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Beyond The Guidebook
Chasing The Unexpected, a dedicated travel blog with destination guides and practical tips to make your trips happen
About Chasing The Unexpected
Hi there, we are Sayed and Angela, an international travel writer couple currently based in Rome. After years of experience, at Chasing The Unexpected, we are committed to providing practical travel tips and the necessary knowledge to travel to different countries and cities.
Based in Italy’s capital, we always travel and publish detailed and up-to-date travel guides covering places like Rome, Florence, Turin, Trento and Trentino region, Sardinia, Cinque Terre and more. We also provide practical tips such as how to plan a trip to Italy, what to wear and what to pack, and the best places to spend your honeymoon in Italy and other beautiful destinations.
Being Hamed from Afghanistan and having married there, Chasing The Unexpected is your go-to source of information about his dangerous country. We have written a detailed Afghanistan travel guide that we constantly update keeping in mind the unstable political situation as well as important tips on what to pack, dos and don’ts and how to stay safe in Afghanistan.
Travelling several times to Iran and India gave us the opportunity to write complete destination guides. For Iran, we cover popular cities like Tehran, Shiraz, Isfahan and Yazd, as well as more offbeat regions like Tabriz, Khuzestan, Kermanshah and Lorestan. For India, here you can find guides to Delhi, Rajasthan cities like Jaipur, Jaisalmer and Jodhpur and more offbeat areas like Uttarakhand and the Spiti Valley.
As passionate and experienced travellers, we love exploring new places. Chasing The Unexpected travel blog is a rich and dynamic source of travel tips and destination guides for travellers from all over the world. Check out the about us page to learn more about us.
Latest Travel Blogs and Guides
There are places that make you feel tiny and huge at the same time. Lebanon is one of those. Walking around, driving up and down the country, from Sur (Tyre) up to Baalbek, comfortably perched on a hill in the heart of the Bekaa Valley, tourists will never cease to be in awe gazing at
Many people gape at Rome’s monuments, their authenticity makes it incredibly easy to picture toga-clad muscular men busy organizing naval battles at the Colosseum, but how many have wondered how all this started? To make sure Rome’s foundation sounded as grand as its present and future, historians, writers, and poets back in the BCs produced
There are two ways to get under the skin of a place: interact with its natives and unearth its traditions. How to achieve both is pretty straightforward: by trying the local food. And wine, that is. Thankfully, sampling Sardinian wine is quite a pleasant way to do that. Traveling the world made me somehow discover
The smartest thing the Catholic religion could possibly think of has been to incorporate pagan rituals into its own ceremonies. Banning ancestral cults altogether might have provoked too many protests and caused general unrest, so why not take the lead? This is how many ancient festivals in Sardinia, especially the ones locals have always organized
It’s easy to be seduced by the Middle East. A cluster of cultures and civilizations that followed one another, this region of the world never fails to evoke ancestral traditions, romantic tales and out-of-reach places. Overloaded with its cargo of historical and biblical reminiscences, the legendary city of Sidon today is the largest city of
It’s easy to be seduced by Sardinia’s irregular beauty. The island’s rugged mountains framed by sandy beaches and crystal clear waters make for a pristine landscape one can hardly forget. Most villages proudly boast a great resilience against the waves of globalization, and although some traditions do struggle to survive, locals are very jealous of
Discover Italy With Us
Your go-to source for a perfect first trip to Italy itinerary and essential Italy travel tips
You have finally started planning a trip to Italy. You are excited to be visiting world-famous cities for the first time. But you don’t know where to start. Fret not. You have landed in the right place. In our website, you will find all necessary information to organise your dream Italy vacations, whether you are travelling solo, with your family or in a group.
As a travel writing couple living in Rome and travelling all around Italy, we have put together several travel guides and how-to articles to make your Italy trip smooth and easy to plan. To start, you will find a handy two-week Italy itinerary that includes different options if you have more or fewer days available. To help you further, we have also drawn up a practical Italy packing list and an easy-to-use trip planner. Foodies won’t want to miss our article on the best and most famous foods and dishes in Italy region by region.
