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…]

FCI 012 – Disgraces on the Menu with Paolo Rigiroli

disgraces on the menuMoving to Rome can be shocking and confusing, to say the least. From the traffic patterns (there aren’t any), to the bureaucracy (good luck with that), to the fashion trends (don’t ask me) it all looks like chaos to the foreign eye. My solution has always been to remain as blissfully ignorant as possible. You’d be surprise how often you can get away with that in Italy.

However, it certainly doesn’t take long to embrace the food culture. Starting with your morning espresso and finishing with your after dinner amaro, suddenly your daily routine is framed by gastronomic magic that casts a pleasant mood over your entire day.

Eventually you notice, to your surprise, that there are “rules” which govern this philosophy. For an American, this can be particularly perplexing because there seems to be no other aspect of Italian society that follows rules. What’s more, in the U.S., the reverse is true: eating habits is one of the few areas of our society that doesn’t have any rules. (If you don’t believe this, I can promise you that I’ve seen fish tacos at a German restaurant in Florida.) [Read More…]

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