1. Pisa: The Tower and More

    Often clients ask me if they should stop in Pisa for a quick visit so they can see the Leaning Tower and take a few photos. Either they are on the way out of the airport or on a day trip from Florence. I mean, this is quintessential Italy, right? The slanted icon has been planted in our brains as a symbol of Italy for centuries. I remember vividly my first impression of Italy when I was about thre…Read More

  2. Say Cheese

    Yes, we willingly dressed like this. It was the call of the cheese. A group from our Italian classes in Lucca had the chance to go north into the Garfagnana countryside, and one of our stops was this family-run cheese-making site. Naturally, we had to suit up to protect the future drool-worthy cheese — from us. But what is so striking in this photo is the Italian sense of fare la bella figura, o…Read More

  3. Travel Dreams

    For over 25 years I have been selling travel…. or to be more specific, selling dreams. For most people who travel for leisure, they are fulfilling some sort of dream. It could be for relaxation, cultural immersion, amusement, spirituality, adventure, education, family heritage, enjoying our planet’s natural beauty – and the list goes on. A good travel-seller will always try to learn first wh…Read More

  4. Vespa Cool

    Can’t stop laughing, can you? We couldn’t either. My sister and I had decided to ride Vespas in the countryside outside Florence. So we met up with the group, distinguishing ourselves by being at least a generation older than everyone else, as well as the only ones who hadn’t ridden anything vaguely like a motorcycle or tractor. Were we deterred? Not one bit. And then when we got these astro…Read More

  5. Trieste

    Trieste at the golden hour. Aching for a kinder and gentler place? Done. The golden hour in Trieste, Italy, at once takes you back to a serene place, and to a golden age. Walking here among grandiose buildings and piazzas that seem oversized for its small-town feel is like wandering on a movie set, and Trieste is far away from the typical Italian tourist route so there’s no souvenir shop or self…Read More

  6. Amore

    Love among the …. well, whatever, wherever. While Europeans are often taken aback by Americans’ public display of sweats and beachwear as about-the-town clothes, we are shocked by their very public display of affection. I mean, it’s everywhere! You would almost think that it’s okay to kiss someone in public. Harrumph! On the other hand, the open PDA does up the romantic cues overseas, and …Read More

  7. Orvieto

    Orvieto is like your fun uncle who has a surprise adventure ready every time you show up. This time we stayed in a room overlooking the Duomo, and on awakening, we watched a couple old Fiats drift into the empty piazza. Fun! After breakfast in the basement, we returned to our window to see that the Fiats had now multiplied to about 30, and the adventure was on. Soon, at least 100 Fiats had gathere…Read More

  8. CAPri

    “Oh, yes, we’re going to the island of Capri”: One of the snootiest exit lines ever. “And we’ll be wearing capri pants, which we love because it sounds like oh, wheeee!” Had enough? So have the people of Capri. You see, it’s not pronounced ka-PREEEE’, but KA’-pree. Kind of takes the snootiness out of your practiced nonchalance. KA’-pree sounds a bit more like a Soviet bus stop.…Read More

  9. Memorable View

    I was having an aperitivo in one of the most beautiful squares in Italy, Piazza del Campo in the medieval town of Siena. Taking a short break from my travel career, I was attending Italian language school in the summer of 2005 to enjoy some life-enriching activity. Travel during the previous 10 years consisted mostly of 4-day familiarization trips to various places to see all 6 room categories of …Read More

  10. Tuscan Scooby

    Meet our Tuscan canine host, Scooby-Doo. Staying for a week in Tuscany’s countryside sounded idyllic, so we found an agriturismo down the hill from Pienza. The owner lived in a modest house with his mother, young son and dog, while we stayed in a separate building surrounded by fields that offered this as one of our views. Scooby-Doo, named by his son who had seen the American cartoon by that na…Read More