A Visit to Capri

A Visit to Capri

We hadn't been planning to visit Capri, but there was a boat preparing to go, so we thought, why not? I'd only ever thought of the island as a vast rock rising up from the Bay of Naples but, I reasoned, there must be something of interest to have attracted so many...

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Why I was Wrong About Naples

Why I was Wrong About Naples

In all the years I’ve been going to Italy, I’ve always refused to go to Naples. "See Naples and die," they say, and I’d taken it to heart, being sure that it was a hotbed of crime and corruption, with filthy streets, and that there was nothing to see anyway. I...

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Gourmet Eating in the Rimini Area

Gourmet Eating in the Rimini Area

Tourists with a taste for gourmet Italian food have always flocked to Emilia-Romagna, particularly to Bologna, with its signature meat sauce and cured meats, and Parma, famed for its ham and cheese. However, the Rimini area, in the south of Emilia-Romagna, has its own...

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Visiting Pesaro: Birthplace of Gioacchino Rossini

Visiting Pesaro: Birthplace of Gioacchino Rossini

Pesaro, on the Adriatic coast south of Rimini in Italy, is mainly known as an upmarket beach town with a number of fine buildings in the town centre. However opera lovers also know it as the birthplace of Giaocchini Rossini and every summer they flock to the opera...

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San Marino: Europe’s Oldest Republic

San Marino: Europe’s Oldest Republic

It has its own government, a seat at the United Nations, and produces its own stamps and coins. It also claims to be the oldest republic in Europe. Yet San Marino covers an area of only 61 sq km, and its borders are wholly contained within northern Italy. The capital...

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Certosa di Pavia: A Historic Carthusian Monastery

Certosa di Pavia: A Historic Carthusian Monastery

The Certosa di Pavia is a historic Carthusian monastery situated a few kilometres north of the medieval university town of Pavia, close to Milan. It was commissioned by Gian Galeazzo Visconti, the first Duke of Milan, as a monastery and family mausoleum. The Duke had...

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Rimini: a Holiday Resort with a Lot of History

Rimini: a Holiday Resort with a Lot of History

"Are you here for the beach?" the hotel proprietor asked as he showed us to our room; he looked surprised when we said, no, we were actually there for sightseeing. But his question was not unreasonable. Rimini is the beach capital of Europe and we had already observed...

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Celebrating the Feast of the Annunciation in Florence

Celebrating the Feast of the Annunciation in Florence

25 March is historically the start of the New Year in Florence. It is also the day on which the archangel Gabriel announced the incarnation to the Virgin Mary. The Feast of the Annunciation is one of the lesser known of Italy’s numerous festivals – hardly mentioned in...

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A Magical Ride on Dublin’s Storytelling Bus

A Magical Ride on Dublin’s Storytelling Bus

“Leprechauns can be tricky,” says Dylan as he bounces up the stairs of the Storytelling Bus. “You just need to be careful. There might even be some with us now...” A minute ago I was standing on a crowded street in the centre of Dublin, but now I had entered another...

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