Biking in the Valpolicella: When the Fog Rolls in

One of the most magical things about autumn in northern Italy is the fog. It descends at dawn or dusk and arrives alongside a chill in the air. It can make a cathedral, only a hundred meters away, disappear. It covers the autostrada, obscures the Alps, and dims the lights. But it makes everything seem peaceful.…

Posted by on Mar 8, 2009 in Venice & the Veneto | One Comment

Gipsoteca Canoviana, Possagno

  The sculpture of Antonio Canova (1757 – 1822) is so smooth and so white and so large, so full of energy and emotion that I just want to run my fingers over them. I’m not allowed, of course. You may recognize his sculptures since they are spread far and wide across the world. Click…

Posted by on Feb 13, 2009 in Venice & the Veneto | One Comment

Murano

The small island of Murano, off Venice, has been producing glass for over 600 years. The glass-blowing tradition was moved from Venice to Murano in the 13th century because most of the buildings in Venice were made of wood, and rulers were worried that having glass blowers around would cause the buildings to catch fire. Murano…

Two Palladian Villas of the Veneto: Villa Rotunda and Villa Emo

If you’re spending time in Verona, Lake Garda, or Padova, consider visiting two Palladian Villas of the Veneto region. The Villa Rotunda and the Villa Emo are examples of architecture by Andrea Palladio, widely considered to be the most influential individual in the history of Western architecture. The Villa Rotunda The Palladian Villas in the…

Posted by on Sep 4, 2008 in Venice & the Veneto | No Comments

The Verona Opera Festival

So many people beeline from Milan to Venice, but there is a spectacular event en route worth a stop. The Verona Opera Festival goes from the end of June to the end of August every year, and is held under the stars, in a 2000-year-old Roman amphitheatre (think: Colisseum in Rome) in the center of…

Posted by on Aug 5, 2008 in Venice & the Veneto | No Comments

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…