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Snapshots of Ivrea: What to See, Do and Drink During Carnevale

Snapshots of Ivrea, Italy: Everyday moments during a not-so-everyday celebration. Ivrea, in Piedmont, was essentially founded after a canal was built to supply water to the surrounding rice fields. It was the home of the first Olivetti headquarters, one of the first tech companies in Italy, which supplied jobs for most of the town. Today, it’s a UNESCO World Heritage… Read more »

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The True Romance of Italy

Search for “most romantic places in Italy” and the lists seem endless. There are the perennial favorites: Rome, Venice, Verona, Tuscany bla. bla. bla. Sometimes a smaller, lesser known location will stick out with a beautiful photo and intriguing location. From tip to toe Italy is full of incredibly romantic cities, towns and villages. All of Italy is romantic, because… Read more »

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Italian Pizza: Neapolitan vs Roman

My first experience with Italian pizza was at a touristy joint in Pisa. As my mother, grandmother and I rested our feet after a visit to the Field of Miracles (that’s actually what it’s called) we all three openly gaped at a young girl, maybe 13, as she polished off an entire pizza. AN ENTIRE PIZZA.  We were… Read more »

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A Guide to the Christmas Season in Italy

Few places know how to do Christmastime like Europe. Between feast days and lights, Duomo-sized Christmas trees and pastries galore, there’s enough Christmas cheer to attract a North Pole elf. Or, you know, a traveler who likes pretty things.  Instead of a sea of tourists, you’ll find yourself in a sea of Italians, out to… Read more »

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Explore Italy’s Most Charming Small Towns

The more I travel in Italy, the more I’m convinced that Italy’s biggest charm comes from its smallest towns and villages. Rome is a must-see. Its historical importance alone can bring you there. Venice, the sinking city in the lagoon, has attracted explorers since its foundation. Florence was the birthplace of the Renaissance where artists… Read more »

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A Note on Italian Time

Let’s dedicate some time to … time.  We all generally follow the same societal standards of time: a decade, year, month, week, day. Seasons, minutes, appointments, dates.  And yet how we relate to those standards of time is radically different across cultures.  “On time” in Germany seems to mean at least five minutes early. On… Read more »

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Raising an Italian-American

I have a little Italian baby. Of course she’s Italian-American, but the novelty is the Italian part. Having a baby is an adventure, but raising a baby in another culture brings a whole new set of challenges.  Being pregnant in another country means immersing yourself in another culture’s convictions, both philosophical and physical. I regularly… Read more »

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Italy: North vs South

Let’s talk a little bit about the north-south divide. Most countries have it. The food, culture, languages and economies of the north have nothing to do with those of the south in India, Argentina, Mexico, Italy. In some of these countries, both areas are accepted and prized. More often, however, an undercurrent of competition and entitlement… Read more »

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What to Eat in Liguria

It’s summer and everyone is on the coast. In Milan, that coast is undoubtedly Liguria. Approximately a 2-hour drive from the city, it’s the Milanese weekend destination of choice to escape the sticky heat of the city. The Italian Riviera has a lot to offer a visitor: geriatric towns to discoteca filled cliffside retreats; the submerged Christ… Read more »

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Opera in the Verona Arena

Princess Aida raised her hands in the air, voice sounding out as scores of dancers, soldiers and dancing soldiers framed her, their bright white gowns and hand-held torches blazing in the night. Her voice climbed higher. The music grew louder. The passion was palpable as the sky exploded with flashes of purple light. The ominous heat lightening… Read more »