I Santi e I Morti: Italy’s All Saints and All Souls Days

Twenty years ago, very few Italians had heard of Halloween; today this holiday is widely known and celebrated (more commonly with costume parties than with trick-or-treating) across Italy, as shop windows are festooned with spooky decorations and restaurants and clubs offer themed dinners and events in the weeks leading up to the 31st. Read More...

Harvesting the Olives in Italy

Just a few weeks after the last grapes are harvested for the annual vendemmia, the countryside in central and southern Italy is a-buzz again the sounds of the olive harvest.

From October through December, olive groves from Liguria to the southern-most tip of the peninsula are carpeted with netting to catch the precious fruit as it is either hand-picked or, in the southern regions, falls naturally to the ground. Read More...

Autumn Treasures: Alba’s White Truffle Festival

Of all the wonderful seasonal food one can savor in Italy in autumn, perhaps the most sought after (and certainly the most luxurious) is that homely yet princely tuber, the truffle. Found across central and northern Italy, its penetrating, earthy (its flavor suggests loamy woods and wild mushrooms and crisp autumn days and burning leaves all rolled into one) aroma graces a number of fall dishes from Le Marche to Piedmont, regions where tartufai kitted out with a bisaccia (a traditional leather truffle bag) comb the woods come September hoping to uncover nature’s buried treasure. Read More...

Italy’s Top Ten

A few months ago, CNN published an eclectic list of “10 Things Italy Does Better Than Anywhere Else” which was in part spot-on (Flattery, absolutely.) and in part perplexing (River cruising? Really?). It did, however, inspire us to think about what we hold Italians to be particularly adept at and jot down our own list. Agree or disagree? Have your own Top Tens? Let us know, and we can compile a “Top Ten, Part Two”--crowd-sourced with your suggestions! Read More...

Wifi Access in Italy: How to Get Online

Italy is known for many things: its history, culture, cuisine, and general joie de vivre attract travelers from across the globe, making the country one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Unfortunately, Italy is also famous (or, more accurately, infamous) for its rather impenetrable bureaucracy, tangled laws, and dated infrastructure, making it one of the least “user-friendly” countries in Europe. Read More...

Turin’s Historic Lingotto Automobile Factory

Travelers flock to Italy to see this country’s excellent Etruscan and Roman archaeological sites—many dating from over two thousand years ago—but few consider visiting the fascinating and elegant industrial archaeology left over from Italy’s economic boom in the early 20th century.

The best example is the Lingotto building in Turin. Read More...

48 Hours: Venezia (Venice)

There is good news and bad news about visiting Venice.

The good news is that the breathtaking historic center—more an open air museum than a city—is quite compact and so easily navigable by foot (or boat) that two days of exploring are enough to sample much of La Serenissima’s elegance and romance. The bad news is that this same compact center means that the crowds of visitors drawn to this unique city are concentrated in a relatively small area and hard to avoid. Follow Maria’s advice and “just put blinders on and enjoy the sights”; you will soon be so absorbed in the stunning architecture, iconic gondolas, and fascinating everyday logistics of life in a city of canals that the tourists will fade into the background. Read More...