Category Archives: Explore Italy

Day trip from Rome: Siena

You can do Siena in a day from Rome. You can do it, but you will be tired. I know this because I did it and regretted it slightly… we probably should have stayed the night. Siena is large enough to draw crowds (especially during July and August when the Palio is held in the […]

The Badia Castle and Bridge

There is something about castles that appeals to my American sensibility.  In fact, when driving near Vulci (Viterbo), I think I actually said: “Ohhhh! Look! Look! A castle! Can we stop!?” Seriously. Medieval towers and fields of poppies hold plenty of appeal. But the most impressive feature is not the castle at all, but the […]

Strawberry Festival in Nemi, Italy

A sagra is a festival, usually centered around a local delicacy.  You can have sagre for porcini mushrooms, gnocchi, beer, lavender… but the sagra I most wanted to go near Rome is the sagra della fragole- the Nemi strawberry festival. With a fearless (and manual-transmission trained) fellow explorer, we navigated the strange world of Italian car […]

Day Trip from Rome: Calcata, Italy

The spring has been so strange, with thunderstorms and freezing winds marking the first day of June. So you’ll just have to trust me when I say that sometimes when the weather is hot you get a nagging urge to leave Rome for the day. One such place to skip off to is the ancient […]

Why to Visit Pitigliano: Tuscany’s City Built of Tufo

Pitigliano is a town in Tuscany’s Maremma region that seems to grow spectacularly out of the cliff on to which it is built. The buildings, and the rocky crag for that matter, are all made of tufo or tuff rock. Pitigliano is a major destination in its own right, but it is also perfectly located to […]

Saturnia Hot Springs

After a great lunch in Sovana, we had earned a little R&R.  We piled back into our cinque cento, clown car style, and set off for the nearby village of Saturnia. Exploring another Tuscan town was not the priority. Instead, we were on the hunt for thermal hot springs. The Saturnia hot springs are in […]