The first time I traveled to Italy I fell in love with the country and the people. In 2011 when I was preparing to go to Italy for Margie-Miklas-Photo-By-Margie-Miklasthe third time, I started this blog. I love Italy and  it seemed like I could never get enough of this beautiful place.

After that trip I thought I wouldn’t feel the need to return, but in less than a year I made my 4th trip to this beautiful country of my grandparents.  And the following year, I went back again, making  my 5th trip to Bella Italia. In June of 2015 I returned from my 7th trip to Italy, and then in September of 2016 I went to Italy because  I wanted to write. Afterward, I took a 10-day road trip in Sicily in October. In 2017 I experienced  a fabulous 10 days trip in Tuscany and Le Marche.  And in 2018 I returned from three weeks in Italy,and this time, it was a romantic trip.  After five years away from my beloved Italia, I returned in 2023, not once, but twice! I know I’ll always go back to the Bel Paese as long as I can, because most of all, I feel at home there!

I’d love to share my Italy experiences with you through my stories and photographs. You'll read about the good and bad in Italy but always with a special love for the Italian people Share on XYou’ll read about the good and bad in Italy but always with a special love for the Italian people. This isn’t your typical guide about what to see in Italy. It’s experiential, informative, and hopefully entertaining.

You’ll feel my  my passion and also my frustration at  times about how things are in the Bel Paese. You’ll see my photos, but they won’t be the same ones you’ve seen a hundred times on other sites or in guidebooks. I share a glimpse into the heartbeat of Italy and a sense of its people. Share on X

If you’d like to experience an Italian opera, sleep in a convent, participate in an Italian soccer game as a spectator, learn how to make gnocchi from scratch, hike old goat trails in the Cinque Terre and high above the Amalfi Coast, and sip cappuccino while living la dolce vita,  this is the place for you.

Start Here

If you Love Italy, have traveled to Italy, or would like to go to Italy, you will especially enjoy these posts:


Let me know what you think and what else you’d like to see here.


You can find me on  Facebook, Instagram, Threads, and Amazon.

I’d love to hear from you so please leave a comment or email me at

Grazie and Ciao


















89 Responses

  1. Dr Bob Rich

    Margie, thank you for choosing to follow my blog, Bobbing Around. I hope my words will be of service to you for a long time.

  2. Matthew Alessandro De Bellis

    Hi Margie, I’d like to let your audience know about a small Italian gift package company I started a couple years ago. Do you have any ideas on how we could collaborate? … let me know! –>

  3. Annamarie

    I was reading one of your older posts about Naples and since my parents were born in Naples whenever I go, I am never frightened and when they say “see Naples and die,” it means to me that it is too beautiful to describe. I see only the beauty of it and the wonderful people.

    • margieinitaly

      Thanks Annemarie…I could not have said it any better… I’m glad you like Naples so much and I will definitely be going back

  4. Céline Berthelot

    Mrs Miklas,
    I have ordered your book about Sicily. While I wait for it … I would like to know if English is spoken widely in Taormina and Syracuse ? Is it doable to spend a day in Cefalu from Taormina ?
    I will carry lots of material for type 1 diabetes; in case of emergency would I be able to find doctors who speak English ?
    Last question; traveling solo in the cities I mentionned, is it a good idea ? Grazie mille !

  5. stef7sa

    Hi Margie

    I found your blog about Italy and I wondered whether you would be interested in having a look at my about to be published “Living in Italy: the Real Deal – How to survive the Good Life”.
    The creative non-fiction book contains sixty short stories about my adventures as a Dutch expat who moved to Italy in 2008 to start a bed and breakfast. It is the translation of the Dutch original that met with considerable success (sold 3000 copies) and had very positive readers’ reviews. It is published through Babelcube and contains 280 pages, 67.000 words.

    Author bio:
    Stef Smulders was born in The Netherlands in 1960 and moved with husband Nico and their dog to Italy in 2008 to start bed-and-breakfast Villa I Due Padroni in the beautiful wine region Oltrepò Pavese south of Milan. In 2014 he published his first volume of short, anecdotical stories (in Dutch) about daily life among the Italians entitled “Italiaanse Toestanden”. It was well received by readers, leading to a second volume of witty anecdotes. A third volume is to be published spring 2017.

