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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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    Flying Over Lake Como With My Own Personal Pilot

    Lake Como is home to glitz and glamour. Traditional wealth in villas and new money with flashy boats. It’s about wonderful towns that evolved from fishing villages, small to medium companies that grew the Made in Italy brand and Prosecco on the water. But it’s not typically a lake chosen for adventure. Leave that to the… Read more »

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    Everything You Need to Know About Italian Beaches

    I come from a landlocked state. The closest beach is at least eight hours away and honestly, I probably haven’t even been there. I love the water, but have no expertise when it comes to beach vacations. So, I had a lot to learn when I came to Italy. Here, the summer traditionally means a… Read more »

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    Raising a Bilingual Baby in Italy

    “You’re so lucky your baby is going to be born bilingual!” You can’t imagine how many times I heard that statement or something similar when expecting Adeline. Eventually, because I’m petty, I couldn’t stop myself from gently reminding people that babies aren’t born with any language. They have to acquire it, whether “native” or a second language. I… Read more »

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    City, Coast and Countryside: Central Italy

    Central Italy has a special place in my heart. It’s where I learned Italian and fell in love – both with Italy itself and my own Italian. Read: How to Marry an Italian. Every chance we get Marco and I make our way south of the Po River to explore Tuscany or hop among the… Read more »

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    Italy’s Traditions: Italian Proverbs about Food

    These days Italy might have fiber optic internet, sushi and matcha, but it is still a very traditional country. Family still reigns supreme and dinner time is still sacred. In fact, I find that the vast majority of Italian’s traditions and have to do with food and their values can be found in the daily rituals… Read more »

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    Alassio: Liguria’s Laidback Beach Town

    Shaped like a half moon in the northwest of Italy, Liguria’s coastline stretches for more than 186 miles. Along that distance you can find imposing cliffs, minuscule bays and insanely elegant towns.  It’s spunky and rich, greedy but attractive. It’s also the closest sea that anyone in northern Italy can get to, and on the… Read more »

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    The Riviera di Ponente, Liguria’s Overlooked Coastline

    Liguria is a boomerang-shaped region hugging Italy’s Mediterranean coast in the north.  Occupying the strip of land between the sea and the Maritime Alps, Liguria has colorful seaside villages, lush, flower-filled vegetation and richly salty food.  Its capital city, Genoa, was a large maritime republic, wealthy and powerful thanks to its port and trade. Today, the region’s historic… Read more »

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    Why Como is One of The Best Cities on The Lake

    I’ve gone to Lake Como dozens of times. I’ve crisscrossed the lake on the ferry, enjoyed spritz’s lakeside and even popped a bottle of prosecco in a fishing boat offshore of Bellagio after a day on the water. And yet I had never actually visited the city of Como. We live much closer to the Lecco… Read more »

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    Modern-Day Dads, or The Lack Thereof

    I had a wealth of fears about becoming a new mom when I was pregnant. Would the baby be healthy? Would I be able to make her happy? How would my life change? How would my relationship change? What if..? How, how how? What I didn’t expect was how isolating it can feel. See, we’re… Read more »

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    City, Coast and Countryside: Northern Italy

    Italy’s geography is something special. A long peninsula, it has miles and miles of coastline and just happens to be crowned by the Alps. The Apennine Mountains run its length like a spine and in-between you have centuries of ruling city-states that have created totally unique cities. I always preach that there’s something for everyone… Read more »