Cheers to all: Cin Cin a tutti!

I never really thought about why we “toast” with our drinks when gathered with others, I just accepted it as a time-honored tradition. But the armchair historian in me was amused to discover recently, while browsing one of my Italian texts, that we have the ancients to thank for this one. This sparked my interest,…

7 Reasons to Love Italian

We study Italian because we want to, not because we need to. Because the music of the language moves us to learn it, to engage in this “impracticality”, to throw some of our precious time to the wind and do something simple for the pleasure of being able to pronounce words like piacere. –From “Why…

22 Terms To Better Appreciate Italian Art and Architecture

Terms curated and defined by Alexandra Kiely, A Scholarly Skater My love for Italian art and architecture is undeniable, but also, untrained. Often I have felt guilty at the blessings of being exposed to the beauty of Italian museums and buildings without the knowledge to better appreciate it all. Thus, I decided to “home school” myself…

Nine Places in Europe to Experience Ancient Rome

In its heyday, the Roman Empire occupied more than two million square miles and stretched from England to Egypt, with its citizens numbering around 120 million people. With such an enormous reach, the ancient Romans understandably left evidence of their heritage not only in Rome and Italy, but throughout Europe. As a companion piece to…

Three Sites Added to Italy’s UNESCO World Heritage List

Padua, Bologna and Tuscany’s Montecatini Terme are home to Italy’s newest UNESCO sites, achieving World Heritage status in August 2021. This boosts Italy’s total to 58, now the country with the most heritage sites in the world. Here’s a quick peek at these cultural gems. Padua’s 14th Century Fresco Cycles In Italy’s northeastern corner between…

Florence’s Orsanmichele: How The City’s Grain Storage Became a Beloved Church

Via Calzaiuoli is a street made for strolling. Along this pedestrian-only thoroughfare, it’s easy to wander between some of Florence’s most sought after sites including the Duomo, Florence’s iconic red-domed cathedral, and the Ponte Vecchio, the only bridge in town which survived World War II. Tucked in between these two sites is the historic church…

The Passeggiata: A Most Italian Tradition

One of the most quintessential of all Italian traditions is the passeggiata, when friends and family take to the streets of their town in the early evening, usually between 5 and 8 pm, and well, wander. The word passeggiata comes from the verb passeggiare, an Italian word for walk, combined with the suffix “-ata” which…

Paestum: Ancient Greece in Southern Italy

While there are plenty of sites throughout Italy to time travel to Ancient Rome, in Southern Italy you can also experience magnificent ruins once touched by the hands of ancient Greeks. One such spot is Paestum, an easy day trip from Naples, Sorrrento/Amalfi or Salerno. Paestum is home to three incredible Greek temples dating back…