Bucatini all’Amatriciana

Posted by in Food and Restaurants | June 06, 2012

We had a guest last Friday evening, a former colleague of mine was in the States on business and joined us for dinner. When asked what I should prepare for him, without hesitation he answered: “bucatini all’amatriciana!” as many “true” Romans would. He even brought over a pack of bucatini (very thick spaghetti) and a recipe (just in case I had forgotten it!).

So today’s recipe is courtesy of my friend Alessandro.


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Behind the Scenes in Gaeta

Posted by in Tips, Trends, Custom & Lifestyle | June 01, 2012
Cives Urbe’s philosophy is to allow you to experience Italy like locals would.  Have you ever been “shown around” by a resident? If so, you know that there is nothing more memorable and no other way to truly feel immersed in the traditions, the atmosphere and the “life” of the town you’re visiting. Today I’m pleased to introduce you to Andrea, my long time friend and practically “adopted” brother (we have know each other for 26 years). Andrea is a very successful executive with a very busy life. Long hours, frequent travel, big dry cleaner loads. I never know in which part of the world he’ll be if I call him during the week. But weekends, I always know where he’ll be and I can picture him indulging in his first cup of espresso on his terrace in Gaeta – his maternal grandmother’s hometown and his chosen residence. Here he has found a place that fits him as a glove and allows him to indulge in his hobbies and interests.

Let Andrea “show you around” this quaint, beautiful town. Enjoy!

Andrea, could you please share with my readers a little about Gaeta’s history?

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Eat like a King in Italy

Posted by in Tips, Trends, Custom & Lifestyle | May 30, 2012

When you travel to Italy, food is – and MUST be – an essential part of your experience.

One of the triggers that brought me to create Cives Urbe was people telling me how disappointed they were by the food they had in Italy and how surprised they were because of the reputation Italian food has all over the world.

Always shocked, I would dig a bit deeper and I would always find out that yes, they did indeed eat badly (and yes there is bad food in Italy too), but there were many things they could have done to avoid the food disaster.

This is my “how to” guide to select places to eat while in Italy.

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“Candle” racing for Saint Ubaldo

Posted by in Travel | May 15, 2012

Local Festivals are an Italian tradition year-round but these local events flourish in the warmer months.

One of my favorites happens today in the town of Gubbio.

A fabulous town to visit throughout the year, this Umbrian medieval town is rich in history and traditions that all come to fruition on May 15th of every year when “Eugubini” (Gubbio’s natives) scattered all over the world come “home” for the Festival of the Ceri.

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Crema di fave e pecorino (Creamy fava beans with shaved pecorino toscano)

Posted by in Food and Restaurants | May 09, 2012

I just received the June issue of La Cucina Italiana (US edition), I came across this recipe and felt I had to share it.

“Fave & Pecorino” (fava beans & pecorino) is my father’s absolute favorite spring lunch, and this recipe has an interesting twist, especially since it’s still kind of chilly out there!

I adapted the La Cucina Italiana recipe slightly but you can get the full version here.


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A Regal Choice

Posted by in Food and Restaurants | May 01, 2012

The Amalfi coast has been a “hot spot” in Italian traveling since the “golden age” of the ‘50s. In those days, Hollywood superstars and European aristocracy flocked to the high-rise, breathtaking coast south of Naples and the tabloids were crammed with shots of Cary Grant sipping espresso in the piazzetta (main square) in Capri or Grace Kelly buying handmade sandals in Positano. Quickly this part of Italy became one of the most glamorous summer destinations and it still is to this day. Anybody who has been at least once to the Amalfi Coast has picked his or her favorite town and place to stay and will return time and time again. I am no different. Of all the Amalfi coast towns, I LOVE Positano and quickly converted my husband on his second visit to this area last June.

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Ready for a “gita fuori porta”?

Posted by in Travel | May 01, 2012

Buon 1 Maggio!

Join me today celebrating the festivity of May 1st.

Roughly compared to American Labor Day celebrations around the swimming pool, Italians also spend this opportunity to gather with friends and family outside. Yet, there’s an Italian flair.

The younger crowd will gather in big city squares around the country for the traditional all-day free concerts organized by the Unions. One of the most famous is the one in Rome, held in Piazza San Giovanni (the large square adjacent to Saint John’s Basilica). Every year, thousands and thousands of people from all over the country gather to hear the open-air concerts featuring nationally famous rock and pop artists.

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Do You Speak Italian Coffee?

Posted by in Food and Restaurants, Tips, Trends, Custom & Lifestyle | April 26, 2012

Who doesn’t need a jolt of coffee at some point during the day? Especially if you’re on vacation and trying to see it all!

And who doesn’t have very specific requirements for their coffee (or coffee based drink of choice)?

Now imagine being abroad, somewhere you don’t speak not understand the language, and trying to get that perfect cup………… yeah…. tricky!

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Carciofi alla Romana (Artichokes Roman style)

Posted by in Food and Restaurants | April 10, 2012

Italian cuisine is very seasonal and nothing says “Spring” in the Rome area as this fantastic dish – Carciofi alla Romana.

This is hands down one of my favorites and for the longest time growing up, I only ate the stems and the bottoms, leaving the slightly more chewy leaves on my plate. As a grown up, I now know, I was missing the most flavorful part!

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Rubbing Elbows with Lorenzo de’ Medici

Posted by in Tips, Trends, Custom & Lifestyle | April 01, 2012

Walking around for a full day without a plan and taking in the life happening around me is my absolute favorite thing to in Florence.  Especially in the Spring or in the Fall, when the sun is bright, the temperature mild, and everybody practically “lives” outside.

Florence never fails to make me feel recharged and in peace with the world.  And if I can, I always make a stop here:

The Cappelle Medicee (Medici’s Chapels):The burial chapel of the Medici family, rulers of Florence, unsurpassed patrons of the arts and quite simply the greatest Renaissance family of all. Located in the back of the church of San Lorenzo, with very limited hours, the Chapels often don’t make the top 5 for a first time visit to Florence, yet the craftsmanship of the marble sculptures is superb, the structure of the Chapels is impressive, the atmosphere is powerful, and you’re hanging out with Lorenzo The Greatest. Where else in the world can you do that?

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