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History of My Holidays


I’ve been writing for over 20 years about the “History of the Holidays.” I’ve been asked by many of my readers to write about the history of my holidays, on another one of my blogs. For business I have done a lot of world travel and enjoy learning about the local history, culture, art, and language.

I recently had a long holiday in Italy and captured many impressions both in words and in pictures. I’ll be writing about these on my new blog Ignorance Abroad and featuring photos. I’ll explain how to subscribe separately to these articles below.

What will I be writing about?

I’ll cover areas in and around Tuscany, Venice, and Rome.


  • Hill Towns: what can you find in Volterra and Vinci (as in Leonardo da)?
  • Pisa: is it more than just the Leaning Tower of?
  • Pistoia: what is it known for other than the word pistol and home of Pinocchio?
  • Cinque Terre: The “5 Lands” of the Italian Riviera
  • Agritourismo: born in a barn? If not, you can stay at a farmhouse
  • Cooking class: learning to cook 19th century Tuscan food
  • Florence’s Galleria dell’Academia: what is there other than Michaelangelo’s David?
  • Uffizi Gallery: one of the oldest and most famous art museums in the world
  • Pitti Palace: sure it’s mentioned in the musical Kiss Me Kate, why was it tops on my list?
  • Ponte Vecchio: is it just an old bridge?
  • Gelato: yes this Florentine ice cream is to die for


  • Venice’s San Marco’s Basilica: it is everything you’ve heard, and more
  • Doge’s Palace: you’ve seen it in lots of movies. Is it that fabulous?
  • Campanile: see all of Venice from this prototypical bell tower
  • Murano Glass: how to see a fraction of the glass shops in an entire day


  • Vatican City: the museums, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s
  • St. John Lateran Basilica: the original Pope’s church
  • Forum: and Coliseum, and Palantine Hill
  • Babington’s: an English Tea Room in Rome?
  • Tivoli Gardens at Villa d’Este: more than you’ve heard
  • Assisi and Orvieto: the hill towns outside of Rome

And I’ll have a few other stories as well, like traveling by car (oh my!), train (oh yes), and vaporetto (boat taxi).

You can subscribe to this blog by any of these methods:

  1. Visiting the site
  2. Subscribing by email
  3. Subscribing with your favorite news reader by RSS feed

Thanks for coming along.

Bill Petro, your friendly neighborhood historian

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