Category Archives: All Things Italian

Natale di Roma – When Ancient Rome Comes Back to the Future

Natale di Roma Everyone knows that Rome was once the center of the ancient world. In fact, movies like Gladiator and TV series like Rome teleport us back in time when the Colosseum was alive with the roar of crowds and the streets are busy with the footfalls of be-sandaled feet and the shifting of togas. Ancient Rome has capture our imagination and our minds keep coming back to its glorious heydays. What if there was a way to go back there and all it would cost you is a plane ticket? Every April 21st, modern Romans and historical interest groups all over Europe converge in the Eternal City in order to give us a taste of its old glory through the festivities of Natale di Roma or Rome’s birthday. The Backstory Part of the celebration always involves the re-enactment of the myth of how the city’s founders came to be and […]

Spring Fashion in Italy: What to Wear for the Season

Spring Fashion in Italy Traveling during Italy’s shoulder season has its advantages: there are fewer people around, and the prices are generally lower for airfare, hotels, even food and wine. The weather’s not bad, either, but it can be a little tough to pack for. Shoulder season is defined as the period of transition between one extreme of weather to another, so people who choose to visit the country at these times can be subject to the unpredictability of Mother Nature. Spring in Italy can be very unpredictable. The temperatures can go from chilly to warm all in the span of a single day, and can even rise up to hot depending on the city you are visiting. It’s best to do as the Italians themselves do in this case: layer. Wearing separates that can be mixed and matched into one cohesive look but also work by themselves when you […]

5 Reasons Why We Love Visiting Italy in Spring

5 Reasons Why We Love Visiting Italy in Spring With the changing of seasons upon us, the coming spring season is a much appreciated time for tourists and locals alike. In fact, there are many reasons that make spring an ideal time to visit Italy. While summer certainly has its fair share of festivities, the post-winter months are also something that can be appreciated for those looking to enjoy an authentic Italian vacation. We’ve compiled the top five reasons why spring is the best time for your to visit Italy. Great Weather If you’re sick and tired of the cold weather, then spring should be a much needed reprieve from the winter season. While it is still common to see spring showers during the months of March and April, the weather can still be comfortably warm during these times. Temperatures ranging from 50 and 60 F are normally felt in […]

Taking It Easy with Italy’s Slow Movement

Looking into Italy’s Slow Movement   Slow food is an international movement that was founded by a self-proclaimed gourmet named Carlo Petrini in 1986. It is promoted as a substitute to the concept of “fast food” and aims to preserve regional, traditional cuisine made from sustainable ingredients native to the local ecosystem procured through the “slower” way as opposed to something that is obtained from more modern, efficient methods. It is the first established part of the broader Slow Movement. The movement itself has expanded globally to over 100,000 members in 150 countries. The movement began in Italy as a form of resistance to the opening of a McDonald’s near the Spanish Steps in Rome. Petrini and his friends saw the opening of a branch of the famed fast-food chain as threatening to the vast culinary heritage of the country, which could fall prey to rapid globalization that usually comes […]

Interesting Facts about Italy You Might Not Know

7 Interesting Facts about Italy You Might Not Know Italy is a fascinating country, home to some of the world’s best in architecture, food, and people. It is a fantastic European destination with a city that will suit every kind of traveler. Despite its fame, there are still a few aspects to this charming nation as yet unknown to the general population. Here are some stunning facts about Italy that you might not know: 1. Italy has the most World Heritage Sites as recognized by UNESCO. The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization bestows this honor on places that are of significant cultural or natural heritage and importance. Among these sites are the 18th-century Royal Palace at Caserta, the archaeological areas of Pompei, Herculaneum and Torre Annunziata in Naples, Assisi, the Basilica of San Francesco, the entire city of Verona, and the Costiera Amalfitana, also known as the Amalfi Coast. […]

Buon Anno! Italian New Year Customs and Traditions

Italian New Year Customs We’ve talked about Italian Christmas traditions, and now with 2015 and a new year just a mere few days away, today we’ll be tackling Italian New Year customs! As with almost everywhere else in the world, New Year’s Eve is a major holiday in Italy, and is a time when families get together to welcome the new year. Unlike a lot of other countries, however, Italians refer to the occasion by its liturgical name, which is La Festa di San Silvestro, or the Feast of St. Sylvester. For those who may not be familiar with him, St. Sylvester was a pope who lived in the fourth century, and is credited in stories and legend as the man who was able to convert Emperor Constantine to Christianity after curing him of leprosy. It was also under his papacy that many of Rome’s great churches were built, including […]

Buon Natale! The Typical Italian Christmas Celebration

Typical Italian Christmas Celebration Holidays in Italy can be quite an experience, and many visitors to the country look forward to having a taste of the Italian Christmas season. Unfortunately, there are those who think that in Italy, it isn’t “Christmas-y enough” and they are left with the impression that Italians are less enthusiastic about the holiday compared to their American counterparts. It is possible that this idea is brought about by a perceived lack of the bright lights and décor that we normally associate Christmas festivities with. This is an inaccurate assessment, however, because the Italians DO love this holiday a lot, and in fact even spend almost an entire month celebrating it! You heard that right. Unlike most countries where Christmas ends on December 25, for the Italians, the celebrations begin on December 8, on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, when the decorations in the streets and […]

Mercatino di Natale: Christmas Markets in Italy

Christmas Markets in Italy Among the many things to look forward to this Christmas holiday season in Italy would be the Mercatino di Natale, or in English, the Christmas Markets! Besides being a great opportunity to shop for presents, souvenirs, and knick-knacks for loved ones and friends, the arrival of the Christmas markets in Italy also adds to the truly festive air, as the merchandise stalls are often accompanied by food stalls that sell traditional, seasonal treats like warm drinks and roasted chestnuts. These seasonal markets normally start showing up by December 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, which is also the day that officially marks the beginning of the Christmas festivities in Italy. On this day, lights and decorations start coming up, the holiday shopping season begins, and along with it would be the Christmas markets. They then remain open sometimes up until as late as January 6. […]

Winter Food in Italy: What to Expect

Winter Food in Italy A country that is known for its food and its love for food, Italy has a plethora of food and drink that are meant to match the change in seasons. A good example is how food during the summer is usually composed of light and quick dishes – nothing too heavy is usually served or eaten so as not to get lethargic on hot, humid days, and dishes that require a long time to cook by boiling or baking are generally avoided since it can get unbearably warm in the kitchen. In the winter months, however, especially as you travel further up north, this treatment on food takes a complete about-face. Instead of summer’s light pastas, salads, and sandwiches, it’s time to bring out the meaty, creamy pasta sauces, such as the Bolognese or carbonara, the thick soups and stews, as well as the smoked meats […]

World War 2 Historical Sites in Italy, Part 2: Italian Resistance

World War 2 Historical Sites in Italy This is the conclusion to our two-part series about World War 2 historical sites in Italy. In the previous post, we discussed the route that the Allied Forces took as they made their way from Sicily, up to Rome and northern Italy, and finally to the Gothic Line. Today, we’ll be talking about the other important faction in Italy at the time, which was the Italian Resistance who opposed the occupying German forces and the Italian puppet regime of the Social Republic at the time. As mentioned in the previous post, World War II in Italy is often remembered by referring to the various phases of its development, which are “Il Ventennio”, the 20 years in which the Fascist Party was in power; “La Liberazione,” the arrival of the Allied troops and the liberation of Rome near the end of the war; and […]