3 Days in Florence: The Itinerary I Give My Friends

3 days in Florence - Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral

Giuseppe Verdi once said, “You may have the universe if I may have Italy.” I feel that way about Florence; which might explain why I have visited this arresting Italian city so many times I’m losing count. And, with that, what I’m equally losing count of is the number of times I’ve scribbled out an itinerary for 3 days in Florence – on the back of beer mats, across the bottom corner of a child’s nursery drawing or tapped out in a hasty text. In fact, I’ve written the same itinerary so many times, it seemed sensible to put it … Read more

How to Go Prosecco Tasting in Italy – 1hr From Venice

It was quite by accident that I found myself searching for a Prosecco tour in Italy. I planned to visit Venice, but I hadn’t really made the connection that this northern part of Italy is where Prosecco is from. Duh! It was just a few weeks before I flew to Venice when an email fell into my inbox – a regular round-up of what was going on in Italy and, most tantalisingly, a full run-down of Primavera (Spring) in Prosecco. As bad timing would have it, my trip was a few days shy of the spring festival in Prosecco, but a grape seed … Read more

The 18 Best Things To Do In Venice – Italy

panorama over Venice lagoon italy

I hated Venice the first time I visited. I felt cheated, hustled and robbed (some of Venice’s prices should be criminal). Venice wasn’t the Italy I loved. It was an anomaly to write off as a bad experience. Yet, every city deserves a second chance, so I tried again, again and again. In those repeat visits, I’ve learned the best things to do in Venice and how to navigate this city for the best tourist experience. Here are the best things to do as well as my insider tips. I have included a map at the end, including all of the … Read more

20 Puglia Foods You Must try in Italy or At Home

If you’re searching for information about Puglia food, you’re already steps ahead of most of the millions of foreign visitors who arrive in Italy each year. Just recently, strolling down a side-street in Florence I had a waiter holler at me across the street: “pizza, pasta, spaghetti”. It was as though he were enlightening me to a food stereotype that has long existed in this boot shaped part of Europe. But the truth is, I’d have been more excited if he’d been screaming ribollita or ossobucco, dishes that are native to Tuscany; I’d have headed to Naples if I’d been after decent … Read more

How to Spend One Day in Venice – An Itinerary

Venice is sinking, there is little doubt about it. Which is why it was higher up my travel list than the likes of Naples or Florence when I visited Italy. But even without the clock potentially ticking on the future of the city, Venice has long been one of the country’s top tourist attractions. Appropriately named the “fairy tale city of the heart” (well done, Byron), the mysterious twisty alleys and canals lined with the crumbling glory of Renaissance mansions and Byzantine churches is what’s earned Venice a spot on practically every tourist’s itinerary. The result, especially if you arrive in peak season, … Read more

7 Traditional Dishes To Eat in Rome – Italy

We’ve all heard the saying, “When in Rome do as the Romans do.” But considering the amazing Italian cuisine available there, it could be said that, “When in Rome, gain 10 pounds.” I did a touristy trip to Rome back in 2010 as part of my round-the-world adventure (if you want to travel back into my archives, here’s the post I wrote, ahhh) but, when I visited the Eternal City this time round, I had a very singular agenda – to do one of the things I love most…eat! What many people gloss over is that fact that Italian cuisine … Read more

Tavarnelle val di Pesa – Escape the Tourists of Florence

My trip to Florence was fundamentally flawed. It was July and on a whim I’d decided to re-route my ticket from Asia to spend a month in Italy. And, as habit would have it, I didn’t have a single plan to my name. For a style of travel that is theoretically carefree, it can come with an awful lot of stress and potential expense. Especially when you turn up in the wrong place in the wrong season…like Florence during one of the busiest periods of the year – summer. Peak Season Problems in Florence I’d been to Florence a couple … Read more

How to Get to Urbino

How to Get to Urbino

“How do you get to Urbino?” It was a good question that came from a good friend when I declared I was off to explore a new part of Italy (new to me, I’m pretty sure Urbino has been on the Italian map for quite some time). I can plan a trip to Rome with my eyes closed (turn of phrase – please don’t test me), but Urbino, in Le Marche Region in Central Italy? I couldn’t even name the closest airport – not without looking at a map. With a challenge in hand, I turned to my trusted travel planning … Read more

A Taste of Urbino: Discovering Passatelli and Crescia

Passatelli and crecia Urbino

I love eating. On a good day, I can manage six meals – and I’m not talking about six small meals, either. In fact, if I could drop everything and eat professionally, I happily would…I’d perhaps need to work on my cutlery ability because, despite more than 30 years of practice with knives, forks and spoons, I have the eating skills of a four-year old…for the same reason I also confess to having an “eating” top – a black vest I sometimes carry in my bag for impromptu dining occasions when I know things will get messy (anything beyond a … Read more

7 Top Things To Do In Urbino – Italy’s Best Kept Secret

Italy is one of those countries that keeps pulling me back. So much so that I’m starting to lose track of the number of times I’ve visited. Until now most of my time in Italy has comprised a tick-list of the most visited spots in Italy, sharing elbow room with hundreds of other visitors who have come to see the same things. And, as amazing as my time in places like Florence and Rome have been, there is something much more magical about exploring the destinations where comparatively few tourists go. Urbino is one such place. Head south-east from Bologna … Read more