View of Lake Bled from Ojstrica

Five Experiences You Can’t Miss in Bled, Slovenia

Imagine a beautiful, small town surrounding a lake. The water is pristine and the trees surrounding it are a vibrant green. High above sits a majestic castle overlooking the scene with a quiet grandeur. At the center of the lake is an island, and on this island is a church with a bell that grants wishes…

Sound like a fairy tale?

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Drava River in Villach, Austria and the Heiligenkreuz Kirche

Brezel, Beers and Bridges in Villach, Austria

It started to rain a day after I arrived in Villach, a small town in Austria near the Italian border. Having just arrived from a very muggy Udine, I was more than happy to spend some wet moments in the brisk chill. As many of you know, the music you choose on a trip can stay with you forever. On this stop, I opted for Radiohead’s most recent album, A Moon Shaped Pool. Listen to “Glass Eyes” and note the travel-centric lyrics as you look at the photos below to experience Villach as I did.

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Couple at Castello di Miramare near Trieste

Tips for Visiting the Castello di Miramare from Trieste & Photos

The Castello di Miramare is one of the highlights for anyone visiting Trieste. The historic building (more a “mansion” than a “castle”) includes a museum and an expansive park and marine reserve located around it. It can easily be a full-day affair if one decides to enjoy the premises slowly. It’s so lovely, I chose to visit it twice on two separate trips to Trieste within the year. (For more info on what to do in the city, check out my past post on top attractions in Trieste.)

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View of the City from the Castello di Udine

Exploring Udine and the Friuli Wine Country

Located far in Italy’s northeast, Friuli-Venezia Giulia is a unique region. Its proximity to the Austrian and Slovenian borders gives it a unique flavor respective of classic Italian cities like Rome or Florence. This is especially true of its capital city, Trieste, which I visited twice in this year alone. Similarly, Udine, FVG’s second largest city in terms of population, has its own style. Friuli, the area of which Udine is the historical capital, has its own distinct wine country and language (not dialect; language).

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View of Verona from the Castel San Pietro

In Fair Verona (and Brescia) Where We Lay Our Scene

“Two households, both alike in dignity / In fair Verona, where we lay our scene / From ancient grudge break to new mutiny / Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.” So begins Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, set in Verona in Italy’s northern region of Veneto, a city so beautiful it inspired the greatest of bards.

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Piazza Unità d'Italia in Trieste

The Romance of Trieste – Finding Magic in Italy’s Northeastern Corner

One of my favorite memories of my time in Trieste was simply sitting along the pier, feet dangling over the Adriatic as the rising tide splashed water upon my shoes, jellyfish floating below us like ethereal dancers in a separate universe. The Italian word for “jellyfish” is medusa, yet I kept mistakenly saying lampedusa after the Italian island that was at the center of the migrant crisis. It just goes to show how much my language skills need work.

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Venice Model Photoshoot

Visiting Veneto – Highlights of Venice and Padua

It’s hard to believe now that my first experience in Italy was five years ago, a Mediterranean adventure that started in Venice. I remember arriving into Venice Marco Polo Airport unsure of what to expect of the city and how my shabby Italian skills would hold up. Spoiler alert: I fell in love with Venice and they did not hold up well.

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Ponte Vecchio at Sunset

Firenze Ancora – Revisiting Florence, David and the Schiacciata

I recently found myself back in Florence, perhaps my favorite city in Italy, one year after my previous visit. This time I stayed close to Firenze Santa Maria Novella, the city’s main train station, in a bustling neighborhood of hotels and eateries. While I did more running around a year prior (check out my previous article on the city for more in-depth coverage of Florence’s top attractions and on visiting popular Tuscan towns), I was able to catch many things I had missed, namely several churches and David, while revisiting my favorite locales in the city.

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