Traditions

Word of the Day: Confetti

Confetti , what a delicious word. The Italian confetti , that is. Confetto comes from the Latin for preparing (conficere) especially when talking...

Get healthy with Nonna: traditional Italian remedies for everyday’s ailments

When your grandparents bring you up, getting cured with peculiar medical remedies is as natural as getting double portions on your dinner plate...

Word of the day: Strozzapreti

Also known as strangolapreti, strozzapreti are not as dangerous as their name may hint at. Far from being an anti-clerical instrument of torture (...

Word of the Day: Mezzogiorno

Le campane di mezzogiorno , the bells chiming at midday, in my village have a special sound. Now I know it is because lunch time isn’t rung in by our...

Viva la 500! The iconic car makes history at MoMa

The iconic FIAT 500, symbol of Italy’s post war economic renaissance, became part of MoMA’s permanent collection last year, but 2019 brings even more...

Volterra and alabaster: More than 3,000 years of art in stone

The beautiful walled city of Volterra, an ancient Etruscan town some 45 miles southwest of Florence, is famous for its well-preserved medieval...

Italian inventions: the utilitarian table fork, once a “scandalous” innovation

In most western households, forks are a basic part of a table setting — unless you’re all eating is soup. The relationship Italians have with the...

It wasn’t always the Romans: Italians before Romulus and Remus

Rome, caput mundi and glorious mother of western civilization, wasn’t the first power to rule over the peninsula. Naturally enough, a lot happened...

Word of the Day: Tombola

Every Italian received a Tombola set as a Christmas present at some stage of their childhood. Mine, however, was a bit of a historical relic, as I...

Knocking on Italy’s door: Spotlight on Basilicata’s local identity

A beautiful article appeared a while back on the renowned pages of the New York Times. It was an incredibly entertaining and informative account of...

The tradition of Quinto Quarto cuisine: Trippa alla Romana

The term quinto quarto, “the fifth quarter,” refers to a type of cuisine born from poor, peasant kitchens, and the term itself originates from Rome...

Botteghiamo, Rome and the soul of Italian heritage

Today, I feel like to write about Rome and Italian heritage, but for once - our regular readers may be aware of my penchant for classical history - I...

Le Marche, Ascoli and the magic of Olives all’Ascolana

As big as a Robin’s egg, mildly tart with a hint of sweetness, and just-perfect chewy only begins to describe an Ascolana olive. Biting into one is a...

La Marzocco: the coffee machine behind Italy’s best caffé

It takes a lot of things to prepare a good cup of coffee: obviously, a good coffee blend and a good machine, to say the least. There’s a brand that...

The last lighthouse keeper at Punta Carena

The lighthouse, a mysterious and poetic place, cherished by artists and writers: Virginia Woolf set one of her most popular novels, To the Lighthouse...