One More Reason to Love Italy

In May, Scott and I celebrated our 20th anniversary in Tuscany, specifically Cortona and Florence.  We chose Italy, because it’s one of the most beautiful places we’ve ever visited, and the people are lovely and welcoming.  From the breathtaking views of the Tuscan countryside to the art, culture, and history of its towns and cities, Italy offers so much.  And, I haven’t even mentioned food or wine, yet!

Speaking of wine as well as the many reasons to love Italy, I want to share a recipe for an iconic Italian apéritif called The Spritz.  The Spritz is prepared with Prosecco wine, a dash of bitter liqueur such as Aperol, a splash of club soda, and an orange wedge to garnish.  We enjoyed this refreshing cocktail during our time in Florence and loved it.  Its light and citrusy flavors make it a summertime favorite!

I hope you enjoy this traditional Italian apéritif as well as a few highlights from our time in Tuscany! 🙂


The Spritz


One highball glass, white wine glass, or Champagne flute

3 ounces good quality Prosecco

1 1/4 to 2 ounces Aperol (An Italian apéritif made of bitter orange, gentian, rhubarb, and cinchona among other ingredients.)

1 ounce good quality club soda

Orange wedge to garnish


Fill a glass 1/4 full with ice cubes (enough to chill but not water it down).  Pour in the Prosecco and then top with Aperol.  Add the club soda.  Stir gently until mixed.  Add garnish.




**If you plan to visit Italy in the future, we would highly recommend Ricardo Teresi at  This tour group is knowledgable, experienced, and very friendly!  They can help you plan your perfect visit, including walking food tours, art and history tours, winery visits/wine tasting, and so much more.  

Also, if you’re looking for a memorable place to stay near Cortona, The Relais La Corte dei Papi is an original 17th century family dwelling that has been lovingly restored to create a hotel that caters for their guests’ every wish.  It’s an oasis of tranquility and peace ideal for the traveler who appreciates exquisite Tuscan food in an elegant, charming countryside residence. Please contact David Papi at 🙂


*These photographs are the property of Tonya Rieley Hengerer and may NOT be used or reproduced without permission.  Thank you.



  1. I savored every one of your photos. Thank you! When our daughter was married in Florence (by the mayor, at the Palazzo Vecchio) I was able to see a few things and get the history behind the story straight from the horse’s mouth, or should I say from the mouth of a Florintine. The small windows above all the stores on the Ponte Vecchio (in your photo) were where they stored all the important paintings from the Uffizi during WWII. Were you surprised that the painting of The Birth of Venus is huge? I was, just like I was surprised that the Mona Lisa in Paris is small (it should be in Italy). I’m glad your trip was wonderful! Italy is truly the trip of a lifetime.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Happy Anniversary, Tonya. Love the photos, especially those of gelato😊
    It’s impossible to replicate that in this country. Even in New York’s Little Italy or Arthur Ave in he Bronx. Can’t find it anywhere. I guess we’ll have to take another trip soon..:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, George. Our anniversary is actually in September, but we celebrated early due to our farm sitter’s schedule.
      I agree about the gelato. It’s good here, but not quite the same. 🙂 I think a trip to Italy is definitely in order. 😉 🇮🇹

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Looooove Italy and adored your beautiful retrospective in pictures. The apéro looks divine and I raise my glass to you both (rather late but here in France that’s fashionable 😉) for your significant anniversary and many, many more to come ☺🍾

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Italy is on my list of places I NEED to visit. There is just so much to breathe in and appreciate there. Your photos are lovely and really capture the beauty. Happy belated anniversary!

    Liked by 1 person

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