Author Archives: Natalie

Venice’s Spiral Stairs: La Scala Contarini del Bovolo

venice spiral stairs

Tucked into a little dead-end that you might otherwise pass right by is one of my favorite hidden wonders in La Serenissima. The spiral staircase of Venice is officially known as La Scala Contarini del Bovolo.  In Venetian “bovolo” means snail shell, which is usually known as a “chiocchiola” in Italian. The pretty stairs do […]

Can You Still Travel to Italy This Year? It’s Complicated

First things first: everything that has to do with the novel coronavirus comes with a lot of uncertainty and changes quickly. I am not an epidemiologist or a government official. This article is updated to inform you of travel restrictions in Italy in 2020 and to direct you to the official sources of information. That […]

Libreria Acqua Alta: Venice’s Most Beautiful Bookstore

bookstore in venice open to canal

From St. Mark’s Basilica to the world-class art collections at the Peggy Guggenheim museum and L’Accademia, there are plenty of traditional must-sees to fill your days in Venice. But one of the unconventional landmarks that should be on your list to visit is a used bookstore – Libreria Acqua Alta. The bookstore is named because […]

Italians Have Gained an Average of 4.5 Pounds During Lockdown

feet on scale

According to Italy’s consumer group Coldiretti, Italians have gained an average of 2 kgs (4.5 pounds) during the country’s lockdown. Normally considered one of the healthiest countries in the world, many residents (47% according to one survey) say that losing weight is high on their post-lockdown to do list. The group points to several reasons […]

Confetti: Italy’s Celebratory Candy

italian sugared almonds in bags

Confetti might bring tiny colored pieces of paper to mind, but that would be “coriandoli” in Italian. In Italy, confetti is a traditional sweet that is given out at celebrations. The sugar-coated almonds are a major part of Italian wedding traditions but are also handed out as gifts to guests at major events like births and […]

Primo Maggio (Labor Day): Italy’s May 1st Holiday

The arrival of spring always seems to set off a flurry of public holidays in Italy. There is Easter, which brings with it Pasquetta (Easter Monday), followed by Liberation Day on April 25th, and finally Labor Day or la Festa dei Lavoratori on May 1st. May 1st is a public holiday in Italy that is often […]