Italian Memorial Day June 2

Memorial day for Italians is June 2nd each year a celebration of the new summer season and the day of remembrance: Republic Day.
 Victor emanuel-monument
The Festa della Repubblica Italiana is celebrated to commemorate the birth of the Italian Republic. On June 2 and 3 1946, following the fall of Fascism and the end of World War II, an institutional referendum was held in which Italians were asked to vote on what form of government they preferred, either a monarchy or a republic. The majority of Italians favored a republic, so the monarchs of the House of Savoy were exiled. On May 27, 1949, lawmakers passed Article 260, cited June 2 as data di fondazione della Repubblica (date of the founding of the Republic) and declared it a national holiday.
Republic Day is a nationwide public holiday in Italy, schools, organizations and businesses are closed. Many Italians attend official ceremonies, military parades or the laying of a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, inside the Altare della Patria, part of the Victor Emmanuel Monument, in Rome.
Next time you are in the capital, make sure to pay a visit to this grand memorial to the Italian State – and for now raise your glass to La Repubblica Italiana, its people and varied history

Parma, Verdi’s City and Festival Town

ParmaParma, ancient city of Etruscan origin is not only famous for the Parmesan cheese, prosciutto ham and pumpkin ravioli, but  for its university, theaters, unique looking churches and the composers who once  frequented it. 

The city of Parma, the final residence of Marie Louise of Austria, Duchess of Austria and Empress of France as former wife  of Napoleon was once celebrated by Giuseppe Verdi, written about by Giovannino Guareschi and appeared in films directed by Bernardo Bertolucci. It is a small town that mostly attracts art and music devotees and Pilgrimes to Toscanini’s birthplace. But it is also a popular steeping point for nature lover to its closeness the nearby mountains. The city spreads from the plains to the Appennines mountains offering nearby excursions for hiker in all seasons.

Parma is easy to visit all year round. with each season offering something unique.

In the winter it resembles the capitals of Northern Europe with typical fogs embracing it from November to February. In the mountains, the ski resorts at Schia and Prato Spilla are a favourite destination for all snow lovers.

In the spring the small town’s vicinity to the country side makes it cheerful and tranquil with garden-fresh air, while at the same time offering numerous cultural events theater festivals and street fair events where you can taste the city’s specialty, the  Tortellata di San Giovanni’ on 23

Parmesan from Parma
In the summer the humid climate is eased by soothing breezes coming from the Apennines. Summer evenings are colorful and lively with the numerous village feasts where delicious typical products are offered and and everyone joins the dance.

Verdi festival Pacakges Parma
The fall season is magical, the time for grape harvesting to produce local sparkling Lambrusco in the hills and Fortana in the Emilia region. The climate is cooler, village feasts are ending replaced by more serious more important theater events culminating with the World renowned Verdi Festival in October.

Ten Italian drinks ….. a new photo quiz

Most are easy, some more difficult but how many of these Italian drinks can you identify? A clue is given with each picture.

Answers at the bottom of the page but NO CHEATING!


What type of coffee is this?


What is the meaning of this herbal liqueur’s name?


The traditional lemon liqueur from the Naples area?


Nocino, another liqueur, is made from’?


The most well-known quality Italian champagne alternative and definitely not Asti?


Hemingway’s favourite cocktail, the Bellini, was invented where?


Which is the most ‘bitter’ vermouth, Martini or Cinzano?


Served with floating coffee beans and set alight?


Nastro Azzurro is a Peroni lager. The name “Blue Ribbon” originated?


Barolo, one of the very best red wines, is made from what grape?

Italy, some of the best, if not THE best, food and drink in the world. Come any enjoy our wonderful gastronomy. Have a look at: for the very best choice of tours and vacations.


Cappuccino/Strega(the witch)/Limoncello/walnuts/Prosecco/Harry’s Bar, Venice/Cinzano/Sambuca/ the Blue Riband prize won by Italian ocean liner SS Rex in 1933/Nebbiolo

Ten beautiful Italian islands ….. a new photo quiz.

Most are easy, some a little more difficult but how many of these Italian islands can you identify? A clue is given with each picture. Answers at the bottom of the page but NO CHEATING!


