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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...

Calabrian Food - 8 Dishes You Must Try


Calabrian food is fantastic and we've 8 dishes from Calabria you absolutely must try - from Calabrian Nduja to Tartufo, these Calabrian treats are delicious.

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Restaurants in Venice

Most restaurants in Venice are rather good, though many, especially in the main tourist areas around St. Mark's, are expensive. Some, though, are terrible. These are the three I advise you to bookmark and avoid at all costs:

1) Da Gigi
2) Da Celio
3) Caffe Saraceno

I'd also recommend eating at one of the more traditional restaurants; if you click continue reading a little further down, you'll find some I recommend. We never take a cent from restaurants, and our recommendations are based on our own experiences.

Oh yes, one last thing: try not to eat at McDonald's, KFC, or Burger King. They are spreading like a fungus throughout Italy, and I'm sure you'd rather help the traditional mom-and-pop family restaurants than the big global chains.

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6 Places to See near Venice - Updated for 2023


These 6 places to see near Venice are awesome. If you're visiting Venice you seriously DO NOT want to miss out on seeing them.

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And Watch The 3D Tour of the Grotta del Bountalenti

Boboli Gardens

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February in Venice: Canals Run Dry

Because of very unusually low tides, the canals of Venice are running dry. This causes great difficulties for supplying shops and restaurants as deliveries come by boat. It is also a huge problem for emergency services, which cannot dispatch ambulances, fire trucks, or police boats to many areas.

The Restoration of the Florence Baptistery

Can You Pronounce These Italian Words?

The Situation in Italy: March 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, and grocery shortages in the stores.

Some people have read about COVID restricting their ability to travel freely and obligating them to wear a mask.

Well, all of that is not true.

Italy plans to increase its 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. Experts believe they may not even need to tap into the strategic reserve until April, if at all.

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, GDP growth for 2022 was 3.9%, and there was no recession as a result of the war in Ukraine.

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

What about COVID?

There are no COVID restrictions. You can travel freely and don't need to wear a mask except in health care facilities.

To Conclude: 

There are no grocery shortages. There are no gas shortages and no power outages. You can travel freely, and no mask is required.

My Advice?

Come on over and enjoy the Italian Dolce Vita. Don't put it off any longer; make your reservation today.

Does Venice Have Cars

Car in Venice

The reality of Venice can be shocking at times. It is one thing to hear that there are no cars, no bicycles, no motorbikes; however, when you actually see...

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Acqua Alta Bookshop - Like Something from Wonderland


Gondolas inside and out, piles of books, cats everywhere and a fire escape that involves jumping into a canal. This is the Acqua Alta Bookshop

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8 Unforgettable Places in Italy - Updated for 2023

Cinque Terre

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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The Countries With the Best Italian Style Pizza

1) Italy
2) San Marino
3) Japan:Previously in 2nd spot, they have now slipped to third.
4) Spain
5) Croatia
6) France: Most is horrible and many of the worse places are in Paris; however, in places like Nice there is good pizza to be found.
7) USA: You need to really look to find quality pizza. It is out there but so too are pineapple nightmares - be careful out there folks.
8) Switzerland
9) Australia: - Some great pizza in Melbourne and Sydney - try Di Mario in Sydney or Kaprica in Melbourne.

Find of the Century in Tuscany

Gine Lollobrigida Dead at 95

One of the icons of Italian cinema has passed away at the age of 95. May her soul rest in peace.

Gina Lollobrigida: Top 10 Movies

The House of Vettii: Open Again After 20 years

The Best Southern Italian Destinations


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

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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.

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9 Secrets of Southern Italy - Updated for 2023


Grab your bucket list... I've 9 Secrets from Southern Italy to share with you. Can you believe places like this even exist?

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Earthquake Risk in Italy: The 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.

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1 Euro Houses in Italy in 2023


Have you read about the 1 Euro houses in Italy? Why is Italy selling houses for 1 Euro? Would you like to buy one? We have everything you need to know!

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Is it Safe to Travel to Italy? Updated for 2023

Italy's NSA-cover-security-text.png

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

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Summer in Italy... All Year Round

Wall clock with Trevi Fountain in the background

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...

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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...

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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.

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Best Italian Recipe On Earth

I've made gnocchi using a very similar recipe for years. The one thing I do that is different is that I cut and peel the potatoes before boiling and then

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Scilla and the Fishing Village of Chianalea

Girl running in Chianalea, Calabria

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

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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

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THE Guide to Car Hire in Venice Italy

Kim Madsen Fiat 500

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

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The Best Luxury Hotels in Venice Italy

Luna Hotel Baglioni Venice

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

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A Life Saved By Quick Thinking Neighbors

Things to Do in Bari & Reasons to Love Bari

Ladies making pasta in Bari Italy old town

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!

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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

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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...

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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?

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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

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Venice Flooding - The Story That Explains It

Flooding in St Marks Venice

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...

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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.

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The Best Tours of Venice Italy

Grand Canal Alexander Strahilov

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!

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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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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.

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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...

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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

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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

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.

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More Travel Tips:

  1. Book your tickets to museums and other attractions 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
  6. Get Insured with

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