Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Nominated for the Bloggers Choice Awards

Please vote for this site in the Bloggers Choice Awards for 'Best Travel Blog'. Thank you for your support.

My site was nominated for Best Travel Blog!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Castello San'Angelo

A collection of photo's from Castello San'Angelo in Rome.


The castle is round in form and situated close to the Vatican.

The views from the top are amazing.

Inside is a collection of weapons and articles of interest.

The museum inside is well worth a visit and contains loads 
of information about both the castle and Roman history.

Monday, July 19, 2010

The ART of Travel

A site of interest:

Linda Dubin Garfield, printmaker and mixed media artist, creates visual memoirs based on the mystery of memory and the magic of place. Her love of travel and her creative spirit combine in her work. She creates art based on her visits to far-away exotic places as well as venues closer to home. Nature inspires her work. In this blog dedicated to the ART of travel, she shares with you her travel to beautiful places, and the art it inspires.

Linda has travelled to various regions in Italy and has a nice collection of photo's posted to the site.
The most recent post to the site is where you can see some fabulous pics of Tuscany and read some info about the different areas worth visiting.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Italy still getting hotter

New alerts have been issued for the next few days in various cities through out Italy as the heat wave continues. Maximum alert in Bolzano, Bologna, Brescia, Firenze, Genova, Roma and  Torino. Trieste, Rieti, Perugia, Milano, Frosinone and Campobasso now at level 2 (In Italy there are 3 levels with 3 being the maximum).

Tomorrow there will be a big meeting between the heads of the regions, organised by Ferruccio Fazio (head of health) to discuss the effects this heat wave has on health and to inform the various medical assistance centres so they can offer the maximum support.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Rome on heat wave alert

Temperatures in the Eternal City are set to go well over 40°s in the next few days. La Protezione civile nazionale has launched an alarm as this new wave of heat hits the capital. On the 5th and 7th July this year they already actions volunteers to hand out water bottles in the main metro stations and set up emergency medical points through out the city. 118 and ambulances are also on alert to ensure quick response to calls.

If you're in Rome or planning on a visit in the very near future, make sure you're prepared for the heat. Always have a plastic bottle with you so you can refill it at the numerous water fountains through out the city.

By all means dip your feet in the fountains like the one shown above at Piazza di Spagna (just remember to have respect. They are monuments and pieces of art and should not be abused).

Remember to apply sun cream to avoid burning.

Wear a hat and try to keep out of the sun in the hottest hours (10am-2pm).

Dress appropiately. The hot weather means people tend to dress minimal. While it's normal to see people in shorts etc remember that this is a holy city as as such you will be asked to cover up when entering certain areas. If you plan on visiting churches opt for knee length and cover shoulders. If you really can't stand the idea of not wearing a vest top make sure you have a shawl to cover up with when needed or you may find you get denied access to some places.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Most important words for tourists in Italy

Here's a nice video that gives you a top 10 useful words:

To learn more basics to help you through your visit in Italy check out:

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Italy head home

Italy's World Cup dreams ended today after a 3-2 defeat by Slovakia.

Slovakia player Robert Vittek made two goals, at 25' and at  73'. Italy made a come back when Antonio Di Natale scored at 81', but Slovakia hit back again with Kamil Kopunek making a goal at 89'. Fabio Quagliarella made a goal for Italy at 92' but by then it was too late to make a difference.

Lippi took full responsibilty for the outcome following the match stating "If for an hour and a quarter the team was blocked from the physciological point of view, the fault rests with who trained them, and built them".

With today's match Lippi leaves the Italian bench to Cesare Prandelli whilst Fabio Cannavaro and Gennaro Gattuso have both announced the end of their participation in the national team.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Fifa Fan Fest in Rome

Fans can follow all the World Cup action for free at the Fifa Fan Fest in Villa Borghese in Rome.

A special “window” on the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa (scheduled from 11th June to 11th July), centred on the theme of entertainment and integration. This is in brief a snapshot of the “IFFF” project (International Fifa Fan Fest), created by FIFA and meant to bring, for the first time, the World Cup atmosphere in some of the most famous metropolises (city involved are Rome, Paris, Berlin, Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro and Sydney). This in parallel to the events organised in the South African cities where the matches will be played.

The IFFF Rome, supported by the Municipality of Rome, is part of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa and will offer live broadcasting of all matches in the charming setting of Villa Borghese (traditional venue of the International Horse Show Jumping  Piazza di Siena), together with other shows and entertainment programmes. Entrance will be free and there will be an interaction with the IFFF organized in the other five cities and in South Africa.

Italy, and Rome in particular, is traditionally a country of great passion for football and for all celebrations held in public venues. The International FIFA Fan Fest is also a place for cultural exchange, where people from all over the world and football/sports fans can live and experience the World Cup as an occasion to meet other cultures and passions.

The Venue

Villa Borghese is part of the history of Rome and Piazza di Siena, our chosen venue for the INTERNATIONAL FIFA FAN FEST, is one of its architectural jewels.

