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What Italians Eat to Beat the Heat

After decades of Italo-American bastardization of southern Italian cooking, Americans view Italian food as loads of cheese smothered in tomato sauce – even better if it’s fried!  Italian food is so much more than that, but it’s true that Italian food isn’t known for being light. Even the non-fried dishes tend to be either heavy on… Read more »

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Lessons Learned From My Italian Nonna

When I first met nonna she sat poised on an antique chair surrounded by her beautiful and very carefully curated antique furniture. Big and little paintings hung on the wall, each from a different century, each with a different story. The light was dim but just right on the deep green walls. “Sage,” she told me…. Read more »

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Tips for Tourists: How to Do Italy Right

We already have a very succinct, but very precise Manifesto for any and all travelers in Italy (Check it out here, it’s important) but I believe there’s more explanation needed for first-time travelers in Italy (and even repeat offenders!) Everyone wants to seem like a local when they travel,  here are some ways to help:… Read more »

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The Nitty-Gritty Italy Travel Guide: How to Pack, Budget, Talk and Get Around

Everyone has questions before their first trip to Italy. After you finally decide on your itinerary, it’s time to plan for the nitty-gritty of travel. That is, all those seemingly small questions that are oh-so-important for a smooth travel. Read on to find out what to pack, when to come and how to get around.   What should… Read more »

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La Risiera di San Sabba, Italy’s Concentration Camp No One Knows About

When we finally arrived to Trieste we zipped right by the sea-facing Piazza dell’Unità di Italia, the round globed lamp posts, the Austrian architecture and the steep roads of Trieste’s town center. We followed the sea, looking as the charming buildings were slowly replaced with squat post-industrial apartments. They rose up one after the other… Read more »

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A Hedonistic Journey in Time at the Bormio Thermal Baths

Grown men and women shuffled in their standard complimentary flip flops, white flesh hanging out of swimsuits, long hair pinned back with clips and scrunchies. Those who had just arrived seemed timid, unsure of where to go, while those who had already laid under hot jets of water, on bubble beds or across warm sauna wood… Read more »

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Getting to Know a City, Getting to Know Yourself

The first time I saw Monza I knew as much as any other chauffeured tourist knows. That is to say, nothing. I didn’t know how close it was to Milan or how close it was to my future husband’s hometown. I didn’t know that the people were well-off yet surprisingly leftist politically, that the library… Read more »

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Palmanova, Italy’s Star-Shaped Village

One of the biggest charms of Italy is its fantasia. You see it in fantastical villages like Spello, with flowers dripping over every railing, balcony and ancient stone step. In the multi-colored houses along the coast. In the homemade cures for strange maladies and the incredible views found at every corner. So far, I’ve seen… Read more »

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Italy’s Traditional Food For The New Year

I’m not sure how many American families actually indulge in sausage and sauerkraut on New Year’s day. Though it is a tradition in the United States (without a doubt stolen from our many German settlers) most Americans I know turn up their nose at the sour dish. I was raised watching my grandfather and father scarf… Read more »

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Working Under The Table and Why Everyone Does it in Italy

It doesn’t take long to realize that things work … differently… in Italy. Or sometimes, they don’t work at all.  A large part of the Italian workforce gets paid in nero, meaning that all or some of their income is paid in cash, “under the table.” As far as the state knows, they’re not working at all. “Those… Read more »