• Falling for Rome

    You might say that I’m living the dream.  A few years ago I came to Italy on an extended vacation (I called it a “sabbatical” just to make it sound impressive, but let’s be honest…). 

    Falling for Rome
  • Living in Italy

    However, Italy is not without its challenges.  When we see the movie version in, “Eat, Pray, Love,” or “From Rome, With Love,” we see an overly-simplified, idealized presentation.

    Living in Italy
  • Dispatches from the Blog Tour

    In the summer of 2014, I set out an epic journey the length of the Italian peninsula. With wife and baby along for the ride, we traveled from Lake Como to Trapani, and everywhere in between, over the course of six weeks.

    Dispatches from the Blog Tour

FCI 005 – Eating Well In Bologna With Sarah Dowling

sarah dowling eating well in bolognaBack 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…]

FCI 004 – Italian Verb Confusion With Cher Hale

Italian verb confusion with cher haleCher 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…]

FCI 003 – Getting Engaged In Italy With Georgette Jupe

getting engaged in italy with georgette jupeAhhh, Firenze! What could be more romantic than getting engaged in Italy, right? The perfect place to propose to the love of your life. What a great memory!

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…]

FCI 002 – Traditional Roman Cuisine With Maria Pasquale

maria pasquale heart romeAlthough 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 friend Maria Pasquale is helping to change that through her personal blog HeartRome, and the company she works for Eating Europe Tours,  where she manages their PR & social media.

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.

[Read More…]

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