My Big Fat Italian Christmas

Celebrating Natale (Christmas) here in Italy is way more complicated than just exchanging gifts placed under the tree. That’s the easy part. Anyone can do that. No, the art of negotiating your way… Continue reading

Country Roads: Gliding into the Venetian Sunset

As daylight’s descent wanes, heading ever closer and begrudgingly toward the night, not wanting its place in the sky to end, my band of merry media — guest travel writers and photographers on… Continue reading

Country Roads: Venice splashed by Acqua Alta

The late Robert Benchley, a 20th century American humorist, newspaper columnist and Hollywood actor, was sent packing to Europe one summer by good friends and fellow film stars David Niven and Douglas Fairbanks,… Continue reading

Country Roads: Escape to Giudecca

I’ve just been punched, a real roundhouse to the old breadbasket, by that “time flies when you’re having so much fun” realization that your temporary taste of la dolce vita is about to… Continue reading

Country Roads: Under the Spell of La Serenissima

For the past six days I’ve been living the sweet life, and doing so on someone else’s euro. Totally content with my business-class legroom seat and onboard WIFI connection, I’ve been riding inside… Continue reading

Country Roads: Bologna — Gone in Sixty Minutes

The late Italian film director Sergio Leone, best remembered for his “spaghetti westerns,” brought together three unique characters in his U.S. Civil War period feature centered on the search for buried Confederate gold:… Continue reading

Country Roads: The Redheads of Maranello

Climbing on board the motorcoach with the rest of my groggy-eyed group of merry media — journalists and photographers invited by Insight Vacations to sample an abbreviated version of its fabulous Country Roads… Continue reading

Country Roads: A Dark and Foodie Night

“It was a dark and stormy night…” These seven words, joined at the hip, form an often mocked and parodied phrase quilled by English novelist Edward Buwler-Lytton in the opening sentence of his… Continue reading

Country Roads: The Good Humor Man of San Gimignano

Now, where was I? Oh yeah, standing next to an ancient landmark in the middle of San Gimignano’s Piazza della Cisterna. I’m with my band of merry media. All 23 of us are guests… Continue reading

Country Roads: Scraping the Skies of Medieval Italy

Long before Peter Minuit, the Director of New Netherland, a Dutch colony established in the New World, purchased the island of Manhattan from Native Americans in 1626, there was already a place back… Continue reading