The park is named after the Borghese princes who, from the very beginning, used this square to organize popular celebrations and horse races like those held (from the Middle Ages) in the region of Siena, in Tuscany. Located in one of the most beautiful villas owned by the Roman nobility, it’s a feather in the cap of the City heritage.

As for the dimensions, it’s the third public park in Rome (around 80 hectares) and it stretches for a big part through the Pinciano neighbourhood and partly through the Campo Marzio area.

The park has nine entrances, which allow people to get in from different sides of the City. It is easily reachable by public transport (subway and buses) and has two underground parking (the “Ludovisi” and SABA parking), for those who prefer to get to the venue by car.

Inside the Villa Borghese, among other attractions, there are three museums, a zoo, a theatre and a Film House.
Piazza di Siena has a long tradition as a venue for sports events. Since 1930 it hosts the most important International Horse Show Jumping  (CSIO), now at its 78th edition. It’s also the grand setting for the parade of the Carabinieri, that takes place every year in the month of June. Moreover, it hosted many concerts by great International artists and it is known as an ideal outdoor entertainment area for the people in Rome.

The architectural project of Piazza di Siena unfolds along a huge oval (about 6000 sqm), where the main stage will be set, with a giant screen that can offer perfect visibility to 16 thousand spectators. For the occasion, a tribune with 4 thousand seats will be built, as well as three restaurants and various refreshment corners.

There will be a hospitality lounge for the sponsors, together with a merchandising corner, a commercial area (dedicated to the personalized booths of the INTERNATIONAL FIFA FAN FEST sponsors) and a VIP restaurant where guests can comfortably watch the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa.

For more information visit

Thursday, June 10, 2010

UFO's in Rome

In recent months UFO's have been reported over Rome. Various video's have been making the news showing three or more small lights in the sky. Here's an example of the type of video's:

Colle Salario - Rome, Italy - 18th March 2010

An official investigation into the events has now been opened, although the official comments by Italian Military have been limited to saying, they take any notifications that could cause trouble for air safety in the area seriously.

If it's not UFO's, what could the lights be? Do you think UFO sightings will increase tourist visits to the Capital?

Friday, May 28, 2010

Roman transport gets a make over

Work has been underway to improve Rome's public transport system for a while now, but only now are we starting to see some real action taking place.

The metro (underground system) is under going a huge make over and many new lines are being adding to areas of the city not yet connected.

The Major of Rome, Alemanno recently spoke about the start of work on Line D, which will run from Ojetti to Agricoltura with stops including Piazza di Spagna (linked with Line A), EUR Magliana (Linked with Line B) and Piazza Venezia (Linked with Line C).

Termini, the main station in Rome, is currently having work done to improve safety and control better the levels of 'people traffic'. A new gallery has been built for passengers changing between Line A and Line B, Lifts and mobile staircases have been installed as is a new anti-fire system. There will also be new lighting systems and a general clean up of the station where over 200 thousand passengers pass through daily. Work should be finished for December 2012 (or at least that's the date they're giving now... these things tend to drag out longer in reality).

The fact that Rome is an historical city and full of ancient ruins means plans often need to be changed/adapted in order to preserve the historical value of the sites. This makes building new underground train systems a little difficult.

Should all the plans to better connect the city become reality, visiting Rome will be much easier, quicker and safer. Fingers crossed.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

3 things to watch out for in Rome

Unfortunately, Rome, like many other large cities, has it's down sides too. Being aware of certain 'troubles' can help prevent problems though.


Especially when on public transport or in crowded tourist areas. In a lot of cases those doing the pickpocketing are children or pregnant woman. Always put your wallet in a safe place and make sure you bag and pockets are well guided.


Italian drivers are manic. Cars will weave in and out of each other much like the motorino do. The official rules of the road are often overlooked so it's best to be aware and look in ALL directions before crossing the street.


In Rome you can be fined for various things. Here's a few to be aware of:

- transport tickets. You must buy a ticket to travel on public transport. That ticket MUST be validated using the machines or you risk being fined €100.
- Eating in piazzas. Some piazzas are also monuments and as such you can be fined for eating and drinking in them. An example of this is Piazza di Spagna.
- Bathing in the fountains. With the summer heat it's tempting to take a quick dip in the many fountains but be warned, you risk a fine if you venture into some e.g. the large fountain in Piazza del Repubblica.

Use common sense, have respect and you should be ok.

Friday, May 21, 2010

New look for As The Romans Do

As you can see, I've been giving a brand new look to the site and adding some new features.

There's the obvious new graphics and layout but also a few little extras:
  • 'LIKE' button. Now you can share your favourite posts directly on facebook and let everyone know how much you like the site
  • Post views. Now you can see how many people have been reading the posts here. Unfortunately the count starts from today and as such older visitors don't show up on the counter though.
  • Share it buttons. You can now share the site on various social media networks with just one click.
I will be continuing to update the site with other new features in the near future.

Hope you like it and remember that you're comments are welcome on all posts.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Coloseum by night

See the Coloseum as you've never seen it before!

