A Quick Stop in Novara

Off the Beaten Track In visiting Italy, travelers usually pick the “big four (or five)”; Rome, Venice, Florence, Naples, Milan. But there are many little-known towns and villages off the beaten track that are really worth a stop. Most of the times these little towns are just within a day trip from major cities. Novara […]

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The History of Venice Masks

The Masks Mystery, enigma, seduction is what is expressed with a mask that conceals one feature. But only a few know where masks come from and the troubled history of masks in Venice.   The mask (the word mask comes from the Arabic “mascharà“, which means mockery, satire) has always been one of the characteristic and […]

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The King Having Fun in Mantua

Rigoletto I just went to see Rigoletto, one of the most famous Italian operas and one of my favorites, one of the reasons—besides the beautiful arias—is that the plot is almost credible.  There are a couple of operas by Giuseppe Verdi where the plot is really hard to take, while others are not dramatic enough, which […]

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Waiting for Summer in Rijeka and Opatija, Croatia

Opatija (Abbazia) and Rijeka (Fiume) are both almost Italian cities Both are hardly one easy hour away from Trieste and are two very easy destinations for a quick winter weekend trip while waiting for better summery days. One can feel like a king or an holiday in Opatija (in Italian Abbey or Abbazia): it is […]

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Blogging: Three Year Later

Considerations on my anniversary I was reminded that I started this blog three years ago. They are in reality just two years since I had about a year gap (I see it as a sabbatical 😉). In reality, I had a series of accidents, and it is not easy to be creative with a broken […]

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A Winter’s Day

A winter’s day In a deep and dark December January I am alone Gazing from my window to the streets below On a freshly fallen silent shroud of snow I am a rock I am an island I’ve built walls A fortress deep and mighty That none may penetrate I have no need of friendship, […]

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Vicenza’s Jewel

Vicenza—as I already wrote—is a beautiful city filled with Palazzi (see VICENZA NEEDS MORE THAN A DAY or VICENZA (PART II) THE VIEW FROM THE HILLS), sumptuous streets, and many villas in the immediate vicinity (see A WALKING TOUR IN VICENZA),  Thanks to Andrea Palladio who was a real busy man, Vicenza has a lot to offer, but […]

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