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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 »

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Tuscany’s Hill Towns: Montalcino and Montepulciano

Both of these medieval Tuscan towns are perched on a hill. Both are most known for their red wines. Both are ridiculously tiny and ridiculously crowded in August. Strolling the streets there is most certainly a Duomo to visit, another church or two, maybe a famous civic building or even a small museum, but the… Read more »

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The Geographical Food of Veneto

It’s impossible to identify just one dish that personifies the food of Veneto. Though most only visit the region’s capital city, Venice, it actually spans from the mighty port town of Venice to the mountains up north, then inland to Verona and its cuisine reflects that, with each area enjoying its own local specialty.  Along the coast seafood is preferred,… Read more »

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What is an Agriturismo and Why You Should Go

I’m not a huge fan of Italy’s hotels. I find that far too often they rest on their laurels, safe in the knowledge that Italy will always have tourists who need a room. There’s charm in the ancient buildings, but not in the 1970s interiors. The wifi is dim and in some places, like overcrowded Liguria, the rooms are… 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 to (Mostly) Escape The Crowds

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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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 »