Socail icons

google-plus.png    facebook.png        twitter.png 

Taste of Italy

Italy: live it to love it
Italy: live it to love it

 

I lived abroad for fifteen years, and the taste of Italy, I certainly missed. During this time, I have learnt a lot about my country. Yes, because for some mysterious trick of the mind, it is always when you are far from a place or from someone that you truly begin to know them: does that not happen to lovers as well, sometimes?

Anyway: fifteen years away from Italy, fifteen years where I learnt to look at it more objectively. It is hard, because right now, one may think that the cons of being in the country (high taxes, no work, a risible political force) are overwhelmingly superior to the pros, but is it really so? 

 

I do not think so. For me, at least, and for many others, it is not like that.

The taste of Italy, the colors, light and beauty are only some of the reasons why.

 

I took the decision to come back to my own country as naturally as I breathe, aware of the difficulties, but even more aware of those I was to face if I stayed away from it. I missed Italy, its flavors, its taste. I missed my people, I missed the air, the atmosphere, the art, the beauty. Because there is something about Italy, that  is genetic in those born here and that visitors catch like a splendid, outrageously enjoyable disease: this country makes you hers. She charms you with her beauty, conquers you with her behavior, keeps you close with her manners and her food, bewitches you with her passion.

Just like a lover, Italy makes you hers and stays in your mind day and night: if you were born here,  you are lost. You will always come back to her. If you were not, I am afraid you are in the same boat: Italy knows how to make you return, more and more often, to see her. Italy knows how to make you miss her as if nothing else existed in the world.

 

Yet, you know what is funny? Neither you nor I would have it any other way. 

 

Italy, She Charms You with Her Beauty

Surely one of the first things you notice about the country once you land is how beautiful it is: Italy has majestic mountains, romantic hills, a sea where gods were born and all that comes with it. Colorful and sweetly scented, yet also wild and haunting, this is a country whose nature is uncompromizing in its fairness. The uniqueness of Italian landscape is truly in this variety and its harmony.

Think of how amazing it is to stroll by the sea on the Italian riviera, inebriated with the sounds and the taste of the amazing country that Italy is, surrounded by all the glitz and glamour only old-style elegance can achieve. Then turn your shoulders to the sea and look up: here they are, the wild hills of Liguria, ready to become the Maritime Alps right on front of your eyes. They are extraordinary in their wilderness and make such a stark contrast with the  serene, calm and polished beauty of the seaside you are strolling by.

This is Italy: come on in.

Travelling through the country can be hard, because there is so much to see and enjoy, but take it step by step and plan to get acquainted with Italy and her people little by little. It can be hard also because our habits and way of doing things may not match entirely those of people coming to visit, but fear not: keep a smile on your face and we will be happy to explain, help and give you a taste of the real Italy.

 


A taste of Italy: from the sea to the mountains in one single glimpse (view of the Cinque Terre, wikimedia.org)

It is not only the landscape of Italy that charms, it is also her history and her art. If natural beauty was not enough, throughout the centuries, Italy attracted to her shores the good and the bad, the hero and the fiend, the artist and the prince. Land of poets, painters and emperors, history, in this country, has not only made men, but also art: from the Classical architecture of Rome and Agrigento, to the Medieval beauty of Bobbio and Assisi, all through the Florentine Renaissance and the Baroque of Venice, Italy, just as a painter's favorite model and muse, inspired  and maddened artists of all centuries. It is when beauty meets culture, that Italy truly has no rivals. 

 


A taste of Italy: Roma, Saint Peter, the Tiber (wikimedia.org)

 

Italy, She conquers You with her Behavior

Or should I say Italians do it? Truth is that there is a lot to be said about those stereotypical images of Italian people that the tourist industry wants everyone to believe real. We do not sing all the time, we do not live in a time warp set on the 50s, we do work long hours and get really stressed out. In that, we are just citizens of the world as anybody else. Modern life did influence us and our behavior, unfortunately, as it did with everyone. However, it is true that we do deal with this a bit differently and that our priorities may be, underneath it all, a bit different from those of other people. If life became fast, it is true that we know how and when to slow it down: it may be a nice aperitivo after work with workmates, it may be the pausa caffé at 10.30 am, with a nice cornetto and a chat, it may be sitting at the table in the evening and treat ourselves to our favorite dish and wine. Stress is not going to disappear, but hell, it can be dealt with and you know how? Enjoying life and the small pleasures of it. And if there is something Italy teaches you to do, it is just that. 

