Traditions

The bewitched borghi of Riviera dei Fiori

I brought with me a little sachet of salt, a time-honored remedy to ward off evil spirits, when visiting two Medieval borghi on La Riviera dei Fiori...

The mesmerising spider dance of Galatina

Her foot taps, slowly at first but then more insistently. The beat quickens and her legs begin to twitch. And as the rhythm builds to a frenzied...
"Grandma would be standing in front of the stove, turning cloves of fresh garlic in a pool of sizzling oil, and forever stirring her big pot of gravy"

Preparing Sunday Dinner

The days of the old tradition of everyone in the extended family coming the grandparents’ home for Sunday dinner, every Sunday, might be gone, but...

Speak to me! The amazing world of Italian dialects

The idea itself of dialect may be difficult to grasp for non-Italians. It’s not a language, yet it’s not a variety of one either. It may sound like...

What you See is not What you Get: Italy’s Forgers and Forgeries throughout the Centuries

History and art have a lot of things in common, of course. One of them is certainly the importance, nay, the essentiality of the concept of...

Spring is Greek theater month in Sicily

Every spring, thousands of tourists descend on the picturesque city of Siracusa in the southeast corner of Sicily, drawn to an experience unlike any...
It was around 1600 that the first flavored wines were prepared in Germany, infusing a few herbs and roots predominantly in artemisia (absinthe), called Wermuthwein (in German Wermuth, which means absinthe)

The trend of Vermouth: when the cocktail becomes vintage

The Torino flavored wine returns to the spotlight of cocktails on the bar top with the vintage atmosphere from the beginning of the century, not only...
The contrada of Valdimontone (Valley of the Ram) parade through the streets of Siena in preparation for the Palio April 28, 2013 in Siena, Italy. — Photo by _fla

Siena the Time Machine

If you stand in the middle of Piazza de Campo in Siena early in the morning, you’ll have a strange sensation. Empty and quiet, this perfectly...

“One Day in Naples” with Photographer Flavia Loreto

“Vedi Napoli e poi muori” - "See Naples and die": an Italian saying of unknown origin and authorship perfectly represents what visiting Naples might...

The E. Marinella style: the Neapolitan tie that unifies tailoring and Italian elegance

The “Marinella philosophy” originated in the year 1914, when the thirty-four-year-old Neapolitan Don Eugenio opened a small shop in the Riviera of...

The eternal enchantment of the Eternal City: little known facts about Rome (Part II)

Piazza Navona: how beautiful it is. So beautiful one may even accept to pay an excruciatingly high price for a “granita al limone” and a coffee in...

The pleasure of writing, Italian style: the history of Aurora fountain pens

In a world where the younger generations are less and less acquainted with pen and paper, and more and more in love with keyboards, talking about the...
Naples and its surrounding territory are a land of contradictions where the thirst for wonder and magic, the unknown and the curious blend with the seductive sun-religion of the pagans. Photo from "One Day in Naples" Exhibit by Flavia Loreto

Rites, magic and mysteries of Naples: the miracle of its millennial charm

Magic, mystery, a thirst for wonders and for the unknown, and a pagan sun-religion. Naples metabolizes three thousand years of culture and...

The Recipe Hunters: Preserving the World’s Culinary Heritage, One Country and One Recipe at a Time

From Italy and Spain to Egypt, Cyprus, and Korea, The Recipe Hunters have been scouring the earth in search of traditional family recipes. Harvesting...

Fernet Branca, the Italian liquor that duped Prohibition

In Italy, Fernet Branca has always been an institution, especially among the older generation: both my grandmothers had a penchant for it and for...

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