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An unforgettable family reunion

By Katherine Ortiz

The Cardosis’ are not only wonderful clients but also dear friends, so supporting their desire to enjoy a two-week dream family vacation was one of the highlights of my year. Antoinette, her 5 children, a lot of her grandchildren, her brother and part of his family and Sister Lawrence, a close family friend, gathered in…

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Indulge Your Inner Princess

By Katherine Ortiz

I learned to read at age 5 and I have been an avid reader ever since. I graduated from fairy tales to more adult books early on but the dream of becoming a Princess was ever present. How can it not, living in a country with more castles and medieval city walls than any other…

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Bucatini all’Amatriciana

By Katherine Ortiz

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…

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Behind the Scenes in Gaeta

By Katherine Ortiz

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…

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Eat like a King in Italy

By Katherine Ortiz

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…

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“Candle” racing for Saint Ubaldo

By Katherine Ortiz

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…

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

By Katherine Ortiz

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…

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A Regal Choice

By Katherine Ortiz

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…

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Ready for a “gita fuori porta”?

By Katherine Ortiz

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…

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