Category Archives: All Things Italian

Italian Sporting Events: 5 Races You Shouldn’t Miss

The Italian people are known for their passion, manifesting itself in their love for sports. That same love for friendly competition also demonstrates itself in different forms. To see that passion yourself, here are 5 racing events you shouldn’t miss while in Italy: The Italian Grand Prix As you may know, Formula One is the world’s premiere motor racing event in the world, and it has a strong presence in the Italian peninsula. However, Ferrari isn’t the only strong tie that Italy has with motorsports. Beyond the famed manufacturer and their loyal fans is another national racing institution: the Italian Grand Prix, which takes place in September this year at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza. Resembling a rounded triangle, the track is known for its three long straights and fast corners. This means drivers run at full throttle for most of a lap, becoming mere blurs when seen from trackside. With […]

When Pages Come to Life: 5 Popular Works of Literature Set in Italy

As a global center of culture and the arts, it is no surprise that many works of literature have been set in Italy. Since we’ve previously talked about Roman landmarks captured on film, it’s now time to look at Italy as featured in famous works of literature. Rome from Angels and Demons Dan Brown’s popular mystery-thriller, Angels and Demons, is extensively set in the eternal city of Rome. And there’s no reason that it wouldn’t be set there. As one of the oldest cities in the world, Rome’s iconic structures have stood for more than two thousand years.Despite being constantly inhabited, most of the ruins from Ancient Rome have stayed in pristine condition. On top of that, the city is home to around 900 churches, making it an ideal place for a pilgrimage.The most famous of these churches are the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, the Basilica of Saint Paul […]

Picture Perfect: 4 Top Landmarks in Rome Captured on Film

With such a rich architectural heritage, it’s no surprise that Rome remains a favorite setting for various films across the ages. As such, here are the 4 of the most popular ones in the capital: Trevi Fountain With its popularity, it’s not surprising that the Trevi Fountain is a part of two top films in film history. First was in Roman Holiday (1953), which starred Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck; the fountain was the backdrop of several scenes. The second was in Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita (1960), where Marcello Mastroianni followed Anita Eckberg to the Trevi Fountain; both ending up wading in its waters. This scene is regarded as one of the most iconic in world cinema. Other films with scenes shot at this location include Three Coins in the Fountain (1954), Gidget Goes to Rome (1963), and The Lizzie McGuire Movie (2003). The Colosseum While Ridley Scott’s Gladiator […]

3 Important Tips for Appreciating Italian Architecture

For its size, Italy has such a wealth of art that people from all over the world visit it to see these works. And by art, we’re not only referring to paintings and sculptures displayed in its museums. We’re also referring to its stunning architecture that basically has transformed entire cityscapes into outdoor galleries. Just like other forms of art, you can better appreciate Italian architecture by learning more about it. But with the wealth of information out there, where do you start? Here are 3 tips to get you started: Get a basic understanding of Italian architectural styles. From the ancient Roman style of architecture, to the Byzantine, Romanesque, Renaissance, Gothic, Neoclassical and eventually Modern architecture, Italy sure has them all. That’s why it’s helpful to learn more about these specific styles so you can properly identify them when you come across them—and understand the mindset of the architects […]

5 Mistakes Travelers Make in Italy

Everyone has a general idea of what Italy is all about. However, that doesn’t mean that everything you think is Italian is actually authentic or traditional. So before you go on a tour of Italy, read this to learn more about the 5 mistakes you should avoid making on your vacation: Ordering a Frappuccino. This beverage is actually a trademarked drink from Starbucks, and hence, it cannot be found in traditional Italian coffee shops. So if you’re looking for coffee, opt for an old school cappuccino instead—and order it in the morning with a cornetto (not a croissant!), as it’s considered a breakfast drink. Or go for an espresso after a meal. Expecting you can buy tickets at the bus stop for the bus; or for access to tourist attractions at the place itself. Unlike other countries, bus tickets in Italian towns are usually sold at corner stores, newspaper stands, […]

