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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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    What’s The Deal With Adult Italians Still Living At Home?

    Italian young adults have a terrible reputation. Absolutely babied by their moms, Italians basically remain children well into adulthood, enjoying the benefits of full-time emotional unpaid labor. I know many a 30-year-old who doesn’t cook, clean, do their own laundry or even, at times, buy their own clothes. Their mother’s grocery shop, make their appointments, cook three… Read more »

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    The Best Day Trips From Milan

    Lombardy is a region unfairly overlooked by international travelers. I know, I know, Tuscany’s charm is far-reaching, Venice’s (because few go beyond the city) fame international, but Lombardy has cosmopolitan Milan and tiny villages dotting the mountainside. It has Alpine peaks and undulating rice fields. It has university towns, thermal spas, ski resorts and world-class cuisine. Though… Read more »

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    Sticking Close to Home: When Backyard Travel is a Must

    Embracing change in one aspect of your life has a sort of snowball effect: It will usually roll change through all aspects of your life. Deciding to marry an Italian and move to Italy five years ago is a clear example – every aspect of my life was changed! Now, welcoming sweet baby Adeline into our lives, the… Read more »

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    Where to Go Instead

    Though they may be drab, winters are the perfect time for trip planning. It’s time to read, research and place your dream trip to Italy. Where do you want to go? What do you want to see? What Italian experiences do you dream of? A first-time visit practically requires time in Rome and Florence, Venice and Tuscany… Read more »

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    When in Italy, Get The Cheese

    “Wait,” my Italian father-in-law commanded, as I reached for a slice of cheese on the overflowing cheese platter. “Start with the brie, it’s the weakest. Then try this soft taleggio. After, the branzi and then you can finish with this gorgonzola,” he said, using his knife with a flourish to indicate each type of cheese…. Read more »

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    Snapshots of Ivrea: What to See, Do and Drink During Carnevale

    Snapshots of Ivrea, Italy: Everyday moments during a not-so-everyday celebration. Ivrea, in Piedmont, was essentially founded after a canal was built to supply water to the surrounding rice fields. It was the home of the first Olivetti headquarters, one of the first tech companies in Italy, which supplied jobs for most of the town. Today, it’s a UNESCO World Heritage… Read more »

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    The True Romance of Italy

    Search for “most romantic places in Italy” and the lists seem endless. There are the perennial favorites: Rome, Venice, Verona, Tuscany bla. bla. bla. Sometimes a smaller, lesser known location will stick out with a beautiful photo and intriguing location. From tip to toe Italy is full of incredibly romantic cities, towns and villages. All of Italy is romantic, because… Read more »

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    What I’ve Learned After Five Years in Italy

    I’ve officially been in Italy for five years!  In the past five years I’ve graduated college, found and changed and negotiated jobs, lived in an apartment and moved into our home, married, traveled and passed nearly a year with our beautiful baby girl.  It’s been a whirlwind.  Looking back, I can still understand  the small… Read more »

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    2018 Italy Travel Resolutions

    It seems that resolutions are hopelessly lame these days. It’s now popular to say, “I don’t make resolutions, I make goals, duh” accompanied by a hair flick and eye roll.  To which I’d say, goals are resolutions.  I’d say, when has taking stock and wanting to improve not a good thing?  I’d say, who cares if it’s not popular? I… Read more »

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    How I Read 40 Books in 2017

    I know that for many people reading 40 books in one year is nothing special, but, well, for me it is.   I love reading. But like many, I often find it hard to find the time. I consider myself a reader – I have a list longer than my arm of books to read – yet somehow I… Read more »