Food Review: Bakery House Rome

So today i had a tweet-meet up with Diana the expat blogger who is behind the blog BrowsingRome  http://www.browsingrome.com/ and also creator and custodian of the BrowsingItaly website where the blog posts, experiences, advice and photos of other bloggers living in Italy are displayed.

It makes it alot easier to find advice, information and knowledge on places you might want to visit and get local tips which i have to say is such a wonderful idea!  http://www.browsingitaly.com/

We had been talking for a few weeks and decided it would be nice to meet finally face to face.

We decided to meet somewhere local in my area and i decided to finally try out the Bakery House which i had heard a lot of good things about.

We were meeting outside the place so it gave me 5 minutes to inspect their window which had lovely cupcakes in a ship theme which Peanut really liked and they all looked delicious!

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I had tried to have lunch here more than once before but their tables were always booked for 2 hours so i never got a chance. It does seem to book up pretty quickly so its always best to phone and book a table if you want to have lunch there!(its a popular place).

Luckily we were meeting for breakfast/brunch so we managed to get a table without much trouble even though alot of people where coming and going.

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Looking at their menu i noticed they do a lovely selection of food, we were spoilt for choice!

Breakfast you can order pancakes, french toast, muffins, cinnamon buns, scrambled eggs on toast, omelettes etc

They also serve brunch, lunch and dinner! They have a nice selection of bagel fillings ranging from chicken, cheese, salmon etc. Along with burgers, salads, more bagels, sandwiches and of course cakes. (hmmmm bagels)

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They also have a large selection of different tea’s and being a Brit i love my tea so adored this to bits! And so of course ordered a nice Early Grey hot tea which arrived with the tea bag at the side 🙂

1451971_10152707512798594_4871233307121143932_nAnother nice thing i noticed is they have a takeway and delivery service! So if you ever get a bagel craving you can have it delievered to your door!

We were their for brunch so as we parused the menu it took me a while to decide what to have as it all sounded so good!

So next my biggest question was what was i going to have?

Carrot cake, cheesecake, apple pie, double chocolate cake, key lime pie, donuts, chocolate brownies, coconut cake, chocolate truffle cake, scones, muffins, cupcakes, shortbread, banana bread! The list went on and on and it was all so very tempting!!

I decided on pancakes as they are always nice to try when i find them and of  course had to go for the maple syrup and also chocolate on top!

Diana went for french toast which looked really nice when it arrived but in my excitment i forgot to shoot a photo of it!

But luckily i did remember to get a few snaps of my pancakes before i began to eat them and they were very very good and filing! They came with fruit which were strawberries and blue berries and two little White jugs one containing the maple syrup and the other chocolate.

So i was free to put as much of each over my pancakes as i liked which was a little decadent and very yummy!

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Im getting much better at food photos as i have been practising which i will blog about another time 😉

And a big thankyou to Diana who took the above photo for me when i had my hands full with Peanut!

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We really enjoyed our brunch and i have to admit the pancakes were very good and i can see why its so busy all the time! It’s also made me curious about trying their lunch menu as well at some point.

Peanut did get grumpy at one point and wanted to sit on my lap and then Diana’s while i was eating as she just wanted to look around and join in. The place was child friendly like most Italian eating places and we even saw another couple coming in with a little boy at a similar age to Peanut as well.

It was nice to get out and have a chat with Diana and i really did enjoy our time togeather and learn about her blogging and expat life.

Im also glad i finally got to try Bakery House after hearing lots of good things about it from friends! I loved the modern look of the place and the fact you could buy things with the name of the place on.

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I was tempted to buy one of their fabulous looking cupcakes and Diana ended up buying a piece of Key Lime pie to take home! But in the end i bought one of the tea mugs which said Bakery House and love your mug on the other side as they looked so pretty.

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I loved the packaging it came in and the little ribbon also saying Bakery house on it 🙂 And once i got home and gave it a good clean it looked very smart with a nice early grey brewing inside!

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Me and Peanut walked Diana to the nearest metro station while we chatted away before she had to get home again. It was such a nice morning Peanut fell asleep while we were walking and when she woke when we got home looked around to see where her new friend had gone lol

Bakery House is a lovely place for a treat if you want to have something different, the food isn’t to bad price wise but i would book if you want lunch or dinner there. Its been such a success they are even opening another shop in another area which is Always good to know!

