I never quite considered Italy much of a “vacation” spot as much as it is a place for spiritual reorientation. I was there for the last week doing research for a story I’m writing, and although it wasn’t my first time there, there’s always a virginal bliss to Italy. When asked by an American professor at the University of Kansas I met there if I wa...

Fashion, food and history have merged in Rome since toga-wearing partyers swept along marble roads to Bacchanalia festivals. In the modern city, one place encapsulates all those aspects in one polished, bustling square block. Rinascente, an upscale department store with nine locations in Italy, opened an eight-story flagship in the Italian capital...

As your plane begins its descent towards Rome, off to the north you will often see a blue teardrop nestling in the hills of northern Lazio, with two tiny islands close to its southern shore. This is Lake Bolsena, Europe’s largest volcanic lake – only an hour from the capital. For those familiar with the lakes of northern Italy, Bolsena will be some...

Most travelers visiting Italy have dreams of days filled with pizza, pasta, and gelato. While you should definitely indulge in these well-known treats during your stay in Italy (since they’re the best in the world here), you might also like to broaden your horizons and sample some Italian delicacies that aren’t so common.  From street food to tratt...

Artena, Italy is approximately 25 miles from Rome. Despite their proximity to each other, Artena is a much sleepier, old-world village, not encumbered by Rome’s foot traffic or consumerism. The beauty of Artena is in its organic simplicity, and its rebellion against the capricious whims of technology that have influenced city planning and developme...

If you want to be a volcanologist, then Italy is the place to be. Numerous areas in Italy have volcanic origins where volcanic activity occurred thousands and thousands of years ago. From the Castelli Romani area, just outside Rome, with its gorgeous volcanic lakes, Albano and Nemi – providing an excellent alternative to the not so clean seaside ne...

With its approximately 4,660 mi of coastline, Italy is the ideal place for sea lovers. The wide variety of its beaches makes it perfect for every type of vacationer in search of nature, fun, and rest and relaxation. The Italian coast, with its countless gulfs, coves and inlets, touristic ports and long, sandy beaches, is truly adapted to the water...

When travel dreams take people to Europe, Italy is often their first stop. There's something seductively charming about this country, its people, and la dolce vita. I always feel at home in Italy, whether struggling onto a crowded bus in Rome, navigating the fun chaos of Naples, sipping a cocktail in a Venetian bar, or sitting on the banister of Fl...

Since both my driving and language skills are severely challenged in Italy, I always hire Marcello, a driver/interpreter, when I’m researching a new novel. A few years ago, Marcello and I were speeding along the highway hugging the western bank of the Serchio River north of Lucca when we saw a mammoth stone footbridge at Borgo e Mazzano. Its beauti...

Sientists have long puzzled over the elusive recipe for ancient Roman concrete, which has withstood the test of time better than any of the concrete that’s been poured in the 20th century. Now, Time reports that Maria Jackson from the University of Utah claims to have unravelled the mystery, and furthermore believes that the ancient Roman process c...