From mid-June until mid-September, the Coloseum will be open after dark. Visitors will be able to enter from 21:00 until 24:00 in addition to the normal daytime opening hours. Night access will be allowed two nights a week (Tuesday and Saturday).

From August visitors will be able to access all four levels (currently only two are open to the public).

Until now visitors from all over the world had to 'content' themselves with admiring only the first two floor of this symbol of ancient Rome.

Other new features are planned for the venue in the near future, including moving all non-parts of the monuments out of the Coloseum (e.g. exhibition area etc...). A new bookshop and bar are also planned to be built near the monument.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Coloseum falls to pieces

Ok, that sounds very dramatic. This is not the end...well at least not yet...of one of the world's oldest treasures.

What actually happened was that a few small pieces fell out during the night between Sunday and Monday of this week. The damage was apparently caused by climate conditions and the pieces were from an area that is currently having restoration work done on it.

Here's the news report:

Monday, May 10, 2010

La notte dei musei

If you're in Rome on Saturday 15th May, you're in for a treat!

It's La notte dei musei - The night of museums- where you get to enter FREE OF CHARGE into a wide variety of the museums and galleries throughout the city.

A great excuse to go and check out some real treasures!

Included are:

You can find out more details about it at

Friday, April 23, 2010

Weddings in Italy

HeliumItalian lesson: Phrases for weddings

 If you found the above article interesting you'll probably also like the book 'A Guide to Weddings in Italy'. Get your copy today.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Book review: Daughter of Mine by Laura Fabiani


Title:  Daughter of Mine
Author: Laura Fabiani
Publisher: iUniverse
ISBN: 9-780595-478576

Reviewed by Jo Linsdell.

Daughter of Mine tells the tale of Tiziana Manoretti, who finding out that she was adopted, travels to Italy in an attempt to discover the truth about her birth and to search for her birth parents. The road to learning about her past is far from easy but she meets some interesting characters along the way that help her out.
As if the recent bomb about her adoption isn’t enough, Tiziana is also getting mixed signals from her best friend Christopher and starts questioning exactly how deep her feelings for him are.

Daughter of Mine is a real page turner and one of the best books I’ve read for a while. Laura Fabiani captures Italy beautifully as it follows Tiziana on her journey. The descriptions of the locations visited by the characters are wonderful and give a real feel for the setting. As do some of the Italian individuals that Tiziana meets along the way, who made me think of some real Italians I’ve met since I came to live here.

Relationships, love, family, friendship mixed with the stunning scenery of Italy. Daughter of Mine  is excellently written and a very enjoyable read. I highly recommend this book.

 Get your copy:

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Blogging and house moves

Apologises for the lack of posting recently but in the middle of an unexpected house move. Normal posting should be resumed for next week all being well.

Thanks for your patience and continued interest in this site.

Friday, March 26, 2010

UCLA Writers’ Program Instructors Plan Roman Retreat

M E D I A   R E L E A S E


CONTACT:  Carolyn Howard-Johnson

Phone: 818-790-0502

For Immediate Release

UCLA Writers’ Program Instructors Plan Roman Retreat

World Wide Web— Two UCLA Writers’ Program instructors, Carolyn Howard-Johnson and Eve LaSalle Caram are planning an intimate writers’ retreat in Rome for October, 2010.

Caram was Howard-Johnson’s first instructor in novel writing more than a decade ago. Later the student joined her teacher as a fellow instructor for UCLA’s renowned Writers’ Program and she has now been teaching for nearly there nearly a decade.
The excitement grows. The two have rented a town home near the Trevi fountain in Rome and are inviting writers to join them for a casual week of writing and promotion seminars and tons of Eternal City inspiration. Rome resident Jo Linsdell, a writer and founder of PROMO DAY, the free online conference for writers, will join them to present on the ever-important marketing aspects of the publishing industry.
Caram is the author of three novels and was honored by UCLA for her outstanding teaching. Howard-Johnson is an award-winning poet, novelist, former journalist, and author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers ( The pair will tailor seminars to the needs of those who participate.

If participants are interested, Howard-Johnson will lead a tour of nearby Etruscan sites.

Learn more about the retreat at complete with pictures of the town home including its rooftop garden.

Early registration is recommended. Accommodations are very limited. Reach Howard-Johnson for payment details at

# # #

Graphics, interviews and further information available upon request.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Featured on this blog

Yes you can be featured on this blog. If you have a book or film connected to Italy in some way I'm happy to review it for you and post it here.

Do you have a company here in Italy that you'd like promoted? Do you organise an event here in Italy or organise one about Italy else where?

I'm also happy to host guest bloggers so that others can share their thoughts about all things connected with Italy.

If interested please send me an email with details of what kind of feature you would like or a sort article for a guest post. Please put 'As the Romans Do' in the subject line as I have a high email traffic and wouldn't want to miss it.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Famous Italian: Roberto Benigni

Arguably the most popular Italian screen comedian since the immortal Toto, Roberto Benigni mastered the exacting art of improvisational humor early. Inspired by Charles Chaplin, Buster Keaton, and Peter Sellers, Benigni first gained fame in his native country with his own must-see TV series, sustaining his vast following with several hilarious movie appearances. One of his best-known monologues, "Cioni Mario," was expanded into the feature film I Love You Berlinger/Berlinguer Ti Voglio Bene (1977), after which Benigni went on to star in a number of popular films in Italy.

