Traditions

The coolest summer: why Italian gelato doesn’t feel the heat of a slower economy

The late July heatwave has been making sun, sea and sand lovers happy this year, with temperatures well into the high 80s and a gentle breeze...

Occhio malocchio: Italy and the old tradition of the evil eye

“Ciao, what are you up to?” Flavia says while looking at me and checking if I have any white hair, if my dress is this season’s or a couple of years...

Ape: working hard since 1948

When Ape was born, Vespa was only two years old and had already found a place in the heart of Italians, who had been getting back on their feet after...

The Bells of Agnone: Marinelli’s family handcrafting papal bells since 1339

There is a special sound that speaks of Italy, the same for thousands of years, a sound that becomes one with the country’s landscape, dotted with...

Ciao belli! A little history of Italy’s most popular word

Isn’t Summer the perfect season for trivia? I don’t know you, but when the heat hits I suddenly develop a thirst for curious facts and tasty tidbits...

Rocca Imperiale, the scent of lemons at sea

For a new angle on Italy, ditch the car and try sailing off on the Ionian Sea along the coast off Rocca Imperiale, a bijou-size borgo that just...

Venice’s pali da casada and the history they hide

Every year hundreds of trees are cut down. They’re trimmed, sanded and hand-painted, then pile-driven into the dense mud of the Venetian lagoon. It’s...

Chinotto: a fully Italian vintage soda

Chinotto is a citrus fruit originally from China, exclusively grown on the Ligurian coast, in the Savona area since the end of the 19th century...

Biscotti or Cantucci di Prato?

The difference is tiny, yet it cannot be overlooked… “A sliced cookie, made with fine flour, sugar and egg whites:” this is the definition given by...

The crunch from Turin Napoleon was crazy about!

We all know it: in Italy, we love bread! These very crunchy “bread sticks” were invented in Turin in 1679, by the Savoias’ personal baker, who...

Palla al centro: a history of Italy’s love affair with soccer

Usually, in Italy, you’d sense electricity in the air before the soccer World Cup begins: the country’s passion for calcio is well known, and when it...

Nola’s towering festival of lilies

For a little town just off the A16 autostrada, east of Naples, Nola has some big claims to fame. Spartacus once conquered it, Hadrian tried and the...

Finding art and hospitality in Tuscany's ancient Spedali

Even though present-day hospitals all around the world are basically centers providing medical assistance and rehabilitation of the sick, the...

One dessert, many tales: tiramisù, its debated origins and many recipes

Ask anyone around the world to name a classic Italian dessert and many will answer t iramis ù . We tend to think that t iramis ù has been around for...
Pasta frittata is considered a stroke of Neapolitan genius

The “frittat’e maccarun,” Naples’ own pasta frittata

Around the first half of the 19th century , during the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies , Lent days were called giorni di scammaro and people had to eat...