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Tag Archives: Italian Food & Wine

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 […]

5 Mistakes Travelers Make in Italy

Visiting Italy is an experience that you don’t want to mess up with mistakes. There are however a lot of misconceptions that tend to bring about these mistakes and while some of these can be rather inconsequential, there are some that can actually make your trip to Italy less than stellar. How do you avoid the pratfalls that can otherwise make the perfect tour of Italy into a bit of a dud? Here are five of them that you can easily avoid: 1. Ordering a Frappuccino Just because it has “ccino” at the end of it, this does not automatically make the drink Italian. This beverage is actually a trademarked drink from Starbucks, and hence, it cannot be found in traditional Italian coffee shops. Save yourself the embarrassment of ordering this frothy cold concoction that is actually very American by erasing it from your vocabulary (for the time you are […]

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 […]

Enoteca 101: An Easy Guide to Ordering Wine in Italy

The term enoteca is commonly used to describe a special type of wine shop that allows visitors to buy or taste wines. These establishments were created as a way to spread the local and regional culture of wine, as well as provide a wide selection of various wines for people to sample. Some of these shops work in conjunction with larger wine producers, who can sell their wares in large quantities to people who have tasted their wine at an enoteca. Wine connoisseurs have benefitted greatly from these establishments by making a variety of wines readily accessible to them. Even novice wine tasters can appreciate going to an enoteca to sample specific wine brands from all across Italy. If you’re worried about getting your order wrong when visiting one of these places, we’ve prepared a few helpful tips to help you with your wine tasting adventures. Wine Basics: Reading the […]

Tips When Getting Coffee at an Italian Bar

According to Italian expatriates and tourists, they have a hard time finding good coffee outside of their home country. Aside from the artisanal approach to roasting the beans and the quality of the Arabica itself, Italians have grown a unique coffee-drinking culture that even Italian cafes cannot transplant anywhere else in the world. Yes, in Italy, you drink coffee the Italian way or it’s the highway. In case you’re wondering how you’ll be able to enjoy a cup of espresso without committing a faux pas, let us enlighten you on the rigors of drinking coffee in Italy: Coffee in a Hurry Just because it’s in Italian, it doesn’t mean that there’s going to be a Venti sized cup for you in the bar. Coffee here is as large as a cup of espresso anywhere else – just right enough for you to finish in two or three quaffs. Loafing, relaxing, […]

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 […]

Buon Natale! The 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 in the home start […]

Winter Food in Italy: What to Expect

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 which are now favored […]

Road to Milan Expo 2015 Part 3: The Expo Grounds

In previous posts, we’ve shared with you various bits of information about the upcoming Expo Milano 2015, from its concept, importance, and history, to practical travel tips. In this final installment on our series of blog posts on the subject, we’re going to talk about another major feature of this international event which is the Expo venue itself. With a total area that spans around one million square meters, the Expo grounds in Milan, Italy will serve as the home to various pavilions set up by 144 participating countries, 20 represented regions or cities, 16 organizations, and four companies (and counting…). It will also be featuring a handful of major areas or facilities such as the open-air theater as well as a manmade lake. I. Cardo, Decumano, and Piazza Italia When exploring the site, the first thing to know about would be the Cardo and Decumano as this will assist […]

Road to Milan Expo 2015 Part 2: Practical Information

In the first part of our series of blog posts regarding the upcoming Milan Expo 2015, we talked about why many people consider it to be such a major event. This is mainly because besides being a platform for international good will as well as a major boost to Italian tourism, it is also an event that aims to discuss and present solutions for important issues such as sustainability and the world’s food supply, as dictated by its theme, Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life (“Nutrire il Pianeta, Energia per la Vita“). As mentioned in the previous post, 2015 will be a year when Italy will be putting its best foot forward as it hosts this international event, and that visitors can look forward to a plethora of events that will be held as part of the six-month-long festivities. Now that you’re better acquainted with the significance and concept of […]

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