Category: Italy

My long-form travel journals which include historical notes and travel tips. Excerpts with heavy photo content are housed at

Venetians and Florentines

The hats that resulted from my travels to Italy, shown side-by-side awith the architectural elements they were inspired by.

Crossroads Tour – Firenze Final Day

I wake up at 6:30 AM, but roll back and try to go back to sleep. Forty-five minutes later, a neighbor starts playing Spanish guitar in the lobby just outside my door. There are worse ways to wake up on a Sunday morning…

Crossroads Tour – Portovenere

“Portus Veneris” was first mentioned in the itinerary of Emperor Antonio in 161 AD, when it was used as a naval station for Romans on their way to Gaul and Spain. The city was fortified in 1160.

Crossroads Tour – Genoa Second Day

I could not have asked for a better day. The Lanterna, said to be the oldest working lighthouse in the world, opens at 8 AM. I head out so I can arrive before the crowds…

Crossroads Tour – Arrival in Genoa

Genoa more resembles Florence than I expected it to. The train station is beautiful, with its rococo ceiling and stained glass windows. After a few mis-starts and finally finding an English speaking travel agent to point me in the right direction, I set out to find tonight’s lodging.

Crossroads Tour – Florence First Day

I head out to the Boboli Gardens, where wander for much of the rest of the day. My last trip to Florence ended here, so this is my official starting point for this trip.

Crossroads Tour – Return to Florence

It begins. Another rainy day in Seattle. Last minute chores. The 10:15 AM Metro bus which I almost miss, and the 10:45 Lightrail which whizzes past the Franz “Slice of White Bread” sign that always cracks me up. My Crossroads Tour is officially underway.

Crossroads Tour – Prologue

I receive a gift – an opportunity to take an extended trip abroad, to any country I choose.I had promised myself that if another opportunity ever arose, I would begin where I last ended, in Florence.

Three Days in Florence

I sit on the broad expanse of steps outside the train station, enjoying the sunset as the sky variegates from grey at the horizon, to rose, to robin-egg blue. Church bells filling the chilling air, and I go inside to board my train…

Three Days in Venice

I arrive at SeaTac shortly after noon to board my plane for Venice. It’s my first international flight, and immediately it becomes obvious, waiting at the gate, listening to the loudspeaker blasting out boarding calls for Beijing and Paris. I soon board a plane that is smaller than I had expected.