Let’s play a game of “Trick or Treat!”
Here’s the idea: We’ll present you with a few commonly held ideas about Italian culture and living to see whether you know if it’s true (treat!) or a false view of the way Italians eat, drink and live (trick!). And if you have any tricks in your pasta pot let us know and we’ll see if we know how to see and savor Italy.
Italians Eat Pizza with a Thick Crust
TRICK -Pizza with a thick crust and deep dish pizza are American inventions. The classic Neopolitan pizza, considered by all Italians to be the benchmark for all pizza, is made from a thin disc of dough cooked in a wood-fired oven according to guidelines outlined by the Verace Pizza Napoletana Association, based in Naples, Italy, the birthplace of pizza. According to their rules, an authentic Neapolitan pizza must be . . . Read more
Italians Favor Wine from Chianti
TRICK -Although the wines of the Chianti region in Tuscany are highly regarded there are other regions in Italy that produce outstanding wines. Quite frankly Italians generally favor the wine from the region they come from defending their territorial appellations with as much passion as an AC Milan vs. Inter rivalry (unless it’s prosecco which everyone agrees that the best is from the Valdobbiadene). Some of my favorite regional Italian wines come from Piedmonte (like a Langhe Nebbiolo) and a Valpolicella from the Veneto if I am drinking a Chianti, a Colli Senesi from the hills of Siena suits me just fine.
Italian Gold is some of the Finest in the World
TREAT – Italian goldsmiths have been shaping jewelry out of gold from the time of the Etruscans. The Ponte Vecchio, Florence’s bridge of bling, is lined with jewerly shops selling hand crafted gold necklaces, rings, earrings and bracelets but many smaller studios and workshops throughout Italy carry on the ancient tradtions of Italian gold.
TREAT – Although not all of the shops in Italy are closed between the hours of 1 to 4pm it is still quite frequent to find Italians taking a pausa (the break after lunch when shops close in many Italian towns) during the afternoon. Italians believe that there is a benefit to taking things slowly, savoring the food, the company and the passing of the day. Each business owner’s siesta will vary so don’t be disappointed when you arrive in the afternoon to discover CHIUSO (closed ) posted on the door. Americans may find the idea of an extended lunch break frustrating at first, but if you’re traveling like an Italian it can be a welcome riposo for a nap or an afternoon stroll in the park – a well-deserved treat.