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La Risiera di San Sabba, Italy’s Concentration Camp No One Knows About

When we finally arrived to Trieste we zipped right by the sea-facing Piazza dell’Unità di Italia, the round globed lamp posts, the Austrian architecture and the steep roads of Trieste’s town center. We followed the sea, looking as the charming buildings were slowly replaced with squat post-industrial apartments. They rose up one after the other… Read more »

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Getting to Know a City, Getting to Know Yourself

The first time I saw Monza I knew as much as any other chauffeured tourist knows. That is to say, nothing. I didn’t know how close it was to Milan or how close it was to my future husband’s hometown. I didn’t know that the people were well-off yet surprisingly leftist politically, that the library… Read more »

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Step Back in Time in This ‘City of Crazies’

The comparisons between Umbria and Tuscany are vast. Both regions are established among the hills, tiny towns perched on the top of each mound. They both share culinary traditions of fresh pasta, unsalted bread, truffles and wild boar. They both produce wine and churn out artisans trained in the same crafts and techniques as hundreds of years… Read more »

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That Time I Went to Mantova Just to Eat Lunch

Mantova, or Mantua in English, is a tiny medieval city in Lombardy, on the border with Veneto. Ruled for decades by the rich Gonzaga family, the city is a gem with a lot to offer a cultural traveler. I, however, was more of a gastronomical traveler. The plan was to head to the city early Sunday… Read more »

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Moving into Our New House, in Numbers

I’ve always been quick to acclimate to change. For new situations, new locations or, in this case, new homes, I ride my emotional roller coaster then move on, taking the change as a normality. It’s officially been a week since our move to the new house and though I already feel like the queen of the… Read more »

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On Moving, Again

I didn’t even see the apartment in Monza before we moved in. Desperately trying to finish school and save money, searching for an apartment overseas was not the easiest. Seeing that we were lagging, Marco’s mom served as our realtor, finding for-rent signs and ads and driving to multiple places on her own; touring, deciding. Finally she called… Read more »

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Photo Essay: Colle Val d’Elsa, Tuscany

Colle Val d’Elsa is perched on the hill directly across from the much more famous neighboring hill of San Gimignano in Tuscany. We chose Val d’Elsa as our base point for a few days in Tuscany, but ended up staying right in that little town, walking through the nearly deserted streets, admiring the existence of such… 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: Autumn in Tiergarten, Berlin

I ventured into Tiergarten, the largest garden in central Berlin, on the last day of my visit. There was no plan or time limit and I ended up spending hours exploring the pathways, ponds and colors of this enormous park. Though I went three years ago, I haven’t forgotten the vivid colors of autumn in… Read more »

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The Weird People in My Neighborhood

I like to brag that I was the one who chose to live in Monza. Me, the American, rather than my Italian husband who grew up in the area. I chose Monza mainly because it was the only city I was familiar with, but also because it was a nice compromise of all our wants…. Read more »