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Opera in the Verona Arena

Princess Aida raised her hands in the air, voice sounding out as scores of dancers, soldiers and dancing soldiers framed her, their bright white gowns and hand-held torches blazing in the night. Her voice climbed higher. The music grew louder. The passion was palpable as the sky exploded with flashes of purple light. The ominous heat lightening… 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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20 Things Americans Find Crazy About Italy

Every experience in a new culture comes with a heavy dose of judgement. Some more politically correct than me wouldn’t admit to such a thing, but we all know it’s true. Read: 50 Things Americans First Think About Italy As humans we need to tackle novelty and mold it into a shape that makes sense to… Read more »

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Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica

Enormous white columns curve out from the large domed cathedral like arms beckoning you into its embrace. The largest cathedral in the world and the seat of the Roman Catholic Church, St. Peter’s Basilica is impressive on first glance, and perhaps even more so inside. The enormous piazza, filled to the brim during papal audiences, is… Read more »

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Easter in Italy: More Than Just Easter Sunday

Whether religious or secular, Easter in Italy is worth experiencing. An overwhelmingly Catholic holiday – the most important of the Catholic calendar – the entire country goes all out to celebrate Easter in a festival of spring and light and renaissance.  Here spring arrives early. Many flowers are already in bloom by early March and mild temperatures mean… Read more »

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The Year of The Book: 2016 Reading Review

Last year marked my first ever “Year of The Book.“ Entirely made up by myself, it was my way to bring myself back to my love of reading, to allow myself to “waste” time in the lovely, fulfilling, necessary pursuit. The year before I had read a staggering (for me, at the time) 24 books… 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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Pavia: A Small University Town With a Big History

It seems with every turning of the wheel, travel media remembers a fundamental fact about travel: There’s plenty to do close to home. You can absolutely “travel” in your own town, state or region and discover just as much as you would after a transatlantic flight. Your senses are turned on, your wonder just as available…. 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 »