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Where to Go to Explore More

Maybe you’ve been to Florence four times and want to branch out. Or you fell in love with the mosaics of St. Mark’s Basilica and want to explore more. Whether it’s your first trip or your 18th, there’s always a new place to see in Italy, always a place beyond your original itinerary, always a… Read more »

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Autumn in Italy: Chestnuts

“Are there any: Pumpkin patches Corn mazes Apple picking Hay rides In Milan or nearby?” This post on an expat women’s group perfectly explains fall in America. Those are the fall activities. That is how you celebrate a temperate climate’s best season.  Fall in Ohio means weekend trips to the orchard, spiked apple cider and getting lost 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 »

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The Tuscan Islands: Escape to Pianosa Prison

The engine rumbled as the ship backed away from the dock slowly, as if trying to quietly escape. It aimed its bow away from Marina di Campo bay and toward a still invisible line on the horizon.    I was going to Pianosa Island, an isolated island just 14 km from Isola d’Elba, the largest and most popular of the Tuscan islands.   As the ship churned closer, the thin line of land grew more visible, if… Read more »

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What is an Agriturismo and Why You Should Go

I’m not a huge fan of Italy’s hotels. I find that far too often they rest on their laurels, safe in the knowledge that Italy will always have tourists who need a room. There’s charm in the ancient buildings, but not in the 1970s interiors. The wifi is dim and in some places, like overcrowded Liguria, the rooms are… Read more »

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To Every Thing, a Season

Recently Austin Kleon, author of Steal Like An Artist, linked in his newsletter to a piece about living with the seasons by Matt Thomas, writer of the Sunday NYTimes Digest (if you can follow that). It reflects on our typical thinking of time and suggests a better way to measure it: by seasons. He asks: “Should one… Read more »

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Hiking in the Dolomites: A Brief Guide

If the Alps splay across northern Italy like a crown atop a queen, then the Dolomites in the northeast are the crown jewels.   They’re known in the news for the difficult WWI battles described in Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms, for the caveman recently found frozen in its glaciers and for the challenging via ferrata, an iron spiked path guiding intrepid hikers… Read more »

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The Beautiful Botanic Gardens of Villa Carlotta

Lake Como is surrounded by ville. White, yellow and rose-colored mansions perch on the hills around the lake, perfectly complemented by their extravagant, well-manicured gardens. This time I visited the extravagant, well-manicured Villa Carlotta. Last year I decided that I’d had enough of visiting ancient palaces. I was over paying to tour rich dead people’s homes. Their gardens,… Read more »

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A Glimpse of The Gorgeous Villa Monastero Gardens

There’s more to Lake Como than its namesake town or potential George Clooney sightings. The Lake itself is beautiful, with glistening blue water backdropped by the foothills of the Alps. The road that winds along the bank slices into and out of the mountains, disappearing before suddenly reemerging and founding cities along the way. Huge cyprus trees… Read more »

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2017 Italy Travel Resolutions

We often use the start of a new year as a way to stop and take stock of our life. Where are we now? What have we accomplished? What have we learned? And of course: where do we go from here? Now is the time to plan our coming year. Whether you want to make resolutions… Read more »