Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Pannini in Rome

P is for Pannini

Every trip to Rome finds me the Piazza dei Fiore for the out door market, absorbing the good vibes, checking that the elderly man who sells vegetable cutters (reminds me of those paid TV infomercials) is still alive.

Then I am off to the Pannini store just around the corner.  No matter if it is too early of lunch, they will wrap it and put it in a plastic bag for me to have later.

Perhaps it is the wonderful smell of hot bread wafting down the street that attracts me.   The selection is great and often I can find tacchino (turkey) since I do not enjoy the ham selections available.    Are there more than 50 types of pork in Italy?

Monday, July 29, 2013

Profiles of great Italian contacts

Do you meet people when you plan a trip or share travel dreams  on line?   Some of the contacts I have made from my trips Home To Italy have often become travel friends.

Each may have a specialty that adds to an enhanced visit, a local that might show me something new, a discovery in a town I would have passed by.  Each has added a memory to my life bank.

In the next months I want to share some of the best travel contacts I have found and possibly they may add to your Italian experience.

Meet Laura Massoni
                          Laura Massoni Travel                             

 I met Laura from a referral by Dream of Italy author, Kathy McCabe.  (a post on Dream Of Italy to follow)   Laura was generous with help and information for a former client of mine.

 Laura Massoni Travel is located in the Little Italy section of San Diego and specializes in travel in Italy.     Moving to the USA in 1992 from her native Italy, Laura Massoni Travel opened in 1999.   She maintains an office in Italy as well as the USA so travelers have the benefit of experts on each continent.

  Her web site, , lists a wide
assortment of events, experiences and hidden travel treats for each traveler.   Not just Rome, Florence or Venice, there are towns and regions I have not visited in the more than 15 years I have visited Italy.
 Activities offered include cooking classes, eating at family restaurants, meeting local craftsmen, sampling the best chocolate producers!  A Vespa or Fiat tour in Rome.   In Venice visit the private workshops for carnival masks and costumes makers.

 If you are considering your first trip to Italy or if you have been Home to Italy many times, Laura Massoni Travel will show you new adventures and experiences throughout Italy:

           Liguria - Lombardia - Piemonte - Piemonte - Food and Wine Program - Venice and Verona - Florence and Surroundings - Maremma - Pisa and Surroundings - Rome - Puglia - Sicily

 Laura strives for all her clients to 'experience the authentic Italian way of life'.     Your Italian adventure will not be a standard tour but one designed to show you more than the best know tourist sites, you will be a traveler.   All company agents were born and raised in Italy.  When you ask a question about a festival, custom or popular location, an expert will reply.

Contact Laura to plan your next trip Home to Italy  

Main 858.201.6424 • Fax 858.597.0757 •

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Rome: for the BEST resource list

When I begin to think about planning my next trip to Italy and have Rome on the agenda
I pull out the following post from 

I have said before and posted her exceptional stories,  that Browsing Rome is a great source of information.  

Here is a wonderful list to review before your trip.   You should find many things you didn't know and might like to see.   Thanks again Browsing Rome

— Browsing Rome:



There are tons of information on Rome and sifting through all them can be very time consuming. As I often come across invaluable resources for Rome ranging from apps to blog posts to services to videos, I have decided to put them all on one page for easy reference.
Here, I am not only listing blogs or websites that I would recommend. But instead, I have pulled out specific posts which have been hand-picked and reviewed to ensure they are relevant for visitors regardless of when they are coming to Rome.
Rome Resources in One Place
Courtesy of Browsing Rome
Some posts are from BrowsingRome and others are from various sources, many of whom I can vouch for.  In time, as I come across additional resources, this page will naturally be updated.
If you have a resource you would like to share, please email the details to browsingrome [at] gmail [dot] com.  While I welcome new recommendations, it is entirely my discretion to decide if the resource will be shared.
Disclosure:  No compensation has been received from any of these resources listed.  They are just excellent information that deserve to be shared.


Top 10 Things To Do in Rome by Why Go Italy
Top Museums in Rome by Italy Travel
Roman Masterpiece by CNNGo (Video) 
Capital of Contradictions by CNNGo (Video)
The Secret Key Hole in Rome by Rome Cabs

Rome Sites Then and Now by My Melange

Rome’s Appian Way by Revealed Rome
Rome Monuments – My Top 5 by Heart Rome

Rome Underground: Catacombs, Crypts, & Bones by Heart Rome

Ostia with Kids by Context Travel

Off the Beaten Path: Park of Aquaducts – Guest Post on BrowsingRome by Understanding Rome

Palazzo Farnese now offers English Tours – by Amanda Ruggeri in The New York Times Travel
Palazzo Valentini by BrowsingRome
Santi Quattro Coronati by BrowsingRome

San Pietro in Vincoli by BrowsingRome

A Hidden Gem of Architecture: Quartiere Coppede by Context Travel
Top 5 Must-See Archaelogical Sites in Rome by American Institute for Roman Culture
Top Tips from a Local - Cultural Delights of Rome on MSN with Amanda Ruggeri (Video)
Top Tips from a Local – Explore the markets, bars and attractions on MSN with Simona Palmisano,  Walks of Italy Rome Expert (Video)


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Florence Mail Box Etc summer hours

Travelers to Florence:  Vacation hours for MBE 212!

