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6.11.2019

How to Go to the Beach in Venice

How to Go to the Beach in Venice

How to Go to the Beach in Venice

This year we had a lovely mild winter with enough sunny afternoons for spritzes outside in January and long beach lunches in February and March and then spring arrived like a soggy gray blanket. Here in Rome the sky stayed stubbornly leaden with occasional breaks for a ferocious downpour. I wore out umbrellas, had to throw out shoes that never quite dried and literally thanked my inanimate tumble-dryer regularly.  It is early June now and as I type every fan in the apartment is on and I don’t dare turn off the pinguino in the bedroom for fear it will never be able lower the temperature below 23 degrees with its small laboring compressor again. 

Italians know what to do when the weather heats up. They do not suffer in un-airconditioned apartments or wait in long lines with no shade to see historic sights. They go to the beach. Or maybe the pool

The last time we were in Venice we woke up to a perfect early spring day that promised plenty of sunshine and no wind so we decided to hop across the canal to Lido. Three vaporetto stops from San Marco-San Zaccaria station (it’s the one around the corner from Piazza San Marco just past the Bridge of Sighs) and you are transported from the crush and the crowds that is sadly what Venice is becoming most famous for to another world. On Lido there are cars, make sure to look both ways if you have been in Venice for a few days, Liberty style villas and kilometers and kilometers of beach. You can rent a bike, take a walk, lounge by the sea, have a spritz, have lunch, and be back in Venice for dinner. 

5.21.2019

How to Spend a Weekend in a Castle in Tuscany {Castello delle Serre}

How to Spend a Weekend in a Castle in Tuscany {Castello delle Serre}

How to Spend a Weekend in a Castle in Tuscany {Castello delle Serre}


There is a lot of talk these days about over tourism and "authentic" travel in Italy. Even the word authentic has been used to so much that its meaning is becoming elastic and slippery. I have a lot of thoughts and am working on a much longer piece on this subject but for right now I want to share a very specific way you can have a remarkable experience that benefits people and businesses who are invested in the places they live.

One important way to be a responsible visitor starts with where you stay. Do your research and find a place that is owned by people who live in the place you are visiting. If you are planning on spending some time in Tuscany then the Castello delle Serre checks all of the boxes. 

4.18.2019

Al Pompiere Restaurant in Rome's Jewish Ghetto

Al Pompiere Restaurant in Rome's Jewish Ghetto

Al Pompiere Restaurant in Rome's Jewish Ghetto


The weekend before Frank Bruni’s piece about dining while middle aged hit my Facebook feed I had a late night conversation about a meal I had just come home from. The food was fantastic, the volume level was fine but the newish space was on a rooftop and had very uncomfortable chairs. Despite all its sparkly charms, I am in no hurry to return.


These days I am happiest at home with Netflix or entertaining friends and family. When I do go out I am not interested in the newest place that is getting all the buzz. I am the cliche from the article. The one whose desire is comfortable consistency

As much as I love a simple plate of Amatriciana in a place with interrogation lighting sometimes a more refined and elegant atmosphere is called for. Al Pompiere in the Ghetto hits all the right notes. Frescoed ceilings, starched white table cloths, clientele with regular tables and almost unspoken orders that have been memorized by a staff that has not changed for decades. 

3.07.2019

A Guide to Venice in 10 Spritzes

A Guide to Venice in 10 Spritzes

A Guide to Venice in 10 Spritzes

One bitter January morning over our morning cappuccino Noah and I joked that we were going to attempt to have 10 spritzes in one day. Venice has a similar elastic and disorienting sense of time and place as another beloved place of mine. Like a late morning Sazerac at the Carousel Bar in New Orleans, in Venice it is perfectly acceptable to have a shot of grappa with your morning coffee or a 10:00 am prosecco with a gaggle of gondoliers. We didn’t hit our goal that trip but we sure had fun trying. 

One other thing about Venice is you walk. A lot. More than think you will even if you regularly hit your 10,000 steps a day. To help you plan your stops every few thousand steps or so I created this guide to some of my favorite places to have a spritz in Venice at just about any time of day.

Most bacaro, the traditional bars that serve wine, spritz, and cichetti, (plates of small snacks) are standing room only. My picks all have a place to sit down. 

2.14.2019

Where to Eat in Ostiense; Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Where to Eat in Ostiense; Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Where to Eat in Ostiense; Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Ostiense is a neighborhood literally on the other side of the tracks. Don’t let that scare you though. You will find it just past Rome’s astonishing 3rd-century pyramid on the other side of Testaccio. 

There are three new, new in a Roman sense anyway, spots that I have been visiting regularly and I think that you should too. 

No matter what time of day your appetite strikes there is something to hit the spot. 

1.14.2019

Come have coffee in Rome with me



Your flights are booked and you have chosen where to stay and maybe you have even a scheduled a tour or two but are you still feeling a little overwhelmed by your trip to Rome? Thinking about a day trip? Are you wondering where to eat and drink and shop? Or how to best get around while you are here? I can help. 

Spend an hour with me over coffee (or a spritz) and we will have a chat and come up with a plan for you to make the most of your short time in the city. This is not a tour. It is a conversation and is designed to be brief so that you have more time for your own exploring equipped with information and intention.

I have lived in Rome for the last 12 years and love sharing my favorite places. My friends have long called me the source because I am quick with a recommendation no matter the question. Looking for the best place for a quick meal with a cranky 10-year-old or the perfect spot for a sunset cocktailWhere to find the sparkliest mosaics or spot a Caravaggio without the crowds? I can be counted on to find the answer.  

Let me help you find your way in Rome. Contact me here for information about availability and scheduling.