• Falling for Rome

    You might say that I’m living the dream.  A few years ago I came to Italy on an extended vacation (I called it a “sabbatical” just to make it sound impressive, but let’s be honest…). 

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    Falling for Rome
  • Living in Italy

    However, Italy is not without its challenges.  When we see the movie version in, “Eat, Pray, Love,” or “From Rome, With Love,” we see an overly-simplified, idealized presentation.

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    Living in Italy
  • Dispatches from the Blog Tour

    In the summer of 2014, I set out an epic journey the length of the Italian peninsula. With wife and baby along for the ride, we traveled from Lake Como to Trapani, and everywhere in between, over the course of six weeks.

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    Dispatches from the Blog Tour

Buonvivere: Good Living in Romagna

la settimana del buonvivereOK, here we are with part three of my series on starting a travel blog.  This time we will be talking about promoting your site.  If you haven’t read part one or part two yet, you might want to catch up first.

Before we move on to today’s topic, I’d like to make the second big announcement about my travel blogging life.  At the beginning of next month, I’ll be participating in La Settimana del Buonvivere which celebrates, as the name implies, a week of good living and wellbeing. We will discuss how the collective wellbeing contributes to our society, and how a lifestyle based on cultural identity helps us feel connected to our community.  All over Italy, identifying with your region and your hometown are an important part of an individual’s sense of self, which in turn also benefits the community at large.  In sum, relationships are at the core of the seven elements of this conference: Economical Ethics, Common Good, Culture, Food, Health, Wellness, and Cohesion.

So yes, the proverbial “good life.”  But by saying “the good life,” we are using it as a synonym for healthy, balanced living—NOT over-the-top luxury or conspicuous consumption, as it is too often defined.  And no, there’s no contradiction in the fact that we’ll be staying at the Grand Hotel Terme of Riolo, where we will indulge in the thermal baths (for research purposes only, obviously), eat delicious food, and stroll among the lush gardens.  There will be fishing trips, cooking classes and all sorts of activities related to the good life.  Oh, the sacrifices I make for my blog and its readers…

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Meeting Other Travel Bloggers in Rimini

travel blogger destination ItalyWelcome back for part two of my series on travel blogging basics. (And when I say basics, I mean for absolute beginners.)  If you haven’t read part one yet, you can read it here.

But before we get into that topic, I want to make my first big announcement concerning my own blog.  I have been invited as a Top Blogger to TTG Incontri, the leading international trade fair for the travel industry in Italy.  It takes place in Rimini from Octorber 9th to the 11th, and will include 460 international exhibitors and 500 international buyers in the tourism sector.

I am exceedingly honored by this invitation, not only for the recognition of my blog, but more importantly, for the opportunity to help further promote tourism throughout Italy.

This is the second year that they’ve invited selected bloggers from around the world to take part in Travel Blogger Destination Italy.  The organizers have recognized that blogs are becoming more and more important in the tourism industry as a way to improve online conversations, and raise awareness of tourist operators and destinations.  Each blogger has been assigned to one of the four focus groups: Food, Fashion, Culture, and Travel.

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So you want to be a travel blogger?

how to be a travel bloggerStrangely enough, I get a fair number of emails asking me “How can I be a travel blogger, too?”  Or more commonly, “I’ve already started a blog.  But how do make it NOT suck?”  Why someone would approach ME with these questions is a mystery, but they do, so let’s see if I can offer some beginner-level advice for anyone who wants to be a travel blogger.  Starting today, I’m going to be posting a three, four, five part series—who knows?  I’ll keep it going for as long as it holds my attention.

Also, I’ll be making a couple of really cool announcements this week related to the topics of blogging, the travel industry, and how the two interact.  I have been invited to two very prestigious events next month concerning tourism in Italy, and I’m really excited to share this news with everybody.

But for now, let’s get back to the nuts and bolts of travel blogging.

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Bathrooms in Italy: What to know before you “go”

bathrooms in italyI guess our group of irreverent expats has collectively decided that our recent posts have been a bit too high-brow for our audience.  Hence, this week we’re discussing the important topic of lavatory protocols in Italy.  Yes, when living or travelling abroad, there’s nothing quite so interesting as other people’s plumbing—apparently.

I’ve actually addressed this vital issue once before in one of my most popular articles which delved into the fascinating history of the ubiquitous bidet.  No Italian household is without one.  I’ve even seen them in the public restrooms in the lobby of one of Rome’s fancier hotels.  This is no joking matter, so please gentle reader, wipe that sixth-grade, bathroom-humor smirk off your face, and pay attention to the wisdom we are about to impart on you.  Your hygiene—and by extension, your reputation—may depend upon it.

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