His 1991 Italian box office success, Johnny Stecchino, brought him considerable international attention. American filmgoers, however, may have become aware of his brand of comedy earlier with 1988's The Little Devil, which Benigni wrote, directed, and co-starred in with Walter Matthau. He had also been visible -- to art house audiences, at least -- as a convict in Down by Law (1986) and a Roman taxi driver confessing a bit too much information to a priest in Night on Earth (1988), both directed by Jim Jarmusch, before appearing in Wim Wenders' Faraway, So Close in 1993.

Having demonstrated his comedic talents to an worldwide audience, Benigni seemed an inspired casting choice for the pratfalling offspring of Inspector Clouseau in Blake Edwards' 1992 Son of the Pink Panther. Unfortunately, the role created by Peter Sellers may not have been ideal for Benigni and the comedy received little praise. The comedian more than proved himself five years later, however, co-writing, directing, and starring in Life Is Beautiful. The movie -- which had the potentially ungainly premise of a comedy set in a Nazi concentration camp -- proved to be a huge international success, both critically and commercially. It won the Grand Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival -- where Benigni, leaping on-stage to accept the award, got down on his knees before presenter Martin Scorsese and kissed his hand -- and ultimately won a number of other awards, including Best Actor and Best Screenplay Oscars for Benigni. Accepting one of his awards, Benigni proved to be one of the more memorable aspects of the 1998 ceremony. Upon hearing of his win, he jumped up on his seat and then took to the stage, where he proceeded to proclaim -- in broken English and at great length -- his great joy and gratitude.

Aside from a supporting role in the 1999 fantasy adventure Astrix and Obelix vs. Cesar Benigni remained relatively low-key in the years following his success with Life is Beautiful. Of course coming off of such success and with rumors abounding, expectations were certainly high for whatever project the eccentric actor would develop next - a factor that may have done more damage than good. Though when he originally concieved an adaptation of the timeless tale of Pinocchio Benigni envisioned the film as starring himself with famed director Federico Fellini at the helm, the director's death left Benigni the director of what would be one of the most expensive films in Italian film history. Immediately lambasted by critics upon release in 2002, the visually extravagant film proved a notable failure at the box office - with the dubbed stateside version of the film taking exceptional heat. By this point no one doubted Benigni's talent, but his misguided execution left many to wonder just how it was that the production spiraled so far out of control. Fortunately fans could take some comfort in Benigni's masterful performance on the television special L'Ultimo del paradiso later that same year. The following year Benigni turned in a memorable performance in old friend Jim Jarmusch's episodic drama Coffee and Cigarettes.

Benigni married actress Nicoletta Braschi in 1991, and she appeared with him in a number of films, including Johnny Stecchino and Life Is Beautiful. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

(Source: They also have a fabulous list of all his films. Well worth checking out).

Roberto Benigni winning an Oscar® - Best Foreign Language Film, Life is Beautiful - 71st Annual Academy Awards®.


Friday, March 19, 2010

Festa dei Papa

Festa dei Papa is the Italian name for Father's Day, which is celebrated annually on March 19 (St. Joseph's Feast Day -Festa di San Giuseppe-in Italy).

An integral part of the Festa di San Giuseppe are zeppole. These are delicious pastries that range from cream puffs to pockets of fried dough depending on what part of the country you’re in. The most common zeppole are cream puffs.

Here is a video about the making of zeppole:

Buon Appetito and Auguri to all the fathers today. Enjoy!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Talent shows

On Saturday 6th March one of the most famous recent talents, Noemi,  from the popular music show x-factor (Rai Due) was guest on another talent show, Amici (Canale 5). She performed her latest single 'Per tutta la vita', which was in competition at this years Sanremo.

Here is her performance at Amici:

Noemi is proof that these talent shows do actually find people with real talent. Of course, many of those who take part in them are famous for however long the programme lasts and then promptly disappear from public eye. Some however launch their careers and go on to have success.

Other whose success post-tv talent show is worth mentioning are:
  • Marco Carta (winner of Amici, winner of Sanremo 2009, winner of numerous awards on festival bar and Mtv trl)
  • Valerio Scanu (2nd place at Amici, winner of this years Sanremo)
  • Tony Maiello (took part in X-factor, won this years young cat. at Sanremo)
  • Marco Mengoni (winner of x-factor, runner up at this years Sanremo)
Although I feel that these people are in fact talented singers, I do have a few doubts over their success at Sanremo. It's true that part of the vote is given by the general public and as such the months that they were featured on daily programmes on the TV will no doubt have helped them out. That being said though, it's a bit strange that the shows promote each others talents despite being from different networks and both shows were represented at Sanremo in the finals. In my opinion there were better songs and more talented artists who desired to win instead. 

