Christmas vs La Befana: Festive Traditions

Christmas vs La Befana: Festive Traditions

Christmas VS La Befana: Festive Traditions

With the most joyous time of year approaching for family occasions, festivities and fun. Some of the cultural differences for the merriest time of the year vary between England and Italy. If you have an interest in visiting either country, here are some of the cultural traditions you can expect or may even wish to use on your stay. Alternatively, you may also decide to use the below as inspiration for your own Christmas traditions.

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Bilingualism: The Best Gift of All

Bilingualism: The Best Gift of All

Guest post by by Martha Miller

This week the wonderful author Martha Miller has shared her Italian story with us. Martha and her Husband, John sold everything and moved to Italy! How many of us would be that brave?

They were searching for adventure, but also the desire to feel settled in their community. To have a truly authentic experience not touristic one. So off they went!

I love this story and am slightly jealous we haven’t done this yet!

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So you think you know who you are? Love your true DNA story

 So you think you know who you are? Love your true DNA story

I’m sure many of you will feel you know exactly where your family origins lie. Maybe you’re aware of many interlocking layers of language, culture and nationality. Maybe you are convinced that you are 100% British/French/Chinese.

I love hearing stories passed down through families where one Grandma, like my own was convinced that there is a Spanish connection and no one. Not even her own Brother agrees! I always wonder how much of this is true?

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Why Sicily is the ultimate family holiday destination

Why Sicily is the ultimate family holiday destination

Why Sicily is the ultimate family holiday destination

If you’re planning your next trip for you and your family, and are unsure of where to go, Sicily has your name written all over it. The perfect place for families, Sicily has different activities for every family member. Thanks to its sprawling nature that includes both beach and mountain options (including the famous Etna volcano), the infinite culinary options that are great for family meals, and its many different monuments, you will hardly be bored on this vacation.

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7 of the greatest time saving Italian gadgets for your kitchen

7 of the greatest time saving Italian gadgets for your kitchen

7 of the greatest time saving Italian gadgets for your kitchen

As you can imagine the kitchen is quite important in our house! It’s not always easy without a nonna to recreate all those freshly cooked pasta dishes and homemade gnocchi.

We definitely don’t have time for this amount of preparation! I’ve been searching for a while now for gadgets that give us the essence of being back in Italy without quite so much effort!

I recently stumbled upon LionsHome, a site which helps you find the most beautiful furnishings and accessories for living spaces. They offer inspiration on homes, gardens, DIY and have gathered together a myriad of practical products to discover.

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How to find the best regional Italian dishes from Piedmont

How to find the best regional Italian dishes from Piedmont

How to find the best regional Italian dishes from Piedmont

This month myself, Jasmine of Questadolcevita and Kelly of Italianatheart are hosting an Italophile linkup called #Dolcevitabloggers. Every month we encourage people to write on a different topic and in September we're sharing our 'Favourite Italian Recipes'. 

So what better way to find some new special meals to create than to ask a community of Italians and those living in Italy absorbing the culture!

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How to warm up this Autumn with heavenly leek and potato soup!

How to warm up this Autumn with heavenly leek and potato soup!

How to warm up this Autumn with heavenly leek and potato soup!

Happy September to you all!

As you may have read elsewhere on the blog. This is the week where myself, Jasmine of Questadolcevita and Kelly of Italianatheart host an Italophile linkup called #Dolcevitabloggers. Every month we encourage people to write on a different topic and in September we're sharing our 'Favourite Italian Recipes'. 

I decided on a quick creamy Gorgonzola pasta recipe for mine. To my delight some of the wonderful Italy loving community have contributed recipes of their own!

Here we have a super, comforting leek and potato soup shared with us by Mary.

Mary is from Chicago and now lives in Italy, in the Province of Ascoli Piceno. This dish is a huge hit in her house and we can’t wait to try it!

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Favourite Italian Recipe (#Dolcevitabloggers)

Favourite Italian Recipe (#Dolcevitabloggers)

Favourite Italian Recipe (#Dolcevitabloggers)

This month for the #Dolcevitabloggers link up we're writing about our 'Favourite Italian Recipe'. 

Surely this should be easy. But how many Italian dishes do you love? It's a difficult choice!

I've decided to share a quick and easy pasta recipe. One that you can make with just a few ingredients, takes less than 15 mins and can be used for guests! I know this seems impossible but this dish is a real showstopper! 

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Italian culture shock (#Dolcevitabloggers)

Italian culture shock (#Dolcevitabloggers)

Italian culture shock (#Dolcevitabloggers)

This month for the #Dolcevitabloggers link up we're writing about our experience of 'Culture shock' in Italy. 

You may think that being married to an Italian is plain sailing and you just gaze into each others eyes while your partner gesticulates, talks loudly and cooks you heaps of pasta.

