My Italian Language Barrier (Or Why Italy Has A Phone With A Safety Button)

IMG_0138My dream vacation had always been Italy. I landed in Milan in 2001 and started my journey. My lack of Italian language skills did not deter me from enjoying a cruise on the famed waters of Venice; or finding the David in Florence (both the fake outside the Palazzo Vecchio and the original secured safely inside the Accademia Gallery). Then, it was time for Rome, a major European city where an American could easily get by on English. Or so I thought.

I arrived at the Sunset Roma Hotel as the afternoon sun shone brightly over the Eternal City. The former mansion dated back to the 1870’s and had become a luxury guesthouse renovated to provide all the modern conveniences. The hotel was located on a quaint, but narrow, Italian street with alimentari, or small grocery stores, on each corner, and was far enough off the beaten tourist path to make me feel like I was experiencing the real Italia.

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Trip Advisor’s Top 25 Destinations Around The World 2015

The Kasbah, the Ksar Ait Ben Haddou; Marrakech, Morocco Credit: …your local connection

TRIP ADVISOR‘s annual list of the Top 25 Destinations Around The World is out.  How many have you visited?  Which is number one on your list?  Pick a destination and see the world. I’m definitely game for several of these.





Bo Hòn Island, Halong Bay, Hanoi, Vietnam Credit:  Eustaquio Santimano

Bo Hòn Island, Halong Bay, Hanoi, Vietnam
Credit: Eustaquio Santimano


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READER QUESTION: Airlines, Study Abroad & More

Facebook Fan VALERIE LABERGE of CHICAGO has this question:

My daughter is traveling to Austria in August. What is the best airline to use when traveling to Europe? Also, for a four-month stay, how much should she pack? I know she will want to purchase clothes in Europe!

Castle Salzburg Photo: Tourismus Salzburg

Castle Salzburg
Photo: Tourismus Salzburg

Hi Valerie…

Okay, let’s start with airlines.  Austria is a major European country so all of the major US airlines fly there (United, American, Delta, US Airways).  There are also some fantastic international carriers that fly to Austria (Lufthansa, British Airways, Air France, KLM, Swiss, Alitalia).  Chances are you will start on a US carrier and then continue on one of their code-share partners.  For instance, you may fly from Chicago to London on American Airlines, but then fly from London to Austria on British Airways because American and British Airways are partners.  In any case, you can’t go wrong with one or a combination of these airlines.

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