Italy

The Shortest Hour of My Life: Positano, Italy

May 8, 2013
Thumbnail image for The Shortest Hour of My Life: Positano, Italy

It was May of last year that I visited Positano, Italy for the first time and experienced the second major travel regret of my life. (My first, if you’ll recall, is that I didn’t visit Egypt before the political situation there became unstable.) My second travel regret isn’t that I visited Positano, of course. Far [...]

Read the full article →

Five Things That Surprised Me About Pompeii

November 14, 2012
Thumbnail image for Five Things That Surprised Me About Pompeii

Because of its tragic history, I have had a lifelong fascination with Pompeii, the ancient Roman city that was buried by a volcanic eruption in 79 AD. The eruption of Mt. Vesuvius, which is about five miles away from Pompeii, buried the entire city under 13 to 20 feet of ash. Everyone who was still [...]

Read the full article →

Five and a Half Hours in Florence, Italy

October 24, 2012
Thumbnail image for Five and a Half Hours in Florence, Italy

This is not one of those articles where I claim that you can “see Florence in five and a half hours!” Because we all know that’s impossible, don’t we? But if Florence is one of your stops on your Mediterranean cruise, then that’s about all the time you’re going to have there. Let’s assume you’ll [...]

Read the full article →

Slowing Down on the Spanish Steps

September 26, 2012
Thumbnail image for Slowing Down on the Spanish Steps

I have two opposing desires in me when I travel that are constantly at war with one another: I hate crowds, but I love people-watching. Crowds mean personal space violations, which leave me feeling very claustrophobic. I need elbow room. Find me a place off to the side, though, where I can watch the crowd [...]

Read the full article →

414 Steps to Heaven

August 7, 2012
Thumbnail image for 414 Steps to Heaven

In May, I got to spend about four hours in Florence, Italy. Just four. That’s like telling a kid he’s got five seconds in a candy store. Florence is filled to the rafters with world-class works of art. So much to see, so little time. Rather than spend my time inside a museum or two, [...]

Read the full article →

When Life Gives You Limoncello. . . .

July 11, 2012
Thumbnail image for When Life Gives You Limoncello. . . .

One thing you may have heard about Sorrento, a pretty little town on the Amalfi Coast of Italy, is that it is famous for its lemons. On my port day in Naples, I took a small group tour that included a stop in Sorrento. I’m not sure how I expected it would play out. Would [...]

Read the full article →

The Colosseum, The Forum, and Palatine Hill: History’s Echoes

June 26, 2012
Thumbnail image for The Colosseum, The Forum, and Palatine Hill: History’s Echoes

Rome, Italy wasn’t always just a city. Once upon a time, it was an empire. An empire with a bloody, brutal history. Who hasn’t heard of the gladiators fighting to the death in the Colosseum? Or Christians being fed to lions? Or that Julius Caesar was stabbed 23 times by members of the Roman Senate [...]

Read the full article →

The Beehive, A Home Away From Home in Rome

June 5, 2012
Thumbnail image for The Beehive, A Home Away From Home in Rome

Two years ago, I read about a charming little budget hotel in Rome called the Beehive on a hotel review site called DarnGoodDigs.com. I knew that when I finally visited Rome, that is where I would stay. Fast-forward to 2012, and I booked three nights at the Beehive in May to bookend my cruise. Shortly [...]

Read the full article →

Battling the Crowds at the Trevi Fountain

May 29, 2012
Thumbnail image for Battling the Crowds at the Trevi Fountain

I had read the advice online ahead of time: Go late at night or in the early morning hours to enjoy the Fountain without all the tourists, other travelers said. Otherwise, it’s a mob scene. I didn’t heed their advice. What a mistake. Of course, it’s not like I had a lot of choice. I [...]

Read the full article →