Byblos Art Hotel Villa Amista: An incredible modern art hotel near Verona

Like any business person, I keep track of what makes my clients happy. I know the guides, restaurants, hotels and attractions across Italy that will make a majority of clients fall (more) in love with the country. But I also know of many other gems that the majority of people probably won’t love, but that the…

Posted by on Feb 15, 2011 in Venice & the Veneto | 8 Comments

A fantastic easy bike ride near Venice

  I’d love to hop on a bike, circle St. Mark’s Square, ride over the Rialto Bridge past the markets, cycle through the city’s narrow calle and bump down its many short staircases. But if you’ve been to Venice, you already know that unless you’re getting a ride from Mary Poppins or E.T., the center…

Posted by on Jan 27, 2011 in Cycling, Venice & the Veneto | 14 Comments

An incredible tattoo artist near Venice: Alex De Pase

  When you think of Italy's incredible artists, a tattoo artist might not be the first thing that comes to mind, but the photos below may elicit a similar reaction as some of Italy's more well-known art: awesome. Scroll down for information on booking Alex's services and to read his "bio and thoughts".    …

Posted by on Jan 17, 2011 in Venice & the Veneto | One Comment

What to buy in Venice and the Veneto

    1. Masks. Elaborate masks are good gifts, or for something more portable and less expensive, get a hand-painted mask to hang on the wall, something like in the photo above. Or, for a more hands-on approach, enroll in a half-day mask making course like the one at Ca’ Macana. 2. Stationery or notebooks.…

Posted by on Dec 18, 2009 in Venice & the Veneto | 2 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 to do in Padua

Here’s what I do in Padua – known as Padova in Italian – I wander, I eat, and I admire the city’s beauty. Just 20 minutes by train from Venice, the city of Padua is one of northern Italy’s best-kept secrets. Like Bologna and Perugia, it’s a nice-sized (a misura d’uomo, or walkable) university town with great…

Posted by on Oct 19, 2009 in Venice & the Veneto | One Comment

What to see in Verona: beyond the balcony

As the fourth most popular tourist destination in Italy, Juliet’s balcony attracts many people to the city of Verona. But there is a lot more to see and do in Verona. It’s a small city, easy to walk around, with wonderful squares, a pretty river, and great restaurants. Not only that, it’s easy to get…

Posted by on Jun 15, 2009 in Venice & the Veneto | One Comment

How to Avoid Crowds in Venice: 10 tips

On an average day in Venice, there are 60,000 people, and half of those are tourists. So yes, there can be crowds. And yes, you should go visit the main sights, because they are famous for a reason. So go visit them along with everybody else. But follow my advice on how to avoid crowds…

Posted by on Jun 1, 2009 in Venice & the Veneto | 2 Comments

Murano vs. Burano vs. Torcello: I Vote Burano

  Here are my top three reasons to visit the lovely Venetian island of Burano:   1. If you like to amble, or enjoy a wander off the beaten track, you'll appreciate Burano's atmosphere (less touristy, authentic, but still lots of pretty things to see), size (small thus manageable), and location (about 45 minutes from…

Posted by on May 25, 2009 in Venice & the Veneto | No Comments

The Venice Biennale

       Venice is known for – among other things - its gorgeous Byzantine mosaics, jaw-dropping Tintorettos, and hand-blown glass masterpieces. But the city also hosts a significant contemporary art exhibition every two years, the Venice Biennale.     The event is always held in the gigantic Arsenale, and is on in 2009. In addition to contemporary art - which opens June 7th…

Posted by on May 8, 2009 in Art, Venice & the Veneto | No Comments