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Italy,Rome

AndiC's picture

Finalmente in Italia!

on Thu, 01/10/2013 - 10:18
Untours Italy staffer Andi Cancelliere in front of Rome's Trevi Fountain

Touching down at 7:45 am in Rome meant that I had a full day to work and explore despite the exhaustion of having gotten up at 2 am local time. And work and explore I did for the whole two and a half weeks I had in Italy. My mantra “I’ll sleep when I get back to Philadelphia” is what kept me going. I wanted to be able to get as much work done as possible, but also have some time to explore my destination, catch up with old friends, visit with family and just have some good, old-fashioned fun.

mtaussig's picture

Untourists of the Week: Pat and Jack Cruser

on Wed, 12/12/2012 - 09:44
Untourists, Untours,

How is taking an Untour different from other ways of traveling?

"Practically speaking, taking an Untour means no group travel warnings like “Have your bags in the hall by 0530,” “Breakfast is served from 0630 to 0815,” “Be on the bus by 0745,” and it means no searching for an apartment on line, no harried transport from the airport or train station, and no nervousness from being in a foreign country with or without the language. And it means knowing that should the need arise, the local Untours representative is at hand for any emergency: health problems, accident, locked doors, or stolen passport—only one of which afflicted us, but which we saw involve other Untourists.

An Untour means being free to have late coffee, to stay in comfortable surroundings if the weather is nasty, to shop in markets as the locals do for food without bar codes and, more importantly, to immerse oneself in the local culture as much as any foreigner can. Untourists’ local encounters are not limited to tour guides or tourist hustlers, but provide the chance to meet local residents in their everyday surroundings--in their bistros, museums, galleries, or concerts."

Andrea Szyper's picture

Italy, myth and reality

on Wed, 09/26/2012 - 11:36
Untourist and photographer Glenn McClure took this photo of a man while on an Italian Untour

Italy is so alive in American media. We are a culture obsessed with the Italians, whether in the reality of in-depth cooking and travel shows or the stereotypes of wildly gesticulating movie characters, sexy sirens, mafia dons or Italian mamas insisting we "mangia, mangia!" The name Tuscany is used to brand everything from furniture to processed foods to housing subdivisions. Where does the myth end and the reality begin?

While I dare not speak for the Italians, I would like to take a moment to further examine some of our flawed and romantic notions of Italy and Italians...

Andrea Szyper's picture

So You Thought Italians Only Drank Wine: Italian Microbrews

on Wed, 09/19/2012 - 12:04
Who goes to Italy to drink beer? Those in the know.

Italians have long enjoyed beer with their pizza, but refined and complex micro brews have replaced the old Peroni. Indeed birra artiginale (Italian craft beer) is putting Italy on the world brewing map.

Unlike their northern European counterparts, Italian brewers are not bound by an old world beer making tradition. So they can borrow the best from the Germans or Belgians but add their own unconventional twist or look to America for inspiration.

mtaussig's picture

Vickie Kelber, Renaissance Woman

on Mon, 09/17/2012 - 11:42
Amalfi, Untours, Untourist of the Week

How is taking an Untour different from other ways of traveling?

"Fifteen years ago, I was so impressed with Untours that I wrote a letter to the New York Times travel editor and it was published. The things I liked enough to write about then have not changed; they’ve only gotten better."

Andrea Szyper's picture

Caffé rules: Feel at home in the Italian coffee bar

on Wed, 09/12/2012 - 09:28
How to feel at home in an Italian coffee bar, by the Untours blog

Italian coffee rules. We don't need to tell you that. We've gotten much more sophisticated as a coffee-drinking people ourselves. Surely most of us know our cappuccino from our macchiato well before we set foot on a plane. (We may have even gotten a twenty ounce latte at the drive-thru coffee shop on the way to the airport!) But in Italy, there are some important differences to note. As with all rules, the Italians love to make exceptions. But here are some guidelines to aid in the quality of your Italian coffee bar experience.

Andrea Szyper's picture

A roadmap for some of Italian culture's more noteworthy features

on Thu, 09/06/2012 - 11:45
Festival in the village of Murlo, Marlene Hench, Untours
A festival at one of Untours' home villages, Murlo is one way that you can see the strong bonds of community that are typical in an Italian community; it's one hallmark of the Italian culture.

In an attempt to better understand Italy, today's culture clue is an overview of some of Italian culture's more famous features. Of course I begin with the usual caution and caveats, as there is no "typical Italian" so much as there are overall tendencies in a culture. Understanding some of these unspoken attitudes and common prespectives may help you understand and appreciate your experience, on your

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