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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The Charming Hills of Piacenza

Piacenza Hill Country and CastlesWhen most tourists plan their itinerary around Italy, they think about the usual cities, such as Rome, Venice, Milan and Bologna, among so many others. There are smaller destinations along the way that will truly give you an untouched and authentic feeling of what Italian culture and history is all about. Continue reading “The Charming Hills of Piacenza”

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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Love Gelato? Learn To Be A Gelatiere!

Bologna Gelato UniversityMany people travel to Italy to learn how to cook classic Italian recipes. But have you thought about dessert? If you have ever enjoyed gelato, you may wonder how it is made, what the difference is from ice cream and, possibly, how you could start your own business. Continue reading “Love Gelato? Learn To Be A Gelatiere!”

Flower Festival of Genzano

Relax And Smell The Roses…Plus A Million Other Flowers

Genzano spring festival infiorataIn Italy, everything is about beauty, art and celebration. In the second week of June, they all come together in the “Infiorata”, or Flower Festival, held in Genzano, which is just outside of Rome.

It is a tradition that started in the 1700s, but it pays homage to the Christian celebration of Corpus Christi back in the 13th Century, when townspeople would throw sacrament petals during the procession through the streets.

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The Procession of the Mysteries

An Easter Parade Like No Other

Mistery procession Trapani SicilyEaster is a time to reflect on the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. In the Holy Week before, many customs are followed around the world. But as Good Friday begins, there is nothing so memorable as the “Processione dei Misteri di Trapani” or Procession of the Mysteries in Trapani, Sicily.

The Procession of Mysteries lasts for 24 hours, starting the afternoon of Good Friday in the Baroque Church of Anime Sante del Purgatorio, where there 18 wooden floats that are stored. The tradition started 400 years ago and is the longest religious display in all of Italy.

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Happy Hour In Italian? Aperitivo!

How Do You Say Happy Hour In Italian? Aperitivo!

Milan Aperitivo a city tradition
Milan Aperitivo a city tradition

Milan is known for many things…fashion, finance, industry, museums and universities. But the second largest city in Italy is also the capital of the Aperitivo.

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