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How to Drive Like an Italian

You’re in Italy, you’ve got your rental car and you’re ready to go. Seatbelt buckled, car in gear, you begin to slowly ease into the traffic when seven cars zoom past you. Two turn even though you have the right of way, others begin to swerve into your lane with nary a signal. Welcome to… Read more »

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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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The One Thing You Should Do Before Coming to Italy

Before coming to Italy I went out and bought new, “Italy appropriate” clothes; I read about the culture, studied the language and devoured “insider’s tips” that promised to help me blend in with the Italians. I packed and repacked and imagined things I had yet to see. There’s always a certain amount of trepidation that… 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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Why You Absolutely Have to Do Research Before Traveling

For those of you too busy to read this I’ll make it brief: You have to research before traveling to know what the hell you’re doing. Woo, I already feel better. Now if you’re still with me, allow me unfold: Why would you spend thousands of dollars on an overseas trip without preparing beforehand? Far too often… Read more »

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Tips for Tourists: How to Do Italy Right

We already have a very succinct, but very precise Manifesto for any and all travelers in Italy (Check it out here, it’s important) but I believe there’s more explanation needed for first-time travelers in Italy (and even repeat offenders!) Everyone wants to seem like a local when they travel,  here are some ways to help:… 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 We Save a Ton of Money on Flights

The travel agent wooed us with her glossy catalogs. She explained the most popular route, the most visited places, a possible itinerary. Then she slammed us with the price tag. The most popular route was not one we wanted to, or could, take. Marco and I had decided to go to Indonesia for our honeymoon, a… Read more »

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Why Travel With Rick Steves’ Podcasts Rock

When I first heard of podcasts, years and years ago, I ignored them as a clunky, old person technology. Though “new”, their ties with public radio made them seem like the floppy disks of new technology. Of course I was wrong. When podcasts came back on my radar in spring of 2014 I tried one, then two,… Read more »