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The Italy! Mamma Mia! Blog

The ItalyMammaMia Blog shares with you all that I love about Italy: news (with lots of good news stories too), our latest articles (featuring beautiful Italian places, recipes and travel advice). Then we've also things like Italian songs, great videos and essential information for planning your next trip to Italy.

Join me, Maria, and my family in discovering Italy together...

Dolomites Holidays - The Guide to this Region of Italy

Dolomites Holidays features some of the most beautiful parts of the Dolomites. From great places to stay to special places to visit...

Continue reading "Dolomites Holidays - The Guide to this Region of Italy"

Italy Is NOT all Chaos, Tourists and Noise. There IS another Italy.

Looking to escape the tourist madness of cities like Venice and Rome? Longing to spend time in a quieter Italy? We have EXACTLY what you need!

Continue reading "Italy Is NOT all Chaos, Tourists and Noise. There IS another Italy."

Summer in Italy... and Christmas too?

Give the gift of love straight from Italy - the land of amore. Have you experienced a summer or Christmas in Italy? We've a way to bring that joy and happiness home with you...

Continue reading "Summer in Italy... and Christmas too?"

Discovering the Best of Venice

The best of Venice - 6 experiences you simply must have if you are visiting Venice. Here is the list...

Continue reading "Discovering the Best of Venice"

Venice in July

Great advice on how to avoid the crowds if you are visiting Venice in July and some wonderful ideas on things to do.

Continue reading "Venice in July"

The Colorful World of Burano

Discover a world of color. A place where every cottage is a different hue and where each and every color mixes and dances in the reflection off the canals. This is Burano!

Continue reading "The Colorful World of Burano"

The Best Southern Italian Destinations

South of Rome we go, taking you on a journey discovering the very best Southern Italian destinations. You may know of some of them but others I am sure you have never heard of.

Continue reading "The Best Southern Italian Destinations"

Venice Italy - The 6 Things you HAVE to See

There's so much to see in Venice Italy that you can become overwhelmed. Before you despair, here is the list of the 6 sights you absolutely must see and everything you need to know about them.

Continue reading "Venice Italy - The 6 Things you HAVE to See"

Venice Tourism - Getting Away From the Crowds

Venice is not only the Bridge of Sighs and St Marks Square. There is a whole lot more to this great city. Join me, Maria, exploring the Venetian wonders few ever discover.

Continue reading "Venice Tourism - Getting Away From the Crowds"

This is Rome

The Best of Rome Vacation Rentals

Looking for Rome Vacation Rentals? I have personally selected the best apartments to rent in Rome, you can be sure your Roman Dolce Vita will begin the moment you walk through the door.

Continue reading "The Best of Rome Vacation Rentals"

Walking Tours in Rome - Discover the Secrets of this Ancient City

One of the best walking tours in Rome is a visit to the main outdoor market called Campo dei Fiori - it is teeming with friendly people, tasty food, vibrant colors, animated conversations

Continue reading "Walking Tours in Rome - Discover the Secrets of this Ancient City"

The Weather in Rome Italy Guide

The Weather in Rome Italy. Our guide is packed full of information on when is the best time to visit Rome Italy and much much more too.

Continue reading "The Weather in Rome Italy Guide "

The Best Hotel in Central Rome?

There is a hotel in Rome that is so very special, where breakfast is served under the orange trees with the fragrance of orange blossom infusing the air.

Continue reading "The Best Hotel in Central Rome?"

What About Going Shopping in Rome?

What could be better than a day shopping in Rome? Not much I promise! Before you start though you've got to read our guide filled with all the must-see shops and markets.

Continue reading "What About Going Shopping in Rome?"

Fancy a Drive to Italy?

THE Biggest Mistake Tourists to Italy Make

THE biggest mistake tourists to Italy make is ... well, read the article for the answer and discover how you can avoid making the same mistake.

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Earthquake Risk in Italy: These Are the Most Dangerous Areas

We are often asked where the earthquake risk in Italy is at its most dangerous. We've the answer for you: not only the most at risk but the least at risk regions too.

Continue reading "Earthquake Risk in Italy: These Are the Most Dangerous Areas"

Hope!