 

Bakery House                                           Bakery House

Corso Trieste 157 b/c                       Ponte Milvio
(Piazza Istria) Roma                               Via Riano 11, Roma
Telefono:
06.94377841

 

 

 

 

Visiting Sovana Tuscany

We decided to take a drive to a small village in the Tuscan countryside while on our holiday an hour away from where we were staying called Sovana. Me and Alex had been here several times before over the years and found it a nice little place to walk around.

It was a bit windy and chilly as we had had rain the night before and was due some more that same day. Arriving in the village we headed straight for the little local bar for a tea, coffee and a slice of there delcious freshly cooked pizza.

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Once we were refulled we set off round the village and had a look at the little shops and houses along the long road. Its a strange little village almost frozen in time with its medieval buildings and long street which carries you from the central anicent Church in the main piazza to the ancient cathedral at the end of the long Street.

The cathedral was built in 1000AC before the other Church and is one of the most important Roman monuments in Tuscany. It houses the sarcophagus of San Mamiliano who was the fifth century Bishop of Palermo and also traces of frescoes and various paintings inside.

As we carried on we came across the large old church at the end of the street and we also discovered some village cats and a kitten stalking about and playing. Again like many of the Tuscan villages i have visited cats seem to roam everywhere you go. Although the older cats kept their distance a small grey kitten was more than happy to come and play with us for a little while before we had to move on.

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We could see olive trees and a maze across the road from that cathedral at the Sovana Hotel and Resort which looked quite fun although no one was venturing inside on such a windy day with the threat of rain looming.

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On the main Street we found a leather worker who sells hand made handbags, belts, keyrings etc which is nice even to just browse inside and antquie shops to browse in and even a little toy shop.

There is also a few local jewellry shops including the Arte Etrusca which reproduce Etruscan jewelry in 18k gold and semi precious stones with the same old techniques!

It would be quite special i think to have a piece of recreated  Etruscan jewelry from the very region all their ruins are based. Something a little magical to call your own from this wonderful part of Italy.

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Also we found many restaraunts which boasted ‘ Cucina Toscana’ which means they serve tuscan food for you to enjoy if you get hungry. We did stop to look at the menu outside a few and all sounded good especially the homemade lasagna but we didnt stop to eat.

We also found a shop selling Tufo (Tufa) which is the local stone to the area of Tuscany and had been carved into different things including Pendants, benches, statues etc. This local stone has even been used to build many of the buildings in the region.

Heading back up the road it was quite windy but that didn’t stop the many swallows which were darting and swooping from sitting on the telephone wires. I must admit i have never seen so many swallows in one place and it was a pleasure to get my camera out and take photos for my photo blog!

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Next we stopped at the second old church which was in the main piazza and ventured inside for a few minutes with Peanut in tow. It was quite empty as we wandered about looking at the faded wall paintings before lighting a candle and heading outside again.

We found the Sovana Museo di San Mamiliano right next to the bar we had visited when we first arrived which exhibits many local finds including a hoard of Roman gold coins although you are not allowed to take photos.

10373101_10152627806098594_604011739737546025_oThen it was time to head home as the wind became quite strong and we knew our luck had run out with holding the rain off and so our adventure was done for the day.

Although we know there are also tombs and ancient Etruscan ruins to wander about just outside the town of Sovana which we didn’t do this trip to Tuscany but will get around to on our next trip.

 

 

 

A night with Rome River Tracks!

A few weeks ago i recieved a lovely message on my blog Facebook page from a fan who invited me to take part in an evening on the tevere river here in Rome with River Tracks.

His name is Domenico also an Expat here in Rome and last year he and his girlfriend Simona started an event here in Rome called Rome Tram Tracks! And just recently this summer they started River Tracks.

“These are evening excursions around the city with an aperi/cena, unlimited wine and a live concert (rock / pop, not too heavy / not too soft , Italian / American ” He told me.

I have to admit i was quite excited and intrigued at the prospect to experience a night on the river with them and see for myself what the evening would hold.

So yesterday evening me and my friend Angela headed to the meeting point for the boat along the banks of the river near isola tiberina.

The banks of the river were full of people enjoying the summer markets which stretch along for what seems like miles. You can buy many things here including food, clothes, bags, jewellery, etc and is something fun to do i the summer months.

It wasn’t to difficult to find the hostess who handed us our tickets before we waited with other excited passengers for the boat to arrive. There were a mix of Italians and expats and even a couple with a 6 month old baby which made me think that perhaps my Peanut would have enjoyed the adventure to.

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The boat was a little late in arriving but it gave people who were late time to arrive and get their tickets.

