La vita italiana

History of Italian Cuisine... in a nutshell

We all love it and eat it, and we may even be somehow knowledgeable about how to prepare some of its most representative dishes, but what do we...
Audrey of Mulberry by Tristan Eaton - The LISA Project NYC. Photo: Rey Rosa Photography

Little Italy Street Art Project: Enlivening the Streets of a Historic Neighborhood, One Mural at a Time

Walking down Mulberry Street, gelato alla nocciola in hand, I couldn’t help but watch the old man wearing a vest and a coppola animatedly talking to...
It is in Fabriano, in the central Italian province of Ancona, that the history of paper in Europe begins, in the late 13th century.  Photo by FranzGustincich

The secular history of Fabriano’s precious paper

The first memories I have of Fabriano paper are of the A5 notebooks we used in elementary school: each page was heavier and thicker than average,...

L’uovo di Pasqua – More than Just an Egg

Just about the time when the long cold days of winter come to an end, and heavy wool coats are hung up and being put away, one can start seeing...
Scoppio del Carro at Easter time. © Cellai Stefano | Dreamstime.com

The Explosion of the cart – A Florentine Easter tradition

The “Scoppio del Carro” or Explosion of the Cart, is one of the most spectacular festivals in Italy. It’s an ancient tradition that is deeply rooted...
For Christians, the Passover Seder became known as the “Last Supper,” the foreshadowing of Christ’s crucifixion, death, and resurrection on Easter Sunday and the beginning of Christianity

The Full Moon and Easter Sunday

For a number of years, I have wondered why Easter Sunday falls at different times of the spring season. Although Easter usually comes in the month of...
Vista panoramica di Trani. Photo by milla74

Southern Italy’s Diverse Heritage (part III)

We made a brief stop at Grassano, one of the two small southern villages where Mussolini exiled Carlo Levi to silence him during the fascist’s...
The best harvest method, holds Mr. Lo Monaco, is the traditional one: hand-picking the olives from the plant. “It allows you to pick the fruit at the desired ripeness, in the best conditions, when it is whole, and without it touching the ground,” he explained. Photo courtesy of Azienda Agricola Lubes Maria

Apulia’s Liquid Gold: Fruity, Bitter and a Touch of Spicy

If you’ve ever visited the Apulian countryside, you’ve walked amongst the giants. The majestic ulivi secolari (centuries-old olive trees) have stood...

Italian … makes Italians

“Fatta l’Italia, bisogna fare gli Italiani,” famously said Massimo D’Azeglio shortly after the unification of Italy. And he was right: in those...

The Italian-American Writers Experience

Whatever I have learned about Italian American literature was on my own; no teacher suggested I read what I have read, and what I have learned has...

Discovering Siena’s underground aqueducts

Perched atop three Tuscan hills, the ancient walled city of Siena is famous for many things. Its medieval streets and architecture have barely...

An Italian family, Ancient Rome style

Family: the essence of our being, the root of our ideals and the place we go back to when everything fails us. It does not really matter if it is...
Many see a ride along the Grand Canal in gondola as the epitome of romance.  Photo by lachris77

Decoding Venice’s iconic gondolas

For centuries they were the only way to travel, criss-crossing the shallow lagoon and navigating the city’s iconic canals. Today, whilst Venice’s...

Best Markets in Italy: The Ballarò street market in Palermo

What comes to mind when you think of Sicily? Breathtaking Mediterranean beaches? The movie The Godfather , perhaps? If it’s not the overabundance of...
Original Dixieland Jazz Band. 1918 promotional postcard showing (from left), drummer Tony Sbarbaro (aka Tony Spargo), trombonist Edwin "Daddy" Edwards, cornetist Dominick James "Nick" LaRocca, clarinetist Larry Shields, and pianist Henry Ragas

First Recording in Jazz History has strong Sicilian roots

On February 26th 1917, clarinetist and bandleader Nick LaRocca (born in New Orleans, Louisiana, from Sicilian parents) passed into the annals of jazz...

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