dianne hales

Even a brief stroll in Venice can take you under buildings and over water. Photo by anatoliycherkas

Venice on Foot (Venezia a piedi)

Without cars, buses or other vehicles, Venice is a pedestrian paradise—until you get lost. As I discovered on a recent visit, you need more than a...
In Italy, which has not commercialized Valentine’s Day as much as in the United States, couples celebrate with una cenetta romantica (or intima) (a romantic or intimate dinner), flowers, or another token of affection. Photo by Maridav

Valentine’s Day—and Saying “I love you” in Italian

The Roman empire began with a tale of love—or, more accurately, lust—almost three millennia ago. The libidinous god Mars, smitten by the beauty of a...
Carnival of Venice, beautiful masks at St. Mark's Square — Photo by lachris77

The Language of Carnevale

For centuries the pre-Lent festivities of carnevale sumptuously celebrated carne, a word that translates as both "meat' and "flesh," in every sense...
From late November until Christmas Eve back in Piazza Santa Croce in Florence, the typical Christmas market. It is one of the oldest markets of Germany, which boasts 500 years of history. You can find furniture for the Christmas tree and the Nativity— Photo by salvo77_na

The Language and Traditions of Christmas

You can find bigger Christmas trees and more extravagant decorations in the United States, but nothing looks, tastes, feels or sounds like la...
Kathy McCabe, the host of “Dream of Italy” on PBS

Kathy McCabe Dreaming of Italy

Blonde-haired, creator of the Dream of Italy newsletter and PBS travel series, doesn’t look Italian—nor does her name sound Italian. But the first...
Piazza Navona in Rome, Italy.— Photo by aallm

Confessions of a Piazzalina

"What do you miss most about Italy?” I asked my first Italian teacher in San Francisco many years ago. “ La piazza ,” she said so wistfully that I...
Vine-growers (viticoltori)) keep a close eye on their vines (viti) to determine when the grapes are ready for harvest (vendemmiabile) — Photo by giorgio.pulcini

Autumn in Italy – and in Italian

A utumn is my favorite season in Italy – not just for the mild days and starry nights, but also for the centuries of history embedded in the Italian...
Strawberry festival in Nemi

The Italian summer: fairs, folklore, sagre and feste

Several years ago on a magical Saturday night in the Umbrian hilltown of Spello I watched its citizens transform the narrow stone streets into...
The Festa della Repubblica Italiana (Festival of the Italian Republic) is celebrated every June 2 to commemorate the birth of the Italian Republic

Celebrating the 70th Anniversary of the Italian Republic

Years ago I awoke in a hotel in Rome on a sunny morning to the sound of bands playing and troops marching through the city. When I turned on the...
GUBBIO, ITALY: Crowd on Piazza Grande during La Festa Dei Ceri, Gubbio. Historic event celebrated annually from XII th century in the historic city of Gubbio, Umbria— Photo by Malgorzata_Kistryn

May Events Across Italy: Our Top Picks

"Aprile con il fiore, maggio con il colore," Italians say. April with its flower, May with its color. One of my favorite months anywhere, May is a...

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