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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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Italy for First Timers: How to Plan Your Trip

Italy has everything. It has the sea and the mountains, the hills and the plain. It has lakes and rivers and forests and national parks. It has incredible ancient borghi and larger cities that have managed to enter the modern age with a firm hold on their ancient pasts. It has Medieval castles, Renaissance art and even contemporary… Read more »

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The One Thing You Must Do in Small-Town Italy

There are hundreds of coffee guides, pages of general rules and traveler manifestos, lists of places to see and cultural guides for Italy. Even at this blog! But there’s one piece of advice that I never see, though I’ve experienced it time and time again: Make restaurant reservations ahead of time In big cities like… Read more »

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How to Tour a Small Italian Town

Lately my travels in Italy have been small. I mean really small. Not only are the trips brief, maybe a day, at most a weekend, but we tend to hit villages, towns, at most a very compact city. Marco and I have seen most of the big sights in central and northern Italy. What really charms… Read more »

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How to Do Winter in Italy Right

If you’re going to come to Italy in the winter, I strongly suggest making it at Christmastime. Read: Why December is a Great Time to Visit Italy But it’s certainly not the only time. January and February isn’t as carefree as a gorgeous spring vacay, but let’s remember:   Any time you can come to Italy… 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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The Downside of Florence’s San Lorenzo Market

The San Lorenzo Market is in a massive, covered building in the heart of the San Lorenzo neighborhood. It’s big. It’s bustling. And yet, I wasn’t able to immediately find it the first time I went looking for it. Actually, the San Lorenzo Market is comprised of two markets: an outdoor one selling goods and… Read more »

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November in Italy: What to Expect and What to Do

November is the worst month to travel to Italy. Let me preface that by saying: The best time to visit Italy is whenever you’re able to visit Italy. But.  If you do have a choice, Avoid Italy in November. There’s no festive holiday and the weather tends toward dismal. While much of America is cold… Read more »

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Traveling in The Era of Overtourism

In the past few months there has been a lot of talk of over-tourism. The New York Times talks about it. Time Magazine talks about it. Der Spiegal online says, “Travel is no longer a luxury good. Airlines like Ryanair and EasyJet have contributed to a form of mass tourism that has made local residents feel… Read more »

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Italy in August: What to Expect

August in Italy is steaming hot, jam-packed and expensive. It’s high season in an already popular destination, and it’s not always pretty.  Buuuut… It’s not always so bad.  I advise everyone to avoid August if at all possible, but my first two biggest trips to Italy were both right in the middle of August, when… Read more »