Everything You Need to Know about Traveling to Italy in Spring

Everything You Need to Know about Traveling to Italy in Spring Spending your spring break in Italy is an excellent idea: beyond the mild, variable weather and the ability to experience the country on a shoestring budget (something you definitely can’t do during peak seasons), there are fewer crowds and you can be leisurely in your explorations. Museums in Italy generally have two major exhibitions per year: one that opens in the fall from September until January, and another in the spring that runs from February up to June. This means that most places will have exhibitions in full swing by the time you arrive, and there will be plenty of art to enjoy. Here’s a quick overview of exhibitions that you may be interested in: Florence Capital City 1865-2015: The King’s Gifts and Collections Modern Art Gallery, Florence Open up to April 3, 2016 To commemorate the declaration of […]

7 Masterpieces of Italian Art You Have to See Before You Die

With so many works of art found across Italy, even an art aficionado can get overwhelmed. But even if you’re just an average Joe with a general interest in art, you’ll get to appreciate the wealth of beauty Italian art has to offer. Here are 7 masterpieces that you should not miss when you start your journey across the country: Arch of Constantine (AD 315) The Forum, Rome Erected to commemorate the victory of Constantine I at the Battle of Milvian Bridge, the Arch of Constantine is the last existing triumphal arch in Rome. It is considered the most impressive surviving civic monument from Rome, as the design of many monuments and buildings worldwide are influenced by its style. These include everything from the façade of the Union Station in Washington DC to the Arch of Triumph in Pyongyang. The Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli (c. 1486) Uffizi Gallery, […]

Top Five Wedding Spots in Italy

Top Five Wedding Spots in Italy Many couples dream of having a romantic European wedding and what better place to have one than in Italy. The country is filled with so many ideal wedding venues that it can be difficult to choose where you would want to hold the wedding. Thankfully, we’ve narrowed down the list to five of our favorite wedding spots that you can choose from. Venice Nothing says romance better than a wedding at the famed City of Bridges. There are many picture perfect spots in Venice where you can take magnificent photo ops with your significant other. Taking a gondola ride down the Grand Canal with the Rialto Bridge in the background is a common part of many wedding couple’s agenda. The Palazzo Cavalli is a very popular place to hold civil wedding ceremonies, with its formal and elegant staircase as the ideal location. Venice also […]

Romantic Getaways for Honeymooners in Italy

Romantic Getaways for Honeymooners in Italy Did you know that there are over 100 ways to say “I love you” in Italian? In some parts of Europe, it’s said that a visit to Italy can save even the biggest relationship crises. Previous visitors can all agree that most Italian cities are so breathtaking, it can make even the coldest of hearts and the hardest of heads forget any negative feelings or thoughts. From the romantic canals of Venice to the magnificence of the Italian capital, Rome, there’s something for every couple, be they young or old, adventurous or laidback. Here’s our guide to the most romantic getaways in Italy. Tuscany is the backdrop that’s served as the inspiration for many a famous Italian artist. The city’s natural beauty holds great appeal for those who wish to escape their fast-paced, urban lives for a while. Montepulciano is an excellent choice for couples […]

Popular Medieval Towns in Italy Worth Visiting

Popular Medieval Towns in Italy Worth Visiting Because Italy is the cradle of the mighty Roman Empire and of numerous other civilizations before it, there is no dearth of old towns in the country.  In fact, even after the fall of Rome, many communities across what is today the modern state of Italy simply continued their existence as Medieval dominions. Some places became smaller kingdoms, others turned into independent maritime city-states, while others became vassal towns of more powerful realms. Their often complicated and violent histories notwithstanding, many of these towns and cities still stand today as reminders of their storied past. In this article, we share with you some of our favorite medieval towns and cities in the country. San Gimignano – Located in the province of Siena in the Tuscan region, the small walled medieval town of San Gimignano is affectionately called the “Manhattan of the Middle Ages” […]