Category: Italy

Dust, Chariots, Spas, Pompeii

A bath in Pompeii. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

A Visit to the City Buried by a Volcano The first time I go to Pompeii, the journey is work: a missed train from Salerno to Pompei, followed by a train that surely must be the local rather than anything…

The Mystery of Volcanoes

The blue-green hue at the edge of the Poas Volcano in Costa Rica. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

The Lure of Hot Lava Living in New York State, as I do, I haven’t historically had to worry much about volcanoes and the possibility that they might at some point obstruct my way, or worse. The first time I…

Back at the Palazzo

The Westin Hotel Europa & Regina in Venice Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

Choosing a Palace in Venice Surely, no one visits Venice for the modern conveniences. It’s that carless, truckless past and present that we lust for, the soothing water, the mysterious alleys, the ability to walk wherever we need to go,…

Is Pisa Worth the Effort to Get There?

Will there be more to a visit to Pisa than a sighting of a leaning tower? Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

More than 15 Minutes and a Selfie in the Land of Pisans A good way through planning my latest trip to Italy, I wonder, is the Leaning Tower of Pisa really worth the effort, or should I just skip it?…

Meeting Hemingway at Harry’s Bar

Can the literary romance of Harry's Bar possibly live up to its reality? Photo credit: L. Tripoli

A Little Literary Tourism in Venice Scooting past a vaporetto stop in Venice on my way back to my hotel, which was at some point in history a palazzo, I stumble across a landmark of more recent, and literary, fame:…

Staying in Rome near the Spanish Steps

A moonlit view just steps from the entrance of the Hotel Scalinata di Spagna Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

Could You Get Any Closer than the Scalinata di Spagna? With less than 24 hours to spend in Rome, the Brawny Sherpa and I would need to be strategic in selecting a hotel so that we could see those last…

A Double and the Duomo

A room with a view of the Duomo in Florence Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

A View on a Budget in Florence Our quick stay at the Soggiorno Battistero in Florence is just long enough to appreciate anew the place across from the Duomo referred to as the Baptistry. So thrilled with our view right…

Venice in Winter

Will Venice still deliver magic when the weather is cold and gray? Photo credit: Michael Ciavardini

Will Romance Be on Ice in February? What I think of when I think of visiting Venice in winter is rats and rain and floods and chills. What I get when I visit Venice in winter is balmy days, a…

10 Good Things about Holiday Inn Express Rome

Holiday Inn Express Rome–San Giovanni Photo credit: Michael Ciavardini

Have you been in a Holiday Inn lately? I had not, but find myself staying in Holiday Inn Express Rome–San Giovanni (not far outside the walls of the old city) as part of a package that mostly involves incredibly low…