    Book summary:
    In 2008 the author emigrated to Italy, bringing husband and dog along, to start Bed & Breakfast Villa I Due Padroni. But a lot of hurdles had to be taken before the first guests could be accommodated. In 2014 Stef reported about his adventures in buying and reconstructing the house, obtaining a tax number and a bank account, registering at the commune and at the national health service, importing their car and a range of other things that lead to a myriad of bureaucratic troubles. These problems were always resolved in a truly Italian fashion, leading to raised Dutch eyebrows and hilarious scenes. As a reader you will encounter a range of characteristic Italians, from sympathetic to villainous, from moving to shameless. Real Italians of flesh and blood, sometimes cliché, somtimes surprisingly original. But always worth encountering.

    Goodreads page:

    Have a look at my presentation page as well with fragments and a sneak preview if you like:

    I could send you the epub or pdf if you want to.

    Hope to hear from you
    Cari saluti

  6. anet

    HI Margie,

    I had a question regarding traveling in Italy. We’re thinking of coming to Italy next June for three weeks. I’m wondering is this all possible to do in three weeks? Or there is one place i need to take out and replace by another city due to where the cities are geographically:
    Amalfi coast (maybe not all cities)
    Lake Como
    We want to enjoy the cities and not be tired and constantly packing and un-packing. Just by looking at the map i can see that everything i’ve mentioned is not that close to each other. I would love some advice and help if you can help.
    Thanks a lot

  7. Anonymous

    Ciao Margie,

    I happen to find your My Love Affair with Sicily book and thoroughly enjoyed it. It is so marked up because I used it on my first trip to Sicily last year. I seem to have a lot in common with you…my grandparents are also from Italy (specifically Sicily) and I kept feeling that pull to visit Sicily. It was wonderful and so much that I am heading back again this fall. The other thing we have in common is that I am also a Navy Nurse and still on active duty! I was lucky enough to be stationed in Naples years ago and while I picked put the language I lost a lot so am now taking classes to work on it. I would love to hear from you and like the writer above if there are any “must sees” in Sicily would love to know about them. By the way we did seek out the fantastic pistachio gelato in Riposto last year. It was delizioso!


  8. discovermarche

    Ciao Margie,
    I’ve been been following you for a while now and I just wanted to say how much I’m enjoying it!
    It’s really inspiring and I’m so happy I found it.
    I’m from a town in the Eastern Central coast of Italy and share the same passion for Italy and particularly for my ‘home’ region: Le Marche.
    I know what it means “falling in love” with a place and I think it’s great to share this feeling with other people!
    Un abbraccio:-)

    • margieinitaly

      Thank you so very much for the compliment. I love your passion for Le Marche and hope to visit one day. It’s one of the few regions in Italy that I have not seen. So glad to connect with another Italophile !!

  9. narrabondo

    Hi Margie!
    I am from Amalfi coast and I love Naples, so I enjoy very much when I read what an american thinks about country.
    I hope you will come back soon

  10. bellasabroad

    Ciao Margie! I am planning my 4th trip to Italy with my girlfriend, and we are starting in Sicily! I was happy to find your book, My Love Affair with Sicily (which I just loaded on my kindle) after I started following your blog (which I very much enjoy). I would love some advice about where we MUST visit in Sicily. We are flying into Postiano, and making our way to Florence (where my heart lives). We are going to be in Italy for 10 days, of which in Florence. I look forward to conversing with you! Grazie Mille! Trina

    • margieinitaly

      Thank you so much Trina for buying my book and for the kind words. I am thrilled that you are going to Sicily. I know you will love it. Florence and Positano too! How wonderful…I will email you with specifics about Sicily.

  11. Pooja Rao

    Dear Margie,

    To introduce myself, I am a student studying in Les Roches in Switzerland, writing my dissertation on ‘Exploring Culinary Tourism through the lens of Food Bloggers’.

    I am writing to you in order to request for your assistance to answer a few of my questions for data collection for my dissertation. Your identity will remain confidential by all means.

    If you would like to (pleasee!) assist me, kindly reply back to this email and I will contact you soon with my questions.

    I have left my contact details below!

    Would much appreciate your help.

    Please do not hesitate to contact me for further details.

    Thanking you,

    Have a wonderful day,

    Kind Regards,
    Pooja Rao

  12. Bonnie Conary

    Hello Mrs. Carey, I was a student of your at Old Town High School, Old Town, Maine. So good to read this wonderful article about you. You made English an interesting subject, so glad to have met you.

  13. Anna

    Hi Margie! Thank you so so much for your comment on my blog and for following me! I am so glad I found you on twitter, as it is great to find other people who are so passionate about Italy and everything Italian! Lovely blog and I look forward to exploring it some more! 🙂 Have a lovely day!