 

Montacino
Wine tasting is a great way to sample Italy

Times have changed, and no, we do not live in the past. Yet, we have learnt

from our grandparents, who, if you are pretty much my age, lived through two World Wars, that life is more than a career and happiness can come from something as small as a night with mates with good food and wine. Because Lorenzo de' Medici was right when he said Chi vuol esser lieto sia, del doman non v'e' certezza  (roughly, be happy if you wish, for the future is uncertain), and the people of Italy took that piece of advice in stride ever since. Some of this attitude rubs off on to our visitors, too. And if you come back from your trip with at least a bit of that, I think your holiday can be written down as a success.  

 

Italy, She Keeps you Close with Her Food

Because how can we talk about Italy and not even mention the pleasures of food? Whoever visits Italy knows it: food is more than nutrition, food is culture, tradition and pleasure in this country. Italian cuisine is one of the most popular around the world, but it is very hard to find authentic Italian flavors outside of Italy. I must admit that, compared to England and Ireland, where I lived for so long, the US know their game when it comes to Italian food: proper ingredients are easier to find, and the produce is fresher and better. So there, if you really want to cook Italian the way it is, and you live in the States, you will find (almost) all you need easily and down the road! 

 


A taste of Italy: three quintessential Italian cuisine's ingredients, mozzarella, tomatoes and fresh basil
Ph. depositphotos/Kaminska

Food in Italy, however, is more than a recipe, it is synonymous with culture, tradition and love. When we Italians want to show we care, we cook for you. When we want to impress you, we cook for you. If we cook for someone really special, we dig our grandparents' recipes, bound to be, of course, the best in the entire world

. When we are down, we treat ourselves with delicious food. When we need to talk, we do it over dinner and a glass of wine. We could never renounce to the simple happiness, sheer satisfaction and sense of belonging that food gives us. I remember an American friend of mine telling me once that, in the US, going to the movies was a little pleasure every family always made space for. That it did not matter how bad the economic situation was, if the war was raging or whatever else the world decided to throw at you, going to the cinema was the little thing that made it all better, at least for a short while. In Italy, that sense of peace, happiness and security is given by food and by cooking. 

 

It is hard not to love the taste of Italy, for all the reasons described here and a million more. It is also hard not to get angry at certain things that happen in the country, like shrieking nepotism and slow bureaucracy, which sometimes seem to define it just as much as her innumerable gifts. Truth is, though, that just as it happens when we are madly in love, we forget about the glitches quickly after we rest the eye on our beloved. Yes, Italy is

, indeed, like one of those painfully beautiful and charming lovers that literature and cinema has given us: perfect in their imperfections and to whom we always return. To the taste of Italy, one gets addicted easily, indeed. The difference is that for this country coming back is always worth it, no matter what. 

 

 

A stroll in Trastevere

 

 

