Capitoline Museum: The Story Behind Boy With Thorn

Close-up of the statue of the Boy with Thorn

I had never been to the Capitoline Museum. The first time I saw Boy with Thorn, he was a black and white projection snapping in and out of focus on the classroom wall. It was my senior year of college, and I was fulfilling my Literature and Arts general education requirement with an Italian Art History course. The classroom, a small, dusty room on the third floor of the Harvard Fogg Art Museum, ... Read Full Article

Five Quirky Museums in Europe

Folding Fan of the 1920s

When I travel to Europe, I am always on the look-out for museums or sites that are a bit out of the ordinary. I think that the following five quirky museums fill the bill: From Magic Ice to fans, to computers, these museums present a different slant on museum-going. The Magic Ice Museum - Istanbul Housed in Istanbul, no less, the Magic Ice Museum is one of the first permanent ice museums ... Read Full Article

My Favorite Foods of Europe

Yummy Stroopwafels

To travel is to taste the world. And Europe presents a particularly eclectic hotchpotch of flavours. From the strange to the sublime, I’ve sampled various dishes and foodstuffs throughout my jaunts across the continent and here (in no particular order) are some of my personal favourites: Gran Canaria Though the Atlantic archipelago presents a popular European mix of English, German and Italian ... Read Full Article

10 Ways to Beat Jet Lag in Rome

Pantheon by Clayton Tang

How many times have you arrived in Europe feeling like an extra from The Walking Dead—eyes puffy and mumbling something incoherent (English in this case)? Having begun many trips to Europe in Rome, I’ve found that the city has a great variety of things to do to help you beat jet lag. Here are 10 ways to beat jet lag in Rome: Sleep on the Way Over There are lots of general tips for ... Read Full Article

Exploring Rome from the Piazza della Repubblica

Victor Emmanuel Monument, Rome

While we had been to Rome before and had seen all the major sights, this time we were interested in a less frantic, more in-depth visit. We stayed in a great location near the Piazza della Republica on the Via Nazionale. The Piazza della Republica is impressive with gorgeous semi-circular colonnades surrounding the white marble Fontana delle Naiadi. It is not far from the Termini rail station, so ... Read Full Article

Hiring a Tour Guide: Is it Worth it?

Emiliano Tuffano

My husband, Bill, and I had never hired a private tour guide before our recent trip to Italy. In the past, we read our guidebooks, consulted the internet, and reviewed to see what our writers had to say. We then did our own thing. We have also been part of  large group tours, but this experience showed us the value of a knowledgeable, private tour guide to help us sort through ... Read Full Article

Roma, the City of Love

Roman Colosseum

Rome - synonymous with romance, it’s all in the name. As one local explained to me – if you reverse the word ‘Roma’ (the Italian word for Rome) you get ‘Amor’ – meaning love. And love is something that resonates throughout the entire city. Especially evident at nighttime, the romantic undertones permeate the place as tangibly as pizza or pasta. As intertwined as food and love may be, Rome is a ... Read Full Article

Italy Can Mend a Broken Heart


  For most of the summer, I was afraid to go to Italy. I was scared to hear the accent, to taste spaghetti Bolognese, to smell espresso. I worried that hearing my favourite Italian word, “Alora”, might send me straight over the edge. You see, I fell in love with an Italian last year. If this has happened to you before, I needn’t say more. If it hasn’t, let me fill you in: His name ... Read Full Article

On the Rock of St. Peter in Rome

St. Peter's Basilica

When I clambered onto the full flight from Paris to Rome, the last thing I wanted to do was talk to a fellow passenger. I closed my eyes, exhausted after twenty hours of travel. Lunch arrived and my seatmate, a mild-mannered gent, said, "I always chat during the meal—I'm Peter." My heart sank, but I gathered my remnants of energy and replied, "I'm Julie from Vancouver." I was soon enjoying ... Read Full Article

Italy’s Padlocks of Love: Luccheti d’Amore

locks of love

For young Italians, nothing says “That’s Amore!” quite like heavy metal – and the rest of the continent is locking onto the trend. Maybe it’s just me, but when I think metal, chains and padlocks, the first thing that comes to mind usually isn't romance. But leave it to the Italians to take those three things, add a little destruction of public property, and turn it into true love. “Luccheti ... Read Full Article