IMG_4835

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 »

IMG_8859

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 »

IMG_7673

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 »

IMG_7291

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 »

(via)

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 »

IMG_3850

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 »

IMG_20150621_152914

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 »

IMG_2851

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 »

IMG_3045

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 »

Latest
  • DSCN0396

    Florence, Italy: What to Know Before You Go

    Compared with Italy’s other big cities – Rome, Venice, Milan and Naples – Florence is an easy town to visit. The city center is compact, the people are relaxed and the food delicious. Plus, there’s so much to see that you can enjoy the world-class art and architecture with very little pre-trip preparation. Still, I’m a… Read more »

  • IMG_6993

    The World-Class Food of Emilia Romagna

    There’s no region more noted and celebrated for its food than Emilia Romagna. Emilia Romagna is Italy’s gastronomic powerhouse. No small feat in a country known for its food culture. The region itself is well-off, happy, filled with cities with the highest quality of life in Italy. Modena, Bologna, Parma – each famed for its food and… Read more »

  • ooooh

    Accommodation Options in Italy

    Planning a trip to Italy is big. It takes a lot of time and effort to decide an itinerary, research the various destinations, figure out transport and, of course, find a place to stay. With hundreds of websites you can find thousands of options, but which one is right for you? For years the first… Read more »

  • IMG_6993

    The Joy of A Lunch Stop

    This post is for those of you traveling by car.  Marco and I predominately travel Italy by car – it’s convenient and cheaper for us for travel in northern and central Italy – and on travel days we always, always have a lunch stop. (You can do it too! Driving in Italy: How to Take an… Read more »

  • IMG_6996

    How to Be the Best Houseguest Ever

    Summer is here, bringing with it vacations, road trips and impromptu visits. Whenever I’m invited to a friend’s place in another town, I always go. (Making me, of course, either the worst or the best friend….but at least now you know). I absolutely love visiting a new place with the help of someone who lives there…. Read more »

  • IMG_2926

    The Tuscan Islands: Escape to Pianosa Prison

    The engine rumbled as the ship backed away from the dock slowly, as if trying to quietly escape. It aimed its bow away from Marina di Campo bay and toward a still invisible line on the horizon.    I was going to Pianosa Island, an isolated island just 14 km from Isola d’Elba, the largest and most popular of the Tuscan islands.   As the ship churned closer, the thin line of land grew more visible, if… Read more »

  • IMG_2101

    How to Be An Ethical Traveler in Italy

    Summer is coming and with it waves and waves of visitors to Italy. Understandably so. Italy is beautiful in summer and that’s when most of us have the chance to take some time off. Unfortunately, it also inevitably means news stories about tourists not living their best life. There’s the one that broke an ancient statue,… Read more »

  • IMG_3731

    Tiny Tuscany: The Ancient Etruscan Town of Volterra

    It was raining a steady but soft sprinkle when we got to the foot of a never-ending brick staircase. We were in tiny but mighty Volterra, a city carved by erosion among the Balze hills, between Florence, Siena and the sea. A part of a perfect trio of hill cities located close together – Volterra, Colle Val d’Elsa and San… Read more »

  • Photo by Eric Hossinger (via)

    6 Places On My Italy Travel Wish List

    I was enamored with Italy even before I saw it. Then, I saw it. From my first jet-lagged lunch in a nondescript tourist joint in Rome I knew this was a place I wanted to know. In the light, the speed, the scene, there was something to learn here. Since then I’ve traveled all over Italy… Read more »

  • IMG_1408

    Life Abroad: Do You Like Living in Italy?

    An English woman, an Irish woman and two Midwestern Americans sat around the table, spritz’s in hand and classic Italian aperitivo snacks littering the table, each discussing the merits of their own country. The question asked by an Italian acquaintance was “do you like living in Italy?” So innocuous. So loaded. Eyes were immediately averted, smiles forcibly… Read more »