 It will feel as if all of Italy is at the beach during August.....   

When traveling in Italy, think about storing your luggage at the Mailbox Etc office (MBE212)near the train station. 

The four women of Florence MBE 212 are amazing. 
See our video: 

My friends in Florence have sent their August open hours.ORARIO ESTIVO    Summer Hours

DA LUNEDI’ 29 LUGLIO A VENERDI’ 30 AGOSTO MATTINA: 10.00 / 13.00 POMERIGGIO: 15.30 / 17.30 Sabato e Domenica chiuso CHIUSO PER FERIE DA LUNEDI’ 12 A LUNEDI’ 19 AGOSTO compresi clip_image002 SUMMER OPENING HOURS FROM MONDAY 29th OF JULY TO FRIDAY 30th OF AUGUST inclusive MORNING: 10.00 / 1.00 AFTERNOON: 3.30 / 5.30 Closed Saturday and Sunday


Sunday, July 21, 2013

Amalfi coast the Hidden paths

Hike in the Amalfi coast area
with a professional hiking guide.

Adriano De Falco  your guide to the paths of the Amalfi coast and surrounding areas.

Enjoy walking with us along the beautiful and scenic paths of the Amalfi Coast, Cilento and Diano National Park and the hills of Salerno.

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Your Hiking adventure will be led by professional hiking guide and member of AIGAE (Italian Association of Professional Nature and Walking Guides) 

                             Adriano De Falco

Tourists visit the towns of Postitano and Amalfi but Adriano will show you paths that give you an unique view of the Amalfi coast…..


Most requested trails:

"Path of Gods": Wonderful views of Amalfi Coast and the Gulf Of Salerno.
4 hours walking from Agerola to Positano 600 metres down-hill 150 metres up-hill

Paper Mill Valley: Get to Amalfi from a different way passing through some little village as "Mnuta" and "Pontone". Good sights of Falls, rivers and the rests of old Paper mill factories

Cilento National Park: with its magical nature, mountains, coastlines, and little villages such as   Roscigno "The uninhabited Village" where only Peppe lives.

Salerno Two Apartments for Rent!

Salerno Italy Apartments for Rent
Better than a hotel…   Rent an apartment in the center of the old town.  Be part of the neighborhood, live Italian…. has two apartments available in central Salerno
Vacanze il duomo 1 - for 4 to 5 visitors
Vacanze il duomo 2  for 2 to 3 visitors
prices start at 55 E day*

The central position is unique.     Just a few steps away from the Cathedral dedicated to St. Mattew, from the shopping street of Mercanti, Verdi's Theatre, Menerva Gardens and the promenade with its beach.   All public transport is easily accessible.

Casa Vacanze "Il Duomo" Vacation Rental 
In the characteristic setting of the historic center of Salerno
the two rental apartments are just a few meters from each other in Via Botteghelle in Largo and Brother John "The Cathedral" is an idea  place to 'live in a true Italian neighborhood".  Shop at the local markets, join the passeggiata in the evenings, stop in a cafe overlooking the sea.


The perfect position in Salerno allows to reach easily the most attractive tourist destination:
Amalfi Coast, Pompei, Capri, Paestum and Cilento National Park.  
A perfect Accomodation for Couples and  families with children You can arrive in Salerno by car, bus or train.    

Friday, July 12, 2013

More Festivals in Puglia Italy: summer 2013

  FESTIVAL IN Puglia 2013

Thanks to SalentoTV web site
29/30 Giugno, 2013 - Bari

Ninth Edition of Water in the head Music Festival in Bari The program will have two high-profile headliner, Italians Boomdabash with the new album "Superheroes" and the British ASIAN DUB FOUNDATION presenting the album "The Signal & Noise" with new live show in the first national total. Admission is free.
July 6 to 20, 2013 - Salento
Worlds End 2013 to cross history, scenery, food and stories . It is a celebration, a time of study, a journey of discovery. Worlds End runs throughout the SalentoLecce, Otranto, Maglie, the Castle of Acaya (Vernole) and many villages, streets, farms. Strips of land where Italy ends and the sea begins. Places of stories and legends of assaults, achievements, culture, beauty and art.
13-20-26 July - Ruvo di Puglia (Bari)

Music Festival structured in 3 different days:
Saturday, July 13: From Siena Carolina, Do not Ask Me, Cosmo, Management of postoperative pain .
Saturday, July 20: Frankie Plunk, Moustache Prawn, Aucan (dj + vj set) .
Friday July 26: Sadside Project, Mariantonietta, Vadoinmessco .