You knew the moment the boat was coming as you could hear the music playing and see the people waving and smiling as the boat began to dock.

We were greeted very warmly before being ushered into the boat where tables were laden with cold food for us to eat. I loved the touch of the record name place setting telling us where to sit, something we were told we were allowed to keep. It really did feel like a party atmosphere from the moment you stepped onto the boat and you couldn’t help but smile and get in the spirit.

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The food was pretty nice, starting with a cold pasta with pesto and a selection of cheese, a type of quiche, little rolls, prosciutto and a few other things. It didn’t make you feel to full but was enough to keep you satisfied for the evening ahead.

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This is when the wine began to be poured into glasses and you had a choice of red, white and also water.

I noticed right away that your glass was topped up quite quickly as the music began and they began to sing a mix of English and Italian songs.

I have to say when a song popped up that you knew and this was pretty much all the time you couldn’t help but sing along to.

And you were encouraged to sing along as you ate your meal as the hostesses continued to refill glasses and dance their way along the boat.

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I have never been on the river tevere before so it was very exciting also to watch outside the window as we began our journey.

I also liked the fact they told us they couldn’t be to loud until we passed the hospital on the isola tiberina which didnt take more than 5 minutes.

Once the food was eaten we were invited to go above onto the upper deck if we wanted to where the guitar player was standing and enjoy the view.

I did have to say ‘wow’ once i made my way up there with the river stretching out before me as another song began with the party, happy atmosphere overflowing. There were some incredible views from the boat and of course i had my camera with me for just such an occasion.

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The singer followed us up onto the deck singing the whole time as people began to dance, chat, drink and take in the amazing views. It did get quite busy up there but there were plenty of benches to sit down on and the slight way of the boat you didn’t really notice.

We past the markets on the river banks leaving them far behind, with people occasionally waving to us from bridges and the bank. Soon we were passing San Pietro, until we could see Castel Sant’ Angelo on our left.

Here the boat docked as the singer and dancers made their way onto the bank to have a boogie and invite us to join them and join in!

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Quite a few people got off to dance while me and my friend had a dance on the deck of the boat as onlookers from the road and banks watched. The music and the boat was attracting a lot of attention from passing people and others on the bank.

But you felt so swept away with the music and atmosphere you didn’t care who was looking as you boogied away.

Then it was back on the boat to dance and sing some more as the boat began to move again and the wine glasses were refilled!

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The fun was never ending as more songs were sang and everyone joined in as they took photos and selfies as the sun began to go down.

It was even more magical as the lights everywhere started to come on and brighten the gathering darkness as we headed back up the river the way we had come.

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We could see the lights of the market and knew our time on this wonderful evening had almost finished so it was time for a few photos of the lights and a quick selfie.

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I headed back down stairs to the band to take some quick photos while everyone was standing above and in the process got another lovely photo of the singer! My friend Angela danced all the way down the boat as she was stil enjoying the evening so much.

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Then it was time to disembark and lots of warm farewells from everyone as we left it felt like you were leaving an evening with friends. I loved the little badge we were given as well as a souvenir of the evening.

I really enjoyed the evening and it was a pleasure to have such an amazing adventure that we were still buzzing from the night on the way home. Huge smiles on our faces and a real feeling of fun and enjoyment from both me and my friend.

I even stopped to take another quick photo of the night market as we crossed the bridge.

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If you want a really fun and unique evening out in Rome this is the one for you!

I can be quite a shy person but this River Tracks evening had me singing and dancing and really enjoying the whole evening. Everyone was friendly and it did really feel like an evening with good friends and a magical way to see and experience the river Tevere here in Rome.

I would recommend this excursion to anyone who wants something a bit different and who wants alot of fun, wine and song!

If your interested in an evening out with them you can book on the Tramtracks website: http://www.rometramtracks.com

Im quite tempted now to persuade Alex that we need a night out experiencing their other evening out called Tramtracks and see if he will book some tickets!

(Tram Tracks is on a historic Roman Tram and drives past many of the city’s most beautiful sites – San Giovanni, Terme di Caracalla and a 15 minute stop for dancing and selfies in front of the Colosseo).

 

 

An afternoon wandering Pitigliano in Tuscany

Pitigliano is a beautiful medival town sitting upon a plateau the same rock that it is carved from in the Tuscan countryside in the Maremma region and over our holiday we decided to go and wander its streets.

We decided to drive to the town after lunch as it was an hour away from where we were staying. Again we had visited this town previously over the years but always enjoyed a visit there.

