One of my fellow travelers once asked me who”Louie” was. She said I talked about him a lot with my Italian friends and family. Not knowing the language she didn’t realize that “Louie” was actually spelled “Lui” and referred to the Italian personal pronoun for he or him. So when I would say “Mi piace Lui” I wasn’t saying “I like Louie” by rather saying “I like him”.
Listening to this conversation can be confusing for a non-Italian speaker. All the more reason to know a little Italian when traveling in Italy. Phrase book Italian is confining and a little like speaking from a script. Learning vocabulary alone is limited – a “speak and point” version of a language. Although both are good starting points for your first trip to Italy you will need to build on these rout sayings and idioms to carry on a conversation. Remember language is a form of communication with many dimensions and most languages spoken without proper grammar and conjugation won’t make much sense.
SCARPA, Zanotti, Superga. For aficionados of Italian style sneakers these are part of the pantheon of fashionable athletic foot gear. Casual shoes that have transitioned from hard core sports to become haute shoe couture. One of our favorites is SCARPA sneakers inspired by the climbing culture of Italy’s Montebelluna region in the Northern Veneto. A shoe lovers paradise (Geox and Trezeta are also based here), SCARPA, which by the way means shoe in Italian, is also an acronym for the Società Calzaturiera Asolana Riunita Pedemontana Anonima, which means Associated Shoe Manufacturing Company of the Asolo Mountain Area, a part of Italy well-known for handcrafted footwear. The cult classic SCARPA Mojito Suede Sneaker would be a prize addition to anyone’s kick collection. Made from Italian leather it traces its lineage to the traditions of hiking, trekking and mountaineering shoes for which the company is known for.
Revered worldwide for their style, materials and an unrelenting attention to quality and craftsmanship, Italian shoes are part of a unique tradition that makes them on my shopping radar when traveling in Italy or back in the States.
If Italy in 30 seconds has whet your appetite for more, may we recommend our sister blog Seeing and Savoring Italy for unconventional travelers who want to experience Italy on more than a “show and tell tour”. We write about travels in Italy with our Italian family and friends that focus on the culinary and cultural traditions of regional Italian food. Seeing many of the iconic sites of Italy a little differently, outside the tourist flow to places Italians enjoy when traveling in their own country. We want to inspire you discover the “fatal charm of Italy that can be found nowhere else”.
I guarantee you’ll never think of Italy the same afterwards and never think about having a cappuccino after 12:00 noon.
Some of our favorite posts
Truffles and Termes in Tuscany
The Pope Slept Here
21 Undeniable Signs You’ve Traveled in Italy (on more than a “show and tell tour”)
My Italian Ghost
If you’re like us you like T-shirts. They’re comfortable, fairly cheap and go with almost anything. We especially like them if they have some connection to Italy. Not the ones that say Italian Stallion or Keep Calm and Eat Pasta but those made with Italian sprezzatura, a well-practiced naturalness, an almost effortless sense of style that belies considered thought and effort.
That’s why we like these T-shirts by Sangue who uses the natural environment of his hometown in southern Italy as inspiration for a unique set of silk screened designs.
Masterful mixology on a stick. Sweet summer cantaloupe and the bitter Italian aperitivo Campari. A delicious contrast that turns a childhood favorite into an adult popsicle treat. Crisp, tart and refreshing. A great way to beat the heat and enjoy the last call for Summer.
You’ve opened a bottle of your favorite wine, enjoyed a few glasses and now it’s time to go. There are several ways to preserve the remains of the day but if you’re looking for an easy, light-weight, collapsible container to pack and enjoy your wine wherever you go the PlatyPreserve made by Cascade offers a portable system that promises to keep your vino enjoyable for weeks.
The Seattle-based, outdoor gear company designs hydration and water filtration systems for backcountry hikers, bikers and campers and repurposed the technology to preserve wine. The PlatyPreserve stores the remains of each bottle in a sealable pouch safe from oxygen exposure. If not properly preserved wine can go bad in as little as 2 to 8 hours so protecting the taste of an opened bottle of wine by completely eliminating the presence of oxygen means that it can live a little longer and you have the flexibility to enjoy another glass at your leisure.
Straight or curved? Which frothing pitcher do you prefer? Many baristas choose one with a curved body. They feel that the curved shape helps the milk to swirl better when frothing from the steam wand of an espresso and cappuccino maker. Those who like a low belly, curved frothing pitcher say that it induces the milk to swirl into a frenzy of froth.
Others are committed to going straight. Espresso pros prefer the straight sided pitcher to create contest winning latte art. A quick web search noted that size not shape is what matters most (12 oz) and pouring performance – meaning a long, narrow, pointy spout.
When all is said in done, although the bell-shaped pitchers accommodate more space for circulating in the milk, most found the straight-sided vessels to produce more reliable microfoam throughout the milk, plus they can be much easier to pour from.
Which do you prefer?
*a guide to frothing milk