Savouring the Romance of La Dolce Vita

It was on a trip to the central Italian region of Abruzzo in late autumn that David and Sharyn Collins stumbled upon their new home. “We stopped in Sulmona and fell in love with it. It is one of Italy’s best-kept secrets. Sulmona is right in the centre of a valley with lots of beautiful towns, unspoiled villages, castles and wineries scattered all around it in the mountains,” the couple say.

An Insider’s Guide to Padua, Italy

Overshadowed by Venice, Padua doesn’t get the attention it deserves. Only 30 minutes by train from its famous neighbour, it has stunning Venetian-style architecture, picturesque squares, world-class museums and a relaxed atmosphere of a university town. Rents are low, prices in restaurants and bars are reasonable and you can enjoy the ancient streets in peace without selfie-snapping tourists getting in your way.

Live Rent-Free in Italian Wine Country…Or Vibrant Thailand…Or Anywhere…

As the old porch swing rocked gently in the summer breeze, the evening sun cast an amber glow over the rolling hills and vineyards below. Sipping a glass of wine, I spotted a white-tailed deer who came out to nibble on the vineyard’s fragrant fruits. With the heady scent of grapes filling the air, I swelled with happiness thinking of where my life had taken me.

Discover Venice…Without the Crowds

On my many visits to Venice I have learnt that there are two cities: one is overrun by throngs of camera-clicking tourists and the other one is quiet with empty squares (called “campi”) and locals going on about their daily business. Guess which one I prefer? Getting lost in narrow lanes and crossing hundreds of bridges, I have discovered some of the best spots and views of the city, without the maddening crowds and astronomical prices.

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