Join A Secret Italy


The Italy! Mamma Mia! Blog

The ItalyMammaMia Blog shares with you all that I love about Italy: news, 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...

Scilla and the Fishing Village of Chianalea

Scilla is a dream destination and at the heart of the town lies the true pearl, the fishing village of Chianalea; one of the most beautiful towns in Italy

Continue reading "Scilla and the Fishing Village of Chianalea "

Tropea: The Loveliest Small Town in Italy

A few years back Tropea was officially chose as the loveliest small town in all of Italy.Here's why Tropea is a must-visit destination

Continue reading "Tropea: The Loveliest Small Town in Italy"

Mud Slide Hits Ischia (28 November 2022)

After heavy rains, mud slides have caused devastation on the island of Ischia. Four people are missing including a family of three: mother, father and young baby. Some cars were washed into the sea by the force of the mud flows and roads were washed away leaving some communities isolated. Ischia emergency services and those from nearby communities are working to clear roads and search for the missing people.

Update: The missing family of three have been found alive and have been taken to hospital. Seven people are now confirmed to have died including a baby and five are still missing. Divers have been brought in to search the area where a lot of cars and even buses were washed into the sea and where some bodies may still be found.

Blame is being increasingly placed on authorities who have been aware of the problem since the last floods and mud slides many years ago and who failed to address the issue. They also failed to stop the illegal building of houses and even hotels in high risk areas according to reports.

THE Guide to Car Hire in Venice Italy

Car rental in Venice can leave you with a sinking feeling. Read our guide to avoid that happening to you...

Continue reading "THE Guide to Car Hire in Venice Italy"

The Best Luxury Hotels in Venice Italy

The best of all the luxury hotels in Venice Italy? Read my insider’s guide and discover the answer. ...

Continue reading "The Best Luxury Hotels in Venice Italy"

Update: The situation in Italy - Autumn/Winter 2022/2023

Don't believe all you read in your local media. I get a lot of people asking about power cuts in Italy, no gas, people freezing this winter, economic hardships. Well, the weather so far has been so warm no heating has even been needed.

Anyway, Italy plans to increase their own production of gas to 6 billion cubic meters a year from the current 3 billion cubic meters. Italy's gas storage facilities are now almost full and they will also be importing Algerian gas through a pipeline connecting Algeria to Europe - together this will more than cover Russia's supplies.

So that's sorted out it seems.

Then there are renewables, where Italy leads Europe with close to a third of its energy coming from green sources (

What about the economy?

Well, last quarter Italy was about the fastest growing economy in Western Europe. GDP growth increased 2.6% compared to last year. That's double the EU average and close to double Germany's growth.

Oh, and for all those who have asked, there is NO shortages in the stores. You can buy everything from pasta to cooking oil without a problem.

To Conclude: There are No Grocery Shortages. No Gas Shortage and ZERO Power Cuts.

A Life Saved By Quick Thinking Neighbors

Earthquake in Italy @ 2022-11-09 08:29

A 5.7 magnitude earthquake has hit Italy - centered on the Le Marche region.

It was strongly felt in cities like Ancona and Rimini but the earthquake was felt as far away as Rome and Florence.

Schools have been closed and a damage assessment is being undertaken. There is believed to be no tsunami risk. No serious injuries or fatalities have been reported.

The Le Marche region is still reeling from the terrible floods that devastated the region in September and claimed 12 lives. Please pray for all those living in the region as aftershocks continue to terrify people in the effected areas.

Helicopter Crash in Italy @ 2022-11-05 10:25

The wreckage of a helicopter crash has been found.

It is the wreckage of the helicopter that left the Tremiti Islands heading for Foggia at 9.20 a.m this morning.

On board were 7 people including the two pilots, a family of tourists (mother, father and thirteen-year-old daughter) and a doctor.

There are no survivors. Investigators will now try to piece together the last moments of the flight to understand what happened.

The company operating the route has an excellent safety record and their maintenance center, for the maintenance of AgustaWestland helicopters, obtained the "certificate of Excellent" - of 89 worldwide service centers, only 3 are rated "Excellent".

Our prayers and thoughts are with the families of the victims.

Things to Do in Bari & Reasons to Love Bari

Bari is the heart and soul of Puglia is to be found. Bari is real, Bari is vibrant and Bari is enchanting. Watch out for flying wooden spoons though!

