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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 Piazze, Pecorino and Panoramas of Pienza, Tuscany

    There are few places better suited to a road trip than the beautiful sun-kissed Val d’Orcia.  On trips to the area I’ve stopped in Siena, Monteriggioni, Buonconvento, Montalcino and Montepulciano. Each are a quintessential Tuscan town: small, gorgeous, filled with wine and perched on a hilltop. Siena being the only truly influential town in the area’s history.  Dodging… Read more »

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    The Year of The Book: 2016 Reading Review

    Last year marked my first ever “Year of The Book.“ Entirely made up by myself, it was my way to bring myself back to my love of reading, to allow myself to “waste” time in the lovely, fulfilling, necessary pursuit. The year before I had read a staggering (for me, at the time) 24 books… Read more »

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    Embracing Change

    Nothing embodies the unknown like a new baby. From the moment of conception it’s the most remarkable miracle in all of humankind, and the scariest moment in the universe. The change that comes with pregnancy is constant and inevitable. My stomach becomes sensitive, my head becomes fuzzy, my appetite and taste changes. My will hardens as my body grows… Read more »

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    Snapshots of Mantova: What to See, Do and Eat

    Snapshots of Mantova, Italy: A look into one of Lombardia’s most livable cities: Equidistant from Milan and Venice and just next door to Verona, Mantova is an easy-to-reach city chock full of history, culture and absolutely mouth-watering food. Declared the Italian Capital of Culture in 2016 as well as the European Capital of Gastronomy for 2017, it’s time… Read more »

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    Venice’s Carnival: A Sea of Secrets

    A sinking city of sea and secrets, Venice is known for its inescapable romance, beauty and mystery. Visitors can find all three at the city’s infamous Carnival celebration. Now an annual, three-week celebration, the first Carnival of Venice supposedly started in 1162 to celebrate a military victory of La Repubblica della Serenissima, as Venice was originally called. Known as carnevale in Italian,… Read more »

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    How To Support Your Country From Abroad

    “If X wins, I’m moving to Y” We’ve all heard it, read it, gagged over the privilege of the statement. I understand, it’s a way to powerfully state your strong opinions about the potential-elect. It’s saying ‘I would hate so much for this person to win that I’d be willing to leave the country, my hometown,… Read more »

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    Maya Angelou: Wouldn’t Take Nothing For My Journey Now

    A friendly reminder from a courageous, intelligent, loving being: Maya Angelou   “Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try to understand each other, we may even become friends.” – Maya Angelou in Wouldn’t Take Nothing For… Read more »

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    Why You Should See a Temporary Art Exhibition in Milan

    There are some tourist sites that are so obvious, you barely need to research them.  Obviously you’ll be visiting the Uffizi Gallery or the Accademia’s David in Florence. Obviously the Vatican Museums and the Colosseum in Rome are important, St. Mark’s in Venice and the Archeological Museum in Naples. It doesn’t seem to be so obvious in Milan. Milan is… Read more »

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    #Winning: The Liebster Blogging Award

    I have so much fun blogging. I genuinely like crafting stories, taking pictures and sharing my love for Italy on this site. But the truth is, sometimes blogging can be super lonely.   I work hard to write entertaining, comprehensive blog posts for my readers. I haven’t missed a Monday publishing date in more than two years… Read more »

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    How to Get an Italian Driver’s License

    After only four months in Italy I had successfully navigated the labyrinth system to get a permit of stay, taking what seems like dozens of passport photos, paying for dozens of marche di bollo, the required stamp (with newly raised prices!) and visiting multiple different bureaucratic offices; I’d also found an apartment, applied for residency, gotten married and started… Read more »