Trastevere, Rome: 5 spots to relax and unwind

Posted by on Jun 12, 2014 in Rome | One Comment
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 | No 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 | One Comment
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 […]

Driving in Italy: The Italian Job

Posted by on Feb 27, 2014 in Driving | No Comments
Driving in Italy: The Italian Job

Driving in Italy can often feel like a scene out of The Italian Job, whether you’re in the city or off the beaten path, but with a few tips, some Dutch courage, and bit of experience, you’ll be driving like an Italian in no time!

On a recent trip to the beautiful south of Italia, we decided to hire a car to have the freedom to go where we wanted, when we wanted, and for as long as we wanted – and apart from a few hair-raising moments around the Amalfi Coast, it was well worth it!

Cinque Terre Hiking

The Cinque Terre are five towns that appear to cling to the rocks along a small section of northern Italy’s Mediterranean coastline, and are famous for the mule trails that connect them: paths which attract thousands of hikers each year. I worked as a hiking guide in and around the Cinque Terre, and if you’ve seen photos of the area and are thinking about hiking the trails, here are the things you should know.

What to see and do in Rome

Posted by on Jan 20, 2014 in Rome | 2 Comments
What to see and do in Rome

Most of the Italy itineraries I create for clients – for even the most beyond the obvious travelers –  include a few days in Rome. After all, Italy’s famous attractions are famous for a reason. Use the recommendations below for what to see and do in Rome as a guide for your first visit to […]

Italy top 10: where my clients went in 2013

Posted by on Dec 12, 2013 in Planning Your Italy Trip | 4 Comments

Next summer’s Italy itineraries are already in full swing here at Italy Beyond the Obvious (currently: Puglia, the Dolomites, Tuscany, the Amalfi Coast and Liguria) but this is the time of year when I crunch the numbers and take stock of where my clients went in 2013. This year’s Italy Top 10 list is, like […]

Five ways to visit Florence’s Uffizi Gallery (and one to avoid)

Posted by on Nov 18, 2013 in Art, Florence | 5 Comments

In the five years that I have been creating itineraries for independent travelers to Italy, I’ve never met a traveler who wanted to go to Florence and skip a visit to the city’s famous Uffizi art Gallery. But the Uffizi is a huge and exhausting museum with thousands of paintings and sculptures that can make your […]

Cinque Terre hiking: avoid the crowds on these trails nearby

Cinque Terre hiking: avoid the crowds on these trails nearby

When I worked as a hiking guide in the Cinque Terre more than a decade ago, we pretty much had the trails to ourselves. Surrounded by lemon trees and fig trees (a wonderful snack), we’d walk the now-famous paths that link the five towns, marveling at the sea below us and enjoying the quiet breeze. These […]

Off the beaten path in Umbria: an artist’s top 10 places

Posted by on Sep 23, 2013 in Umbria | 5 Comments
Off the beaten path in Umbria: an artist’s top 10 places

Today’s guest post is by Graham Dean, a British artist with a house in Umbria. Thanks Graham!    Umbria secret places Umbria is said to be associated with ombra, which means shadow in Italian, and indeed for years it seems like Umbria has been in Tuscany‘s shadow. But now the region is starting to show itself, bit by bit.  Here […]