What do you think ?
Tuesday, January 24th, 2017
history handbags
  Rod Stewart asked what would become of his lover when they stripped her of: '...the handbags and the glad rags that your grandad had to sweat so that you could buy them.' Mrs. Thatcher called hers her 'trusty companion' and the word 'handbagging' was invented to describe her browbeating tactics. Some famous handbags in literature include the bag which contained Jack/ Earnest in Oscar Wilde's play, The Importance of Being Earnest and Anna Karenina's red velvet handbag which she threw
Tuesday, January 24th, 2017
italian designer handbag
Italian Handbag Brands Part I   Italian Bag by Ermanno Scervino, Summer 2015 collection As mentioned in the introduction to Italian designer handbags, there are some Italian brands that began life as creators of bags or other accessories, and others that began as clothing labels which branched out later into designer handbags. In the first three parts of the article on the various Italian brands that carry designer handbags, the brands which started life as bag or accessory makers
Tuesday, July 7th, 2015
Italian Fashion Accessories: Fantasy and Durability   Italian Accessories: Valentino 2009   Italy is known for its big Fashion Houses, for the brands that are conquering the world, one country at a time. Designer shoes and handbags made in Italy are all the rage, they can be seen on any and all kinds of celebrities. And this trend is not new. The Italian accessories brand Gucci first became famous for its Constance bags, with a hobo shape, double strap, and a big H clasp, which was carried
Thursday, February 13th, 2014
Shoes are considered simply a type of garnment, something to wear simply because you need it by those who are not fashion enthusiast. Although some people could regard shoes merely as an unavoidable accessory worn in modern times to walk and protect feet, scarpe in Italy are really important to people in the field of fashion. They represent an additional element to the style and they have their weight in everyday activities. We already know that women, no matter their country of origin, love
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Italian-Made Wallets for Men & Women I went hunting for a wallet recently. I love wallets. I guess it's because they're so close to the money, right? In this article, we'll focus on three men's wallets and three ladies' wallets - all from Italian designers. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. MEN'S WALLETS From Salvatore Ferragamo, we have this fantastic leather wallet. Inside, you'll find six key rings to keep all your keys organized! The wallet has the Ferragamo logo emblazoned on
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Custom Italian Shoes to Suit You Recently we referred to the increasing attraction for Italian custom-made clothes among discerning clients. This attraction extends beyond jackets, suits, shirts and trousers to (would you believe it) shoes! For all of us who are accustomed to thinking of Italian shoes as being a mark of distinction, good taste and quality, it comes as some surprise that there is yet another step upwards on the ladder of selective buying. In a recent
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Contemporary Jewelry from Venice Carnival season is almost over in Venice. The splendor of the palaces along the Grand Canal, the majesty of St. Mark's Square and its gilded basilica, the bustling traffic on the waters of the lagoon are all major players, not just backdrops, which add to the unique flavor of the Venetian carnival. Magnificent costumes are paraded slowly, silently and regally through the streets and squares of Venice, pausing to allow tourists to
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Prada Designer Handbags Prada began as a luggage brand, but emerged into the handbag market with its prima donna, Miuccia Prada, who shot into limelight with her simple, functional yet stylish nylon bags. With the distinctive triangular label, Prada nylon bags became very popular. They retain a healthy demand even today, and have been seen on stars like Kate Winslet.     But over the years, Prada bags have evolved and reached the stratosphere of designer handbags, becoming the “it
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Handheld Fans The Greeks called handheld fans 'scepters of feminine beauty'. These pretty and delicate accessories have always been admired, but they have not always been in fashion. The sight of Kirsten Dunst as the French Queen, Marie Antoinette, holding a rococo fan in the eponymous 2006 film has heightened interest in these objects and led to their revival in fashion recently. Jovovich Hawk have featured fans from their collection at the Los Angeles Fashion Week. Handheld fans have also
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Halle Berry as the face of Versace Bags in 2006 Britney Spears Versace As discussed in Italian Designer Handbags Part I, in the Part IV and Part V of this series we describe the Italian Designer bags that come from fashion houses that started with clothing, but have gone on to make statement handbags. Versace Designer Handbags Versace as a brand has always been known for its ornateness. Gianni Versace had a taste for indulging the senses, often using a lot of gold and metal in his clothing
