Italy Can Mend a Broken Heart


  For most of the summer, I was afraid to go to Italy. I was scared to hear the accent, to taste spaghetti Bolognese, to smell espresso. I worried that hearing my favourite Italian word, “Alora”, might send me straight over the edge. You see, I fell in love with an Italian last year. If this has happened to you before, I needn’t say more. If it hasn’t, let me fill you in: His name ... Read Full Article

Gran Paradiso National Park, Italy’s Paradise

  Fresh grilled trout, fields of wildflowers, battling queens,and a lofty mountain—Paradise can't get better than that. This particular paradise is Gran Paradiso National Park, in northwestern Italy between Aosta Valley and the Piedmont region. Established in 1922 on land that had been saved as a hunting reserve, it was the country's first national park. Its main snow-covered peak, Gran ... Read Full Article

Italy From Bottom to Top: Tasting and Talking about Puglia Wine

Follow me as I journey from the southern tip of Italy’s Puglia region all the way up to the Trento Alps. I’ll be focusing on budget-friendly travel, and I’ll rarely use a car. Along the way I’ll sample traditional foods, visit lesser-known ruins and cities, sample excellent wines, and visit local cooking schools, the entire two months living out of a backpack. . . Day #8 Fabio Ingrosso and I ... Read Full Article

Italy from Bottom to Top: the Cuisine of Puglia

To enter Puglia’s culinary world is to walk into a combination of creativity and simplicity infused with fresh produce. For centuries, agriculture was the primary source of income, and you can taste the high standards of the local farmers who know just how a vegetable is supposed to taste. Chemicals have been introduced to the area, but even though most farmers use chemical fertilizers and ... Read Full Article

Visiting the Historical Trulli of Alberobello, Italy

  Icons of the Puglia region of Italy, the conical huts known as trulli, poke out everywhere in the region, but nowhere are they as numerous as in the city of Alberobello. Demonstrating an architectural sense from another time (which sometimes seems like it comes from another world), trulli are made of hundreds of carefully placed stones. On top of their cone-shaped roofs are knob-like ... Read Full Article

Rome’s Fifth-Quarter Meats

  When I first heard the phrase "fifth quarter meats," I asked: What are fifth quarter meats, and how can you get five out of four? The answer to this latter question illuminates the history of Rome’s unique style of cooking. The first quarter of a butchered animal was given to the nobles, the second to the priests, the third to the rich, and the fourth to the army. The rest of the Romans ... Read Full Article

Dining at Vini e Cucina Restaurant in Bari, Italy

Baresi cuisine focuses on vegetables, hearty pasta, and roasted meats and it is often served family-style. To get the full effect, my girlfriend and I ate lunch at Vini e Cucina, a restaurant that is popular among locals and known for serving traditional food. The restaurant does not offer menus but simply lists the dishes of the day when you sit down. If your Italian-language skills aren’t all ... Read Full Article

Truffle Hunting in Italy: Part II

  For the first part of this article, see Truffle Hunting in Italy, Part I The olive trees puff gently with wind from the nearby Adriatic Sea as we continue truffle hunting. Giuseppe points to a place where he saw a falcon the last time he was here. It quickly becomes apparent that Giuseppe’s dog, Rot, is the more dedicated hunter. Brioche begins to run off on a different search of his ... Read Full Article

Truffle Hunting in Italy: Part I

  “Every day is a good day for truffle hunting,” says Giuseppe Lolli, winemaker, restaurant owner, and truffle hunter. Giuseppe hunts for truffles in the Puglia and Basilicata regions of Italy: two regions where few people know truffles exist. Giuseppe aims to change this. He is the lead organizer of the Salento Truffle Festival, now in its third year, and says that he primarily finds ... Read Full Article

The Ancient Messapian City of Oria, Italy

  Oria is an ancient, hilltop town in the south of Italy. Located in the Puglia region, the town was thriving as long ago as 200 B.C., when it was named Hyria and was part of the Messapian civilization. Today, the city retains its beauty, if not its abundance of activity, and provides visitors with ancient archeological artifacts and pleasant walks through its twisting, winding ... Read Full Article