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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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A Note on Italian Time

Let’s dedicate some time to … time.  We all generally follow the same societal standards of time: a decade, year, month, week, day. Seasons, minutes, appointments, dates.  And yet how we relate to those standards of time is radically different across cultures.  “On time” in Germany seems to mean at least five minutes early. On… Read more »

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Raising an Italian-American

I have a little Italian baby. Of course she’s Italian-American, but the novelty is the Italian part. Having a baby is an adventure, but raising a baby in another culture brings a whole new set of challenges.  Being pregnant in another country means immersing yourself in another culture’s convictions, both philosophical and physical. I regularly… Read more »

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Italy: North vs South

Let’s talk a little bit about the north-south divide. Most countries have it. The food, culture, languages and economies of the north have nothing to do with those of the south in India, Argentina, Mexico, Italy. In some of these countries, both areas are accepted and prized. More often, however, an undercurrent of competition and entitlement… Read more »

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What to Eat in Liguria

It’s summer and everyone is on the coast. In Milan, that coast is undoubtedly Liguria. Approximately a 2-hour drive from the city, it’s the Milanese weekend destination of choice to escape the sticky heat of the city. The Italian Riviera has a lot to offer a visitor: geriatric towns to discoteca filled cliffside retreats; the submerged Christ… Read more »

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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 »