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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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    From Portofino to San Fruttuoso on Foot

    I was sweating. I was sweating in jeans and I didn’t like it. Marco and I only had a day and a half to explore the Ligurian coast. We had dinner the night before in Santa Margherita and walked the forty minutes back to Rapallo, where we were based, afterward to enjoy the night and the sights…. Read more »

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    Italian Sicknesses I Never Knew Existed But Now Believe In Wholeheartedly

    The first time I walked around Marco’s house without shoes or socks on I thought his mother was going to faint. I hadn’t the faintest idea why – my feet weren’t even that dirty! She scurried away and was back with the worst pair of slippers I’ve ever seen. They were pink with little purple… Read more »

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    So Like, How Did You Guys Meet Anyway?

    If there’s ever a question Marco and I get asked more than the famous, “So like, what language do you guys talk to each other in anyway?” it would be how we met. It makes sense. It’s not so common to hear of a Columbus, Ohio native who is now somehow married to an Italian from… Read more »

  • Other Things I’ve Written About Italy, With Love

    Besides your weekly dose of Italy-inspired love, I also write freelance articles or posts about Italy around the web. I thought I’d share them with you here not JUST for shameless self-promoting, but also because they are topics I haven’t written about on the blog and likely won’t, seeing as how they already exist in my own… Read more »

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    Photo Essay: Springtime in Northern Italy

    When asked what’s my favorite season, I’ve always had a loyal response. Now, however, I’ve finally realized that the question is more idiosyncratic than I thought. It largely depends on where. My favorite season is fall (or autumn as I call it here since no one would understand the strange American way to describe the transition season)…. Read more »

  • Me, Italy and Our Ever-Changing Relationship

    My relationship with Italy has changed since I first came to study in Florence. It’s changed since I returned unprepared and since I started commuting back and forth as I fell in love with both my now-husband and the country. After a year in Italy, it’s still changing. I can’t argue against all the friends who… Read more »

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    On Choosing to Just Stay Put

    I love to travel. I love to read about travel, to watch movies about travel and to hear about other’s travels. I plan imaginary journeys for three, five or 14 day trips in the event that any of the three options becomes possible. I bookmark informative articles about destinations I want to visit, despite not having any… Read more »

  • Pilgrimage to San Pietro al Monte Pedale

    Wherever you live or where ever you are there are, around you, dozens of little things to see, to experience. By “little,” I mean insignificant, something here or there that doesn’t seem much yet shouldn’t be overlooked. Driving along the highway from Brianza to Lecco and the Lake District, Marco has always pointed out each… Read more »

  • [Insert Catchy, Concise, Emotional Memoir Title Here]

    I’ve been in Italy over a year. So, if I was following societal constraints I should be shortly releasing my first memoir. Either that or a glass-shattering HBO television show/screenplay about four girlfriends living in New York City… Since I don’t live in NYC and I don’t have four girlfriends, it follows that a witty,… Read more »

  • Photo Essay: Battle of the Oranges, The Fight

    It was my first time in Ivrea, in Piedmont actually, and though the city had its carnevale mask on glimpses of the town could be found through the mask. I was lucky to be there on the first day in weeks without rain and the sun brought out all the city’s splendor. Like I mentioned… Read more »