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Category Archives: Italy Fun Facts

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 […]

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 […]

Top 5 Odd Tourist Attractions in Italy

While Italy is home to countless masterpieces of architecture and art, it is also home to a number of odd sights that show the crazy side of this country’s culture. Here are 5 of these odd tourist attractions in Italy: L.O.V.E., Milan Nothing says “F***ing capitalism!” than this sculpture of a giant hand flipping the bird, located right in the heart of the country’s financial district. Located in Piazza d’Affari, in front of the Italian stock exchange headquarters, is the sculpture entitled L.O.V.E. Created by Maurizio Cattelan in 2010, the sculpture got its name from four Italian words: Libertà, Odio, Vendetta, Eternità (Freedom, Hate, Vengeance, Eternity). Seen as a critique of the banking system that brought Italy down to its knees in 2008, the work is also quite political. Instead of the four other fingers folded back, they are actually cut off; if the fingers are complete, it would form […]

A Roman Holiday Tour

Classic films always have this timeless feel that give viewers a sense of wonder and awe when they watch it on the big screen.  To this day, movies made in the 50s and 60s are still regarded as iconic pieces of film history. They take a picture perfect shot of the local scene of where the film was shot, and provide us with a good view of culture during that time. In honor of classic films, today’s video will be looking at some of the famous places around Rome tied to the Roman Holiday movie. Filmed in 1953 entirely on location in Rome, “Roman Holiday” is a beautifully shot romantic comedy starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck. It was Hepburn’s first film role, and won her an Academy Award for Best Actress that year. Additionally, it was nominated for 10 Oscars and won 3 of them. Films like this can […]

Taking It Easy with 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 with a prolonged economic boom. In […]

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. 2. Italy also has more hotel rooms than any […]

Sicily in the Eyes of the Godfather

There are only a handful of films that can rightfully consider themselves to be an enduring classic, and The Godfather is one of them. Directed by Francis Ford Coppola and released in 1972, it starred big name actors such as Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan and Robert Duvall. It had the honor of being the highest grossing picture ever made, for a time, and won three Academy Awards. It remains, unanimously, one of the greatest American movies of all time. In today’s video we’ll be talking about some of the most famous tourist sites around Sicily tied to The Godfather movie series. As iconic movie settings go, Sicily has definitely left its mark on Hollywood’s cinematic landscape. With its rich culture and beautiful backdrops, it’s no wonder why it made the perfect home for The Godfather movies. This presentation is also available as a slide deck on Slideshare!

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 […]

Buon Anno! Italian New Year Customs and Traditions

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 the Basilica di Santa Croce, the Lateran Basilica, and the Old St. Peter’s Basilica, all said to be through the generous help of the grateful Constantine. St. Sylvester’s feast day falls on […]

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