O mia bela Madunina

This article originally appeared in the August/September 2023 issue of Dream of Italy. Atop the tallest spire of Milan’s famous Duomo Cathedral sits a gold Madonnina—a little Virgin Mary—holding a lightning rod disguised as a halberd in her hand. Since her creation in 1774, she has become the symbol of the city. The phrase “all’ombra della Madonnina” means “in the shadows of …

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Dream Day in Italy: Exploring Grotte di Castellana (August/September 2023)

This article originally appeared in the August/September 2023 issue of Dream of Italy. For an unexpected adventure in Puglia, an area loved by sun-worshiping beachgoers, look deeper. About 200 feet deeper, to be exact. Half an hour’s drive from the azure waters of Polignano a Mare, the Grotte di Castellana look more like another planet than Puglia.  The 100-million-year-old karst cave system …

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Travel Chat – June 19 – Regent Seven Seas Cruise Excursions, Small Town Puglia, Train Strikes and More

We just wrapped our second Travel Talk LIVE and covered important Italy topics and answered fun vacation questions before handing out some of our best prizes yet. We kicked off the night with Kathy’s Regent Seven Seas cruise updates and all the exciting (tentative) excursions she is planning on taking from Taormina to Turkey. We also covered off the beaten …

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An Italian Convenience (June/July 2023)

This article originally appeared in the June/July 2023 issue of Dream of Italy. A staple in most Italian neighborhoods, and in many cities most streets, is the tabaccheria or tabacchi. These shops, marked with a giant white T sign overhead, are pillars of Italians’ daily routine and visitors should know why. Historically, they sold everyday goods such as tobacco (hence the …

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See Modena With a Great Guide (June/July 2023)

This article originally appeared in the June/July 2023 issue of Dream of Italy. View the main article, Made in Modena, here.  Speed into the world of fast cars, traditional flavors and opera with guided tours from those who know best. Modenatur (39 059 220022; www.modenatur.it) lets the stars of Emilia-Romagna — from test drives to tortellini making — shine on center …

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Where to Eat in Modena (June/July 2023)

This article originally appeared in the June/July 2023 issue of Dream of Italy. View the main article, Made in Modena, here.  Modena does many things well, but food is at the top of the list. Prepare to gorge on famed regional icons like tagliatelle al ragù (meat sauce), spinach and ricotta-stuffed tortelloni in butter and sage and gnocco fritto, a …

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Where to Stay in Modena (June/July 2023)

This article originally appeared in the June/July 2023 issue of Dream of Italy. View the main article, Made in Modena, here.  Modena‘s hotel landscape isn’t quite as wondrous as its restaurant scene, but there are a handful of options that offer an olive branch to more discerning clientele than the business and/or convention crowd. However, nothing in the city center …

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Made in Modena (June/July 2023)

This article originally appeared in the June/July 2023 issue of Dream of Italy. If you read supermarket labels closely, you might realize that Modena has been a household name for centuries — its famed vinegar, of the balsamic variety, hails from here. The name “balsamic” first appeared in the 18th century, but evidence of ancient civilizations making vinegar and using …

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Welcome to the Francescana Family (June/July 2023)

This article originally appeared in the June/July 2023 issue of Dream of Italy. The sun never sets on Chef Massimo Bottura’s empire. He has opened restaurants in Dubai, Miami, and Los Angeles, to name some of his outposts, but Modena is different; Modena is home. If you are ever going to taste and experience the Bottura magic, worth every penny …

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Poggio alla Sala: An Oasis in Montepulciano (June/July 2023)

This article originally appeared in the June/July 2023 issue of Dream of Italy. Have you ever missed a place before you have even left? That’s how I felt at the end of my stay at the newly opened Precise Tale Poggio alla Sala in Montepulciano. I was among the first guests at this property that was purchased and completed revamped …

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