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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 »

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6 Places On My Italy Travel Wish List

I was enamored with Italy even before I saw it. Then, I saw it. From my first jet-lagged lunch in a nondescript tourist joint in Rome I knew this was a place I wanted to know. In the light, the speed, the scene, there was something to learn here. Since then I’ve traveled all over Italy… Read more »

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Life Abroad: Do You Like Living in Italy?

An English woman, an Irish woman and two Midwestern Americans sat around the table, spritz’s in hand and classic Italian aperitivo snacks littering the table, each discussing the merits of their own country. The question asked by an Italian acquaintance was “do you like living in Italy?” So innocuous. So loaded. Eyes were immediately averted, smiles forcibly… Read more »

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Tuscany’s Hill Towns: Montalcino and Montepulciano

Both of these medieval Tuscan towns are perched on a hill. Both are most known for their red wines. Both are ridiculously tiny and ridiculously crowded in August. Strolling the streets there is most certainly a Duomo to visit, another church or two, maybe a famous civic building or even a small museum, but the… Read more »

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How to Shop at an Italian Market

One of the best ways to save money while traveling anywhere is to make your own meals. Luckily, a great way to get a feel for the local culture is visiting the town market. Go to see what’s for offer, what the prices are, what’s in season. Watch the locals to find out which stand is favored,… Read more »