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...
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?
Ever experienced a summer or Christmas in Italy? Well, we've a way that you can bring that joy and happiness home with you...
The village where time has stood still. Not even a car is to be found in this medieval hilltop gem called Civita di Bagnoregio
What is it about the south of Italy that makes it so special. This story will provide the answer....
Wondering what to see in Sicily? We've a lot of fabulous suggestions that you will absolutely LOVE!
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 the Dolce Far Niente and why every tourist to Italy should understand it, live it.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Get the tee too. Click on "continue reading" below...
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..
For the full story click on "continue reading" below...
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...
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!
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?
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...
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
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.
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.
Which are the top 10 sights in Italy? Some you may know but, I think a few will be a huge surprise! Oh, and let us know how many you have visited.
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.
People often ask us why they should travel to Italy? Why not the UK, France, Thailand or Florida? This is the answer I give them...
In many ways it is in Bari that 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!
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.
Why visit Venice and the Veneto? This is the Italy of the imagination...except it's real. This is the Italy you've seen in the movies....but you're the star. Organize your trip in 12 photos...
Where In Italy do you belong? Take this short quiz to find the answer! Then start planning your next vacation or big move.
If you don't understand Italian watch with subtitles.
P.S. If you'd like REAL Italian recipes click the link below...
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
What about visiting Positano for your next vacation? Let me explain why that is an absolutely fantastic idea.
An inspiring story for us all!
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!
I hear from so many people frustrated about not being able to return to Italy. I feel for them. I know it is tough.
It is tough for us too. Our main source of income was hotel bookings and advertising. That has all gone :-(
Despite the fact that I need you to return to make a living I want to be honest with you. I would not recommend visiting yet.
Our personal feeling is that Italy, Spain, France and others opened too soon.
That has led to a spike of cases.
Many will tell you to return, some genuinely believe that.
Others have a vested interest in your returning, because your not returning is costing them money.
It is costing our family money as well. We have no income too.
Yet, I cannot think only of my own selfish interest. I feel there is too much selfishness in this world as it is.
I truly believe this will eventually pass, perhaps by the end of this year or maybe by next spring. Whenever it does pass I can promise you the return will be that much sweeter. Things we all took for granted will be appreciated that much more.
See you soon (but not TOO soon) in Italy.
Maria & family
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.
You want to make a good impression in Italy right? You don't want to be that typical tourist do you? Well then, make sure you NEVER do any of these things when in Italy...
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 time when life was far less complicated, a golden age in the memories of most Italians.