The Piazza of Beautiful Thoughts

Before arriving in Florence, I spent a weekend with my family in Rome. My cousins, Monica and Rossella picked me up and we drove out of the busy city to explore places that are out of the tourist radar.

After having spent most of the day visiting an ancient Abbey and charming artist village, we made a stop in Toffia, about an hour from Rome. The city seems to emerge up and out of the limestone cliffs.

We explore. Which means we walk around in the very quiet vicoli (extremely narrow streets) as the late afternoon sunlight illuminates ochre walls in that particular way that makes me happy I am alive.

Suddenly, we enter a tiny but open place called Piazza del Bel Pensiero (piazza of beautiful thoughts).

With my family in Rome


I am struck by the smallness of a space that has been named for a limitless, expansive idea. I find myself wanting to linger there. There is no café, no shops – nothing to distract you. It invited me to pass through it slowly and it seemed impossible to do that without a beautiful thought of some kind surfacing in my mind.

These kinds of moments are the joys of Italy for me: encountering stunning beauty which then inspires even more beauty – through thoughts rising, where dreams are born, leading to the emergence of creative results: music, words, sculpture, cooking, etc.

I learn that Toffia (founded 949 AD) is well known for its theatre, music and art colony. A five-day annual festa in August attracts 3,000 people a night there to experience what the fewer than 1,000 permanent residents have created from having so many beautiful thoughts.

I am now carrying this Piazza with me – a sort of Piazza of the mind and heart – a place I can visit anytime I wish.

I go there when I think about how I want people to feel when they come with me on the Aria excursion, for example - this intention to share the simple, elegant and exquisite beauty of my ancestral homeland with those who will meet me in the Piazza.

Your Villa Awaits

Private Winery and Tasting

Your Villa Awaits

Private Winery and Tasting


Aria Spring 2018 Excursion

Saturday to Saturday, April 7 – 14

Limited to ten persons.

Spend 8 days with me as we explore Florence, Carrara Quarries, Wineries, Chef Prepared Tuscan Meals in your Villa, Luxury Transportation, Puccini Home and Concert and much more.

$6,600 per person, all inclusive except airfare. Put your own group together and receive a group rate!

Visit Tuscany without stress. We take care of everything so you can savor every beautiful moment.

Fall Aria Tour

Holiday Event: Nestle Inn, Downtown Indianapolis

Saturday afternoon, December 2nd at the lovely Nestle Inn. Come for a glass of wine, some Italian inspired treats, taste the new 2017 harvest of organic Tuscan Olive Oil and check off a few things on your holiday shopping list.

Carol has brought back handwoven linens and hand carved olive wood culinary items from her ancestral hometown. Registration required and fee includes olive oil to take home!

This is the color of authentic Italian Olive Oil

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  • Allegra says:

    You continue to amaze me

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