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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In search of olive ascolane in the Marche’s Ascoli-Piceno

In normal times, finding Ascoli-Piceno’s culinary specialty in its historic center is no real challenge. But these are not ordinary times. My son loves olive ascolane – olives stuffed with meat and deep fried. This is a common appetizer at restaurants throughout Italy, although, all too often, they are simply the frozen variety. In the…

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The showstopping square in Italy’s Cittaducale

On a recent visit to Rieti with my younger son, we decided to explore the nearby town of Cittaducale. Just 8 km east of Rieti, Cittaducale is an impressive example of a late medieval fortress town. Perched on a strategic hilltop location and surrounded by mountains, this town is a pleasant place to wander. Although…

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Wandering the silent, medieval streets of Toffia

I’ve driven by Toffia many times on my drives from Rome to Rieti, but never made time to visit. On a recent weekend trip to Rieti, my son and I decided to take a little detour from the Via Salaria to visit this picturesque, medieval town. We were in Toffia on a perfect summer day.…

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Post-lockdown travel

As I come to grips with our post-pandemic life and beginning my travel blog once again, I’ve written in recent weeks about pre-lockdown travel and exploring Rome under the lockdown. This leads to the moment in June that (finally!) travel restrictions ended, and we could travel once again – first in our region, and then…

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Milan’s Renaissance castle – Castello Sforzesco

Smack dab in the middle of Milan is an imposing reminder of its past. As a tourist wandering Milan’s compact historic center, you’d be remiss to not notice its Castello Sforzesco, Milan’s most importnat Reniassance monument. Completely restored at the start of the 20th century, the Sforza Castle was once the headquarters of the noble…

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Medieval splendor in Gubbio

It’s been years that I’ve wanted to visit the town of Gubbio – in Italy’s Umbria region. I have travelled all throughout the pretty region of Umbria, but Gubbio is on its far eastern side, and I never managed to get there. That’s why I was so happy to visit during the Christmas break. It…

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