Art in Florence: Top Twenty Artworks to See Before You Leave

ART_IN_FLORENCEAs adamant fans of the art in Florence, it often breaks our hearts to hear that travelers to this fair city miss out on some of Florence’s renowned works. Of course there are many reasons to visit this multi-faceted town, but one of the main motivations has always been to see Florence’s breathtaking painting, sculpture, and architecture. According to UNESCO (although it may be a somewhat Western centric view), 60% of the world’s most important works of art are located in Italy and approximately half of these are in Florence.
 
Art_of_florenceEveryday we see tourists herded into the Uffizi and Accademia as if they are the only two museums in Florence and countless more make the mistake of thinking that because there is no line outside the many other museums and churches, that there is nothing to see inside. On the contrary, there are many places in Florence that are full of masterpieces and (relatively speaking) empty of tourists. In response to this trend, we’ve made this list of the art in Florence that (we believe) everyone should see before they leave (in truth, the list is WAY longer than this. We had to narrow it down. And then narrow again); some works will be familiar, while others, I guarantee, will be completely new.
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Travel Tips by Carrie: What to Pack

travel_tips_by_CarrieWhat to pack…
This question seems to plague many even when taking a trip as short as two days. Imagine a month or even a semester in Italy! I, on the other hand, love to pack. If you don’t believe me, see my Top Ten Tips for Packing Luggage or my Favorite Things series. At the end of my last vacation, I spent the evening with a friend packing her suitcases.
 
One of my very favorite things is the PACK THIS Packing List (see image below). It really is the ultimate travel and packing list, leaving nothing out. Well, okay, I think it leaves a few important things out. There are some items that are rarely included on standard packing lists and that I believe can make all of the difference. The good news is that you likely have all of these items at home already and they are all also light as a feather (AKA won’t contribute to that critical weight limit).
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Tips for Traveling with Jewelry

travel_tips_by_CarrieTraveling with jewelry can be a tricky task, even for the most seasoned traveler. Deciding what to pack, how to pack it, or what to pack it in may leave you frustrated.
 
It has happened that (in a mad dash to get out the door) I have opted to travel only with the jewelry that I had on and nothing else. As Julia Roberts once proclaimed, “Big mistake. Big. Huge!” Look, I’m not the girliest of girls and I don’t have piles of sparkly things lying around (I mean, they’re medium-sized piles), but I do love jewelry. I love the way a colorful necklace can take an ordinary outfit and make it a conversation starter. I love the way I feel when I switch from simple studs and flats to chandelier earrings and heels for an evening out. There’s no reason why you or I shouldn’t be able to enjoy our favorite jewelry and accessories when we’re away from home, right? Follow these tips for traveling with jewelry and I guarantee you’ll save yourself time, money, and the regret of under-accessorizing.
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Travel Tips by Carrie: My Favorite Things, Part I

Favoritethings. Julie Andrews sang all about them in The Sound of Music. You know, “raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens…” Oprah still gives her favorite things away, too. Well, I can’t carry a tune and I can’t very well compete with Oprah and give away a parking lot full of cars. What I can do is share my favorite travel items. I actually have a long (and growing) list of favorite products and goodies that make my plane, train, boat, and car rides more enjoyable. For now, I am going to start with my Top 3 Favorite Travel Items that are (coincidentally) for the neck and up. Don’t worry, this is just the tip of the iceberg. I’ll clue you in on my other favorites and those for the rest of the body and beyond. Just keep checking back with Travel Tips by Carrie! Continue reading…

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Top Ten Tips for Packing Luggage

Flying somewhere? Taking a road trip? Studying abroad or finally taking that vacation? Trying to find room for your favorite sweatshirt or maybe those Christmas presents? Wherever you are heading and whatever you are bringing, these ten tips will help to take the stress and frustration out of packing and unpacking. As a perpetual mover and traveler, I have sharpened my organizational skills and have been called “Mary Poppins” (remember the lamp she pulled out of her small upholstered bag?) on more than one occasion. I am proud to say that I have never been charged fees for overweight luggage and friends/family are always surprised how much I manage to squeeze in seemingly small spaces. Thus, I give to you my tried and true tips on how to pack wisely and make room for those extra pair of shoes you really don’t want to leave behind. Continue reading…

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