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Destination: Italy

There are [1837] stories and [22664] photos from Italy

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Latest stories from Italy

Pompeii—It's A Date!

Tue, 2 Nov 2021 | By graynomadsusa | Views [198]

FROM OUR 2012 JOURNAL ENTRY after our first visit to Pompeii— If you lived in Pompeii, August 24 in the year 79 AD would have been a good day to be out of town. Around noon, Mt. Vesuvius began pouring tons of ash into the sky.  It had been ... Read more >

The Gardens of Villa d'Este in Tivoli

Sun, 7 Nov 2021 | By graynomadsusa | Views [184]

TIVOLI GARDENS IS AN AMUSEMENT PARK in Copenhagen. The garden at Villa d’ Este in Tivoli, Italy is, in a word, AMAZING! Despite the gloomy weather forecast—they haven’t been right all week—and fighting with the ticket machine, ... Read more >

Michelangelo Sculptures in Bologna

Fri, 22 Oct 2021 | By graynomadsusa | Views [176]

IT SEEMS LIKE OLD TIMES being in Bologna, not that we’ve been here before. The car was due back at 10:30, check in’s not until four and now we’re standing on the corner with no idea where we’re at, where we’re going or what ... Read more >

Uffizi Gallery: One Step Up at a Time

Sat, 25 Sep 2021 | By graynomadsusa | Views [160]

ONE PAYS A PRICE TO VISIT THE UFFIZI—and the €20 ticket cost is only the beginning. Now you have your temperature scanned and show your Covid “Green Card” followed by an airline-like security check. After making your way through ... Read more >

Hill Towns of Tuscany: San Gimignano and Volterra

Thu, 14 Oct 2021 | By graynomadsusa | Views [151]

IF YOU ARE AN AMERICAN TRAVELING IN TUSCANY, you won’t find a better guidebook than Rick Steve’s ITALY. And if you’ve forgotten to buy a copy, you can download tips, itineraries and even walking tours. If you are especially lucky you ... Read more >

To Buy Or Not To Buy . . .

Thu, 23 Sep 2021 | By graynomadsusa | Views [142]

THAT IS THE QUESTION. With individual tickets starting at €8, purchasing a multi-day pass not only saves money, you don’t have to wait in line. But which pass is right, a 3-day Florence City Pass for €70 or the 3-day Uffizi Pass for €... Read more >

Ostia Antica

Sat, 6 Nov 2021 | By graynomadsusa | Views [141]

IT SEEMED LIKE THE ROMAN GODS had conspired to keep us from visiting Ostia Antica. It was closed in 2012 due to snowy weather the first time we tried. Yesterday we again took the metro and a train to the site only to learn tickets were available only ... Read more >

Oops! My Bad

Mon, 8 Nov 2021 | By graynomadsusa | Views [139]

I THINK I MADE A BIG MISTAKE. The Virtuosa hasn’t even left port and there’s talk of mutiny. Some of the passengers boarded in Barcelona so they’ve had more time to pile up grievances. They skipped Marseilles entirely and couldn’... Read more >

High on Arezzo

Mon, 18 Oct 2021 | By graynomadsusa | Views [138]

THE CHURCH OF SAN DOMENICO IS THE ZENITH of Arezzo. It isn’t the best thing, by far, but it may be the highest and this morning Connie lead me, huffing and puffing, for a visit. And I said Arezzo wasn’t a hill town!     ... Read more >

Porano and Spoleto

Wed, 27 Oct 2021 | By graynomadsusa | Views [138]

PORANO ISN’T A HILL TOWN—IT’S MORE of a “Hill Hamlet” but it has just as much charm as its big brother across the valley. Lo Sperone , our AirBnB of the moment, is simply wonderful—an entire house with two bedrooms, ... Read more >

If You're Going to San Francesco...

Sun, 17 Oct 2021 | By graynomadsusa | Views [137]

YOU MIGHT HAVE TROUBLE FINDING AREZZO in your Italy guidebook—even Rick doesn’t bother with it. Arezzo is older than Florence but it didn’t have Michelangelo. It is in Tuscany but it isn’t a hill town but it . The Sunday morning ... Read more >

The ❤️ of Tuscany: Montepulciano and Pienza

Sat, 16 Oct 2021 | By graynomadsusa | Views [134]

THE PROBLEM WITH A VISIT to the “Heart of Tuscany” is deciding wether to Drink or Drive! Since this was an “Under the Tuscan Sun” sort of day, I drove, despite the offerings of relentlessness wine shop owners of Montepulciano.... Read more >

Iconic Pompeii

Sun, 31 Oct 2021 | By graynomadsusa | Views [134]

