For about the past six months there has been article after article with headlines such as Roundtrip from U.S. To Europe for $189.”  Airlines like Norwegian Air and low-cost carriers such as WOW seem to be making travel to and from Europe more affordable. Even British Airways is getting in on the action, with a new sister airline called “Level.  But how do you find these super cheap flights?  You can head directly to individual airlines sites, but what are the best search engines for all flights?  Here are some of the sites that I use along with helpful hints on how to use them. Read More

Having just moved of course I packed at least 1000 boxes and during this process  I discovered one of my favorite Italian words was “soggiorno” which means living room.  I guess there is something about the double “g’s.”  It just felt so fun to write that word. Read More

Happy Valentine’s Day to all.  I admit I was never a fan of Valentine’s Day, thinking it seemed like a cheesy and forced way to express one’s love.  I talked a bit about this in my chocolate heart post and how my sis made me see things in a different way.  Valentine’s Day can be about all kinds a love.  Love for friends and family as well as the big love of your life. Read More

Today’s language lesson does not involve any new vocabulary or verb conjugations or rolling of the r’s. Read More

This past weekend and maybe the upcoming weekend (for rebels looking to vacation right up until the last-minute), is known as the “rientro.” When using this word as it relates to vacation, it would mean, “returning home” or “going home.”  Everyone hates this word because it means a return to the routine life.  The end of the summer fun.  And as you might recall, Italians really know how to do summer up right.

And apparently, there is even and illness related to the return, appropriately called, “Sindrome da Rientro”  (Return Syndrome).  Yes – La Stampa, a daily Italian newspaper wrote an article about this illness.  The symptoms are:  anxiety, insomnia, nervousness, excessive fatigue and even mild depression.   Those who suffer from this illness are unable to concentrate and feel crushed by the sense of responsibility.  Some of the remedies include getting enough rest and physical activity.  Proper nutrition is also fundamental.  And don’t forget about that traumatic transition from sunlight to the artificial light of the office which can put stress on the mind and body. A good tip: take your lunch break outdoors.

Anyway, if you are curious about the different ways to express this horrible time of year in Italian, here below are some key words and phrases.

buon rientro dalle vacanze:  Have a good/safe trip home.  

rientro dalle vacanze:  return from vacation

rientro dalle ferie:  return from holiday

rientro:  return, re-entry

rientro al lavoro:  return to work

traffico:  traffic – Il traffico will always be the headline story for the evening news during this period as they discuss “il reintro.” Think about it – you have half the country moving on the same weekend, usually headed from south to north.  Traffic can be a nightmare.

Italian Traffic

I have been pretty much MIA all summer long.  Time just flies so fast.  But while there is still a little of summer left, there is just enough time to make this easy zucchini frittata.   Read More

Lately I have been catching some fun photos of gli anziani – seniors.  Most anziani are nonni – grandparents.  Grandparents play a very important part in Italian culture.  This usually comes in the form of giving out insightful advise, Sunday dinners,  spoiling grandchildren but even raising their grandchildren. Read More

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I have not done a music post in a while, and today I thought I would focus on great Italian music found in the movies.  Most of the songs here are classics, and when put together with great visuals, they can make you love the song even more. Read More

The amount of art in Rome is completely overwhelming.  Where does one even begin when trying to plan a trip on what to see.  Much to the horror of my art historian sister, on my first few visits to Rome, I completely skipped the Vatican Museums and the Borghese Gallery. Instead, I opted for the free art in Rome that blankets the city.   I love to sprinkle my Roman day with masterpieces by the likes of Michelangelo, Raphael, Bernini and many others.  This is a fabulous option if you are lover of art, but also a lover of the dolce vita.  Why?  Because there are no lines, no reservations, no tickets.  You can stop for an aperitivo and take a stroll down the street to see some of the most priceless works of art for free. Read More

In Italy, we often have lots of left over panettone after Christmas.  The question is – what to do with it all? Read More