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Il panettone, traditional Christmas cake


December 27th, 2015

Historic notes on the panettone: Il panettone, traditional Christmas cake, is doubtlessly one of the most famous Italian sweet for celebrating the Christmas holidays. Tradition says to present it to friends and family and eat it all together during those long festivity meals. The panettone was born in Lombardia, in Milan, and its basic ingredients... View Article

Traditional Abruzzese costume


November 13th, 2015

Traditional Abruzzese costume: wide and colorful Handkierchief in silk, cotton or wool with fringes. Handmade white long shirt in linen. Wide neckline decorated with crochet or with tombolo. Long and wide sleeves. Typical garment of the traditional abruzzese costume is a red-purple colored, rectangular rag that used to be winded up tightly to the body,... View Article

Musical instruments from Abruzzo


October 30th, 2015

“ddu ‘bbotte” from Teramo Among the musical instruments from Abruzzo I would like to mention the organetto (squeeze box) called “ddu ‘bbotte” in the local dialect. It is an instrument that goes with chants and dances during local festivals in the pretty abruzzese villages. The fun comes from the dialect term DDU BBOTTE incessant movement that the player makes opening and closing the bellows. In Abruzzo and Molise, especially in hilly... View Article

Travelling in Umbria


October 11th, 2015

We wake up the next day without knowing what was waiting for us.. best things always come unforeseen. While strolling around in Spoleto, after visiting the teatro romano and the interesting Casa Romana, we get to the Basilica di San Salvatore (that we discover was a temple previously) where we are captured by its strong,... View Article

Lunch at my nonni’s


October 4th, 2015

Back from the Amalfi coast we are ready to relax with my family in Abruzzo and what’s best than having a lunch at my nonni’s? Everyone needs a tranquil day to lay back, recharge and spend some time with the loved ones. After a lazy morning my husband and I stop by at my nonni’s... View Article

Amalfi coast fourth parte


October 2nd, 2015

Arrivederci Amalfi! You have been one of the most amazing place I’ve ever been in my life, without a doubt. Early in the morning we get our car from the garage in the centre of Amalfi and drive outside the town on the coastal road that unwinds right on the cliff revealing a new view... View Article

Amalfi coast first parte


September 18th, 2015

This year I really wanted to have a holiday within the holiday. My husband and I feel blessed when we can go and visit our families in our home Country so every time we go we end up strolling around our home towns. This time I decided to change the gear and take our families... View Article

The straw hats of Signa


August 7th, 2015

The straw hats of Signa, history: In signa in 1714 Domenica Michelacci known as Bolognino, began to cultivate “grano marzuolo” a variety of wheat with small ears and tiny grains in order to have straw for weaving. He sowed it densily so that it would grow longer by seeking out the light in shallow furrows... View Article

Ascoli Piceno lace


July 24th, 2015

Ascoli Piceno lace, history: Textile weaving with vegetable fibres and wool has been an important activity for the Ascoli Piceno area for centuries. Almost all rural homes had at least one loom around which women would engage in spinning, warping, weaving, tailoring and embroidery. Complete bridal trousseaux were made at home as well as dresses,... View Article

Coral from Trapani


July 16th, 2015

Coral from Trapani, a brief history: In ancient times coral finds its popularity as an amulet, as evidenced especially by the classic “cornetto”, Italian for “little horn”, an amulet worn to protect against the evil eye. It was believed also to have beneficial effects on female fertility and to protect children from harm. But it is as prestigious ornament that coral finds its affirmation. The processing... View Article

Ceramics in Messina


July 9th, 2015

Ceramics in Messina, a brief history: Activities related to ceramics have taken place in Messina since the Arabic period. For several centuries the production of ceramics was limited to objects for domestic use such as dishes and containers. The village where the most authentic expression of creativity came from was Santo Stefano di Camastra in... View Article

