Florence – Brunelleschi’s Duomo and a Damned Fine Gelato

Yesterday I spent the day in Florence with my mother-in-law and her friend. Our sole purpose was to shop, and nothing else. No museums, no sculptures, no artwork – no culture! Just shopping, shopping, and shopping. I brought my camera along for the ride anyways for a quick stop in the main Piazza. Here’s some…

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Tiramisu alla Nutella

It all started with a surreptitious link and message on Facebook from a colleague. “Oh! Are you going to make this for us, or what??” I had a look at the picture. Tiramisu alla Nutella. Hmmmm, could be interesting. I immediately responded to my colleagues “Of course I’ll make this for you! I don’t have…

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Piazza Venezia, Altare della Patria – Rome

Piazza Venezia, Rome Piazza Venezia, Rome is one of the most majestic places I have ever been to. It commands respect from the moment you catch it in your periphery vision to the moment you brave 4 lanes of rush hour traffic to cross to the center meridian to take a picture with the other…

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It takes a village

The colorful villages of the Cinque Terre are one of my favorite things about living in Italy. As bright and lovely as the people who inhabit them, the closeness and tight knit palazzi always make me dream of living in them one day; of walking down the cobblestone paths too narrow for cars but just wide…

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Rome’s Reservoir Dogs

  Well, I don’t know why I came here tonight, I got the feeling that something ain’t right, I’ve walked darn near all over Rome, And I can’t miss the Col-o-sseo. Forum to the left of me, Pantheon to the right, Here I am, lost in the center with you. Yes, I’m lost in the…

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Spaghetti alla Trabaccolara

Once a dish for the impoverished souls of Viareggio, trabaccolara is a tantalizing mix of everything left over from the fishermen’s nets. Fish too small to sell, unfortunate crustaceans with dull claws, and anything else not fast enough to escape. The name trabaccolara finds it roots all the way back in the 20s and 30s when fishermen from…

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Italian: Using the Formal Tense with Style

I have a love/hate relationship with the Italian language. Italian is full of sounds we don’t have in English, and as if rolling your r’s and pronouncing gl weren’t hard enough you also have to add in the fact that there are more tenses and moods, and adjectives and nouns change endings depending on whether…

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Montemerano: Maremma’s Hidden Jewel

We went on a 3 day trip to Southern Tuscany last week. Southern Tuscany is the home of the chianti, the Super Tuscans, and too many other marvelous and delicious things to name. While the food and drink are enough to warrant several trips per year (which we take), the place itself is magical.  Magical is not…

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Fill your tank, Italian style

An entire article on pumping gas in Italy? You’ve probably never stopped to ask yourself how to pump gas in Italy. In fact, I would bet on it. You probably assume it’s just as easy as pumping gas at home. Swipe bank or credit card. Pump gas. Drive away. Well, it’s nowhere near that easy…

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Superstition, Montemerano, and a Haunted Church

For a country that is predominantly Catholic, Italy sure has a lot of superstitious people. And not only that, but the remedy for all this superstition appears to be touching your balls. Empty hearse passing by? Touch your balls.  Black cat crosses your path? Touch your balls. Don’t put hangers on the bed. And, if…

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