Blogging and social media. They are the new forms of “journalism” in this globally connected digital age. But unlike traditional journalism, this new style is designed to be bi-directional. It’s a conversation instead of a speech. The writer and the reader feed off each other, and the result is a greater depth of knowledge for both parties.
That’s why I enjoy writing about Italy so much. Every time my enthusiasm plateaus, somebody sends me an email with photos from their trip, or posts a big “Grazie!” on my Facebook Page for answering a difficult question that somehow made their vacation more memorable, or their expat transition a little more smooth. Really, it’s the best reward for a writer/blogger (which is a good thing, since there isn’t much financial reward).
So today on my podcast I’m answering some of the most common questions about Italy sent to me via email, voicemail, Twitter, or the search engines. I didn’t identify any of the questioners by name, but instead I lumped the inquiries into general topics that come up frequently. [Read More…]
For most people, one of the most appealing aspects of visiting Italy is experiencing the culture through its bounty of regional foods and wines. Getting to know the country by consuming it, if you will.
Well, I’ve already devoted a couple of podcasts to the traditional food of Rome, Bolognese cuisine, and the disgraces found on the menus of “Italian” restaurants in North America. So today we will attempt to pair those regional dishes with an appropriate glass of wine. I’m no wine expert myself, but luckily I met Jen Martin via Twitter, and she really knows her vino. [Read More…]
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…]
Last 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…]