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Winter Weather Accessories for Ladies When I was a little girl, my mother used to get so angry with me. I hated to go out in the winter with a scarf, gloves or a hat. Especially the winter hat. I didn't want to sacrifice my hair just to remain warm. Oh no. Not me.   Now that I'm older and a mother myself, I realize the importance of winter weather accessories. I will never leave my house on a frozen day without at least a scarf and leather gloves. I won't! Alright, maybe I'm still
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Marilu Fernandez, Coral Designer While traveling through Sicily, I had the honor of meeting the creativity and brains behind Marilu Fernandez, a coral design firm that is taking the European fashion accessories industry by storm. I was introduced to the dynamic mother and son duo in their Palermo showroom for a preview party. She is a woman of elegance and refinement, but devoid of the pretentious air that often succeeds. I was taken around the showroom, where we paused at each piece and
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Fendi Designer Handbags When you talk about Italian handbags, Fendi is one of the first names that springs to mind. Fendi began as a family business specializing in fur and leather goods, and carried on with this expertise, till the advent of Karl Lagerfield, who turned Fendi overnight into a brand sensation. The Fendi Zucca logo became the talk of the fashion world in the late sixties, and the legend of the Fendi bags was born. Fendi bags were stiff and hard before the reign of Lagerfield
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Carnival season is almost over in Venice. The splendor of the palaces along the Grand Canal, the majesty of St. Mark's Square and its gilded basilica, the bustling traffic on the waters of the lagoon are all major players, not just backdrops, which add to the unique flavor of the Venetian carnival. Magnificent costumes are paraded slowly, silently and regally through the streets and squares of Venice, pausing to allow tourists to snap numerous photographs that will help them to bring back to
Friday, June 1st, 2012
The Necessary Accessory A tie is a great finishing piece. It's an accessory that, for lack of a better term, ties a suit together. In a previous article, we've looked at some elegant Italian men's suits. Now that we've done that, we can take a few moments to view some wonderful Italian-made ties. Armani gives us this fantastic gray, silk tie. It's neutral and showcases the Armani logo. I would have to say that this piece is a great accompaniment to just about any color (or kind) of suit.
Friday, June 1st, 2012
The Jeweling Duke: The Story of Fulco di Verdura Ashley Rudd looked gorgeous in them in the movie, DeLovely. Katherine Hepburn wore them in The Philadelphia Story. They were favorites of many other movie stars, such as Greta Garbo and Joan Crawford, and celebrities, such as the Duchess of Windsor, of whom the photographer, Horst, said that, "Verdura alone knew how to make her a Duchess." Often whimsical and playful, but still elegant, Fulco di Verdura's exquisite jewels
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Beautiful Pearls and Italy Pearls and elegance go together. They have an undeniable appeal and celebrities have been seen wearing them recently, celebrities young and old. Not only are the classic pearl necklaces back, we are also seeing the resurgence of pearls as funky accessories. They are being won in various colors to jazz up an outfit, they are being worn in long strings to create a look of bohemian elegance---in short, pearls are back in the mainstream. Whether you are a woman of mature
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Italian Made Women's Watches I remember my first Italian-made watch. I got it for my First Communion. I was in second grade. It was gold. It was elegant. It was so pretty. And I lost it. In the coatroom of the Catholic school I attended. My parents were so upset; but, not as upset as I was. That watch was perfect. It had a thin, bracelet strap with a ring clasp. The time face was black with gold Roman numbers. Ohhhh. How I still miss it!   Okay, that's enough reminiscing
Friday, June 1st, 2012
A new shoe collection from Miuccia Prada's Miu Miu line always unleashes a frenzy of anticipation in the fashion world and the recent reveal of the Miu Miu Spring 2011 Shoe Collection is no different. The line is pure Miu Miu: inventive and quirky, retro-inspired and feminine, with focus on the details.   Spotted: Polka Dot Clogs Fashionistas who were obsessed with Miu Miu's iconic cat-print clogs last season will have a chance to get a revamped version for spring. This time the studded
Friday, June 1st, 2012
History of Makeup and Accessories Shoes Unstable like the mood of time and transitional as vanity, the search for beauty is old as man (and obviously woman). The knowledge of cosmetics and pharmacology in the old Greece and oriental civilizations were so deep to reach unchanged the 17th century. The Romans, even though originally characterized by a certain simplicity of their local costumes, easily got seduced by their care of the body and …"to look good" (lets think about Marco Porcio
