Villa Coeur du Luberon is located within a short walking distance of the village of Lourmarin in the hills of the Provence region. Albert Camus, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature lived and wrote here, and is buried in the Lourmarin cemetary. The village is nestled between vineyards, olive groves and almond trees with clean air and a gentle serene Proven¨al ambience. The area offers opportunities for hiking, horseback riding, tennis, mountain biking or if you prefer, a Friday morning market. There are numerous cafˇ terraces, boutiques and restaurants. The villa itself has a beautiful covered ground floor terrace with a second terrace off the master bedroom. Denise is our representative in Rome, and does a fabulous job of managing a variety of wonderful properties there. Born and raised in Brazil, she moved to Italy nineteen years ago. She's always loved to travel so immediately went to work for an apartment rental agency in Venice where she learned the trade. At a Christmas party she met her fiancˇ Pietro, the relative of a colleague. Making the move to Rome seven years ago, she has fallen in love with the City of Fountains. She and Pietro are planning a spring wedding in the countryside outside Rome where her in-laws have a small estate. Her bright personality goes with her red hair to make her a star in your next travel memories.

3 Tbsp olive oil
2 medium sweet onions
(quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise)
5 oz dry-cured ham such as Bayonne or prosciutto
(trimmed and finely diced)
2 garlic cloves
1 bay leaf
3 chicken breasts
(cut in half crosswise through the bone)

3 whole chicken legs
(cut into drumsticks and thighs)
salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 c flour
1/4 c dry white wine
2 Tbsp Armagnac or other brandy
1/2 c water
1/3 c finely chopped and drained canned tomatoes
3 Tbsp heavy cream
1 Tbsp chopped parsley

Heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil in large cast-iron casserole. Add onions, ham, garlic, and bay leaf. Cover and cook on low heat, stirring occasionally, until cooked down and very wet, about 1 1/4 hours. Uncover and remove from heat. Working in batches, season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper and lightly dust with flour, tapping off any excess.

Heat the remaining olive oil in a large skillet. Brown the chicken pieces on high heat approximately 12 minutes. Using tongs, transfer to the casserole. Remove the skillet from the heat, discard the fat, and add the wine and Armagnac.

Carefully ignite the mixture and when the flames subside add the water and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits stuck to the skillet. Add tomatoes and cook, stirring, until thick and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in cream, season with salt and pepper and pour over the chicken.

Cover casserole and simmer over moderately low heat until cooked through, about 30 to 40 minutes. Transfer chicken to deep platter. Boil sauce over high heat, stirring, until reduced to 2 cups. Season and add parsley. Pour over chicken. Serves 6.

(Note: Dry-cured ham must be soaked in water before using.)

Siena, a spectacular medieval town built on 3 hills in central Tuscany, is known for its art and architecture. But it's also famous for il Palio, a popular festival and horse race. Begun in 1260 as a huge feast to celebrate victory after the battle of Montaperti and to honor the Blessed Virgin, the entire town turns out to celebrate twice a year, on July 2 and August 16. Piazza del Campo is the large central square that's transformed into an arena for the horse race.

Seventeen boroughs or districts within Siena are each represented by a horse and rider. Jockeys are dressed in traditional costume and compete for a painted silk drape. Preceded by a picturesque parade coming from the Government Palace courtyard and entering the Campo, you see the splendid costumes of each jockey as they wave flags and move slowly around the track to the sound of drums. The race itself is so exciting - to be immersed in the crowd all cheering and rooting for their champion, the horses and riders speeding around the track. It's the making of an unforgettable memory.

And then the feast begins; wow!

For the best limousine service we've found in Rome, contact Antonio. He has lived and driven in the city for over 25 years and speaks good English. His outgoing, friendly personality and knowledge of Roman history will immediately endear you to him. Reasonable prices and well maintained autos and vans make his service a must.

If you want a driver to take you to the Amalfi or even Florence, he's available with enough notice. He loves to take visitors on half or full day tours also, including the fascinating Appian Way just outside Rome.

Dear travelers and friends,

We would like to thank you all for the fantastic feedback you gave us after the first issue of our newsletter. Our staff has worked very hard to present the second issue of our monthly newsletter. We have kicked off this year with new listings of wonderful properties and many bookings.

We still have some great availability for large properties and quaint historical apartments. So, contact us now or check our site at It is always a pleasure assisting you with your travel plans and we appreciate your continuing support to help our world become a smaller, more peaceful village.

Kind Regards,

Emmanuel de Ricard, President

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