About Chris Holthouse

From Padua to Palermo, Chris train-hopped over 600 miles down the coast of Italy. Though his attempts to become a monk were shamelessly rejected, Chris put 7 years of Latin training to good use when he cried and waxed poetic at Virgil’s grave. On a one-man mission to become the next Ansel Adams, Chris spent the rest of his route eating snacks, climbing intrepidly to the tops of things, and narrowly avoiding lightning.
18 01, 2016
  • Gelato

Foodie Must-Tries in Padua

You left cannoli and Sicilian granita down in the south of Italy. Never forget. But now it's time to get into some northern Italian cuisine. Panzerotto: Think calzones but smaller. For €2 you can score some of these classic warm bread pockets stuffed with tomatoes, cheese, prosciutto, and everything else wonderful and Italian. What Plato would've seen as the ideal for lunch. Tramezzini: Tiny little triangular sandwiches with the crusts removed filled with [...]

12 01, 2016
  • Siena Street

Top 5 Things to Know Before Heading to Palio

If you're in Siena on the day of the Palio, you should absolutely make every effort to attend the race and see the proceedings up close. Here are a few tips for what to bring, when to go, and what to expect. 1. Get there early (and bring plenty of water). Attending the Palio means you'll be spending quite a bit of time in the center of Il Campo under a lot [...]

22 11, 2015
  • European club

Top 5 Nightlife Destinations in Palermo

Via Candelai. Your visa into Twerkopolis. With deafening beats and flashing lights, its streets are packed with discos where you can shake your ass all night even if everyone else would rather just drink. Vucciria. Market by day, bar and streetfood central by night, this place is just always packed. Come by on a Friday night if you can't find anywhere else for noms. Loud music plays and the people mingle so [...]

31 10, 2015
  • Perugia view

Top 5 Panoramic Views in Perugia

Be sure to see beautiful Perugia from as many angles as possible. Mercato Coperto: Those clever markets know you'll walk through just to get this breathtaking sight of Perugia. If you're thirsty, grab a drink at La Terrazza while you're passing through.   Ristorante del Sole: Going to the Minimetro? Stop for a gorgeous view of the city you're descending into beforehand. Aqueduct: While you're walking towards or on the aqueduct, enjoy [...]

1 10, 2015
  • Sicily sunset

Sunsets in Sicily

I don’t think it really matters. If you’re somewhere in Sicily between the hours of 8 and 9 pm, you’re going to see a pretty incredible sunset. I’m still waiting for that “green flash” everyone always talks about (I’m skeptical) but this sun-atmosphere combo has figured out how to produce just about every other color in the Crayola box. Deep, dark indigo rules the upper airs and slowly fades to a wispy [...]

26 09, 2015
  • Italian Trains Let's go

Notes From Italian Trains

As I was scrawling out a rough draft of this blog on the penultimate train ride of my route – a four-hour Sicilian coastal jaunt from Palermo to Taormina – the topic changed. Originally I was going to go for a snarky little column about the dirth of snack bars and the lackluster air conditioning on these things. It’s only really “conditioning” in the sense that if you were to go to [...]

19 09, 2015
  • Italy Palermo

Wedding Crashers: Palermo Edition

A few days into my stint in Palermo, I strolled into the tell-it-like-it-is named “Church of Jesus.” The overload of stucco reliefs, red and white marble, and shiny gold crap everywhere was enough to spin me into a tizzy of Sicilian baroque-ness. There was even a red carpet rolled out down the center aisle. “Nice touch, guys.” “Wait, why is there a red carpet in a church? Oh, sheesh, I’ve walked [...]

12 09, 2015
  • Amalfi Coast Let's go

5 Ways to Avoid Going Bankrupt on the Amalfi Coast

On the Amalfi Coast, the only thing grander than the view is the pricetag. 1) Bring your own umbrella. No one does this, but I’m thinking it’s going to be the next big thing. Open up that umbrella you brought like it’s raining cats and dogs and bury the handle in your own little patch of sand. Voila, free shade. Money saved: 7 Euros. 2) Game the gelato system. There may be [...]

5 09, 2015
  • Naples Virgil

Naples: A Visit to Virgil’s Tomb

I am part of a smallish, eccentric, and some would say rather confused cohort of individuals that willingly partakes in the study of Latin. Virgil, to me, is a little bit like an old friend. Granted, it’s a one-way friendship, and it’s more of an “I’ll follow you on Twitter but I totally understand if you don’t follow me back” type of thing than a real “chummy” relationship – he kicked [...]

31 08, 2015
  • Italy_Naples_Chiesa+di+Gesu+Nuovo

Naples: Putting on a Facade

A visit to the Chiesa di Gesu Nuovo Venite Adoremus – "Come, let us adore him." It’s a line you can find above the front door to a bunch of churches around here. Not so much at the Chiesa di Gesu Nuovo. I picked up more of a  “stay back or I’ll poke you” vibe from this facade. This church reminds me a whole lot more of Gotham than it does of God. [...]

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