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Food in Italy, Interviews, Italy

Ring, Ring: The Italian TV Producers are Calling

October 26, 2015

It’s not every morning you wake in the darkness and wash your hair and get ready for an interview on Italian TV.

Two things: I’m shy. That’s why I write. It’s so much easier to type in silence than to chat out loud. (ON TV.) However, I’m also adventurous and willing to try just about anything, so when producers at Aria Pulita found our collection of stories from the Italian region of Emilia Romagna and asked me to join them for a conversation about travel in Italy (and Oregon!) on their local television show out of Bologna, Italy, I said yes. Continue Reading…

Destinations, Featured Partners, Italy, Walks of Italy

Our Italian Job: Escaping Disneyland Venice

June 18, 2012

Ted and I watched The Italian Job on a date night back when it was in theaters. I bought the DVD and would turn it on it during college procrastination sessions. There’s that scene at the beginning: magical morning mist, a burst of pigeons rising in unison from St. Mark’s Square, and soon after, a speedboat chase shattering the calm of idyllic Venetian canals.

We were in Italy for a month, surely we could visit Venice, fall in love with the ambience, flirt with cliche, and make it out unhindered by the logjam of 15 million visitors who arrive each year.

Not forty five minutes in, though, and we were ready to call it a mistake. Such a shame, we thought, considering the city’s magical reputation.

We’d taken the train in from Verona, hoping to see the highlights before bidding Italy “Arrivederci!” later in the week. True to warning, sluggish crowds gawking at fake murano glass and glittered Venetian masks clogged the zigzagged streets. Shop windows, mobile stalls, sweaty bodies, pushy people, narrow walkways, dead ends, crowded footbridges and kitschy gondoliers wordlessly taunted us, “Suckers! You’re in for it now!” Continue Reading…

Featured Partners, Italy, Walks of Italy

Milan in a Day: Visiting Da Vinci’s Masterpiece

June 16, 2012

That Mona Lisa moment.

If you’ve been to the Louvre in Paris, maybe you know it?

Awe and a twinge of disillusionment in the same breath.

Entering the gallery to see a tiny little painted woman smirking back across the room honestly underwhelmed me after a teenager’s lifetime of seeing reproductions plastered across canvas, t-shirts, and tapestries.

Then there are moments when reality exceeds expectations.

Continue Reading…

Destinations, Featured Partners, Italy, Photography, Walks of Italy

Paying Pisa a Savvy Visit Part I

June 13, 2012

Confession: at times on our independent trip around the world, we are absolutely, unabashedly tourists.

“We’re foodies. We’re fans of great design. I love taking pictures. Ted loves drinking coffee. We play the tourist part, signing up for guided treks, sailing the seas on a cruise ship, and snapping cliched shots at guidebook hotspots…”
Writing Honestly From the Road

When the opportunity to visit Pisa and see the monumental sights presented itself, we penciled out our itinerary excitedly as adventures began falling into place.

Continue Reading…

Destinations, Featured Partners, Featured Places, Food in Italy, Italy, Walks of Italy

Traditions of the Land: Food in Italy Part V

June 11, 2012

A Farmhouse Family Feast: Private Cooking Class and Farmhouse Visit with Walks of Italy

There’s an unmistakable aroma in the air when you visit a working farmhouse. Like a wild yeast grown from spirited spores dancing through the air, the scent is unique and recognizable all at once; a mystery capable of leavening age-old family traditions and responsible for flavoring a one-of-a-kind slice of life.

Golden farmstead-harvested-saffron infused risotto made during private cooking lessons with Walks of Italy at Il Fontanaro Agritourismo in rural Italy.

Chores of the seasons. Stories of family. Pride of a job well done. Joy of a meal shared around a huge table. Characteristics of farmhouse living recognizable from my own growing up years on a family farm, working the summer harvest alongside my siblings and cousins, cooking dinners with mom and dad, carrying the pride of eighth-generation-Oregon heritage.

To me, the ultimate treat in visiting another country is discovering true and beautiful strains of family living and farm production, making friends and celebrating the familiar and unique. Continue Reading…

Destinations, Emilia Romagna Tourism Board, Featured Partners, Italy, Portland

Portland, Meet Your Sister {City}

June 4, 2012

You know how everyone talks about traveling to Italy to connect with distant family? We’re not Italian, but it turns out we had a long lost relative waiting to surprise us with a welcome.

You should’ve seen the look of bewilderment on our faces.

Like that scene from The Parent Trap: Hayley Mills, meet Hayley Mills.

Portland meet Bologna.

We blinked twice.

Portland, Oregon, U.S.A. and Bologna, Emilia-Romagna, Italy were declared sister cities on June 5th, 2003. It’s nearly our ninth birthday.

Where have we been all of each others’ lives?! Continue Reading…