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How to Avoid The Crowds in Italy

There are a few dirty truths about Italy. One is that it really isn’t as clean and efficient as photos and films might make it seem. The other is that with 47 million visitors every year, it’s perpetually crowded. My least favorite experiences in Italy involve fighting the crowds. I’ve been trapped on the bridges of Venice in… Read more »

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A Guide to Monza, Italy

Just 10 miles north of Milan is Monza, a city with all the fashion and haughtiness of Milan, at a fraction of the size. Monza is the third largest city of Lombardy and the capital of the province of Brianza. The city stretches out like tentacles, reaching its influence well into the surrounding towns. Maybe because… Read more »

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How To Save Venice

It’s no secret Venice is sinking. Gorgeous, 5th century Venice with its Gothic spires, stolen religious relics, Byzantine mosaics and ridiculously narrow alleyways may someday simply not exist anymore. Imagine: all of Venice sinking beneath the lagoon like the lost city of Atlantis.  This is partly because it’s old, but it’s mainly because of us.  A 108-page paper… Read more »

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The Truth About Getting an Italian Work Visa

Ever had a dream where you’re running and running but can’t seem to arrive anywhere? Your surroundings are as unclear as the reason that you’re running and the more you realize it, the more anxious you become, the more out of breath. That’s how trying to navigate the Italian visa system feels. Each and every North American… Read more »

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Travel to Northern Italy: Mantova, Verona and Padova

I love northern Italy. I love the location: just two hours in any direction and you can move from plains to jagged Alps to warm sea. I love its mixed-breed history. I love the hardworking nature of the people, the efficiency, the food.  And while Milan and Venice are breathtaking, there are plenty of towns that don’t share the same… Read more »

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Why You Should See a Temporary Art Exhibition in Milan

There are some tourist sites that are so obvious, you barely need to research them.  Obviously you’ll be visiting the Uffizi Gallery or the Accademia’s David in Florence. Obviously the Vatican Museums and the Colosseum in Rome are important, St. Mark’s in Venice and the Archeological Museum in Naples. It doesn’t seem to be so obvious in Milan. Milan is… Read more »

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How to Get an Italian Driver’s License

After only four months in Italy I had successfully navigated the labyrinth system to get a permit of stay, taking what seems like dozens of passport photos, paying for dozens of marche di bollo, the required stamp (with newly raised prices!) and visiting multiple different bureaucratic offices; I’d also found an apartment, applied for residency, gotten married and started… 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 »

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How to Speak English While Abroad

So you’re a native English speaker, huh? Somehow, from no effort of your own, you were born speaking fluently the world’s predominant language. The linga franca, if you will. Lucky you! You can now read, write, use the Internet, travel and work with ease. You respond to any speaker in English, confident that they’ll understand you… Read more »

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Italian Palaces and Gardens Better Than Versailles

Marco and I just got back from a lovely 8-day vacation in Paris. Of course with that amount of time we couldn’t skip the Château de Versailles, the opulent royal palace for generations of opulent French kings. We had heard it was the top of the top in Europe. The palace to end all palaces. Opulence and… Read more »