Italy


Rome. Venice. Florence.
Each magical in its own way, from the tantalizing aroma of garlic, the rich lush vineyards, the historical wonders. Head out late at night or early in the morning to visit the sights. Taking pictures in the Piazza della Signoria in Florence at sunrise without the crowds allows for an entirely different feel than the mid-afternoon throngs of tourists.

Favorite Experiences

Cooking class in Tuscany at our villa. Class with with our villa’s owner, her mother, her grandmother, and her toddler daughter. 4 generations of pasta making in the kitchen.

A photography tour of Venice with our professional guide, Pietro. Not only did we see the back alleys and inside views of Venice, we got some amazing photographs. Pietro taught us to look at the city differently, from a journalist’s perspective.

Rome’s Galleria Borghese is my favorite Italy museum. Advance reservations are required and admission is limited. The small gallery has breathtaking works and is one of a kind. Don’t miss it.

My Tips

Book a small group tour of the Roman Coliseum in advance.  They sell out quickly, are inexpensive, and allow for skipping the long lines.

Strongly consider purchasing a City Pass card in advance, especially in Florence and Venice.  The value is often redeemed with just one museum admission.  They also allow skipping the lines at most of the museums.

Head out late at night or early in the morning to visit the sights.  Taking pictures in the Piazza della Signoria in Florence at sunrise without the crowds allowed for an entirely different feel than the mid-afternoon throngs of tourists.  And seeing Rome’s Trevi Foundation at midnight is magical.

Dining

Buy a warm loaf of bread from a local bakery and head to Rome’s Campo de Fiori morning market.  Here you’ll find a variety of olive oils which you can use your bread to sample.

Wander the back alleys of Venice and make your way to Dal Moro’s.  Alfredo’s hidden spot offers fresh pasta, authentic sauces, and wallet-friendly prices.  It’s all to-go so get a container and find a bench, bridge or curb and enjoy your meal.

The gelato is incredible! Make it a daily meal and sample, sample, sample! There’s an option at every corner and the flavors vary widely.

For a little comedy with your meal, try dinner at Rome’s Dino and Tony’s, just a short walk from the Vatican.  The brothers bicker, tell you what you’re going to eat, smoke a cigarette or 2 while taking your order, and offer an unforgettable dining experience.  And, by the way, the food is incredible!

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