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A Guide to the Christmas Season in Italy

Few places know how to do Christmastime like Europe. Between feast days and lights, Duomo-sized Christmas trees and pastries galore, there’s enough Christmas cheer to attract a North Pole elf. Or, you know, a traveler who likes pretty things.  Instead of a sea of tourists, you’ll find yourself in a sea of Italians, out to… Read more »

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Why December is a Great Time to Visit Italy

Everyone comes to Italy in summer. Mediterranean climate, Mediterranean sea, Mediterranean men. Summer has its benefits, but it’s not the only time worth visiting.  Of course the shoulder seasons (fall and spring) are great for lower prices but they also have unpredictable weather (fall in Northern Italy tends to be rainy) and the winter should, in general,… Read more »

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Santo Stefano and the Italian Christmas Holidays

Italian national holidays are, for the most part, Catholic holidays. This means that Italians not only get a day off work for things like Labor Day and Republic Day (think, 4th of July for Italians) but also for Ferragosto (Mary’s Assumption into heaven) All Saint’s Day, the Immaculate Conception, Christmas and Santo Stefano, celebrated the day… Read more »

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I Have a Confession To Make

I have a confession to make.  I ruined my own birthday by being irritable, spiteful and, in certain moments, simply mean.  Surely it was a snowball effect. It came from one thing after another, accumulating until BAM! It exploded. I believe that’s true, but it’s not a very good defense. The end result was still an explosion. … Read more »

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Christmas in Milan: Lights, St. Ambrose and Panettone

This weekend families throughout Italy put up their Christmas trees and dusted off their nativity scenes. The towns have finished hanging their Christmas lights, the strands, orbs or stars extending across the street, stretching from one palazzo to another. The Christmas markets are open for business. It’s the weekend of December 8th, the Immaculate Conception, and in Italy… Read more »

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My Christmas Back Home, in Numbers

Sometimes trips are such a whirlwind, it seems impossible to describe it in words. Like a hazy dream or a night spent with too many drinks, you only can recall bits and pieces, a scene here, a scene there. Like my parents visit to Italy, there’s almost too much to recount but the numbers don’t… Read more »

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The Best Events This December in Milan

Out of all of the towns in Italy, I love Milan for December. The sometimes-dreary city completely lights up during Christmastime and fills with decorations, Christmas lights, and store windows that seem more like works of art than simply advertisements. The crisp winter air cuts through the smog and the perpetual rain of November usually begins to… Read more »

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A Very Merry Christmas Season in Milan

Milan explodes with lights, people and festivals for Christmas – making Christmastime a real event. This year I was able to spend the season in Milan, eating at the O Bej O Bej, shopping at Monza’s Thursday market and taking trips to see the Duomo’s beautiful Christmas Tree and street lights.

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Florence Blizzard 2010 and the End of a Dream

My last few days of Florence can be called a lot of things if not interesting. Beautiful, stressful, bittersweet, chaotic. With a surprise visit (belated birthday gift) from a good friend on Thursday and my last final of the quarter on Friday I had very little time to pack everything and make sure the apartment… Read more »