beautiful! I always order Conti Costanti Brunello di Montalcino 2010 from Wine.com and I also suggest highly Antinori Tignanello 2012.

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Tignanello, beautiful.

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