We managed to find a parking space about a 10 minute walk from the centre of the town as it was packed and busy with other holiday makers.

Many of the restaurants and bars where packed with hungry tourists as they sampled the local food which i must say looked mouth-watering as we walked past. There were other shops selling local beers, pasta, ragù and other foods you could buy along with touristy things like fridge magnets and other nic-nacs.

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I loved the little wooden shields and swords which i saw for sale for children along with the little childs bow with the sucker ends on the arrows they were so cute!

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As we ventured further we soon reached the little winding streets, with endless narrow pathways shooting of the main paths. Its almost maze like at first glance with little steps and stairs down these other passageways.

It has a very medival almost magical feel to it down these little streets and easily a feast for the eyes for any keen photographer as theres many an opportunity to take a photo here.

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Peanut was very excited as she carried on our walk and really seemed to enjoy the place and atmosphere alot.

We soon found the many balconies where you can see the breath-taking views and vantage points of the countryside below and even other parts of the town.

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I love the little Church we always find on our wanderings which happens to be the oldest Church in Pitigliano. The glass-stained window above the door is just beautiful.

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I have started to wonder that if like Rome many of these Tuscan towns keep cats both domestic and wild as good luck!? As again as we explored the steets we were watched by feline eyes.

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Playing at being tourists we took many photos of anything which caught our eye and even enjoyed a gelato along with others at a local gelateria.

And then it was a quick look at the shops to buy a souvenir for Peanut for her first family Holiday and nothing could be more appropriate than a cinghiale (wild boar). As Tuscany is famous for its wild boars and many of the tuscan dishes involve boar meat.

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I also picked up a few little things as gifts for friends when i got back to Rome such as patè cinghiale, truffle oil and regional ragù.

Pitigliano is a stunning town and worth the visit if your in the area and i have also heard even more magical at night when it is lit by spotlights. (something i would like to see one day).

You can easily sit at one of the bar’s, glateria’s or restaurants and watch the world go by. Or even spend your time exploring the winding streets and taking in the stunning views of the surrounding landscape.

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We didn’t have time to visit the Le Vie Cave (sunken roads) which were mile high pathways carved out of tufa (the local stone) by the Etruscans back in the bronze age. These are just outside the town down the hill and are amazing to explore.

But this is an adventure for next time we visit Tuscany!

 

 

 

 

Supermoon Photo’s Closest to the Earth Rome

Sunday August 10th which was last night was another Supermoon/full moon but unlike the other one i look photos of on the 12th July this moon was the closest it would be to the Earth this year. It was fantastic! Huge and Golden-ish in a clear night sky over Rome!

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Peanut and Alex came outside to see it as well and Peanut was very excited making little noises of excitment as she likes her night adventures! We also met other people from our building who were going out to view this very special moon as well 🙂

The next time the moon will be this close to the Earth will be next September on the 28th 2015 and perhaps we will be outside again for this one to.

Food Review: Trattoria Casa e Bottega Saturnia Tuscany

While we were on holiday in Tuscany we decided we would eat out once or twice while we were staying in the village of Saturnia. 10500332_10152636386618594_8697353276234824889_n

We had planned to go back to Mario’s which is where we had our wedding lunch several years ago. But another place caught our eye the moment we arrived as we had never seen it before and it looked very popular.

The name of the place was trattoria casa e bottega and run by a lovely couple from Rome. Having a chat with them we discovered they had run a restaurant in the heart of Rome for many years before deciding it was time to go somewhere else.

Alex bonded with the owner being another Roman and then the decision was made that we would eat there that same evening.

It was a lovely place open with white walls with the photo of Castel St Angelo and i loved their giant light bulbs on the ceiling they were huge.

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Looking at the menu it was a mix of Tuscan and Roman food so i knew i had to try a little of both. Going for something Tuscan i decided on the Pappardelle al ragù di Cinghiale which was a pasta with boar meat sauce.

Alex went for the same as me and we both had to admit when it arrived it was the best pasta we had ever had just after a few mouthfuls.

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Slightly full from the pasta we decided to have seconds as everything sounded so mouth watering on the menu. Alex went for the straccetti con rucola and i had the coda alla vaccinara which is cooked Ox tail and a very typical Roman dish.

Alex said his meat was just how his mother used to make it and he was instantly in love with the place just for this.

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I was slightly worried about my Ox tail as i had only had it once before in Rome when a friend had cooked it and it had been amazing. And i knew the meat had to be cooked for 4-5 hours so it became tender enough to eat.

