Program 580a: Villages of Tuscany; Megafauna

Release Date: 08-21-2021


American-born tour guides who've settled in Tuscany explain why it's an ideal region for experiencing the essence of Italy. And the curator of mammalogy at the American Museum of Natural History tells us what scientists are learning about the fantastic beasts that used to roam the Earth — as they investigate why they went extinct.


  • Karin Kibby, tour guide based in Livorno, Italy
  • Anna Piperato, tour guide based in Siena, Italy
  • Paleomammalogist Ross MacPhee, curator for the American Museum of Natural History and author of "End of the Megafauna" (W. W. Norton)

Additional Info

  • The Life in Italy weblog lists some of the more popular sagre festivals throughout the year in Italy.
  • A list of farmhouse agriturismo bed and breakfasts in Tuscany.
  • Anna Piperato provides custom tours, and online virtual tours, of Italy from her home base in Siena. Contact information for Anna is on her website.
  • Karin Kibby can be contacted through her Facebook page.
  • Ross MacPhee is curator for the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. He explores the fate of the world's largest, fiercest and strangest animals in his book "End of the Megafauna." He recommends exhibits at the Natural History museums in London and Paris, and the Zoological Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Program Extras

More with Ross MacPhee - Ross MacPhee, the curator of mammals at the American Museum of Natural History, explains to Rick what scientists mean when they refer to us entering into a sixth major extinction event on earth. (runs 6:23)