FLOOD CAUSES HAVOC IN BELOVED ISLAND CITY BY PATTY CIVALLERI Recent dramatic photographs and headlines regarding the flooding of the city of Venice, Italy, are causing global speculation as to the long-term outlook for the iconic city. Heavy winds, dramatically high tides, a sudden change in air pressure, and an incomplete underwater tidal barrier system […]

What Was the Italian Renaissance?

Simply stated, the Renaissance was a series of events that triggered the end of the Dark Ages, aka, the Middle Ages. Loosely speaking, think of the Dark Ages as people who’s thoughts and deeds were limited to the rules of the church and/or their local rulers. They couldn’t speak their minds openly, or anything else. […]

6 walled cities of Tuscany – with a great surprise at the end

Many luxury travelers have seen the major tourist cities in Italy such as Rome, Florence, and Venice. They have probably even visited the second-tier hot spots of Cinqueterre, the Amalfi Coast, and Sienna. An area of Italy that is difficult to visit is Tuscany. Not because it is hard to find nor even hard to […]

The Secret to Writing

RESOLUTION: I WILL WRITE AND PUBLISH 2 BOOKS THIS YEAR – but HOW? People often ask me how I manage to get any writing done with this crazy lifestyle of mine. It’s easy. I just sit down and write. I don’t think about it, I don’t put pressure on it. I just sit down and […]

Haunting Images That Will Put Pompeii On Your Bucket List

One of the intrinsic benefits of luxury travel is getting to wander off the main tourist path and visit places that can are stimulating from an intellectual point of view. The ancient city of Pompeii on Italy’s west coast is just such a place. It experienced a catastrophic ending, and within 1 day, it was […]

Cinque Terre: 5 Pearls of the Italian Coastline

For the luxury-minded traveler, Cinque Terra is the gift to yourself that never stops giving. It will provide you with a lifetime of memories that, because of the unusual scenic treasures, will stand out from the other trips you have taken in your lifetime. It is both a National Park as well as a UNESCO […]

VENICE: Hacking St. Mark’s Square

Everyone that visits Venice will go to St. Mark’s Square, period. And you must as well. But how can you do it differently than the millions of selfie-taking tourists while garnering food for your brain and staying cool to boot? Most consider St. Mark’s Square to consist of the Basilica, the Doges’ Palace, and the […]

GETTING HIGH IN FLORENCE: 7 Climbs to get Stunning Photos

Cameras have evolved into a permanent must-have part of our mainstream culture. Whether it is a part of a smart phone, or a high-end DSLR, we use them to communicate online and off, for email and social media, for business and education. This article will show you how to get stunning photos when you get […]

Italy Travel Guide

My thanks to for posting this great info about traveling to Italy. Dig through ~ they have done a great job! Click the “CONTINUE READING” link for a simple labeled map of Italy.

What is the 1 WORD That Seduces Travelers into Repeatedly Returning to Florence?

By Patty Civalleri There are many reasons why people find their way to Florence, some of which may be by accident. The simple facts that Florence is “on the route” between Rome and Venice, or it is “included in the Italy package” are some of the more common ways that people get to Florence. Most […]

How to Make a Bronze Statue in 7 Easy Steps

This technique is called ‘the Lost Wax’ method. It is the method that Master Andrea del Verrocchio used to create his timeless sculpture of “David” among others. This method was widely used during the Renaissance period, and is still used by some masters today.

Master of the Masters

Andrea del Verrocchio (pron “ver-OH-kee-oh”) Born Andrea di Michele di Francesco de’ Cioni, he was trained under a master goldsmith, Giuliano Verrocchio, from whom Andrea took the name, which translates to “true eyes.” He grew up with Lorenzo d’Medici (aka, Lorenzo the Magnificent) as a close friend. Although a bachelor for life, he lived with […]

How Much Time Should You Spend in Florence?

I know that people have time limits when traveling, and they want to see more than one single place. But Florence is quite different than most other places because of what I will tell you in 4 short paragraphs. If I had a limited vacation and was flying across the world, I would spend no […]

What are the Best Activities to do with Children while Visiting Florence, Italy?

Traveling with children can be challenging, especially when visiting a historic and artistic city like Florence. So to answer this question, I have a couple of fun ways to keep them completely engaged as they learn about the city through game playing, and while giving you the freedom to explore the city your own way.

What are some lesser-known sights to see when visiting Florence, Italy?

 Note: I wrote this to answer the question in the website. The answer to this question depends upon your personal interests, so I’ll throw out a few of my own favs. A fantastic place from which to see the sunset over the city: Piazzale Michelangelo. You can either walk up to it, or take […]

10 Fun Things You Should Know About the Florence Renaissance

Sure. We all know the names: Michelangelo, da Vinci, Botticelli, Dante, Raphael, Galileo, the Medici, Machiavelli, Donatello, and many more.  But did you know that they were all from the city of Florence? And did you know that most of these guys actually knew other? There are so many fun things about that period of […]

FLORENCE: Finding Verrocchio

Andrea del Verrocchio ~ Master of the Masters 1435-1488 Goldsmith, painter, sculptor Born Andrea di Michele di Francesco de’ Cioni, he was trained under a master goldsmith, Giuliano Verrocchio, from whom Andrea took the name, which translates to “true eyes.” He grew up with Lorenzo d’Medici as a close friend. Although a bachelor for life, […]

A Fine Buongiorno – pt 2

Knowing that I was going to be in Florence for 3 months was exciting. I wasn’t staying in a hotel with all of the usual amenities and services. I had rented a little apartment in a local neighborhood called San Frediano. There aren’t any tourists here – mostly just locals. Perfect.  Because I wanted to get as […]

A Fine Buongiorno – pt 1

Many of us dream of replanting ourselves into a foreign land, even if only temporarily. The thought of immersing yourself into a world of new colors and landscapes, of enjoying the aromas of freshly-baked yummies emerging from local centuries-old ovens. Of startling your self-image with a new style of togs to match your new-found surroundings. […]