Category Archives: All Things Italian

Types of Traditional Venetian Carnival Masks and Costumes

Carnevale is a truly grand celebration, especially in Venice. With lavish decorations and colorful costumes, people fill the event with a vibrant energy that adds to its festivity. One of the most iconic symbols of the Venetian carnival is the mask. Originally used as a status symbol in the 17th century, it has many different meanings and functions during the event, with each type of mask having its own distinct look and symbolism. Bauta One of the more popular traditional masks of the Venetian carnival, the Bauta features a white mask made of fine white cloth. It has a square-ish design that gives it a wide chin and normally lacks a mouth. Its particular shape still allows the wearer to eat or drink without having to remove the mask. It is usually worn with a black tricorn hat, a veil and a mantle that is worn over the shoulders to […]

The Many Flavors of the Carnevale in Italy: Regional Versions of the Celebration

The Many Flavors of the Carnevale in Italy After the Christmas and New Year celebrations, the country of Italy’s next big party during the winter season would be the world-famous Carnevale, or Carnival. It is traditionally held as a final chance to have fun before the more somber Lenten season arrives, and it is also a goodbye to the cold months as people begin looking forward to spring. Though we often associate the Carnevale with just Venice, many cities and towns all over the country actually celebrate this holiday, each with their own unique twists and highlights. However, the biggest and most elaborate parties are at Venice, Viareggio, and Cento, so if you would like to join a bigger crowd, head to these cities. Some of the most popular Carnevale destinations are the following: Venice In the City of Bridges, the festivities tend to begin up to two weeks before […]

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 […]

Tour Italy Now’s Tips on Traveling in Italy On A Budget

Tips on Traveling in Italy On A Budget As we all know, taking a trip to Italy is an adventure that we encourage everyone to try at least once in their lifetimes, as it can be a dream destination for many people. After all, who hasn’t heard of its gorgeous beaches and rustic streets, or perhaps seen photos of tourist lounging happily under that Mediterranean sun? Many people can get intimidated by the idea of hopping on a plane and flying to Italy because they think that they may need to empty their entire savings to be able to afford to go on vacation here! Well, we’re here to tell you that this is not the case. While there ARE many luxury destinations in Italy, it IS actually quite possible to still enjoy this lovely country without breaking the bank. So here are some tips that you might want to […]

Introduction to the City of Lecce, Italy’s Florence of the South

Introduction to the City of Lecce, Italy The city of Lecce is located in Southern Italy and is the main city of the Salentine Peninsula, the land mass which forms the “heel” of the country when viewed on a map. It is one of the most important cities in the region of Apulia, and is the capital of the province which is also called Lecce. It is a location that is steeped in culture and history and is known among many visitors and locals as “The Florence of the South.” This nickname is mostly due to the opulent Baroque monuments and buildings from the 1600s that can be found throughout the city, as well as its traditional affinity with classical Greek culture and art. Learn much more about this lovely Italian destination in our latest video!   Lecce is a city with a rich past that’s just waiting to be […]

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 […]

Top 5 Skiing Locations in Italy

Visit Some of the Best Skiing Locations in Italy With winter just around the corner, people are already breaking out their skiing gear and taking a look at some of their favorite places to hit the slopes. Italy is blessed with an impressive ski range, with the central core of the Dolomites taking the spotlight. In addition, the in-resort costs here are much more affordable compared to other resorts around Europe. And while Italy has many rival skiing destinations, it has a much more laid back atmosphere that many skiers – both casual and advanced – certainly appreciate. In today’s video, we’ll be taking a look at what we consider as five of the best skiing destinations around Italy. Skiing is truly a great way to enjoy the upcoming winter season. Whether you’re in it for the thrilling vertical slopes or just want to find a nice winter getaway with […]