- Craig’s 50th Grand Tour
- All hotels, and their hotel rooms, are not created equal
- Pavia, Italy – an amazing college town in Northern Italy with so much to see, and amazing places to dine, all while only be an hour outside of Milano.
- Piemonte is more than Barolo but that’s a good first reason to go!
- Alassio, Italy – a stunning town with the love of life approach that I find in much of Italy, and which makes me long to return on a daily basis.
- January 2020
- December 2019
- October 2019
- January 2019
- July 2018
- June 2018
- December 2017
- September 2017
- February 2017
- September 2016
- April 2016
- March 2016
- January 2016
- November 2015
- July 2015
- February 2015
- October 2014
- July 2014
- February 2014
- December 2013
- September 2013
- August 2013
- November 2012
- September 2012
- August 2012
- November 2011
- June 2011
- March 2011
- January 2011
- November 2010
Category Archives: Italy
For as long as I can remember, I’ve known that I would celebrate my 50th birthday, in Italy, and with my friends. Over time, bits and pieces would form in my head and ultimately become reality: once I knew what I was going to do, it never changed. And once I realized, years ago, where it would be, I never wavered on the location or anything else. Continue reading
Pavia, Italy – an amazing college town in Northern Italy with so much to see, and amazing places to dine, all while only be an hour outside of Milano.
Like so many cities in Italy, Pavia is filled with unparalleled history: from the likes of famous scientists to artists like DaVinci who spent time in this gorgeous city and contributed to the design of the stunning Duomo (or should I say, lay out). But it is also home to a world-famous university which is part of what brings this little city such charm: it is a college town but it is also a humble town of amazing and kind people who welcome these tourists with open arms. Continue reading
Piemonte is one of the most elegant regions of Italy that also acts as a collective municipality overseeing the Barolo and Barbaresco wines. Continue reading
Alassio, Italy – a stunning town with the love of life approach that I find in much of Italy, and which makes me long to return on a daily basis.
And with that, I will wish you great travels to a city that I adore and think of as a third home. Buon viaggio! Continue reading
No place in the world calms me like Venice. There are no cars, no motorini, and not even bicycles… just the sounds of everyday life happening. Continue reading
I will tell anyone who asks: Rome is to me what the sun is to Superman. It is my home, my love, and my return. If you must, take a map but “flying blind” really is part of the fun of Rome: getting lost, finding little cafés, little shops, or just watching people go about their business. Continue reading
Burano – the colours, the solitude, and the tranquility calm me and inevitably bring a smile to this sometimes-hardened face.
Just walk, and walk, and walk, and when you find a canal that looks intriguing, take it. Continue reading
Torcello – during the day it is a day-tripper’s dream and a night it is calm oasis of nature sounds and the occasional lapping water along the canal sides.
Torcello is not a large island, and not a lot of people live here, but during the day it is a day-tripper’s dream and a night it is calm oasis of nature sounds and the occasional lapping water along the canal sides. Continue reading
I have been visiting Venezia on a yearly basis, and every year includes a day in Murano: a day of strolling the canals, looking at the glass work, and occasionally strolling in to a church. But it wasn’t until this trip that I realized that there is so much more to this wonderful island and I am smitten!
Sometime in 2016 (I think), the Hotel Le Gare (http://www.lagarehotelvenezia.com/en/) opened on Murano and I have been dying to stay there since. It did not disappoint! The hotel is modern, but mixes in the famous glass of Murano, the architectural details and structures from the original building (an old furnace), and is just so welcoming and inviting that you may not want to leave.
I will also tell you that Murano is an island of two faces: during the day, it is overrun with tourists looking for that special gift to take home. But at night, when the tourists leave, this is a wonderland of solitude, and quiet, and even reflection like few other places I have ever been.
