Dolomites hiking: the historic Valley of the Mills

Posted by on Oct 15, 2014 in Dolomites, Hiking & Walking | One Comment
Dolomites hiking: the historic Valley of the Mills

Sixteen of us spent a July morning hiking in the Dolomites along the historic Valley of the Mills path, located about 3 hours north of Venice.  Called La Valle dei Mulini or Val di Morins in Italian and in local dialect, respectively, the Valley of the Mills is just that: a valley that houses about ten or so…

Basic Italian phrases you’ll need as soon as you get off the plane

Posted by on Oct 2, 2014 in Italian Language | No Comments
Basic Italian phrases you’ll need as soon as you get off the plane

This is a guest post from Cher Hale. Thank you Cher! The flight is booked, the rooms have been reserved, and your daydreams of pasta and wine are starting to come full circle.  In the midst of all of your planning (and this thing called life that often has responsibilities) you may have let learning…

A cooking class in the Dolomites

Posted by on Sep 25, 2014 in Dolomites, Food and Drink | No Comments
A cooking class in the Dolomites

Taking a cooking class in Italy is a great way to get a more in-depth introduction to the local culture, so on a recent trip we decided to take a cooking class in the Dolomites. A group of 12 of us (we sent the kids off with a babysitter) spent a wonderful morning with chef…

Hiking and biking in Italy: an interactive map of favorite routes

Posted by on Sep 18, 2014 in Cycling, Hiking & Walking | No Comments

Although Italy is more famous for its scenery, art, architecture, and food, it’s a fantastic place for hiking and biking. I pulled together a few of my favorite routes in an interactive map below. Some were chosen from my days working as a guide hiking and biking in Italy while some are client favorites –…

Hiking the Italian Alps: The Thullie hole

Posted by on Sep 2, 2014 in Hiking & Walking, Turin | One Comment
Hiking the Italian Alps: The Thullie hole

This is a guest post by Italian Alps hiking guide Roberto Calcagno. Grazie Roberto! For those of you who would like to go hiking in the Italian Alps and are seeking rare and amazing places with almost unbelievable stories, this hike is for you! The Grand Pertus of Colombano Romean, also known as the Thullie…

Grand Hotel Trieste & Victoria in Abano Terme

Posted by on Aug 25, 2014 in Venice & the Veneto | No Comments
Grand Hotel Trieste & Victoria in Abano Terme

I was invited to stay at the Grand Hotel Trieste & Victoria as a guest of the hotel, and while I did not pay for my stay or spa treatments, all opinions in this post are my own.  Thanks so much to the hotel for a top-notch stay!   After a week of hiking in…

A Venice river cruise: exploring the Brenta canal on a Burchiello boat

Posted by on Aug 13, 2014 in Venice & the Veneto | One Comment
A Venice river cruise: exploring the Brenta canal on a Burchiello boat

Spending a day on a Venice river cruise along the Brenta canal has been on my Italy want-to-do list for years, and this summer I finally booked it. The canal that links Venice and Padova has interesting bridges, locks that work according to Leonardo Da Vinci’s designs, and villas with a fascinating history. This is no…

Trastevere, Rome: 5 spots to relax and unwind

Posted by on Jun 12, 2014 in Rome | 5 Comments
Trastevere, Rome: 5 spots to relax and unwind

This is a guest post by Katy Sewall, who has lived in Trastevere, Rome, for the past year. I asked Katy to write this post after listening to every episode, and wanting more, of the wonderful podcast she does with Tiffany Parks about living in Rome.   When you’re a tourist, or a new expat…

Getting around Sicily by public transport

Posted by on May 15, 2014 in Sicily | 2 Comments
Getting around Sicily by public transport

As I described during my Sicily podcast on the Amateur Traveler, Sicily is like Italy on steroids. It’s chock-full of the history, scenery, culture and food that you love in the rest of Italy. On the other hand, it’s less….. shall we say… user-friendly. If you think Italians are crazy drivers then you’ll find Sicilians even crazier. And…

What to do in Florence

Posted by on Apr 25, 2014 in Florence | 3 Comments
What to do in Florence

How you spend your time – and how much of it to spend – in Florence depends on what you want to do. I plan Italy trips for clients who allocate just one day to the city, and for others who stay a full week. Florence is one of Italy’s most touristy cities, but travelers…