Summer Escapes: Italian Beaches and the Deep Blue Sea

italian beachSummer is here, and the climbing temperatures have us obsessed with thoughts of lazy, sun-soaked beach days and crystal blue water for miles. Whether you’re lucky enough to live near an oceanfront destination, a lakeside retreat, or maybe a sparkling swimming pool, the draw of lounging by the water with a great book and a refreshing cocktail is a luxury in and of itself.

If you love the beach, Italy has some of the most exquisite of oceanside oases in the world. From the more popular...

Love, Life, and Luck - It's Wedding Season

Photo of italian wedding with bride and groomIt’s June and that means wedding season is in high gear. For many of us, save-the-dates and wedding invitations have made their way to our mailboxes. The cadence of shopping, planning, traveling, toasting, celebrating, dancing, and drinking has just begun. While our heads spin with those inevitable years when everyone seems to be getting hitched around the same time, making it difficult to simply enjoy a celebration, it is fun to witness familiar traditions, sometimes reinvented for modern brides.

We...

Carpets of Blooms, It’s Infiorata!

Spring turns to summer and blooms and buds are bursting with life and growth. No matter where you live, flowers are making their grand entrance and the air is filled with a lovely fragrance. From daffodils to hydrangeas, and roses to peonies, the season is flush with color. It’s time to celebrate the flower.

carpet of flowers in ItalyItalians welcome the beauty of the season with a brilliant and artistic flower festival called Infiorata. Introduced by Catholics in the late 1700s to mark the...

The Camogli Fish Festival: Fish, Frying Pans, and Fireworks!

One fish, two fish, red fish, fried fish. Well, if you’re in Camogli, it’s fried fish. And lots of it.

Camogli is a stunning seaside village in the Liguria region of Italy. The Camogli Fish Festival, or La Sagra del Pesce in Camogli, began during World War II as a dedication to St. Fortunato, the patron saint of fishermen. Each year on the second Sunday in May, in the Piazza Colombo near the marina, tourists and town folk alike flood the plaza for...

Happy Mother’s Day: Respect for Nonna and Madre

a mom and her mother cooking togetherYou know the stereotype. A grey-haired grandma busy in her Italian kitchen, small in stature but big in voice and vigor. She moves about in her apron and sensible shoes like a conductor directing a Puccini opera. From stove top to pot, and spoon to mouth, everything is orchestrated with rhythmic precision. This is her domain. This is her purpose. She is nonna.

The importance of family in Italy is inherent, and the reverence and respect paid to the matriarch of the family...

Vinitaly: A World of Wine and Wisdom

Case filled with Italian WineWine maker Robert Mondavi once proclaimed, “Wine to me is passion. It’s family and friends. It’s warmth of heart and generosity of spirit. Wine is art. It’s culture. It’s the essence of civilization and the art of living.” 

Perfectly articulated, we completely agree. There is something about the communal experience of sharing a great bottle with people you care about that is so pleasurable and comforting. And if you love good wine as much as we do, there’s no better place to experience it than this month...

Peach Croissant Pudding with Maple Sauce

croissant bread pudding in a handmade italian baking dish

This is a delightful treat! The fluffy interiors and buttery layers of croissants add rich flavor and light texture to bread pudding.

Ingredients

  • butter for baking dish
  • 6 large eggs
  • 4 c. half-and-half
  • 1 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 8 large bakery croissants
  • 1 can peaches
  • 3/4 c. brown sugar, packed
  • 1 c. pepitas
  • 1/4 c. butter
  • 1 c. whipping cream
  • 1/2 c. maple syrup
  • powdered sugar for garnish

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 3-quart baking dish;...

The Celebration of Pasqua in Italy

Easter is one of the most important holidays in Italy, and one that incorporates religious symbolism as well as traditions and customs celebrated by even those outside of the Christian faith. As is the heart of this culture, Holy Week is another reason to embrace family, friends, great food, and plenty of celebration.

Easter is known as Pasqua in Italy and it falls on April 1 this year. Festivities across the country typically begin on Good Friday with church service attendance and continue through Easter Monday, or Pasquetta.

The...

The Celebration of Pasqua in Italy

Easter is one of the most important holidays in Italy, and one that incorporates religious symbolism as well as traditions and customs celebrated by even those outside of the Christian faith. As is the heart of this culture, Holy Week is another reason to embrace family, friends, great food, and plenty of celebration.

Easter is known as Pasqua in Italy and it falls on April 1 this year. Festivities across the country typically begin on Good Friday with church service attendance and continue through Easter Monday, or Pasquetta.


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Renew and Refresh: The Spring Table


spring or easter table setting

“And the Spring arose on the garden fair,
Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;
And each flower and herb on Earth's dark breast
Rose from the dreams of its wintry rest.” 
― Percy Bysshe Shelley


Spring is almost here and the promise of renewal, new growth, and a fresh perspective blissfully come with it. There’s joy in the softness of the warmer weather and sweet smell of the air. Trees...