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…

Posted by on Dec 2, 2016 in Florence, Sicily, Skiing, Venice & the Veneto | One Comment

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…

What to do in Florence

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…

Posted by on Apr 25, 2014 in Florence | 5 Comments

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

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…

Posted by on Nov 18, 2013 in Art, Florence | 36 Comments

The living statues of Italy

During a recent chat with a client about her itinerary, she said she definitely wanted to see the living statues in Florence.  I racked my brain, running through Florence’s famous statues in my head, thinking she must be referring to something in the Accademia Gallery or the Bargello. But I still couldn’t figure it out, so…

Posted by on Aug 15, 2011 in Art, Florence | 2 Comments

The Baptistery doors in Florence: So what?

Asking yourself “So what?” or “what’s the big deal?” is a great starting point when looking at any famous work of art in Italy. Yes, it’s probably aesthetically impressive, but it may be equally significant because of its historical context. So it’s worth understanding, really, why the work became famous. Taking the Baptistery doors in…

Posted by on Jun 21, 2010 in Architecture, Art, Florence | No Comments

Do you know the name of this mountain? (and why you should know local names)

Is it: a) Matterhorn b) Mont Cervin c) Monte Cervino d) all of the above The answer is D. Asking Italians about The Matterhorn – a Swiss mountain also visible from Italy and France – will produce blank stares. I speak from experience. But ask about Il Cervino and you’ll be met with enthusiasm about…

What’s “The Obvious”?

The name of this blog is “Italy: Beyond the Obvious“, because in my years of guiding, organizing, and coaching people on trips and travel to Italy, I’ve noticed there are a few things that pretty much nobody wants to miss, which I’ve listed below. I highly recommend visiting all of these things, and they are…