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Category Archives: Italy Fun Facts

Italian Pizzerias 101: How to Order a Pizza in Italy

It may sound like a simple enough thing, but it has to be noted that though the wonderful, delicious pizza has become very common outside of Italy, when you’re in the motherland, it does tend to be quite different (kind of like when it comes to coffee, but that’s another story). So for people who plan to tour Italy or have their Italy vacation soon, if you want the authentic stuff, here’s a short primer on how to order a pizza in Italy! Selecting Your Pizzeria Pizzerias are of course quite ubiquitous, but be aware that true Italian ones may still require a bit of seeking out as a lot of them tend to be run by foreigners or immigrants as well. While they can also make tasty pizza, it’s not quite as authentic, and you may end up missing out on a unique food experience. One of the first [...]

Ten Facts About Gelato That You Ought To Know

On a hot summer day in Italy, nothing tastes quite as divine as a cold, sweet scoop of gelato. As one of the Italian food inventions that are loved all over the world, gelato actually has a history as diverse as the colors and flavors that it comes in. Here are just ten facts about gelato that you ought to know! The word “gelato” means “frozen” or “to freeze” in Italian. A gelato vendor is known as a “gelatai”. Gelato is made from fruit, sugar, and milk, and traditionally hails from Northern Italy. When you remove the milk and use water instead, you end up with a sorbetto which is a southern product. Gelato isn’t actually frozen as we normally know it, and compared to normal ice cream which is stored at 0 to 5 degrees Fahrenheit, is actually required to be kept at a slightly warmer temperature of 10-15 [...]

Video: Three Common Mistakes Tourists In Italy Make

As the saying goes, “when in Rome, do as the Romans do.” For the most part, this is true, and locals do appreciate it when visitors try to adapt to the native culture. But how exactly does one know how things are supposed to be done, especially when you don’t speak the language? Don’t worry though, because it’s nothing that a bit of research and preparation can’t fix. Whether it’s for something as simple as ordering a cup of coffee, or something as complicated as making bookings and reservations when you want to go out the next day during your Italy vacation, it’s always good to be informed and, in turn, efficient. This will not only save you from a load of hassle (and/or embarrassment!) in the long run, but it might also save you some precious time which you could be using to enjoy yourself, instead of trying to [...]

Taste of Summer: Quintessential Italian Summer Food

With the arrival of summer in Italy, there are many things that make the change in seasons particularly obvious. The temperature changes from cool to hot, the general pace of life in the country slows down as everybody’s mood shifts to one that is more relaxed, and people look forward to some well-deserved days (or weeks) of rest, recreation, and vacation, of course. In Italy, however, a country that passionately loves its food, this shift is also reflected in every meal and table, and the heavier and warmer winter food is replaced by the considerably lighter summer dishes. One of the main points of difference between winter and summer fare would be the method of preparation, because while winter dishes are more often than not boiled or stewed, summer dishes tend to be quicker and easier to prepare. This can be mostly attributed to the fact that nobody wants to [...]

Turin: The Chocolate Capital of Italy

Mention the word chocolate to anyone, and what easily comes to mind are places like Switzerland and Belgium. The Piedmont region of Italy, however, is likewise a venerable chocolate center of Europe, and nowhere is this more evident than in its capital, Turin, dubbed as the chocolate capital of Italy. For the last 10 years, this city in northern Italy has been hosting the CioccolaTó festival, an annual gala dedicated to all things chocolate which attracts Italy’s most renowned confectionery companies and chocolate artisans. The truth is, there is hardly any better way to spend a vacation in Italy than by enjoying samples of Turin’s delectable sweets while also immersing oneself in its rich heritage in the arts and architecture. But the journey of the chocolate from the Americas to Europe is equally as fascinating. Indeed, it is a bittersweet story. For one thing, the arrival of chocolate to the [...]

