jessica andrews

Playing jazz music from the Main Stage in Perugia

Umbria and Jazz. Who Knew?

When I was in Umbria I stopped off at a small family-run winery just outside of Spello. Enrico, the nephew of the owner (the only one who spoke...
 If you’re wanting to splurge a bit (other than on AC), consider booking some small tours or private guides during your vacation

Surviving Your Italian Summer Vacation: ten useful tips and tricks

Traveling to Italy in the summer scares the hell out of me. Images of a massive hoard of sweaty, smelly adults and screaming kids packed shoulder to...
In 835 ad Pope Gregory IV made All Saints'Day an official Catholic holiday

Italy’s Fall Holidays: More Than Just Halloween

Growing up in the States, I had heard two things about the origins of Halloween: 1) that it had originated as a Pagan festival and 2) that it was the...
The leaning tower of Pisa

The Leaning Tower of Pisa: Hype or “Have-To”?

The Leaning Tower of Pisa seems like an obvious topic for a travel and culture blog about Italy, but if I’m being honest I have to admit that it had...
Townhall and government building, Palazzo Pubblico, Citta San Marino

San Marino: A State of Its Own

Inside Italy’s borders are two independent states. One of them, you’re sure to know: Vatican City is the smallest internationally-recognized state in...
The Old Milan Food Tour brings Milan's political, economic, and social history to life through stories , images, delicious smells and tasting experiences

Milan: A History In Food

Milan is all about food this year with the World Expo taking place from May 1 - October 31, 2015. Its theme is “Feeding the planet, Energy for Life”...
Juliet’s Tomb, Verona, Italy

Juliet’s Tomb, Off the Beaten Path in Verona

Most people know that you can visit Juliet’s balcony when you go to Verona, Italy. It’s hard to miss, really, it’s arched brick entrance just a block...
Isola Bella, Lake Maggiore

Lago Maggiore’s Royal Family

When you visit Lago Maggiore, one of the three major lakes in northern Italy, you’re visiting the princedom of the Borromeo family. Yes, “princedom...
The Knights of Malta or Knights Hospitaller were a Western Christian military order during the Middle Ages

The Keyhole of the Knights of Malta

As I was planning another trip to Italy last year, one of my Roman friends told me about a keyhole on Colle Aventino (Aventine Hill) in Rome, from...
Italians gathering in Piazza Duomo, Milan

One Month: Expat Lessons

A few months ago I decided to make some changes in my life and, having recently acquired Italian dual citizenship, the first change was of scenery: I...