Looking for a classy alternative to the ubiquitous Aperol spritz? Here are four iconic Italian cocktails to shake up your aperitivo!

The ubiquitous Aperol spritz. Photo by Nadezhda Filatova on Unsplash

One of the (many) joys of living in Italy is the availability (and affordability) of the classic Italian aperitivo, the Aperol spritz.

Wherever you go in Italy, no matter what time of day, you are never too far away from the iconic orange aperitif!

Made with Aperol, prosecco, a dash…


How Italy remembers its dead

Photo by Luigi Boccardo on Unsplash

While Italians are slowly catching up with the commercialisation of Halloween, Italy is miles ahead when it comes to celebrating the dead.

The 1st November, All-Saints Day, is a national holiday in Italy. …


Discover the best wine in Italy’s city of love

Photo by Suzanne Emily O’Connor on Unsplash

Wine is to Verona what whisky is to Speyside. Or beer is to Bavaria. It is the lifeblood of the city. It underpins the local economy, sustains the region’s cultural life and shapes the local discourse.

From sumptuous full-bodied reds, to refreshing crisp whites and sweet seductive dessert wines, Verona…


And what you need to know before you drink them!

Photo by Fred Moon on Unsplash

Although Italy is first and foremost a wine producing (and drinking) nation, beer is increasingly popular, in particular mass-produced pale lagers, which are the traditional accompaniment to pizza.

Craft beers (or birra artiginale) are also increasingly popular, but today’s focus is the mass-market lager variety.

In fact, Italy has a…


John Fox finally got his in 1997. This is his story.

The memorial stone to Lt. John Fox (Photo by the author)

The Gothic Line, the most northerly of the Italian defensive lines, crossed Italy from the Ligurian Sea in the west to the Adriatic in the east, along the natural barrier of the Apennine mountains. In August 1944, it marked the frontline of the brutal Italian campaign.

It was Mussolini himself…


And why it’s still worth a visit

The gateway to Juliet’s Balcony (Photo by Marcel Heil on Unsplash)

O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo?
Deny thy father and refuse thy name;
Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,
And I’ll no longer be a Capulet.

Act II, Scene II, Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

Act II, Scene II of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and…


Austin Tice (photo credit: www.austinticefamily.com)

Former U.S. marine Austin Tice was taken hostage in Syria in 2012

Former Marine Captain Austin Tice disappeared in August 2012 while working as a freelance journalist in the Syrian war zone. …


A fading plaque hides the dark secrets of a picturesque Italian village

A sprawling linden tree in the Tuscan village of Castiglione di Garfagnana (Image by the author)

Under a sprawling linden tree, in the medieval village of Castiglione di Garfagnana, looking out over the lush Serchio Valley, stands a fading plaque dedicated to Luigi Dini.

Castiglione di Garfagnana is a village that embraces its history…


Bring a touch of class to your dinner party with these simple Italian liquors

Dinner party with friends (Photo by Zach Reiner on Unsplash)

By the time dessert arrived, I’d ate and drank so much I was in danger of submerging head first into my zabaione.

The food had been exceptional, but I was beginning to regret that second helping of risotto ai calamari.


As a second Covid-19 wave looms, is it a good time to visit Italy?

Verona from Castel San Pietro (Photo by Z S on Unsplash)

Last week, as temperatures soared to 40C and a number of Italian cities were placed on a heatwave red alert, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte sought parliamentary approval to extend the state of emergency in Italy. …

Richard Hough

History, football, wine, whisky, culture + travel. Author of Notes from Verona, a collection of diary entries from locked-down Italy (available on Amazon).

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