Sarah Humphreys

Sarah Humphreys fell in love with Italy on holiday in Florence 20 years ago. She has lived in Pistoia for 14 years, where she teaches English and lives in a room with a view.

Articles by the author


Jousting in Pistoia

Although less well known than Siena’s Palio, Pistoia’s annual Giostra dell’Orso (‘bear joust’) is a spectacular event, steeped in centuries of tradition, and a delightful outing for the entire family.   On July 25, 2012, about 4,500 spectators crowded into Pistoia&


Singing the joy of spring

Cantar Maggio is a tradition that almost certainly dates back to Etruscan and Celtic rites of spring. Anticipating fertility and a good harvest, it was celebrated by farmers and mountain residents all over Italy for centuries. Yet when it was banned during the years of Fascism, this tradition was at


Are you game?

If you are a meat-lover and looking for a menu with a difference, La Coppiola in Pistoia is the place for you. Painted a vibrant orange, the colour of Pistoia's football team, and simply furnished, it may look like your run of the mill Circolo Arci (Associazione Ricreativa


Let the good times roll

Each year, around the second weekend of July, the quiet medieval town of Pistoia  starts to transform. Cowboy hats and boots are sported around town, guitars slung over shoulders and even the smallest grocers set up beer pumps and vats of sangria outside their shops. Strains of guitars and


Robert Nordvall

It is probably fair to say that majority of expats come to live in Italy for work or romantic reasons. Robert Nordvall is quite a different case. Nordvall, known locally as Bob, was born in the Chicago area. The family of his mother, Carmella Craglione, was originally from Luccare, now


Art worth the effort

Pistoia and the surrounding area are brimming with examples of modern and contemporary art. However, finding them requires a certain amount of effort and patience. Here, long-time English expatriate in Pistoia, Sarah Humphreys, offers an itinerary.    To find Pistoia’s treasure-trove of contemporary art, the


Just the ticket

Delightful in all seasons, a trip on Tuscany's oldest steam train line, La Porrettana, is an unforgettable journey, meandering through the Apennine mountains, amid stunning scenery, nature and nostalgia. Only on the Porrettana can you follow in the footsteps of Sherlock Holmes, whom aficionados claim must have travelled on