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The Beautiful Botanic Gardens of Villa Carlotta

Lake Como is surrounded by ville. White, yellow and rose-colored mansions perch on the hills around the lake, perfectly complemented by their extravagant, well-manicured gardens. Last year I decided that I’d had enough of visiting ancient palaces. I was over paying to tour rich dead people’s homes. Their gardens, on the other hand, I had come to love. … Read more »

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20 Things Americans Find Crazy About Italy

Every experience in a new culture comes with a heavy dose of judgement. Some more politically correct than me wouldn’t admit to such a thing, but we all know it’s true. Read: 50 Things Americans First Think About Italy As humans we need to tackle novelty and mold it into a shape that makes sense to… Read more »

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How to Avoid The Crowds in Italy

There are a few dirty truths about Italy. One is that it really isn’t as clean and efficient as photos and films might make it seem. The other is that with 47 million visitors every year, it’s perpetually crowded. My least favorite experiences in Italy involve fighting the crowds. I’ve been trapped on the bridges of Venice in… Read more »

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A Guide to Monza, Italy

Just 10 miles north of Milan is Monza, a city with all the fashion and haughtiness of Milan, at a fraction of the size. Monza is the third largest city of Lombardy and the capital of the province of Brianza. The city stretches out like tentacles, reaching its influence well into the surrounding towns. Maybe because… Read more »

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My Life With An Infant, in Numbers

Adeline is just over two months old and I finally feel like I can exhale and take a second to take it all in. How crazy was that birth? How fast did these first two months fly by? How many times has Adeline pooped today? All super important questions.  36: hours of contractions 3: epidural injections… Read more »

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Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica

Enormous white columns curve out from the large domed cathedral like arms beckoning you into its embrace. The largest cathedral in the world and the seat of the Roman Catholic Church, St. Peter’s Basilica is impressive on first glance, and perhaps even more so inside. The enormous piazza, filled to the brim during papal audiences, is… Read more »

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The One Thing You Should Do Before Coming to Italy

Before coming to Italy I went out and bought new, “Italy appropriate” clothes; I read about the culture, studied the language and devoured “insider’s tips” that promised to help me blend in with the Italians. I packed and repacked and imagined things I had yet to see. There’s always a certain amount of trepidation that… Read more »

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A Glimpse of The Gorgeous Villa Monastero Gardens

There’s more to Lake Como than its namesake town or potential George Clooney sightings. The Lake itself is beautiful, with glistening blue water backdropped by the foothills of the Alps. The road that winds along the bank slices into and out of the mountains, disappearing before suddenly reemerging and founding cities along the way. Huge cyprus trees… Read more »

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Why We Chose to Live in Italy

Italy had always felt like a dream, so it took some getting used to hearing again and again: Why would you leave America to come here?! Italians were incredulous, as if I had left the golden land for the desolate streets of insecurity and unemployment. Not realizing just how serious they were, my responses were usually flippant. In a… Read more »

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How to Make Pasta Like an Italian

I sat with three close Italian friends and my Italian husband as they, some quite literally, rolled with laughter. “And then, and then,” my friend Marco said, gasping for breath between laughs, “They cooked the pasta for TWENTY MINUTES!” “It’s like cooking it in a pressure cooker!” my husband agreed. “I’ve heard that they add pasta… Read more »