Search Results for: Italy

24 hours in Milan, Italy

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Milan was the very first Italian city I visited 28 years ago. I had visited the country for the Christmas and New Year holidays. I remember how cold it was and often even gray, but I also remember being incredibly impressed by the stylish people, many of whom reminded me of those I saw along 5th Avenue in NYC. I was also really captivated by the architectural beauty of the city, the cobblestone streets reflecting an older time and how it all fit so beautifully with the cosmopolitan flair of the city life. Spending the winter holidays in Northern Italy was a highlight in my life as a young traveler.

On my most recent visit, this time with husband and kids, I only had one full day to share as much as I could with my family, since it was their first time in the city, and reconnect with the city that had so impressed me years ago.

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Two beautiful days at Lake Como, Italy

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One of the highlights of our road trip through northern Italy was our stay in Lake Como. Most of our stops were in the Lombardy region, where there are lakes galore. Lake Como, the third largest lake in Italy and one of the deepest, is heavily visited by locals and tourists alike, especially during the summer months. Finding a place to stay can be difficult, and though parking is difficult, finding a home rental – our choice for this stay – was even more so.

We lucked out because we arrived just before the travel season had really kicked-off. We also arrived on a weekend, finding a parking spot just down the hill from our apartment rental that didn’t need us having to pay or move our car during our entire stay.

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The Best of Venice, Italy’s Floating City

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The first time I went to Venice was in the middle of summer and it was awful.

The humidity was debilitating, the heat at the turn at every corner seemed like a punch in the stomach. Though I appreciated its uniqueness, and enjoyed being there with my son, I did not really appreciate it for all it was.

My second trip, in early Spring, was a completely different experience. Days were a comfortable warmth, with a cool chill wave every so often. The skies were clear and though there are always tourists in Venice, there were pockets where we could totally avoid them and enjoy the scene.

Last time I visited, I was in and out in 24 hours. This time we stayed around for a few days. The combination of weather, slow pace, and low tourist season made it fun to explore and understand why so many people walk away completely in love.

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A day in The City of Love, Verona, Italy

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Two hours from Milan and Venice, and only a little more than an hour from Brescia, where we were staying, is the city of Verona, best known for being the home of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Juliet’s House will be the place you will want to visit first upon arrival (though doors to the museum don’t typically open till mid-morning). Even when we arrived to the city early on a weekday morning, a mop of tourists had already gathered in the courtyard of where the real-life Cappello family once lived. There’s a statue of Juliet at the foreground where people wait in line to grab her bronze breast because supposedly it makes the one doing so lucky in love. My husband and I passed on this chance, confident that we were going to be OK either way. Watching people anxiously line up to do so, with women as well as men happily posing for photos with the boob of a statue in their hand was, however, the comical introduction to our day in Italy’s City of Love.

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Three beautiful days in Brescia, Italy

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One of the greatest gifts I received as a young traveler to Italy was the opportunity to learn about Brescia. Brescia is about an hour and a half from Milan, in the region of Lombardy. Not many people I have spoken to about my time there as a young adult know where Brescia is, much less even heard of it. It has always been for me, especially as my intro to Italy, a secret paradise, my own little haven. Though the distance from Milan is short, it feels like it is worlds away. Brescia, considered one of the most ancient cities in Italy, is a favorite just as Northern Italy remains my favorite area of the entire country to visit.

I also have family there, which might influence it all a bit too, and it was a wonderful experience for me to return to such a special place in my heart with a husband and kids in tow. I spent the first few hours in complete awe of the fact that this was a moment when my past and present were coming together in the most beautiful way possible. 

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What my family vacation in Italy helped me remember

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I am back! I planned on only taking two weeks off from blogging, but that turned more into three. After my beautiful sister’s wedding and our road trip through Italy (thanks to those who followed us on social media!), my sister came into town for a few days more after her honeymoon in the Dominican Republic. We played tourists together through NYC and as every day went by I felt more and more relaxed with a lighter, more easy-going outlook on what I wanted to do for the rest of the year.

I have a bunch of posts and photos I want to share with you; where to go, what to do, where to stay…but first, I wanted to write about how significant the time away was for us.

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Planning a Road Trip through Italy

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It’s road trip time, dear readers!

We didn’t take an extended road trip in 2015, although we did take smaller road trips closer to home which were a lot of fun and a great reminder that unforgettable travel does not have to be to far away places.

This year we are going international again (see our 2014 road trip through France)! I am excited to be returning to Italy and to revisiting some of the ol’ stomping grounds of my youth in Brescia.

Brescia is in the region of Lombardy in Northern Italy and is a 1.5 hour drive from Milan. I spent some time here deciding whether I wanted to stay and study there. I struggled with the language and was very young and  eventually made my way back to New York City. This time I will be traveling with my two youngest boys and my husband, and though things have changed dramatically since I was last there, I can’t wait to reconnect with my sister – whose wedding we will be attending – and with a region I once fell in love with. Of course, sharing this with my family makes the return that much sweeter.

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Speechless in Messina, Italy (Sicily)

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There are a few things that I am proud of when it comes to being a New Yorker.

I can drive through the streets of New York with the focus and aggression of a skilled hunter (though admittedly having a license, or a car, is not very New York).

I can walk the streets at any time, anywhere, without fear of any kind.

I can speed through a walking crowd like water running through pebbles in a stream.

And I never, ever, let anyone get away with talking smack to me.

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Getting Lost in Venice, Italy

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Getting lost in Venice, Italy is somewhat of an expected thing and part of the adventure. When I planned an afternoon for discovering of most of the 118 islands that make up Venice, I came armed with two maps, a GPS, and a mission to get to specific “must-see” sites.

What I quickly became aware of was that maps in Venice are useless, the GPS is distracting, and in the middle of summer the weather is so hot and humid that walking around for hours in the middle of the day can be a huge challenge.

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Parma, Italy Travel Photography

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There are few places that have really stayed with me long years after my first visit. Italy is one of those places for me. Since my teenage years, when I first set foot in this beautiful country, I have been in love with its Northern countryside, the people, the food, the culture.

You can read more about my recent visit there in Food as Culture at Academia Barilla in Parma, Italy.

In the meantime, I wanted to share some photos I took along the way to help to inspire you and hopefully motivate a visit.

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