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The Churches of Florence

There’s so much to see in Florence that it can be hard to know what you’re even looking at. While touring the small, packed city, you’ll stumble upon world class church after world class church. It’s easy to get church fatigue, but with a little bit of background knowledge you can choose which ones interest you… Read more »

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The Opening and Closing Times of Florence

Museums Uffizi Gallery Open: Tuesday – Sunday, 8:15 – 6:50 pm (ticket office closes at 6:05 pm) Closed: Mondays, January 1, December 25 Full price March 1 – October 31: €20 Full price November 1 – February 28: €12 Reservation cost: €4, online or by phone at +39 055 294883 Free entry on the first Sunday of each month (get… Read more »

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Florence, Italy: What to Know Before You Go

Compared with Italy’s other big cities – Rome, Venice, Milan and Naples – Florence is an easy town to visit. The city center is compact, the people are relaxed and the food delicious. Plus, there’s so much to see that you can enjoy the world-class art and architecture with very little pre-trip preparation. Still, I’m a… Read more »

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The World-Class Food of Emilia Romagna

There’s no region more noted and celebrated for its food than Emilia Romagna. Emilia Romagna is Italy’s gastronomic powerhouse. No small feat in a country known for its food culture. The region itself is well-off, happy, filled with cities with the highest quality of life in Italy. Modena, Bologna, Parma – each famed for its food and… Read more »

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Accommodation Options in Italy

Planning a trip to Italy is big. It takes a lot of time and effort to decide an itinerary, research the various destinations, figure out transport and, of course, find a place to stay. With hundreds of websites you can find thousands of options, but which one is right for you? For years the first… Read more »

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The Joy of A Lunch Stop

This post is for those of you traveling by car.  Marco and I predominately travel Italy by car – it’s convenient and cheaper for us for travel in northern and central Italy – and on travel days we always, always have a lunch stop. (You can do it too! Driving in Italy: How to Take an… Read more »

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How to Be the Best Houseguest Ever

Summer is here, bringing with it vacations, road trips and impromptu visits. Whenever I’m invited to a friend’s place in another town, I always go. (Making me, of course, either the worst or the best friend….but at least now you know). I absolutely love visiting a new place with the help of someone who lives there…. Read more »

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The Tuscan Islands: Escape to Pianosa Prison

The engine rumbled as the ship backed away from the dock slowly, as if trying to quietly escape. It aimed its bow away from Marina di Campo bay and toward a still invisible line on the horizon.    I was going to Pianosa Island, an isolated island just 14 km from Isola d’Elba, the largest and most popular of the Tuscan islands.   As the ship churned closer, the thin line of land grew more visible, if… Read more »

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How to Be An Ethical Traveler in Italy

Summer is coming and with it waves and waves of visitors to Italy. Understandably so. Italy is beautiful in summer and that’s when most of us have the chance to take some time off. Unfortunately, it also inevitably means news stories about tourists not living their best life. There’s the one that broke an ancient statue,… Read more »

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Tiny Tuscany: The Ancient Etruscan Town of Volterra

It was raining a steady but soft sprinkle when we got to the foot of a never-ending brick staircase. We were in tiny but mighty Volterra, a city carved by erosion among the Balze hills, between Florence, Siena and the sea. A part of a perfect trio of hill cities located close together – Volterra, Colle Val d’Elsa and San… Read more »