Friday, December 27, 2013

Travel Outfit Inspiration

Planning a trip to Italy for the winter? Be sure to pack accordingly! Italian weather ranges from cold, harsh winters in the mountains and north to milder winters in costal areas and southern regions. 

Although I haven't traveled to Italy in the winter, I hear visiting the country is great at this time of year because it is the tourist "off season" - less lines at the must-see sites. Also, experiencing another culture's holiday traditions will create many new memories. You might even bring new celebration ideas back home! If you're traveling throughout the country, be sure to pack a versatile wardrobe. Layers are your friend - you can pile them on in colder regions and don less in warmer regions. 

What is your favorite time of year to travel? 

Some outfit inspiration: 

Winter adventure

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

La Vigilia di Natale

Merry Christmas Eve and Buon vigilia di Natale! Want to see what your favorite Italian city is like right now? Google the city name and the word "webcam" to get a real time view. Below is a screen grab of my family's town, Marostica. 

Saturday, December 21, 2013

A visit to Northern Italy: Marositca

If someone were to scan my blog, they may assume my Italian family is from Rome. Surprise, surprise! That is incorrect. My family is from the province of Vicenza in the Veneto region - my Nonna's side is primarily from Marostica and my Nonno's side resides mostly in Belvedere. 

I grew up hearing stories about this area. One of my older cousins even took my Nonna twice. I was lucky enough to visit for a week after my Rome program ended, and met many relatives in person for the first time! I even got to stay at the farm on which my Nonna and Zio (great uncle) were born! 

This is the cherry tree on my Zio and Zia's farm - it's been in the family for ages!
Although Marostica is a smaller town, it is known for a few things: 
  • Partita degli Scacchi: a biannual live chess tournament. The town piazza is actually designed as a chess board. People dress up as medieval chess pieces - one of my cousins actually participates. From what I hear it is a great time. If you visit the area in the early fall and the Partita degli Scacchi takes place, go!
  • Marostica cherries: My family's farm only has one cherry tree now, but Marostica is known for its cherry production. 
  • Diesel Jeans: Yes, the founder of the famous clothing company is from my Nonna's hometown! This was the coolest fact I learned while visiting. One of the company's main factories is based in Marostica. Many citizens love Diesel since their founder is a local. 
My Marostica set on Polyvore! Click here to check out some of the Diesel jeans, cherry and chess items I found. 

I also really enjoy the Marostica market. Local vendors set up shops in and around the piazza on set days (I believe Tuesday is one). 

If you ever get a chance to visit Marostica, I recommend it! Try to go in the fall for the feast of St. Simeon (the city's patron saint) or the Partita degli Scacchi. 

Friday, December 20, 2013

Italy Meets America: Style

Last night I was intrigued by what my Italian favorite stores are currently selling. OVS, or Oviesse, is the Italian equivalent of Forever 21. I pulled the olive blouse and fur vest from Polyvore for this outfit. I would definitely wear this during a Vespa ride on a brisk day in Rome! Check out - I wish they shipped to the US!! 

Italy Meets America: Style

Sperry Top-Sider ankle boots

J Crew yellow necklace

Thursday, December 19, 2013

"A different language"

Inspirational quote from Federico Fellini! Studying a new language is beautiful, some of my favorite memories are a result of my time learning Italian. Although my opportunities to practice the language are limited, I recently came across an Italian press release in a Google search and was shocked at how much I remember! 

Learning a new language really does open your eyes to a new part of the world. 


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Regali Veneziani (Venitian Gifts)

Do you know someone who dreams of floating in a gondola through La Serenissima while a gondolier sings a song for the ages? If you are looking for a last-minute gift, a Venetian-inspired item is a great choice for any Italophile. My personal favorites are the Pandora charm and the Grand Canal bedspread. 

How are you adding a slice of la bella vita to your holiday season? 

