italy guide

    Besides the ceiling frescoes by Venetian artist Giambattista Canal, one of the main highlights of the Sant'Eufemia Church on the island of Giudecca is the Fortuny fabric that covers the interior columns every year during Christmas, and from Easter to the Pentecost                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     



As if it weren’t already enough to become the first Italian woman to travel in space, astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti went ahead and set the record for the longest single space flight by a woman, clocking in with 199 days and 16 hours on Expedition 42/Expedition 43 of the International Space Station in 2014-2015… And as if that still weren’t enough, she also became the first person to brew espresso in space.

Like several other astronauts before her, Cristoforetti has a documented love for science fiction, having openly expressed her fandom with references to Star Trek and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

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in which you study abroad in florence, italy and find a guide to the city in ashton, artist and overall art geek – a soulmate au inspired by prompts from this list.

disclaimer: i don’t speak a lick of italian (nor have i actually been to florence, italy), which means i relied a great deal on google, so if anything’s not entirely accurate, correct me if you wish, but kindly don’t jump down my throat when you do so. :-) momentary mentions of death and alcohol/drug use near the end, so this is a heads up that it’s there – skim through, scroll past, do what you must.

word count: 9124

Of all the artwork in Florence, for some reason, this portrait was what struck you the most. Not Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus, not Lippi’s Madonna and Child, and not even Michaelangelo’s David (which just the sight of had made a few tourists faint, a symptom of Stendhal syndrome according to another fellow museum goer), but rather, this particular portrait right in front of you.

You supposed your fixation with the portrait had to do with the fact that looking at it was like looking into a mirror – the image looking more like your own reflection than a painting. The only difference between you and the subject of the portrait was that you both wore different clothing – you in 21st century attire and her in attire appropriate of the time period…of the Renaissance, at least 400 years ago. That one minor difference aside, as eerie as it was to acknowledge, there was no doubt about it – the portrait’s subject was definitely a split-image of you.

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I am in Italy for three days before I make my way south to the Amalfi Coast. Amalfi. Three syllables that have, for years, occupied a liminal space of longing and romance and beauty in the primordial soup of my mind. I want that mediterranean blue refracting light into sky, onto skin. I want salt crystals drying on my back from long days of submersion. I want cliffs that tumble over themselves in their own hurriedness to make it down to the seduction of the sea. And finally, it’s now. Amalfi and I will meet.

Still, though, it’s with regret that I leave Rome (see my guide to 72 hours in Rome). There should be a name for the pack job I do at 12:30am the night before I depart for Positano: I am a highly focused, micro-efficient dervish, whirling a frenzy of order into my suitcase. I charge all my devices. I try to talk myself down from my pre-Amalfi high. In bed finally, I beg my mind to rest.


At 7am, only four hours of sleep under my belt, I begin the hurtling, winding journey from Rome’s Tiburtina station to Chiesa Nuova in Positano.

Read more and get the full guide here.

ITALY Reads (in English)

1. Lonely Planet Italy. A country travel guide and includes a lot of good (tourist) information - 900 pages of hotels, restaurants, and attractions, both on and off the beaten path. 

2. A Concise History of Italy by Christopher Duggan. To really appreciate Italy and what you are seeing, it’s important to understand the history. 300 pages take you from modern times all the way back to the fall of the Roman Empire. It explains the evolution of Italy’s politics and culture along the way. 

3. A Room with A View by E. M. Forster. A famous historic novel centered around Firenze - Florence, Tuscany. 

4. Daisy Miller by Henry James. The author examines the contrasts between Italian and American culture through the actions and life of his heroine, trapped between the rigidity of social convention and Italy’s rich culture.

5. The Leopard by Giuseppe Di Lampedusa. The story of the Prince of Lampedusa. This may be one of the most important modern Italian novels; it allows you to look into the Italian psyche.

6. Italy for the Gourmet Traveler by Fred Plotkin. A good read if you’re interested in Italian cuisine - it breaks Italy down by region, elaborates on the history, food specialties, and climate. Features “best restaurants” in each area.

