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Year in Review – 2014 Top Posts

2014 marked my first full year in Italy. All four seasons, all manners of disasters and adventures and everything life here has to offer. This blog, though hopefully entertaining to those who read it, has also been a life-saver for me. With posts every single Monday, it gave me a weekly moment to reflect, a moment… Read more »

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I have two weeks in Italy, what should I see?

I get a version of this question often. It’s usually a rambling, excited facebook message, chaotic, happy and a little bit naive, like a puppy greeting you at the door. “So, me and [insert friend, lover, brother, family, stranger here] are heading to Italy this summer for 7 days and I wanted to ask you… Read more »

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The Best Events This December in Milan

Out of all of the towns in Italy, I love Milan for December. The sometimes-dreary city completely lights up during Christmastime and fills with decorations, Christmas lights, and store windows that seem more like works of art than simply advertisements. The crisp winter air cuts through the smog and the perpetual rain of November usually begins to… Read more »

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Photo Essay: The Balconies of Spello

Like I mentioned before, I spent all of my time in Spello (which, unfortunately, wasn’t much) simply walking around, taking in the gray and pink brick, the beautiful staircases and, to my surprise, the even more beautiful balconies. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of balconies and deck. In the midwest it’s about grilling on the… Read more »

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Spello – The Most Beautiful Village in Italy

We were in Verona visiting an art exhibit with some friends the first time I had ever heard of Spello. We were at a stand buying an easy-clean tablecloth. The man and his wife were basically retired when they decided to sell tablecloths for a living, traveling all of Italy to set up their stand at… 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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The Best Quotes About Italy

“A man who has not been in Italy, is always conscious of an inferiority.” – Samuel Johnson “One of the great joys of traveling through Italy is discovering firsthand that it is, indeed, a dream destination.” – Debra Lavinson “Italy is a dream that keeps returning for the rest of your life.” – Anna Akhmatova “The Creator made… Read more »

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The Bidet – What It Is and How It’s Used

Ah the bidet. If there was one cultural habit that I am firmly stuck in the middle on, it’s the bidet. I often listen as Italians scoff, “the [insert non-bidet using nationality here] don’t even use the bidet!” I usually just try not to move. If I don’t call attention to myself perhaps they won’t turn their… 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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Corso Como to Brera – A Walk in Milan

Tourists far too often skip over Milan. As Italy’s most industrial city, it doesn’t seem to have the history of Rome, the art of Florence or the allure of Venice. Non ha l’atmosfera. And I get it. I too once thought that Milan, though fun, doesn’t have much of a tourist factor. Perhaps it’s true. It’s landmarks… Read more »