A luxurious stay off the beaten path in Venice

Once upon a time, the sestiere (quarter) of Canareggio was considered off the beaten path in Venice. Tourists trudged back and forth from the train station down the Strada Nova to St. Mark’s Square and back. If the masses did find themselves in this part of town, it was usually to visit the Jewish ghetto for an hour and then return back to the Rialto as quickly as they came.

The trifecta of San Mark’s Square, St. Mark’s Church and Doge’s Palace do pack a punch and there is nothing bad about sitting at Florian sipping a cappuccino while an orchestra plays Volare, but how nice to make your home in one of the prettiest hotels far from the madding crowd.

Hearing the constant complaint that Venice […]

June 10th, 2018|Destinations, Italy, Venice|0 Comments

More than just a hotel in Piemonte, Italy!

Why hadn’t I returned to Piemonte? After my first year of university, I lived with an Italian Professor of Philology who was eager to perfect her English. It was a great trade-off. She received daily lessons and I lived with her in this magnificent part of the world. Claudia, her boyfriend and I would pop into her car to visit libraries all over the country from Ferrara to Bologna, even as far as Munich. Needless to say, not only did my Italian improve, but also I ate so well. Lucky for me, she was a brilliant home cook. How could she not be with the produce that was available right at her doorstep? […]

October 26th, 2017|Destinations, Italy, Piedmont|3 Comments

The Art of Seeing

“I don’t want to spend part of my holiday standing in front of a painting!” Having spent practically my entire college career studying art from the world’s great scholars, A little part of me died when my dinner partner uttered those words last week.

Then I took a deep breath and realized maybe he was right. Why stand in line at the Louvre, then fight the crowds to get a glimpse of the Mona Lisa  – when you could see it stress free online?

Even David Sedaris, the humorist, author and New Yorker contributor, whom I adore, said: “(The Louvre) just doesn’t interest me. I mean, I think so many people come here, and they feel like they have to do certain things because somebody told them […]

May 12th, 2017|Destinations, Paris, Rome, Venice|2 Comments

Bite Sized Bits of Parma & Modena, Italy

A tour of the Italian region of Emilia Romagna is more than just a stop to eat in Bologna. Parma & Modena must be on the list as well! These two small towns have exactly what you want from a trip to Italy: a fabulous Duomo, a bit of history and did I mention the food yet??

Bed…The Grand Hotel de la Ville in Parma is the most luxurious pillow in town. Make it your home base, then rent a car and explore the surroundings. Although, it’s a good ten minute walk to centro città, loads of little local shops line the Strada della Repubblica. I bought the Cypriot a huge chunk of parmigiano from the divine Salumeria Rastelli on the way home while humming a bit […]

October 28th, 2016|Destinations, Italy, Parma|0 Comments

One Day in Bologna

All American Gen-Xers or older can’t help but see the word Bologna and hum the Oscar Mayer theme tune dedicated to America’s favorite lunch meat. We enjoyed it with another Emilia Romagna-inspired treat, the sickly, sweet vino, better known by its commercial, “Riunite on ice, that’s nice.” If you happen to have only one day in Bologna, I want to make sure you hit all of Bologna’s treats in their original manifestation. You will see there is a real difference, making Bologna the food destination of all time.

How to get to Bologna
One of the easiest small towns to get to, Bologna is in the centre of it all, literally in the centre of Italy itself. There is a airport, only 15 minutes out of town, which has […]

October 22nd, 2016|Bologna, Destinations, Italy|2 Comments

A Bit of Italy: the Verdi Festival in Emilia Romagna

Every trip needs a soundtrack – a few songs that evoke the spirit of the place: driving Route 66  with radio blaring Born to be Wild, New York wouldn’t be New York without New York, New York, Chicago has Chicago. The question is how do you choose which song will accompany you through Emilia Romagna – there are just too many and all by the same composer. Don’t worry, usually the choice is made for you, since the songs of her hometown son, Giuseppe Verdi, pour out of every window as you drive by.

This trip wasn’t just any romp through Emilia Romagna, but one with Verdi taking a seat in the back. I was there to trace his every step, from birth to boom, before […]

October 12th, 2016|Destinations, Italy, Parma|0 Comments