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June 2024


[MILAN, ITALY] — When I was going to school in Rome, I was obsessed with Old Things. We zoomed all over Europe every weekend, compartments loaded up with beer, on our unlimited Eurail Pass looking for cool old stuff. The only thing I knew about Milan was our midnight stop at the train station, jolted awake from a drunk sleep each time by the same old man hawker each time, with a raspy smoker’s voice outside our drawn shades: “Birrrrrra. Acqua Mineraaaaale. Chocccolaaato. Orangiiiiiina. Aranciatttt-a. Coca Cooolaaaa.” repeated over and over until the train departed. Then again the next time we flew through. Anyone who passed by Milano Centrale in the 80s knew that voice. When someone would ask “Should we go to Milan?” “Why?

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[BERGAMO, ITALY] — If you’re flying Ryan Air or other discount airline to Milan, there’s a pretty good chance you’ve noticed the name Bergamo only after landing in Bergamo, the airport deceptively named Milan Bergamo Airport. Most airport arrivals people spend their time just trying to actually get to Milan, but the old city of Bergamo is gorgeous, beautifully-preserved, cultural and manufacturing hub about an hour northeast of Milano. It’s worth spending a day exploring, or even overnight. Bergamo and Lugano. Just an hour or so from Milano. Here’s the lay of the land of the two cities I’m suggesting for out-and-back day trips from Milano, or to slip into on your way to or from that amazing city. Bergamo and Lugano. Just an hour

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Turin (also called Torino in Italian, everyone seems to use it interchangeably, even Italians) is a city I’ve always heard italophiles rave about, but I’d never been. After spending a week tasting tons of Barolo and Nebbiolo in Monforte d’Alba, I added on a couple extra nights inn Torino before flying out to scope it out for future visits. I didn’t have any time to do any advance time to do much research and was short of time, so I just spent a couple of days walking its endless piazzas and colonnades, Wandering Around Until Stumbling On Something Cool (WAUSOSC™️). There are lots of great guides available, many I’ve linked at the bottom of this post, so I won’t go into too much detail, just

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[AMALFI COAST, ITALY] — The whole Amalfi Coast is a string of towns south of Naples, roughly starting from Sorrento on down.  Each town has its own charm and personality. Not a big fan of Sorrento, more of a modern city that cruise ships and tour buses visit and it’s the last train stop, so that’s as far as most people go.  Keep going down farther, starting at Positano.  This is my guide to Positano and the Amalfi Coast and why you should go here in Positano and and all the best things to do in Positano. You Should Go Here In Positano — I consolidated several posts into one comprehensive guide in one place, so it’s a giant post and dense with information. I’ve

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[PORTO ERCOLE, TUSCANY] — Driving through the hills and ravines of western Tuscany, you find yourself in the little known coastal area of wild and woolly Maremma. The road rolls down to the sea, you drive across a causeway and lagoon to Monte Argentario, a hump of an island and now basically a peninsula connected by two bridges. Looking out at fishing boats and people bobbing along the shore, you wind through tiny Porto Ercole, pop up and over a hill, see the tiny pelican logo and pull into an ivy covered parking area. As the bellman grabs your things you glide through the lobby and head towards the sun on the terrace. It’s the view that hits you in the gut. Gah! Down a tumbling

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[ROME, ITALY] — The Pantheon, one of the great wonders of the world and certainly my favorite building of all time. Every time I come back to Rome, the first thing I have to do is to go and see and touch this magical place. I’ve been inside The Pantheon at least fifty times and it never gets old. Even though… you know… it’s really old. Started by my friend Emperor Augustus and rebuilt after a fire by Big Builder Hadrian in 126AD. Most other big domes are actually made of stacked stone, using gravity to hold them in place, like on a Roman bridge, or supported by metal or other reinforcements. This is like poured concrete, way ahead of its time and continues to

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[VERONA, ITALY] — Verona was never on at the top of my list, I always heard it was just a place where bus tours stop to all stand under the Romeo and Juliet balcony. Boy was I wrong. When my buddies were flying out of the Verona airport we spent a day and a half checking it out. I loved it so much, I came back by myself the following week. I was blown away how gorgeous, clean and manageable this Italian city is. Here are all my best things to do in Verona. The city has so much history beyond Romeo & Juliet. From Dante to the big Veronese families to the football team. It’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the whole city,

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This is from a trip I took several years ago for an overnight in Athens. My sisters and brother just went through Athens after a Greek Islands charter sailboat trip and I realized I never made a post so I could share my tips. So here it is, my tips for a quick trip to Athens, including when is the best time avoid the crowds at the Acropolis and a review of the New Hotel. Whether on purpose (smart) or randomness, most flights and ferries coming back from the the Greek Islands invariably end up with a forced overnight in Athens. On my last trip coming back from the beautiful island of Folegandros (my posts on that trip are here), this stop was shorter than

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