  14. Ivanka Di Felice

    I would love to introduce my book about our life in Italy to your readers. It is written in a humorous style and provides insight into the ways of this wondrous land and an inside look at the people (I have relatives!) If one enjoys humor and travel books they may find my book amusing. Or I would love to contribute one of the chapters from my book (I can send you several depending on what you are looking for) or participate in an interview.

    Author bio:

    Ivanka Di Felice is a writer living in Tuscany. She will assure you that it’s far less pretentious than it sounds. She was born in Toronto, Canada. She is 39 years and 94 months old. In her quest for happiness, she followed Nora Ephron’s advice: “Secret to life, marry an Italian.”

    Book Description:

    This light, lively book takes place in Italy, with hilarious anecdotes about the author and her husband’s trip to visit his family in Abruzzo and finally their escape to Tuscany.

    Ivanka Di Felice’s own expectations were shattered when she embarked on la dolce vita. She envisioned drinking unforgettable Brunello by candlelight and discussing art and history with elegant dinner guests. Instead, dinner discussions revolved around how to avoid a “bad wind,” whether the Mafia runs IKEA, and bizarre theories on why the Chinese in Italy never have funerals. Now she drinks Zio’s own “unforgettable,” almost undrinkable, wine, as he pays long-winded tributes to the vile liquid as if it were an elixir of the gods. Celebrate with our author—for mere mortals, or their livers, could not have lived to tell the tale.

    Follow her unlikely adventures as she’s reduced to tears by crazy-making Italian bureaucrats and tries to find work as a truffle telemarketer. You will encounter elderly aunts climbing trees, pyromaniac septuagenarians, and all sorts of “fowl” play.

    So pour yourself a glass of bad Italian wine, add a dose of accordion music, and spend some time in Ivanka Di Felice’s Italy.

    My book can be sampled at:

    I thank you so very much for your time.

    Best regards,
    Ivanka Di Felice

  15. Vicky

    Your blog is so inspiring!!! Loved every part of it. I came accross it as I was learning about Italy for a service I’m starting there. I have a few questions for you, would you mind emailing me please (details in form)?
    Would love your insight!


  16. Thom Hickey

    Thanks Margie. Delighted to have found your blog. Like you I love Italy and it’s culture. Looking forward to further exploration with you here. Regards from Thom at the immortal jukebox.

    • margieinitaly

      I appreciate that so much, Thom..I am always happy to find another lover of Italy…and now I have found another blog to enjoy…Love the acoustic guitar sound

  17. Diana

    Hi Margie… your blog…I am also of Italian decent (my father is from Italy)…..I was born and raised in Texas,but have been living in Italy for 8 years…anyway….always love to connect with fellow Italian Americans……look forward to reading more….

  18. Tamason Gamble (Travelling Book Junkie)

    Just like yourself, I feel in love with Italy on my very first trip there when I was 13. Over twenty years later, with my husband in tow, we visit nearly every year and would love to move there one day. I intend to keep my fingers crossed! 🙂 #MilestoneGiveaway

  19. margieinitaly

    Grazie mille Greg – Yes a small world as I live in Port St Lucie…Glad to connect with another Italophile! I am enjoying your blog

  20. Greg Speck

    We must be close, looks like you reside in a Florida. My wife and I moved from CT to Vero Brach in August of last year No more snow. We just returned from our 11th trip to Italy. We were caught off guard with a colder than normal spring, but it was bella Italia. We were in Sicily for the entire time, and Mt Etna had a fresh coating of snow. Love your blog and your books.

  21. Maple&Saffron

    Ciao Margie! Great to find your blog! If you ever pass by our wonderful region, Abruzzo, please let us know, we’d love to show you around! 🙂 Very nice to meet you! Maple 🙂

  22. Aldene Harris

    Are there any wine vineyards which we should visit and what else can you suggest we do in the area???

    • margieinitaly

      Many vineyards exist in the Chianti area between Firenze and Siena.You can read about my excursion two family-operated ones in Castellina in Chianti.

