Thursday Doors:The Italy Everyone Goes to Italy For

  When it comes to destinations the place that I get the most questions about is Italy.  Italy is the one country with big expectations. Tourists want the Italy shown in the movies. But, there are so many aspects to Italy. For me there is the big-city Italy with great tourist sites, churches, shopping, restaurants…

Thursday Doors: Montepulciano, Italy

  Ciao! This week I got an email from an American woman contemplating going to learn Italian in Montepulciano, Italy.  Three years ago, I traveled to Montepulciano to attend Il Sasso, an Italian language school. I had traveled to Italy for many years and just fell in love with the country and the people. Then…

Thursday Door: Some Doors Must be Opened!

  Some doors should never be passed by! The dessert door at Caffe Rivoire, in Florence, Italy,  is definitely one of those doors! You will find this iconic chocolate shop tucked in the corner of the charming Piazza della Signoria. There is a bar inside where you can stand to eat and drink or you…

Color Your World: Apricot in Rome

Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. After a long, walking day in Rome and a visit to the Vatican as well, it was time to head back to the hotel. But, then we found the big red tour bus and thought we’d take a spin around the city to get the big picture….

Festa del Corpus Domini, Orvieto, Italy

We are walking quickly, in the direction of the drum beats, following everyone else. Families, children, the young and old all seem to be on a mission; follow the sound of the drums. The late afternoon breeze is filled with the scent of honeysuckle. Mass growth of the plant sweeps the doorways, covers the walls. …

Romancing the Pizza Stone III: The Cooking Class

I have a pasta maker/roller/flatener (my made-up word) that has been stashed under one of my cabinets and as yet, has never been used.  Making pasta looked so easy when I saw it demonstrated at the local Saturday market in my hometown!  I thought if I took an Italian cooking class that I would finally…

One Day in Milan

We are on the early morning commuter train from Varenna to Milan. We are meeting up with a private local guide, Lorenza Scorti, who knows the city’s history well. We have marked off certain sights we would like to see. We are hoping Lorenza has been able to get us tickets to get into the…

A Boat in Bellagio

Today we are off to Bellagio for a day of boating fun. Bellagio is by far the most touristy of the three villages we have spent time in. Walking to the right from the ferry, we find souvenir shops and tourist traps galore. These shops are not so much my cup of tea so we…

Romancing the Water and Stone

For a Valentine’s posting I was thinking of the most romantic spot I have journeyed to.  For me it would be Lake Como, Italy. The romance begins on the journey to get there. This vacation offered everything I consider romantic, a lake and the mountains. The Zurich train depot set the tone for our vacation. …

Thursday Doors: The Hidden Doors of Italy

Today for Door Day I thought we might look at some more of the fascinating Italian Doors! Sometimes when I am looking for doors I come upon doors that look like there have been different doors in that spot in the past and new doors have taken their place for whatever reason. I always wonder…

Thursday Doors: The Medici Doors

Here we are in Italy, this time in Florence, seeing fantastic doors! The Medici Family was an Italian banking family, and political dynasty that produced three Popes of the Catholic Church, and two Queens of France. The family ruled Tuscany from 1513 until 1737. We find their symbols,(balls) first displayed on their crest, then prominently…