I have a confession. Despite having lived in Italy for nearly three years and having studied Italian off and on for a number of years, I have a long way to go before I can consider myself fully fluent in the language.
There has been one time, however, when I felt really confident about my Italian skills. That was the time I took an Italian immersion course.
I love Paris. But, Rome will forever be the Caput Mundi. La Città Eterna. La Città Più Bella del Mondo.
This video, from the guys from the Ritals web series, does a humorous job of breaking down what makes Rome great even in the face of Paris’s beauty and comparative orderliness. Read more
Have you ever pulled into a train station on your way to somewhere else and then promised yourself that some day you would make your way back? That was my experience with Ferrara.
To ring in the New Year, my family and I rented a farmhouse for a few days on the outskirts of Ferrara. Thinking back to the trip, the timing wasn’t ideal. Ferrara was freezing and on New Year’s Eve, the fog was so thick on our drive into town to watch the fireworks over Castello Estense that we wondered if we should even go out at all. Read more
Not many tourists make it to Terni. But many of those who do come to Umbria’s second largest town come specifically to see the church of Saint Valentine. Read more
Last weekend the Domus Aurea, also known as Nero’s Golden Palace, became the latest attraction to offer visitors the chance to wear virtual reality headsets while touring the site. Read more
You can visit Torino without tasting a Bicerin, but then you’d be going against the advice of noted gastronome Alexandre Dumas.
The writer who was best known for his novels The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo was also publisher of L’Indipendente, a Neapolitan newspaper that supported Italian Unification, as well as the compiler of Le Grand Dictionnaire De Cuisine, an exhaustive compendium of recipes, ingredient definitions, and food anecdotes published posthumously in 1873.
Dumas, who visited Torino during the Risorgimento (early 1860s), said:
“I will never forget Bicerin, an excellent drink consisting of coffee, milk and chocolate that is served in all the coffee shops.”
The grey felt cap adorned with a black raven feather worn by old northern Italian men and some modern-day camouflaged troops is known as the Cappello Alpino. This recognizable cap signifies that the wearer is or was a member of the Alpini, an elite corps of the Italian army that is most closely associated with World War I and is the oldest mountain infantry in the world. Read more
Before I tell you about the best places to kiss in Rome, you’ve got to really want to kiss and be kissed. Read more
Congratulations to the city of Palermo, which has been awarded the distinction of Italian Capital of Culture for 2018.
The Italian Culture Ministry (Ministero di Beni Culturali) awards the prize each year in an effort to promote tourism. Along with the distinction, the winning city receives 1 million euro which is to be used to promote cultural activities and artistic heritage.
“We saw that this virtuous competition creates a system of communal participation,” said Culture Minister Dario Franceschini, “Being on the shortlist is a bit like receiving an Oscar nomination: it allows them to do a lot of work, in terms of planning and promotions.”
Source: Palermo wins title of Italian Capital of Culture 2018
The “Made in Italy” brand is one of the world’s most recognized and coveted labels. Given this cachet, many manufacturers have tried over the years to pass off everything from olive oil to handbags as authentic Italian products.
Rome is often called an outdoor museum. But the capital also has dozens of museums to explore, not only in the Centro Storico but beyond the walls.
Helping us locate all of these museums and galleries is a new map showing Rome’s museums as they relate to metro stops. Read more
Reflection is part of the prescription for moving from one year into the next. So while I wanted to write a year-end round-up a month ago, I realized that such an article would not fully capture the joys, sorrows, and idiosyncrasies of being an expat resident and traveler in Italy.
Five is an arbitrary number, of course. I’ve learned far more than five lessons learned while living in Rome and traveling throughout Italy. But here are a few of the important ones:
Friends and family often ask me two questions about Italy:
- How do I move to Italy?
- If I move to Italy, where should I live?
With so many ancient structures in need of constant upkeep, Italy is no stranger to scaffolding. Venice’s St. Mark’s Basilica, in particular, is known for constantly being under repair. Read more
The Atlas of Ancient Rome, a gorgeous, new two-volume set edited by Andrea Carandini, promises to be an “authoritative archeological survey of Rome from prehistory to the early medieval period.” The slip-cased set is available now. Read more
The Pantheon, one of the last major landmarks in Rome with free entry, will soon begin to charge admission.
The Palazzo Colonna is a luxurious house museum, noble residence, and oasis tucked into one of the busiest areas of central Rome.
Dario Fo, the Italian playwright/actor/painter/political rabble-rouser who won the 1997 Nobel Prize for Literature, passed away today at the age of 90. Read more
The Local.it reports that the town of Caldari di Ortona in Abruzzo has opened the first free wine fountain. Read more