7. Italian Renaissance Art by Laurie Schneider Adams. Before diving into museums and cathedrals, this book works as a refresher course in art.

8. Frommer’s Italy. Comprehensive tourist guide over 1000 pages with categories such as “best romantic getaways” and some very detailed information about a number of cities, this is a good trip planner.

9. Let’s Go Italy: The Student Travel Guide. Written by American Harvard students with university students in mind, this small guide specializes in budget-friendly hotels, restaurants, and low-cost sightseeing with detailed maps for Italy on a budget.

10. Brunelleschi’s Dome by Ross King. Short and an easy read, it describes the physics, politics, and genius involved when it came to building the Dome in Florence.

anonymous asked:

I just saw the Greek Masterpost you made in response to someone's question. Is there any chance you could do something similar for Italy?

Hi there!

Of course I can do an Italy masterpost for you :)

Italian culture-

Learning the language-

Cool Italian facts-

Italian foods & recipes-

Italian Music-

Hope this helps! :)

Wolfstar Christmas
  • Remus liked to plan everything out when it came to holidays. He knew what he was going to make for each meal. He knew what wrapping paper he was gonna use for each person. He was ready.
  • Sirus liked to fly by the seat of his pants. He was fine with having take out on Christmas Eve. He was going to use old newspaper to wrap gifts. He was ready. 
  • Well, almost. He still had to find a gift for Remus. 
  • Remus had gotten hotel tickets for the two of them in Italy. He figured that they could go in March when life got boring and there was nothing to look forward to. 
  • Sirius had no idea what to get Remus. Remus never asked for anything. 
  • Sirius wanted to go big or go home. Books and chocolate wouldn’t cut it this year. 
  • Then Sirius had an idea. 
  • He raced around the house, pulling open cabinets in search of various pictures and memories from his and Remus’s relationship. 
  • The receipt from the cafe they went to on their first date. A concert ticket or two. A picture of Remus reading with Sirius asleep on his lap. Little doodles that Sirius had done of Remus. Love notes that Remus sometimes stuck on the fridge to remind Sirius to do some. 
  • In the end, Sirius had about 300 random pieces of paper. 
  • For the next few hours Sirius painstakingly bound all the pieces of paper to a leather cover as if he was making a book. 
  • He then burned the letters R and S into the cover of the book along with a heart. 
  • Sirius had just finished when Remus walked into the room. 
  • “Whatcha up to Sirius?” 
  • Sirius quickly tucked the book behind his back. 
  • “Oh just reading.”
  • “Reading?” Remus said as he raised his eyebrows.
  • “Yeah. Figure I’m never too old to try something new.”
  • Remus laughed. 

  • The next morning the two of them slept in, cuddling each other until well past noon. 
  • Then they slowly moved downstairs. Sirius put some cinnamon rolls in the oven and Remus waiting next to the tree. 
  • When Sirus joined him, Remus pushed a present towards him. 
  • Sirius smiled as he opened it. Inside was a book. But not just any book. A tour guide to Italy. 
  • “Mind going to Italy with me in a few months?”
  • “I would love to,” Sirius said as he peaked Remus on the lips. “Thank you.”
  • Sirius handed Remus his present. Remus looked a little confused when he opened it to find a book.
  • “A book?”
  • “A book of us. Open it.”
  • Remus began to flip through the pages. Each one was covered in memories of their time together. It was beautiful. 
  • “I think this might be my new favorite book.” Remus said as he smiled. 
  • “Really? I didn’t know I was that good of a writer.”
  • “Oh shut up and kiss me.”
  • And Sirius did. He wrapped his figured in Remus’s hair and tasted the coffee on his lips. And then Sirius spent the rest of Christmas with the person he loves most in the world. 
  • Remus Lupin



The bartender of Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo on how to make an Etna Spritz, best enjoyed with a view of Mt. Etna volcano.