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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 »

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A Sweet Sip of Soave

A perfect day-trip from Verona, Soave nevertheless sits nearly completely unknown in the rolling green hills of Veneto. Pronounced “so-AH-vey”, like the Spanish “smooth”, it means “sweet, pleasing to the senses.” And isn’t it though? We stopped for lunch in the fortressed town on our way home from a weekend in Friuli Venezia Giulia. Just another name on the… Read more »

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Explore Italy’s Most Charming Small Towns

The more I travel in Italy, the more I’m convinced that Italy’s biggest charm comes from its smallest towns and villages. Rome is a must-see. Its historical importance alone can bring you there. Venice, the sinking city in the lagoon, has attracted explorers since its foundation. Florence was the birthplace of the Renaissance where artists… Read more »

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Along The Coast: Camogli, Liguria

Along the Italian Riviera is Camogli, a tiny town of founded by sailors and fishermen. The port can hold a maximum of thirty ships, yet it’s said there were hundreds in the early 1900s. They simply weren’t at home. Always out in a different port on a different exhibition. The city’s name, in fact, is… Read more »

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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 »