Inspirational Women, Tuscan or Not – Moving Experiences Working With Women

I often receive questions about why I choose to work mostly with women and have so many women clients. For starters, I truly enjoy working with women and helping women in business.

 

Don’t get me wrong: I LOVE men. I raised two sons as a single mother and I have a husband of two years whom I adore.

 

Let’s face it – men don’t need as much help in the world of business as women do. Plus, women have a special way of connecting…

 

I have a few criteria when I am looking for collaborators, male or female:

 

  1. They love what they do
  2. They are good at what they do
  3. They are professional
  4. They work well with people
  5. They have a sense of humor

Once these basic standards are met, I do everything possible to help them succeed.

 

This approach works for me in Tuscany as well as at home in California and has offered me the opportunity to connect with some fantastic women. Read more

Tuscany Celebrates 150 Years of Puccini

This year, throughout the province of Lucca in Tuscany, there are many celebrations to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the birth of native son Giacomo Puccini. You will find musical and commemorative programs in Lucca (where Puccini was born) in Celle Puccini (the small hill town where he vacationed as a child), in Viareggio (where he had a villa at the beach), and in Torre Del Lago Puccini (where he resided for over 30 years, wrote all of his operas except for Turandot and was ultimately laid to rest).

Every year during the summer months, you can attend the annual Puccini Festival in Torre Del Lago Puccini. The festival features productions of Puccini operas in a spectacular open-air theater setting worthy of the composer’s genius—on the shore of Lake Massaciuccoli with the Apuan Alps in the background. The newly renovated Torre Del Lago Puccini Opera Theatre was recently inaugurated to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the Maestro’s birth.

Last night a friend and I went to this opera theatre for the viewing of a mini-series on the life of Puccini. Many enthusiastic people attended this showing. We did not see the whole thing unfortunately as it started at 10 and continued to 2 or 3 in the morning (these are true fans!).

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About Colorful Tuscans and Their Beloved Tuscany…

The Tuscan people and lifestyle gently and joyously embrace each visitor and leave a permanent imprint on the heart.

Thousands of years of civilization and a long history of resurrections has left the wise and weathered Tuscans with a balanced, joyous approach to life: One has only to observe and be aware… the old person whose squinting, time-worn eyes twinkle as he chuckles and squeezes the cheeks of his impeccably swathed, gurgling grandchild nestled in a beautifully-crafted baby carriage; the expressive women singing melodiously in their courtyards or at their windows as they hang out their wash creating a brightly-colored, patchwork of designs that decorate the buildings and add cheer to the scenery; the vendors laying out their merchandise – from copperware to vegetables – to expose the “best face” of their offerings; the bakers arranging their deliciously aromatic loaves of freshly-baked breads with great care; the proud, protective mothers that mingle and hover over their children as they gleefully play together in any given piazza; the passionate lovers – seemingly everywhere – who kiss in the middle of the street, under balconies, down the alleyways, in front of stores and while shopping for groceries; the rosy-cheeked, zealous joggers, cyclists and exercisers- some stopping to light a cigarette at the end of their routine –getting ready to live another day; a typical Tuscan day replete with a succession of small, significant sensations that will turn into lasting, cherished memories. Read more

Football in Italy – Of Helmets and Pointed Balls – Or Not

The UEFA Euro 2008 (European football championships) last week reminded me about the subject of football in Italy. There are 3 things Italian males brag about as their areas of expertise: Women, politics and football (soccer), not necessarily in that order. I won’t make any judgement calls here. Let’s just say I think most are more passionate than savvy about all three…

Back to the European championship: Italy was eliminated before the finals and Spain ended up winning the cup. This is great for the young Spanish team as they had not won the European Championship for about 40 years. This was not so great for Italy. In fact, it felt like a day of national mourning here.

However, this defeat did prompt coach Lippi from my home town of Viareggio (the coach who led the team to the World Cup title two years ago) to re-enter the arena as coach of the Italian Naional Team. Because of this, Italians are once again hopeful for the future of their national team called “Gli Azzurri” (because of their royal blue team color and jerseys).

If you engage in conversation with a European about soccer, remember this: In Europe people do not call soccer “soccer.” It is called “football” (they view it as the original version). They are not thrilled when someone calls it soccer. The football played in the U.S. is called “American Football.” Read more