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To Every Thing, a Season

Recently Austin Kleon, author of Steal Like An Artist, linked in his newsletter to a piece about living with the seasons by Matt Thomas, writer of the Sunday NYTimes Digest (if you can follow that). It reflects on our typical thinking of time and suggests a better way to measure it: by seasons. He asks: “Should one… Read more »

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Snapshots of Gubbio

Snapshots of Gubbio, Umbria: A glimpse of one of the oldest towns in Umbria. Perhaps one of the most characteristic towns in Umbria, Gubbio sits in the 21st-century with a firm hold onto its ancient past. Also known as the “city of fools,” there’s a lot to explore in this Medieval town, but its true beauty is… Read more »

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Italy: North vs South

Let’s talk a little bit about the north-south divide. Most countries have it. The food, culture, languages and economies of the north have nothing to do with those of the south in India, Argentina, Mexico, Italy. In some of these countries, both areas are accepted and prized. More often, however, an undercurrent of competition and entitlement… Read more »

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Snapshots of Rome

Snapshots of Rome, Italy: A day in the Eternal City. It would take an eternity to truly understand Rome, to explore its cobblestone alleyways, to get lost in the nooks and crannies of every park, boulevard and museum. History seeps into the stones that build the city, each step superimposed atop another’s. Unfortunately, most of us don’t… Read more »

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Hiking in the Dolomites: A Brief Guide

If the Alps splay across northern Italy like a crown atop a queen, then the Dolomites in the northeast are the crown jewels.   They’re known in the news for the difficult WWI battles described in Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms, for the caveman recently found frozen in its glaciers and for the challenging via ferrata, an iron spiked path guiding intrepid hikers… Read more »

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What to Eat in Liguria

It’s summer and everyone is on the coast. In Milan, that coast is undoubtedly Liguria. Approximately a 2-hour drive from the city, it’s the Milanese weekend destination of choice to escape the sticky heat of the city. The Italian Riviera has a lot to offer a visitor: geriatric towns to discoteca filled cliffside retreats; the submerged Christ… Read more »

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Where to Travel in Italy If You’re on a Budget

“Look at this crostata!” Marco was gesticulating wildly to a piece of nutella pie, or crostata in Italian. Sure it looked good, but not enough to scream across the small Italian cafè. “It only costs 1.50!” Then I understood. See, in Lombardia, things aren’t cheap. The region produces about a fifth of all of Italy’s GDP. It’s one of… Read more »

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Driving in Italy: How to Take An Italian Roadtrip

There’s nothing like a road trip in summer.  Though a road trip is typically thought of as a classic American institution, a road trip in Italy can be just as great. Yet I’ve noticed that most travelers to Italy do anything possible to avoid driving in Italy. I understand; the roads are small, the traffic dense and the… Read more »

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How to Drive Like an Italian

You’re in Italy, you’ve got your rental car and you’re ready to go. Seatbelt buckled, car in gear, you begin to slowly ease into the traffic when seven cars zoom past you. Two turn even though you have the right of way, others begin to swerve into your lane with nary a signal. Welcome to… Read more »

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Opera in the Verona Arena

Princess Aida raised her hands in the air, voice sounding out as scores of dancers, soldiers and dancing soldiers framed her, their bright white gowns and hand-held torches blazing in the night. Her voice climbed higher. The music grew louder. The passion was palpable as the sky exploded with flashes of purple light. The ominous heat lightening… Read more »