Back in 2008 I had my first long-term, “non-vacation” stay in Italy. No, I wasn’t in Rome, or Florence, or Venice. For some reason, I wound up in Bologna where I spent 3 months in small apartment on the edge of the historical center. I studied Italian during the day, and at night I explored the bounty of trattorie, enoteche, and ristoranti.
Admittedly, I didn’t really have much guidance and I could have used a friend like Sarah Dowling back then. She takes her passion for regional food culture seriously, and in the process has become an expert in Bologna’s rich offerings.
I used the word “rich” on purpose, because Bolognese cuisine isn’t known for its adherence to any sort of low-fat philosophy. In fact, quite the opposite, hence its nickname, “La Grassa,” the Fat One. [Read More…]
Cher Hale is best described as a relationship counselor between Italophiles and the Italian language. Once they’ve fallen in love with the language and the honeymoon period ends, she helps them stay committed until they’re conversational.
Her website is full of great tips and useful resources for anybody learning the language. She really covers it all, and includes a good measure of travel and culture, as well. (Of course there are links at the bottom of this post to some of her resources and social media profiles.)
In fact, she also has a podcast, which was one of my inspirations for starting my own show. I was fortunate enough to be a guest on her podcast last year, so naturally I wanted to have her on mine as soon as possible. [Read More…]
Well, yes, but it might take a little planning. After all, you wouldn’t necessarily want a gaggle of Japanese tourists staring at you and taking photos of your special moment. Could be awkward if you suddenly became more picture-worthy than the statue of David in the Piazza della Signoria.
Never fear, my friend Georgette Jupe (aka “The Girl in Florence”) has all you Romeos covered. She has positioned herself as the online version of a crash-test dummy, making all the little missteps and battling with the Italian bureaucracy so that you don’t have to. [Read More…]
Although Italy is a foodie paradise, Rome isn’t generally considered as one of the top culinary destinations in the Bel Paese. We think of Sicily, Naples, Bologna, and of course Tuscany…but usually not Rome.
My first encounter with Maria was last April when I went on her Daylight Trastevere Tour. I was blown away by all the little “secret” locations in my own backyard that I never even heard of. Then in October we were both guests on a fantastic blog tour in Verona, Mantova and Lake Garda in October.