Done the Big Five in Italy? Here’s Where to Go Next

Umbria. Umbria is where to go next. Most first-time visitors to Italy rightfully visit what I call the “big five” – that is, Naples, Rome, Florence, Venice and Milan – or a combination of some of them. Italy’s five “main” cities, they hold the vast majority of the country’s historical, political, artistic and religious wealth and… Read more »


Visiting the Gates of Heaven in Siena

Third times the charm. At least it was for me, on my third visit to Siena this past September. The first time I went I was studying abroad in Florence. We went by train with no preparation, climbed the Torre del Mangia, Italy’s second tallest tower, and otherwise just ambled around aimlessly with no idea of… Read more »


Orvieto: A City in The Sky, A City Underground

Most Italian hill towns are so small the only thing to do is stroll the streets, take in the atmosphere and of course eat. I once spent two lovely days in Colle Val d’Elsa, a tiny town across from San Gimignano in Tuscany, but when you ask me what sights to see I’d be hard pressed… Read more »


Sirmione, Italy: The Pearl of Lake Garda

Though most think of Como as the only lake worth visiting in Northern Italy, to the east is Lake Garda, Italy’s largest lake, housing lovely resort towns, incredible weather and food galore! Located between Brescia and Verona, Venice and Milan, the lake makes for an excellent day trip or a stop-over on a Venice to Milan road… Read more »


Aperitivo in Milan: What It Is and How to Have One

There’s no better way to soak in the atmosphere of Milan than an aperitivo. A Milanese rite of passage, an aperitivo is the surest way to adapt to the city, “do as the locals do” and enjoy a night out. The basic concept of an aperitivo (or apertif) is that of an American happy hour. The reality, however,… Read more »


How to Visit Milan on a Budget

Italy’s financial and fashion capital has long been considered the one of its priciest cities as well. With entire blocks dedicated to fashion designers, contemporary art scenes for the mega-rich to frequent and private courtyards closed to common folk, Milan can seem like a tough place to travel cheap. But it is possible to visit Milan on a budget…. Read more »


This Is The Best Town in The Italian Lake District….And It’s Not Como

One of the most luxurious way to appreciate the outdoors in Northern Italy is in the Italian Lake District. With a shimmering lake in front of you and the pre-Alps around you, visitors have all the beauty of the outdoors, with all the comforts of high-class Italy. Dotted by tiny towns along the banks, there’s no lack… Read more »

How to marry an Italian.

How to Marry an Italian

Finally, what you’re all coming to this blog to find out: How to marry an Italian. I did it. Here’s how you can, too! First, woo him with your exotic American ways When I first arrived in Italy I was wide-eyed, easily excited, and plastered with a big smile. I was bold, dazzled by the smallest… Read more »


Elba Island: The Black Rock Beach

“Let’s go to the Black Rock Beach,” he said. “It’s a bit out of the way so there should be less people!” he said. In the summer of 2011 I came to stay with Marco for five weeks and we planned a five day vacation to Isola d’Elba, or Elba Island. I came to Elba knowing,… Read more »


Carnevale in Italy: The Battle of the Oranges

Everyone knows about carnevale in Venice, filled with masks, elaborate costumes and intrigue it’s one of the most famous carnival celebrations in the world. But carnevale in Italy is more than just Venice! Actually it’s celebrated in every little town and city throughout the boot. Last year we went to Venice for carnival, driving there and… Read more »

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    What’s The Deal With Carnival in Italy?

    Many travelers to Italy might never know the importance of Carnival, or carnevale, in Italy. But the few who have seen the pictures, or happened to be here during Carnival season will know: it’s huge. Carnival is far more than just eerily elaborate masks in Venice. It’s celebrated by young and old in ever town… Read more »

  • Photo by Nino Carè from Pixabay

    My Reading Year and Why I Didn’t Read in Italian

    In 2018 I made a goal to read at least 2/3 of my books for that year in Italian. I read well in Italian, but it still requires a bit more brain power and a bit more time, so I find myself rarely reaching for my Italian book when there are so many in English readily… Read more »

  • Photo by Fabio Disconzi from Pixabay

    My 2020 Italy Travel Wish List

    This is not a specific travel plan, but a list of places that most pique my interest now. They are places that I should have already visited; places I’ve seen but need more time with; and places that have just recently come on my radar. Few of the destinations are top picks for first-time visitors, but I’d… Read more »

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    2019 Year in Travel Review

    Everyone does travel year-in-review blog posts. But let’s be real: it only really works for those lucky few who have been to dozens of different destinations. Those with enviable schedules and even better photos. I’d love to do a year in review of the sort, one that shows me jet-setting across the world (even if that’s not… Read more »

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    2020 Italy Travel Resolutions

    Resolution time! Like I said last year, these Italy Travel Resolutions are suggestions on destinations, mentalities and experiences to try.  Each year I try to give tips and ideas for your next trip to Italy. To help you learn from my mistakes, or to give a nudge in a more unique direction. The resolutions are not restricted to any certain year…. Read more »

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    Christmas in Como and the Magic Light Festival

    We might think that the 12 days of Christmas are simply the most annoying of the Christmas songs, but here in the Old Country it still exists. With nearly a fortnight of celebrations, the peak of Christmastime in Italy runs from Christmas Day on December 25th to the Epiphany on January 6th when the Three Wise… Read more »

  • Lush and exclusive 'Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II' in the centre of Milan, next to the Dome and the famous Scala opera house.

    11 Reasons to Love Christmas in Italy


  • Photo by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

    Cross-Cultural Communication For a Better Life

    Some say that so-called “soft skills” are the economic powerhouses of the 21st-century. That more than specific technologies, we need to help our children develop a high emotional intelligence, diplomacy and cross-cultural communication skills.  Little touches on my life more than cross-cultural communication skills. Traveling abroad or even more, living abroad, inherently requires some level of cross-cultural communication.  Defined… Read more »

  • Photo via Getty Images

    The Truth About How to Learn a Second Language

    I have a click-bait post all written and ready to go about how to learn a second language. How-to posts are enticing, popular, usually great SEO… but they can also be remarkably superficial. The post included all the usuals: get a teacher, immerse yourself with audio, magazines and books, leave your pride at the door when talking… Read more »

  • Photo by Megan Lawrie Cole from flickr

    Why I Don’t Celebrate Thanksgiving Abroad

    I’ve always loved Thanksgiving. Not because of its history, which is absolutely terrible, but because of what it’s become today. A long weekend to recoup and recover. A time for family. An entire holiday with the simple idea of giving thanks for the wonderful things in our lives. And one of the few holidays with… Read more »