Monthly Archives: June 2008

Thoughts Halfway Through Year One

Melissa and I have decided to go back to the United States in late October for a friend’s wedding, after which we’re going to look after her house in northern Virginia and her cats while she’s on her honeymoon. That October deadline means that we’re halfway through our European travels this year. This seems like… Read More

The Dolomites: Switzerland with Pasta

The Dolomites: Switzerland with Pasta

I don’t know what it’s doing where you are, but here in northern Italy, it’s been raining for a month. Not nonstop, Biblical-type rain, but dull gray skies and drizle or showers the majority of every day. It has rained on us in Como, Florence, Cortona, Arezzo, Siena, Vicenze, Trento, two different valleys in the… Read More

A Hidden Gem

A Hidden Gem

Every travel writer longs to “discover” some wonderful place off the beaten path to introduce to the folks back home. Travel-guide guru Rick Steves has made a career of it. (Unfortunately, he has so many disciples now that any place he discovers quickly becomes overrun by Americans.) My entry for the best place you’ve never… Read More

Soggy Florence

Soggy Florence

To our eyes, the great tourist city of Florence isn’t beautiful or charming like Venice, or awe-inspiring like Rome. But it has a truly singular cathedral, some imposing buildings that take you straight back to the late Middle Ages, and a lot of fabulous art. We saw all of that during our four days in… Read More

Golden Oldies in Ravenna

Golden Oldies in Ravenna

We spend a lot of our time in Italy looking at churches. The older ones tend to have good art and architecture, and they’re usually free to enter. But seeing so many, we get excited when we encounter something out of the ordinary. Take the eastern city of Ravenna, for instance, which we visited from May… Read More

Over the Tuscan Trampoline

Over the Tuscan Trampoline

Cortona is a typical small Tuscan hill town of picturesque antiquity. Melissa visited briefly years ago, and since then, it got on the tourist map by being the setting for the book and movie “Under the Tuscan Sun.” The hills behind Cortona are green and rolling and look a bit like the Shenandoahs or the Berkshires… Read More