Arezzo: Master of Etruscan Gold Artistry

Renaissance coats of arms can be seen on major buildings in Arezzo

Arezzo’s current population of 100,000 is many tines what it was during Etruscan and, later, Roman rule, but the city has remained a commercial and cultural center for millennia. One of the hallmarks of Etruscan civilization – the working of gold to produce fine filigree jewelry – has continued to the present day: Arezzo is one of Italy’s three recognized gold districts (the others are Vicenza in ... Read Full Article

Cortona: Under the Etruscan Sun

Lampadaria Etrusco in Cortona

A visit to Tuscany is more than exposure to the language of Dante, the art of Michelangelo, and the craftsmen of Florence. The word Tuscany itself comes from Tusci or Etrusci, words used by Romans in the time of Cicero to refer to a civilization that had predated theirs by some 800 years. In its heyday, the Etruscan Federation consisted of 12 cities, and two of these – Curtun (today’s Cortona) and ... Read Full Article

Eating and Sleeping Along the Strada del Prosecco

Hotel Villa Abbazia in Follina

Although you could complete the 31-mile Strada del Prosecco in Italy’s Veneto region in less than a day, it’s more pleasant to take your time and draw out the experience.  You can’t eat your way through Veneto’s pleasures – gustatory and otherwise – in 24 hours, and who would want to? Traveling the Strada del Prosecco There are opportunities to hike, bike, horseback ride, golf, cave explore, ... Read Full Article

Sightseeing in the Veneto Along the Strada del Prosecco

Collina Cartizze - Santo Stefano

You don’t have to be an oenophile to appreciate sightseeing in the Veneto region of Italy along the Strada del Prosecco. Italophiles of every potable persuasion will delight in the 31-mile road as it winds its narrow way amid soft hills sprouting from rich dark soil, medieval towns and churches, local artists, ancient architects, 15 towns, 15 castles, 500 communities, a haunted tower, and – ... Read Full Article

Conegliano: the Beginning of La Strada del Prosecco

The still-imposing facade of the Castello di Conegliano

In Italy, all roads may lead to Rome, but all wine roads began in the small town of Conegliano, 40 miles north of Venice. This is the starting point of the country’s first wine road, originally called the Strada del Prosecco when it was created in 1966. At first it linked the towns of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene, but it expanded over decades, as more villages bought into its growing success. ... Read Full Article

La Scala: More Than Just a Night at the Opera

A production at La Scala

As the world’s most famous opera house, Teatro alla Scala is a mecca for music lovers the world over. What many don’t realize is that visitors can experience Milan’s La Scala in more ways than one costly night sitting on a red-velveteen chair listening to Verdi. Of course La Scala is synonymous with opera, and advance planning, online booking, and deep pockets can usually snare you a ... Read Full Article

Italy’s Donkey Sanctuary: An Enchanting Detour

Lots of affection at the Piedmont Donkey Sanctuary

You don’t have to be a child or an animal lover to visit Italy's Donkey Sanctuary in the Piedmont region, but it helps if you are. Amateur historians, economists, sociologists, and psychologists should also be enchanted. Everyone is welcome – families, singles, couples, teenagers, schoolchildren, special interest groups – and you may see all these in attendance on a given day. ... Read Full Article

Seven of the Best Beaches in Europe

Praia da Marinha beach in Portugal, one of the best beaches in Europe

With spring finally here, and summer on the doorstep, beach season is ramping up again in the northern hemisphere. It’s a welcome turn for lovers of European surf, sun and sand-between-the-toes frivolity. After all, Europe is home to some of the most stunning and spectacular beaches on earth. Here’s a quick taste of some of the best beaches in Europe; you really ought to consider visiting at least ... Read Full Article

Visiting the Ice Man in Bolzano, Italy

Examining the Ice Man © South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology

Ötzi is Italy’s most famous mummy and has his own museum to prove it –the South Tyrol Museum of Archeology in Bolzano. One doesn’t normally associate Italy with mummies, but Ötzi -- also known as the Ice Man -- is exceptional and so is his story. Ötzi, the Ice Man The Ice man emerged in September 1991, literally, when two tourists stumbled across a human corpse half frozen in the ground in ... Read Full Article

Six Great Places for Spring Travel in Europe

Paris a great spot for Spring Travel in Europe

It’s always a stunning time in Europe when the sleet and snow of winter makes way for the glowing renewal of spring. Parks and gardens blossom and bloom, cities return life again. Ahead of the summer throngs, it’s also a fabulous time to baulk the European crowds, while keeping the back pocket in tact with friendly shoulder-season rates. From the Italian Lakes to Vienna, Budapest to Seville, we ... Read Full Article