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Florence.

I Just Got Back From Italy... And America Is the Best Food Country in the World

Lewis Krell | Posted 12.16.2014 | Travel
Lewis Krell

I certainly am not stupid enough to think that eating in Italy is anything short of an incredible and life-altering experience. What I do think however is that Europeans and the rest of the world complaining about American cuisine is a comically misguided argument.

Judging by the Cover: The 10 Best Hotel Facades

Oyster | Posted 11.10.2014 | Travel
Oyster

We're taught as children not to judge a book by its cover, but does that principle apply to hotels?

Why I Fell in Love With Florence

Jinna Yang | Posted 11.30.2014 | Travel
Jinna Yang

That's exactly what happened when I decided on a whim to take the train from Pisa into Florence for four days. What happened next was my heart was laid out on a silver platter for what came to be my favorite city in Italy.

Leaving Italy, Sort of ...

Paula H. Noe | Posted 11.29.2014 | Travel
Paula H. Noe

My body may have left Italy, but my mind hasn't. I am so very very happy I went and I am so very very happy to be back 'home'. My year in Italy was truly a life-changing event in so many ways....

The Suite Life in Florence

Jinna Yang | Posted 10.14.2014 | Travel
Jinna Yang

This is one of the most luxurious hotels in Italy, and if you've been thinking of doing something special for your mom, wife, and/or hubby (you go, you sugar mama, you), I would most definitely recommend bringing them here to treat them for a night of two.

I Needed a Pedicure in Italy

Paula H. Noe | Posted 10.07.2014 | Travel
Paula H. Noe

Italian nail 'salons' are different than the ones I am used to in the States, where walking in to a salon without an appointment is common and easy.

The 10 Worst Things That Happened to Mona Lisa

Dianne Hales | Posted 08.05.2014 | Arts
Dianne Hales

French monarchs hung "her" in their baths and bedrooms. A thief snatched her from the Louvre. Nazi art looters pursued her. Vandals attacked her. Adve...

'Explore Umbria' With Steve McCurry

Paula H. Noe | Posted 09.28.2014 | Travel
Paula H. Noe

Perugia is about an hour's train ride away from Spoleto, and Steve McCurry's exhibit there is fabulous. He is a terrific photojournalist, probably best known for his powerful National Geographic cover shot of the beautiful 'Afghan Girl' with the piercing eyes.

And Italian Bathrooms...

Paula H. Noe | Posted 09.27.2014 | Travel
Paula H. Noe

I yearn for a bathroom that is perfect for me, and admit, sadly, that I haven't found it in Italy. The idea of a lovely, clean, spacious room for me t...

6 Key Ways Italians Are Nothing Like Americans

Lisa Condie | Posted 09.24.2014 | Fifty
Lisa Condie

The other day I was stopped on the Ponte Grazie by an Italian couple looking for directions to Piazza Michelangelo. It's always a moment of smug pride when I am mistaken for Italian, and it's always short lived! As soon as I started to speak, make eye contact and gesture, they knew. I am not one of them.

The Festival Is Over in Spoleto

Paula H. Noe | Posted 09.23.2014 | Travel
Paula H. Noe

It is quiet again here in Spoleto, and that feels so good. The Festival Dei 2Mondi (Festival of 2 Worlds) ended with a glorious Final Concert in the Duomo Piazza, complete with American show tunes from the 50s and 60s!

Spoleto Festival Dei 2Mondi

Paula H. Noe | Posted 09.21.2014 | Travel
Paula H. Noe

I love arts festivals, especially the opportunity to see so many new and interesting and challenging performances, and the Spoleto Festival dei 2Mondi was really amazing.

Can Mona Lisa Rest in Peace?

Dianne Hales | Posted 09.10.2014 | Arts
Dianne Hales

Centuries after her death on July 15, 1542, Mona (Madame) Lisa Gherardini del Giocondo is still making headlines. Over the last two years journalists from around the world have descended upon Florence to report on dramatic excavations of skeletons that may--or may not--belong to Leonardo da Vinci's model and her family.

Spoleto Festival Dei 2Mondi

Paula H. Noe | Posted 08.30.2014 | Travel
Paula H. Noe

The Spoleto Festival dei 2Mondi (big big arts festival) started on Friday and the town, its residents and its shops have all been spiffed up; the air of anticipation and the wandering tourists are both readily evident.

The Top 5 of Florence

Andy Steves | Posted 08.25.2014 | Travel
Andy Steves

As many people around the world know, Florence, Italy is the European capital of renaissance history and art. Before you go across the pond, make sure these five activities are set in stone as you plan to walk the same streets as Michelangelo.

Italian Kitchens...

Paula H. Noe | Posted 08.23.2014 | Travel
Paula H. Noe

The kitchen is just so important to me, to Italy, to almost everyone I know. So, as I am sitting in my Spoleto kitchen looking out at the clouds and r...

OTP's Guide to Partying Your Ass Off in: Florence

Off Track Planet | Posted 08.18.2014 | Travel
Off Track Planet

When you've had it up to here with ancient fine art, stumble around on the cobblestone to discover the party side of Florence. Photo by: gigi galiazz...

Spoleto: First Impressions

Paula H. Noe | Posted 08.13.2014 | Travel
Paula H. Noe

Stairs, everywhere! And, what did I expect, coming to a medieval hill town ("older than Rome", said a proud resident)?

The 12 Most Luxurious Hotels In Europe

Oyster | Posted 08.06.2014 | Travel
Oyster

Now, you may not own a tiara, but that doesn't mean you can't at least dream of laying your head to rest at one of these penultimate establishments.

Top 10 Romantic Things to Do in Florence, Italy

Betsy Talbot | Posted 08.06.2014 | Travel
Betsy Talbot

Imagining the romance of Florence is easy enough, but it is easy to get overwhelmed with the number of tourists in this historic and popular city. Take a breath, realize you can't do everything in one trip and focus on making memories that will last long after you return home.

Ancient Folks in Sicily

Paula H. Noe | Posted 08.06.2014 | Travel
Paula H. Noe

Sicily continues to amaze me. The history here is so multi-layered and so ancient that I, from Boston with its proud and (very) young history, am overwhelmed and find it incomprehensible on many levels when faced with 8000 years or so of history.

Too Many Bras (and Other 'Unnecessaries')?

Paula H. Noe | Posted 08.01.2014 | Travel
Paula H. Noe

When I came to Italy in September for my "senior year abroad," I brought a large suitcase and a medium-sized one, both full of items I thought were absolutely vital for my every-day life.

I Still Just Don't Understand

Paula H. Noe | Posted 07.28.2014 | Travel
Paula H. Noe

I have been living my dream in Italy since September, so I have been watching and learning and trying hard to comprehend since then, with mixed succes...

8 Super Romantic Spas in Europe

Oyster | Posted 07.19.2014 | Travel
Oyster

A spa day is a relatively romantic endeavor on its own, but move that spa day to Europe and it's nearly guaranteed to spark some l'amour.

Eight Fabulous New Finds from Middle East Now Fest

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 07.01.2014 | Arts
E. Nina Rothe

I'll preface this by pointing out that my fellow Florentines are notoriously pragmatic. Nothing really excites them, but at the concert for Lebanese band Mashrou' Leila the crowd fell head-over-heels under their spell.