 STREAM FEST - International Festival digital echo-sounder
Edisione VII - July 13, 2013 - Taranto

Born in 2007,  StreamFest  has now become one of the international festival of cultures eco-digital audio and experiments - visual the most anticipated of the summer and this year will be held in one of the most picturesque places in Italy: Puglia. StreamFest is contemporary art, digital, electronic music, video art and love for the environment. July 13: Kevin Sauderson, Viale Ionian (Taranto).

From 13 July to 1 August 2013 - Martina Franca (Taranto)
The billboard - sealed with a motto this year is taken dall'incipit of a famous madrigal Pomponio Nenna of Bari, a contemporary of Carlo Gesualdo - is usually rich and varied, with five works, including an opera for children specially commissioned , two precious evenings in the sign of Wagner and Verdi, a series of concerts of sacred music and chamber music, including madrigals, lieder and jazz, for a total of twenty-eight appointments. Programme

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Italy: most Unesco sites

Unesco World Heritage Sites in Italy
The Cilento 

Italy is the country that can boast the most UNESCO recognitions in the world, counting 49 in total.
In no other nation can one find such a high concentration of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

What is your favorite one?
‪#‎ItaliaIT‬ ‪#‎Italy‬ ‪#‎UNESCO‬

L'Italia è il Paese con il maggior numero di riconoscimenti UNESCO al mondo, ne abbiamo ben 49.<br />In nessuna altra nazione è possibile trovare una tale concentrazione di siti dichiarati "Patrimonio dell'Umanità".<br />Qual è il vostro preferito?<br /><br /><br />Italy is the country that can boast the most UNESCO recognitions in the world, counting 49 in total. <br />In no other nation can one find such a high concentration of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. <br />What's your favourite one?<br /><br /><br />#ItaliaIT #Italy #UNESCO

Our Amalfi coast expert shared this with me this week.
I asked him to tell us about the sites closest to the Amalfi coast.  He sent me a list of sites that could be  "a days trip distance": the Amalfi Coast, Pompei ruins, Cilento National Park, Naples historical center and the Royal Palace of Caserta.


Monday, July 8, 2013

Venice Festival July 21

A new FB friend Daniela Longo*  has a language school just outside of Venice.  See her details at the end of the story.   Joyfulit Italian language courses for curious and brilliant adults

A traditional festival that lights up St. Mark's bay
Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st July 2013
The Festa del Redentore is a festival that is particularly popular with Venetians as it combines a religious theme with a spectacular celebration that attracts thousands of visitors.

On Saturday night, the inimitable setting of St. Mark's Basin hosts a magical firework display that lights up the spires, domes and bell towers of the city with a kaleidoscope of colors and reflections

At dusk, just as they have done for centuries, numerous small boats decked out with balloons, decorations and brightly decorated lanterns, begin to flock into St. Mark's Bay and the Giudecca Canal.    The boats then moor alongside each other and all the participants enjoy a sumptuous dinner of traditional Venetian specialties while they wait for the firework display that begins at 11.30pm and lasts until well past midnight.
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The history of Redentore
The Festa del Redentore is a tradition that dates back to 1577. It was first held to celebrate the city's deliverance from a terrible plague, and the construction of Palladio's "Redentore" (Redeemer) Church had been commissioned for the same reason. The Church, built on the Island of the Giudecca, can still be reached by pilgrims during the festival by means of an impressive 330-metre-long pontoon bridge. The "Redentore" celebrations include a solemn religious service and procession presided over by the patriarch of the city, and the weekend ends with a series of gondola races, organized as part of the "Voga alla Veneta" rowing season.


SATURDAY, JULY 20th 20137.00pm opening of the Thanksgiving Bridge, connecting the Zattere to the Church of the Redentore on the island of Giudecca
11.30pm Fireworks in St. Mark's Bay

SUNDAY, JULY 21st 2013, in the afternoon
Redentore Regattas - Giudecca channelChildren's twin-oared "pupparini" boat regatta
Twin-oared "pupparini" boat regatta
Twin-oared gondola regatta
Organized by Assessorato al Turismo del Comune di Venezia
Thanksgiving Mass at the Church of the Redentore on the Giudecca island

Itay Festivals in Puglia

Events in Puglia

Thanks to Lesley, the owner of Villa Magnolia in Puglia, for this link to festivals in Puglia.
Plan your holiday around an Italian even.  

