23 Beyond the Obvious Destinations in Italy (slideshow)

Sometimes the best way to get ideas for your next Italian vacation is to look at gorgeous photos, so with that in mind, I created a slideshow of some of my favorite beyond the obvious Italy destinations. This slideshow does not feature any places in Rome, Florence, Venice, Siena, Pisa, the Cinque Terre, or the…

Wine tasting in Italy: Amarone in the Valpolicella

Wine tasting in Italy: Amarone in the Valpolicella

We spent a wonderful July day wine tasting in Italy’s Valpolicella region, just north of the city of Verona. Heading out of the B&B (scroll down for photos) after breakfast, we drove through the picturesque countryside, explored a couple small towns, and learned more about the full-bodied Amarone wine that has made the area famous. Valpolicella is…

Italian hospitality, home-cooked food and new friends

Italian hospitality, home-cooked food and new friends

This is a guest post – thank you to Rinita of BonAppetour! Rome is an absolutely stunning city to experience, even, dare I say it in the heat of August. There is so much to see and to do in Rome. While visiting the gorgeous Trevi fountain one evening, some newly made friends and I along with hundreds…

Off the beaten path in Italy

Off the beaten path in Italy

Because of the name of my company, I get regular requests for itineraries that are at least partly off the beaten track. The definition of off the beaten path in Italy differs depending on how well you know the country. For some, the beaten track includes just Rome, Florence, and Venice, while for others it…

Dolomites hiking: the historic Valley of the Mills

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

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

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

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

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

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…