It didn’t hold Napoleon long


Sophisticated and the second largest Mediterranean island


Site of the Aragon Castle in the Bay of Naples


Italy’s most glamorous island, famous for the Grotta Azzurra


The largest Mediterranean island with Europe’s highest volcano


Which is nearer, Africa or Europe?


Black lava beaches and an active volcano


The film setting for “The Talented Mr. Ripley” and “Il Postino”

Isola Bella Blog 6

The beautiful island off Sicily, not its Lake Maggiore namesake


A ‘Caribbean’ style jewel just north Sardinia


Possibly the most beautiful country in the world, certainly the richest in art and culture, Italy is a superstar destination. Have a look at the great range of tours on offer from THE specialists



Elba/Sardinia/Ischia/Capri/Sicily/Lampedusa/Stromboli/Procida/Isola Bella/La Maddalena

A photo quiz : Twelve of the best, Italian food and drink.

Another in our light-hearted series of photo quizzes. A clue is given with each photo. Some are easy some more difficult. Let’s see how well you know Italy and its wonderful gastronomy!

Answers at the bottom of the page.


“Pick me up” with loads of delicious marscapone cheese

Traditionally sold in squat bottle enclosed in a straw base called a ‘fiasco’

The smell of it cooking used to attract clients looking for more than a meal

Bread, similar in style to pizza dough often topped with with onion, cheese or meat


Roman specialty, veal lined or topped with prosciutto and fresh sage


 Toasted bread rubbed with garlic, topped with tomatoes, olive oil, salt, pepper etc.


 ‘Cooked cream’ dessert

The ‘witch’ with approximately 70 herbal ingredients

Light potato ‘dumplings’ made with potato, egg yolks and flour

The very best ‘prosciutto crudo’, personally nothing like as good as wonderful Spanish ‘jabugo’….

A hard, salty cow’s milk cheese, personally much better than insipid Spanish copies……

cannoli 3

A ‘little tube’ from Sicily, fried with a sweet, creamy filling usually made with ricotta.


Italy. What can you say? You’ll come across some of the very best food and drink in the world every day. Have a look at: for the very best choice of tours and vacations.

Tiramisu/Chianti/Spaghetti Puttanesca/Focaccia/Saltimbocca/Bruschetta/Panna Cotta/Strega/Gnocchi/Parma Ham/ Parmigiano Reggiano/Cannoli

Rome…….an autumn travel photo quiz

Another in our light-hearted series of photo quizzes. A clue is given with each photo. Some are easy some more difficult. Let’s see how well you know Rome! Answers at the bottom of the page.


Don’t stand in the middle when it’s raining

Throw in a coin and you’ll return to Rome

Once a market, meeting place and court, now home to many stray cats!

A beautiful square, full of restaurants. Move 100 metres away and eat better and cheaper

The ‘wedding cake’, love it or hate it

A statue of Marcus Aurelius dominates the centre

Made even more famous in the film ‘Roman holiday’

Honouring the first Christian emperor

They are not Romans

Veal scallops cooked with white wine, sage and prosciutto, the best of Roman food
Rome. What can you say? If you never visit another city in Europe again, put this one at the top of your bucket list…… Have a look at for the very best choice of tours and vacations to the ‘Eternal City’.

The Pantheon/Trevi Fountain/Roman Forum/Piazza Navona/Victor Emmanuel Monument/The Capitol/Spanish Steps/Constantine Arch/Swiss Guard/ Saltimbocca alla Romana

More Italian icons……… another photo quiz

A lighthearted quiz to test your knowledge of some of the Italy’s best known ‘icons’. Answers at the bottom of the page.


Jed LeceisterAudi Q3 Whiteblue

Now a luxury marque, the cars logo comes from Spanish fighting bulls?


What are the three toppings of an authentic pizza margherita?

Vespa 125 u sidecar

How did the Vespa get its name?


Who is sitting to the right of Jesus in da Vinci’s ‘Last Supper’?


Often bottled in raffia, the classic Tuscan wine?


The biggest-selling Italian fashion brand?


What is the “Il Canto degli Italiani”?


Often used as a mask in the Venice carnival, what was this originally?


From where did caffe cappuccino get its name?


At Bedford School in England he did not do well in school but was the ‘father’ of modern radio?

