Bust-a-myth

Mama’s boys

It’s one of the classic stereotypes about Italians: no matter how old they are, they…

Spaghetti bolognese

To an Italian native it is unsettling and fascinating how most of the so-called “Italian…

Festivals

Italian icons

marcello mastroianni

Marcello Mastroianni

As Hollywood executives use to say, some actors just have it. “It” being an intangible…

Leonardo da Vinci

A hypothetical merit ranking of all the men (and women, of course) ever lived would…

Ape Piaggio

The Piaggio Ape, or Apecar, is the other great idea of Corradino D’Ascanio, the same…

Places

sassi di matera

The Sassi of Matera

Think of a town so mindboggingly chaotic and alien to look like something out of…

Pasquino (Rome)

In the year 1501, digging for a construction site in central Rome, workers uncovered an…

Paestum

The southern part of Italy was, as you may know, actually more Greek than Italian…

Religious holidays

Pasqua

If the date listed above sounds like a complex mouthful… that’s because it is. Simply…

Tongue twisters

But where are the bees?

This tongue twister isn’t especially difficult to pronounce (well, it is for the ‘ö’, which…