My question at this point is, Did they win due to talent or due to TV popularity? Your thoughts?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Isola dei Famosi

Isola Dei Famosi recently returned to Italian TV (Rai Due) with it's 7th edition, this time in Nicaragua.  As always, the show is presented by Simone Ventura. This years co-presenter is Rossano Rubicondi.

This years 'famous' cast includes:
The last of which, Aldo Busi, has been causing waves right from word go. This 'intellectual' writer is new to the cast that normally contains showgirls and ex-tronisti (people who have been on the programme uomini e donne) or famous but in most cases little known tv actors/actresses.

In last weeks LIVE show he spoke out about the conditions of the island they have been set to and refused to continue the programme if they weren't sent to a different island. Finally the cast have someone who's not afraid to speak up.

So far they've had injuries due to the jump from a helicopter to get them to the island, upset stomaches, an earthquake... It's a good job this years cast includes someone like Busi who will stand up for them.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Festa delle Donne

8th March is a popular festival in Italy.  It is traditional to give the gift of yellow mimosas to women to celebrate on this day each year. Although in the past it was men who gave these flowers as a way of saying thank you to the women in their life, nowadays both men and women give them to family, friends and work colleagues.

This time of year often sees demonstrations about womens rights however the original sense of this 8th March celebration is being replaced to some extent by an excuse for a 'girl night out'. In fact restaurants, pubs and other social venues are booked up by groups of women prior to the event for their night of fun.

As the political reasons for the event take the back seat somewhat, these modern celebrations are often criticised. Where ever you go in Italy on 8th March you'll be sure to find fun activities, parties and women letting their hair down.

The first International Women's Day
In 1869 British MP John Stuart Mill was the first person in Parliament to call for women's right to vote. On 19 September 1893 New Zealand became the first country in the world to give women the right to vote. Women in other countries did not enjoy this equality and campaigned for justice for many years.

In 1910 a second International Conference of Working Women was held in Copenhagen. A woman named Clara Zetkin (Leader of the 'Women's Office' for the Social Democratic Party in Germany) tabled the idea of an International Women's Day. She proposed that every year in every country there should be a celebration on the same day - a Women's Day - to press for their demands. The conference of over 100 women from 17 countries, representing unions, socialist parties, working women's clubs, and including the first three women elected to the Finnish parliament, greeted Zetkin's suggestion with unanimous approval and thus International Women's Day was the result.

The very first International Women's Day was launched the following year by Clara Zetkin on 19 March (not 8 March). The date was chosen because on 19 March in the year of the 1848 revolution, the Prussian king recognized for the first time the strength of the armed people and gave way before the threat of a proletarian uprising. Among the many promise he made, which he later failed to keep, was the introduction of votes for women.

Plans for the first International Women's Day demonstration were spread by word of mouth and in the press. During the week before International Women's Day two journals appeared: The Vote for Women in Germany and Women's Day in Austria. Various articles were devoted to International Women's Day: 'Women and Parliament', 'The Working Women and Municipal Affairs', 'What Has the Housewife got to do with Politics?', etc. The articles thoroughly analyzed the question of the equality of women in the government and in society. All articles emphasized the same point that it was absolutely necessary to make parliament more democratic by extending the franchise to women.

Success of the first International Women's Day in 1911 exceeded all expectation.
Meetings were organized everywhere in small towns and even the villages halls were packed so full that male workers were asked to give up their places for women.
Men stayed at home with their children for a change, and their wives, the captive housewives, went to meetings. 

During the largest street demonstration of 30,000 women, the police decided to remove the demonstrators' banners so the women workers made a stand. In the scuffle that followed, bloodshed was averted only with the help of the socialist deputies in Parliament.

In 1913 International Women's Day was transferred to 8 March and this day has remained the global date for International Wommen's Day ever since.

During International Women's Year in 1975, IWD was given official recognition by the United Nations and was taken up by many governments. International Women's Day is marked by a national holiday in China, Armenia, Russia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Moldova, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Weddings in Italy

Italy is one of the most romantic places in the world and has long been a popular wedding destination for foreign couples fixing to tie the knot. This trend continues to grow despite the fact that Italy tends to be a little trickier in terms of wedding regulations than some other target destinations. Needless to say, it's a good idea to start planning early.

A Guide to Weddings in Italy has information about all aspects of planning a wedding in the famous boot:
  • Types of weddings allowed
  • Documents needed
  • Italian wedding traditions and superstitions
  • Italian wedding proverbs
  • and more...

    Monday, March 1, 2010

    Carolina Kostner and the winter Olympics

    Things didn't go well for Italian, Carolina Kostner at this years winter Olympics in Vancouver. The figure skater fell several times and closed in 16th place. The once European champion, scored just 151.90.

    She obviously has talent as the many medals won in the past show:
    • Bronze in Mosca 2005
    • Silver in Goteborg 2008
    • Bronze in Lione 2006
    • Gold in Varsavia 2007
    • Gold in Zagabria 2008
    • Silver in  Helsinki 2009
    • Gold in Tallin 2010

    Let's hope that she re-finds herself and returns to being the great skater she can be. 

