The Shapes of Pasta

The origins of pasta are obscure. It is popularly supposed that Marco Polo brought the idea back from his travels in China but it is more likely that the Arabs introduced pasta to Sicily sometime around the eighth century. Whatever the truth it is certainly the case...

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Gourmet Eating in the Rimini Area

Tourists with a taste for gourmet Italian food have always flocked to Emilia-Romagna, particularly to Bologna, with its signature meat sauce and cured meats, and Parma, famed for its ham and cheese. However, the Rimini area, in the south of Emilia-Romagna, has its own...

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Visiting Pesaro: Birthplace of Gioacchino Rossini

Pesaro, on the Adriatic coast south of Rimini in Italy, is mainly known as an upmarket beach town with a number of fine buildings in the town centre. However opera lovers also know it as the birthplace of Giaocchini Rossini and every summer they flock to the opera...

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San Marino: Europe’s Oldest Republic

It has its own government, a seat at the United Nations, and produces its own stamps and coins. It also claims to be the oldest republic in Europe. Yet San Marino covers an area of only 61 sq km, and its borders are wholly contained within northern Italy. The capital...

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Certosa di Pavia: A Historic Carthusian Monastery

The Certosa di Pavia is a historic Carthusian monastery situated a few kilometres north of the medieval university town of Pavia, close to Milan. It was commissioned by Gian Galeazzo Visconti, the first Duke of Milan, as a monastery and family mausoleum. The Duke had...

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Rimini: a Holiday Resort with a Lot of History

"Are you here for the beach?" the hotel proprietor asked as he showed us to our room; he looked surprised when we said, no, we were actually there for sightseeing. But his question was not unreasonable. Rimini is the beach capital of Europe and we had already observed...

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Celebrating the Feast of the Annunciation in Florence

25 March is historically the start of the New Year in Florence. It is also the day on which the archangel Gabriel announced the incarnation to the Virgin Mary. The Feast of the Annunciation is one of the lesser known of Italy’s numerous festivals – hardly mentioned in...

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