Italy has a unique artistic heritage. However, many of its ‘gems' not only get left in storage, far from sight, but they're often left in neglectful conditions. One of these is Sammezzano Castle, a masterpiece of 19th century “orientalist” art (so much so that critics compared it to the Sistine Chapel), with a park that nearly covers 200 hectares....

The Benedictine La Cervara Abbey, located in Santa Margherita Ligure on the Gulf of Tigullio, is a rare concentrate of wonders. The structure was founded in the second half of the 1300s and greatly renovated in the 16th century. It includes the church of San Girolamo, which has a Latin cross layout and slate and marble columns; a beautiful quadrang...

After completing our annual month of Italian language study in Rome, my wife Carole and I headed south for yet another tour of Southern Italy’s many cities, towns, and villages.  We had traveled to the South on at least three previous visits. Our itinerary included stops from the totally unknown to the familiar, including the now famous UNESCO Nati...

It is famed as the place where gladiators battled lions to the amusement of the citizens of ancient Rome. But of the six million visitors who flock to the Colosseum each year, how many know that during mediaeval times, it was also the fortress base of a powerful Roman family for over two centuries? Or that in the 1600s, it was like a botanical gard...

Just 25 miles north of Rome, the Sabine Hills are the perfect alternative to other well known regions such as Tuscany. Its quintessentially Italian landscape, made out of rolling hills covered with olive groves and dotted with medieval villages and castles, almost looks like a movie set (except it’s real).   One of the advantages of this region is...

Italy — with more culture, crowds and chaos per square kilometer than anywhere else in Europe — is most enjoyable when you're up-to-date on its sightseeing and infrastructure news. Here's the latest: As in other European cities, Florence is beefing up security these days. Visiting some major museums — such as the Accademia (with Michelangelo's Davi...

Italian immigrant Alessio Carraro dreamed of building a resort hotel as the centerpiece of his high-end subdivision, Carrarro Heights. He and his son constructed the hotel over just fourteen months, between 1928 and 1930. The building was a thing of beauty, based on Italian architecture and tiered like a wedding cake. However, perhaps because of th...

“Sailing on you can see Capraia, a wild island where men go to escape light”: this evocative description was given by Claudius Rutilius Namatianus, a 5th-century Roman poet who in his unfinished “De reditu suo” recounted his journey from Rome to his hometown in Gaul (the poem actually only gets to Luni). The men he mentioned were the cenobites and...

Il Piemonte è tante cose, ma per molto tempo è stato soprattutto un segreto ben custodito. Solo negli ultimi anni ha iniziato ad accogliere turisti, che ora camminano per le vie di Torino, vanno in cerca di tartufi nelle Langhe e sciano sulle montagne piemontesi scoprendo una regione ricca di bellezze. Proprio per far conoscere meglio il Piemonte s...

In this episode of The Italian American Podcast, we air a conversation recorded this past summer in Sicily with Laura Lee, founder of Digging Up Roots in the Boot, which specializes in heritage tourism and genealogical research throughout Italy for Americans, Canadians, and Australians of Italian descent. The conversation covers attaining your dual...