    Friday, February 26, 2010

    Sanremo 2010

    Sanremo is the most famous festival of Italian music. This year the event celebrated it's 60th edition and was presented by Antonella Clerici.

    It would appear that I was not alone watching it this year as ratings for the show were very high.

    This years event was won by Valerio Scanu. An ex-student of the talent show Amici, his victory has created much talk about the voting system for the festival. His song 'Per tutti i volte che...' however is not bad and has already become a hit both on radio and in sales.

    Video of Valerio Scanu singing the winning song at Sanremo:

    The winner of the new generation award (younger artists) was Tony Maiello. He too has a past in a talent show (this time x-factor) however there seems to be less upset over his win.

    Malika Ayane won the critics award given by the press. Many, including myself, would have liked to see her as the winner of the festival.

    Wednesday, February 17, 2010

    Video: io canto

    Io Canto is a popular TV programme launched this year in Italy. The show is presented by Gerry Scotti (one of the most popular TV hosts in Italy) and features the singing talents of a group of children between the ages of 7 and 15 years. The programmes airs every Saturday evening on canale 5 of mediaset. The super talented children sing both Italian and international songs.

    Here is the opening preformance of the first episode:

    Monday, February 15, 2010

    Famous Italian: Morgan

    Morgan recently hit the headlines in Italy, this time, due to his exclusion from Sanremo and a supposed drugs scandal. His position on Italian TV is now being questioned and the whole issue has launched many discussions on and off air about similar cases involving other V.I.P.s

    Marco Castoldi better known by his stage name Morgan (born in Milano, Italy on 23 December 1972) is an Italian singer, musician and multi-instrumentalist. He is also a judge for three years in the Italian version of The X Factor winning the first three series through acts he mentored, Aram Quartet (series 1 - 2008), Matteo Becucci (series 2 - 2008-9) and Marco Mengoni (in series 3 - 2009).
    He is also a founding member of Bluvertigo,an Italian band formed in 1992. Bluvertigo's first name was "Golden Age" and other founding mmebers included Andy (Andrea Fumagalli) and Marco Pancaldi.

    Their first album was released in 1995, Acidi e basi, followed in 1997 by Metallo non metallo and in 1999 by Zero: they were later called "la trilogia chimica" ("the chemical trilogy") because every title has a reference to chemistry and the initial letters (AB-MN-Z) are respectively the first, the central and the last ones of the alphabet. Their latest album is Pop Tools, a compilation released in 2001. In 2003 Morgan released his first solo album: Le canzoni dell'appartamento.

    MTV Storytellers was released in 2008, a live recording of a concert performed for MTV. A music video for "Fuori Dal Tempo" can be found on the MTV Storytellers DVD.

    Present members are: Morgan (Marco Castoldi) (on vocals, bass, piano), Andy (Andrea Fumagalli) (on keys, sax , synths, vocals), Sergio Carnevale (drums and percussions), Livio Magnini (guitar).
    Morgan had lived with actress Asia Argento with whom has a daughter born in 2001.

    Find more information at or his official website

    Friday, February 12, 2010

    St. Valentine gift or homeschoolers resource

    Who was Saint Valentine? Why do we celebrate this festival on February 14th? How is the festival celebrated in Italy? and many more are answered in this short e-book about one of the most popular day's of the year.

    This short ebook makes a nice Valentines Day present. It downloads immediately and so is ideal as a last minute gift too:)

    It can also be used as a resource for homeschoolers wanting to know more about this much celebrated event. 

    Get your copy today here

    Wednesday, February 10, 2010

    Tivoli Carnival 2010

    Carnival is celebrated throughout Italy over January and February each year. Some of the smaller towns have the biggest and best parades though. Tivoli is one well worth visiting.
    From mid-January until mid-February, Tivoli gets taken over with 'carnival fever'. Face painters can be found daily on the main streets to decorate the childrens faces. The main square is in almost constant party mode, with stalls, music, competitions and games.
    Each Sunday there is a big parade of decorated floats and people in costumes that goes round the main streets ending up in the main square.
    Great fun for the whole family!

    Here's a few photo's from this years carnival:

    Monday, February 8, 2010

    Famous Italian: Fiorello

    Rosario Tindaro Fiorello (born 16 May 1960), also known just as Fiorello, is an Italian singer and also a radio and television presenter.

    Fiorello was born in Augusta, Sicily. He began his career working in tourist villages, first as a barman, and then as an entertainer. Near the end of the 1980s, Fiorello met Claudio Cecchetto, a talent-scout. Soon afterwards, Fiorello began hosting the show "Viva Radio Deejay".

    Having become popular through the TV show Karaoke, Fiorello went on to host various different TV shows. Soon after, he endured a period of drug problems that kept him away from the world of TV. However, he returned to show business and television in the 1990s, displaying great abilities as a showman, first in the Mediaset networks, then with RAI in 2001, 2002, and 2004 with Stasera Pago Io.

