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ItalyItaly

Mama Mia

 A few nights ago I almost died. Serves me right for accepting a dinner invitation from a large Italian family.  Currently I am staying just north of Venice in a town called Conegliano visiting my old friend Sharla, her Italian boyfriend Giorgio and his lovely Italian family. It was his ... read more

Rachel Holan

ItalyItaly

If I were a city...

  Explanations are fantastic. I can rely on them at the drop of a pin, and can formulate one instantly. Since my arrival in Roma I have not needed even the slightest excuse for anything. In Rome, if you can “own it” you are more then welcome to “work it”. It doesn’t ... read more

Natalie Medved

ItalyItaly

Rome, Italy - What if Lawrence of Arabia Was Never to Be?

I encountered an interesting possibility: the world without Lawrence of Arabia. T. E. Lawrence still inspires many people. His book is now a classic.  But what if a bizarre twist of fate had snipped off his life before he wrote it.  He came very close to that in Rome. Mr. Stanley-Price, ... read more

J. Almon Polk

ItalyItaly

Arrivederci Colorado, Ciao Sicilia (Part UNO)

Blog Post 2   Arrivederci Colorado. Ciao Sicilia.        I am not sure how I did it; really I have no idea at this point, but I have arrived in Roma with Deb Medved, my luggage, and believe it or not my sanity still intact. This was not what Italians call ... read more

Natalie Medved

ItalyItaly

a word about plans

In the past few days I have gotten on the wrong train, went to the sea, ate pizza by a fountain, met some Italians, went to the museum, found the best gelato, drank by a fountain and jumped in a fountain. And of course I danced and laughed a lot. ... read more

Varya Larionova

ItalyItaly

Christmas Adventures

 This year’s was a Christmas filled with umbrella carcasses and culturally diverse hats. I took the three week Spanish holiday as an opportunity to do some exploring in Europe with but was met with some of the worse winter weather that Europe has seen in years. Up until late November, it ... read more

Carolyn Nelson

ItalyItaly

Rome, Italy – Story’s Love Chiseled in Stone

Rome, Italy - the city bustles with people, but there is a shady place that smells of earth, where fragrance of blossoms lingers in the air, where birds sing in the trees, where breeze rustles the leaves, and where you’ll forget in quietude of it all you’re in the heart ... read more

J. Almon Polk

ItalyItaly

Umbria, Italy – Peace in the Woods and an Old Man in the Shade

In Umbria, Italy, rising above a medieval town of Spoleto is the sacred mountain of Monteluco. Saint Francis of Assisi meditated here for peace. Today on its ilex-covered slope you’ll find an old hermitage. But there are no monks. The sanctuary has become an inn, schemed by an old man who was a Pope’s ... read more

J. Almon Polk

AustriaAustria

BulgariaBulgaria

GermanyGermany

GreeceGreece

HungaryHungary

ItalyItaly

RomaniaRomania

TurkeyTurkey

United KingdomUnited Kingdom

Two Weeks, Ten Countries: a backpacker's itinerary

Just over two weeks spent traveling through ten European countries. It was completely worth every minute spent planning the trip - but you're welcome to save yourself some time by stealing parts of our itinerary. We used an Interrail flexipass.  It was valid for 10 days of travel within 22, and ... read more

Anjali Nirmalan

AustriaAustria

GermanyGermany

GreeceGreece

HungaryHungary

ItalyItaly

RomaniaRomania

SpainSpain

Sri LankaSri Lanka

TurkeyTurkey

United KingdomUnited Kingdom

Vatican City (Holy See)Vatican City (Holy See)

Lying in Church: The Backpacker's Religion

My friend Jade likes to lie in church. On the ground. It gets tricky in a house of worship; sometimes she has to settle for kneeling.  In the Hagia Sofia, she had barely a minute to soak in the 6th-century dome before a security guard dragged her up.   But ... read more

Anjali Nirmalan

ItalyItaly

Venice, Italy

On our train to Venice we met another interesting person, confirming my suspicion that Danielle had bought a 'cool people magnet' for this trip. ... that was  a lame joke let me try again... On our train to Venice we met a guy named Ricardo, not the one who slaps ... read more

Matthew Delman

ItalyItaly

Pompeii

 January 13th, 2010 Today was our last day in Italy, and most of it was spent on a bus! I am saddened to leave Italy, because I am even more in love with the beauty of it’s culture, people, landscape, and food than I had been before this trip; and ... read more

Michelle Saltis

ItalyItaly

Naples and Sorrento

 January 13th, 2010 Today we were detoured to Naples because our planned trek up Mt. Vesuvius had been cancelled due to weather conditions. Naples is a wonderfully gorgeous city, nestled in between bluish-purple mountains, Mt. Vesuvius, and the teal-green waters of the calm Mediterranean Sea. There, we admired the beauty, ... read more

Michelle Saltis

ItalyItaly

The Italian Romantic Ideal Invaded

You can’t help but hear them: they’re the ones laughing so loudly they bring the room to a hush and make the sedate elder Italians reconsider their choice of seats. You can’t even help but take notice of them once they’re finally quiet, everybody looking on to see if perhaps ... read more

