Vintage Italian Postcards

Monday, February 27, 2006

Piazza del Campo- Siena

In the heart of Siena is the Piazza del Campo, one of the architectural high points in Tuscany and home to Il Palio, Siena’s famous horse race, which takes place twice a year.

The Piazza del Campo, as it is now, dates back as far as 1340, when it was designated as the civic centre for Siena and designed in its famous “clm shll” formation in hounourof the Council of Nine – the political rulesrs of the city during the 14th century. The fountain, Fonte Gaia, in the upper part of the square, was commisioned to Jacopo dela Quercia, who orked on it from 1408 until 1419, though the original is in a rather poor state and now rests in the Complesso Museale di Santa Maria della Scala in the piazza del Duomo (what stands in its place is a copy, created in 1868).
Of course, the gratest attraction to grace the Campo each year is Il Palio, the horse race, now split across two dates, where representatives of the 17 districts (contrade) of Siena compete for sacred honour!
In the web site you can find more 50 cards about Siena and about Il Palio....everyday we scann more cards to add to our collection!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

This week...

Postcard prices continue to rise, making the hobby a wonderful investment as well as a pleasure.

This week we’ve had interest in Italian naval matters selling some wonderful picture postcards of the 1930’s Italian Navy. A keen collector has bought a quantity of Italian Royalty cards, specialising on Queen Margarita and her children.

Military cards are still moving ahead with sales of Alpini (see the photo), Carabinieri and Infantry cards. Also going well, but more slowly, artist named cards of pretty girls, donnine, in Italian, little women. Names like Mauzan, Corbella and Usabal always improve the value of these attractive cards.

But, as ever, the main interest is always for the topographical cards, the smaller town and villages throughout the country command premium prices.
See !

Monday, February 13, 2006

Italian Royalty

We have requests for Italian Royalty, Vittorio Emanuele and the Royal Family. Many Italians are royalists and would welcome the return of the monarchy, but at the same time some are still Fascists, waiting, we hope, only a return to the old ways of more discipline, without the darker side of the right wing. Mussolini, il Duce, is still honoured, or at least celebrated, with annual calendars on sale with his illustrations and photos, and there is even a collection of wines bearing labels with Il Duce.
Everyday we scann more cards to add to our collection which appears on

Monday, February 06, 2006

Subject: Pre WW1 Post cards of Italy

Hello John,
My name is Jim McCleary I'm from Boston Ma. I found your web
site completely by accident, a very nice one I might add.

..............How kind of you to write.

I have roughly 150 old post cards from through Italy. The majority are in very good to
excellent condition, about 100 are used 50 or so are blank. The subjects are somewhat
varied. I am not a dealer or a collector. I have used these cards to travel in my mind with the help of the internet to your beautiful country. It’s amazing to see the areas what they looked like then and what they look like now. It must have been nice to have that kind of money and time back in the early 1900s to be able to travel like these people did. I am somewhat considering parting with them but on the other hand wouldn’t mind keeping them also, as they do not take up any room and I don't have to feed them.

...............Your blank cards would have been bought because many people didn't own cameras, and they bought them for their own memories as well as local friends, and therefore didn't need to be posted
If I were to part with them I would like to see them go to someone who would enjoy them as I have. I also have a number of cards from England, France, Germany, Egypt and Greece as well. These people travelled
extensively throughout Europe. A lot of those cards are blank also but then again most used. The cards I really found interesting are the early German cards, quite a few of the seans pictured on the cards no longer exist
today. Many of those grand old buildings and what have you were destroyed do the extensive bombing of our allied forces. But so be it, unfortunately it couldn’t be helped. I googled the town and area you live in I'm jealous, very nice. That’s how I found you, because I think one or two of the cards are from Umbria or that area. Love that old Monastery that they turned into an Inn in your town. And your museum looks very interesting. I understand you.

Well John It's been a pleasure let me know what your wishes are and I'll make some sort of arrangement for you to preview the cards. Unfortunately I don't own a digital camera or a scanner but we can work something out.

Ciao Jim

...........I've attached my "wants" list and maybe some of the cards will correspond
with my requirements. I'll put your letter onto our blog on the website

........Thanks again

------- John Tunstill


Friday, February 03, 2006

3 Day Cookery Course at La Preghiera / Weds 26th April - Saturday 30th April

Join us at La Preghiera for a hands-on cookery course experience in Umbria, Italy.

Meet our cooks, Mara and Emma and learn how to make fresh pasta, fillings, sauces, traditional Umbrian antipasti, meats, salads and dolci....

The course includes a trip to a local market where you can savour the atmosphere of a thriving market town and buy fruit, vegetables, prosciutto and cheeses, the ingredients that you will need for the course.

Also included is an excursion to find the highly prized "Tartufo" or truffle in the valleys around Città di Castello, learning how to prepare and use them in Italian cooking with a dinner based on truffles afterwards...

The course includes:
3 nights luxury accommodation in historic home
Three hands-on cookery classes, approx 3 hours each
All meals including: Buffet Breakfast, Lunch with wine, soft drinks and coffee, Dinner with aperitivo, wine, liqueurs, soft drinks and coffee
Aperitivo and Stuzzichini on first evening
Truffle Hunting Excursion and market visit
Car, driver and interpreter where necessary
With prices from 1255 Euro per person....

Contact Sally Ann at to reserve your place on the course!