If you only have one night in Murano, be sure to book the Osteria Aquastanca (http://www.acquastanca.it/homepage-en/). It’s only a short walk from the Le Gare and the food is absolutely divine! When I arrived, the entrance was full of locals talking to the owner and the barman. And immediately after sitting down, the restaurant was joined by 2 other guests, at separate tables: one, a local woman having her dinner and another man, just returning from business, who stopped in hoping to have meal. And given that they kindly made vegetarian options for me – carcioffi (in season!) with fresh mozzarella – I knew I was in love.
At the time of this writing, I have been visiting Venezia on a yearly basis, and every year includes a day in Murano: a day of strolling the canals, looking at the glass work, and occasionally strolling in to a church. But it wasn’t until this trip that I realized that there is so much more to this wonderful island and I am smitten! Lose yourself. Wonder around. Get lost. It’s an island after all so when you see water, and if that’s not where you want to be, then turn in a different direction.
So, why you ask, should you go to Vignacastrisi or any of the surrounding villages? Because it’s a part of Italy that if you really want to know more about, it is integral to the fabric of this culture, and these people, that I so dearly love. Italy is more than Milano, Firenze, or Roma but small communities that exist and even thrive on their uniqueness. Continue reading
Otranto may not be for everyone as there really isn’t a lot to do other than to go to the beach or rest at a pool until night falls and you begin your evening with a passeggiata, and perhaps a drink at any of the many cocktail bars popping up around Puglia, and then dinner, and another post-meal stroll. It’s the way life should be, if you ask me: relaxing, with friends, and good food, and good wine, and a true respect for that which has preceded us. Continue reading
Halfway down the heel that is the book of Italy, you’ll find the most charming, and welcoming, city of Lecce. It’s been years since I’ve been to Lecce and upon my return, fond memories flooded back as if only a few months had passed. Often referred to as “the Florence of the south”, I think it has more to offer and is a monument of civic pride, and beauty, all unto itse Continue reading
I’m not sure what drew me to Asolo – as I could honestly spend the rest of my life in Venice or one of the smaller islands – but there was something about Asolo that brought me to this small town at the foot of the Dolomites and brought a calm over me that was much needed. Asolo is only about 1 hour away from Venice (by car or train) and for a short get away, you really can’t go wrong this tiny little hamlet. Continue reading
When I think of how to describe Torino, I constantly think of it as a hybrid between Italy and the Swiss: the locals have all of the traits that I love in an Italian but there is something a bit more Alpine – I truly don’t mean that offensively – about them that really does make this place absolutely unique. And the Alps in the distance don’t hurt things either! Continue reading
Sanremo is an interesting town along the Ligurian coast that I had always wanted to visit. For a short visit, it’s a lovely place. Continue reading
Cortona Italy – Cortona and the villa near it are truly one of the most amazing finds I have ever made.
Cortona and the villa near it are truly one of the most amazing finds I have ever made. Continue reading
Porto Cervo – If money is no object, this is the place for you. But you should still go, if even on a budget!
Porto Cervo and the Costa Smeralda is a stunning and enchanting place that everyone should visit at least once in their lives. Continue reading
To say that I am enamored with Bergamo is an understatement. There is tranquility, a vibrancy, a friendliness, and a peacefulness in this hilltop town that no one word can adequately describe. Continue reading
The cross-cultural aspect between Italy and Spain is really quite cool and unique in this lovely town! Continue reading
So, if you plan to go to Sardegna for a bit of sun and relaxation and aren’t sure where to go, without a doubt, I have to tell you to go to Cala Cogone. It truly is heaven and there is enough to do there to keep yourself occupied and happy for quite some time! Enjoy! Continue reading
When you only have so many days to explore, sometimes a little more money is worth the pain to your bank account so you might consider Costa Rei Continue reading
Cagliari is probably the most metropolitan of the cities on Sardegna. But don’t come here looking for fantastic shopping, an abundance of ruins, or anything else of that nature; it’s the capital, and a port, and that’s it. Continue reading