All posts by Gillian McGuire

Theater in Venice Italy

Opera Houses in Italy: What to Know about Going to the Opera in Italy

Italy certainly has flair for the dramatic. It makes perfect sense that opera has its origins  here. Verdi and Puccini wrote stories filled with melodrama and heartbreak. The first opera was produced in Florence in 1598, with the original charter being developed in the actual room that forms part of La Camerata Fiorentina apartment from Italy Perfect. The art form reached its peak of popularity in the 1800s. Don’t forget a handkerchief to wipe away your tears at the tragic death of Floria Tosca and the musical mastery and emotion of O Mio Babbino Caro. Our guide has everything you need to know, from the addresses of the best opera houses in Italy to what to wear and how to get tickets.

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Tuscan countryside

Movies and TV Shows to Inspire your Trip to Italy

There is so much information to plow through when you are planning a trip to Italy. Do you head to your local library or bookstore for a pile of guide books? Maybe you prefer Instagram, saving posts that catch your eye. There are blog posts to read and podcasts to listen to. Now you can add your TV streaming services to the list of Italy inspiration. Beloved classic movies like La Vita e Bella, The Bicycle Thief and Cinema Paradiso are a certainly a must. Settle in for some binge watching with our list of movies and TV shows that will inspire your trip to Italy. 

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Sunset clouds over Arno River in Florence Italy

What to do on a Rainy Day in Florence

Planning your vacation in Florence during the winter and spring months is a great idea. You miss the summer heat and the high season crowds. It is the best time of year for hearty food like pappardelle al cinghiale and glasses of deep Tuscan red wine. Most of your days will be sunny and crisp but if Il Meteo predicts a rainy day in Florence don’t worry, there is still plenty for you to do. Pack an umbrella and take cover under the many covered loggias and porticos as you follow our suggestions of things to do on a rainy day in Florence.   

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Vatican City Sunset

10 Great Places to see Art Exhibitions in Rome: Beyond the Vatican Museums –

There is certainly no shortage of art to see when you are visiting Rome. Pop into just about any church, there are over 900, and you can find sculptures by Bernini and Michelangelo and paintings by Caravaggio. The Vatican Museums are arguably one of the world’s finest collections of art and absolutely worth a visit but there are also many other world-class exhibitions in Rome.

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Exploring Rome’s Fascinating Monti Neighborhood

Anchored by some of Rome’s most important monuments and churches, Monti retains its small-neighborhood spirit. Narrow medieval buildings covered in ivy are interposed with grand 18th-century palazzos. In the Monti neighborhood, you will find chic boutiques and quaint housewares stores, well-stocked wine shops, innovative jewelry designers and maybe even a former Italian first lady sitting next to you while you sip your morning cappuccino.  

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