We have also included more local travel guides and many more are coming. If you are visiting the capital, you will want to have a look at our complete guide to the best things to do in Rome. But if you don’t have enough time for all of the 90-something landmarks we have mentioned, you can refer to our convenient 4-day itinerary. Or even less, if you are on a day trip, we also have useful tips on how to explore Rome in a day. Many people travel to Italy for its food and the capital is a perfect place to try different recipes, from its traditional dishes to fish and seafood, to more contemporary options. Not sure where to eat in Rome? We got you covered with a comprehensive list of more than 50 places.
Our Italy travel guides don’t stop here. One of the most popular Italian regions is Tuscany, so we couldn’t miss it. If you are coming to Florence, don’t miss our extensive list of things to see and do as well as the best Florence restaurants for first-time visitors to get to know the traditional flavours. If you are travelling independently but want to save some time once in the city, you can check out our up-to-date article about the best Florence tours. For as charming as it is, sometimes you just want to get out of the city hustle and bustle. Do use our guide to the most exciting day trips from Florence to get to know Tuscany as well as the neighbouring regions.
Increasingly popular with travellers from all over the world, we have also focused on northern Italy. Find out the top things to do in Turin as well the best restaurants for first-time visitors where to find delicious local cuisine. Enjoy the images of the spectacular Venice Carnival, visit Europe’s oldest Jewish Ghetto and decide which one to book among the best Venice tours. In our website, you can also find a handy guide to hiking in the Cinque Terre as well as our personal experience exploring Genoa.
In northern Italy, we have very much enjoyed a month travelling around the Trentino Alto Adige region. This is how we managed to write an extensive guide to Trentino Alto Adige covering its main cities and a guide for a holiday in the Italian Dolomites. If you want to focus on the cities, we have listed the top things to see and do in Trento and we are preparing itineraries for Bolzano, Bressanone, Merano, Rovereto and Levico Terme.
If it’s not your first trip to Italy and you have already seen all the most popular cities and landmarks, you might want to go for a more off-the-beaten-path Italy holiday. Where to, you might ask? How about you the two islands, Sardinia and Sicily?
After Rome, Sardinia is our second hometown in Italy, so all our guides are packed with local’s insights that will come in super handy when travelling to such a wild land. Are you wondering what are the best places to visit in Sardinia? Don’t look further, we have come up with more than 40 things to do. Do you need tips to plan a perfect trip? We wrote a handy guide comprehensive of a killer itinerary and tips to avoid surprises, such as why and where to rent a car in Sardinia. Our Sardinia guides will take you to places such as Cagliari, its capital, the wild and fascinating Barbagia region to discover the important archaeological sites and thousand-year-old festival of Mamoiada and the controversial street art of Orgosolo. And for those of you who are planning their summer holiday in Italy, we have a detailed guide to the best beaches in Sardinia inclusive of how to reach them and the best accommodation nearby.
If you want to discover Sicily with us, our guides will show you the top things to see in Catania and what to do in Agrigento province, such as visiting the important vestiges of the Greek city of the Valle dei Templi.
As we keep ticking the best places to visit in Italy off our bucket list, we will update more and more guides. Here, we cover everything from large cities, to entire regions to small towns and villages. Our guides, as well as our practical tips, make Chasing The Unexpected the most comprehensive and reliable online source for travelling to Italy.
Scroll down to find some of our most popular guides and navigate to our Italy content for more.
2-Week Italy Itinerary
Sardinia Travel Guide
Trentino Travel Guide
Turin Travel Guide
Florence Travel Guide
Milan Travel Guide
Best Day Trips From Florence
4 Perfect Days in Rome
What to Eat in Italy and Where
Best Florence Tours
Honeymoon in Italy
Best Venice Tours
Finding the best restaurants in Rome can be difficult and even experienced travellers can fall in the tourist trap. Our eBook for foodies in Rome wants to be a guide to the traditional flavours as well as what is new, different and exciting in Rome. The information we provide suits every type of traveller, palate and dietary needs, be it vegetarian, gluten-free, lactose-intolerant or fish lover.
author, travel journalist and blogger
souvenirs from Italy
The Perfect Souvenirs to Buy in Italy
Discover Afghanistan With Us
All you need to know to travel to Afghanistan, stay safe and plan an unforgettable trip
Together with Italy, Afghanistan is our hometown. My husband, Hamed, was born and lived there all his life until we got married in his beautiful city, Herat. This is why our content on his war-torn country is the most reliable and detailed you can find online.