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Shoes of Reality Editor Note: This article is not about Italian shoes in particular; but, it is a fun to read article about women's shoes so I decided to add it anyway to my fashion section - An Italian shoes article can be found here. sexy womens Italian shoe wild So, I’m standing before a shoe aisle thinking to myself 'Why?'. Why, I ask you, do women have to scrounge around for shoes that look sexy and alluring, but do not kill their pocket books or toe joints?This is a
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Dynasty of Jewels Torrini Logo, Florence, Italy The Torrini Dynasty has its roots back in the fourteenth century when Jacopus Torrini of Scarperia, Italy began crafting fine suits of armor for the knights of the land. He registered his unique trademark in 1369 in Florence with the Guild of Iron Wrights, Armorers, and Nailmakers. For his mark, he cleverly combined a spur, symbolizing the armor, and a half clover, symbolizing the good luck he wished his business to have.
Friday, June 1st, 2012
  I'm always on the lookout for beautiful things. I have an eye for fashion and for beauty. It's a gift. Yes, I joke a little bit; but, I am completely entranced by jewelry. The song does say Diamonds are a girl's best friend, after all, doesn't it? Italy has a fine tradition of jewelry-making, stemming back thousands of years. In fact, 3,000 years ago ancient Etruscans, the people who lived in what is present-day Tuscany, began working with gold. Their creations were stunningly
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Vincenza Oro: World Premier Jewelry Fair, Vincenza, Italy Each year, over 1600 vendors and over 20,000 buyers travel to Vincenza Italy for the undisputed king of artisan jewelry expositions. VincenzaOro1 is a decidedly international event. Almost half of the visitors, and over three hundred and fifty of the vendors, came from overseas expressly for the show. Because it is held at the beginning of each year, the fair is considered the inaugural jewelry event of the new
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Audrey Hepburn "A pure hand needs no glove to cover it," Nathaniel Hawthorne once said, yet people have been attracted to gloves and mittens since ancient times. The first gloves were developed to fight off the cold and later they were used for gardening and rough work. The ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans all wore gloves. Homer wrote in The Odyssey that Laertes wore gloves while gardening to protect himself from brambles. Often the peasants in these societies wore three-fingered gloves
Friday, June 1st, 2012
A History of Bulgari Brilliant Jewelry "Diamonds are a girl's best friend", Marilyn Monroe once quipped. The many movie stars who have been adorned with beautiful Bulgari jewels would surely agree.   Below is a clip of Bvlgari's beautiful jewelry, from writing tools to the extravagant necklaces:   Italy's greatest jeweler, Bulgari had humble origins. Its founder, Soutirios, came from the tiny Greek village of Kallarrytes in the area of Epirus, near the Albanian border.
Friday, June 1st, 2012
The 10 Sexiest Italian Shoes Some women dream about Brad Pitt. I dream about shoes. Beautiful shoes. Sexy shoes. Gorgeous Italian-made shoes. I love Italian shoes. They are sexy, sophisticated and stunning. Don't take my word for it; check out these pictures and descriptions of some hot and sexy Italian shoes brought to you from all over the web. sexy shoe 1) Just like you need a little black dress, every woman needs a gorgeous pair of black heels. These mules from
Friday, June 1st, 2012
From Actors to Royalty: Damiani Brad Pitt chose Damiani to make his engagement ring for Jennifer Aniston and their wedding rings. Prince Emmanuel of Savoy also requested the company to make the wedding rings for his marriage to French actress Clotilde Courou. Movie stars, including Isabella Rossellini and Milla Jovovitch have proudly worn their jewelry. Beautiful Gwyneth Paltrow is proud to be their new face. The famous jewelry firm is the epitome of Italian style,
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Dolce and Gabbana Designer Handbags Dolce & Gabbana has never shied from over-the top-sexiness, and this shows up in its bags. The brand’s biggest champion is Madonna, and the designer duo have designed time and again for her tours.     Dolce & Gabbana is all about shiny, flashy, in-your-face fashion. Patents, foil finishes, obvious zips, riotous color are all features of bags from this brand. Though they do make serious looking stuff like the Miss New Easy Way or the Dolce
Friday, June 1st, 2012
From Cavemen to the Catwalk Trying on a pair of stiletto Gucci boots, hard on the outside, buttery soft on the inside, can reduce the most sane and poised woman into a gooey mess. There are few experiences in life that can rival the sheer pleasure and excitement women feel when shopping for shoes at Fendi and Prada in Italy. Glancing at the shelves of possibilities, their eyes light up and their hearts flutter like that first time they fell in love. Italian High Heels and Fishnet Stockings
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Italian Jewelry by Arando Arando Necklace Italian jewelry is known all over the world for its astounding ability to find the beautiful in the simple, the aesthetic in the functional. But in our modern times, very few Italian jewelry houses create pieces that are more art than craft. Master Antonio Rando, the founder of Arando, creates timeless jewelry and watches that revolve around universal themes, expressing them according to his own unique vision. Arando: Handcrafted Jewelry and Watches