Category Archives: Life in Italy

Caffè Corretto in Italy

There are hundreds of ways to order a coffee in Italy. First you have to decide if it is normale, or with milk and if so, how much milk. Then is that with foam or without? Should it be scalding hot? Do you want this in a ceramic cup or glass? Any cocoa? And the […]

Fette Biscottate: Italy’s Terrible Cracker Cookie

In a country like Italy, a place completely dead set against many incarnations of pre-made food, there remain notable exceptions. Allow me to present you with frozen pizza topped with french fries and hotdogs and fette biscottate.  I’ve written about 6 things I’ve learned after 6 years in Italy, but after 6.5 years in Italy […]

Italy is the World’s Healthiest Country

two kinds of fresh tomatoes on display in crates on a testaccio market food tour

The news site Bloomberg has released its Global Health Index  and (surprise!) Italy is the world’s healthiest country. Italy has an unexpectedly high number of centenarians – people who live to the age of 100. In fact, in one Italian village, 10% of the 3,000 residents are 100 or older! So why is this happening? How did […]

Panettone: How to pronounce (and then serve) Italy’s favorite Christmas cake

Italian christmas cake known as panettone

Panettone. Pa-neht-tohn-ney panetˈtoːne However, you say it, panettone is Italy’s ubiquitous Christmas cake. Yes, there are other holiday treats but it is the panettone that reigns supreme. During the holiday season (which runs through 6 January), the stores and bakeries are piled high with the sweet cake. If you are visiting someone’s home or throwing […]

7 Essential Rules for Tipping in Italy in 2020

Ah, tipping. Gratuity. A little something extra. But exactly how much extra should you be leaving when you’re tipping in Italy? If you are coming from a country where tipping is common, you may be prepared to leave a lot of extra cash behind when tipping in Italy. While tips are (almost) always appreciated, leaving […]

Roasted Chestnuts in Rome: A winter time snack

As I was leaving Piazza Navona, I glanced over my shoulder for one last look at the Roman square in the evening light. I spotted a chestnut seller doing the same. In the colder months (and, bizarrely, also in the warmer months now) you will find street sellers on Rome’s corners selling freshly roasted chestnuts […]