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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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Why You Should Visit Perugia

If Umbria is the green-heart of Italy, Perugia is the bullseye at the heart of Umbria. An ancient Etruscan settlement, the fortified city center sits atop a hill with a spiderweb of streets, an inviting central piazza and sweeping views across the valley. The city’s university – one of the oldest in the region –… Read more »

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Snapshots of Gubbio

Snapshots of Gubbio, Umbria: A glimpse of one of the oldest towns in Umbria. Perhaps one of the most characteristic towns in Umbria, Gubbio sits in the 21st-century with a firm hold onto its ancient past. Also known as the “city of fools,” there’s a lot to explore in this Medieval town, but its true beauty is… Read more »

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Done the Big Five in Italy? Here’s Where to Go Next

Umbria. Umbria is where to go next. Most first-time visitors to Italy rightfully visit what I call the “big five” – that is, Naples, Rome, Florence, Venice and Milan – or a combination of some of them. Italy’s five “main” cities, they hold the vast majority of the country’s historical, political, artistic and religious wealth 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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My Favorite Foods in Tuscany and Umbria

What’s your favorite Italian food?   Recently, Marco asked me the same question. Though it might seem simple enough, I knew that coming from him, the question wasn’t as simple as it sounded. “Food or dish?” I asked.  Dish. I thought about some of my favorites. I knew that risotto or pizza wouldn’t do. He’d want something… Read more »

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2015 New Year’s Resolutions: Italy Edition

Learn Italian You don’t need to know Italian to travel in Italy, but since New Year’s resolutions are all about bettering ourselves and our lives, why not better your travel to Italy with a few words of the local language? Make your trip to Italy in 2015 the trip that you finally go equipped with… Read more »

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St. Francis of Assisi and The Wolf of Gubbio

After 13 years of Catholic school and growing up in a Catholic Italian-American family in the Midwest, I had always felt pretty knowledgeable about the teachings, stories and history of Catholicism. Then, I traveled to Italy and realized I know nothing. On a recent trip in Umbria, I visited Spello, Perugia, Gubbio and Assisi. The latter of which is of course… Read more »

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An Ode in Prose to my Umbrian Panino

Oh! To my Umbrian panino. A panino only found safely tucked away in the small, yet cosmopolitan town of Assisi. A surprise gem. A saint in our long day. In our constant quest to avoid the tourist traps, we shunned a traditional restaurant for lunch. Instead, we stopped at the take-away window of a traditional restaurant, right… Read more »

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Photo Essay: The Balconies of Spello

Like I mentioned before, I spent all of my time in Spello (which, unfortunately, wasn’t much) simply walking around, taking in the gray and pink brick, the beautiful staircases and, to my surprise, the even more beautiful balconies. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of balconies and deck. In the midwest it’s about grilling on the… Read more »