Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

Ten Years Since Florence: A Retrospective on Study Abroad

Ten years ago today, I was studying abroad in Florence. For the past several months, I’ve been thinking that my 10-year study abroadaversary would be a great opportunity to look back at that special time. Studying abroad is one of the best decisions I ever made and by far the best thing I did in college. […]

Haircuts Around the World

Shortly after arriving in Florence for my semester abroad, I met a guy wearing a gold belt buckle shaped like a lion’s head, a pair of boot-cut jeans tight enough to cut off circulation on top, a shirt unbuttoned almost to his navel, and the trendiest near-mullet I’ve ever seen. And he was American. This […]

40 Tips for Visiting Italy

I’ve spent a lot of time in Italy.  I studied abroad in Florence, traveled up and down the peninsula, and seem to keep returning. In that time, I’ve acquired a lot of knowledge about what to do and not to do in Italy.  Here are my best tips for having a great time in Italy! […]

Best Views of Florence

Florence, Italy, with its red roofs and Renaissance architecture, is incredibly beautiful from every angle.  But some places are truly extraordinary. Whether you want to get stunning photos or simply enjoy the view, these are the five best places to experience the views of Florence. View #1: Florence from the Duomo The Duomo dominates the […]

Europe: As Viewed From Above

Whenever I visit a new city, there are a few things I like to do: Stroll around the different neighborhoods. Find an awesome local bar. Climb to a high point and view the city from above. Here are several cities in Europe that I was lucky enough to view from above: Bruges, Belgium, as viewed […]

Watching the World Cup in Florence

When I look back at the Europe trip that my sister and I took in 2006, I don’t think about exploring the Marais in Paris or eating moules frites in Bruges. I think about watching the USA vs. Italy World Cup game on the banks of the Arno in Florence. I hadn’t even known that […]

What to Eat in Florence, Italy

Florence, Italy, is the capital of Tuscany — and one of the best places to experience traditional Tuscan cuisine.  These five dishes bring together the best of the region: rich stews, thick steaks, and some sweet surprises. Ribollita Image: dennis.tang Many Florentine dishes have origins from the countryside, and no dish better exemplifies that than […]

Travel Advice: Italy Travel Itinerary

I recently received an email from a reader named Charlie who is planning his first trip to Italy and looking for some itinerary advice. Here is an excerpt: Dear Vagabondress, My wife and I are planning a trip to Italy the end of September and early October.  Our mission is 2 fold.  Attend a wedding […]


Chianti I remember those nights on the river Arno where lush trees veiled opal moonlight and soft winds brushed gently like slow, sad notes from a flute. In the city of divine inspiration the demons and angels of the Renaissance curled like wrought iron through the humid air their legacy remaining on cobblestones and in […]

Florence Adventure: Does a hot waiter count as a souvenir?

While I was studying abroad in Florence, my friend Lisa was studying in Rome.  This was perfect, since we got to meet up a few times during the semester! Lisa and I had a blast together when she visited me in Florence.  We went dancing at Maracana, the best Brazilian/hip-hop club in the city.  We […]