Italy’s historic shops are among its many treasures, defying the odds and surviving for hundreds of years, despite the country’s complex past. Like Florence and Rome and other destinations, Genoa is committed to preserving these special places, here called botteghe storiche, that were established between the 17th and the first half of the 20th cent...

To be in Florence is to experience a magical city that is as ancient as it is modern. Around the block from designer boutiques, visitors can see the birthplace of Dante Alighieri. Then, after eating a delicious gelato, one can stroll the Ponte Vecchio and imagine all the things that have transpired in the city so famous for its art and beauty. The...

When approaching the Basilica of Santi Quattro Coronati (“Four Crowned Martyrs”) on the Caelian Hill in Rome, a bulky, thick-walled structure emerges on the way to the Lateran that looks more like a fortress than a church. Its history has indeed been tumultuous yet it’s miraculously preserved some of Rome’s most secret and impressive treasures: Sai...

It can be hard to stay afloat of Italy's wave of bans on visitor-related misbehaviour. From snacking on the street in Florence to riding a bike in Venice's city centre, there are specific everyday activities that could see you slapped with a fine of up to €500 ($550) or Daspo (temporary ban). Italian authorities have introduced a slew of new rules...

The region of Molise, one of Italy's smallest, plans to introduce a grant for people who open businesses in its least populated towns and villages. Dubbed the reddito di residenza attiva or 'active residency allowance', the stipend could be worth around €700 a month for up to three years, the equivalent of €24,000 in total. There are just two condi...

Gorizia is a very charming city located at the border of Italy and Slovenia. Gorizia had once been the main town of the region but when the international border had separated it in 1945, its importance has decreased. Today, in Slovenia across the border a new town has been founded by the name of Nova Gorica. Gorizia is located at the confluence of...

The brightly painted face of a medieval-knight-turned-marionette. A three-legged Medusa grimacing from the center of a ceramic plate. The wooden wheel of a horse cart, painted in the colors and complexity of a kaleidoscope. There is something about Sicily’s most typical products that embodies its culture: vibrant, splashy, inherent with meaning. Ab...

Tintoretto was one of the leading painters in Venice between the 15th and 16th centuries – he spent almost his entire life in Venice, where he was born in 1518 or 1519. His family name was Robusti; he took the name Tintoretto from his father's profession of dyer (tintore in Italian). He was also nicknamed ‘Il Furioso,’ (the furious) for his energy...

Posta Fibreno is a karstic lake in the foothills of Italy’s Lazio region, and though it may seem more like an engrossed river, it is a small, serene lake home to a very unusual natural phenomenon known since Roman times. Described by Pliny the Elder in his 1st-century Naturalis Historia, the lake is the setting for the subtle dances and movements o...

Of all things you may imagine to find in Naples , a dolls’ hospital – or an ospedale delle bambole, to say it in Italian – is probably one  of the strangest.  But let me introduce you to it with a little anecdote. A few  years ago, I was in Chicago with one of my best friends. Sometime before, she had introduced me to the American Girl dolls: she h...