About Claire McLaughlin

Claire is traveling around Italy this summer after having worked in the Let's Go office for three years (woo!). Originally from Wisco.
4 12, 2015
  • Chianti Winery Tour

Top 5 Tasty Treats of Tuscany

Tuscany doesn't specialize in Pisa pizzas, so when you find yourself in the Italian Hillz, head for a local trattoria and try some of these regional specialties. 1. Tortelli Lucchese. It may look like standard meat ravioli, but this egg-based pasta primi isn't your average Chef Boyardee. In addition to being served in a meat sauce, this pasta is also stuffed with even more meat and can be served in a variety [...]

29 11, 2015
  • Norway Mealworm Brownies

Dessert Dives: Pestaurant Edition

Remember how your parents used to tell you not to eat bugs, perhaps pointing to little Jimmy Arnold down the block who ate ants in his free time and had the social skills of a carrot? Well, as the kind folks at Pestaurant will tell you, your parents were more than wrong — little Jimmy may be saving the planet! Full disclosure: I wandered into this stand in the Mathallen Marketplace completely [...]

19 11, 2015
  • Italian Pizzolo

It’s Not a Pizza, It’s Not a Cannolo: Introducing the Pizzolo

In order to be considered a true pizza master, you gotta try ‘em all. So if you’re in Syracuse, you just have to go get yourself a pizzolo. For the sake of research, of course. A typical style of pizza in Sicily and especially famous in Syracuse, this is essentially pizza that has two crusts. A little crispier and somewhere between a pizza pocket and a pizza sandwich, words cannot begin to [...]

27 07, 2015
  • Italian Radio Hits Enrique Iglesias Travel International Music

I Heart (Italian) Radio

The hostel I've been staying at for the past week has a TV in the common room that plays pretty much nonstop music videos (like how MTV used to before it started exploiting the agonies of pregnant teenagers). So in addition to seeing a lot of gauzy old throwback videos from the '80s and '90s (hey, that Michael Jackson kid can really dance!), I've also been listening to a lot of Italy's top [...]

22 07, 2015
  • Rome Italy Trastevere street

Street Style: Rome Edition

Observations on Italian fashion. I'm no Bill Cunningham, but after a few weeks of traversing Rome's many neighborhoods on foot, I think I know a thing or two about street style. So for all you vias, viales, corsos, largos, and even you teeny little vicolos, here are some quintessential fashion staples that no sensible street would ever leave the piazza without. Get ready to stop some traffic: Cigarettes: Cigarettes look cool dangling from [...]

2 07, 2015
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Overheard: Americans

When I first arrived in Italy as a stupid American, I gave myself a few basic rules to follow: Be open. Have humility. Judge not lest ye be judged. I gave up on that last one about as fast as Nick Carraway did in The Great Gatsby, at least when it came to all my fellow American dreamers. "I'm Nick Carraway, and I'm inclined to reserve all judgements. Now let me tell you this [...]

22 06, 2015
  • Rome, Female-Only Hostel

Three Men and a Claire

Thoughts Had While Staying in a Mixed-Gender Dorm Every night in a female-only dorm. I've always been hesitant to book a bed in a mixed-gender dorm for a number of (basically stupid) reasons. 1) Girl time. Sure, meeting different guys and girls on the road has proven equally rewarding, but sometimes it's just nice to swap travel stories with your fellow females at the end of a long day. For example: "Hey, how many times [...]

15 06, 2015
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What Dreams Are Made Of

"Oh my god, we're going to have like *such* a Lizzie McGuire Movie day." -a prophecy, made by the three California high schoolers staying in my hostel, shortly before they set off into the city without a map or any sense of direction And while Christina, Lucy, and Daniella spent most of their first day in Rome going the wrong way on the bus, I struck out into the city feeling older, wiser, and [...]

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