Featured Traveler | Melanie Renzulli: Miss Adventures

Today’s Featured Traveler is Freelance Writer, Melanie Renzulli. This world traveling mom is obsessed with Rome and dancing at live concerts. Want to know more about Miss Adventures? Read on to find out more about her misadventures and what the “Melanie Variety Plate” is!

Name: Melanie Renzulli

Tell us a little about yourself: I am a freelance travel writer currently writing for About.com as the USA Travel Guide; Gadling.com as a travel blogger; and Italofile.com, my blog about Italy travel. I’m kind of all over the place with my interests - but that’s kind of the prerequisite for being a writer, in general. It’s nice to have little passions to pull inspiration from.

Favorite city you’ve been to: An impossible question, but my heart says Rome. When I’m not there, I get a warm and fuzzy feeling about that city, as if it’s an unrequited crush. When I visit, on the other hand, it keeps me on my toes. A love for the ancient and the modern tugs at me, so Rome lets me explore both curiosities.

Favorite restaurant: I really have no answer for that. I think some of my favorite meals, both home and abroad, have been at holes-in-the-wall or mid-range restaurants. My favorite way to eat when I’m on the road is to graze here and there, sample a little bit of everything. So, I guess my favorite *type* of restaurant would have to be a wine bar with lots of mini plates, a tapas bar, or at a Turkish restaurant that offers lots of mezes. Among my family, this type of dining is called the “Melanie Variety Plate.”

Best place to relax: On a massage table. I’m no luxury traveler, but I do love to pamper myself once in a while and travel is a great time to do it. I have enjoyed ayurvedic massages in Kerala, India, and sudsy rub-downs at hammams in Turkey. Those experiences were a little more profound than just going to a spa, as I felt I was exploring a bit of the local culture at the same time.

Best place to have fun:
I love having the opportunity to get out and see live music or dance when I’m traveling. (Though, sadly, that’s not as possible now that I am usually traveling with two toddlers.) I have such fond memories of a few trips that involved music, such as going to a bouzouki bar in Corfu, Greece and a reggae beach party in Negril, Jamaica.

Best trip you’ve ever taken: The best trip I ever took was my first trip - as an exchange student to Germany. It’s not that the memories from there trump all others, but the fact that it was my first taste of adventure and set me on this path as a lifetime lover of travel.

What one piece of advice do you have for travelers? If you can’t go carry-on only, pack at least a change of underwear in your carry-on. Seriously, it’s a lifesaver if your bags get lost or delayed.

Where else can we find you on the web? You can find me everywhere, but most easily on Twitter @melanierenzulli. I also blog for Gadling, am the USA Travel guide for About.com, and occasionally write on my own blogs at Italofile and Miss Adventures . Links to all of these are on my about.me profile. Got all that?


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