Context Travel runs walking tours all over Europe and in several cities in the United States and China. Guest writer Natalie Pompilio takes a look at two tours in Florence, Italy.
Context Travel tour guide in Florence

By Natalie Pompilio, contributing writer I know Florence, or Firenze, pretty well.  Besides having studied there for a year in college, I’ve returned about 5 times, twice as an informal tour guide for family friends. I can give a decent tour, filled with stories about San Miniato, the Medici and Michelangelo. So I approached Context […]


This week’s Photo Friday: Volterra’s clock tower, made famous by Twilight author Stephenie Meyer.
Volterra Town Hall, Twilight

This is the latest of our weekly travel photo series, inspired by #FriFotos on Twitter. This week’s Photo Friday theme is CLOCKS?TIME. The photo above, of the Town Hall building in the Piazza del Priori in Volterra, Tuscany has a backstory that predates this blog’s existence: In spring 2009, USA TODAY sent me to Italy for a […]


Photos of Rome, a stop on my recent Carnival Magic Mediterranean cruise
Photos of Rome

Rome is one of my favorite cities – miles of black cobblestone streets winding through burnt orange and red aged stucco buildings, endless options for pizza, pasta, gelato, and plenty of people walking the streets, touring the historical areas and dining outside. After completing a Carnival Magic cruise in the Mediterranean, I discovered on my […]


Pictures of Pompeii, the town that was destroyed by Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD
Pictures of Pompeii

On my Carnival Magic tour, the ship stopped in Naples, Italy. There’s plenty to do in this port – you could choose to spend time in Capri, or the towns on the Amalfi Coast. But I decided to go to Pompeii, because I had always been fascinated by the doomed city in the shadow of […]


A day in Taormina, Sicily, and why cruise ship excursions aren’t what they’re cracked up to be.
Cruise Ship Excursion

On our second port stop, the island of Sicily, off the coast of Italy – I took my first Carnival Magic excursion. Taormina is a walled city which sits high upon a hilltop, about 45 minutes south of the port city Messina.  While a large part of Taormina was built in the 13th century, the […]


Pictures of Messina from my recent port stop in Sicily.
Pictures of Sicily

While cruising on the Carnival Magic a few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to walk around the port city of Messina, Sicily for a couple of hours after returning from an excursion to Taormina.  These are a some of my favorite pictures from my short jaunt.                   […]


Going to Italy in the near future? Check ahead to see if there’s a La Notte Bianca festival – or White Night – being held in the town you’re visiting.
La Notte Bianca

  By Marla Cimini, Contributing Writer Visiting Italy is always a thrill, no matter how many times you’ve strolled across the Ponte Vecchio in Florence, devoured a gelato in Sorrento, or tossed a coin into the magical Trevi fountain in Rome. But some of my recent trips have been even more memorable by coinciding with […]


Photos of Venice, taken before boarding the Carnival Magic on its inaugural cruise.
Photos of Venice

I’ve been on sailboats before. But I had never been on a big cruise ship until a few weeks ago, when I joined the Carnival Magic for its inaugural cruise through Europe. The 9-day cruise through the Mediterranean started in Venice, where I spent several hours exploring the sunken city’s canals and walkways. Here are a […]


Photo Friday: Angel Statue in Rome

by Don Faust on May 13, 2011

This week’s Photo Friday: Night photo of angel statue on Castel Sant’Angelo bridge in Rome.
Angel Statue in Rome

The theme for this week’s Photo Friday is NIGHT.  Pictured is a late night photo of an angel on the bridge leading over over to Castel Sant’Angelo (Castle St. Angel) – in the background is St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican.  


Rome at Easter

by Chris on April 23, 2011

Rome at Easter: Attending the papal Mass at Vatican City.
rome at easter

As I’ve written before, I’m not religious. But when we found ourselves in Rome during Easter Week in 2009, I figured we’d go all out and attend Mass at the Vatican (plus I figured that seeing the Pope would score enough points with my Catholic mother-in-law to get me in her good graces for at […]