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12 Italian Cities and The Travel Mistakes I Made

I’ve traveled quite a bit in Italy, but I haven’t always done it well. Maybe there was no time to do proper research. Maybe we got there at the wrong time or the wrong day. Maybe we missed the best thing there was to see. Because even though I harp on and on about being… Read more »

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Adventures in Language Learning

“Gina, are you boring?” my Italian cousin asked me, her eyes worried and sincere. After regularly repeating this question the next two weeks I lived with her I finally came to terms with the slip up. My sweet, odd Italian relative who I connected with via email was worried about my boredom, not inquiring about my personality. Anyone who has studied a… Read more »

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Tips for Tourists: How to Do Italy Right

We already have a very succinct, but very precise Manifesto for any and all travelers in Italy (Check it out here, it’s important) but I believe there’s more explanation needed for first-time travelers in Italy (and even repeat offenders!) Everyone wants to seem like a local when they travel,  here are some ways to help:… 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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Elba Island: The Black Rock Beach

“Let’s go to the Black Rock Beach,” he said. “It’s a bit out of the way so there should be less people!” he said. In the summer of 2011 I came to stay with Marco for five weeks and we planned a five day vacation to Isola d’Elba, or Elba Island. I came to Elba knowing,… Read more »

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Snowboarding in Northern Italy, Or Not

I had finally done it! I, with Marco’s help, had finally coerced together a group of friends, planned times and cars and made it the two hours north to our cabin in Piazzatorre for a weekend of skiing and snowboarding. Skiing and snowboarding in Italy! We went to Foppolo, a location near-enough to the cabin with… Read more »

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Weird Conversations I’ve had Since My Number Has Been On The Internet

Shortly after I moved to Italy I published announcements on various websites offering my services as an English tutor/teacher/translator. I needed a job and I needed one fast, and luckily for me there is a high demand for a native English speaker in Italy. I’ve had nothing but a successful, positive experience teaching English in… Read more »

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Hospitality in the Hills – the other, other spring break

“The ticket says we have to be there at least a half hour before the tour!” “What?” “The ticket says we have to be there at least a half hour early!” I yelled again through the door. Marco was in the bathroom, it was already 9:30 am and our tour was at 10. It was… Read more »

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Prague & Berlin!

My fall break is officially over. Now I start a new level of Italian and also my volunteering in an Italian middle school. Thank God for All Saints Day, a national holiday here in Italy and an excellent cushion day between traveling and school. I finished laundry, caught up with friends and family, went to… Read more »

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Not All Things Go According to Plan, and That’s Ok

I’ve taken many, many trains since I’ve arrived in Italy. I’ve taken enough trains that I can honestly say I feel pretty confident at navigating the stations, despite the difficulties that can arise dealing with different languages, platform changes and crowds of equally confused people. Despite this, last weekend I missed my train. I spent… Read more »