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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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  • My Parents’ Visit, in Numbers

    6: months since I’d seen my parents last 13: hours of travel 1: layover 4,428: approximate miles flown (3,845.7 nautical miles) 4: people in one apartment 1: bedroom in said apartment 592: square footage of the apartment 12: approximate amount of lemonade packets made 9: cities visited (Monza, Milan, Piazzatorre, Bergamo Alta, Bellagio, Como, Florence, Rome, San… Read more »

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    A Tour of The Lake: Beautiful Bellagio

    I hadn’t seen my parents since I left Ohio in February so when they came to visit this August I was thrilled to show them my life here, my new corner of the world. In two weeks we went up to the mountains, pit-stopped in Florence and San Gimignano and toured Rome, but we were… Read more »

  • Weird Conversations I’ve had Since My Number Has Been On The Internet

    Shortly after I moved to Italy I published announcements on various websites offering my services as an English tutor/teacher/translator. I needed a job and I needed one fast, and luckily for me there is a high demand for a native English speaker in Italy. I’ve had nothing but a successful, positive experience teaching English in… Read more »

  • Photo Essay: The Freiburg Minster

    Sometimes a town square is so important to a city’s history, social life and economy that even after hundreds of years of further development, the historical center can’t be ignored. The Freiburg Minster was started in 1230 and completed 100 years later. It survived the bombings in November 1944 during WWII that destroyed everything north… Read more »

  • A Weekend in Freiburg, Broke College-Student Style

    First: Get the price of staying the night out of the way by finding a friend who’s staying there so you can crash on their floor. Bring a yoga mat and blanket or else your night will be particularly rough. If not, try couchsurfing or a hostel – the city is full of university students,… Read more »

  • The Green Heart of Germany

    A university town, Freiburg is full of students. One of the largest towns in Bavaria, Freiburg is full of tourists. Known for its high standard of living and eco-friendly politics, Freiburg is full of middle-income, environmentally conscious families. Add it all up and it’s clear: Freiburg is full of hippies. Better yet, (some of you… Read more »

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    Street Art in Italy: A Glimpse of a City

    I live on a not-so-pretty street. It’s near the center of the city but not in the center of the city and filled with pot holes and graffiti.  In American suburbs graffiti is considered juvenile vandalism that must be punished puritanically … or maybe that’s just what private school taught me. But vandalism or not, I… Read more »

  • On Hesitation, Adaptation and Postcards – The Truth About Moving Abroad

    Originally, I didn’t want to move to Italy. When I showed my hesitation my friends usually responded, “What! Why?”, then looked off into the distance, imagining driving through sun-kissed fields of olive trees and vineyards while stories of love and laughter filled pages of their newly-penned novel. But rehabilitating myself as I rehabilitate an old… Read more »

  • Perugia: A Brief Introduction and The Start of A Story

    In April I went to Perugia for the first time to work as a volunteer for the 2013 International Journalism Festival. Founded in 2006 by Arianna Ciccone and Chris Potter it brings together journalism professionals, students and media members from around the world to host or attend keynotes, workshops or panels regarding journalism and media today…. Read more »

  • Escape to the Mountains Part Two

    Sometimes you just know what you should be doing. Though we thought last weekend was our last chance for awhile to head to the mountains, when our plans fell through this weekend we didn’t hesitate to create new ones. While our original plans seemed sloppily stitched together, our alternative seemed already planned for us.  Friday after work threw… Read more »