Experience Basilicata, Authentic Italy

“Basilicata is a misshapen, green, rocky, mountainous piece of land forming the awkward instep of Italy’s boot, and Matera is its gnarled crown jewel,” writes Susan Wright for The New York Times, in an article announcing Matera, the region’s most well-known town, as the 2019 European Capital of Culture. American movie director Francis Ford Coppola,…

A Photo Tour of Rome’s Seven Hills

Having been a grateful traveler to Italy over the past years, it occurred to me recently that, despite being familiar with the saying that Rome was built on seven hills, I wasn’t at all sure that I’d even seen one. Definitely I could not name any of them. And with most trips to Italy ultimately…

Nine Beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Cities for Your Italy Wish List

“Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live with today, and what we pass on to future generations.” –UNESCO World Heritage Center Since 1972, UNESCO has designated sites throughout the world, both natural and man-made, as World Heritage Sites, in an effort to help preserve and protect “cultural and natural heritage around the…

A Visit to Rome’s Majestic Saint Paul Outside the Walls

Basilica di San Paolo Fuori Le Mura “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” — Paul the Apostle, 1 Corinthians 13:13. In the early first century the Apostle Paul — one of the original followers of Jesus — was executed in Rome by order of Roman emperor Nero….

Lake Como or Amalfi Coast? 10 Things (x2) to Consider

You may have heard the notion that in Italy the further south you go, the more intense your experience.   “If you like Italy as far south as Rome, go further south. It gets better. If Italy is getting on your nerves by the time you get to Rome, think twice about going further. Italy intensifies…

Ready, Set, Go! Practical Tips for Trip Planning

There is something extremely invigorating about planning a trip abroad. But with so much information available at our fingertips, the possiblities and choices can be overwhelming. Last year, I planned my two-month “study abroad” trip to Italy on my own, which was equal parts empowering and consuming. In the process, I collected some go-to resources…

14 Places to Escape the Crowds in Florence

The historic center of Florence is just about two miles in size, but throughout the year, this area is host to approximately 10.2 million visitors, all navigating the same narrow lanes and visiting the same handful of sites. When I set up residence for a month last May, I thought I was sneaking into the…

On the Fringe of Florence: The Stibbert Museum

About seven kilometers from the Piazza del Duomo but still in Florence proper is the Stibbert Museum, the stately home of Frederick Stibbert (1838-1906), a man born into wealth to an English father and Italian mother. Stibbert inherited the considerable family wealth at age 21 and began a lifelong passion of collecting military armory and costumes….

Camogli

Up the coast a bit and just a short train ride from Santa Margherita Ligure is the colorful fishing village of Camogli. (Click here for the Italian pronunciation). With a lovely seaside promenade and a large beach area (although rocky, not sandy), this is a popular spot for vacationing Italians. “Lore has it that Camogli,…

Santa Margherita Ligure

The not-too-big, not-too-small seaport town of Santa Margherita Ligure, situated on the sparkling Mediterranean, has proven the ideal home base to start our Italian adventure. An easy two-hour drive from Milan and just 30 minutes from Genoa, Santa Margherita  is connected to nearby towns including Camogli and Rapallo by ferries and a train station. The next town…