Travel

Where to go and what to see in Italy and beyond

The beach in Levanto, Italy

A guide to Levanto, Italy

After a sticky-hot summer in front of our computers in Rome, we were ready to get out of the city and breathe some fresh air. I was tasked with finding an end-of-summer vacation spot for me, my sweetheart and a friend. My research led me north to Liguria. After browsing…

Pizza margherita at Seu Pizza Illuminati in Trastevere, Rome, Italy

Seu Pizza Illuminati in Rome

Seu Pizza Illuminati Some restaurants are just downright awesome, and Seu Pizza Illuminati is one of these. The young chef, Pier Daniele Seu, is considered by some to be Rome’s most creative pizzaiolo. The menu at Seu Pizza Illuminati There are classic and “old school” offerings on the menu, but the…

pizza al taglio at Antico Forno Roscioli in Rome, Italy

Antico Forno Roscioli in Rome

Antico Forno Roscioli in Rome The Roscioli family run a foodie empire that includes their salumeria/restaurant, a bar and pasticceria, an enoteca/cooking school that serves food and does wine tastings, and a bread and pizza bakery, which has been around since 1972. They also supply their famous bread to several restaurants…

Spaghetti alla carbonara at Emma Pizzeria in Rome, Italy

Emma Pizzeria in Rome

Emma Pizzeria in Rome Via del Monte della Farina 28 – open daily from 12:30 – 3:00; 7 – 11:30pm Website – +39 06 64760475 – bookings highly recommended Located near Campo de’ Fiori in the city center, Emma is one of those jam-packed, sparkling restaurants, full of the sounds of clinking glasses,…

Tagliatelle al ragù in Bologna, Italy

Trattoria Gianni in Bologna

Tucked just off one of Bologna’s busiest streets is Trattoria Gianni, a lively little spot that serves up regional dishes, decadent desserts, and a great variety of wines. I ate there for the first time  a few weeks ago after a local recommended it, and it has since then made…

Mercato delle Erbe in Bologna

Mercato delle Erbe in Bologna

Bologna has no shortage of beautiful markets bursting with delicious food. The Mercato di Mezzo doubles as a food hall, where you can sit at communal tables and snack on nibbles from any of the stalls on the first floor. Via delle Pescherie is full of half-underground little market stalls…

Puntarelle salad in Rome, Italy. Puntarelle are in the chicory family, and in Rome they're dressed with a mixture of olive oil, vinegar, garlic, anchovies, and salt and pepper.

What to eat in Rome

Now that I’m living in the Eternal City again, I decided to compile a list of what to eat in Rome for those of you who want to eat authentic, local dishes during your visit. Keep in mind that seasonality is very important in Italy. Recommendations on what to eat…

Rome off the beaten path: le case romane del celio

Rome off the beaten path

I thought I’d follow up last week’s walking tour of the eternal city with a post about how to get off the beaten path in Rome. Normally when I go back, I go to all the same places, eat the same meals, and enjoy the memories and nostalgia. This time,…

Mercato di Mezzo in Bologna

Mercato di Mezzo in Bologna

Happy New Year, Luggage and Lifers! I’m back today after a few blissful weeks of relaxation in Maine with my family. I’ve always been a big fan of New Year’s, and not just because it’s also my birthday. I love the feeling that a pure stretch of one year lies before…

Vegan burger at Flower Burger in Rome, Italy

Vegan restaurants in Rome

A few years ago, I had a vegan friend visit when I was living in Padua, and we traveled to Florence and Rome while he was here. I put together a list of some great restaurants with vegan options that we ate at in Florence, and I thought I’d write…

Cicchetti in Venice, Italy

A bacaro tour of Venice

[Updated September 2021] Venice can be a bit of a mystery. I’ve been there countless times, and I still get lost. It can feel like one giant tourist trap in some places, with no authenticity in sight.  The first time I went to Venice, my friends and I were a…

View of Mount Etna and the Ionian Sea from the ancient amphitheater of Taormina

How to spend a day in Taormina

How to spend a day in Taormina, Sicily Taormina is a picturesque town about 55 km northeast of Catania. She is home to places of extraordinary beauty, including an ancient Greek Amphitheater, and Isola Bella, an incredibly scenic beach with its own little island. Famed for its beauty, you really…

Visiting Mount Etna

Visiting Mount Etna

It’s a strange feeling, looking up at an active volcano from a city that you’re visiting. You’re sightseeing, walking along, having a gelato, laughing with your friends, talking about what you want for dinner, planning your beach trip for the following day, and then your eyes catch sight of it…

Scagliero castle at Sirmione, Lake Garda, Italy

Visiting Sirmione

A few weeks ago, my friends and I went on a day trip to Sirmione, which is a peninsula at the south end of Lake Garda. You might recognize the name because it’s famous for the Scaliger Castle (Castello Scaligero in Italian) which is surrounded by water, and makes for some…

A mosaic in Dakar, Senegal

Five reasons to visit Senegal

Senegal is a West African country with a population of around 16 million. French is the official language, Wolof is the national language, and a whole host of other local languages are spoken there. Senegal is home to magnificent beaches, tropical jungles, and expansive deserts. Read on for five reasons…

Tuscan countryside near Arezzo

Easter in Tuscany

When I told a couple of buddies from home and my family that friends and I had rented a country house outside of a little village in Tuscany for Easter weekend, I could sense their eye rolls and silent “eff off, you spoiled jerk”s over the phone. Yes, I’m ridiculously…

Alonissos, Greece

On travel and gratitude

I’ve always hoped to see a whale when coming in for a landing over water. I’ve created elaborate fantasies in my head of opening my sleepy eyes when descending into a destination, pushing up my plastic window shade, and seeing an aquatic beast breaching from on high. I’d call out…