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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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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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    How to Visit the Isole Borromee

    I’ve visited a lot of rich people’s gardens in Italy. And why wouldn’t I? They’re beautiful, abundant, easy to visit, a feast for the senses. I find them pleasant. I don’t love visiting old palaces, but the gardens attached to them, now that has my name all over it. It might seem like a strange way to spend time and… Read more »

  • Photo by Stefano Mortellaro

    The Food of Sicily, Italy’s Most Unique Cuisine

    As of this writing, I still have yet to visit Sicily. I’ve always want to, but I’ve also always wanted to see everything. After seeing the major cities in Italy, I had no priority of what to see next because I wanted to see it all. From the time I moved to Italy we’ve celebrated Carnevale in Venice,… Read more »

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    Traveling in The Era of Overtourism

    In the past few months there has been a lot of talk of over-tourism. The New York Times talks about it. Time Magazine talks about it. Der Spiegal online says, “Travel is no longer a luxury good. Airlines like Ryanair and EasyJet have contributed to a form of mass tourism that has made local residents feel… Read more »

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    How to See The Last Supper in Milan

    So many people overlook Milan. The city is industrial, big, gray and, of course, not Florence, Rome or Venice. Everyone knows about the Colosseum, the Duomo of Florence, the canals of Venice, but few can name a jewel of Milan. In Milan you can see international models taking pictures in front of the world’s largest Gothic cathedral…. Read more »

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    How To Get From the Malpensa Airport to Milan Center

    Milan is one of the best-connected cities in Italy. One of the only with a subway system, it also has buses, trams and of course taxis. Not only that, but the city also has three airports serving it: Orio al’Serio in Bergamo (mostly European budget airlines), Linate and Milano Malpensa (MXP). Without a doubt Malpensa… Read more »

  • Spritzes in the heart of spritz-land: Veneto

    Aperol Spritz: Italy’s Favorite Summer Drink

    We were in Varenna, the best town in the Italian Lake District, and it was time for an aperitivo. It was time for a spritz!  Touring the area with my aunt, uncle and cousins, we stopped at a lakeside bar to enjoy the view and I explained the ubiquitous aperitivo drink to all. Months later my same… Read more »

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    Italy in August: What to Expect

    August in Italy is steaming hot, jam-packed and expensive. It’s high season in an already popular destination, and it’s not always pretty.  Buuuut… It’s not always so bad.  I advise everyone to avoid August if at all possible, but my first two biggest trips to Italy were both right in the middle of August, when… Read more »

  • Santa Maria Novella, Florence church

    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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    Flying With a 16-Month Old, In Numbers

    This summer we decided at the last minute to take a trip back “home” to Columbus, Ohio to visit friends and family. As Adeline grows it will only be more difficult to fly back to the US and I wanted to take advantage of the time and age to come back. I wanted to show… 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 »