Stretching my legs in Modena, Italy

Modena, Emilia Romagna, Italy / Kimberly Sullivan

I was driving from northern Italy down to my home in Rome. Anyone who knows Italian highways know they are replete with Autogrill reststops, which offer clean bathrooms and ridiculously overpriced, tasteless food. So when lunch time rolled around, I was more than happy to escape rest stop food in order to stop in one…

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Dazzled by the stars in the Galla Placidia Mausoleum, Ravenna

Galla Placidia Mausoleum, Ravenna, Italy/ Kimberly Sullivan

I‘ve already written about the amazing San Vitale Basilica in Ravenna, Italy. But another UNESCO Heritage site lies just across the lawn from that basilica – the Mausoleum of Galla Placida. This mausoleum was commissioned in 426 AD, by Empress Galla Placidia. Galla Placidia was the daughter of Emperor Theodosius I (379-395) and sister to…

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Living like a noblewoman in Ravenna

I usually do all our holiday planning, so I was pleased recently when my husband took over and planned a weekend escape to beautiful Ravenna, Italy, in the Emilia Romagna region. He discovered a hotel I loved in the center of Ravenna: The Palazzo Galletti Abbiosi. This was a noble palace built in the 1700s…

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Finally made it to Rome’s Botanical Gardens

Rome Botanical Garden, Italy/ Kimberly Sullivan

I have been living in Rome for – ahem!- over two decades. Yet it is only recently that I crossed the city to visit Rome’s Botanical Gardens (L’Orto botanico di Roma). Am I glad I did! I can’t believe it took me so long to get there, especially since it’s an easy location to reach,…

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Visiting the world’s oldest republic: San Marino

For those who (like me) love Italy, you may be aware that, within its borders, Italy contains two independent countries. One – the Holy See or Vatican – requires little introduction. The second might be less known. San Marino, or, by its romantic sounding full Italian name Serenissima Repubblica di San Marino, is just under…

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Dante’s final resting place

Dante Tomb, Ravenna, Italy/ Kimberly Sullivan

This year, in Italy, and around the world, we’ve been marking 700 years since the death of Italian poet Dante Alighieri (1265 – 1321). Dante is considered the Father of the Italian language and litearture, with his masterpiece The Divine Comedy written in (vulgar) Italian, rather than in (erudite) Latin – thereby ushering in a rich…

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Early morning jogging in Rieti

Rieti, Italy/ Kimberly Sullivan

In the late spring, my youger son and I spent a weekend in Rieti – a small city in Lazio’s northernmost region. While there, I rose early on Sunday morning to enjoy a short jog in the eerily deserted city. I started off at out hotel, at the top of this medieval hilltown and jogged…

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