The Survival Guide to the Italian Café’s Jungle: An Etiquette Lesson

Posted by in Tips, Trends, Custom & Lifestyle | March 27, 2012

Enjoying coffee in Italy is an essential part of the Italian experience. For me, I know I’m home again when I stop at the Bar Euclide in Rome on my way from Fiumicino airport to my parents’ house and get my first latte. Despite what you may think, it’s not for the coffee (granted, its taste cannot be replicated in the US);

it’s for the art of ordering and getting served (before you grow old) in an Italian café that reminds me in an instant where I am.

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Confessions of a Leather Addict – Part 2

Posted by in Travel | March 14, 2012

Confessions of a Leather Addict – Part 1 dealt with deciding what to buy and how to spot genuine leather from imitations. You can read it here. Let’s now tackle the next big question:

Where do I buy?

Oh my, you’ve come to the right place! There are plenty of opportunities and a wide selection of venues to get your fix.

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While The Alps Keep Watch

Posted by in Travel | March 06, 2012

I have passed by Trento many times when growing up. Normally, it’s on our way to an annual family week of skiing in the Alps. We just zip by without stopping, and without a second thought in the excitement to hit the slopes.

Now for the second time in so many years, and driven by external circumstances, I find myself spending an extended period of time in this city nested by the Majestic Alps. AND, what a pleasant surprise!

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My Clients

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

Every year I have the pleasure to work with private clients who want a unique experience while travelling to Italy.

Donna and her husband Bijouare one of those couples.  They went on a month long trip to Italy last September.  Though they’d traveled extensively in Italy before, Donna really wanted to experience everyday life in Italy and blend in with the locals as much as possible.  
 So our partnership began.
 I consider myself very lucky to have encountered so many wonderful people in my line of work. But I know I’m truly blessed when clients like Donna and Bijou choose to be part both of my professional and personal life and become cherished friends.I’m happy to introduce them to you, so they can share their memories on their latest Italian adventure and their tips to fellow travelers.
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Confessions of a Leather Addict – Part 1

Posted by in Travel | February 27, 2012

Ever heard somebody singing the praises of Italian leather?

Leather and its use in fashionable accessories for both men and women (like shoes of course!) are one of the most renowned Italian crafts.

Like everywhere else in the world, there is a lot of imitation leather or faux leather (“similpelle” in Italian or now “ecopelle”), a lot of “Made in China” (or elsewhere) and a lot of counterfeited merchandise.

So if you’re in the business of shopping for leather while visiting Italy what do you need to know to avoid the faux and get the real thing?

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The Love Knot

Posted by in Travel | February 14, 2012

Where would I go for the most romantic day in Italy? And what will my beloved and I do to properly celebrate the occasion?


What city would be more appropriate than Juliet and Rome’s hometown? Historic accuracy aside, Verona offers a great opportunity to mix all ingredients of Italian lifestyle and culture and more than a fair bit of romanticism.

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A “Gras” Heavenly Treat

Posted by in Tips, Trends, Custom & Lifestyle | February 07, 2012

When a smart soul came first up with the idea of Carnival, the main idea was to “stock up” on happiness, playfulness and self-indulgence to fight the “winter blues”. Get it all out of your system before entering Lent, a long period of inner focus, spirituality and service versus others.

Not sure if my version is historically accurate, but I’m sure that the original idea of Carnival sparked a multitude of seasonal recipes for sweets – a big no-no during Lent – for which, I’m eternally grateful.

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Moscatello Muliner: Oasis of peace and haute cuisine on Lake Garda

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

The Moscatello Muliner property has been in the Vischioni family since 1931 when the grandparents of the current owners bought their first mill. An additional mill and a cattle farm were added to the property in the 20th century.

The current Vischioni generation completely restructured and re-purposed this traditional property at the beginning of the new millennium.  Today Giovanna , Rosalba and their gifted painter and chef extraordinaire Lorenzo welcome Cives Urbe clients in this heaven just minutes away from the majestic Lake Garda.

Nested on 30 hectares of countryside with a swimming pool shaded by enormous trees, the Moscatello Muliner swaddle guests in quiet, peace and comfort.

Their artistically appointed condos – Lorenzo’s paintings are featured throughout the property – all have a fully-furnished outdoor patio and direct access to the pool.

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A Taste of Tuscany on Your Table

Posted by in Food and Restaurants | January 24, 2012

You can’t be happy in Tuscany without sitting at a table with a bottle of Chianti Classico wine and a bowl of Ribollita. This hearty, peasant-style beans and vegetables soup has been a staple on farmers’ tables for centuries and will warm your hearth while delighting your taste buds.

Nobody could make Ribollita better than “Nonna” Zaira, my cousin’s maternal grandmother.

The succulent smells coming off her kitchen quickly drew us in to feast on her traditional Tuscan fare and be warmed by her gentleness.

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When to Splurge on a Guided Tour

Posted by in Tips, Trends, Custom & Lifestyle, Travel | January 11, 2012

Winter has been particularly mild so far in Central Italy, urging locals and tourists alike to swarm out and enjoy sightseeing, normally reserved for warmer months of the year.

During our Christmas break in my hometown, my husband and I were planning a day trip to Rome, when my dad claimed to have never visited the Vatican Museums.

This claim was met with skepticism from the rest of my family, as my older brother and I distinctly remember visiting the Vatican Museums as children (along with the Coliseum, the Forums and every possible historic site, church and museum in a 60 miles radius from my hometown).

Nevertheless, what a perfect opportunity to treat my parents to a private tour of the Vatican Museums!

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