Recently I stood on a windswept hilltop overlooking Urbino, took a picture, and texted my husband. From five thousand miles away, he texted back: “Is that a painting?”“It is a painting,” I typed. “Well, it became one.” Actually, the dramatic landscape around Urbino has appeared in many paintings. There is something about Urbino itself—with its undu...

Spring time is the right time to go on a city break, to enjoy the art, history and food of Italian towns at better prices than the high season and at a time where you may find less crowds. Here are five Italian cities we picked from north to south and from the islands, which also offer attractions nearby to go further explore the countryside or the...

The people in our village of 1400 in east-central Italy are very friendly and gregarious. We cannot step outside very far without someone greeting us, whether we know them or not. It is considered both courteous and a custom of community connection. Yesterday, outside a food market, a very affable man who I often run into seemed ready to issue the...

Auguri to NIAF Member Teresa Lust for her latest book, A Blissful Feast, which will be released on March 3! As much a cultural journey as it is a cooking lesson, A Blissful Feast takes readers on a series of culinary adventures in Italy’s Piedmont and Le Marche regions, and the Maremma area in Tuscany and Lazio. With passionate prose only possible...

Six years ago I came to Florence from my home in Boston for a short stay that turned permanent after I fell in love with my now-husband, a Florentine named Rami. I was in love with the country, too, and can say that after all this time, I still find it truly breathtaking. Unfortunately the beauty isn't the only thing that makes me gasp here. Someti...

Once a month I crave a “x” of Dante. Not the Dante who wrote the Divine Comedy, but Dante, a barber in my village. After having lived here for going on three years, I have a regular, quasi-religious ritual. Dante the barber cuts my hair sometime during the third week of each month. With my extent of baldness, the whole process has not, in many year...

Casa Leopardi, the birthplace of the well-known Italian poet Giacomo Leopardi, will for the first time on March 21 open the chambers where he and his brothers lived and the 'noble floor' to the public. The mansion is located in the town of Recanati in the central Italy region of Marche, where the poet was born in 1789. "Ove Abitai Fanciullo" ("Wher...

This nature reserve lies three hours by car from Rome and 20 km south of Ancona, commonly referred to as the city where the sun rises and falls over the ocean. Established in 1987, this vast reserve is dedicated to the protection of flora and fauna, becoming a sanctuary of untouched nature. Ancient ruins lay hidden within the lush green forests and...

The historical origins of this annual event are uncertain, or at least complex. What is certain is that we are talking about the most colorful and creative party in Italy: Carnival! We accompany you through the 10 best carnivals in Italy among masks, costumes, parades, floats, typical sweets and local traditions. Viareggio (Tuscany) A stone's throw...

Glitz. Glamour. Bling. No matter the era, the lifestyles of the rich and famous are fascinating to those of us with a voyeuristic streak. During the Renaissance, Italy was rife with opulent homes filled with priceless art collections and owners who wanted to show them off. After the Middle Ages came an economic boom and a new reverence for classica...