Local Counsel with Ellen S. Cappellanti
Charleston’s Ellen S. Cappellanti checks in from Italy
Published in 2018 Virginia Super Lawyers magazine
on April 17, 2018
Updated on October 3, 2019
It was always my dream to visit the country where my paternal grandparents were born. So, about 15 years ago, a group of 24 of us—friends and family, and even a federal bankruptcy judge so we didn’t spend too much money—went to Tuscany. Through relationships made on that trip, my husband and I had the opportunity to lease a rustic farmhouse year-round. It’s located almost halfway between Rome and Florence, and is right on the border of the provinces of Tuscany and Umbria.
When we first started renting it, the property was rough. It only had one old bathroom and the boiler didn’t work. Over the years, improvements have been made, and it is quite charming. The mountain views are breathtaking. We typically go twice a year, for 10 days each. I have taken many clients and colleagues—perhaps even you reading this—and it has been wonderful to get to know these folks better with Italy as a backdrop. A lot of bottles of wine have been shared.
A number of wonderful places are an easy couple-hours drive from our home: Montepulciano, Siena, Florence, Pienza and Perugia. But it’s hard to beat sharing wine around the kitchen farm table in our beautiful Italian home.
BEST PLACE TO TAKE A CLIENT – The Amalfi Coast.
BEST WATERING HOLE – Bar 500 in Cortona. Cortona is where Under the Tuscan Sun was filmed. The food is simple and delicious, and it is a great place to sit and people watch.
BEST SPORTING EVENT – The World Cup. All the outdoor cafes erect large-screen televisions. The Italians, like most Europeans, love soccer, and it is so exciting to watch the games with them.
BEST MUSEUM – The Uffizi in Florence. It is considered by many to be the premier museum for Renaissance art.
BEST HIDDEN GEM – Pienza. It’s located in Tuscany, between the famous wine towns of Montepulciano and Montalcino. Known for pecorino cheese, it has breathtaking views of the Val d’Orcia valley, and features lovely Renaissance architecture.
BEST CITY EVENT – The medieval reenactments. Some of the best ones are in Arezzo. People of all ages dress in medieval clothing and march through the streets in a drum parade.