    Since 2002, Fiorello has hosted the radio broadcast Viva Radio 2 together with Marco Baldini, Francesco Bozzi and Enrico Cremonesi, during which Fiorello shows off his skills as a singer, mimic and entertainer. In the summer of 2005, a CD was published that collected the best of his radio career. The CD's high points include: the imitation of Mike Bongiorno and the Forgetful of Cologno (Berlusconi). The CD also includes imitations of Andrea Camilleri, Antonio Cassano, Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, Gianni Minà, Franco Califano, Carla Bruni, Oliviero Toscani, Marina Flaibani from Onda Verde, Nanni Moretti, Vittorio Cecchi Gori, Ignazio La Russa, the prince Albert of Monaco, Monica Bellucci and her husband Vincent Cassel.

    Fiorello's skills as a vocalist have brought him to the cinema as well. He has participated in such varied roles as: a dubber in cartoons (most recently Garfield), to an appearance in the film The Talented Mr. Ripley, in which he portrays Renato Carosone.

    His younger brother Giuseppe Fiorello is an actor.

    Fiorello's most famous imitations include Mike Bongiorno, and that of Silvio Berlusconi as a character called Smemorato di Cologno who, in the parody, loses his memory every time something related to communism is mentioned. Smemorato di Cologno is a pun on the main character of the Italian comedy 'Lo smemorato di Collegno', Cologno being instead the headquarters of Berlusconi's well-known media company.

    Find out more about Fiorello at

    Friday, February 5, 2010

    Italian for homeschoolers

    FREE Homeschoolers Kit now available to download. Learning Italian has never been so easy. All the answers to the exercises can be found in your copy of ITALIAN FOR TOURISTS: POCKET EDITION!

    Italian for tourists: Pocket Edition is available to buy from Now also available on and other online bookstores!

    Italian For Tourists is a basic guide to the Italian language covering phrases and words most needed by tourists. It includes all the words and phrases a tourist is likely to need during their stay in Italy as well as a pronunciation guide and a map of Italy. It is divided into 17 sections to help you find what you are looking for in the shortest possible time.

    ISBN: 978-1-4092-7826-9

    Wednesday, February 3, 2010

    Map of Italy

    Planning on taking a trip to Italy? A lot of different cities can be easily visited during a short trip. In just a couple of hours you can get from Rome to Naples on a train or Milan to Florence. Take a look at the map below and start thinking about which places you'd like to visit.

    Monday, February 1, 2010

    Famous Italian: Maria De Filippi

    Maria De Filippi (born 5 December 1961) is an Italian television host.

    De Filippi was born in Milan, Lombardy, but grew up in Pavia where her family transferred when she was ten years old. She is married to talk show host Maurizio Costanzo with whom she has an adopted son.

    She has hosted numerous talk shows broadcast by Mediaset's Canale 5 such as Uomini and donne and C'e posta per te. From 1993 until the present day (December 2009), she has hosted on Canale 5 the talent show Amici, which changed its name in 2002 to Amici di Maria De Filippi. Similar to the American series Fame, it features a school with two groups of aspiring young singers and dancers who compete against the other, performing live before an audience, and a panel of judges and instructors. Albanian-born dancer Kledi Kadiu is a regular performer on the programme.

    She has won numerous awards over the years for her programmes and is one of Italy's most well known presenters.

    Friday, January 29, 2010

    Travel Guide to Rome, Italy

    A nice video that gives some interesting facts and history about Rome. Great if your planning a trip and want some ideas of places to visit during your stay.

    Monday, January 25, 2010

    Famous Italian: Francesco Totti

    This weeks famous Italian is Francesco Totti, one of the most loved figures in Rome. Excellent football player and also a popular personality for adverts and sponsorship deals on a National and International level. He is also spokesman for UNICEF.

    Francesco Totti, Cavaliere Ufficiale OMRI, (born 27 September 1976 in Rome) is an Italian World Cup-winning footballer who is the current captain of Serie A club Roma. His position is that of a striker or an attacking midfielder, though he is best known for playing as a second striker. He has spent his entire career at Roma, is the number-one goalscorer and the most capped player in the club's history. He is considered to be Roma's greatest player of all time. "Er Pupone," as he is commonly nicknamed, is universally considered as one of the greatest players of his generation and in the annals of European football.

    Totti won several awards in Italy during his career including a record 5 times Italian Footballer of the Year and 2 times Serie A Footballer of the Year. He was named by Pelé as one of the top 125 greatest living footballers in March 2004.

    Totti is currently the top active Serie A goalscorer, and eighth all-time in league history with 187 goals.

    Totti intended to retire from the Azzurri after the end of the World Cup, but reneged on his decision and remained undecided on his future for over a year, and was never called up in the meantime. He made his retirement official on 20 July 2007, at the beginning of the 2007–08 Serie A season in order to focus solely on club play with Roma. Italy coach at that time Roberto Donadoni's attempts to get Totti to change his mind for the remaining Euro 2008 qualifiers proved futile. After the national team reunioned with Lippi, Totti announced that he would like to play in the 2010 World Cup Finals in South Africa if he gets called up.

