Using cell phones in Italy: dos and don’ts

Using cell phones in Italy: dos and don’ts

After we finish booking the hotels, activities, and restaurants for our travelers, we send them a pre-trip checklist. This list includes advice on packing, technology, guidebooks, phrase books, travel insurance, driving, and more. We make sure that they leave for Italy prepared! Also on that list: using cell phones in Italy. Here are our dos…

Local food in Venice: moeche

Local food in Venice: moeche

When it comes to food in Italy, we tell our travelers to focus on local and seasonal. Foods that are local are of course from the surrounding area but – just as important – they are often steeped in tradition and history. Local food in Venice, a city of islands built completely on water, not surprisingly includes…

Eat like an Italian: a daily schedule

Eat like an Italian: a daily schedule

When we create personalized Italy itineraries for our travelers at Italy Beyond the Obvious, food usually plays a key role. We recommend where people should eat, of course. But also: what to eat, when to eat, and what to eat when. Often, when we start discussing dinner reservations, we hear: What do you mean, restaurants in…

3 secret places on the Eastern side of Lake Maggiore (and a local cheese)

3 secret places on the Eastern side of Lake Maggiore (and a local cheese)

The shores, towns, and enchanted landscapes of Lake Maggiore have inspired many great Italian and foreign artists. At Italy Beyond the Obvious, our most common Lake Maggiore itineraries are in & around the town of Stresa on the lake’s Western shore, primarily because of convenient train connections. For travelers who want to avoid driving in…

Italy in February: 7 great places to visit

Italy in February: 7 great places to visit

In many places in the world, the month of February is still the depths of winter. It’s cold, snowy, and often dark or foggy. In Italy, it’s low season, and while it is definitely chilly, there are plenty of great reasons to visit. Low season means that flights are cheaper, prices are lower, and the…

Luxury in the Dolomites: Hotel Ciasa Salares

Luxury in the Dolomites: Hotel Ciasa Salares

    The Hotel Ciasa Salares in a UNESCO World Heritage Area You are never prepared for the beauty of a Unesco World Heritage landscape, but pair that with the luxury Hotel Ciasa Salares, and prepare to be wowed. Guests have front row seats to the dramatic scenery of the Dolomites mountains from large windows…

Four things to see and do in modern Milan (if you’ve been there and done that)

Four things to see and do in modern Milan (if you’ve been there and done that)

As someone who spent four years living and working in Milan, I don’t usually expect the city to surprise me upon return visits. I spend time with friends, return to my favorite places, and walk the streets that have so many memories. On a recent trip, however, I was blown away by the city’s recent facelift. Milan…

Mountain huts in Italy: a traveler’s guide

Mountain huts in Italy: a traveler’s guide

It can be difficult for anyone who is accustomed to hiking in North America to grasp just how user-friendly Italy’s hiking infrastructure is. Multi-day hikes in North America (think the John Muir Trail, the Appalachian Trail or Cheryl Strayed’s PCT hike)  mean a heavy pack containing several days’ worth of food (maybe inside bear canisters) in…

Italy Travel Tips

Italy Travel Tips

After two decades of giving Italy travel advice and planning Italy trips for independent travelers, I sat down and put together my top 100 Italy travel tips for the cities of Rome, Florence, and Venice, and in the categories of Food, Transportation, Packing, Technology and Money.   Italy Travel Tips: General 1. The language spoken…

What to see and do in Tuscany

What to see and do in Tuscany

Here at Italy Beyond the Obvious, we get a lot of Tuscany requests. This central Italian region is heaven for photographers and we’re lucky to be able to feature spectacular images by photographer Jim DeLutes below, in our recommendations for what to see and do in Tuscany. Thanks so much Jim! Tuscany is a big region,…