  23. Aldene Harris

    Oh my word – thank you for the prompt response. I am going to try and find St Dominic’s and the local Bistros – i love your country and have never been to Siena. We are staying in Pentolina

  24. ishitasood

    Wow you are lucky! You will fall in love with it 🙂 I went to Cinque Terre too. Where will you be staying? Do visit Porto Venere. And spend more time at the less touristy places. Do the blue trail. Eat lots of sea food 😀 I Stayed in Termonti Hostel in Biasa. The owner has the facility of car and drops you to Riomaggiore in the morning and picks up in the evening. Find my review here :

  25. Aldene Harris

    Hi folks…. can anyone assist me please. I am travelling to Italy next month, first to Tuscay then to Lake Cannero. I would like to visit Cinque Terre as well and will travel by car from Siena. Please can someone advise me on ‘cute local little bistros’ I want to go local and enjoy the local people and their festivities in Siena and Cinque Terre. Also would like to find a cosy little place to stay overnight in Cinque Terre and just party with the local communities. Help Please

    • margieinitaly

      Alderney thank you for commenting. Your trip to the Cinque Terre and Lake Cannero after Tuscany sounds great!! I would suggest wandering onto streets away from the main piazzas to find where the locals eat. There is a place in Siena across from St Dominic’s church that was good

  26. ishitasood

    I love your Blog Margie and I am so happy to have found you!! My love for Italy goes stronger with each passing day. I hope to save up for another trip 🙂 Cheers!

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  28. Mia Powell

    Hi Margie….I just finished reading your book and I loved it! I felt I was right there with you. I’ve now made it my goal to put money back from every paycheck so that one day I will be able to take an extended trip to Italy. Thank you for sharing your experience.

  29. francesca

    hi, I am a painter looking to spend 6+ months in Italy to work and live as cheaply as possible. I have found house and apartments , but I am wondering where I can find a great studio to paint in.
    I have been to Italy twice but never to Sicily
    where 2 ify grandparents are from. I would prefer to be in Sicily this time around as I have some relatives I can look up.
    any suggestions about finding a studio there? I basically need a space with good light, a sink and a toilet, with lots of wall space.

  30. carol

    Marge, You are doing exactly what I am planning on doing. I also am planning on
    an extended length of time in Italy. In the process of getting my Italian citizenship.
    I NEED to go and just live.

  31. Scott Erb

    Just got your book – I love how you describe your feelings and the scenes. I’ve only started, but having been often in Venice I could definitely imagine the scenes! I was a bit curious why you didn’t just fly into Venice rather than via Milano. Anyway, I’ll keep reading — I’m glad I discovered your blog and book!

    • margieinitaly

      Thank you Scott and you are right about flying to Venice. It would have been so much easier but I didn ‘t realize it when I was planning the trip. Live and learn to be sure!

  32. Trishanka

    Would you be interested in trading guest blog post on our blog, We are a PR 3 blog whose audience enjoys reading anything about travel. And, of course, you’ll receive a FOLLOWED link to your blog or page of your choice.
    Please let me know if you’re interested. I think you’d be a great fit with our audience, and we’d also like to talk with you about other partnerships.
    Talk to you soon

  33. julia

    Wow, Life really does begin after 50 doesn’t it? I love the way your photographs capture the everyday lives of the Italian people going about everyday task. I second the vote for Very Inspiring Blooger Award to you.

  34. Anonymous

    Hi Margie!
    Welcome home. As great as it is to travel it’s always nice to come home! Thanks for the photos and commentary. It extended my trip and I enjoyed reading about your travels!
    Have a good summer

  35. Anonymous

    margie,it was great talking to you today! we have a lot in common besides our ancestors. have great triop to italy and post lots of pic’s . andrea steinel cook 931-381-4370 in columbia tenn

  36. Anonymous

    Hola, Margie!
    Thanks for the kind words. It was equally a pleasure meeting you on Capri, sharing a glass of wine and swapping stories. Your story will always be one of our ‘gems’. Your blog is truly a funderful way of memorializing your adventures, and it is interesting to follow along with you.
    Safe travels, and if you are ever in our neck of the woods, please get in touch with us.
    Cheers from Vancouver (and often Mexico) Brian and David!

  37. Jill

    I just finished updating reading your blog.
    What wonderful Easer experiences you have been having, too!
    I’m looking to hear if you went back to Rome or watched the events on the big screen. I cannot get over all the exercise during the course of a day; and getting drenched in a downpour; and spedning 9 of 13 hours waiting or on trains or buses in a day; or having to hoist luggage to back track from 3 to 68 for the address at the convent! You are one hearty woman, kiddo!! Loved the stories of you giving the woman her photo from 4 years ago, being kissed by those 70 or over, and your experiences with biscotti and wine!!! Making the most of life! what a ball it is reading these!!

    Love You,

I'm always interested in your thoughts, so please leave a comment.