The culture in Italy is very different than in the U.S... especially concerning rules of proper behavior. What is acceptable in the States might be considered disgusting in Italy. What Italians consider as normal behavior, we would never thing of doing at home. Here are a few differences...
Anytime during the year, you might have to find the perfect gift for the Italophile in your life. It might be for Christmas, an anniversary, wedding, birthday or to mark a special event. I thought it would be a great idea to suggest some of the coolest, classiest and tastiest gift ideas right here--and you don't have to travel to Italy to get them. It's as easy as logging on to your Amazon account.
In Italy, the type of glasses used a tavola for wine in homes and the neighborhood trattoria are simple, stemless tumblers. This set of 4 are simple and casual, just like the Italian lifestyle... just like the kind my Dad used to his uncle's home made wine from.
This beautiful Consigli carving set with olive wood handles is what every Tuscan would love to carve his porchetta or wild boar roast. on AMAZON.
Ok, I'll admit that when I was in Italy, I did enjoy the occasional street musicians playing tourist style accordion music as we had dinner in a ristorante, but there is more to authentic regional Italian music other than mandolins and Oh Solo Mio. This album gives you the feel of the small villages and remote cultures in Italia. If you're into folk or world music, you'll love it. Digital download or CD --On Amazon.
If you're fascinated by ancient Roman history, then this series is for you. It's one of the most historically accurate series about the lifestyle, politics, sexuality and culture of the Roman Empire. Not for the faint-hearted, this is a very blunt look at the vulgarity (as we now see it) and violent lives experienced by Roman elites, plebeians and slaves. My wife and I have binged watched this series... it's as addictive as the I Claudius series from years ago. Available streaming or as a boxed DVD set. Not for the kiddies. --on AMAZON.
When it's time to take your next Grand Voyage to Italy, keep a record of your travels in this 6x8" Florentine leather journal. Keep photos, notes, sketches and tickets from museums and monuments you've visited. Think of it as an 18th century, analog way to blog.
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Keep in mind when visiting Florence, that you are in a timeless city with centuries-old tradition of artisan crafts, with many maestri (masters) in each of their specific trade-crafts. Many still work with traditional tools and methods, while others have modernized their techniques to suit the increase in demand from the tourist trade. This is a double edged sword. On one had, it is still possible to find the best traditional leathers, jewelry, linens and more. On the other hand, the casual Voyager to Florence has to be wary of shoddy materials, careless workmanship, outright fakes and forgeries and cheap factory-made imports from China.
A great way to start your search is to take a stroll through medieval streets of the Oltrarno (“other side of the Arno”) neighborhood, in between Via Maggio and Piazza Pitti. Walk past the vendors on the Ponte Vecchio to the south bank of the Arno and then a bit west. You will sense that you really stepped back in time into the Renaissance discover a literal maze of artisan workshops in the tiny streets--violin makers, bookbinders, gilders, ceramics, tilemakers, mosaics, calligraphers, clock makers,metal-workers, framers and sculptors. Just remember not to go during riposa, when most Italians close up their shops for 203 hours between 2-3 pm. Early morning or later in the afternoon is best. There are also many little piazza with trattoria to enjoy, sit back and just take it all in...
Beginning in January, 2017, Grand Voyage Italy is undergoing a reconstruction: adding new pages, categories and moving older posts to more appropriate pages. If you can't find what you are looking for in this new Lifestyle page, use the Search Box to help find what you need. Grazie!