AN EXTRAORDINARY EXAMPLE OF ITALIAN medieval religious art lies hidden in the historic town of Anagni, located about an hour southeast of Rome. Also known as the City of Popes (four Popes hailed from the town), Anagni is crowned by its beautiful Romanesque cathedral dating back to the turn of the 11th and 12th centuries.  Under the cathedral floor,...

In Venice, the lagoon, like the rest of the city, is resting. There are no giant cruise ships damaging its fragile ecosystem; there’s very little boat traffic, so sediments are not being stirred up and waters are more transparent than ever. The only boats you see are the garbage collection boats and those that carry food provisions to the Rialto ma...

Sicily will pay half the price of tourists' flights in a bid to lure back holidaymakers after the coronavirus lockdown. The regional government will also pay one in every three of their hotel nights and all their tickets for museums and archaeological sites.  A €50 million budget will pay for the scheme after coronavirus robbed the industry of arou...

There is a whimsical aura that masks over Piazza del Duomo. It is not the flight of pigeons that crowd the place, pecking bread crumbs on the floor. It shrugs off the oblivious tourists flocking in the main square, arms stretched and posing for an Instagram-worthy picture. The owner of such aura reverberates from the stalwart architecture that stan...

The cancellation emails arrived in a wave in late February. Italy’s growing number of COVID-19 cases, increased lockdowns, and travel warnings had rightfully spooked travelers. Over the course of a few days, I watched bookings for food tours and cooking classes with me and my guides and in Rome vanish from our shared Google calendar. Since moving t...

One of the symbols of Italy, but especially of Calabria, is the Riace bronzes. Two bronze statues from the Hellenic era that were found in the Italian waters off Riace, depicting two Greek warriors or gods. Symbols of a disappeared civilization and a mastery belonging to 2500 years ago, the bronzes still hide dozens of mysteries related to their da...

They were expert engineers, way ahead of the curve on underfloor heating, aqueducts and the use of concrete as a building material. Now it turns out that the Romans were also masters at recycling their rubbish. Researchers at Pompeii, the city buried under a thick carpet of volcanic ash when Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD, have found that huge mounds of...

Each June, Nunzio Marcelli gathers his flock of 1,300 sheep and leaves his home near the medieval village of Anversa degli Abruzzi in the Apennine Mountains of central Italy. Walking some 30 miles over three days, 65-year-old Marcelli, his shepherds, and a few guests curious about this region’s traditional way of life herd the animals to an alpine...

We are in the municipality of Roccamorice, a few steps from another hermitage, that of Santo Spirito a Majella, here it is located on a rocky spur of about 50 meters at 700 m above sea level in the Majella, the hermitage of San Bartolomeo. The history of its foundation must be traced back to the Middle Ages. The hermitage is prior to the 11th centu...

Below is our interview with Robert and Lili of Espressino Travel who I had the pleasure to meet years ago during a memorable trip to Italy’s Salento. What struck me personally about them was their unabashed enthusiasm for the people they had met in Puglia and how much they wanted to show their guests a once-in-a-lifetime slow travel experience. Thi...