Holy Week Calendar

Palm Sunday – April 1 – marks the beginning of Settimana Santa, or Holy Week, in Rome. Here’s a brief schedule for attending services over which Pope Benedict will preside. More info is available on the Vatican website. Sunday, April 1…

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The Making O’ the Green

On March 17, people the world over will turn their thoughts to all things green. But in Genoa, Liguria, they won’t be thinking about green beer, rather pesto, the home-grown pasta topping made from heaps of basil, olive oil, parmigiana…

Bologna’s Old Cutlery Shop

  In a recent NY Times Foraging column, Melissa Clark profiles Antica Aguzzeria del Cavallo, a cutlery shop that dates back to 1783. Clark notes, “If it cuts, rips, tears, nicks, grates, slices, shaves or pricks and is legal to…

Dining Near the Forum

I recently received an e-mail from an Unofficial Guide reader asking about the best places to dine near the Roman Forum. The Forum “complex,” which includes the Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, Colosseum, and Trajan’s Market (and, to a lesser extent,…

Getting Into the Vatican Museums

It’s getting ever more difficult to get into the Vatican Museums (Musei Vaticani), home to some of the world’s most precious and recognizable Western art including Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel. The Vatican recently raised prices to €13 (ca. $17) for a…

Jazz in January

Winter means the music season for most of Italy. Opera productions and church-sponsored chamber music events are typical fare from Liguria to Lecce, but you’ll also find jazz and blues in the mix. Umbria, which has been home to Umbria Jazz and…

Regata della Befana, Venice

Today, day of the Epiphany, is the day that Italian children celebrate the coming of the Befana, a kindly witch that delivers treats or tricks (much like Santa). While the day is special throughout Italy, Venice commemorates the last day of…