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…

Snapshots from Certaldo: Tiny Tuscan Hometown of a Literary Giant

It’s a Tuesday morning. Seven young ladies, friends, gather. Hatching a plan. Needing to escape their current circumstances. Presently, they are joined by a few young men. The plan unfolds. They’ll escape together to one of their family’s second homes — thankfully they have this option — safely away from the threats of the city….

The Meaning of a Morning

When in a strange city I have always been in the habit of roaming its streets in the early morning and watching it wake up. I like to be out before the dust-bins have been emptied and the blinds pulled up, to watch the street cleaners and caretakers arrive, and to see the first wave…

A Wander Through Venice

It is with a bit of a sheepish and heavy heart that I offer sincere apologies to all of those whom I have possibly influenced not to visit Venice. (Younger Son, I’m especially looking at you.) Last summer, after four visits to Italy which deliberately did not include Venice (my first trip there left me…

These 14 Universities in Italy Have Welcomed Students Since the 1400s — or Earlier

As roughly 207 million college students worldwide begin their new fall term, many will attend universities which have been in operation since the 1400s — some since the 1200s. Being a passionate armchair historian, I find that information very enticing. The university as we regard it today —  an educational institution designed for instruction, examination, or…