Searching for Italy with Stanley Tucci: Locations for Part 2 of Season 2

Stanley Tucci returns with four more episodes of his show Searching for Italy. Season 2, Part 2 episodes on Calabria, Sardinia, Liguria, and Puglia.


The second-largest island in the Mediterranean (after Sicily), Sardinia is an autonomous region with its own history, culture, and ancient language/dialect. Because of its distance from mainland Italy, Sardinia is considered its own world by both Sardinians and Italians. Sardinia has a Mediterranean climate, with hot, dry summers and mild winters. The best time to … Read more

Murals of Orgosolo, Sardinia

In the heart of Sardinia lies the village of Orgosolo, a sort of Sardinian “Wild West” known for years for its bandits, who would conduct brazen kidnappings and murders. During the first half of the 20th century, Orgosolo’s notorious reputation grew to such a point that it inspired the film Bandits of Orgosolo (1961). While … Read more

Four Great Golf Courses in Italy

Italy may not be the first place one thinks of for a golfing vacation, but it does have some terrific courses set in stunning locations, many of which are near the tourist routes of Rome, Florence, and Milan. So if you’re a golfer interested in hitting the links in Italy, you’re in luck. Golf in … Read more

Carnival in Italy: Floats, Parades, and Other Carnevale Celebrations

Carnival time is when Italians prepare to “take away meat” (carnem levam) by throwing lavish parties and parades featuring masks, floats, and lots of food.

Carnival season usually lasts several weeks, with the biggest celebrations taking place in the days before the beginning of Lent. Fat Tuesday/Mardi Gras, called Martedì Grasso in Italian, is the day when the last handfuls of confetti and the last bonfires burn out in advance of Ash Wednesday. Then it’s time to hunker down and sober up for 40 days and nights of denial during the Holy Lenten Season, the time between Carnival and Easter.

Many travelers think that Carnevale only takes place in Venice. It’s true that Venice may have the best-known carnival in the world. But many other cities in Italy have long carnival traditions and equally lavish pre-Lenten parties.

Let’s have a look at some of Italy’s most famous carnival traditions in Viareggio, Tuscany; Ivrea, Piemonte; Acireale, Sicily; Mamoiada, Sardinia; and Venice.

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Spain Conquers Italy

Large parts of Italy were once united under the Spanish flag, with conquests in Naples and Sicily by the houses of Aragon and Bourbon, among others. Even Milan and Parma were under Spanish rule at one point. I confess that I am not an expert on Spain’s influence on Italy, so you may want to … Read more