The Secrets of Italy
Collected by Natalie Taylor , AFAR Local Expert
Via Capodimonte, 19a, 80131 Napoli NA, Italy
This summer Eddy Bourdages, 33, and his mother, Mireille Anderson, 57, made their first trip to Italy. “We wanted to open an authentic Neapolitan wood oven pizzeria, so we went to the source,” says Bourdages. Anderson has owned L’Odyssée Bistro &...
SP94, 07021 Arzachena OT, Italy
There are few places that blend dramatic scenery, old-world history, and stellar food culture as beautifully as Sardinia. In early summer, wildflowers color the island, cherries are at their juiciest, and many regions are surprisingly tourist...
Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy
Stride down the Canal Grande like Venetian aristocracy as your gondolier shows you the beauty of palaces like Palazzo Babarigo adorned with Murano glass mosaic, before entering the labyrinthine backwaters of the city. Hop off on street level and...
Largo Piero Calamandrei, 13a, 43121 Parma PR, Italy
Academia Barilla is housed on the grounds of an old pasta factory in Parma, the northern Italian city made famous by its prosciutto and cheese. Customized courses focus on pasta making, regional Italian recipes, and secrets such as how to pair...
01030 Calcata Vecchia, VT, Italy
Abandoned in the 1960s for fear its cliffs were crumbling, Calcata, Italy was discovered by hippies and artists soon after and today, the "paese dei fricchettone," is still made up of the same "freaks." I lived in Calcata, wedged between Tuscany...
00060 Mazzano Romano, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy
The government said the cliffs of Calcata, a medieval hill town 30 miles north of Rome, where crumbling and the residents would have to abandon the village for a new one a half mile away. They were right. Sort of. There was a government policy,...
Piazza di Trevi, 00187 Roma RM, Italy
Fontana di Trevi is, as it should be, one of the most visited landmarks in Rome. Seeing it is worth the blind stumble through narrow stone streets and alleyways. But do so at night (and in the rain, if possible) to be rewarded with...
Via Sacra, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
On the Via Sacra east of the Roman Forum, the Arch of Titus is a beautiful and imposing triumphal monument, commemorating Titus' victory following the Siege of Jerusalem in the first century, C.E. The south relief panel on the interior of the arch...
Piazza del Duomo, 26, 05018 Orvieto TR, Italy
It was love at first sight. Everything about Orvieto is charming, with the exception of the Duomo (Cathedral) which more appropriately would be described as elegant and grand, especially the facade. Originally a thriving center of Etruscan...
Piazza di Santa Cecilia, 16, 00153 Roma RM, Italy
A great place that is open all day long, You will find it in the large, open, Piazza Santa Cecila in Trastevere. The sunshine streams in, there are comfy chairs, great coffee and pastries, terrific music playing and walls lined with beautiful...
00186 Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy
The Roman Forum is where ancient Rome began. The sprawling archaeological park gives us just a hint of what the Roman Empire once was—a dominant and diverse society. The Forum itself was the political, social, religious, and commercial focal...
Piazza dei Cavalieri di Malta, 00153 Roma RM, Italy
I was obsessed with the book "The Secret Garden" as a child. All of humanity is drawn towards places that are hidden and unknown, and Rome's keyhole to this enchanting garden that overlooks the city and St. Peters Basilica is no exception. Located...
Umbria's main cheeses are: Pecorino (young), pecorino (aged a bit), and pecorino (well aged). It can grow a tad tiresome. So I was thrilled to discover this goat cheese farm outside of Orvieto. In our visit, my children helped herd the goats,...
Via Ostiense, 106, 00154 Roma RM, Italy
Tired of the crowds? Go to the Centrale Montemartini in Ostiense. No lines. In fact, no other people. At all. Usually I am the only one there. Wander the ancient Roman sculptures and extraordinary mosaic floor set in the former power plant;...
Piazza Campo de' Fiori, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
Like all outdoor markets in Rome, Campo de' Fiori is a bustling social center where locals push past throngs of tourists to complete their errands. Every morning you can find nonni shopping for produce with their grandchildren, feisty butchers...
Via di S. Teodoro, 74, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
Every Saturday and Sunday on Via S. Teodoro, tucked just off Circus Maximus, Rome's best farmer's market takes place. It's run by Campagna Amica, an Italy-wide organization that promotes local, sustainable agriculture—so all of the products sold...
Piazzale Napoleone I, 00197 Roma RM, Italy
Encompassing early 200 acres of rolling parkland, Villa Borghese is Rome's verdant heart and everyone's favorite place for an afternoon walk. The vast gardens are criss-crossed with picturesque paths, where visitors can meander past ancient...
Via dei Condotti, 86, 00187 Roma RM, Italy
Once the haunt of expat artists, poets, and dreamers, Antico Caffè Greco, on Rome's glamorous Via Condotti, is a must. At this 18th-century caffè, you'll learn that Romans can be very particular about their coffee. Cappuccino is a...
06039 Trevi, Province of Perugia, Italy
If you find yourself in Umbria during the month of October, find a way to Trevi for their Sedano Nero (black celery) festival. Different events occur on different weekends, but the sale of celery is marvelous. Sedano Nero is listed on Slow Food's...
01022 Civita di Bagnoregio, VT, Italy
Civita is a charming totally medieval city just outside of Bagnoregio, Lazio, Italy. It only has a handful of permanent residents, hence the nickname the 'dying city'. You must climb a long (900') bridge to get to the city as it is only accessible...
Via di S. Chiara, 34, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
Wandering down the small via S. Chiara I spotted this shop that makes vestments for the Pope. I was tempted to go in and order a pair of red shoes but thought better of it. Since 1798 the Gammarelli family have been outfitting popes, bishops and...
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