Bread stamps


July 2nd, 2015

The bread stamps are one of the historical expressions of pastoral art in the Southern Italy, in particular in the area of Matera where until the first half of the twentieth century people marked the bread before baking it in the communal ovens, so they could be recognised by the owner. Made in hand carved... View Article

The Sicilian puppet theatre


June 25th, 2015

The Sicilian puppet theatre known as the Opera dei Pupi emerged in Sicily at the beginning of the nineteenth century and enjoyed great success among the island’s working classes. The puppeteers told stories based on medieval chivalric literature and other sources, such as Italian poems of the Renaissance, the lives of saints and tales of... View Article

Ceramics of Grottaglie, Puglia


June 18th, 2015

Ceramics of Grottaglie, Puglia. A brief history: Grottaglie is in the south of Puglia, just in the middle of the Salento area, one of the most beautiful Italian regions: a landscape of red soiled farmland, ancient white houses, huge olive trees and, everywhere, the blue, clear water of the Mediterranean sea. The abundance of red... View Article

Fabulous maiolicas


June 9th, 2015

An absolute gem and one of my favourite regular stops in Abruzzo: the medieval town of Castelli and its fabulous maiolicas. Castelli is a comune in the province of Teramo, Abruzzo, included in the Gran Sasso e Monti della Laga National Park. The medieval hill town lies beneath Mount Camicia on the eastern side of the Gran Sasso Massif. Castelli is best... View Article

Fabriano: the excellence in paper


May 22nd, 2015

Looking at these Fabriano drawing books immediately puts a smile on my face. These are the days of my secondary school. It is late in the evening and the last thing I do before going to the bed is “preparare la cartella” (prepare the schoolbag). I notice that I have graphic arts the following day... View Article

Atelier Carria


April 17th, 2015

Atelier Carria, the name and signature. Maria, a friend and a very talented artisan. Our paths crossed last year when we had a chance to get to know each other in a deeper way in preparation of my wedding receptions in Italy. She is the mind and hands behind the little colorful bags of my... View Article

Two brothers and artisans, one passion: interior design


April 14th, 2015

My dear friends Marco and Alberto, two brothers living and working in Padua and owners of Almar (www.almaritalia.it), interviewed on their lifetime passion as artisans and entrepreneurs in interior design. “We love what we do and we dedicate to our job all our time (including our free time). We started learning about interior design at... View Article

Master tailors


March 25th, 2015

Master tailors: nonno and nonna “I grew up with a needle in my hands, I could do needlepoint and jackets since a very young age. I remember when I was ten I would come to Pescara to take some fabrics with me, I would then go home and embroider them. With the money from the... View Article

History of a Sicilian icon: the carretto


March 19th, 2015

History of a Sicilian icon: the carretto The Sicilian cart (or carretto siciliano in Italian and carrettu sicilianu in Sicilian) is an ornate, colorful style of horse or donkey-drawn cart native to the island of Sicily, in Italy. The cart has always been the symbol of Sicily and its traditions. The Sicilian cart, just like... View Article

Ceramics of Caltagirone, Sicily


March 12th, 2015

The history of ceramics of Caltagirone, Sicily is doubtlessly millennial. Since human kind has learned how to dominate the four elements, in Caltagirone (Sicily) there have been artisans able to create original colours and shapes. When men starting to live on agriculture they began making big containers and small vases made of a black-grey mixture... View Article

Modern time Italian artisans


March 11th, 2015

Bottega Artistica Italiana was born some years ago from a communal program of two good friends, Paola and Rita, two modern time Italian artisans. These two teachers felt the need of having a personal space and time to relax and share their passion for all handmade things. “Ours is a tiring job but also an... View Article

Pasta made with love


March 4th, 2015

8th of March: International Women’s Day. I am going to make this one the month dedicated to the women in my life publishing posts about them and their lives. I love you all. In my life I have been lucky enough to meet and love my great grandmother; her name was Amalia. She lived till... View Article

