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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 »

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Orvieto: A City in The Sky, A City Underground

Most Italian hill towns are so small the only thing to do is stroll the streets, take in the atmosphere and of course eat. I once spent two lovely days in Colle Val d’Elsa, a tiny town across from San Gimignano in Tuscany, but when you ask me what sights to see I’d be hard pressed… Read more »

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The Nitty-Gritty Italy Travel Guide: How to Pack, Budget, Talk and Get Around

Everyone has questions before their first trip to Italy. After you finally decide on your itinerary, it’s time to plan for the nitty-gritty of travel. That is, all those seemingly small questions that are oh-so-important for a smooth travel. Read on to find out what to pack, when to come and how to get around.   What should… Read more »

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14 Extended-Travel Tips Learned On Our 21-Day Honeymoon

Last year Marco and I got married in America, then enjoyed a 21-day honeymoon exploring Singapore, Java and Bali Indonesia. Considering that we came early to America for the wedding, we were traveling for nearly two months all in all. It was incredible and hectic and between 14 hours of time zones, washing our clothes… Read more »

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How to Visit Milan on a Budget

Italy’s financial and fashion capital has long been considered the one of its priciest cities as well. With entire blocks dedicated to fashion designers, contemporary art scenes for the mega-rich to frequent and private courtyards closed to common folk, Milan can seem like a tough place to travel cheap. But it is possible to visit Milan on a budget…. Read more »