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Fri, 05/03/2024 - 14:53

Buon giorno o buona sera!

For destinations other than the "big 3" you mentioned, I'd recommend:


Cinque Terre




You can find tons of information online about those places and more.

Rick Steeves' website and videos are also a great resource.

Buon viaggio!

Sun, 01/16/2022 - 13:34

Where to begin? There are so many off-the-beaten path places in Tuscany!

Lucca--Beauty and charm, all "wrapped up" in ancient walls that are large enough to walk or bike on! Have lunch at the edge of Piazza Anfiteatro, and don't miss Torre Guigini with trees growing on top!

San Gimignano--tales of towers with scenic views

Siena--even when the Palio isn't happening, the shell-shaped piazza and striking church are reasons enough to spend the day

Saturnia--worth the drive to soak in the natural thermal baths, and then a relaxing lunch

Fiesole--Just a short ride from Florence gives you a postcard-perfect view of the Renaissance city

Arezzo--For fans of La Vita e' Bella, don't miss this Tuscan town!

Bolgheri--Cypress-lined roads lead to this charming hillside town known for its artists, wines and scenery.

Fri, 02/12/2021 - 16:11

Buon giorno (o, buona sera), Georgette!

My first trip to Italy was in 2001, with my father and uncle. After a tour of Venice, Rome and Florence, we spent a week on our ancestors' home of Ischia. I've since traveled there every year...well, except for 2020, of course!

Below are some excerpts from a presentation I did about Ischia for an international Italian language and cultural group:

Ischia: The Island Paradise in the Gulf of Naples

•About an hour from Naples (by boat)

•About 4 times the size of Capri with a population 60K (approx)

•Known as The Green Island

Why visit Ischia?

  • Spectacular  views
  • World-class thermal spas
  • Amazing food
  • Warm and welcoming people


  • Aragon Castle
  • Poseidon Thermal Spa
  • Mt Epomeo
  • Mortella Garden

Ischia is known for:

  • ceramics
  • award-winning white wines
  • lemon products

Best times to visit: May/June and September/October--avoid July & August!

To get around on the island, a scooter is best. Otherwise, a small car.


If you have any questions or would like more information, let me know.

Tanti saluti,

Dawn (Alba) Mattera