Unique Souvenirs to take from Italy

Souvenirs – that lovely token sitting on our desk that helps us deal a little better with our post-holiday blues once we’re back home. Be it a figurine of Florence’s Duomo, a traditional mask from Venice or a t-shirt saying “I love Rome” – we like to look at these mementos of our unforgettable experiences […]

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Flag Throwing in Florence: a medieval spectacular

Italians love a good celebration, even (or especially) if that means commemorating a victory dating back to Medieval times! Special occasions in Florence and Tuscany generally are often marked with street parades featuring flag throwers. The art of flag throwing dates back to Medieval and Renaissance times when military parades would be accompanied by their […]

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Italian Food – best foods to try in Italy

Local italian foods, what to eat in Italy

One of the best ways to experience cultural immersion in Italy is simply to enjoy a delicious  Italian meal! Each region of Italy has unique specialties that have evolved throughout the centuries to perfectly combine the local in-season ingredients. There are a few tricks to ensuring that you can enjoy the true local cuisine. Firstly, […]

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Learning Italian: Italy’s 3 magic words

Travelling to Italy, you may wish to be prepared with a few key words of Italian to get you by. Of course there is ‘Grazie’ (thank you) – making sure to also pronounce the e at the end, like grazi-è, as there are no silent letters in Italian. Same goes for how you say ‘Per […]

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It’s a sign – what to do in Italy

The best way to experience Italy is with the locals. And to do so, there is no better way than to follow the signs. Around cities and small towns, Italians place posters advertising events, markets, concerts, festivals, Renaissance fairs, parades and – some of our favourite events – ‘sagre‘. Sagre – local specialty food festivals […]

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Calcio Storico: Florence’s toughest footballers… in those trousers?!

  Florence is getting ready for the latest series of Calcio Storico (also known as Calcio Fiorentino), a unique sport which originated in Tuscany in the 1500s. ‘Calcio’ translates to both ‘kick’ and also to ‘football/soccer’ in Italian, thus ‘Calcio Storico’ can be translated as ‘Historical Football/Soccer’. However, this unique Italian sport is more like […]

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Romance Made to Measure – Valentine’s Day in Italy

Everyone has their own idea of what is romantic. For some, it’s red roses and chocolates. And if you like red, roses and chocolates, that’s great. However, if you’re looking for some out-of-the-chocolate-box ideas for the most romantic day of the year, here are some unique and romantic things to do for Valentine’s day: 1. […]

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Happy Harvest: Extra Virgin Olive Oil in Tuscany, Italy

Olive oil used to be stored in specially made terracotta vats

Talk in Tuscany at this time of year is all about oil – the time of the harvest, the amount of olives collected, and finally the ‘liquid gold’ itself – Tuscany’s beloved cold pressed, extra virgin olive oil. Harvest is done when the olives are a nice mix of ripe (but not overly so) and […]

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Shopping in Italy: the fashion for fine food, friends and fun

Shopping in Italy: the fashion for food, friends and fun

Italians generally don’t shop in mega shopping complexes*. Rather, shopping is done by visiting farmers markets and small stores run specialists in their trade. If you want bread, visit the baker. For meat, see the butcher. In the interest of ensuring top quality, it makes perfect sense. And loaf by loaf, slice by slice, storeowners […]

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