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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...

Three nights at Palazzo Stern

My wife and I had a room over looking the Grand Canal for 3 nights. I was surprised the weather and noise, or lack of, that we were able to sleep with

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Christmas in Italy? Everything You Need is Here!

Planning a Christmas in Italy? I have everything you need - advice on Italian Christmas traditions, insider tips, weather, great accommodation picks and...

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Earthquake Risk in Italy: The Most Dangerous Areas - Updated for 2022

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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6 Places to See near Venice - Updated for 2022

These 6 places to see near Venice are awesome. If you're visiting Venice don't miss out on seeing them.

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The 9 Most Beautiful Towns in Italy - Updates for 2022

We would like to share a secret with you: the 9 most beautiful towns and villages in Italy.

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8 Unforgettable Places in Italy - Updated for 2022

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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9 Secrets of Southern Italy - Updated for 2022

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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A Virtual Journey through Venetian Life

Real Venetian life is lived far from the tourist spots. Down the little canals and lanes is where you'll discover the real Venice.

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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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Could Italy be Next?

Many of Italy's northern neighbors are having a difficult time. Covid 19 cases have soared and they are resulting to desperate measures. Austria is now introducing another lockdown and will make vaccination mandatory.

Italy though has resisted a new lockdown and mandatory vaccination. Thankfully, cases have been considerably lower here in Italy compared to Italy's German and Dutch speaking northern neighbors.

Experts are divided on why this is.

Many Italian experts are saying it is because Italy, and other Mediterranean countries like Portugal and Spain, opened up far less than their northern counterparts, complied with restrictions better and that vaccination rates are substantially higher in Mediterranean countries.

The most important thing is that Italy has far fewer cases and I am hoping things stay that way.

The one big worry is that cases are sharply on the rise in the far northern German speaking parts of Italy. Again, some are saying this is because these areas have low vaccination rates, others claim it is because of their close links to Austria - but who knows?

Like I say, I have no opinion.

I just hope Italy sees no real surge this winter and I pray that our northern friends can beat this.

Please pray for all of us. We are praying for you.

The Top 9 Sights in Rome

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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Horrified Young Americans Pay $900 For A Beer in Rome

Two young Americans were shocked to find that their "good idea" of sneaking into a closed Colosseum in the early hours of the morning to drink a beer wasn't a great idea after all.

Instead of finding inspiration, while sipping a beer in the very arena where gladiators once battled, they were left with $900 (800 Euros) in fines. A knockout blow indeed.

I know that beer in touristy spots in Rome can be ridiculously expensive... but $900!

Was it worth it?

Well, they got to sip beer in one of the greatest tourist spots on earth, without any other tourists around, and savored the atmosphere of early dawn, just the two of them, their thoughts and the ghosts of millennia past. That has to be worth something. Is it worth $900? I'll leave that up to you to decide.

Rome Colosseum

Elimination Looms.

Italy faces the possibility of NOT qualifying for the World Cup next year. This would be the second time in a row such a calamity has befallen Il Bel Paese.

How did this happen?

They missed two penalties against Switzerland - either would have guaranteed qualification. Then they failed to beat Northern Ireland. Now, Switzerland go through... and Italy face difficult play offs in March.

Fail in those and the dreams of millions of Italians will lie in tatters.

The Scrovegni Chapel - One of the Greatest Artworks on Earth

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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!

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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!

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The Easter in Venice Guide

Easter in Venice is wonderful, there's a special feeling in the air and Easter is still celebrated in the traditional way. Be a part of it - click for more.

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You will never forget Madonna della Corona

Perched on ancient cliffs is one of the Veneto's and indeed Italy's most impressive sights. This is the sixteenth century Madonna della Corona.

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The Top 10 Craziest Questions About Italy

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

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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 Best of Rome Vacation Rentals

Looking for Rome Vacation Rentals? I have personally selected the best apartments to rent in Rome. The Dolce Vita begins the moment you walk through the door.

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Pizza: Gennaro shows you the way they make it in old Napoli.

Know the Risks!

Venice, an Odyssey, hope, anger and the future of cities by Neal E. Robbins (La Toletta edition 2021)

I write to bring to your attention a book that I think would be of interest, given the recent attention to Venice. As you will know, the go-to book at

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Does Venice Have Cars

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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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...

