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Insider travel tips

Travel&Living
Secret Venice: Five Crowd-Free Spots to Enjoy
by Silvia Donati

[Photo: The view towards San Francesco della Vigna, one of our chosen secret spots in Venice, from the Campanile di San Marco.]

Our series on little-known sites in Italy’s most visited cities continues with Venice, a much-celebrated destination of which most visitors only scratch the surface.

Here are five fun spots to go beyond the usual. 

Food&Wine
Putignano: The Hidden Flavors of Puglia
by Luciana Squadrilli

“Let’s go for a chiancata”: this is how an invitation for a stroll through Putignano’s old town is often extended. It refers to the path traced by the main street running along the elliptical layout of the town and paved with the traditional flat, smooth white stones called chianche or chiancarelle, also used as roof tiles for local houses and trulli.

Fabulous foodie guides

Food&Wine
A Brief Foodie Guide to Sardinia
by Phoebe Hunt

Though nominally part of Italy, Sardinia is wildly different when it comes to the language, the culture, and even the terrain. It’s no surprise then—when you consider the many millennia of Phoenician, Arab, Moorish, French, and Italian influences—that the cuisine also has its own unique identity. 

Food&Wine
Sipping History: The Wine of Dante’s Descendants
by Cynthia L. P. Chaplin

Seven hundred years ago this September, Italy’s most famous poet, Dante Alighieri, died in Ravenna, after years of exile from his beloved Florence. He wrote his iconic poem, The Divine Comedy, while living in Verona under the protection of Cangrande I della Scala.

Italian Language lessons

Art&Culture
What You Need to Know Before Visiting a Museum or Exhibition in Italian
by L'Italiano Porticando

The first thing that comes to mind when someone talks about Italy is typically food. The rich gastronomic tradition is a huge part of the Italian heritage and undoubtedly one of the most pleasant experiences. But what about food for your soul? The contribution of Italy to the world’s artistic legacy is priceless, and the number of museums in this little country is impressive.

Art&Culture
Seven Top Italian Phrases You Shouldn’t Leave Home Without
by L'Italiano Porticando

The choice to learn Italian usually comes from a sense of romance or passion for the country and its people. Yet, those who stick with their studies often lose the sense of romance to periods of utter frustration and confusion. Italian grammar, as grammar in general, is not always logical, and the list of exceptions to the rules seems to be longer than the list of rules itself. 

Exclusive recipes

Dolce
Rum Babá Cake
by Francine Segan

Moist brioche cake soaked in sweet rum syrup, rum babá is a favorite Neapolitan dessert.  It’s so beloved that there’s even a Neapolitan expression: Sì nu babbà, “Like a babá,” to describe a particularly nice person.

Dolce
Torta di Fichi con Anice | Fresh Fig Cake with Anise by Domenica Marchetti
by Domenica Marchetti

Coffee and a cornetto—or other pastry—usually enjoyed standing at the counter of the local bar, is the daily breakfast of millions of Italians. But if you are traveling around the country, staying at a hotel or agriturismo, you will likely be treated to a breakfast buffet featuring an array of freshly baked jam tarts (crostate di marmellata), ring cakes (ciambelle) and other simple cakes.

Dolce
Pistacchio Amaretti with Candied Orange Peel and Chamomile
by Domenica Marchetti

Amaretti cookies are ubiquitous in bakeries throughout Italy. They can be large or small, crunchy or soft, rolled in sugar, topped with cherries, or spiked with cocoa or lemon zest. Typically, amaretti are made with finely ground almonds, but in Sicily, you’ll also find them made with pistachios, or a mix of pistachios and almonds.

Culture Vulture deep dives

Food&Wine
Sipping History: The Wine of Dante’s Descendants
by Cynthia L. P. Chaplin

Seven hundred years ago this September, Italy’s most famous poet, Dante Alighieri, died in Ravenna, after years of exile from his beloved Florence. He wrote his iconic poem, The Divine Comedy, while living in Verona under the protection of Cangrande I della Scala.

Artisan shopping secrets

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.

Style&Design
Italian Cameos: A Shopper’s Guide
by Laura Morelli

Since ancient times, residents of the Italian peninsula have pulled coral and seashells from the waters of the Tyrrhenian and the Adriatic, using the bounty of the seas to make some of Italy’s most beautiful adornments.

Style&Design
Five Fabulous Venetian Artisans
by Susan Van Allen

The breathtaking beauty of Venice ranges from the dazzling Piazza San Marco to the delicate traditions of its artisans. It’s a pleasure to slow down and wander into a shop to watch a signora making lace or stringing glass beads. The artisans you meet are happy to share their passions with travelers, and a souvenir from the experience will bring back happy memories for a lifetime. 

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