Sicily Adds Old World Romance to Honeymoon

Sicily_HOneymoon_Boatride_eolian_island_1_blgIf the main purpose of your ideal honeymoon is to enjoy some peaceful relaxation with your new spouse, Sicily may be your perfect destination. Sicilians are famous for living life at a slower pace compared to the rest of Italy and how can they not when their home is full of picturesque landscapes, stunning beaches, and spectacular food? Sicily’s larger cities such as Palermo and Catania are full of history and offer great opportunities for sightseeing, while smaller seaside towns like Taormina and Cefalù attract visitors from all over the world thanks to their pristine beaches and simple charm. Continue reading “Sicily Adds Old World Romance to Honeymoon”

Consonno: an Abandoned City of Toys

ConsonnoFor most of its history, Consonno, located in the hills of Brianza, in the Lombardy region, was an agricultural town with a population that never surpassed 300 inhabitants. The town has its origins in the Middle Ages, but thanks to its remote location and only one road leading to the town’s entrance, Consonno never truly thrived. Despite this, an eccentric magnate named Count Mario Bagno saw a unique opportunity in this meek village.

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Gluten-Free food in Italy: a new path to Italian flavors

ItalyGluten-Free, a land whose cuisine is known world-wide thanks to gluten-rich staples such as pasta and pizza, is actually quite celiac disease friendly. Nearly one percent of Italians test positive for celiac disease, which is an intolerance for gluten, a protein found in wheat.  This percentage is on par with the global average, so the increase of gluten-free options is not driven by a higher affected population in the nation. Rather it is actually wheat’s pervasiveness in Italian cuisine that has increased public awareness of the disease and has spurred the growth of the gluten-free market in the southern European peninsula.  In fact, currently there are roughly 4,000 restaurants in Italy that offer senza glutine (gluten-free) options, and the number of cities throughout the country without a gluten-free restaurant is sharply decreasing.

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Ponte delle Torri – A bridge between two fortresses

Spoleto_Umbria_Rocca_castle_bridge_of_the_Towers_blgIn a large gorge south of Spoleto, an imposing limestone bridge arises from a sea of lush vegetation. The precise, man-made structure juxtaposes with the wild, organic flora that surrounds it to create a breathtaking panorama unforgettable to those who have the chance to admire it. Spoleto’s Ponte delle Torri (Bridge of Towers) is not only the most iconic symbol of the city, but for centuries it has been an inspiration to countless poets and artists (from famed German writer Johann Goethe to British landscape painter J.M.W. Turner, and many more).

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The Ancient Chocolate of Modica

The south-easterModica Spicy Chocolaten Sicilian city of Modica is a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its stunning Baroque architecture.  Along with seven other towns in the Val di Noto, like Ragusa and Catania, Modica was rebuilt in 1693 following a powerful earthquake that devastated the area. The construction after the earthquake resulted in remarkable city planning and the culmination of Baroque style of art and architecture in Europe.  Though Modica is stunning and filled with beautiful architecture, this city tucked away in the Hyblaean Mountains is also internationally famous for a much sweeter reason: chocolate.

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Perugia’s Fair of the Dead

Perugia fair of deadIn the Italian region of Umbria, fairs are common events and they have a rich history that dates back to medieval times.  The earliest fairs in this area were celebrations of Ognisanti (All Saints Day) at the beginning of November.  These fairs developed into bustling markets that allowed commerce between medieval towns to flourish, and they also provided the opportunity for people to gather provisions for the winter.  In modern times, these markets have greatly expanded, but much of the original spirit remains.

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Matera: European Capital of Culture 2019

Matera in BasilicataThe European Capital of Culture is a title given to a European city for an interval of one year during which the city will organize cultural events showcasing both the city and its role in Europe. Established in 1985, this distinction aims to promote European unity.  The title is an opportunity for European cities to gain international attention as well as obtain possible economic and social benefits. For the year 2019, an international panel of cultural experts have chosen the proposals of Matera, Italy and Plovdiv, Bulgaria.  Several cities in Italy have been awarded this distinction before (such as Florence, Bologna, and Genoa) but this is the first time a city in southern Italy has been chosen by the panel, and the honor is long overdue.

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An Extraordinary Pilgrimage to the Shroud of Turin

Holly Shroud displayed in TurinThe Shroud of Turin is perhaps one of the most mystical images of all time. It was said to have been the cloth that covered Jesus of Nazareth upon his burial. First noticed in 1898 by a photographer who was shooting pictures of it, it clearly depicts an image of the crucifixion. Due to its delicate nature, it is only displayed publicly a few times during the curse of the century.

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Where Can We Take The Kids In Italy?

Rome Gladiator School for KidsIf you are thinking about a family vacation to Italy, you may worry that your younger children will be bored with the many museums, churches, ancient ruins and culture that you would like to explore throughout this beautiful country. But there are also some interesting and educational sights that your kids will think are just plain fun.

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