Tag Archives: Italy

3 Traditional Culinary Techniques Championed at Ristorante Gualdo

With the flood of tourists coming to Italy every year, there is a certain expectation that is placed on how Italian food should be prepared. People come to this country to be wowed by a culinary experience that should, if done right, changes the way the look at Italian food all together. Italians took-up this challenge with honor. Or, at least, once upon a time.  The Italian economy has limited cashflow, limited expendable income, and it has forced restaurants to be lean in their inventory practices. The traditional way of Italian cooking is in a dramatic decline.  In all my years of traveling around the country, I have found one place that still does everything with all the poise of Italian culinary tradition. Ristorante Gualdo.

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6 Reasons Why Cesena Will Be One of the Most Visited Italian Cities in the Next 10 Years

Yesterday morning I woke up to the new ad presented by the Cesena Tourism Office. The promo exudes what I have know for years; Cesena is one of the best unknown cities in Europe.
I have been traveling to Cesena for the better part of a decade to visit friends and enjoy la dolce vita. For years this city (like many Italian cities) has flown under the radar to the general public and most unsuspecting tourists. But now, due to the extension campus of the University of Bologna and its young creative population, the richness of this city and the surrounding area are being exposed.

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5 Reasons Why Sorrento Will Turn You into a Food Lover

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This is a guest post written by Mary Johnson. She started her expat experience in Germany where she completed her bachelor’s degree in language. She spent time living in Spain before landing in Italy, where she is currently exploring the expat life. If you want to connect with Mary, you can follow her on Twitter.

Sorrento is the jewel of the Italian coast. It’s an idyllic coastal retreat, clinging to the Amalfi cliffs – surrounded by inviting waters, full of warm-hearted locals and brimming with food that will take your taste buds on a heavenly gastronomic journey.

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4 Italian Travel Question to Ask Me on Twitter

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There is no doubt that there are many questions and unknowns when traveling to another country. With an abundance of content available often time the little things keep people from branching out. The gap between following your gut and a successful trip is often a risk that destroys peace of mindIf there ever was a time to need a direct line to someone who has been there done that, it’s now.

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The 5 biggest mistakes you make when traveling in Italy

For over a decade of traveling I have made almost every mistake possible. I have also witnessed countless travelers make Bmistakes that have ruined the trip of a lifetime. In an effort to help others learn from these mistakes, they’re written out below.

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Las Vegas and Rome: Two Cities With Too Much To Do

Kendra Thornton is a 40 year old mother of three. Before being promoted to the full time position of mom, she was the former Orbitz Director of Communications where she was able to travel a great deal. She now lives in Chicago with her family, where they are her number one priority everyday. If you want to learn more from Kendra, you can follow her on Twitter.

A few weeks ago, Kendra approach me with a brilliant idea for a blog post. She proposed ss-090408-las-vegas-01.grid-8x2that we each choose a city to write about, then write about our favorite things to do while visiting that city. Kendra chose Las Vegas. I chose Rome.

The post below list Kendra’s favorite things to do in Las Vegas, and my favorite things to do in Rome.

Looking for things to do in Rome? Here are just a few.

The eternal city is known for its old world charisma and historical allure. for those staying over just to rocket through the sights, they might not realize the city has a lot of offer outside of just the famous monuments.  There are actual many great things to do in the eternal city.

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4 lessons learned from a trip that fell apart

Recently, we had a trip to Italy that completely fall apart. From end to end, every logistical plan we had in place for our group shattered Imageinto a thousand pieces – leaving 19 people, and me, their leader, completely buggered. It forced us to implement every contingency plan we had at our finger tips.  Missed connections, expired train tickets, and lost of 48 hour of our itinerary. I’m not going to lie, these things alway suck. We quickly recovered and got back on our itinerary, and finished the trip well. However, if you travel often enough, eventually you will find yourself in a similar position.  Below are some lessons learned from a trip that fell apart.

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7 Things That Can Ruin Your Experience at The Vatican City

 

To experience the Vatican City is one of the most incredible feelings in the world.  The Vatican City (or Cittàvatican del Vaticano, in Italian) houses one of the most famous churches in the world – Saint Peter’s Basilica.  To most, this place seems very self-explanatory (the church is located in Vatican City (within Rome), you go there, and see the church) but in all actuality it’s not like that.  There are tricks of the trade that most people miss when allotting time to see this city. More often than not, travelers make mistakes along the way that costs them time, money, and just a bad experience.

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How I Navigated My Way to Lake Como and How You Can Too

Lake Como (or Lago di Como, in Italian) is one of the most beautiful places in the world.  lago di comoThere are few places in the world where it feels like God actively spends his free time.  Especially when we are talking about Italy, the place where beauty is born.   The lake is everything it’s cracked up to be and more. It’s a peaceful mountain top retreat, accessible through a sleepy passage of cottages, and small cities.  Looking back on this trip, there’s a reason why a Las Vegas casino, George Clooney, and artist throughout the ages, claim this lake as part of their identity.

