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Visiting the Ruins of Pompeii: From Tragedy to Tourism

The ruins of Pompeii are a UNESCO World Heritage Site

On August 24th, 79 A.D., Mount Vesuvius erupted in a violent two day display that destroyed the city of Pompeii, Italy, and the surrounding area. It is one of history’s largest recorded volcanic eruptions, and a tragedy any measure. The city was buried under ash and pumice for nearly 1700 years, and was presumed lost […]

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Happy Valentine’s Day

Today is St. Valentine’s Day. And while I’m sending out lots of hug and chocolate kisses to you, I would be remiss if I didn’t remind you that romance – and more specifically, romantic travel ideas – don’t need a special calendar date. So enjoy the romance of the holiday and then make some special […]

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Talking About Tuscany on the Amateur Traveler

Montefollonico Italy

I’ve written here many times about how much I enjoy the small towns and villages in Tuscany, predominantly the southern part of the area. From staying at La Montalla in Contignano, to wine tasting in Montalcino, to shopping and dining in Pienza, to exploring in Montepulciano, it’s all part of how I love to see […]

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Photo Friday: Art of St. Mark’s Basilica, Venice

St Marks Basilica, Venice, Italy

No matter where you are in Venice, it seems like there’s an arrow pointing you to San Marco Piazza.  And why not?  Along with the gondolas on the Grand Canal, the piazza is one of the most popular spots in a city that’s full of popular spots.  The Piazza fronts Saint Mark’s Basilica, a Catholic […]

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Photo Friday: Wisteria on Capri

Wisteria on Capri

From Sorrento, a visit to the island of Capri is a short boat ride away, making it an easy day trip.  In high season, reservations may be important, but otherwise just head down to Marina Grande, figure out your timing, and buy a ticket.  The ticket will depend on the time of boat service and […]

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Remembering Tuscany: Opening Wine Sent Home From Italy

Il cabronaione poggio scalette 2008

You know how there are those moments when you get to re-live your travel experiences all over again?  Well tonight is one of those nights for me. For the last few years that we’ve been in Italy, we’ve made a point to send a case (or two) of wine home.  The process isn’t difficult, we […]

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Throwing Three Coins in Rome’s Trevi Fountain

Trevi Fountain in Rome Italy

Fontana di Trevi, better known to most of us as Trevi Fountain, is  Rome’s most spectacular and popular fountain.  In a city with so many impressive fountains, that’s a pretty big claim. The Baroque-style  fountain, designed by architect Nicola Salvi and completed in 1762, is located in a busy section of the city, not far […]

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Photo Friday: Venice by Water

Venice from the water

While riding in a gondola in Venice is one of the most common ways to see the city, it is also one of the most expensive.  A ride on the traghetto, a sort of foot ferry on a gondola, is usually crowded and quick, leaving little time to see the city from the water.  A […]

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Italian Vacation: Gondolas in Venice

Gondolas on the Grand Canal, Venice Italy

Can there be a more iconic experience of Venice than a ride in a gondola?  For centuries this flat-bottomed boat was the primary means of transportation and moving goods within the city Venice, but today they are primarily used for sightseeing by visitors, weddings and funerals, and the occasional regatta.   So yes, riding on a […]

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Europe 2011: Exploring Italy & Portugal

Old Town at Night, Lisbon, Portugal

I’m back home from my shortened travels to Europe, with a few shopping souvenirs, lots of photos, fun experiences to talk about and write about for the coming year, and enthusiasm to get started planning next year’s trip. It might seem like visiting the same place every year could get boring, but in Italy that’s […]

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Try These Summer Vacation Reading Recommendations

With the Seattle summer weather set to reach 100 degrees this week, I’m enjoying some time lounging around with a […]

Sixty Two

Sixty-two. A cardinal number (60 plus 2) and a composite number with divisors of 2 and 31, The sum of […]

Five Fun Facts for Friday: Mall of America, Minnesota

The Mall of America features 520 stores featuring leading designer brands and no sales tax on clothing or shoes, the largest U.S. indoor theme park and many other leading family attractions, 50 restaurants, over 400 free annual events, two luxury on-site hotels, miniature golf, indoor zip line, and much, much more

The Mall of America is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2017. About one billion people from around the world have […]

Enter to Win: Universal Orlando Resort Package

  UPDATE:  The contest has ended and Yulia (@thefoodiemiles) is the winner of this great Universal Orlando Resort vacation package. […]