My Website

Coming soon to an Italian piazza, the design that will help save Italy. These flower pavilions symbolize new hope for Italy.

Why in Piazza?

Because the piazza represents so much that is important to Italians: the coming together of communities, the focal point of towns, a sense of belonging. Of course, logistically it makes sense too, being central and easy to reach for all Italians.

During the pandemic the piazza has been ripped away from Italians. No longer could the elderly congregate during the day, no longer could people meet, chat, share gossip. The sound of children was missing. The piazze of Italy had fallen silent.

Now, with these pavilions, and with the vaccine, Italians can finally return to the piazza, first to get vaccinated and then, slowly, life should begin returning to normal. The piazze will be filled with Italian passion again, the sound of children, laughter.

I cannot wait for the day.

For so long we have suffered but now the first golden rays of a new dawn have arrived.

The Design

Stefano Boeri is one of Italy's, and indeed the world's, premier architects. He has worked for free to design these pavilions.

Is it Safe to Travel to Italy?

Is safe to travel to Italy? Read on to discover the answer, it is an answer that I think might well surprise you.

Continue reading "Is it Safe to Travel to Italy?"

What to do on the Amalfi Coast?

Wondering what to do in Amalfi & on the Amalfi Coast? We've the very best tours, towns, itineraries, moments and magic of the Amalfi Coast all in one place

Continue reading "What to do on the Amalfi Coast?"

Now Venice Goes Silent: this had me in tears

This is incredible! Who would ever have believed that Venice would ever look like this. Gone are the tourists, gone is the noise, the chaos. The stores are closed and the only sounds now are the sounds of nature.

Continue reading "Now Venice Goes Silent: this had me in tears"

Videos of Venice - That First Moment You Meet Venice

It's a dull old day in a station and then at 1 minute 30 seconds it all changes. The scene before you causes you to shake, sometimes, that first time, you will cry.

Continue reading "Videos of Venice - That First Moment You Meet Venice"

The Secret Cannoli Recipe of Zia Rosalinda

It took me years to get my aunt Rosalinda to share her authentic Sicilian cannoli recipe but... at last... I can let you in on the secret.

Continue reading "The Secret Cannoli Recipe of Zia Rosalinda "

Best of 2020

The 12 Most Beautiful Churches in Italy

These are the 12 most beautiful churches in Italy, well churches and cathedrals really. I bet there are a few on this list that you've never heard of before.

Continue reading "The 12 Most Beautiful Churches in Italy"

I'm SO Sorry

The National Museum in Rome recently received a strange package from the USA. Opening it they were shocked to find a piece of ancient marble inscribed "to Sam, love Jess, Rome".

What was this?

A letter explained it. In 2017 a young woman visited Pompeii and stole a souvenir. Guilt ate away at her and in the letter she apologizes for "being an American asshole". She is very sorry and wishes to make amends by returning the marble.

This follows on from a Canadian tourist last year who sent back Marble from Pompeii saying that her family had been cursed with misfortune ever since she stole it back in 2005.

Will the curse of Pompeii stop others from pillaging one of Italy's greatest historical wonders? Will more marble arrive as others learn their stolen artifact is cursed?

Civita di Bagnoregio

The village where time has stood still. Not even a car is to be found in this medieval hilltop gem called Civita di Bagnoregio

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The Enchanting South of Italy

What is it about the south of Italy that makes it so special. This story will provide the answer....

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What to See in Sicily

Wondering what to see in Sicily? We've a lot of fabulous suggestions that you will absolutely LOVE!

Continue reading "What to See in Sicily"

BREAKING NEWS!

I always said that I did not want the old Venice back. You'll see my reasons in the video.

Now the city authorities have done something, something that they believe will help...

They will charge an entrance fee for entrance into Venice as from January 2022. The fee will vary according to season and could reach as much as 10 Euros a day. It will only apply to day-trippers and not to those staying overnight.

I am not sure it is the right step or not. If it is, then it is just a start, there is lots more to do.

The issue of the cruise ships need to be addressed. I hear rumours that they will be back next summer. That would be a mistake.

What is Dolce Far Niente

What is the Dolce Far Niente and why every tourist to Italy should understand it, live it.

Continue reading "What is Dolce Far Niente"

40,000 Cases a DAY!!!

