Hike the other Cinque Terre

Italy's once beautiful Cinque Terre has been ruined by mass tourism. The buses and trains are bursting, pickpockets roam the trains, walking tracks are closed due to landslides that haven't been repaired and the charming towns are overrun with tourists. Locals look either bored or grim, tourists look harried and gelato costs a bomb. It's... Continue Reading →

High life in Italy on a budget

Yes, it's possible to enjoy the famed dolche vita on a budget. With a little planning and know-how, you can travel cheaply in Italy without skimping on all the pleasures that Italy has to offer, especially the eating and drinking part. Catch the train - Italy has a cheap and excellent train system, which leaves Australian... Continue Reading →

Passegiata with a ferret

Well, I've seen it all now. In the picture-perfect town of Ascoli Piceno in Italy's eastern Le Marche region, this rather dapper gentleman was taking his ferret for a passegiata. There were no eyebrows raised by the good people of Ascoli Piceno as he strolled around the main square with families, couples, poseurs, old men... Continue Reading →

Buonissimo! Break out the Barolo, Bella

Piedmont is The Quiet Italian. (Yes, there is such a thing). While tourists flock to Tuscany, Venice, Rome and the Amalfi Coast, Piedmont is steadily emerging as the go-to place for authentic cool climate Italian food and some of the world's most respected wines. Here you can try big boys like Barolo and Barbaresco as well as... Continue Reading →

Lucca for free (or bugger all money)

Lucca is one of Italy’s wealthiest cities. Not too much of Il Crisi for Lucchesi! A mix of Tuscan villa wealth, well-trod English ex-pats, day-tripper distance to both Cinque Terre and Florence will do it. Plus Lucca has plenty of its own many attractions – walled city, medieval towers and alleyways and, being Puccini’s birthplace, lots... Continue Reading →

Arezzo: the “other” Tuscan town

So, you’ve done Florence, Venice, Rome. You’ve even knocked off a few heavy Tuscan hits, Siena, San Gimingnano and Cortona. But have you been to Arezzo? Or even heard of it? Here’s six good reasons to go there: It’s on the major train line between Florence and Rome, so it’s a cinch to get to.... Continue Reading →

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