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City, Coast and Countryside: Northern Italy

Italy’s geography is something special. A long peninsula, it has miles and miles of coastline and just happens to be crowned by the Alps. The Apennine Mountains run its length like a spine and in-between you have centuries of ruling city-states that have created totally unique cities. I always preach that there’s something for everyone… Read more »

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Where to Go to Explore More

Maybe you’ve been to Florence four times and want to branch out. Or you fell in love with the mosaics of St. Mark’s Basilica and want to explore more. Whether it’s your first trip or your 18th, there’s always a new place to see in Italy, always a place beyond your original itinerary, always a… Read more »

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Autumn in Italy: Chestnuts

“Are there any: Pumpkin patches Corn mazes Apple picking Hay rides In Milan or nearby?” This post on an expat women’s group perfectly explains fall in America. Those are the fall activities. That is how you celebrate a temperate climate’s best season.  Fall in Ohio means weekend trips to the orchard, spiked apple cider and getting lost in… Read more »

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Hiking in the Dolomites: A Brief Guide

If the Alps splay across northern Italy like a crown atop a queen, then the Dolomites in the northeast are the crown jewels.   They’re known in the news for the difficult WWI battles described in Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms, for the caveman recently found frozen in its glaciers and for the challenging via ferrata, an iron spiked path guiding intrepid hikers… Read more »

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Snowboarding in Northern Italy, Or Not

I had finally done it! I, with Marco’s help, had finally coerced together a group of friends, planned times and cars and made it the two hours north to our cabin in Piazzatorre for a weekend of skiing and snowboarding. Skiing and snowboarding in Italy! We went to Foppolo, a location near-enough to the cabin with… Read more »

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Photo Essay: Hiking Torcola 2000

Spending a weekend up in Piazzatorre, Marco and I found just enough bel tempo to go for a hike. Mentioned before, Torcola is the peak right above our mountain home and our go-to hike. It’s a straight-up, no-nonsense walk that leads to an opening among the trees known as Torcola. Though I’m more than familiar with the… Read more »

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Tradition, Land and Culture at The Festa dei Crotti

Rain. Rain. Rain. It seems that northern Italy missed the memo that it’s fall, aka a time with beautiful, hot colors, crisp temperatures but not too crisp – vest weather. Nope, it’s raining (maybe that is fall here, but I refuse to admit it yet) and winter-cold. So even though I woke up deathly ill (or… Read more »

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How I Came to Love The Mountains

The overriding idea is that one is either an “ocean person” or a “mountain person,” though being from the flat, flat lands of Ohio and not vacationing much, I’m not sure if that is a universal idea or an Italian one. In any case, I’m all about the water. I’ve already described my childhood swimming… Read more »

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Escape to the Mountains Part Two

Sometimes you just know what you should be doing. Though we thought last weekend was our last chance for awhile to head to the mountains, when our plans fell through this weekend we didn’t hesitate to create new ones. While our original plans seemed sloppily stitched together, our alternative seemed already planned for us.  Friday after work threw… Read more »

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Escape to the Mountains

It’s hot. Really hot. The summer dragged its feet getting here this year but after this past week it’s arrived in full swing – swooping in to wither our plants and provide a persistent humidity. During the summer the Milanese, along with nearly all the citizens of Lombardia, either bolt to their seaside homes in Liguria or… Read more »