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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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  • The Dogs of Monza

    I come from the suburbs of Ohio: Open yards, lawns that are separated only by a skinny, concrete slab of driveway, tricycles and dads in the yards tinkering on something to ‘keep the house running.’ It’s this beautiful concept of the American dream that we eagerly agreed to for the past 60 years. And while… Read more »

  • Wild Weekly Photo Challenge – Wanderlust!

    Wanderlust (noun) ˈwän-dər-ˌləst – an irresistibly strong desire or an impulse to travel far away and explore different places. What ignites your ‘wanderlust’? It doesn’t take much for me to have a ridiculously strong desire to travel, and it’s photos like this one, taken in the Dolomites in Trentino, Italy, that remind me why I feel… Read more »

  • Verizon, the Mafia Phone-Lord of the Cell Phone Carriers

    I know I need to figure out what to do with my American phone while I’m in Italy. How can I keep my number without paying the same amount? Why is Verizon some kind of Mafia Phone-Lord who won’t let you switch to other carriers because their phones don’t have slots for sim-cards? What kind… Read more »

  • *Photo Essay: How to be a Tourist in New York City

    Start the day off right with one of the many Saturday morning farmers markets. Though you won’t buy anything, it will seem delightfully “Manhattanite” of you: Leave to catch some sights. Be sure to look up so you can adequately gape: There’s a lot to see in NYC, and often far too little time. I’m… Read more »

  • Non-events in New York

    Though it was clear our time was over – Sarah was stretched on her bed dazed by her computer – I didn’t want to leave the city yet. After hours of walking there was not much else I could physically do, and besides, I only knew how to get home from the subway nearby. Instead,… Read more »

  • Metro North

    In two days I will have officially been living in Purchase, New York for a month now. It’s about two minutes from White Plains, 3 from Armonk and 5 from the state of Connecticut. All that information to explain that I’m still learning the area, but I think it’s considered “metro New York” for lack… Read more »

  • Travel Dreams

    Hello all, Well, I’m no longer in Italy – I haven’t been for over three months now – yet even after 5 months abroad with countless opportunities to travel seized, it’s still on my mind. How does one come back from one world and re-assimilate to the “real” world? When is it socially acceptable to go… Read more »

  • Florence Blizzard 2010 and the End of a Dream

    My last few days of Florence can be called a lot of things if not interesting. Beautiful, stressful, bittersweet, chaotic. With a surprise visit (belated birthday gift) from a good friend on Thursday and my last final of the quarter on Friday I had very little time to pack everything and make sure the apartment… Read more »

  • The People of Italy

    The title lends itself instantly to stereotypes of Italians: which ones I find true and which are off base, or generalizations I’ve created myself during my time here (everyone does it, even if you try not to.) There are characteristics of Italians that can be grating, as with any culture, and I had one friend… Read more »

  • “Prendi Pure Il Primo e Secondo…”

    Italian Food. Sweet, delicious, decadent Italian food.  I think my friend put it best when, while having a discussion about all the types of food he exclaimed: “I’m Italian, we have the best food in the world! Why would I want to eat any other type of food?!” I could hardly argue with him there as the… Read more »