With a new record of over 40,000 cases, hospitals across Italy are struggling. This time the south has been badly hit too. Naples, Sicily, Calabria... nowhere has been spared. In Naples the hospitals are so full people are being given oxygen in their cars parked outside.

Many regions have harsh restrictions. Others, such as the Veneto region, hardly have any at all... despite Veneto having over 3000 cases a day.

In Piedmont, they have closed all shops except essential stores... and hairdressers?

First time around Italy did so well, they had a coordinated national response.

This time it seems chaotic. Italy now has more daily cases than any other country in Europe. Over 500 a day are dying.

There does not seem to be a coordinated answer. Each region seems to be doing its own thing.

Questions are being asked as to why some areas (Sardinia mainly) were allowed to operate jam-packed nightclubs and discoteche even while cases started to climb. These acted as super-spreader events - allowing the virus to travel with returning vacationers across Europe.

Some are saying corruption and political pressure by well connected businesses allowed them to operate despite the risk.

It makes me angry but, more than angry, it makes me sad.

May God bless Italy. May God bless the world.

πŸ™πŸ™πŸ™πŸ™

Visiting Burano - Venice Colored Bright

When the crowds of Venice start getting on your nerves and your mood turns grey that's when you need to color your life bright... with a little Burano.

Continue reading "Visiting Burano - Venice Colored Bright"

The Sights & Sounds of Italy

Get the tee too. Click on "continue reading" below...

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The Rialto Bridge in Venice Italy

The Rialto Bridge is the most beautiful bridge in Venice and perhaps the world. Here's everything you need to know about the bridge and plenty more on Venice too..

Continue reading "The Rialto Bridge in Venice Italy"

There's a Vaccine! 90% Effective. Europe Set To Order Over 100 MILLION doses!

For the full story click on "continue reading" below...

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The Best Beaches in Tuscany

The beaches in Tuscany meet the needs of even the most demanding; from the island beaches of Giglio through to these stunningly beautiful and wild beaches of the Maremma...

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Wine Regions of Italy

Join me in discovering the various wine regions of Italy and some of the best Italian wines and wine estates from these regions. Wines and landscapes you will never forget - guaranteed!

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8 Unforgettable Places in Italy

We have discovered 8 Unforgettable Places in Italy. From Puglia to Piedmont this really is Italy at its most beautiful... want to share in the secret?

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Polignano, Matera and the Cave Hotel

Polignano has to be one of Italy's best kept secrets. What an amazing little town and the restaurant in a cave is unforgettable. Then there is Matera where things get a little strange. Look at these photos...

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Best Veneto & Venice Restaurants - Cooking as Good as my Mamma's

These Veneto & Venice restaurants don’t cater for the tourist trade but to locals and you won’t find many of these restaurants in any guide book . What you will find are excellent restaurants

Continue reading "Best Veneto & Venice Restaurants - Cooking as Good as my Mamma's"

Our Thoughts on The World

So sad today. So many new cases in Italy - over 26,000 in the last 24 hours. Over 100,000 in Europe in 24 hours.

I think many Europeans were too smug, we thought our governments had done a better job than those in the USA, Brazil and others.

Turns out that is not the case.

Whichever way European countries handled things they all have highs that are far above previous highs: Sweden. UK, France, Germany, Belgium, Czech Republic, Holland and , sadly, Italy too.

Perhaps, how anyone does with this virus is not down to governments at all? Perhaps it is just luck, perhaps it is down to us, down to people's behaviour and how easy it is to isolate a county.

Maybe that is why islands seem to have done so well: New Zealand, Taiwan, Seychelles, even that lovely great big island Australia.

Basically, I have no clue.

I know that I, like all people, get angry. Look for someone to blame, but perhaps there is no one to blame. Perhaps all we can do is try to unite, love one another and pray that 2021 will bring a fresh wind of hope.

πŸ™πŸ™πŸ™πŸ™
May God bless you.
Maria & family

P.S. This is not about religion or politics. If you don't believe in any God then may whatever you believe in help you to get through this. This is not about US politics either - with the current situation in Europe you are actually doing better than us. Unfortunately I don't think any politician, whether blue, green, red or anything in-between is likely to have the answer. The genie is out of the bottle now.

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