Continue reading "Things to Do in Bari & Reasons to Love Bari"

Orsomarso, On the Doorstep of Calabria's Garden of Eden

Time and the Madonna look down with affection upon Orsomarso, one of Calabria's loveliest towns

Continue reading "Orsomarso, On the Doorstep of Calabria's Garden of Eden"

Where in Italy is Calabria? Why Visit Calabria? What to See ?

Many people don't know where in Italy Calabria is, that's not surprising, Calabria is off the radar. But it is a must-see destination, here's why...

Continue reading "Where in Italy is Calabria? Why Visit Calabria? What to See ?"

Earthquake Risk in Italy: The Most Dangerous Areas - Updated for 2023

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

Continue reading "Earthquake Risk in Italy: The Most Dangerous Areas - Updated for 2023"

International Improvements to Italian Cuisine

Canada: The honor of the most celebrated of all "improvements" to Italian cuisine goes to the Canadians. It was in 1962 that an enterprising Canadian restaurant owner invented this classic "Italian" dish, known as Hawaiian Pizza, by adding pineapple slices to his pizzas.

USA: Eggplant parmesan is a much loved Italian dish. No Italian would ever have believed it could be improved upon... until those ingenious New Yorkers came up with... Chicken Parmesan. A percentage of Italians (probably close to 100%) don't believe this is an improvement at all.

UK: This one was popularized by the British and shared throughout the British Commonwealth. What is this British improvement on a classic Italian dish? Well, they thought it would be a great idea to combine spaghetti and meatballs and... put them in a tin. Judging by the fact that it is on sale from Scotland to Sydney Australia I'd say it was a huge success. Any Italians out there who would like to try it?

Continue reading "International Improvements to Italian Cuisine"


Hello we are going to be in Rome Oct 30th to Nov 10. We wanted to do Positano but have read that during November things close up for the winter. Is it

Continue reading "Debbie"

What Not to Miss In Rome?

Visiting Rome and worried you might miss something? Well, worry no more. We've all the sights not to miss and the top tourist attractions in Rome.

Continue reading "What Not to Miss In Rome?"

Summer in Italy... All Year Round

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

Continue reading "Summer in Italy... All Year Round"

Venice Flooding - The Story That Explains It

We look at the reasons why the flooding in Venice keeps getting worse. Is somebody to blame? We examine the likely culprits and the reasons why greed has...

Continue reading "Venice Flooding - The Story That Explains It"

The City With The Best Pizza

Would you have expected to see Naples at the top of the list of cities with the best pizzerias?

Would you have expected to have seen Italian cities occupying most, if not all, of the top ten places?

Well, you would be wrong.

For example, Hong Kong and Copenhagen seem to have better pizzerias than most Italian cities.

Not according to me but according to "the experts" who compiled the list you will find just below the advert. Scroll down and click on continue reading.

Continue reading "The City With The Best Pizza"

The Best Tours of Venice Italy

The best tours of Venice Italy, selected by an insider. Walking tours, gondola trips, St. Mark’s Basilica and even a creepy ghost tour. We have it all!

Continue reading "The Best Tours of Venice Italy"

The Enchanting South of Italy

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

Continue reading "The Enchanting South of Italy"

Surfing in Venice?

Authorities in Venice have asked for the public's help in identifying the two men who caused chaos along the Grand Canal and risked causing an accident by surfing on motorized surfboards along Venice's busiest canal - the famous Grand Canal.

Yet another example of the sheer disrespect many visitors show for Venice and its traditions?

Is Chicken Parmigiana Italian?

Watch the video below for the answer...

Click Continue Reading below to discover more things Italians never do and never eat.

Continue reading "Is Chicken Parmigiana Italian?"

Things Never To Do in Italy... NEVER... EVER!

You want to make a good impression in Italy right? You don't want to be that typical tourist do you? Well, make sure you NEVER do any of these things in Italy...

Continue reading "Things Never To Do in Italy... NEVER... EVER!"

The Horror of Graffiti in Italy

In centuries past, young Italians signed off on some of the greatest artworks the world has ever seen. Now, they sign off with scribbles on walls.

Continue reading "The Horror of Graffiti in Italy"

Glued to a Priceless Painting

Water Fountains of Venice

Venice is pleading with tourists not to bring bottles of water with them to Venice but to rather make use of the drinking fountains that you will find across the city. The fountains offer fresh and clean drinking water that is every bit as good as the water in plastic bottles.

Dumped plastic water bottles are now the biggest litter problem for the city - every day literally thousands are thrown into the canals or left in streets and squares in the city.

