Jun 30, 2015

Italy's most curious sagre

Italy believes strongly in preserving tradition. Monuments and works of art are the most obvious and notable examples. Often overlooked is a more specific and occasionally eccentric manifestation of cultural heritage, the sagre di paese, in essence a town festival that celebrates a specific local food. The Italian word sagra derives from...
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Jun 27, 2015

5 favorite pastry shops in Rome

I don't consider myself a 'sweets' person. If I have to choose between mortadella stuffed in pizza bianca and a slice of cake, I go straight for the pork sandwich without hesitation.

Yet, despite how well I've eaten – and how full I am – I will always consider having dessert at the end of a meal, especially if the company joyful and the savory portions on point.

Rome can count on a wide choice of artisanal pastry shops that consistently provide locals with morsels of sweetness.

Here is my shortlist of 5 favorite pastry shops in Rome: Continue Reading ➔

Jun 26, 2015

Italy Travel Tips Form a Local

Close to 50million tourists annually visit Italy, coming from all over the world. Italians know and profit from this, and are accustomed to travelers coming to their home land to admire la grande bellezza.

Locals are generally polite and patient (unless they're driving some sort of powered vehicle) and they will most likely go out of their way to help stranded stranieri, whether these be visitors or expatriates.

But there are however some things that foreigners should know when headed for the boot-shaped peninsula. We've singled out 15, between travel safety pointers, and general Italy travel common sense.

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Jun 15, 2015

Day trips along the Amalfi Coast

Picture yourself in a vintage fishing boat traveling slowly along the jagged Amalfi Coast. The boat stops at an attractive secret inlet. The engine is turned off, cicadas lazily buzz and small waves lap at the sides of the wooden hull of the boat. See yourself swimming in azure coves and deep blue grottos some of which can only be accessed by boat. Is that the captain singing a ballad? The restaurant on stilts beckons with the aroma of mamma's cooking...
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May 29, 2015

Gargani gourmet deli in Rome

My memories of Gargani go way back, and are – like most impacting childhood recollections – powerfully connected to sensorial stimuli.

Walking in, the smell of cured meats, cheese and fresh pasta was overwhelming. I remember how back then, Gargani seemed like an enormous cathedral. Obviously in the eyes of a child it did appear spacious, when in fact this salumeria (a shop selling culinary delicacies) is a long and narrow shop, surely not a large one. One particularly busy shopping day around Christmas time, when my mom and I were there for last minute grocery grabbing, I remember briefly "getting lost" amidst ladies with furs and pirouetting salespersons, in the bustling space occupied by the customers.

From that day on, hand firmly clasped in my mother's, I negotiated the cue at Gargani with the utmost respect (and a residual smidgen of terror). Continue Reading ➔