Join A Secret Italy


by Janelle
(Boise ID)

After a great day of eating, wandering and art, to sit on the steps at Piazzale Michelangelo and watch the sun set over Florence. It slowly and perfectly slips down between the dark outline of two lone cypress trees and is the most amazing and romantic sunset in the world!

Maria's reply: I know exactly what you mean. I hope you like the photo of Tuscany I've added. It was taken by Alberto Franceschini.

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Italia -unforgetable and unbeatable

by Deb
(Valdosta, GA)

St. Francis of Assisi

St. Francis of Assisi

The hill towns of Tuscany. Rent a car and explore these off the beaten path treasures... Staying in a Medici Palace in Lucigniano (Il Casero), wine, pasta, and bread.

Stumbling upon Orvieto for the first time. Finding 4 town with your name...

Finding the grave of your great grandparents... Visiting the house your grandfather was born in and the Island of Ischia, also a hidden treasure, where your grandmother was born.

Driving on the Autostrada with Modena City Ramblers singing on the CD player.

The Crossbow festival in Gubbio. The Sarachen festival in Arezzo. Taking photos of John Paul II.


Praying in the church St. Francis built. Staying in the room where The English Patient was filmed... Rosemary bushes 10 feet tall...

Everything... Tutti Tutti Tutti.

Maria's reply It sounds as if you really experienced Italy as it should be experienced.... Slowly and with passion.

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The Reason Italy is the Best

by Fay Ubertini
(Suffern, NY)

Mamma's Tiramisu

Mamma's Tiramisu

The reason Italy is best is the FOOD. Mozzarella alla bufala served whole with a side of pizza crust so thin that when you get it as pizza it can't hold up to the toppings. Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe, a specialty of Rome so delicious you wish you were alone so that you can concentrate on the experience.

It's soulful. Seriously. Artichoke hearts and olives eaten during a break in a drive with crusty, bread and a bottle of local wine. Buffets you can help yourself to in the Milanese bars. No need for dinner afterward.

Everything you can think of: bits of fish, meat, vegetables, and salad. Fegato alla Veneziana anywhere near Venice - thin strips of liver with lots of onions. Artichokes in season which I have both for lunch and dinner.

Portabella mushrooms so thick and rich that they can be a main course in place of steak.

Desserts in Sicily that melt your resolve to lose weight. Bollito misto up north. All different cuts of meat cooked together then separated, sliced to order and served to you from a cart.

Maria's reply: Wow!! Now I am hungry Fay. Love the bit about the desserts in Sicily that remove your desire to lose weight. After all what are a few pounds on the hips in return for the taste of heaven on your lips :-)

A couple of favorites of mine that I'd include on your wonderful list would be Tiramisu (click for my recipe), if it is made properly it is out of this world.

Another one would have to be my Mamma's meatball recipe (here's the recipe). You could offer me dinner at the finest restaurants in Rome, Milan, New York or Paris and I'd rather walk into my mother's kitchen to the aroma of meatballs on the stove and freshly homemade bread on the kitchen table every single time.

Last, but certainly not least, has to be nonna's lasagne recipe.

Actually there are a whole lot more too, particularly from Piedmont where we lived for nearly ten years. To list them all would really require an entire book - I don't have time to write that book unfortunately but many of my favorite recipe are already in Autumn In Piemonte: Food And Travels In Italy's Northwest

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