The pasta part is quite true! However there have been many times over the years when I have wondered if I could have taken an easier route. 

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Homemade Pizza recipe - Guest post by Kirsty of Winnettes

Homemade Pizza recipe - Guest post by Kirsty of Winnettes

Homemade Pizza recipe - Guest post by Kirsty of Winnette

Homemade pizza is one of our favourite dinners in our house. The best thing about it is that it is completely personalisable to your own tastes. You want all the cheese? Then go ahead. Only one person likes mushrooms? No problem. Need to keep it vegan? I've got you covered. Not only that, but the kids can get involved with this recipe from start to finish. It is an all round great family dinner.

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The Bittersweet Life; a perfect podcast on life in Italy

The Bittersweet Life; a perfect podcast on life in Italy

The Bittersweet Life; a perfect podcast on life in Italy

If you love a podcast or need a reason to start listening in, this is your chance!

The Bittersweet Life is a podcast run by two expats, writer Tiffany Parks and radio producer Katy Sewell. It's based on their unique experiences of life in Rome. The wonder and yet sometimes the bittersweet aspects of life abroad.

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10 Unusual gelato flavours to try this Summer

10 Unusual gelato flavours to try this Summer

10 unusual gelato flavours to try this Summer

We all think about ice cream as soon as the sun arrives. It seems to be a food whose popularity crosses all age groups! 

Gelato the Italian version is made with milk and sugar, not cream. It's usually lower in fat because of this and is softer due to being churned slowly. This decreases the amount of air getting into the mixture, it becomes more dense. It's isn't stored at such a low temperature as ice cream so there are no ice crystals. 

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7 Language learning hacks for holidays

7 Language learning hacks for holidays

7 Language learning hacks for holidays

Are you off on holiday soon and not sure who to keep up with your child' language learning? Or maybe you're around this Summer and would love to begin or continue the momentum you've created? 

If so I've gathered together 7 products which can be used at home or away without taking up too much space. 

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5 Ingredients for a 'Dolce Vita' (#Dolcevitabloggers)

5 Ingredients for a 'Dolce Vita' (#Dolcevitabloggers)

5 Ingredients for a 'Dolce Vita' (#Dolcevitabloggers)

This month our #Dolcevitablogger topic is to describe our 'Dolce vita'. What does it mean for each of us?

While the famous film, Federico Fellini's 'La Dolce Vita' shows us a frivolous, carefree life with a dark undercurrent. My version of 'a sweet life' is something much simpler and more transparent. 

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Which is the most beautiful Italian lake of them all?

Which is the most beautiful Italian lake of them all?

Which is the most beautiful Italian lake of them all?

I wish it was that simple to look in a magic mirror and be told which Italian lake is the most stunning and should be your next holiday destination! 

I've been to many of the Northern Italian lakes. Como, Garda, Trasimeno, Lugano. They all have a certain beauty to them. Their own personality.

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An Italian Hidden Gem (#Dolcevitabloggers)

An Italian Hidden Gem (#Dolcevitabloggers)

An Italian Hidden Gem (#Dolcevitabloggers)

There are some places you want to keep for yourself. But then you can't believe somewhere so wonderful exists and really want to share!

So I'm going to be sharing a restaurant and hotel. Except it's not just any hotel, to us anyway. As this hotel is where we ended up having our wedding reception. 

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Where to stay on Lake Maggiore: Golfo Gabella

Where to stay on Lake Maggiore: Golfo Gabella

Where to stay on Lake Maggiore: Golfo Gabella

As most of you know by now, we are huge fans of the Italian lake region. We've been holidaying and visiting family around Lake Como for 12 years. We were married there, our babies were baptised there and we really feel like it's a home from home. 

However recently we were persuaded by Jo of Bookings For You to consider a different lake for our next holiday. Lake Maggiore. 

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Summer events in Italy - Turin Epicurean Capital

Summer events in Italy - Turin Epicurean Capital

What is Turin Epicurean Capital?

Turin Epicurean Capital is a 3 day event in Turin, Italy. The year 2018 marks the 5th edition of the festival and it will take place from 20-22nd June. I organize the event to help promote Turin and shed some light on our beautiful royal city that is still pretty much under the radar despite most famous Italian brands and products being born right here.

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4 Italian cheeses to try this Summer

4 Italian cheeses to try this Summer

4 Italian cheeses to try this Summer

Who loves great meals with friends? Cheese, wine and conversation? I feel like the older I get the more I crave this than chocolate and dancing!

Before my children arrived I would head out into London with my girl friends for dinner and the highlight of our meal was always the cheese board and wine! 

Now I'm married to an Italian, cheese indulgence has taken on a new meaning! There are so many incredible varieties to try but where do you start and what can you pair them with? 

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