10 Most Famous Piazzas in Italy

In a lot of ways, piazzas have always been the heart and soul of Italian cities. Not only are these large public squares usually surrounded by many of the cities’ grand architectural wonders and are a focal point for cultural activities, they are also popular spaces where locals and tourists alike take a breather from all the urban hustle and bustle. Granted, many of these piazzas have been silent witnesses to darker periods in history, but nowadays, they mainly serve as majestic temples to la dolce vita, a place where everyone can play, unwind, spend time with loved ones, shop, dine, be entertained, enjoy coffee, take in the surroundings, or simply contemplate things in the solitude of one’s own thoughts. In this article, we list the 10 most famous piazzas in Italy. Find out what makes each one of them special, and if you haven’t already, maybe someday, you’ll find [...]

Optical Illusions in Rome

The incredible city of Rome is a feast for your eyes, but can you always trust what you are seeing?  Here are some of very favorite optical illusions in Rome. Galleria Spada   In the Piazza Capo di Ferro, near the Piazza Farnese and Campo di Fiori is the Palazzo Spada which houses the private art collection of Bernardino Spada.  The real treasure, however is hidden in a quiet corner of the courtyard. Designed by Francesco Boromini, one of Rome’s most important Baroque architects. Find the amazing example of forced perspective that makes the length of the corridor look much longer than it actually is. Piazza San Pietro – Saint Peters Square The magnificent Basilica di San Pietro dominates the vast Piazza San Pietro. Under the patronage of Pope Alexander VII, who was behind many streets and buildings in Rome during his papacy in the mid 1600’s. He commissioned his good [...]

Italian Inventions

A real Neapolitan pizza is made with San Marzano tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella cooked in a wood burning oven. Have you ever wondered what kinds of everyday things you use did Italians invent? The list of Italian inventions is a long one.  Here are Tour Italy Now’s picks for the top 10 Italian inventions. Wireless Communication.   You are reading this online right?  You can thank Guglielmo Marconi for that. In 1909 he and Karl Ferdinand Braun won the Nobel Prize in Physics for contributions to the development of wireless telegraphy.  In 1902 Marconi successfully sent the first transatlantic transmission from Canada to the United Kingdom.  This revolutionary technology was critical when the luxury ocean liner the Titanic sank and wireless communications were maintained for 72 hours during the rescue operations. Barometer and Thermometer Knowing what the weather will be like and what the temperature is on your Italian vacation [...]

Italy Do’s and Don’ts

Italy Do’s and Don’ts We want your trip to Italy to be relaxing and fun.  Here we will share 10 Italy do’s and don’ts to make sure you are always making a Bella Figura. Do make a good impression.  Bella Figura is a term that translates roughly to making a good impression. This means so much more than just dressing well, though that is important too.  It means saying hello when you enter a store, making sure your arms are covered when visiting a church and even having correct change when paying for your cup of coffee. Don’t order a cappuccino (or a latte) after a meal. Italians advise against drinking a cappuccino after a meal as they feel that milk after eating is a recipe for a stomach ache.  So skip the milk and have an espresso instead. A cafe macchiato, an espresso with a splash of milk is [...]

Limoncello Fun Facts Highlight Italy’s Popular Liqueur

If you’ve never tried limoncello, you should think about ordering a glass of this lemon digestivo the next time you’re eating in an Italian restaurant. It’s a wonderful way to top off a meal. Served chilled, limoncello clears the palette and warms the heart. Here are some of our favorite limoncello fun facts, from a variety of sources. 1. It is one of the most popular liqueurs in Italy. (Other popular liqueurs are sambuca, campari, amaretto.) 2. It is made from lemon zest, that is, the yellow exterior of the skin without the pith. The zest is steeped in grain alcohol until the oil is released. 3. Limoncello is produced primarily in southern Italy, often from the zest Sorrento lemons, which are also known as Femminello St. Teresa lemons. Locales of production include the Sorrentine Peninulsa and the Amalfi coast and the Gulf of Naples and in Procida, Ischia and [...]