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Your Sicily Starter-Kit: What to Know Before You Go

Sicily is a big island with a big history and a big personality. It deserves some planning and it deserves some time, but it won’t be offended if you don’t have either. Here time runs slower and the days longer. And though the stereotypes of carefree islanders doesn’t always work here – unemployment and corruption… Read more »

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What to See in Palermo, Sicily

Palermo has long had a bad reputation. Ground zero for the mafia, they say. Dirty. A port city only good to take you elsewhere. Gone are those days. Now Palermo is a favorite for hipsters throughout Italy. Curious Italians are giving it a second chance and international travelers choose it as an introduction to Southern Italy – the… Read more »

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12 Italian Cities and What I Did Right

Sure, I’ve made some travel mistakes. Besides wishing I had done more research or missing out on a major site, I’ve missed trains, lost tickets and gone the wrong way for hours. It seems that a large part of travel is dealing with the unexpected, even if sometimes it’s your own fault. It can be… Read more »

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Italy’s Best Holiday Dessert: Carnival’s Chiacchiere

Nearly every holiday in Italy has its traditional dessert, but none is better than Carnival’s. Called Carnevale in Italian, Carnival or Mardi Gras is a big deal in Italy. It’s celebrated for several weeks before Lent begins with the biggest and final bash on Fat Tuesday, the final day before Lent. Though everyone knows about… Read more »

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What to See in Perugia, Umbria

Perugia is small, so you can easily tour it like any small town: Start in the main piazza, see the duomo, take a walk and eat some food. But this time, you’d be missing out.  It seems like all roads lead to Piazza IV Novembre and from there you can see most of Perugia by walking down its… Read more »

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The Best Artisanal Gifts from Italy and Where to Buy Them

Italy’s culture of artisanal, quality craftsmanship is unlike any in the world.  One of the best things you can do while in Italy is buy local, handmade items. Not only do they support the local economy, but they’re sure to be higher quality than the knick-knacks and souvenirs from who-knows-where. Whether leather or mosaics, glass… Read more »

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Being Pregnant in Italy

It’s impossible to fully understand pregnancy until you’ve been pregnant. We all have an idea, but beyond that there’s really no preparing. I spent hours with my £36 What to Expect When You’re Expecting book shipped from the UK to my otherwise-Italian speaking home, desperately searching for answers. Is that normal? What about that? Holy hell what… Read more »

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The Basilica of San Vitale, Ravenna

If you only see one thing in Ravenna, make it the Basilica di San Vitale. On the outside it’s an unassuming brick structure. On the inside it’s a jaw-dropping work of genius. In a country awash in churches, it’s easy to get church-fatigue. The cross-shaped naves, dark paintings, tiny windows and ceiling frescos begin to blur… Read more »

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A Guide to Ravenna, Mosaics and More

A small city in Emilia Romagna near the Adriatic coast, Ravenna glitters like a jewel. It’s richness isn’t jewels, however, but the glass and gold-plated stones used to create most of the city’s magnificent 5th-century mosaics. Once the capital of the Western Roman Empire and then of Byzantine Italy until the 8th century, today that period is visible in… Read more »

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Photo Essay: The Curated Beauty of Isola Bella and Isola Madre

Isola Madre and Isola Bella are apart of the Borromean islands on Lago Maggiore in Northern Italy. Originally created for the Borromeo family, the islands along with much of the tourist attractions in the Gulf of Borromeo are owned to this day by the family. Originally rocky outposts, over the course of nearly five centuries… Read more »