“In 1581, the Gallery of Maps was inaugurated under pope Gregory XIII Boncompagni, born in Bologna. He was a cultured and strict Pope during the Counter-Reformation, and he loved the Church, science, arts and Italy equally. He was the Pope who implemented the calendar reform we still associate with his name today.” Following this introduction, in a...

We are in that time of the year again. The summer is over, we’re all going back to our daily routines and embracing the comforting colors and sound of the fall, yet, it’s hard not to think about another holiday, a city break somewhere beautiful and rich in history and art. This is why every September Trip Advisor selects five European locations tip...

It’s well-known that Italians are passionate about coffee; the way it’s prepared though (in addition to the cost of a cup of coffee, much cheaper in the south) changes from region to region, or even from city to city. The main differences are, as in many other aspects of Italian life, between the north and the south. In the south, coffee is preferr...

When it comes to basking in the beauty of the Italian Riviera, the Cinque Terre is tops for me. But there’s much more to this region on the Mediterranean coast than those famous five villages. A handful of charming towns lie within an hour of the Cinque Terre, with posh ports set against rugged mountain backdrops that have drawn poets, authors, and...

There are no hotels, but islanders open up their simple, gaily painted homes to those seeking relaxed rhythms. No banks either, but there's not a lot money can buy here. The sole souvenir shop has a few knickknacks. Costs are modest for meals made from local ingredients — lentils, eggplant, peppers perhaps, plus the catch of the day from the emeral...

Catania is one of the most picturesque cities in Sicily, its landscape is dominated by the volcanic giant of the Mount Etna volcano which gives the city its suggestive lava rock palate.  Sicily’s second-biggest regional capital is a vital part of the transport network in the Mediterranean, a major port of call for export and an international airpor...

Parco Sempione, a famous Milanese park, located in the historic centre and frequented every day by both the Milanese themselves and by tourists from every corner of the world, is home to an extraordinary but disturbing legend, that of the Veiled Lady. The Veiled Lady, along with other ghostly figures that are meant to populate the corridors of the...

When Juno, Queen of Olympus, needed to vent her spleen, she visited Aeolus, god of the winds, on his draughty island off Sicily. Juno was outraged that the fugitive Trojan prince Aeneas was destined to found Rome and destroy Carthage, her favorite city, so Aeolus ordered a cyclone to capsize the Trojan fleet. Ever since, Rome has feared southern wi...

Marche is a region in central Italy, between the Apennines and the Adriatic Sea. The landscape is mostly hilly, dotted with villages and medieval fortresses. The name of this region is plural in Italian: it comes from the “marca”, the word used to define the fiefdoms on the edge of the Empire in the Carolingian Age. Among the most famous cities, Ur...

For people like me with an interest in cultural traditions, the island of Sardinia is one of Italy’s most fascinating spots.  In many ways, landing on Sardinia feels like stepping into an idyllic Arcadia that—as if by magic—has passed unnoticed by modern civilization. Left alone by invaders, untouched even by the Renaissance, Sardinia’s traditional...