Italy, the most popular tourist destination in Europe. Come and see why. Have a look at for the very best range of tours and vacations.

Lamborghini/ Basil, tomato and mozzarella cheese/The name means wasp in Italian…..the noise/Ask Dan Brown, possibly Mary Magdalene!/ Chianti/Gucci/The Italian National Anthem/A mask used by plague doctors/the colour of Capuchin friars’habits/Marconi

Italian icons……… a photo quiz

A lighthearted quiz to test your knowledge of some of the Italy’s best known ‘icons’. Answers at the bottom of the page.


Michelangelo’s famous sculpture in the Vatican?


A currant biscuit is named after this Nationalist leader?


The ‘gentleman’s’ Ferrari?


Salami, what does the word mean?


Who are the infants that the Capitoline wolf is feeding?


A puppet that comes to life?


The “Topolino” literally as “little mouse” in Italian was made by?


Once ‘The Most Beautiful Woman in the World’?

Parma Ham

It rivals the best Serrano ham from Spain?


He wrote the music for the original ‘spaghetti’ westerns?


Italy, the most popular tourist destination in Europe. Come and see why. Have a look at for the very best range of tours and vacations.


La Pieta/Garibaldi/Maserati/ the word sale (salt),terminated with ‘ame’ (collective plural), all kinds of salted meats/Romulus (founder of Rome and his brother Remus/Pinocchio/Fiat, the cinquecento/Gina Lollobrigida/Parma/Ennio Morricone

A photo quiz of Italy, Sicily and unusual things Italian…….

Answers at the bottom of the page but NO CHEATING

a)Who’s my ultimate boss (on Earth)?

b)What am I celebrating dressed like this?

c)Who brought tomatoes to Italy?

d)I’m a Greek temple but don’t live in Greece. Where am I?

e)I’m one of the Cinque Terre villages. What does Cinque Terre mean?

f)The symbol of Rome but what are the names of the babies?

g)What will happen if you throw a coin in my water?

h)You probably know me as Mickey Mouse, what’s my name in Italy?

i)I’m beautiful and a make of Italian sports car, whats the name of my marque?

j)I was put in prison for claiming the Earth revolves around the Sun, What’s my name?

k)I’m a type of house resembling a beehive, what’s my name?

Do try and visit this wonderful country this year if you can. Have a look at for the very berst choice of tours.

Answers: The Pope/the Venice carnival/ the Spanish/ Valley of the Temples, Sicily/ Five lands/ Romulus and Remus/ You’ll revisit Rome/ Topolino/ Maserati/ Galileo/ Trulli

Italy……an autumn photo quiz

Try our latest photo quiz on Italy and all things Italian. It’s pretty lighthearted and not too difficult. Answers are at the bottom of the page.

Palio di Siena

The ‘Palio’ horserace takes place in?
a) Florence
b) Padua
c) Siena
d) The Circus Maximus


Aristotle’s theory of gravity was tested by Galileo where?
a) Bologna
b) Trieste
c) Milan
d) Pisa


The Battle of the Oranges takes place where?
a) Ivrea
b) Sanguigne
c) Arancione
d) Valencia


Which Italian lake is the biggest?
a) Garda
b) Maggiore
c) Como
d) Windermere


Italy has borders with how many countries?
a) 4
b) 5
c) 6
d) 7


From which Italian explorer does the country name ‘America’ derive?
a) Polo
b) Vespucci
c) Columbus
d) da Gama


Which emperor built the Colisseum?
a) Nero
b) Caligula
c) Vespasian
d) Augustus

last supper

Which city houses ‘The last supper’ by da Vinci?
a) Milan
b) Turin
c) Vatican
d) Osteria


Where do the majority of St Andrew’s bones reside?
a) St Andrews
b) Amalfi
c) Andropolis
d) Bari


Which Roman emperor put Capri firmly on the tourist map?
a) Julius Caesar
b) Claudius
c) Tiberius
d) Gracie

How did you do? We are now getting into autumn but Italy is simply wonderful at any time of year. Why not have a look at the vast range of vacations and tours available from

Siena/Pisa/Ivrea/Garda/6 (maybe you forgot the Vatican and San Marino…..)/Amerigo Vespucci/Vespasian/Milan/Amalfi/Tiberius