An Offline Tour Guide in Your Pocket, and Free Things!

Consider strolling through the streets of Venice (which are seemingly maliciously designed to befuddle tourists) being personally guided by offline mobile apps that provide a mapped route, substantial cultural information and insider recommendations written by locals or expats living in the area. I frequently curl up with a cup of tea and travel vicariously around… Read More An Offline Tour Guide in Your Pocket, and Free Things!

The Most Enchanting Place in Italy?

It’s very tempting to use meaningless superlatives to describe places in Italy: Venice is surreal, Tuscany is charming, Sicily’s beaches are stunning, Rome’s architecture is magnificent. I think one of the greatest challenges in travel writing is to describe Venice in an original manner, and I haven’t read many pieces that succeed in capturing its… Read More The Most Enchanting Place in Italy?

Hidden Venice: How to be an (Almost) Exclusive Guest at a Palazzo on the Grand Canal

In ‘City of Falling Angels’, Berendt writes about a period of La Serenissima when she was in her last golden moments. The ornate palazzi of the Canale Grande were either thrown open for dazzling parties where guests arrived in gondole and light spilled from the windows onto the dark water outside; or were beginning their inevitable decline… Read More Hidden Venice: How to be an (Almost) Exclusive Guest at a Palazzo on the Grand Canal

Hidden Naples: Tile Heaven in Santa Chiara

Scooters whipping past, lilting 50s songs, restaurant serenades, archeological treasures, the home of pizza… pickpockets, stinking rubbish, stifling heat: these are the good, the bad and the ugly that are all associated with Naples. A sprawling metropolis seemingly stuck in the 50s, it can be an intimidating, exhilarating and exhausting place to visit, as described… Read More Hidden Naples: Tile Heaven in Santa Chiara

An Italian Medieval Village Untouched by Modernity

Castell’ Arquato, Emilia-Romagna – ideal day getaway from Milan. A hilltop wonder, you approach the town through a grand archway, looking up at the towers and spires that define the skyline. Just inside the gateway we witnessed a scene worthy of a Fellini film. A window banged open above us and grandmother’s head popped out. ‘Filippo!’,… Read More An Italian Medieval Village Untouched by Modernity