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The Downside of Florence’s San Lorenzo Market

The San Lorenzo Market is in a massive, covered building in the heart of the San Lorenzo neighborhood. It’s big. It’s bustling. And yet, I wasn’t able to immediately find it the first time I went looking for it. Actually, the San Lorenzo Market is comprised of two markets: an outdoor one selling goods and… Read more »

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Traveling in The Era of Overtourism

In the past few months there has been a lot of talk of over-tourism. The New York Times talks about it. Time Magazine talks about it. Der Spiegal online says, “Travel is no longer a luxury good. Airlines like Ryanair and EasyJet have contributed to a form of mass tourism that has made local residents feel… Read more »

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How To Get From the Malpensa Airport to Milan Center

Milan is one of the best-connected cities in Italy. One of the only with a subway system, it also has buses, trams and of course taxis. Not only that, but the city also has three airports serving it: Orio al’Serio in Bergamo (mostly European budget airlines), Linate and Milano Malpensa (MXP). Without a doubt Malpensa… Read more »

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Florence, Italy: What to Know Before You Go

Compared with Italy’s other big cities – Rome, Venice, Milan and Naples – Florence is an easy town to visit. The city center is compact, the people are relaxed and the food delicious. Plus, there’s so much to see that you can enjoy the world-class art and architecture with very little pre-trip preparation. Still, I’m a… Read more »

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The Joy of A Lunch Stop

This post is for those of you traveling by car.  Marco and I predominately travel Italy by car – it’s convenient and cheaper for us for travel in northern and central Italy – and on travel days we always, always have a lunch stop. (You can do it too! Driving in Italy: How to Take an… Read more »

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Tiny Tuscany: The Ancient Etruscan Town of Volterra

It was raining a steady but soft sprinkle when we got to the foot of a never-ending brick staircase. We were in tiny but mighty Volterra, a city carved by erosion among the Balze hills, between Florence, Siena and the sea. A part of a perfect trio of hill cities located close together – Volterra, Colle Val d’Elsa and San… Read more »

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6 Places On My Italy Travel Wish List

I was enamored with Italy even before I saw it. Then, I saw it. From my first jet-lagged lunch in a nondescript tourist joint in Rome I knew this was a place I wanted to know. In the light, the speed, the scene, there was something to learn here. Since then I’ve traveled all over Italy… Read more »

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8 Reasons Why You Should Visit Mantova

Tiny overlooked Mantova (Mantua in English) in Lombardy has gotten a lot of air-time on this humble blog. I’ve written about my three-hour long lunch in a local osteria and talked  about a road trip from Milan to Venice with a stop in the cultured city on the Amateur Traveler’s podcast, but in case you have any doubts let me… Read more »

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The Best Day Trips From Milan

Lombardy is a region unfairly overlooked by international travelers. I know, I know, Tuscany’s charm is far-reaching, Venice’s (because few go beyond the city) fame international, but Lombardy has cosmopolitan Milan and tiny villages dotting the mountainside. It has Alpine peaks and undulating rice fields. It has university towns, thermal spas, ski resorts and world-class cuisine. Though… Read more »

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Snapshots of Ivrea: What to See, Do and Drink During Carnevale

Snapshots of Ivrea, Italy: Everyday moments during a not-so-everyday celebration. Ivrea, in Piedmont, was essentially founded after a canal was built to supply water to the surrounding rice fields. It was the home of the first Olivetti headquarters, one of the first tech companies in Italy, which supplied jobs for most of the town. Today, it’s a UNESCO World Heritage… Read more »