Exploring Italy

February 21, 2024

What does a travel agent actually do that you cannot do yourself?

by Nelleke Pruijs

Does your travel agent, advisor or consultant (different names for the same job) wave at you from her Tik Tok, Instagram, or Reddit account as if she were holidaying on an island in the South Pacific or a romantic terrace in an even more romantic village in Italy? If you think that's the life of a travel agent, nothing could be further from the truth! Trust me, I have been an "industry expert" for over 40 years, I know what I am talking about. 
February 18, 2024

Italian truffles 1.01 - everything you need to know

by Wijnand Luttikholt

There are at least 8 different types of truffle in Italy, including the coveted white truffle. Piedmont, Tuscany, Emilia-Romagna, Umbria and the Marche are among the most popular regions for truffle hunting. You can't just go truffle hunting on your own, you have to have official permission. Traditionally, pigs were used to find the truffles. Nowadays, dogs are used, mainly for practical reasons: they don't damage the roots and are easy to train. A lot easier to control then a rabid truffle pig on a rope.
February 17, 2024

Marco Polo's Venice

by Nelleke Pruijs

When Marco Polo was captured at the Battle of Curzola in 1298 and imprisoned in the Palazzo San Giorgio in Genoa, he dictated his famous book 'The Travels of Marco Polo' to his cellmate Rustichello da Pisa. It became a bestseller in an age when everything had to be copied by hand.
February 17, 2024

2024, year of Marco Polo 700 in Venice

by Kasper van Hoorn

When we think of Venice, we think of water and its maritime might, but its most famous citizen went by land. It was in the year 1271 that the young Marco Polo set off for China to accompany his father on a commercial expedition. Plagued by bad weather, war and disease, the long journey east along the "Silk Road" took more than three years. However, Marco Polo remained in the Far East for 25 years, a period during which the Venetian won the Chinese emperor's confidence as his advisor and was given high office.
February 16, 2024

Brunch in Florence - Where to go!

by Elisabeth Bertrand

In Florence, brunch actually doesn't exist, and I know few Italians who succumb to this American habit. Brunching is simply a very un-Italian concept of eating extensively somewhere between breakfast and lunch. Brunch is that moment when you decide that time is an illusion and meals need not be defined by the clock, and that almost sounds like a holiday!
February 09, 2024

Hidden Charms of Venice Carnival: Little-Known Facts

by Nelleke Pruijs

Most people imagine Venice Carnival as a whirlwind of elaborate costumes, iconic masks, and lavish celebrations centered in St. Mark's Square. While those are absolutely part of the magic, let's dive into some fascinating yet less-celebrated elements of this iconic festival.
February 04, 2024

Albenga, favorite Slow Food beach town on the Italian Riviera

Let me be clear: Albenga has a longer history than Rome and is undoubtedly a wonderful beach destination. What is less well known is that the soil here is so fertile that the Albenga area is almost better known in Italy as an agricultural area with a microclimate that produces exceptional produce. It also means that Albenga is probably one of the few places in Italy where you can regularly encounter a farmer's wife in bikini on the beach.
February 02, 2024

Embark on a Gastronomic Adventure in Italy's Food Valley, Bologna and Beyond!

by Nelleke Pruijs

Are you a food enthusiast seeking an authentic taste of Italy? Look no further! Our bespoke food tours in Bologna, Parma, and Ravenna offer a delectable journey through the heart of Italian cuisine and the most important cities in the Food Valley. Start your Italy trip with one of these tours that will make your time in this country even more memorable. 
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