Richard Gerke

ItalyItaly

Adventures in Rome

 January 10-12,2010 Rome has been a whirlwind of clubs, delicious food, and beautiful architecture and history.    On our first night there, we encountered many Italian men who wanted to take us to different clubs... so what do my friend Kait and I do? We jump right into these 3 ... read more

Michelle Saltis

ItalyItaly

A Trek Through the Snow

Perhaps I slept through it that morning but I’m sure that at some ungodly hour the men and women manning the Padova Christmas markets must have released a single, cumulative curse in Padovani dialect as they gazed out their windows to the foot of snow that had fallen in the ... read more

Richard Gerke

ItalyItaly

A little Florence advice

 Someone asked for more advice about living in Florence so here it goes.... despite the rumor that Italians can be harsh (and some are, of course), for the most part the people in Florence are extremely nice. Florence isn't like Rome or Milan. Both of those are big cities and ... read more

Chelsea Young

FranceFrance

ItalyItaly

United StatesUnited States

Why I travel

It's mid-semester, my first semester as a graduate student in professional writing. I've been meaning to blog for quite some time now, but somewhere between schoolwork and the constant cycle of reading and writing that is the so-called lifestyle of a writer, it's been pushed back. I just finished a ... read more

Chelsea Young

ItalyItaly

The Beginning--L'inizio

It's difficult to decide where to start writing.  The thoughts of each day seem like they could fill a novel.  We are learning the language, the culture, the history, the lay of the land, the customs, the transportation, and then simple things like how to use the gas stove and ... read more

Carly Kratzer

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Getting Around

Take a boat from Italy to Greece

Alixandra Green

01 Sep 2009

Italy

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Alixandra Green

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The best way to travel from Italy to Greece is by boat. There are ships that leave every day, and there couldn't be a more picturesque way to travel between these two beautiful destinations. There are always seats and beds available for every price range, too.

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Culture Shock

Learn the language and embrace local customs

Betty Bluvshtein

29 Aug 2009

Italy

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Betty Bluvshtein

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Culture shock is inevitable in Italy, but there are at least two things you can do to help minimize its effects: 1) Learn the language; 2) Immerse yourself in local culture. English is widely spoken,but forcing yourself to speak Italian can make meeting new friends much easier, and this can help minimize the effects of culture shock. As far as local customs are concerned, if something seems foreign or questionable, my advice it to just try it. It will probably make the practice seem less foreign, and might make you feel more like a local.

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Must Do

The Leaning Tower of Pisa is best visited at 3 a.m.

Michael Amico

22 Oct 2009

Italy

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Michael Amico

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If you want to see the tower, go at 3 a.m. like I did. My traveling companions and I had a layover on a train back from Florence so we walked to the tower. It's completely deserted and everything you want to see is lit up nicely. The one security guard there even told us where to stand to get the best cliché leaning tower photo -- so it looks like we're holding it up.

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Etiquette

Don't share a plate

Michelle Saltis

12 Jan 2010

Italy

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Michelle Saltis

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Sharing a meal with a friend is apparently unacceptable in Italy. When out with friends, we shared a plate of pasta because we were not very hungry. The waiters pointed and laughed at us while we ate, and talked among themselves.

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Food

3 common misconceptions about Italian food

Michelle Saltis

12 Jan 2010

Italy

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Michelle Saltis

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There are definitely some discrepancies between what North Americans think of as Italian food and what is actually served in Italy. Here are a few that I have found: 1. Fettucini Alfredo does not exist in Italy 2. A mixed-green salad consisted of warm spinach and a lemon 3. Spaghetti and meatballs are eaten separately

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Health

Don't let the bed bugs bite

Amy Vaerewyck

10 Nov 2009

Italy

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Amy Vaerewyck

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Raise your hand if you thought bed bugs were just a make-believe creature some parent dreamed up to make for a sweet good-night tiding. If your hand is in the air, you are not alone. But you are mistaken. Bed bugs are a reality (a reality I came face-to-face with at an agritourismo in Italy). The microscopic critters travel the globe in suitcases and clothing, ruining many a good night of sleep. If you have a run-in with them, you'll know it by the nightly episodes of crazed itching. In the morning, you'll think you imagined the itching. Check your limbs for the characteristic multiple-bite trails. One way to prevent these unhappy episodes is to always store your luggage zipped up and off the floor on a chair or something (NOT a bed).

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Nightlife

Know how to turn them down before you go out

Michelle Saltis

12 Jan 2010

Italy

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Michelle Saltis

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When out clubbing in Italy, it's a good idea to learn a key few phrases. My friend and I were out clubbing and it was very difficult to convey that we did not want to go home with our Italian escorts. This one phrase could have saved those boys from a lot of confusion.

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Being an American

Italian Military Boys

Madeline Jhawar

27 Mar 2009

Italy

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Madeline Jhawar

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A friend and I were on a train from Milan to Vicenza, chatting to each other in English, even though we both spoke fluent Italian. It was the end of our AFS exchange year, and we were aware that the car was full of Italian military boys who wanted to get to know American girls. We listened as they hatched a plan to talk to us, and -- hearing all of the plotting -- decided we weren't interested. When one of them came to talk to us, and asked in simple Italian where we were from, we answered in a complete, grammatically correct, Italian sentence. It was enough to send him back to his seat and face smirks from his friends. Lessons: 1) learn the language, 2) learn the language, and 3) learn the language!

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