Tag: italy roundtable

From Foreign Language to Lingua Franca: Italian Immersion Programs in Italy

Torre di Babele (Italian Immersion Language School for Foreigners) in Rome

I have a confession. Despite having lived in Italy for nearly three years and having studied Italian off and on for a number of years, I have a long way to go before I can consider myself fully fluent in the language. There has been one time, however, when I felt really confident about my Italian …

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Five Favorite Flavors From Ferrara and Modena

Flavors of Ferrara and Modena: Fresh tortellini and tortelloni for sale in Mercato Albinelli

To ring in the New Year, my family and I rented a farmhouse for a few days on the outskirts of Ferrara. Thinking back to the trip, the timing wasn’t ideal. Ferrara was freezing and on New Year’s Eve, the fog was so thick on our drive into town to watch the fireworks over Castello …

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The Man, the Myth, the Legend: Saint Valentine of Terni

Basilica di San Valentino (facade)

Not many tourists make it to Terni. But many of those who do come to Umbria’s second largest town come specifically to see the church of Saint Valentine.

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Five Lessons Learned While Living and Traveling in Italy

Roman Forum - Thinking Girl

Reflection is part of the prescription for moving from one year into the next. So while I wanted to write a year-end round-up a month ago, I realized that such an article would not fully capture the joys, sorrows, and idiosyncrasies of being an expat resident and traveler in Italy. Five is an arbitrary number, …

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In Rome, Communing Over Coffee

In the mornings after I’ve sent the kids off to school and tidied up the house I go down and have my morning cappuccino.

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Visions of Veronese Green in Venice

When you are the parent of young kids, you often find unusual things in your pockets. After a while, you get used to sticking your hand in your coat and finding a toy car or an action figure. For the past several months, I’ve been carrying around an unopened tube of Veronese Green* paint. Back …

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Everything is Authentic

Trying to decide if a travel experience is authentic or not is like trying to separate “travelers” from “tourists.” That debate separates those who travel along class and age lines, with travelers proclaiming their experiences better, richer, more true than those of the tourists. There’s even a famous quote by G.K. Chesterton that delineates these …

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Lost in Translation: Ancient Stories in Art

The first time I realized that my obscure knowledge of Rome had really sunk in was in the early to mid-aughts. Friends of mine had returned from a family wedding in the Italian capital. Specifically, the ceremony had been held at San Silvestro in Capite. “That’s where they keep the reliquary of the head of …

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Rome Revisited: What Has and Hasn’t Changed

Rome in one photo

Rome is changing. Rome has changed. You hear those phrases around Rome all the time these days. Crime, corruption, unemployment, immigration, unreliable public transit, trash collection, the euro – Italy is in crisis and the prevailing mood among its citizens is one of resignation and exhaustion. This was most recently expressed cinematically with La Grande …

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The Roman Spring of Tennessee Williams

In the late winter/early spring of 1948, American playwright Tennessee Williams arrived in Rome in need of a change of scenery. Williams, of course, is known for his writing set in the American South, including “A Streetcar Named Desire” (written in 1947) and “Cat On A Hot Tin Roof” (1955), both of which earned him Pulitzer …

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The Seven Hills of Rome: What Are They and What Can You See?

The Seven Hills of Rome mark the traditional boundaries of the city. It was on these seven hills – Aventine, Caelian, Capitoline, Esquiline, Palatine, Quirinal, and Viminal – that the first settlements of Rome began and these seven hills were the ones protected within the Servian Walls. The foundations, gates, and ruins of these 4th …

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Anniversaries in Italian History: Dates Every Curious Traveler to Italy Should Know

Via XX Settembre in Genova

  Walking down a street in Rome or Genova or Trieste, you may notice that the street sign is named after the date XX Settembre (the 20th of September). Likewise, the date IV Novembre, November 4th, pops up as the name of piazze in Ancona (Le Marche), Todi (Umbria), and numerous other cities and villages …

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Milan Invites Visitors to Discover the Art of Nobel Winner Dario Fo

Dario Fo "Earthquake in L'Aquila"

Next month, the Italy Blogging Roundtable will celebrate our first anniversary. Jessica, Alexandra, Gloria, Rebecca, and I have enjoyed tackling a new topic each month, and we’ve especially enjoyed hearing from readers. In fact, we were so pleased with how our last invitation went for bloggers to join us at the Roundtable that we thought …

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Rooted in Italy: The World’s First Botanical Gardens

Orto Botanico di Padova

It has been said (too many times) that all roads lead to Rome. But did you know that you could trace botanical medicine and even the environmental movement to 16th century Italy? It was here in the city of Pisa (1544) then Padua (1545) that the world’s first botanical gardens were set up. This month’s …

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Braving the Elements: A Rare Snowfall in Rome

Piazza San Pietro

Over the past weekend, Rome got pelted with eight inches of snow, the largest single snowfall in the capital since 1986. The rare snowfall prompted the closure of the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, the Palatine Hill, and other tourist attractions.  Many businesses had to close because workers were unable to access public transportation or get …

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Marble Run: Shopping for Traditional Marbled Products in Italy

Murano Glass Shop

If there is one particular word that can be used to define some of Italy’s major handicrafts, it’s marble. Marble, either as a substance or a style, runs through three different artisan crafts that are famous in Italy: some of the world’s finest marble is found in the hills around the province of Massa-Carrara in …

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Give the Gift of Italian Culture

When my colleagues in the Italy Blogging Roundtable and I decided to write on the topic “gifts” for our December post, I knew exactly what I wanted to write about. I knew straight away that I didn’t want to write about Italian gifts you can buy in a store, though there are many I desire …

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An Invitation to Bloggers: A “Gift” From the Italy Blogging Roundtable

Many of you will know that, since May 2011, five of us have been writing a monthly post on a given topic and we call it the Italy Blogging Roundtable. Each month we decide the topic in advance and the only rule is that it has to be connected to Italy; the posts are published …

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Comfort Me With Potatoes: A Tale of Two Tuber Dishes in Italy

Pity the poor American who can only find comfort in the familiar flavors and food textures of home. Pity me for not taking kindly to the coniglio (rabbit) or swooning at the sight of chicken liver crostini or the tripe truck in Florence. It’s not that I don’t have an adventurous palate. I’ve happily chewed …

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Falling For Italy: Three Fun Activities to Put on Your Radar

  This month for the Italy Blogging Roundtable, my colleagues and I decided we would write about “fall.” Not autumn, but fall. So that left me a little bit of room for interpretation. Without doubt, Italy is a wondrous place to be in the fall: leaves are changing, fall fashion is beckoning from store windows and …

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