About Jessica Cerretani

I'm a freelance writer working my way around the globe, sharing my travel tips and tales every step of the way.

Glass as Art: Visiting the Island of Murano

sidewalk in murano italyThis week’s #FriFotos theme is “glass”—and what better way to celebrate that than with a photo essay from Murano, Italy? We visited this island in the Venetian lagoon, world-renowned for its glass-making studios, on a chilly day in January. But that didn’t stop us from enjoying a long walk and plenty of window shopping (and some actual shopping, too).

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Venice in Winter: Misty, Magical—and Manageable

venicegondolasMost people I know who have been to Venice, Italy, are ambivalent about it. Sure, it’s nice, they say. It stinks, though. Or: Ugh, it’s so crowded. And smelly. Or: It’s super-expensive. Oh, and it smells like low tide.

What can I say? It may all be true in July and August—but nothing could have been further from our experience. That’s because Nicole and I visited Venice in winter (mid-January to be exact). And this special city has become one of my new favorite places on earth. I liken it to a wrinkled old woman wearing rouge and lipstick: aging, a little decrepit, but still unabashedly glamorous.

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We’re Still Here!

Yes, we’re both still alive. But with a new job for one of us and tons of freelance work for the other, we’ve been more than a little busy.

The good news? We’re headed to ITALY in exactly a week, where we’ll be exploring Rome, Florence, Venice, Verona, Bologna, Lucca, and more! And we’ve got lots of good stories still to share, from our visit to the Grand Canyon (did we or didn’t we hike?), a fun tour of Boston movie sites (The Town was filmed here… but so was Bride Wars), and our road trip through the Southwest (our car was held together by duct tape).

So please stick with us. We’ll be back—SOON—with brand-new trips, tales, and tips.

Iceland in January? Absolutely!

Sun Voyager in Reykjavik, IcelandWe’ve all heard the story: Greenland is really covered in ice, while Iceland is really green, named such by Vikings to ward off potential settlers. Well, that’s a myth—in more ways than one. Iceland truly is icy, at least if you visit in winter. But that’s no reason to avoid this country in colder months, as Nicole and I learned during our stay last year during the dead of January.

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Falling for Flagstaff

Flagstaff Arizona in OctoberIf you’ve never been to Arizona, you probably have some preconceived notions about the so-called Copper State: It’s full of sweeping deserts, saguaro cacti, and red rock formations. And while that’s certainly true for some parts of the state—Tucson, for example, which I’ve visited previously—there’s so much more to Arizona. Continue reading

Curves for Days: Arches National Park

Arches national parkBefore this trip, the only arches I had seen were limited to the Arc de Triomphe (and McDonald’s). Yet Nicole and I had gone back and forth about this stop in our travels. We knew that some of the most impressive formations at Arches National Park required a bit of a hike, yet we really wanted to see this natural wonder.

In the end, we decided to spend a day here—and we knew it was the right decision from the moment we saw the first major rock formations, known as “Fifth Avenue”. The huge red rocks towered above us, dwarfing everything else. Continue reading

There’s Nothing Scary about the Petrified Forest

petrified forestAs a kid, I was fascinated by the concept of the Petrified Forest. After all, who can resist the idea of trees, seemingly magically turned into rocks? Of course, there’s nothing magical about it: The colorful fossilized trunks were formed millions of years ago when silica from volcanic ash formed quartz crystals in fallen redwood trees.

The science is intriguing, but the actual “forest”—a span of desert off Route 66 in Arizona—is even more so. Words really don’t do it justice, so instead I’ll give you want you really want: photos. Nicole and I spent a few hours walking and driving past the logs and taking in the sweeping views of the Painted Desert, but you could spend much longer here. I hope my three nephews will find the box of petrified wood I picked up for them just as fascinating as I did.

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10 Days in the American Southwest: A Photo Essay

road in southwest usWe’re back! After an unbelievable 10-day jaunt through the Southwestern United States, we’re full of stories to share. But first, here’s an overview of our travels, with one photo from each day of the road trip. Continue reading

Time to Hit the Road

Our Southwest roadtrip adventure has arrived! After a 6 a.m. flight tomorrow morning (blargh), we’ll be exploring Route 66, Flagstaff, the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Arches, Mesa Verde, Santa Fe, Albuquerque, and more for the next 9 days. If you don’t already, please follow us on Facebook and Twitter for exclusive photos and updates!