Italy

Earthy and Enamored in Cinque Terre

Earthy and Enamored in Cinque Terre

Why I went here? I wanted to experience “dolce far niente” and this was just the place to do that. I did not want the glamour that was the Amalfi or the somewhat surreal cousin towns north in the Italian Riviera. Here at the Cinque Terre, the villages were said to be like being transported back in time and if not for mobile phones and wifi spots, I would most definitely agree. It had just the right balance of charm, isolation, and beauty that I was looking for. Oh, and I wanted to hike. …

Tranquil and Indulgent in Florence, Italy

Tranquil and Indulgent in Florence, Italy

Why I went here? It is the birthplace of The Renaissance which makes it an obvious stop in any Italian tour, especially if coming from Rome. The two cities are a mere 90 minutes apart via rail. Beauty, art, and food were the main draws for coming here. Best time to visit? Spring for the wildflower blooms, the artichoke season, and nice weather. Summer is best, if you want to visit the countryside. The sunflowers are in bloom and the images of Tuscany we often see are taken during these periods. It can be very hot though. …

Surreal and Besieged in Rome, Italy

Surreal and Besieged in Rome, Italy

Why I went here? I have never been to Italy. It was the part of Europe that was due to be explored. Best time to visit? Spring or fall; summers are hot, jam packed, and just plain miserable. Best way to get there? Rome has two airports: Leonardo da Vinci, more commonly known as Fuimicino (FCO), and Ciampino (CIA). The former is the larger of the two and is often the port of entry for most American travelers. There are no direct flights from Dallas to Rome, however, there are several from major airports on the east coast (BOS, JFK, IAD). To get to Rome from Fuimicino, take a bus or an express shuttle to Termini station, followed by a metro connection if applicable, or a cab. Kiosks at the airport where you can buy the tickets of your choice are clearly marked and there is a cab station just outside of the main entrance to Termini. Ensure that the cab is one of the officially marked ones before getting in on them. The bus cost is 4 euros and the express shuttle is around 14 euros. A cab ride will cost you 40-50 euros from the airport to any part of Rome within the Aurelian walls. …