After a two-year renovation project, the Colosseum Undergound reopened in June. I was able to go into the bowels of the stadium last week.
Tortoreto is a little-known corner of the little-know region of Abruzzo where tourists are sparse but culture rich. Tortoreto stretches from the beaches of the Adriatic to hill towns staring out at the Gran Sasso mountain range. It’s hard to reach but worth every step.
Starting Aug. 6, you’re going to need proof of vaccination to do pretty much anything inside Italy. Good. Cases in Italy are climbing and so is Delta. The only thing preventing the end of this nightmare is vaccinations.
Sunny Beach is Bulgaria’s No. 1 tourist destination and has been battered for over tourism. It has gone from 322 accommodations to 640 in seven years. Tales of drunken debauchery and drugs give it an image similar to Cancun and Ibiza. But I found a corner of the five-mile beach that was peaceful and beautiful and perfect. The Royal Palace Helena Sands was the ideal place for pampering after 16 months never leaving Italy.
Drinking in Bulgaria is a huge part of the Bulgarian culture and I got a first-hand look at it during a week crossing the country. It included a Friday night pub crawl in the capital of Sofia. Bring a thirst, folks.
Plovdiv’s appeal is lasting long after its 2019 reign as one of Europe’s two Culture Capitals ended. It is one of the top art cities in Eastern Europe with numerous pedestrian streets, history that covers 8,000 years and a relaxed vibe that makes it a must for any visit to Bulgaria.
Rome tour guides have suffered some of the biggest pitfalls during this pandemic. The number of tourists visiting Italy went from 65 million in 2019 to 25.5 last year. Through two lockdowns and constantly changing restrictions, tour guides have to adjust on the fly, all with financial ramifications.
If you’re going to travel again this year, you know it’s going to be difficult with all the Covid restrictions. Why not make it easier with some of these travel gadgets?
Is pizza the most important dish in Italy? People in Italy’s rice country say it’s risotto. You can get good pizza lots of places in the world. The only place to get good risotto is in Italy. And the best in Italy is Vercelli where I went on assignment for a shooter and came away with the best risotto of my life.
I never liked Milan much but the Navigli neighborhood, the city’s one bastion of calm, has won me over. It dates to 1200 and is resurfacing after a rough lockdown.
I’ve always avoided gondola rides in Venice just as I avoid all tourist traps. But with Venice coming out of pandemic lockdown, I gave it a try. It was worth every minute of our 45-minute ride.
Venice has had been more economically devastated than any city in Italy but as it crawls out of lockdown it reveals itself as the peaceful, romantic paradise it once was.