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The Basilica of San Vitale, Ravenna

If you only see one thing in Ravenna, make it the Basilica di San Vitale. On the outside it’s an unassuming brick structure. On the inside it’s a jaw-dropping work of genius. In a country awash in churches, it’s easy to get church-fatigue. The cross-shaped naves, dark paintings, tiny windows and ceiling frescos begin to blur… Read more »

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A Guide to Ravenna, Mosaics and More

A small city in Emilia Romagna near the Adriatic coast, Ravenna glitters like a jewel. It’s richness isn’t jewels, however, but the glass and gold-plated stones used to create most of the city’s magnificent 5th-century mosaics. Once the capital of the Western Roman Empire and then of Byzantine Italy until the 8th century, today that period is visible in… Read more »

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How to Visit the Isole Borromee

I’ve visited a lot of rich people’s gardens in Italy. And why wouldn’t I? They’re beautiful, abundant, easy to visit, a feast for the senses. I find them pleasant. I don’t love visiting old palaces, but the gardens attached to them, now that has my name all over it. It might seem like a strange way to spend time and… 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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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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Spello – The Most Beautiful Village in Italy

We were in Verona visiting an art exhibit with some friends the first time I had ever heard of Spello. We were at a stand buying an easy-clean tablecloth. The man and his wife were basically retired when they decided to sell tablecloths for a living, traveling all of Italy to set up their stand at… Read more »

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Photo Essay: The Cimitero Monumentale of Milan

It might seem strange to go to a cemetery as a tourist – it did to me the first time I was brought there. Yet nearly four years later, I went back. Because the Cimitero Monumentale, or Monumental Cemetery, is more than just your average cemetery. It’s an enormous, elaborate look into a city; an open-air museum that… Read more »

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Photo Essay: Climbing the Duomo of Milano

I have admired every angle of Milan’s Duomo. I’ve seen it in daylight and lit up by lamps at night, in hazy summer and crisp winter air, in peak season and off. I’ve even toured the inside, sat for mass, examined dark angles and detailed stained glass. Yet I had never climbed to the rooftop. A… Read more »

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Photo Essay: The Italian City of Love

Verona, Italy is perhaps most known as the home of Romeo and Juliet and their tragic, yet romantic, love affair. Each year, thousands head to Verona to see Juliet’s balcony on a sort of love pilgrimage, only to overlook what else Verona has to offer. While it’s a novel attraction, you certainly won’t find the… Read more »

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Photo Essay: Patterns of Budapest

I found Budapest filled with patterned architecture and design. From the wallpaper to Pest’s tidy buildings, the city certainly wears its own style.   Finding something specific or offbeat about a city can be a fun and unique way to travel it. These are just a few of the patterns that I found throughout the… Read more »