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Italy: Plane Crash

Giant Violin in Venice

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.

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Visiting Venice? You MUST Visit These Stores!

Got a Job? Then you WILL have to be vaccinated!

23 million Italians who work, either for private companies or for the government, have been told that they have just four weeks to get fully vaccinated.

Once you have had both of the approved vaccines (or a single Johnson & Johnson one) you are issued with something called a Green Pass and it is this Green Pass you need to present at work. It is also needed for many other things too: indoor dining, to visit museums, bars, gyms and much much more.

Without it you can't work, can't travel on much of the public transport network, can't enjoy Italy's wonderful museums and can't dine indoors at your lovely local trattoria. Without it the dolce vita that Italy has to offer is not possible.

Rome's Cat Shelter - A Home in the Ruins

Near the Colosseum of Rome, between the ruins of ancient temples, is an unlikely sort of place, a shelter for cats. Here, Rome's homeless cats are...

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One of the Most Beautiful Italian Words. Can YOU pronounce it?

Now try these...

Change in the Entry Rule For US, Israeli, Canada and Japanese Tourists to Italy:

Changes for tourists from the USA, Canada, Japan and Israel. Basically, the main change boils down to needing to be vaccinated AND doing a test before departure. If you don't do the test they will still let you in but you will need to quarantine for 5 days after arrival and do a test at the end of the five days. Here is the official statement from the Ministry of Health:

For all those who have stayed or passed through in the fourteen days prior to entering Italy in Canada, Japan, the United States and Israel, the legislation provides that upon returning to Italy it is mandatory topresent, in paper or digital form and issued by the competent health authority of the country of origin avaccination certificate confirming the fact that you have completed the prescribed anti-SARS-CoV-2 vaccination course for at least 14 days, or the certificate of cure, which is valid for 180 days from the date of the first positive swab.

In addition, it is also necessary to present the negative result of a molecular or antigenic swab carried out in the 72 hours before entering Italy. Children under the age of 6 are exempted from taking the pre-departure swab.

Fill in the Passenger Locator Form - Digital localization form - before entering Italy.The form replaces the self-declaration made to the carrier.

The certification relating to the completion of the vaccination cycle must refer to one of the four vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA):

Pfizer-BioNtech

Moderna

Vaxzevria

Jansen (Johnson & Johnson)

Story Update: Unvaccinated Travelers
it is mandatory to undergo isolation for five days at the address indicated in the Passenger Locator Form and a molecular or antigen test,carried out by means of a swab, at the end of said period.

Please check with your airline before flying.

Addio Alitalia

Authentic and Italian - Our Tiramisu Recipe

Need a tiramisu recipe? You won't find any better than this one - it is 100% authentic Italian.

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!0 Euros to Enter Venice?

That is one of the ideas Venice is proposing for the summer of 2022. The idea is to prevent the city ever again being overwhelmed with tourists.

Now that cruise passengers will be severely curtailed, thanks to the latest restrictions on large vessels, the authorities are turning their attention to day trippers, many of whom visit but spend little and cause severe congestion during the peak summer months.

The fee, estimates have ranged from 3 to 10 Euros, is but one idea being considered. Others include limiting daily visitors to those who've booked online.

The final version could include both booking online and a fee or only one of the two. It will likely apply only to cruise passengers and to day trippers. Those staying in Venice are likely to be exempt.

I can understand the motivation and my video below explains why Venice has to change; however, is this the right solution? I don't know.

This SHOCKS You When in Venice

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.

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Italian DO NOT do any of these things... EVER!

There are some things Italians absolutely DO NOT do. Some of those things things that YOU do daily Italians see as life threatening.

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Vicenza Italy - A Noble City

Vicenza Italy is so near to Venice yet nearly everyone misses this little gem. Join me in exploring my home town...

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Venice & Burano- Pictures to Dream By

Venice is number on our Italian bucket list and it should be on yours too. In this city of enchantment no time spent here is ever enough...

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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. Join me, Maria, exploring the Venetian wonders few ever discover.

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Venice Italy Restaurants Guide

The Venice Italy Restaurants Guide features some of the best restaurants in Venice. The Osteria Anice Stellato is one such...

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