All of us at ‘Italy Magazine’ wish you a fantastico 2013. In 2012, we covered a slew of topical stories, and published many features, guides, recipes and interviews that reveal the Italy of today. As the year winds down and we make plans for New Year, we look back on the most popular stories published in 2012. So read on just in case there is something you may have missed.

TOP INTERVIEW
Exclusive Interview with Beppe Grillo Leader of the MoVimento 5 Stelle Political Party

As leader of the MoVimento 5 Stelle Political Party (Five Star Movement, M5S), Beppe Grillo is known for his reluctance to give interviews to the media. So when ‘Italy Magazine’ caught up with him in Sicily on the campaign trail during the regional election, it was a scoop. The election results indicate how people may vote in the general election next year. The success of the political party in the island’s elections, and its showing in the polls as the second most popular party in Italy, mean that now Grillo is talked about worldwide – even the ‘Financial Times’ has since run a story saying it is time for Rome’s political elites to take Grillo more seriously. Our fascinating face-to-face interview with Grillo reveals his thoughts on Italian politics and his hopes for M5S. Go to the article

Carol King - Beppe Grillo - Modica

TOP NEWS STORY
Italy’s Marios Make TIME Cover
We just had to choose two stories this year: Soccer Star Mario Balotelli On TIME Cover and TIME Dedicates Cover to Mario Monti. American magazine ‘TIME’ devoted its iconic front-cover slot to two Italian Marios in 2012 – a decision that reflects Italy’s importance worldwide and how the country is changing. ‘Italy Magazine’ interviewed ‘TIME’ correspondent Stephan Faris about his experience speaking to the 22-year-old footballer, who is the first black player to represent Italy at major tournaments, and what that means for race and European identity. When ‘TIME’ featured Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti in February it asked: “Can this Man Save Europe?” As the end of the year approaches, Italy is considered to be in better financial shape by many commentators but as austerity has hit the country so Monti’s popularity has declined at home.

TOP PROPERTY STORY:
Good Fences Make Good Neighbors? The Helen Mirren Property in Puglia Case.
Owning a villa in Italy can be a dream come true but – like anywhere in the world – problems can arise with neighbours. The most read property story of 2012 explains the issues British actress Dame Helen Mirren had with a neighbour at her home in Puglia and gives advice on what to do before purchasing your own Italian getaway. Go to the Article

TOP RECIPE
Penne all’Arrabbiata
Although penne all’arrabbiata belongs to the Roman culinary tradition, it is recognised as the king of pasta dishes worldwide. Our quick and easy guide to how to prepare this classic Italian dish made it the most popular recipe of the year. Go to the article

Penne all'Arrabbiata Recipe

TOP SERIES
‘Reporting from Rome’
This is an ongoing series of interviews with journalists tasked with explaining Italy to the world. ‘Italy Magazine’ spoke to some of the world’s top foreign correspondents: Stephan Faris of 'TIME’ and ‘Fortune Magazine’, John Hooper of ‘The Guardian’ and ‘The Economist’, Eric Reguly of Canada’s ‘The Globe and Mail’, and Edward Pentin of ‘The Catholic Herald’ and ‘National Catholic Register’. They reveal what life is like as a Rome correspondent, and share valuable insights on the economic crisis in Italy. Their unique perspective on Italy, thoughts on its future, combined with some insider tips on where to eat in Rome, made the series a hit in 2012.

TOP WEDDING FEATURE
Italian Wedding Cakes
Italy is one of the most popular spots for people to choose as a wedding destination. Hosting a wedding is fraught with decisions, among them what the wedding cake should be like. Given the diverse culinary traditions across the country, our invaluable guide to what kinds of cakes are available throughout Italy was well liked – and hopefully saved some brides-to-be a headache.
Go to the article

Torta Mimosa

TOP SPORTS FEATURE
Paolo Di Canio: Football Passion, Irreverence and Talent
Soccer is Italian’s favourite sport and the country has produced some of the world’s best players. The most popular sports story of the year charts the career of controversial former professional football player and manager of English team Swindon Town, Paolo Di Canio, as he led his side to promotion to Football League One. Di Canio continues his colourful reign as manager, and recently reinforced the team when he concluded his first loan deals since the club’s transfer embargo was lifted. Go to the article

TOP GUIDE
Foodie Guide to Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Covering everything from production methods to regional variations, our guide to olio extra vergine di oliva proved as essential a read as olive oil is an essential ingredient in Italian cooking. Go to the article

Pane Olio

TOP TRAVEL STORY
A Farewell To Arms: Hemingway’s Italy
The novels of American writer Ernest Hemingway have become modern classics. Our feature on the author’s time in Italy that he drew on to write ‘A Farewell to Arms’ and guide to where he visited, appealed to many readers keen to follow in his footsteps. Go to the article.

TOP TRAVEL TIP
Italian Language: Wine Tasting
A trip to Italy would not be the same without trying at least some of the country’s many wines. Our top travel tip of 2012 lists some well-known Italian wines according to region and fills you in on Italian wine-tasting vocabulary. Go to the article