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

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

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

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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Restorative hiking in Abruzzo

My weekend escapes to the mountains of Abruzzo are always pleasant. But my most recent weekend jaunt was especially satisfactory. My younger son and I could both (finally) get away from the city, and with the scorching temperatures in Rome, and so the Apennine mountains in nearby Abruzzo was an excellent plan. Even more so…

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Everything’s coming up roses – in Rome

Rome is always beautiful in the spring and early summer. One the things I love about the season is how colorful the blooming flowers look against the city’s imposing monuments. Nothing beats the city’s beautiful roses when they are in bloom. Each year, I make a visit to the city’s Rose Garden, just off the…

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