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Insider travel tips

Travel & Living
The Balconies of Italy: Six Foothill Towns You Should Get to Know 
by Toni DeBella

Italy is bursting at the seams with charming hilltop towns and languishing seaside villages. Lesser-known and often overlooked, foothill towns spill down the lower slopes of some of the country’s most dramatic mountain ranges, offering sweeping vistas as far as the eye can see. (And many times, without the crowds such vistas tend to attract.) 

Travel & Living
This Amalfi Coast Town is All Charm, No Crowds
by Sander Van Den Broecke

Nestled in the Campanian seaside cliffs between astonishing Amalfi and sensational Salerno lies the lesser-known town of Maiori. Home to the longest stretch of beach on the Amalfi Coast, centuries’ worth of religious and cultural history and a gorgeous waterfront promenade, Maiori is the perfect place for a relaxing, romantic getaway.

Travel & Living
Discovering Pavia, From Noble Palaces to "Paradise" Cake
by Liz Shemaria

As you walk from Pavia’s train station towards its historical center, you'll spot a 26-foot-tall woman holding a shield in one hand and a spear in the other, presiding over a traffic circle. 

Fabulous foodie guides

Food & Wine
How to Make the Most of Homemade Pesto
by Jessica Paholsky

Pesto is most often associated with the northwest region of Liguria. While a trip to savor the freshest pesto on the planet may be tempting, until you can get to Genoa or somewhere nearby, this guide to making the most of your next homemade pesto is more practical.

Food & Wine
A Wine-Lover’s Guide to Chianti Classico in Tuscany
by Dick Rosano

The rolling hills of Tuscany have drawn hordes of people over the centuries – promising peace of mind, grand art, sumptuous meals, and fine wines. Part of the allure is that the region defies the march of time, somehow merging the blissful comfort of pastoral lands and ancient stories of love and intrigue with the satisfying pleasures of modernity.

Italian Language lessons

Art & Culture
How to Use the Imperative in Italian
by L'Italiano Porticando

In English, as in most languages, when we want to express a request, extend an invitation or even give a direct command, we rely on the imperative:

“Close the window!”

“Don’t fill up on sweets!”

Art & Culture
Reflexive and Reciprocal Verbs in Italian: Beyond the Basics
by L'Italiano Porticando

Italian verbs and all their multiple forms may be a real challenge for Italian language learners, but as we have already seen, their conjugation always follows a pattern. That pattern isn't so difficult to memorize, though implementing it readily in speech can be another story! Still, there's always a logic behind their use. 

Exclusive recipes

Primo
Ravioli Dolci: Sweet Lemon Marjoram Ravioli
by Francine Segan

Despite the word “sweet” in the name, this unusual and exceptionally flavorful specialty from the Teramo area of Abruzzo is a first course, not a dessert. The ravioli are filled with a savory-sweet mixture of ricotta with lemon, cinnamon, rum, marjoram and sugar.

Primo
Spaghetti alle Vongole: Pasta With Clam Sauce for Christmas Eve
by Francine Segan

Spaghetti alle vongole is a classic Italian dish that can be made with or without tomatoes, rosso or bianco, red or white. In Italy the dish is traditionally made with vongole veraci, “true clams,” AKA carpet clams, which are small grey clams with especially tasty meat.

Culture Vulture deep dives

Art & Culture
Sandro Botticelli and the Strange Story of the Mystic Nativity
by Laura Morelli

The birth of Christ — the Nativity — is one of the central images of Christian iconography and an immensely popular subject for Italian artists through the ages. The Nativity immediately brings to mind Mary, Joseph, and the baby Jesus in a manger surrounded by animals, angels, and visiting kings.

Art & Culture
Enter Another Dimension at Olafur Eliasson’s Exhibition in Florence
by Liz Shemaria

Olafur Eliasson’s installation in Palazzo Strozzi’s courtyard is dizzying. The 36 x 26 ft flickering moiré pattern of two overlaid grids called Under The Weather hovers over visitors and seems to move with them as they walk. The topsy-turvy experience is a preview of the artist’s most significant exhibition in Italy to date, Nel Tuo Tempo (In Your Time). 

Artisan shopping secrets

Style & Design
How to Own a Piece of Italian Design History
by Liz Shemaria

Milan is one of the world’s design capitals. Brands like Prada and Versace are headquartered in the northern Italian city and the Salone del Mobile (Furniture Fair) attracts thousands of well-heeled visitors from across the globe each year.

Style & Design
Five Fabulous Female Artisans in Florence
by Susan Van Allen

In Florence, city of masterpieces, artisan traditions have flourished for centuries. It’s a joy to discover the abundance of shops where talented workers dedicate themselves to techniques handed down through generations and also bring new ideas to this city where creativity has long been nurtured.