Castelluccio, Italy

We stopped by this little town for some exploration, happy hour, and lunch before heading for an incredible hike to Mount Vettore. I’ve never had such a lazy morning/day before a big hike before, but there is a first time for everything. This little town was a bit strange, but cute in it’s own sunny …

Monte Vettore, Italy

Located in Parco Nazionale dei Monti Sebillini within the Marche region, Monte Vettore peaks at 2,476 meters (8,123 feet). There are several ways to get there, we came from the southeast trail after spending some time in Castelluccio, which was more or less 335 meters (1,110 feet). While it sounded a great workout, a workout was …

Life in Motion

Now that I am all caught up on my London tours, I can finally breath and focus on writing something a little more substantial and something I know folks back home are wondering about. Ever since I left Turkey, I basically fell off the grid. Aside from the occasional texts, brief e-mails, and fulfilling the …

The Big 4-0

Corrado and Valeria turned 40 this year. Valeria turns 40 in October, but they decided to celebrate together this year. Nothing shows how well this couple is loved more than the people that were in attendance. Gifts ranged from hand crafted pieces to weekend getaways. They decided to celebrate their big bash with live music …

Milan, Italy

After 10 days on the coast, it was off to Milan for a couple days! After a brief welcome home to La Distesa, I barely had about 30 min to repack my bag for London. Taking out the swim suits and trading them in for a raincoat wasn’t as dreadful as I thought it would be. …

Review: Monte Freddo

I am pretty sure any weight I lost in Turkey was gained in the last 10 days in Vasto, especially after an epic meal at Monte Freddo. This agriturismo B&B located in Abruzzo, Italy, about 45 minutes to an hour from Vasto, is any Italian meat eater’s dream. Located between the Adriatic sea and the …

Vasto, Italy

Spending 10 days in Vasto might be a little long for my taste, but it has most definitely been nice to relax. Our days have basically been sleeping in, going to the beach all day, returning home for a group culinary adventure, and a night out on the town for gelato or granitas. Concerts, fireworks, …

Birthday Away From Home

As many of you already know, I am notorious for celebrating my birthday for a week. In reality, it’s just an excuse for me to plan several fun event and see so many of the amazing people in my life. Since I am abroad this year…planning a week of events with them wasn’t really possible. …

Ci vediamo dopo Italia!

Alora….it is my last night in Italy…finally made it to Rome (on purpose this time) even with the train strike. I felt pretty excited about Turkey since I started feeling a little useless in the fields the past couple of weeks, and I got an e-mail from my host in Turkey, Andus, detailing my tasks …

Sagra della Sangria

Sangria festival – man they really have festivals for EVERYTHING around here. Giovanni and I randomly discovered there was a sangria festival not too far from us, so we wandered down for some drinks and dinner. Located in between Jesi and Osima…the small festival was held in a town called Casenouve. Along the way we …

Florence, Italy

My friend Kevin, who has the best job in the world working for Rick Steves, was stopping by in Florence for a few days during the Rick Steve’s Best of Europe Tour. As a tour guide assistant he rarely had any free time, but saw that there was some breathing room while they stopped in …

Dining in the Cinque Terre

Il Gambero Rosso Translated ironically to Red Lobster. Luckily the restaurant isn’t as cheezy as The Red Lobster, unfortunately it is entirely way too overpriced. I might as well paid a little more and dined at the coveted Belforte…we ended up at Gambero Rosso by accident. I thought I was sitting down at Trattoria Gianni Franzi, …

Cinque Terre, Italy

Imagine this: You’re on a road trip and you’re rocking out in the car trying to ignore the fact you’ve been sweating in the car for the past 4.5 hours and the car enters a long dark tunnel. When you emerge from the tunnel the road starts to curve around the mountain, and suddenly BAM! …

The Vineyard Up Close

Here are some close ups of life on the vineyard.   Here is a video Corrado made of springtime in the vineyard. It’s all in Italian, but I show up at about the 5 minute mark. Like me!

Fano, Italy

Nothing like taking a weekend to go to the coast. Especially to reunite with some old friends! Giovanni and I took off late Friday night and enjoyed a slow night of gelato and the beach. Late that night we met with Roberto, Stefania, and a new friend Teresa. We stayed at Roberto’s family’s house in …

Open Cellars

A weekend of beach time, pizza, truffles, and gelato wasn’t enough for us. To top off the weekend, we stopped a couple cellars on the way back from Fano since it was the weekend of “Cantine Aperte” (Open Cellars). Basically most of the major wineries in Le Marche offer free tastings. You pay 5 euros …

The Inspirational Spirit of Italians

One afternoon, as Giovanni and I were coming back from a day of hiking, we took a detour home to enjoy some of the countryside. The sights and smells inspired this entry but it kind of morphed after saving drafts of this and coming back with new ideas. I really can’t explain how beautifully amazing …

My First Italian Nightclub – Mamamia

I’m sorry to say that I have no photos for this entry so you’ll just have to be content with the pretty sunset photo I took the other day with Instagram. The subject matter must be documented just for the sake that it was a first experience for me. We had a beautiful day at …

Learning a new language

Being a communication major and someone who grew up bilingual, languages have come fairly easy for me to learn. I’ve been here for a month now, and while my Italian vocabulary and pronounciation has improved greatly, I have yet to try to structure any sort of full sentence on my own. It’s been amazing how …

Monte San Vicino

My first hike in Italy! Hoping to catch some of Northern Italy at some point where the real hiking is. However, this was a perfect start of summer hike for me. Of course, because it’s me, the simple day hike turned into an adventure I wasn’t so sure I bargained for. Giovanni asked me what …

Bye Bye Wine

I forgot to mention that Hillary left yesterday morning. It’s been a nice reprieve for me so far…after living by yourself for 2 years, having a roommate that you also work with was overwhelming for me. I sorted my belongings and finally really feel officially settled in my apartment. I’m also really excited to start focusing more …

May Day in Italy

I failed at the detox. No surprise there. Valeria and her pesto is hard to resist. Today is the first of May and an international holiday. I blame myself for being naiive, but I thought May Day was about flowers and that spring was coming. We never had the day off from school or anything, …

Sandra’s Empanadas

Valeria’s friend Sandra came to visit for a couple days…she’s from Argentina so lucky for us she taught us how to make empanadas one afternoon. This is a rough recipe, as I was just observing and she was speaking Italian, so give or take some of this. It could probably be cut in half because …

Wine and the arts

Valeria and Corrado have such great friends. I’ve been so lucky to meet many of them in just a short amount of time. The first sunday of my arrival there was a presentation on a wine book paired with a wine tasting. Corrado was among some wine journalists and talked about the book and the …