Cucina povera from Tuscany


February 23rd, 2015

Cecina The cecina from Tuscany is typical of the province of Siena, it is entirely made of chickpeas flour, water, salt and olive oil. And pepper to serve. One of the most representative recipe of the Italian cucina povera. The cecina is all about simplicity, genuineness and primitive flavor. The flavor that conquers my mum’s... View Article

Handmade traditional jewel: la Presentosa


February 4th, 2015

In 1894 Italian poet Gabriele D’Annunzio writes a brief description of the handmade traditional jewel: la Presentosa in his book “Il trionfo della morte” (The triumph of the death): “Portava agli orecchi due grevi cerchi d’oro e sul petto la presentosa: una grande stella di filigrana con in mezzo due cuori.” (“She was wearing two... View Article

Magical Venice: Italian holiday part seven


January 30th, 2015

Ready for one last trip out of Padua, in the morning of the seventh of January my husband, parents-in-law, Australian friends and I caught a train for a short 30 minute journey to magical Venice. I was feeling very touched and unsteady as I usually feel when traveling to Venice. The idea of visiting this... View Article

Christmas markets: vacanza italiana part six


January 26th, 2015

The stops: Merano, Innsbruck, Bressanone, Ortisei, Bolzano From the 4th to the 6th of this month we were excited to go and explore the Christmas markets. Matteo and Roberta (my brother-in-law and his girlfriend) unexpectedly booked a place near Ortisei for 2 nights as their gift wedding for us, so sweet! And very much appreciated... View Article

Amulet from Naples


January 2nd, 2015

On my wedding day my daddy brought a typical amulet from Naples, a cornetto that he presented to me the day before the ceremony. It must have been a gift from my mum whose origins are Neapolitan. My mum told me to start wearing it immediately and to believe it would bring me and my... View Article

Christmas luncheon with my Italian families


December 22nd, 2014

Christmas luncheon with my Italian families. In every dish there is the memory of nonne (grandmothers), mums or aunties that create little masterpieces and that at least once in a lifetime made us (as young Italian children) taste a dish with that homemade, special, authentic power. Every small village in Abruzzo has its own secret recipes... View Article

Typical Neapolitan Presepe


December 19th, 2014

The typical Neapolitan Presepe, along with the pipers, the tombolata and the typical dinner menu of Christmas’ Eve, is one of the most intense symbols of the Christmas tradition in Naples. The word “Presepe” comes from the latin praesepe that means what stands before the hedge, that is the “manger”. At the beginning, just like... View Article

Traditional Christmas dishes from North to South Italy


December 15th, 2014

Traditional Christmas dishes from North to South Italy, they vary from region to region, sometimes even from town to town. In some regions (especially in South Italy) it is common to celebrate Christmas’ Eve with an abundant dinner based on fish, in some other regions the celebration takes place on Christmas day and families get... View Article

“Gnocco fritto” a recipe from Romagna


November 24th, 2014

This is Andrea from Romagna region talking about a culinary specialty and a small gem, the village of Bertinoro. “I love “gnocco fritto” (a fried dumpling). It has the same shape of a typical piadina from Emilia-Romagna but the dough is fried. I love enjoying my “gnocco fritto” in a small village on the gentle... View Article

Autumn in Trentino


November 22nd, 2014

Autumn in Trentino: a weekend in September My friend from Trentino Noemi answers my question “What is your favourite country festival of your region?” My favourite country festival (sagra) is “Autumn in Trentino”, a weekend that celebrates good food and wine from the region and happens every year around the 20th of September and it... View Article

Traditional Italian sugar almonds for celebrations


November 2nd, 2014

I got married in Mauritius in October this year and at dinner on the wedding day my dad proudly showed up with a confection of Pelino confetti (sugar almonds), the well known candies from Abruzzo, the region where my family and I come from. I love him for taking care of me, always reminding me... View Article