Saturday, August 31, 2013

Festa Italiana

One week ago I attended Taylor Street's Festa Italiana - one of my favorite Chicago street festivals! Everything Italy-inspired brings Italian Americans and Italian culture enthusiasts to the heart of Chicago's original Little Italy. 

This year's theme was "Italy Is In," and was it ever! From bocce ball tournaments to grape stomping to food from the city's renowned Italian restaurants, Festa Italiana had something for everyone!

 Roman columns with a "Viva Italia" sign greeted festival attendees. 

Taylor Street decorated with Italian flags! 

Attendees had the opportunity to enter to win money towards a Fiat and receive a free Fiat tote!

Fontanini meatballs and Turano bread held a meatball eating contest!

Food was everywhere. I indulged in a delicious straticatella gelato!

Overall, Festa Italiana was yet again a wonderful way to spend a summer Sunday. I wish I didn't have to wait a year to attend again!

Sunday, August 18, 2013


One of my dreams is to see an Italian National team soccer match. Their 2006 World Cup Victory was a catalyst in my interest in 21st Century Italian culture. Unfortunately, I studied abroad the year before the Euro Cup, so I did not get a chance to partake in the revelry with lifelong tifosi. However, I look forward to cheering on gli Azzurri on during the 2014 World Cup. 

While game day customs in the U.S. and Italy are quite different, sporting your team colors is always in style. Check out a fabulous ensemble below inspired by the 
Italian National team colors! 

Joe's Jeans skinny jeans
$78 -

Zara handbag

Heart earrings

College Ave Chevron Top

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Facciamo shopping!

Let's go shopping!

Italy is a fashion mecca, filled with fabulous finds for every style and budget. With the plethora of stores, stalls and street markets available to visitors, one can easily go wild in the centro commerciale. As traveling gets pricey, I will provide tips on how to prioritize when shopping and make suggestions on items to purchase in Italy.

General shopping tips: 
Visit stores unique to the area. Shop small businesses in the towns you visit - you'll find one of a kind treasures that are truly worth it!

Check out Italian which the masses shop. As mentioned in a previous post, Oviesse, Massimo Dutti, Class, Intimissimi and Oysho - some of my favorite Italian brands that won't break the bank!

Make purchases that are easy to pack. Post offices in Italy can get chaotic, so try to stay away from shipping items home. If you find something fabulous, however, go for it!

If you want to splurge on a designer item, do it in Europe. Non E.U. citizens get the vatted tax back!

Some of my favorite Italian finds via Polyvore! 

Must-have Italian items
Leather goods - Italy is known for high quality leather items. Luckily if you visit, you can get them for slightly less than in the U.S. (no import tax)

Jewelry - From upscale jewelry stores to street markets, nice jewelry in Italy is anywhere. I have various items that look fancier than they are!

Home decor - From wine glasses to wall art to table decor, Italian street markets have amazing finds that are easy to pack in suitcases. If you tell a merchant you are traveling, they will package the items so they stay safe in your luggage!

Food and beverage - I suggest checking the U.S. Customs website before making any purchases, but you are able to bring certain food and drink items back!

Souvenirs - Be sure to commemorate your trip with some sort of cheesy trinket! I really love the leather  bracelets branded with each major city name - they are stylish and a wonderful memento. You can find them at stalls in large piazzas throughout destinations such as Venice, Rome, Naples and Florence.

Buon shopping!