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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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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    Italy with a Baby or Toddler

    If being pregnant in Italy raised me from a frivolous ragazza to a praised signora, having a baby added a crown to my regal head. I felt admired and coddled as a pregnant woman. I was still seen as my own entity, just a more important one. Being pregnant in Italy was a breeze. Then… Read more »

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    Our Dirty Secret About Traveling With a Toddler

    Long obsessed with traveling, travel blogs and media are not new to me. Travel blogger moms, however are a category unto themselves. Before Adeline, I scrolled past their posts thinking “how?!” And “wow!” Then breathed a sigh of relief that they had to hoist around all that shit (not including the baby) and not me…. Read more »

  • Photo by SNappa2006 (flickr)

    Day Trips from Palermo, Sicily

    Ideally, you’d have at least a week to visit Palermo and the west coast of Sicily. Or if you’ve already seen Palermo you could fly directly in to Trapani to tour around the area – maybe with a few extra days tacked on to visit the Egadi Islands! But I also know that that’s not always… Read more »

  • Photo by Tommie Hansen (flickr)

    Your Sicily Starter-Kit: What to Know Before You Go

    Sicily is a big island with a big history and a big personality. It deserves some planning and it deserves some time, but it won’t be offended if you don’t have either. Here time runs slower and the days longer. And though the stereotypes of carefree islanders doesn’t always work here – unemployment and corruption… Read more »

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    What to See in Palermo, Sicily

    Palermo has long had a bad reputation. Ground zero for the mafia, they say. Dirty. A port city only good to take you elsewhere. Gone are those days. Now Palermo is a favorite for hipsters throughout Italy. Curious Italians are giving it a second chance and international travelers choose it as an introduction to Southern Italy – the… Read more »

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    12 Italian Cities and What I Did Right

    Sure, I’ve made some travel mistakes. Besides wishing I had done more research or missing out on a major site, I’ve missed trains, lost tickets and gone the wrong way for hours. It seems that a large part of travel is dealing with the unexpected, even if sometimes it’s your own fault. It can be… Read more »

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    Italy’s Best Holiday Dessert: Carnival’s Chiacchiere

    Nearly every holiday in Italy has its traditional dessert, but none is better than Carnival’s. Called Carnevale in Italian, Carnival or Mardi Gras is a big deal in Italy. It’s celebrated for several weeks before Lent begins with the biggest and final bash on Fat Tuesday, the final day before Lent. Though everyone knows about… Read more »

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    12 Italian Cities and The Travel Mistakes I Made

    I’ve traveled quite a bit in Italy, but I haven’t always done it well. Maybe there was no time to do proper research. Maybe we got there at the wrong time or the wrong day. Maybe we missed the best thing there was to see. Because even though I harp on and on about being… Read more »

  • The San Lorenzo Cathedral, just beyond the fountain

    What to See in Perugia, Umbria

    Perugia is small, so you can easily tour it like any small town: Start in the main piazza, see the duomo, take a walk and eat some food. But this time, you’d be missing out.  It seems like all roads lead to Piazza IV Novembre and from there you can see most of Perugia by walking down its… Read more »

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    Why You Should Visit Perugia

    If Umbria is the green-heart of Italy, Perugia is the bullseye at the heart of Umbria. An ancient Etruscan settlement, the fortified city center sits atop a hill with a spiderweb of streets, an inviting central piazza and sweeping views across the valley. The city’s university – one of the oldest in the region –… Read more »