Venice Gifts

CC SKYE two tone jewelry


Charm pendant

Pandora blue jewelry

Pandora bracelet jewelry

Home decor
$2,425 -

Italian home decor

Velvet throw pillow

Twin bed linen

Hand blown vase

Laura Ashley wall art
$150 -

Woven placemat

$18 -

Monday, December 16, 2013

Italian Christmas Tradition Roundup

When I was in elementary school, I had to write a report on Christmas in another country. Naturally, my family encouraged me to choose Italy. Although our holiday practices are much more Americanized than the media portrays Italian-American Christmas, learning about different cultures' holiday celebrations is always exciting. With 20 distinct regions, "Italian Christmas" means something different to everyone.

Here are four traditions that might define an "Italian Christmas" (with Pinterest links!):

  • Presepio: Many Italians view "Natale," or Christmas as a more religious holiday than the Hallmark holiday it is in the United States. Although many Italians set up Christmas trees in their homes and piazzas, traditionally Nativity scenes were popular. 
  • Feast of the Seven Fishes: Probably one of the most well known traditions in the United States, this is most common in southern Italy. In high school Italian class (the first time I learned of this tradition) we were told Italian families consumed  fish on Christmas Eve to abstain from meat. This is a regional tradition, so not every Italian you meet eats copious amounts of fish on Christmas Eve. 
  • Panettone: A yummy tradition!! The more delicious counterpart to fruitcake, many Italians indulge in this delicious sweet bread after a delectable Christmas dinner. If you want to infuse a little "la bella vita" into your holiday season, this is an easy way to do so. Panettone are so popular, you can buy them at big stores such as Target and Walgreens, or at your local Italian grocery store. FYI: Chocolate Panettone exits (it's heavenly). I hope Nutella Panettone is a product in a few years.
  • La Befana: Babbo Natale visits good little Italian girls and boys today, but when my Nonna was growing up, La Befana was the most famous visitor of the holiday season! La Befana has closer ties to the Epiphany (January 6) than December 25 and continues to search for the Christ Child each year after Santa has come and gone. Read more about her story on
  • Epiphany: The Feast of the Three Kings is the more popular gift-giving day in Italia, commemorating the Wise Men visiting the Holy Family. I told you, Christmas is viewed as a more religious holiday in Italy than it is in the United States.
Do you keep any of these traditions? For me, my favorite "Italian" Christmas tradition includes a chaotic Facebook video chat with all factions of the relatives in Italy and eating Nonna's homemade soup and ravioli! 

Piazza Navona Christmas Market - I would LOVE to visit!
Photo credit:

More to come on Italian holiday traditions!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Fabulous Italian Find: "Ciao" bauble

'Tis the season for fabulous Italian items! I was browsing in my neighborhood Marshall's and came across this fabulous BCBGeneration bracelet. A touch of la bella vita for my every day. 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Italy in the News

Working in PR, I've learned that the best way to stay in tune with current events is to set Google News alert about topics of interest. Recently, I've set some Italy and travel-related news alerts for more content inspiration. Three of my favorite recent headlines are below. Happy reading! 

"Milan is Italy's paean to the present," by Rick Steves, Seattle Times: I read one of Steves' travel books prior to studying in Rome, he is a fantastic travel writer. Check out this article to learn more about the fashion capital and economic hub. 

"Italy's hilltop town offers a trip back in time", by Rick Steves, Vancouver Sun: Another great Steves' article that highlights Oriveto, a small Italian town outside of Rome.

"Italy wants its island back, will pay 2.5 million euros for Budelli," by Nick Squires, The Telegraph: Interesting story about the Italian government buying back an island near Sardinia that was previously sold to a New Zealand businessman.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Roman-inspired holiday gifts

Unsure about what to get your favorite Italophile this holiday season? Do you have a loved one that admires Rome, La Citta Eterna? Want to treat yourself? 

Check out these Roman-inspired items, I've included something for every budget! Stay tuned for more gift suggestions inspired by various major Italian cities. When in Rome

Stretch skirt

RMK leather shoes
$87 -

Red purse

Charm pendant

Spray perfume

Spray perfume

Black throw pillow

Wall art

Nordstrom glass ornament

Wall art

Villeroy Boch drinkware

Vintage dish