If you are planning a trip to Afghanistan, we highly recommend you take all the necessary safety precautions. This includes possibly not going alone, taking care of your look to blend in as much as you can and being with a local most of the time. Our Afghanistan travel guide provides you with all the necessary information to have a smooth trip, enjoy the country and stay safe. It’s detailed, we tell you where you can and cannot go as a foreigner and we constantly update it as we closely follow the current political situation.
If you want to travel to Afghanistan, it’s of utmost importance to know what you are doing and where you are going. This applies to any trip, but Afghanistan is one of those countries where you really want to avoid bad surprises. And this is when finding reliable information becomes mandatory. Our Afghanistan travel guide and tips provide you with the right tools to organise a perfect trip and also to get in touch with trustworthy locals who can show you around and keep you safe.
In one extensive, detailed guide, we cover important topics such as when is the best time to visit Afghanistan, how to apply for Afghan visa, how to get to Afghanistan from land or air and if it’s safe to travel. On a more practical note, we also tell you what are the traditional Afghan clothes you should wear to better blend in, what is the Afghan currency and the always updated rate exchange, how you can be online and use a local SIM card, the cities in Afghanistan where you can go and also the Afghan provinces where it’s better for foreigners to avoid at the moment. You will find some accommodation options and the best hotels in Kabul, Herat, Bamiyan, Mazar-e Sharif, and we will also give you an idea of the taxi fare in the different Afghan cities from the airports.
Our content includes also tips on how to stay safe in Afghanistan when taking pictures, the mistakes I made when I travelled there for the first time despite all the years I had been going to neighbouring Iran, and the dos and don’ts of travelling in Afghanistan coming from my own personal experience. Some of the don’ts we’ve covered? Try your best not to get sick in Afghanistan as the health system is not efficient, avoid extra-urban buses, and don’t even think about wearing revealing clothes.
We have also written a helpful Afghanistan packing list. This will help you arrive equipped with everything you need should you not find it once there, especially when it comes to medicines. Some of the items we suggest you carry with you when travelling to Afghanistan include a water purifier, a sunscreen and comfortable shoes. Afghanistan still has malaria in some areas, so a mosquito repellent is something to pack before going.
An ancient country formerly part of the Persian Empire, we have visited both its natural and historic sites. On our website, you will find articles on the best things to do in Herat, how the Herat council is working to protect its history and ancient sites, and our trip to the Panjshir Valley, the birthplace of Ahmad Shah Massoud. Alongside our Afghanistan travel guide and tips, we give you the opportunity to travel around the country and book an Afghanistan guided tour with locals. You can contact us whether you prefer to book a full tour or just local guides in each of the cities you want to visit.
Afghanistan Travel Guide
Traveling & living in Afghanistan
Herat Travel Guide & Tips
What To Pack For Afghanistan
Dos and Don'ts of Travelling in Afghanistan
Real State of Security in Afghanistan
Discover Iran With Us
Practical advice and the best tips on how to travel to Iran and plan a perfect trip
Planning a trip to Iran is not as easy and straightforward as with other countries. The economic sanctions that have been in place for years make it difficult to book hotels in Iran as well as domestic flights and extra-urban buses. We have put together an extensive and detailed Iran travel guide with an unforgettable Iran itinerary and also a practical guide on how to plan a perfect trip. Here, you are going to find up-to-date information on how to apply for Iran visa, what to wear in Iran, especially for women, as they have to follow a stricter dress code. Our popular guide includes the best places to visit in Iran for a classic 10-day itinerary, which is ideal for first-time visitors. Among the top Iran things to do are visiting cities like Tehran, Isfahan, Shiraz, Yazd, Kashan and the picturesque Abyaneh with ochre-coloured houses.
If it’s not your first trip to Iran and you want to visit other provinces and cities besides the most touristy destinations, here you will find articles also on more off-the-beaten-path regions like Khuzestan, the Izadkhast caravanserai, Tabriz and a tour to Lorestan and Kermanshah provinces.