    You can find out more about Totti by visiting

    Friday, January 22, 2010

    Wednesday, January 20, 2010

    B&B In the Center You Too

    If you're looking for a place to stay in the heart of Rome, this is a Bed and Breakfast worth checking out.

    B&B In the Center You Too
    via Emanuele Filiberto, 50
    Rome 00185

    About the place:

    "In the Center You Too" is the ideal bed and breakfast for your stay in the Eternal City. We are situated in a historical square on Via Emanuele Filiberto, just 800 metres from the Colosseum, surrounded by a typical Roman atmosphere. You can easily reach every part of Rome from our bed & breakfast: 700 metres from the Termini station (from where direct trains depart to Fiumicino Airport) and only 50 meters from two stops on Metro Line A. You can arrive to all major sightseeing spots in just a few minutes. Alternatively by public transport, our B&B is also well connected via night buses.

    Our rooms are single, double, triple and possibly even quadruple.

    A private bath is available for some rooms. Our guests can conveniently come in and out as they wish having available their room keys. Breakfast is offered at any time of the day in a cafe’-bar that is located in front of the building.

    In addition, each room is well furnished, inspired to a different color: red, yellow, orange, or blue, and they are furnished with a single or double bed, linens, night table, desk, chairs, wardrobe, towels, hair-dryer, TV 19'', air conditioning and WiFi internet connection.

    Each is dedicated to one of the most famous monuments of Rome: indulging on our comfortable beds you can admire the frescos by a local artist depicting the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon or St. Peter's Basilica.

    See for more information.

    Friday, January 8, 2010

    Recipe for Panettone

    During the festive period the Italian kitchen fills with delicious treats. One of the most popular is the Panettone.

    250g of flour
    2 spoons of raising agent in powder.
    1 teaspoon of orange essence.
    185g of raisins
    100g of Olive Oil
    150g of brown sugar
    2 eggs
    180ml of milk
    A pinch of salt

    Mix the flour, raising agent and salt. Add the raisins and mixture of sugar and oil. Beat the eggs, add milk and mix all together. Stir well for about 5 minutes and fill mould. Put in oven for 20 minutes at 180°. Leave to cool and serve.

    Wednesday, January 6, 2010

    La Befana

    January 6th is a significant day to Italians because it marks the end of the Christmas season and the day that the three Wise Men arrived at the manger of the Christ child. Over the years the Epiphany has been a more celebrated holiday for the children of Italy than even Christmas.

    La Befana is a friendly character in Italian folklore. She is a witch like character who rides around on a broom. Unlike a witch though, she is often smiling and she has a sack or a basket filled with candy and/or gifts.

    La Befana is one of Italy's oldest and most celebrated legends. Like many Italian traditions La Befana is a mixture of folklore and Christianity. The name Befana is derived from the word Epifania, the Italian name for the religious festival of the Epiphany.

    Here is an Italian nursery rhyme that the children sing for “La Befana”
    La Befana viene di notte
    con le scarpe tutte rotte
    col cappello alla romana
    viva viva la Befana!
    Rough Translation:
    La Befana comes at night
    with old broken shoes
    and a Roman style hat
    long live la Befana!

    Monday, January 4, 2010

    Welcome back! 2010

    Welcome back and belated wishes for the New Year or as Italians say ‘Buon Anno’.

    2009 was another eventful year for Italy. Here’s just a few of the things that happened:

    o Economic crisis that hit most of the world this year also effected Italy, but the OCSE (Organisation for the cooperation and the economic growth) foresees Italy being the leader in Europe in 2010. Hard to believe considering that the first nine months of 2009 saw 100,000 companies close. Let’s hope they’re right and that the Italians can resist and come out on top in the New Year.
    o In April 2009 a tragic earthquake hit Abruzzo with 370 deaths and over 1500 injured. Many were left homeless and much of Aquila (the main town hit) was destroyed. The population has pulled together and is now starting to rebuild their lives however many are still living in the tents supplied after the tragedy whilst they wait for new housing. Promises have been made that this will happen soon and that everyone will have a house in 2010. Let’s hope this is one promise that is kept.
    o Attacks on public figures during the Christmas period. Both President Berlusconi and the Pope were victims of attacks. Berlusconi ended up in hospital for a few days with injuries to his face after being attacked by a man as he waved to crowds. The Pope was unharmed when a women, who wanting to touch him during the Christmas Mass, pulled him to the ground.
    o Reality TV continued to be a success in Italy during 2009. Marco won the third edition of X-Factor and Big Brother celebrated it’s tenth edition and the housemates passed Christmas in the house for the first time.
    o Lippi returned as the Italian Football teams coach. The last time he was in control of the team they won the World Cup. Will he be able to do it again in 2010?

    If you would like to be involved with this site in 2010 please email with ‘As The Romans Do’ in the subject line. I’m looking for people to interview, book reviews, features on companies or services, etc… Obviously all should be related to or have a connection with Italy in some way ;)


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