Category Archives: Italy

Hiking Lake Como and the Italian Lakes Region

An enchanting landscape of deep, lake-filled valleys was carved across northern Italy by the retreating glaciers of the last Ice Age. Unique micro-climates provide this area with Mediterranean weather that is mild in both the summer and winter, fostering the lush hillside gardens that have attracted the vacationing elite since the days of the Roman…
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Top 5 Places to Travel in April

Spring is almost here and it's time to hit the road! As winter disappears into memory, flowers are blooming in green spaces around the world and people are getting into the summer mood with festivals and celebrations in the sunny months ahead. Whether you're taking a spring break vacation or setting off on a tour…
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Traveling the Great Rivers of Europe

Long before roads crisscrossed the nations of Europe, it was mighty rivers that served as the superhighways connecting all the diverse and enduring landscapes and cultures of the old world. Flowing from one historic European capital to the next, these picturesque waterways have witnessed the rise and fall of empires across the continent. Today, following the…
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Hiking in Cinque Terre

Do your friends keep saying that you MUST visit Italy's Cinque Terre...but you're not sure how to start planning your adventure? First off, they're absolutely right--this string of colorful centuries-old seaside villages that cling to the rugged coastline of the Italian Riviera is a true bucket-list destination! As a Backroads Trip Leader, I've been introducing…
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Traveling Gluten-Free in Italy

Dreaming of traveling in Italy, but not sure if you can navigate the land of pizza and pasta with a gluten allergy? Go ahead, book that trip—incredible gluten-free Italian dishes await!

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Piedmont & Portofino: A Perfect Italian Combination

My grandfather, a chef, often said that "cooking is an art, my friend." If so, the Italians are minimalists with the mind of Salvador Dali. How else do you explain prosciutto and melon? Biscotti dipped in vin santo? Or olive oil gelato? I marvel at their creativity, their ability to perfectly pair seemingly disparate food choices that result in the creation of something altogether new and often quite extraordinary. Combining contrasting flavors, common and uncommon, familiar and unfamiliar, leave a lasting impression that transforms the enjoyable but ordinary into an experience both memorable and sublime. In my experience, the pairing of travel destinations can have a similar effect. Italy's Piedmont and Portofino are two distinct destinations that perfectly complement each other.

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Tuscany’s Best Cycling Routes

Working as a Backroads Trip Leader in Tuscany certainly has its perks. Besides the great food and wine, there is a fabulous cycling culture supported by an excellent infrastructure of well-paved and well-marked roads. Over the years I've created a list of my favorite rides in the region, some featured on our Backroads trips and others a combination of local favorites. Here are my top five bike rides that showcase the best of the heart of Tuscany, the idyllic region between Florence, Arezzo and Siena.

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7 Must-Stay Hotels in Italy

From the mountains to the vineyards to the Mediterranean, Italy has everything a traveler could want. Home to one of history's greatest empires, birthplace of philosopher's musings and Renaissance art, and with a cuisine so intoxicating it's been adopted across the globe, there's just no place like Italy. To set foot here is to transport oneself to a world apart. While every Backroads hotel in Italy is easily worth a visit, these are six of our very favorites that exemplify the Italian experience - the charm, majesty, history and beauty of a country you'll be longing to return to even before you've left it behind.

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Tuscany & Umbria: A Fresh Taste of Italy

Italy never ceases to amaze. Just when you think there's little more to discover, this place offers ancora di più (more and better). As the regional manager for Backroads' trips in Italy, I'm no stranger to the country's diverse regions. Nevertheless, as we sought to craft new itineraries in the heart of "the Boot," I was amazed when Italy revealed an endless array of quaint villages and stunning landscapes waiting to be explored. As you'll hopefully soon see for yourself, the addition of Monti Sibillini National Park and the neighboring village of Norcia to our Walking & Hiking Trip in Tuscany and Umbria is a true bonus.

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Women of Tuscany’s L’Eroica Vintage Bike Race

It isn’t just cool that we’re a group of chicks on bikes, it’s phenomenal that we’re a team of women riding vintage bicycles in a historically male-dominated Tuscan race. We’re five Backroads Trip Leaders who have each led trips in Tuscany, and we’ve been planning to partake in the famed L’Eroica vintage bicycling race together for almost a year. This is my second experience racing L’Eroica in Tuscany, and this time I feel like I belong.

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