Here are five tips to consider when navigating your way to Lake Como.

  • Getting to Milan. Wherever you are, I recommend getting to Lake Como (lago di Como) from Milan. Whether you fly into Milan, or take a train to get there, the city gives you the best launching point into the mountains. It’s a short forty-five minute train ride through the Italian alps, before reaching the edge of the lake.
  • Train to Como. The train to Como departs from several train stations in Milan. Not to mention, there’s more than one train with service to Lake Como. The main train station on the lake is called Como Nord Lago.
  • Cost: Of all the pricy train tickets in the country, the ticket to Como is very economical. The average ticket costs €4,50 for a forty-five minute trip.
  • The lake towns and beyond. Como, is the gateway town the lake is named after. There are several other cities on the lake, accessible by the roadways around the lake, or directly by ferry. There are two types of ferries that service the lake. The lake is serviced by a hydrofoil (the fast) ferry, and a normal (slower) ferry. The difference in ferries is time and price. Both ferries are not cheap – as far as ferries are concerned.  The normal ferry is €28,00 for an all-day pass.  The hydrofoil cost €15,00 for each one-way trip. (Stepping off the dock at one station and stepping onto the dock at the next station.)  For example, a round trip ticket, on the hydrofoil, from Como, to Bellagio, is €30,00. While the all-day pass will carry you to an unlimited amount of cities. Click here for ferry timetable.
  • Set your watch. The atmosphere around the lake is intoxicating, and often, time seems to fall by the way side.  If you spending the evening in one of the cities around the lake it’s a great feeling of bliss, but for those returning to Milan be sure to keep an eye on the time.  When I was there, I had not secured my spot in Milan, and almost didn’t get back before the sun went down.  Trying to find a place to spend the night, in an unfamiliar city, in the pitch black, with full luggage, is not a recipe for success. (Although, often a recipe for adventure. However, due to my timeline, I was not in the mood.)

These five tips are taken directly from my travel notes.  If you find any other suggests would be helpful, please leave them in a comment below.

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Why Italo Is The Best Ticket in Town

Today, in Rome, I was finishing some things on my to-do list, and planned on leaving tomorrow for Bologna.  My plan was to  take the bus up north, as research for a future blog post, but as I was investigating the bus timetables, an advertisement caught my eye. The ad featured the new train system called Italo.  The train is the first privately owned, and operated train system in Italy. The train is pioneered, designed, and built by Ferrari.

(Click here to access the Italo site.)

The new service caught my eye and I couldn’t refuse the opportunity to ride. To be completely honest with you I’m writing this blog post while on the train.

Here are the 6 reasons Italo is the best ticket in town, and why you should test drive.

  1. Luxury. The train is nice, very nice.  Every seat is uniquely designed to provide each passenger with amenities unseen by any other train system in Italy. For those passengers who ride in the first class (Prima) food, coffee, and other services are provided.  There is also free wifi, tv, and movies, onboard. Lastly, the train is very clean. The clean factor really does set Italo a part from the Trenitalia’s bullet train the Frecciarossa.
  2. Comfort. Each seat is larger and gives each passenger more room. The train and seats absorb most of the shock from the railway lines. Result: leaving each passenger with a smooth and comfortable ride. Lastly, Italy passengers can enjoy the comfort of the Italo lounge at most, if not all, train stations.
  3. Design. The train has a noteworthy designed.  The same attention to detail expected from Ferrari is reflected in the train. Everything is clean, and is an expression of Italian modern design.
  4. Silence.  The train is very quiet, and smooth. Even at our top speed of 300 kmh (or 186 mph) the “silence factor” is remarkable. Again, noticeably quiteter than the Frecciarossa – Italy’s other fast train.
  5. Convenience.  The ticket purchasing process was the easiest experience I have ever had in Italy.  I bought the tickets online, it took about 7 minutes, and the tickets were emailed to me immediately.   The Italo team is strategically located throughout the train station and surprisingly egger to help. On the platform there are staff members directing people to the location of their train car while answering questions.
  6. Price. The most striking thing about Italo is the price.  The base, or economy, tickets run between €20 – €25 each way.  Business class tickets run about the same as the second class tickets on the Frecciarossa – about €45 each way.  I wrote a blog post on the advantages of the Trenitalia’s Frecciarossa last year. Click here to view the blog post, The Cost of Train Tickets.

The train is a great new way to get around Italy.  It will be there first high speed train system to reach Venice (no more Harry Potter trains). In the back of my mind, I wonder if Italo can keep their service, and amenities fresh with consistency.  Only time will tell. However, I bet it will be the new standard in Italian railway travel.

The call to action, you must take it for a test-drive!

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