Packing for two weeks in Italy was no easy feat. I brought only dresses, mostly because they’re an all-in-one outfit that takes up much less suitcase space. But the true champion of my honeymoon packing list was my Zara basket bag, and it was something I picked up on a whim for less than $50.
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You could say Serial started it all. The podcast was downloaded over a quarter of a billion times, and the question of whether or not Adnan Syed killed schoolmate Hae Min Lee in 1999 became the weekly topic of water cooler conversation. Suddenly, discussing murder and cell tower evidence became commonplace. And so for some, the true crime wave was born.
Now, there are countless podcasts dedicated to the topic of true crime, and there’s one for everyone. My personal favorite? My Favorite Murder, a comedy / true crime podcast hosted by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark. Two friends, three cats and 200+ episodes dedicated to hometown murders and the hosts’ comedic (but always respectful) takes on their “favorite” murders of the week. No matter what you’re looking for, whether that’s cults, small town stories or a deep dive into a crime spree involving stolen Venus Flytraps, it’s guaranteed there’s a crime podcast that will strike your fancy. (Need more recommendations? Check out this excellent Vulture round up written by my friend Hillary Nelson—there are 52 options to choose from.)
But for some of us murderinos, an interest in crime has been there all along. We just couldn’t really talk about it without people backing away from us slowly at parties. Mine began with checking out the entire Mary Higgins Clark and James Patterson collected works from the middle school library, before graduating to Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood, mine and many people’s first foray into the true crime genre.
Read on for three can’t-miss true crime books to read (with the lights on).
Aside from my trusty basket bag, the real hero of my honeymoon in Italy was another accessory—my bright orange Madewell circle bag. At over $100, I was a little hesitant to spend so much on such a loud color. I usually stick to blacks or tans so I know it will match everything. But I’m so glad I decided to go for this one, especially considering it’s going to be my go-to summer-to-fall piece.
Our Italian honeymoon came full circle in Rome—we landed in Italy’s capital at 7 AM and spent one full day exploring before heading off to Cinque Terre. But after our whirlwind travels around the country, we headed back to Rome for another two days filled with bowls of carbonara, cacio e pepe and Roman history. Read on for my guide to Rome!READ MORE
When I think of Italy, the image that comes to mind is rolling green hills, olive tree groves and lines of cypress trees as far as I can see … i.e., Tuscany. After action-packed days of sightseeing in Venice and Florence, Zach and I couldn’t wait to hop in our Lancia rental car and snake through Tuscany’s jaw-dropping scenery. We were especially eager to get going because our first stop was the hotel we had been looking forward to the entire trip: Castello del Nero. Nestled in the Chianti wine region, the restored 12th century castle promised complete relaxation—and somehow it even exceeded our high expectations. Read on for my guide to Italy’s gorgeous Tuscany region!
As charmed as we were by our visit to Venice, we were finally off to the region we were most excited to visit—Tuscany. Florence is Tuscany’s capital, and is home to some of the most iconic sights in Italy. And with only a day and a half to visit, we planned to make use of every moment in the home of the Renaissance. Read on for my guide to Florence!
While summer means endless glasses of rosé and getting a tan, I’m almost never fully enjoying the warmer weather thanks to mosquitos. I guess I’m allergic to mosquito bites, so when I get bit it swells up into a quarter-sized, ugly purplish bruise that yes, also itches like the devil. This means I refuse to have my windows open and get nervous about patio-side dining, which is arguably one of the best parts about summer in New York. The only way I feel safe is by spraying OFF! on every single exposed inch of skin, and liberally, quite like a 7th grade boy applying Axe body spray in the locker room. And just like Axe body spray, extensive mosquito repellent application is certainly not my preferred summer scent.
Thankfully, a recent trip to the North Fork included a fortuitous stop at a farmer’s market, where I happened to pick up a tin of natural mosquito repellent. I was a little skeptical, but decided to put it to the test on our honeymoon in Italy—and it worked.READ MORE
After kicking off our honeymoon in the relaxing Cinque Terre, we boarded a train for Venice. We added the city of canals to our itinerary mostly because we wanted to check it off before it succumbs to rising sea levels or overtourism. Instead, Venice completely charmed us with its winding alleys, plentiful bridges and gorgeous architecture. Read on for my guide to Venice!
Zach and I got married on September 30, 2017, but we chose to delay our honeymoon until May 2018—I couldn’t imagine planning our entire wedding and a two-week vacation to Italy at the same time. The Sunday after our wedding we flew to Charleston, SC for a quick minimoon, which I highly recommend. Charleston, where we’ve been before, is one of our favorite spots, so we didn’t feel the need to wake up early and sightsee. We were perfectly happy to sleep in, eat our fill of the city’s notoriously delicious BBQ and Lowcountry cuisine and relax. It was a much-needed refresh after 11 months of wedding planning.
Eight months after we married, we flew to Italy for our honeymoon, beginning in the postcard-perfect Cinque Terre. Read on for my guide for one of the most beautiful and can’t-miss spots in Italy!