To help make things easier for you we've a helpful map below that shows all the water fountain locations in the city...

Visit the Pyramid of Rome

Property In Italy

I am researching buying a family property for holidays in Southern Italy (from Naples down) I have come across a website which aims to assist

Continue reading "Property In Italy"

Its Tickets for Venice

Big changes are set to happen in Venice. The city has had two years of hardly any tourists - basically going from one extreme (too many tourists) to another (far to few tourists). Now, after Venice was overwhelmed at Easter with nearly 150,000 tourists descending on the city they have taken a decision, a decision to not allow the chaos that happened every summer prior to the pandemic.

Mayor Luigi Brugnaro believes that this make Venice a trend-setter.

So how does it work?

Well, this summer it looks like you will only need to book and a website will soon be setup where the names and details of all those wanting to visit will be recorded. Then, from the summer of 2023 all visitors will need to buy a ticket to visit.

What do Italians think?

Some people agree with the mayor and think it is a good decision while others say it is an infringement of their rights to travel freely in their own country.

What do you think? Let us know on our Facebook post

Hotel Fontana

A wonderful hotel made all the more so by the extraordinary family who own and operate the Hotel Fontana. On top of the location and quality of the

Continue reading "Hotel Fontana"

The Top 10 Craziest Questions About Italy

Is Italy still run by Caesar? The Top 10 Craziest Questions About Italy

Continue reading "The Top 10 Craziest Questions About Italy "

The Best Three and Four Star Hotels in Venice Italy

Which are the best three and four star hotels in Venice Italy? These are my picks. I include only hotels which I can recommend with confidence.

Continue reading "The Best Three and Four Star Hotels in Venice Italy"

Fiat 500 - Symbol of the Italian Dream

To many a Fiat 500 is just a car. To me it is way more than that. It symbolizes another world. A simpler time, a golden age in the memories of most Italians.

Continue reading "Fiat 500 - Symbol of the Italian Dream"

The Most Beautiful Places in Italy

People often ask me which are the most beautiful places in Italy? My answer to them is this...

Continue reading "The Most Beautiful Places in Italy"

Driving in Italy: What to Expect

You're Doing Italian Food Wrong!

Sweden, Denmark and Hong Kong were REALLY bad! Why are they doing that with ketchup? Also, I am NEVER eating carbonara or seafood pasta in any of those three countries.

Click on the link below to see how your country ranked.

Continue reading "You're Doing Italian Food Wrong!"

Are these the worst restaurants in Venice?

The visitors to TripAdvisor have given there verdict on these three restaurants - you'll be shocked, stunned and dismayed when you read the reviews.

Our own undercover investigations have supported what those unlucky people, who've been lured into these "restaurants", have said.

Which three restaurants made the list? The "prize" for absolutely appalling service, inedible food and pretty much disgusting everything else goes to:

Osteria da Luca
Antichi Splendori

For reviews of the worst one of all click below...

Continue reading "Are these the worst restaurants in Venice?"

9 Tips for Venice Italy

Here are 9 tips for Venice that you absolutely need to know before travelling to Venice if you want to make the most of your time in this wonderful city.

Continue reading "9 Tips for Venice Italy"

Are These The Most Beautiful Regions in Italy?

Are These the Most Beautiful Regions in Italy? Watch the video, read the stories and then, I think, you will agree that these are indeed........

Continue reading "Are These The Most Beautiful Regions in Italy?"

Is it Safe to Visit Italy in 2022?

Were you thinking of visiting Italy? Before you make a single plan watch this video!

Continue reading "Is it Safe to Visit Italy in 2022?"

You'll Enjoy These...

Please Book with Us...

Maria here, if you enjoy my site I'd love your support.

Simply book your next trip anywhere (not only to Italy) via the link below or with any of the hotel links on the website.

You'll get the best deal available and the income I receive helps me to remain independent and to keep bringing you more of beautiful Italy.

Click to Begin

More Travel Tips:

  1. Book your tickets to museums and other attractions of the city in advance on
  2. Book your accommodation. and Agoda both help you to book accommodation in advance and check availability on the days of your travels
  3. Book your excursions. Wherever you go, make the most of your time! Excursions with professional guides will help you do this - choose a location and the best option for yourself on Viator or Getyourguide
  4. Book your car. At least a month before is best. Use Discover Car Hire.
  5. Cash Back on Flights: Great deals & money back with WayAway

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.