Villa Torrigiani – located in the municipality of Capannori, Lucca – dates back to at least the late 16th century, and features a beautiful Baroque façade created during a renovation in the late 1600s. What it is most famous for, however, is probably its enclosed garden, completely dedicated to flowers that grow between walls, geometrical hedges, a...

Guardia Sanframondi is a typical medieval Italian hilltop town, with a formidable ancient castle, pretty squares…beautiful frescoed churches…flower-bedecked old palaces…and friendly locals saying “hello” to strangers. Situated in a lesser-known part of Italy’s southern Campania region, it is a hidden gem that is slowly being discovered by expats wh...

Many consider Italy the most fascinating country in Europe, and they’re probably right. It never stops charming us with its incredible food, pampering mild climate, diverse landscape, incredible architecture and millenary history. If you have never been, it is absolutely time for your first trip to Italy.  Easier said than done though, right? As a...

October in Rome can be so pleasant weather-wise, with the likelihood of sunny days and warm temperatures, that the Romans have a name for it: ottobrata romana. Originally, with the phrase ‘ottobrate romane’, people referred to the Sunday trips out to the countryside surrounding Rome that the Romans used to go on until the first decades of the 20thc...

Pasta al pomodoro is arguably Italian cuisine’s most pedestrian dish. So when I see “pasta with tomato” featured on the menu of three-Michelin-starred Reale, the remote monastery turned restaurant in Abruzzo run by chef Niko Romito and his sister Cristiana, I am deeply skeptical. Here we go again, I think, another classic tricked up and ruined by o...

A hilly patchwork of yellow and green Umbrian fields unfolded on both sides of the road as I zipped around hairpin turns in my little red Fiat, feeling every bit the race car driver. Of course, this being Italy, what I thought was death-defying speed wasn't fast enough for drivers coming up behind me. They barely hesitated, passing me on blind curv...

Ask a claustrophobic to descend a dark, 1100m-long tunnel excavated inside a mountain and the most likely reaction will be a look of horrified panic. This scene played out recently during my vacation. I had joined a group tour for a one-week trek in the Dolomites, the famous mountain range in the northern Italian Alps, a beloved hikers’ playground....

Often neglected on travel itineraries in favour of Italy's more famous hotspots, Bologna nevertheless has plenty to offer tourists, from food to art to hidden secrets. Here are nine reasons you should visit at least once in your lifetime. 1. The food - Bologna is known as 'la dotta, la rossa e la grassa' - that's 'the educated' in a nod to its univ...

"So what part of America are you from? Cleveland? I know it well! I have a good friend with a restaurant there, Aldo's - do you know it?" Yes, we knew it.  And so an ocean away from Cleveland, in the small Italian mountain village of Castel di Sangro, my family and I ended up eating at an Italian bistro owned by someone whose good friend owns a res...

Granted, Rome has so much to see that you may disregard any day trips outside of the city for, well, the next time. In reality, there are many great places of interest within easy reach of Italy's capital, and it may be nice to escape the crowds and noise of the big city for a few hours in charming, less frequented, history-rich small towns. Viterb...