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Snapshots of Rome

Snapshots of Rome, Italy: A day in the Eternal City. It would take an eternity to truly understand Rome, to explore its cobblestone alleyways, to get lost in the nooks and crannies of every park, boulevard and museum. History seeps into the stones that build the city, each step superimposed atop another’s. Unfortunately, most of us don’t… Read more »

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A Guide to Bergamo Alta

Bergamo is a city with two unique city centers. There’s lower Bergamo or Città Bassa and upper Bergamo, or Città Alta.  In general, Città Bassa is the commercial heart of Bergamo and Città Alta is the touristy centro storico. Bergamo Alta is the oldest part of the city, dating from the Middle Ages, with 16th-century Venetian walls fortifying the… Read more »

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A Timeline of Trieste: The Story of a Border

Trieste is a striking city. Though I only had a few hours to explore it, it was enough to hook me. Unlike any other Italian city I’ve ever visited, I knew it was a city I had to get to know more. Trieste’s history oozes out of the gray stone buildings, fills its enormous Austrian-style… Read more »

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How to Avoid The Crowds in Italy

There are a few dirty truths about Italy. One is that it really isn’t as clean and efficient as photos and films might make it seem. The other is that with 47 million visitors every year, it’s perpetually crowded. My least favorite experiences in Italy involve fighting the crowds. I’ve been trapped on the bridges of Venice in… Read more »

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A Guide to Monza, Italy

Just 10 miles north of Milan is Monza, a city with all the fashion and haughtiness of Milan, at a fraction of the size. Monza is the third largest city of Lombardy and the capital of the province of Brianza. The city stretches out like tentacles, reaching its influence well into the surrounding towns. Maybe because… Read more »

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How To Save Venice

It’s no secret Venice is sinking. Gorgeous, 5th century Venice with its Gothic spires, stolen religious relics, Byzantine mosaics and ridiculously narrow alleyways may someday simply not exist anymore. Imagine: all of Venice sinking beneath the lagoon like the lost city of Atlantis.  This is partly because it’s old, but it’s mainly because of us.  A 108-page paper… Read more »

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The Piazze, Pecorino and Panoramas of Pienza, Tuscany

There are few places better suited to a road trip than the beautiful sun-kissed Val d’Orcia.  On trips to the area I’ve stopped in Siena, Monteriggioni, Buonconvento, Montalcino and Montepulciano. Each are a quintessential Tuscan town: small, gorgeous, filled with wine and perched on a hilltop. Siena being the only truly influential town in the area’s history.  Dodging… Read more »

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Venice’s Carnival: A Sea of Secrets

A sinking city of sea and secrets, Venice is known for its inescapable romance, beauty and mystery. Visitors can find all three at the city’s infamous Carnival celebration. Now an annual, three-week celebration, the first Carnival of Venice supposedly started in 1162 to celebrate a military victory of La Repubblica della Serenissima, as Venice was originally called. Known as carnevale in Italian,… Read more »

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Why You Should See a Temporary Art Exhibition in Milan

There are some tourist sites that are so obvious, you barely need to research them.  Obviously you’ll be visiting the Uffizi Gallery or the Accademia’s David in Florence. Obviously the Vatican Museums and the Colosseum in Rome are important, St. Mark’s in Venice and the Archeological Museum in Naples. It doesn’t seem to be so obvious in Milan. Milan is… Read more »

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The Beautiful Piazzas, Lively Atmosphere and Failed Dinner of Padova

For me, travel throughout Italy is centered squarely on what I eat, where I eat, who I ate it with. My trip to Padova was no different. Padova is a city in Veneto, not far from Venice. It has a Venetian flair and great atmosphere. Often my “small city” stops are more about the atmosphere than a specific… Read more »