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…

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.

Hiking near Cinque Terre : 4 trails to avoid the crowds

Hiking near Cinque Terre : 4 trails to avoid the crowds

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 days,…

Brainstorming Italy itineraries: Oh, the places you’ll go!

Brainstorming Italy itineraries: Oh, the places you’ll go!

New clients requested: “We will be in Italy for 9 days in June before heading to Cannes and we would like you to design our itinerary. We’ve been to Italy in the past: the Tuscan countryside, the Veneto, the Cinque Terre, Rome, Florence, and Puglia. We enjoy hiking and biking but have nothing to prove.…

Diving off the Italian Riviera: Christ of the Abyss

  Diving off the Italian Riviera Submerged and then cemented to the sea floor of the Mediterranean over 50 years ago, the underwater statue of Christ of the Abyss (Cristo degli Abissi) is one of the most famous dive destinations in Italy. The statue is found in the waters between the Ligurian towns of Camogli and Portofino, and it commemorates…

Hiking the Italian Riviera: Camogli

Hiking the Italian Riviera: Camogli

The Amalfi Coast and the Cinque Terre may be the most well-known spots in Italy for walking trails with incredible views of the Mediterranean coastline; but here’s an equally spectacular, more off-the-beaten track suggestion: spend a few days in the fishing village of Camogli (photo below), just 30 minutes south of Genoa and about an hour up from the famous Cinque Terre.…

Genoa Italy

Genoa Italy

Rarely if ever have I seen this gorgeous city – Genoa in English, Genova in Italian – included on tourist itineraries to Italy, unless the itinerary also involved a cruise ship. Located on the Mediterranean sea, and near the Alps and the French border, Genoa exceeds expectations every time yet remains an off the beaten…

Farinata

Farinata could be described a sort of dense savory pancake; or maybe as a thin chick pea pizza crust; or maybe as a heavy, thick tortilla.  In any case it's a batter of chick pea flour with water and olive oil, baked in an oven and then sprinkled with salt and maybe some herbs like rosemary.…

Visiting the Cinque Terre

  Picture this:  You’re walking along a narrow dirt and rock trail several hundred feet above the blue, blue Mediterranean sea. You are surrounded by fig, lemon, and olive trees, flower gardens and vineyards. Several hundred feet up the slope is the road where, yes, there are cars, but you can’t see them and you can’t hear them. You’re following an old…