IF YOU WERE A ROMAN IN POMPEII, August 24 in the year 79 AD would have been a good day to be out of town. That’s because a 79 AD eruption of Mt. Vesuvius, only ten kilometers away, initially covered Pompeii with three-meters of ash. The pyroclastic ... Read more >

Suddenly Sunny Siena

Wed, 13 Oct 2021 | By graynomadsusa | Views [133]

HAVING A RENTAL CAR GIVES US a lot of freedom. But we also need a place to park, free parking if possible, which can make finding lodging difficult. In Siena, where cars have been banned since 1966, parking is verboten so we’re staying outside ... Read more >

Cruising in the Time of Covid

Wed, 10 Nov 2021 | By graynomadsusa | Views [133]

EVERY CRUISE LINE HAS ITS OWN FLAVOR and Covid has turned everything upside down and all around. In addition to the cruise room/charge card that every cruise line uses, this time we have a bracelet that functions as a Covid-tracker in case someone on ... Read more >

Roamin' Around Rome

Fri, 5 Nov 2021 | By graynomadsusa | Views [131]

LEGEND SAYS IF YOU THROW A COIN in the Trevi Fountain—right hand over left shoulder for best reults—you will return to Rome. We certainly got our euro’s worth—this is our fourth visit!         ... Read more >

The Names Have Changed But Paestum Is the Same

Sat, 30 Oct 2021 | By graynomadsusa | Views [123]

PAESTUM, THE CITY FORMERLY KNOWN as Poseidonia, was a thriving Greek port in the 6 th Century BCE—the Romans changed its name when they took over in 273 BCE. When the river silted up creating a malarial swamp, Paestum suffered from increasingly ... Read more >

Roman Ruins at Herculaneum

Fri, 29 Oct 2021 | By graynomadsusa | Views [121]

CASA CINQUE DOESN’T HAVE MUCH CURB APPEAL. Our neighbors fight like Ralph and Alice and the bar downstairs is jumping on weekends, so we keep our earplugs nearby. The fourth floor flat— terzo piano —does have two bedrooms, a practical ... Read more >

Lucca—City of 100 Churches

Mon, 11 Oct 2021 | By graynomadsusa | Views [117]

WE DIDN’T COUNT 'EM, OF COURSE, but Lucca is said to be the “City of 100 Churches.” As a matter of fact, on our visit ten years ago we barely noticed them. In truth, the only mention I gave Lucca in my “vagabonds” journal ... Read more >

Revisiting Ravenna

Wed, 20 Oct 2021 | By graynomadsusa | Views [114]

A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY to Ravenna—Autumn arrived. With the all the road construction, impromptu stops to photograph the fall colors and time for a picnic lunch, the 90-minute drive from Arezzo took nearly twice as long. Back in 2012 ... Read more >

Autumn in Orvieto

Tue, 26 Oct 2021 | By graynomadsusa | Views [114]

LIVING IN A HILL TOWN LIKE ORVIETO must be inconvenient. For us just getting there was a pain in the tuchus. Besides the narrow, winding, one-way streets and lack of parking, Orvieto is old. Medieval old. It’s charming to tourists like us but the ... Read more >

Sunday in Bologna

Sun, 24 Oct 2021 | By graynomadsusa | Views [108]

WE JOINED THE THRONG HEADING FOR Piazza Maggiore; Sunday strollers, young lovers, families with kids, gaggles of girls, herds of guys and dog walkers including a group with about 30 greyhounds—dog racing (amateurs only, no betting) is popular in ... Read more >

Still Leaning After All These Years

Tue, 5 Oct 2021 | By graynomadsusa | Views [106]

EVEN THE THUNDER, LIGHTENING AND RAIN drumming on the skylight didn’t keep us from a good sleep. After breakfast we walked to the Field of Miracles where the famous Tower of Pisa still leans. As any freshman engineering student could tell you, ... Read more >

Finito Con Firenze—Finished With Florence

Sun, 3 Oct 2021 | By graynomadsusa | Views [100]

AN OLD WOODY ALLEN SCHTICK GOES “My wife is and atheist and I’m agnostic. We argue about which religion not to bring the children up in.” Like Woody I am a heathen without much use for religion.      Oppulence ... Read more >

Cinque Terre—Taking Time to Smell the Garlic

Fri, 8 Oct 2021 | By graynomadsusa | Views [100]

RENTAL CAR PRICES IN EUROPE ARE DOUBLE what we remember from a decade ago. Europcar still had the best deal—€37/day including the Pisa-Bologna drop off charge. The Fiat 500 is probably the smallest rental we’ve ever had but with the ... Read more >


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