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What’s The Deal With the Acqua Alta in Venice?

Venice has a long and complicated history with water.  The city lies across 118 small islands in a swampy lagoon, separated by the Adriatic Sea by just a thin stretch of land. The islands are divided by narrow canals allowing boats in and out, as well as, ahem, the sea. When the tide rises, the seawater enters into… 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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A Guide to the Christmas Season in Italy

Few places know how to do Christmastime like Europe. Between feast days and lights, Duomo-sized Christmas trees and pastries galore, there’s enough Christmas cheer to attract a North Pole elf. Or, you know, a traveler who likes pretty things.  Instead of a sea of tourists, you’ll find yourself in a sea of Italians, out to… Read more »

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Why December is a Great Time to Visit Italy

Everyone comes to Italy in summer. Mediterranean climate, Mediterranean sea, Mediterranean men. Summer has its benefits, but it’s not the only time worth visiting.  Of course the shoulder seasons (fall and spring) are great for lower prices but they also have unpredictable weather (fall in Northern Italy tends to be rainy) and the winter should, in general,… Read more »

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Santo Stefano and the Italian Christmas Holidays

Italian national holidays are, for the most part, Catholic holidays. This means that Italians not only get a day off work for things like Labor Day and Republic Day (think, 4th of July for Italians) but also for Ferragosto (Mary’s Assumption into heaven) All Saint’s Day, the Immaculate Conception, Christmas and Santo Stefano, celebrated the day… Read more »

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Winter in Northern Italy, a New Narrative

Annals of literature associate winter with hardship, depression and even fear. It’s a time to stock up, grit our teeth and hold out against the difficult season. It’s our melancholy spirit, muted like laughter against the snow. We see winter as something to be tolerated until that first burst of spring. (I’ve already written about my love of spring, it’s no secret.) Winter is an… Read more »

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A Very Merry Christmas Season in Milan

Milan explodes with lights, people and festivals for Christmas – making Christmastime a real event. This year I was able to spend the season in Milan, eating at the O Bej O Bej, shopping at Monza’s Thursday market and taking trips to see the Duomo’s beautiful Christmas Tree and street lights.