FCI 015 – An Unplugged Guide to Naples with Bonnie Alberts

naples guidebook Anyone who reads my blog is probably far enough along in their relationship with Italy to realize that the adjective “Italian” really doesn’t have much meaning. It’s just too broad—instead, you simply MUST mention the region, at the very least, if not the exact city when discussing any topic.

Still, to foreigners who only know a little about Italy, the word “Italian” is very nearly synonymous with “Neapolitan.” From the pizza, to the crazy traffic, to the dialect, to those famous folk songs. Even American singers crooned about the romantic charms of Naples (“Scusami, but you see, back in old Napoli, that’s amore!”).

I’ve been to Naples myself exactly four times, and I still feel like I have barely scratched the surface. And as my friend Bonnie will tell you during today’s chat, there is A LOT beneath the surface, including an entire underground city.

If by some miracle you see everything in Naples that you wanted to see, there are some incredible sites within an easy day trip, including The Palace of Caserta, which I wrote about a couple of years ago, and some volcanic fields where the Earth itself is literally on fire. Oh, and need we mention the proximity to such sites as Pompeii and The Amalfi Coast? Everything that we all love about Italy is sitting right there on that sweeping bay. [Read More…]

Made in Italy Awards

made in italy awards finalistLast week I was thrilled to learn that I made the list of the Top Five Finalists for the Made in Italy Awards. The category is Media, subcategory “Blogger.” Furthermore, I’m honored to be joined by two friends and fellow Italy bloggers, Eleonora Baldwin from Aglio, Olio, e Peperoncino; and Alexandra Korey from ArtTrav. (I’ll provide links to their excellent websites at the bottom of this post.)

There are two other finalists in our category, and although I don’t know them personally, their websites sure are slick. Best of luck to everyone who has been nominated! And just to be fair to the other finalists, I’m not going to engage in any shameless self-endorsements to win a few cheap votes. I promise. That huge poster on the side of brownstone in Mid-Town Manhattan was not my idea. Nor was the billboard next to Uscita 12 on the G.R.A. in Rome. [Read More…]

FCI 014 – Finding Accommodations In Italy With Linda Martinez And Steve Brenner

the beehive in romeJust about every expat living in Rome knows Steve Brenner and Linda Martinez. They’re an American couple who moved to Rome in 1999 and started The Beehive, a cozy accommodation smack-dab in the center of the city. But the real reason that everyone knows them is because they’re just friendly people who enjoy connecting with both expats and travelers. In addition to offering rooms, they host social events, such as their open-mic Storytellers evenings, and they also have a great little café that serves breakfast daily and vegetarian/vegan dinners on select evenings.

These days, they divide their time between Rome and the nearby medieval hill town of Orvieto, where they’re raising their three daughters. (Indeed, they were at their home during the interview, so when they say “here,” they’re referring to Orvieto.) By the way, Orvieto is one of the best day trips from Rome for anybody who wants to get out of the city to see small town Italy within an easy one-hour train ride from Termini Station.

On my podcast, we had a great chat about finding accommodations in Italy to suit your tastes, but also about the changes in the hotel industry in the era of websites such as TripAdvisor, the Star rating system in Italy, and just some good advice for travelers visiting Rome. These two have lived and worked in the city for over fifteen years, and you won’t find a more credible source for Rome tourism. [Read More…]

FCI 013 – The Erotic History of Italy with Cinzia Giorgio

cinzia giorgio pink magazine italiaI’m making a prediction: this podcast episode will become my most downloaded track on iTunes within a short time. What makes me think this? Well, two things. First, because the title is certain to attract people’s attention when it pops up in a search. From my Google stats, I know that “dating Italian women,” “sex in Italy,” and “Roman orgies” are among the most common terms directing people to my website, for some reason. So I can only assume that “The Erotic History of Italy,” will be a favorite among podcast listeners.

But the second reason–and more importantly–is that my guest, Cinzia Giorgio, is a true academic authority on this subject. She shares some astute explanations on the changing roles of women in Italy, relationship protocols, mammoni, and yes, the bawdy tales from the annals of Italian history and literature. Suffice to say that she knows her subject well, and I’m sure that you all will be very interested to hear what she has to say on these titillating topics. [Read More…]

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