You don’t have enough time for a whole Iran tour? We have also written city guides with the top things to do in Tehran, Iran’s capital, like the Azadi Tower, the Niavaran Palace and Tehran beautiful parks, and the places to visit in Shiraz, such as the stunning Nasir ul-Molk mosque and the archaeological sites of Pasargadae, Persepolis and Naqsh-e Rostam necropolis. We have also destination guides on what to do in Isfahan, with its beautiful Naqsh-e Jahan square and Vank Cathedral, and Yazd with the forest of wind towers that define its skyline. The capital is a very large city, so it might be difficult to find ideal accommodation. This is why we have also prepared a guide to the best hotels in Tehran and more accommodation tips for other Iranian cities are coming soon.
Our Iran travel tips are not limited to this, though. We have compiled an enticing list of the best books on Iran you should read before going to have an idea of the country’s history, culture and society. If you are a fan of traditional handicraft and are not sure what to buy, we have you covered with this, too. On our website, in fact, you will find a handy list of the best Iran souvenirs to take back home with you for family and friends or to give a charming Persian touch to your house. Obviously, we also tell you where you can buy your gifts. Our suggestions always involve the best and most scenic Iran bazaars like Tehran Grand Bazaar, Isfahan old market, Tabriz historic souk and Yazd ancient bazaar.
And if you are a woman travelling solo to Iran, don’t worry, it’s safe and here you can read the articles on my personal experiences of years going to Iran by myself. I have seen many women travelling to Iran from all over the world. They were taking pictures and saving all the memories they could capture in their unforgettable trip.
In order to better communicate with the locals, especially if you are planning to travel to lesser-known Iran provinces, we suggest you carry a Persian dictionary and/or phrasebook. But we have also written some articles you can easily print out with the most common Persian words and sentences in typical situations like at the restaurants, asking for directions and bargaining a price.
Hardly like most countries you have already visited, to help you travel more prepared, we have put together a useful list of tips and things to know before you visit Iran. And if you still need to decide whether to travel to Iran or not, here we have even written our top reasons why you should book that ticket ASAP!
Tehran Travel Guide
Iran Travel Guide
10 Books On Iran
Shiraz Travel Guide
What to Wear: Iran Dress Code
Tabriz Travel Guide
How to Plan a Perfect Iran Trip
How to Get Iran Visa
Top Iran Bazaars
Discover India With Us
Travelling to India? Read our top India travel tips and destination guides
A photographer’s paradise, a country of colours, temples, culture and history. Planning a trip to India is something that at first might sound intimidating. This is why we have put together several articles with all sorts of India travel tips. Following our suggestions, you can embark on your journey with more peace of mind and certainly more prepared.
One of the most popular articles here on Chasing The Unexpected, don’t miss our precious recommendations on how to avoid getting sick in India so you can enjoy your trip to the end. Different hygienic conditions from what you are used to, non-purified tap water, and the local cuisine rich in spices and ingredients we barely know are often the culprits for food poisoning. Whatever Indian state you are visiting, this seems to be common pretty much everywhere. Read what to do if you want to try Indian street food, safety measures if you are renting your own apartment, and even some precautions when you are taking shower and brushing your teeth! Finally, we also tell you what remedies we usually pack for when we do catch food poisoning.
To help you plan your trip, we have written several India travel guides. We tell you when is the best time to visit India and what to pack, the best things to do in the Spiti Valley and the best places to visit in Uttarakhand, including what to do in Rishikesh and the things to see in Nainital. On our travel website, you can also check what to do in Jaipur, what to see in Jodhpur and the places to visit in Jaisalmer. These are some of the most popular cities in the state of Rajasthan, region rich in culture, temples and historic sites and forts.
We also recommend you don’t miss our handy guide to the top places to visit in Delhi, with great tips on where to eat and the best Delhi hotels, and to some of the top tourist sites of the Taj Mahal and the Red Fort in Agra.
If you are travelling to India for some pampering and wellness, check out our guide to the essential items to pack for a yoga retreat. While if you are travelling on a motorbike, we have a useful interview with an Indian biker where he provides us with practical tips for a great motorcycle trip around India. He gives us a precious local’s insight on what you can find in the different Indian states, what are the essentials to pack and what are some of the best regions for this type of India tour.
This country in the Subcontinent is not an easy trip to plan and make. But it’s fascinating and every year attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors. If you want to visit but instead of planning everything by yourself, you prefer to travel without the hassle of logistics, hotel booking and local transport, check out our guide to the top India tours. You will enjoy the country, dig deep into the local culture with an expert guide and at the same time be more relaxed than if you have to organise everything by yourself.