Events in Puglia  

26.07.2013 - 26.07.2013A Ostuni Puglia sings Jason Mraz - July 26, 2013OstuniConcerts in Puglia
13.07.2013 - 31.08.2013In Gallipoli exhibition of Athos Faccincani - from 13 July to 31 August 2013GallipoliArt and Photography
07.07.2013 - 07.07.2013A Monopoly'' Back to the Past'' - heritage walk between churches and forgotten crypts - July 7MonopolyInitiatives
07.07.2013 - 07.07.2013Wheat Festival in Rutigliano - July 7, 2013RutiglianoFestivals
05.07.2013 - 07.07.2013Feast of Bread in Altamura - 5-6-7 Jul

Sorrento: Learn Italian while visiting Italy

50% off the course fee for BASIC Italian  in July, August and September  2013 at Sant’Anna Institute Sorrento Lingue     

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Are you traveling to Italy this summer?  Have you always wanted to learn Italian?   This is the perfect opportunity to take a travel break and learn something new.
Studying in a foreign country is not only for exchange students.  


 Adults, solo travelers, couples or families can enroll in a short program to learn basic Italian

Consider a learning experience at SASL:
A family learning experience
If you are traveling solo, a great way to interact with locals

Travel is not all shopping, museums and restaurants
Bring home a memory that will stay with you and perhaps change your view of travel


Italian Basic Course from 190 euro!
1  week
2 weeks
3 weeks6012 540
4 weeks8012720


For details contact:
148-1-piccolo-1-olgaStudy Abroad Program Coordinator Olga StingaHead of Italian Language Department.
MA in Comparative Studies (Polish, English, Spanish), "Orientale" University of Naples (2003)
Contact Olga:

A short history
Sant’Anna Institute-Sorrento Lingue (SASL) was founded in 1998 as Sorrento Lingue.  The founder and director, Dr. Cristiana Panicco, native of Torino, fell in love with the town of Sorrento and started the organization as a language school.
A couple years after the school was founded, Dr. Panicco started hosting study abroad students in affiliation with US universities.  SASL works closely with SUNY Alfred State College, our regionally US partner, accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, to offer students a wild range of academic courses.  SASL is both a study abroad location and an international language school for Italians and foreigners who would like to learn Italian, English, Spanish German, French and Japanese.  SASL is a constant international community of cultural exchange.
SASL changed its name from Sorrento Lingue to SASL in 2010 when it moved to a historical building that previously housed the “Istituto Sant’Anna,” a convent founded in 1864 by an order of nuns named “Suore di Carità dell’Immacolata Concezione d’Ivrea”.  The nuns set up a nursery school and later an elementary school, a junior secondary school (1940), a teacher’s training school (1981) and a high school with an emphasis on languages (1988).  Until 1985, the “Istituto Sant’Anna” hosted a girl’s boarding school, several apostolic activities and the parish service. SASL courses and programs are conducted in classrooms overlooking the picturesque fishing village, Marina Grande or the school’s gardens.  In the spring of 2013, the school will become a full-fledged campus with dormitories for up to 50 students!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Living with an Italian family….while studying abroad

I saw the following on the Sant’Anna Institutes’ web page.  It brought back memories from my semester abroad in Florence,  Italy…….more for all the missed opportunities since I lived with a very formal family.     
Perhaps there is an opportunity for adults to stay with a family?

Italian Family Customs when studying abroad:

The most significant cultural differences that you will encounter will be with meals. Meals tend to be more formal and are an important family bonding time that should not be rushed.

· Italian breakfast tend to be more basic than Americans are used to, consisting of tea/coffee with a few biscuits or toast.
Photo by Sheila Ford

· Either lunch or dinner will be large meal usually consisting of a ‘primo piatto’ of pasta/rice/soup and a ‘secondo piatto’ of protein (meat or fish) with a side dish of vegetables, followed by fruit.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Amalfi Coast Tips by Locals

Amalfi Coast Tips by Locals  Just like having a relative in Italy!

Several years ago while I was living in Sorrento on a sabbatical I met Andrea Di Francesco on line.   He published Ciao magazine for travelers to the Amalfi coast at the time.  48992_1269923595_1830358447_qAndrea continues to share his love for the area he has always lived in with all travelers.   I called him my ‘travel angel because he found answers to questions I could not solve:  how to find a bus to my home village south of Salerno, the web site for Italian ferries, the name of the alternative train services.
If you are visiting the Amalfi coast and you want an experience beyond the tourists stops.  Don’t be a tourist be a traveler.
Andrea now contributes to Amalfi Coast Tips by Locals.  He is available on face book.  Follow the stories on what to do and see in the area or sent Andrea your questions.
He can be your travel angel too, with: