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Monterosso Al Mare – The Quiet Giant

Monterosso al Mare is not the most scenic village of Cinque Terre but I have to say it’s my favorite one! Being the largest of five towns, Monterosso al Mare is usually the one people choose for accommodation when they are spending more than one day in Cinque Terre since it has the biggest choice of hotels. I hate crowds.  I get a little …

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The Medieval Charm of Val d’Orcia

Visiting the Val d’Orcia is probably one of the first things you have to do if you are visiting Tuscany’s countryside. Stunning panoramas and amazing high quality local food, such as the “Pecorino” cheese of Pienza (a typical cheese made with sheep’s milk) and wines like the Brunello di Montalcino or the Nobile di Montepulciano, will impress you and from the very …

How Are You Defined By Italy?

Last summer I closed my final textbook, clicked submit, waved goodbye to 8,000 words and 3 months of insanity (formally known as my dissertation), and temporarily postponed my ‘grown up’ job search.  Instead, I traded the cold, unforgiving walls of Exeter’s campus Library that I came to know so well in my final year of study, for pineapple pizza and …

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The Azure of the Amalfi Coast

Few places around the world are as iconic as the famed Amalfi Coast.  When I eventually told my parents that I visited this area with Gianluigi my mother gasped and expressed tremendous envy; apparently she had always wanted to go to the Amalfi coast.  I had not even realized it was so far south in Italy and practically a stone’s …

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Ischia: Island Retreat of Naples

Ischia is an island in the bay of Naples that takes approximately 40 minutes to reach by ferry.  Ischia is often overlooked because of its smaller neighbor, Capri, to the southeast in the same bay.  This is another oversight by travelers drawn to fame rather than knowledge of the area.  Not to say that places that have built their fame …

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The Wonderful Naples of Italy

Napoli is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world.  It is one of the largest cities in Italy after Milan, Rome and Torino.  The port in Napoli is the second largest in the world after the port of Hong Kong.  For tourists especially interested in history, you might be surprised to learn that UNESCO lists 448 historical …

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Piazzale Michelangelo: The Best Panoramic View of Florence!

It’s hard to find adjectives to describe the unique beauty of Florence. The city is an open air museum, filled with art works and references to the Renaissance.  Everywhere you look, you will find a statue, a monument, a sumptuous building, a palace.  In addition to all of this, Florence is a very photogenic city!  Whatever the angle, the picture …