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 those planning to travel to Italy.
Join me, Maria, and my family in discovering Italy together...
Take five minutes out of your day and embark on this stunning visual journey exploring life in Florence Italy. A divine array of cakes and pastries at the Caffé Gilli...
Our complete guide to the thermo spas near Venice Italy. From where to stay through to what to see our insider guide will help you to plan the perfect stress-free visit. Just click to get started...
Welcome to San Marino, a beautiful little country within the borders of Italy. Sadly, they are going through a hard time at the moment with the highest Covid-19 infection rate in the world at 18,508 cases per million. The good news is that they appear to have flattened the curve and the hope is that, like Italy, they too will start seeing cases dropping quickly.
P.S. Photo is by Jim DeLutes
Discover the great cuisine of the Veneto and Italy with us. You simply have to try our Cannoli recipe.. and hear the amazing story behind the recipe.
Ever experienced a summer in Italy? Well, we've a way that you can bring the sunshine and happiness of an Italian summer home with you.
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.
People often ask us what is it we love about Italy and I thought I'd share one thing that I truly love... walking Italian cities and towns.
I grew up in cities where people seldom walked. Need to go down the road to visit a friend... get in the car. Pop out for a few groceries... jump in the car. At first it was strange to see how Italians walked everywhere. Slowly I grew to love it.
Maria would send me out in the morning, to buy a few things for lunch, and I'd be gone for hours. Round the corner was my barber, he was never that busy weekday mornings, he'd see me and invite me to the bar next door for an espresso... where I'd meet another three or four people and get caught up in discussions of life, politics and sport.
Then I'd walk to the fishmonger, passing by a little bakery. The aroma of freshly baked bread made all resistance crumble. I'd leave loaded down with breads, pastries and enough calories to cover for all the walking.
Just along the lane to the fishmonger lived Rosalinda, an elderly lady who'd lost her entire family in a Sicilian earthquake decades before. She'd stand on her balcony and sing sad, beautiful songs for hours. I always stood and listened even though she never failed to bring tears to my eyes.
Finally I'd get to the fishmonger, where he'd share the life history and provenance of all his fish. He often knew the names of the fishermen who caught them. The only fish fresher than these were still swimming in the sea he'd say. Of course we had to discuss family, politics, life too.
Then it was onto the little corner store selling pasta, then the butcher, the fruit shop. Each time we'd have to talk for ages.
Sometimes I'd ask for something and get told I'd got it wrong. They'd tell me that what I asked for was not what Maria wants... and you know what, they were always right.
I'd always come home with the right items - no thanks to me. Anywhere else in the world, when Maria sends me to the supermarket, you can bet I forget things, buy the wrong items etc. etc.
To me, walking in Italian cities is the way you discover them. The sounds, aromas, sights - these are the memories you treasure. The people you meet, the stories they tell, the things you see; these all become a part of who you are.
This is the Italy Maria and I hope to share with you.
Photo by Alexander Strahilov
Discovered, 20 things which make Italy special and unique? Be it a tiny village of cobbled lanes or dinner at a tiny restaurant in a medieval hilltop town you will find the best of Italy here...
Find out more about this amazing little mini-Venice - simple click continue reading below...
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.
Click continue reading below to discover more about this and 8 other incredible little Italian towns.
Like to find out more about this dreamy little town? Then click the "continue reading" link below...
Click the link below to read more about this and other wonderful little towns and villages in Italy.
I was feeling a little down the other day, this whole situation in Italy, the bad news from across the world.
Then my husband shared with me this photo and message he wrote, and that same day experts were saying that Italy may have peaked. It helped me to feel so much better and I hope it can give you a little joy too.
Wherever you may be this is a war we can win.
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.
Need a tiramisu recipe? You won't find any better than this one - it is 100% authentic Italian.
One HUGE mistake I have been making with this virus story is looking at number, graphs, statistics. This is not about numbers, it is about lives, about stories gone for ever, people losing the person they relied upon, their rock, their everything.
I remember, when I lived in Turin, there was a lady in her 80s who'd sing sad, heart-rending songs from her balcony. She would sing for hours.
Nobody bothered to ask her why. Most just said she was mad.
One day though I decided to find out more.
It turned out that Rosalinda was from Sicily, she had lost her children and her husband in an earthquake decades before.
She never got over it.
With 30,000 now dead from Covid - 19 can you imagine how many heartbroken people there are today across the globe. People whose lives have been turned upside town.
Bereaved, bereft... many will never recover.
It is now that we need to be there for each other. Support each other. It is now that we need to put aside political rivalries, nationalistic rivalries and religious difference.
We are all in this together.
God bless you and your family
Andrew, Maria and William