But when it arrived i was not disappointed as it was heavenly! The meat was cooked to perfection and just fell away from the bone and it was in a wonderful sauce of tomatoes, onions and herbs.

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I was completely stuffed by the end of the meal and couldn’t even think about the dessert!

But we did decide to go back the second evening to try a few more dishes as we had enjoyed our first dinner there so much.

This time we tried their Carbonara which is my favorite Italian pasta dish and again it was amazing and everything cooked perfectly.

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Alex enjoyed their wine and again he decided to have his favorite straccetti con rucola which he couldn’t get enough of.  And this time i decided to have my favorite dessert tiramisù which again was the best i have ever had.

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The food was an authentic mix of Tuscan and Roman true dishes and not touristy at all. The place was friendly and so were the people who ran the place and i would really recommend it to anyone visiting the area. They were also child friendly and didn’t mind if Peanut got grumpy or if they had to serve the food one at a time for us as one of us would hug/hold Peanut while the other ate and vice versa 🙂

Luckily though she did get tired out in the end!

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Il Giardino dei Tarocchi – Tarot Gardens Tuscany

I had done a little bit of research before our holiday in Tuscany and had decided  that The Tarot Gardens would be an interesting and unusal place to visit while we were there. The sculptures i had read were large and colourful and something eye catching for Peanut to look at and it was only an hours drive away from where we were staying.

Happily our friend had seen this place on the internet as well and really wanted to go with her family to and so it was easy to have a group trip there one afternoon.

I have to admit the place did seem to be in the middle of know where in the Tuscan countryside in Capalbio but when we found it there were plenty of other people who had discovered it to.

It was 36c at 3.30pm when we arrived and unbearably hot but we covered ourselves with sunblock, popped on hats and braved the heat.

When we got inside the park there was a bit of a hill to walk up but plenty of shade to stay in and keep out of the sun which was good for Peanut.

Once we got to the top we also discovered a water spray where people could walk through it and cool off and this was a welcome sight especially for Alex!

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At the first glimpse of the sculptures i have to say i was quite amazed! I could see a Gaudi influence straight away as i have been to Barcelona and seen his work first hand.

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The sculptures were created by Niki de Saint de Phalle a french artist and they represent the 22 Major Arcana of the Tarot cards. She found inspiration in Gaudi’s work and wanted to create a place where man and nature could meet as one.

Each sculpture represents a different tarrot card like The Empress, The Justice, Tree of Life, The Devil, The Sun, The magician and many more.

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Alot of the designs on the pieces were small to make up a bigger design but all where eye catching and could easily have you standing and looking at each little piece which made up the whole for ages.

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All the pieces where huge and some of them you could even walk inside or climb steps to walk on top of them and view the other sculptures from atop them. It was quite awe inspiring and you found yourself slowly moving from one area to another wanting to experience the whole place.

At one point we moved into one of the buildings which was a sculpture itself so Peanut could get some more shade even though there were plenty of trees outside to provide it. Here we found a bathroom, bedroom and dinning room all bright and colourful for people to view.

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Another sculptured building had pillars with many different designs adorning them and stairs which lead you up so you could view the rest of the park and the other designs of this particular sculpture. There was also a fountain in the middle of the building with brightly coloured women providing the water from their mouths and chests.

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We spent about 2 hours discovering the whole place and even though its not big it takes you a while to explore all the many facinating sculptures and designs.

Peanut did get bored after a while but our friend’s bigger kids loved the place as they could run and explore this fairy tale park. So i would recommend it for kids from 3 or 4 years old upwards as i think it would go wild for their imaginations!

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I would also recommend taking water, sunblock, hats and perhaps going a little later than the opening time if your going in the heat of summer. It was a very hot day when we visited so did take its toll on everyone even poor Peanut who was hot and sweaty even in her t-shirt and in the shade of her stroller hood.

There is a little shop at the entrance/exit with little things you can buy with some of the sculptures on them like, note books, bags, pens and there is also a toilet for public use. We didn’t see anywhere there selling food so it could be an idea to take a picnic or snacks as well incase they are needed.

The Tuscan Tarot Gardens or Il Giardino dei Tarocchi is an interesting place to visit if your in the maremma region of Tuscany and want something different to do. We really enjoyed the place even though it was very hot the day we visited it but it was still alot of fun.

Its was 12 Euro’s per person to get into the park but under 7’s are free.They also are open from 1st April until 15th October from 2.30pm to 7.30pm.

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