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Bagna Cauda,Tuscany, Italy Dipping Sauce Recipe
Speed limits in Italy will be clearly marked and the Rotary will be a welcome site with its directions to various towns.  Gassing up is similar to US with credit card and automatic shut-off at modern pumps. Car rental are available in all large cities . Italian law states that you should have an International Driving Permit although the rental car companies will ask only for your home State drivers license and passport
What To Wear in Italy:
Rome is warm year round so you can keep your wardrobe simple  to travel light and flexibly.
Rome and Florence are sophisticated cities and could require formal dress in some restaurants (Necktie suit jacket, dress)   The hilltop towns will be casual dress throughout.
Rome has a climate similar to the mid USA at sea level, cool Dec. and  Jan. 40s but no ice or snow, warm summers, June July August, 80s  possible light rain in Spring.
Pisa is north of Rome on the Mediterranean Coast  Best months May June, September October. Crowded July August
Tuscany Photos by Len Delory
Tuscany occupies nearly 9000 square miles of north central Italy north of Rome.  
Sections of several of Tuscany's notable places including the
Val d'Orcia Artistic, Natural and Cultural Park  near Castelmuzio in Sienna have been made UNESCO Sites and thus are protected from development:
Other protected sites Central
Florence, the central square and Cathedral of Pisa, the center of Sienna,  San Gimignano's central plaza, and the town of Pienza.

Castiglione d'Orcia, Montalcino, Pienza, Radicofani and San Quirico d'Orcia,
make up the Val d'Orcia
History
Tuscany and its fertile valleys was first settled in 1500 BC.  Later in  the 8th century BC the Etruscans settled the area and gave it its name.
Many museums in the area have Etruscan artifacts, sophisticated pre-Roman art involving advanced metallurgy.
By the 2nd century BC, the Romans had taken control of Tuscany.
Art and Architecture
The cities of Tuscany, particularly Florence and the wealth of its merchants, gave momentum to the Renaissance.  The wealthy merchants of Pisa, a port city, and of Florence, commissioned works by great masters that now reside in the museums.  Architectural masterpieces in Florence and Pisa resulted from the success of Tuscan bankers and merchants during the Renaissance.  Illustrious Tuscans were Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Dante, Galileo, and the painter, Botticelli.
The Medici, a banking family from Florence, commissioned many works of art.
A hike to the hilltop town can be a good day hike with a picnic at the top
A day hike to the top of the hilltop village can offer some sights and good views of the valleys.  
Castiglione d'Orcia, Montalcino, Pienza, Radicofani and San Quirico d'Orcia, make up the Val d'Orcia Artistic, Natural This region is noted for agricultural  tourism.  Visitors can and biking opportunities.
Italy, Dipping Sauce: Bagna Cauda

This is an anchovy and garlic sauce that will lend saltiness and the pungent garlic taste as a dipping sauce
served at the Tuscan table.

•        4 to 5 cloves of garlic peeled and crushed
•        4 to 5 ounces of anchovies.  Drain and rinse in water to remove salt to your taste. (optional)
•        2 tablespoons of butter.
•        Pinch of fresh ground black pepper
•        ½ to 1 cup first cold press olive oil

Sautee the garlic and the anchovies in olive oil.  Add the 2 tablespoons of butter and continue to mix until
the anchovies break apart and become sauce like. Add the black pepper and mix while heating.  Vary your
use of garlic and anchovies to taste.
Serve this warm fondue-like for a center table dip or in individual warmed ceramic sauce bowls. Dip celery
broccoli, endive, onion, cheese wedges, pepper slices,  and other vegetables.
Italy, Dipping Sauce: Bagna Cauda
This is an anchovy and garlic sauce that will lend saltiness and the pungent garlic taste as a dipping sauce
served at the Tuscan table.
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