Italy’s New UNESCO Sites in Padua, Bologna, and Tuscany

Scrovegni Chapel, Padua

The 2021 UNESCO session raised Italy’s number of World Heritage Sites to 58—the most of any country in the world.

Mount Etna

black mountain with flowing lava at nighttime

Mount Etna, located in eastern Sicily in the province of Catania, is the tallest mountain in Italy south of the Alps, the most active volcano in Europe, and one of the most active volcanoes in the world. UNESCO inscribed Mount Etna as a natural World Heritage Site in 2013. Mount Etna in History Scientists believe … Read more

Reggia di Caserta

The 18th-century Royal Palace at Caserta with the Park, the Aqueduct of Vanvitelli, and the San Leucio Complex were inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1997. Located outside of Naples, the palace and grounds make for a pleasant day trip from Rome or from other locations in Campania, Lazio, and central-southern Italy. Short … Read more

Virtual Visits to Italy’s Museums and UNESCO Sites

Mosaic in Herculaneum, Campania

I am writing this post one day before April 3, the initial deadline date for Italy’s nationwide lockdown in response to the coronavirus emergency. Now that Italy has extended the lockdown until Easter — an arbitrary deadline that will likely be extended once again — who knows how long it will be before the country reopens to its own residents, much less the rest of us who are pining to see her again.

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The Iconic Landscape of Val d’Orcia, Tuscany

Inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004, the hills, valleys, and trees of the Val d’Orcia “exemplify the beauty of well-managed Renaissance agricultural landscapes.”

Five Lessons Learned While Living and Traveling in Italy

Roman Forum - Thinking Girl

Reflection is part of the prescription for moving from one year into the next. So while I wanted to write a year-end round-up a month ago, I realized that such an article would not fully capture the joys, sorrows, and idiosyncrasies of being an expat resident and traveler in Italy.

Five is an arbitrary number, of course. I’ve learned far more than five lessons learned while living in Rome and traveling throughout Italy. But here are a few of the important ones:

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Rooted in Italy: The World’s First Botanical Gardens

Orto Botanico di Padova

It has been said (too many times) that all roads lead to Rome. But did you know that you could trace botanical medicine and even the environmental movement to 16th century Italy? It was here in the city of Pisa (1544) then Padua (1545) that the world’s first botanical gardens were set up. This month’s … Read more

Give the Gift of Italian Culture

When my colleagues in the Italy Blogging Roundtable and I decided to write on the topic “gifts” for our December post, I knew exactly what I wanted to write about. I knew straight away that I didn’t want to write about Italian gifts you can buy in a store, though there are many I desire … Read more

Seven Longobard Sites Newest Additions to UNESCO Heritage List

Saint Michael at the Sanctuary of Saint Michael in Puglia

In 2011, UNESCO inscribed Italy’s newest World Heritage sites: The Longobards in Italy. Places of the Power (568-774 A.D.). Treated as one entity, these seven sites stretch from as far north as Castelseprio, Lombardy to as far south as Benevento in Campania. All seven of these sites represent, according to UNESCO, “the high achievement of … Read more

Scenic Drive on the Amalfi Coast

Amalfi

Italy is full of scenic drives. There are the honey-colored sunsets of Tuscany, sepia-toned ruins of Ostia, and the snow-capped cityscapes of Torino. But if you want a ride with the bluest of blues then the only place to find yourself is along Campania’s La Costiera Amalfitana, The Amalfi Coast. This coastal road links Sorrento … Read more