Reims-ing of a white Christmas in northeastern France

The unofficial Champagne capital of France, Reims, is a great hidden gem to visit when road  tripping across Western Europe. This small former Roman city is the site where French kings were crowned for over 1000 years.   

Traversing the Alps via Monte Bianco/Mont Blanc

Crossing from Italy to France through the tallest mountain in the Alps sure is a breeze thanks to modern infrastructure. The drive from Lerici in Italy to Bourg-en-Bresse in France is smooth and scenic.

Salvador Daliance in Pietrasanta of the Apuan Alps in Tuscany, Italy

Local folklore has it that the elite population of Pietrasanta has always spent their summer mornings luxuriating on the golden beaches of Marina di Pietrasanta (on Italy’s west coast near Viareggio) and their afternoons steeped in culture in the town of Pietrasanta (located 3 km inland in the last foothills of the marble-rich Apuan Alps)….

At the edge of the Alps in Rota D’imagna, Lombardy, Italy

Clean mountain air and stunning vistas out over the Imagna Valley are two of the best things about a visit to Hotel Miramonte in Rota D’imagna. The wonderful restaurant and fantastic spa don’t hurt either! We spent 3 glorious nights at this family-run hotel and can highly recommend it.

City on high: Città Alta, Bergamo in Lombardy, Italy

The upper city of Bergamo, Città Alta is a UNESCO world heritage site located in the foothills of the Alps northeast of Milan. It’s surrounded by 16th century Venetian Walls and beautiful views beyond that. Well worth a visit!

Bunker beach in Fiascherino, SP, Italy

Should you ever find yourself walking the road between Lerici and Tellaro, take a few minutes to pop down and check out the Fiascherino beaches. There are 2 that the public can visit and they’re accessible from some hiking trails as well. Note: dogs aren’t allowed during the tourism season.

The beasts of Fiesole, Firenze, Italy

High in the hills on the northeastern edge of Florence is the scenic Etruscan town of Fiesole. Conquered by Romans in 283 BC, it was once a powerful independant town that rivaled Firenze. Their skirmishes led Dante to reference “the beasts of Fiesole” in his Divine Comedy.

The wines of Castiglione Falletto and Barolo, Piemonte, Italy

The beautiful hilly landscape south of Turin is home to vineyards that produce some of the finest wines in Italy (and the world). Spending a couple nights in Castiglione Falletto and tasting the local varieties is perhaps the truest embodiment of “La Vita Dolce” one can experience – delizioso! Piemonte’s wine country is also a…

The capital of Piemonte – Torino (Turin), Italy

Northern Italy’s Piemonte region’s capital is home to much more than the famous shroud of Turin. The birthplace of the slow food movement is rife with culinary delights, including some of the world’s finest wines (e.g. Barolo, Nebbiolo, and Barbera varieties) and hazelnut chocolates (e.g. Nutella and Guido Gobino). Torino was Italy’s first capital city (1861) and…