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Renting a car in Italy: should you or shouldn’t you?

Renting a car in Italy: should you or shouldn’t you?

July 13, 2010

[This is an excerpt from our Driving in Italy ebook, which you can download for free here. Having a car on your Italian vacation can be an expensive hassle, or it can be a means to more independence and a…

Five favorite Italian words

Five favorite Italian words

May 03, 2010

I was tagged by Melanie at the Italofile blog to write a post about five of my favorite Italian words, which I thought would be a lot of fun. So here they are, plus the reasons I picked them:    Via!…

Picnics in Italy

Picnics in Italy

April 23, 2010

The photo above was a picnic for about 20 people that we organized at a farmhouse in Tuscany. We just knocked on the door and asked the owners if we could use their back yard and it worked well. Picnicking…

Italian language learning tip: notice Italian signs

Italian language learning tip: notice Italian signs

February 05, 2010

Learning a new language is a bit like detective work at first. You can memorize the grammar rules and a list of vocabulary and practice your accent, but those things are only useful when implemented in communication. Once you’ve arrived…

Five Italian words with unsatisfying English equivalents

Five Italian words with unsatisfying English equivalents

January 28, 2010

  If I’m speaking English with someone who I know speaks or understands Italian, I tend to inject the words below into conversation rather than use the English approximation. The Italian version is just better! Have a look at the…

Do you know the name of this mountain? (and why you should know local names)

Do you know the name of this mountain? (and why you should know local names)

October 23, 2009

  Is it: a) Matterhorn b) Mont Cervin c) Monte Cervino d) all of the above   The answer is D. Asking Italians about The Matterhorn – a Swiss mountain also visible from Italy and France – will produce blank…

Why are there holes in Italian buildings and towers?

Why are there holes in Italian buildings and towers?

October 16, 2009

When I worked as a tour guide in Italy, I got this question pretty frequently from travelers who paid attention to architecture. Why are there holes in Italian buildings and towers? The photo below is of the clock tower in…

Surprising things about Italy

Surprising things about Italy

September 09, 2009

One of the best things about traveling to a foreign country is that it makes you stop and think about all your own assumptions. Things you’ve taken for granted, assumed were correct, or never really gave much thought to —…

The 5 Best Things to Do in Italy, Regardless of your Itinerary

The 5 Best Things to Do in Italy, Regardless of your Itinerary

August 26, 2009

It doesn’t matter whether you’re visiting Rome, Florence, and Venice or whether you’re spending 2 weeks in the countryside; whether you’re going to Italy in the height of summer or the middle of January; or whether you’re museum-hopping or spending…

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