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Up and Coming Tenor Humberto Zambrano sings That's Amore | Print |  E-mail
Written by Larry Aiello   
Saturday, 29 December 2012 12:45
I was recently honored at an event in Venice, Florida put together by Sebastiano Ravagnani, an Italian filmmaker and journalist. The event called "A Night in Venice...That's Amore" which recognized many Italian and Italian-American entrepreneurs involved in promoting the Italian heritage and culture.

I was given and award by Mr. Ravagnani for my work in my recent book "First Time to Italy Vacation Planner" which is available on Amazon.

Humberto Zambrano, "Voice of Silk"

The night featured a very talented and upcoming tenor by the name of Humberto Zambrano, nicknamed the "Voice of Silk". He has an impressive resume including studying music at the prestigious Conservatory of Music Simon Bolivar in Caracas. He also has stops in Latin America and Buenos Aires working with famous baritone William Alvarado among others. Currently he spends him time between New York and Florida.

Below is a video of one of the verses of "That's Amore" sung and performed by Mr. Zambrano.

As an Italian-American we are all probably familiar with the Dean Martin classic. The word "Amore" in Italian means love. The song was actually composed in 1952 by Harry Warren and Jack Brooks. Don't ask me how a couple of non-Italians came up with that song, but they did and the rest is history as it became one of Dean Martin's most popular hits.

In 1987 the song had a revival as it was featured in the popular film called "Moonstruck" which was filled with an all-star cast including Cher, Nicolas Cage, Danny Aiello (no relation to this blog owner), Olympia Dukakis and Vincent Gardenia.

 

 

 
Another Italian Cookbook Giveaway | Print |  E-mail
Written by Larry Aiello   
Wednesday, 26 December 2012 03:07

Here is your chance to win a FREE cookbook of Italian recipes during this holiday season!

I'm giving away a free cookbook - all you need to do to be entered in this drawing is to post a random comment ANYWHERE on this blog by the end of Dec 29th, 2012. The cookbook is Preserving our Italian Heritage. It is a nice hard-cover book (this is not an ebook) and shipping and handling will be paid by ME.

Basically, I will draw a randmom number to correspond with a comment.

The more comments you post, the more chance you have to win....Good luck!

The winner will be posted on this page.

Thank you, grazie mille!

Happy Holidays

 
Spending Christmas in Rome Italy | Print |  E-mail
Written by Larry Aiello   
Monday, 17 December 2012 13:52

Christmas is always a good time to spend time with the family, and if you are thinking of traveling this holiday season, you definitely should consider spending your Christmas in Rome. This Italian city absolutely has more than enough to offer, and you are sure to have one of the best holidays ever. Whether with friends, family or just traveling on your own, here are some of the things and places that you should not miss as spend your most-awaited holiday vacation.

Christmas Market at Piazza Navona

Holidays are always about gift-giving and shop-till-you-drop sprees. You're in luck this Christmas especially if you are in Rome, since you are just about to enjoy one of the city's highlights - the Christmas Market held every December at Piazza Navona. You will surely feel the Christmas ambiance as you shop around and enjoy the festive spirit at every corner. If you're with kids, they will definitely enjoy the merry-go-round, Babbo Natale and the Father Christmas, as well as the huge nativity scene featured at the background.

Saint Peter's Square

Aside from the life-size Christmas tree that you can find here, a colorful parade is also held here every 13th of December in memory of Santa Lucia Day, so be sure not to miss that one, too.

Visit the churches and take some time to worship.

Rome is obviously known for its many churches - Santa Maria Maggiore, Santa Maria Aracoeli and Saints Cosma and Damiano, to name a few. Christmas in Rome also highlights the Pope's midnight mass at the Saint Peter's Basilica.

Check out the 100 Nativity Scenes Exhibition

This popular exhibition happens at the Piazza del Popolo, where you can find and enjoy 100 antique pieces from all over the world, as well as various nativity scenes made by the finest craftsmen of Italy. This event remains open until the 6th of January, so you might want to include this on the latter part of your itinerary.

Go on ice skating in Rome

The winter season is also well-presented by ice-skating, and your Christmas in Rome won't be complete without experiencing it. Starting December 1st, ice skating rinks are open to the public with no entrance fee, and you'll only have to pay for a small fee for the skates. This is definitely another good way to have some quality time with your family or friends.

Take the kids to the XVII Golden Circus Festival

Rome will be hosting the 27th edition of this enchanting festival, and your kids will surely have a great time wandering around. The festival will feature world-class performers such as rope artists, fire eaters, magicians, clowns and many more. This festival is obviously not just for kids, but even for the adults who are young at heart, too!

As you can see, spending Christmas in Rome is as exciting and as fun as it can be. You will never run out of activities to do and places to go to. And don't forget to indulge on Christmas sweets and yummy treats such as torrone, pandoro and panettone. The holiday season is never complete without satisfying your sweet tooth!

Below is an image of Rome during the holiday season:

A picture of a Christmas tree in Rome, Italy


 
Proverbs in Neapolitan with Italian and English Translation | Print |  E-mail
Written by Larry Aiello   
Saturday, 15 December 2012 13:50

Many people do not realize there are tons of dialects in Italy. Some of them are localized even at the town level. Below is a video with audio of a couple of proverbs in Neapolitan that are also spoken in Italian to show the differences between the different dialects in Italy. The translation of the English meaning is also shown.

 

 

Neapolitan: 'a casa d' 'o ferràro 'o spito 'e lignàmme.

Italian: Quando manca qualcosa proprio dove dovrebbe (invece) esserci.

English: When something misses where instead it should be.

Neapolitan: A' altare sgarrupàto nun s'appicciano cannèle.

Italian: Alle donne ormai anziane non si fanno moine.

English: To the old women you do not simper.

 

 
Budget Friendly and Romantic Italian Places Perfect for Couples on a Date | Print |  E-mail
Written by Larry Aiello   
Friday, 07 December 2012 03:13

Italy is world renowned for its ability to inspire romance in couples from all corners of the globe. Seeing some of the most famous sights need not have to cost a huge amount of money - here are some of the most romantic locations that don't cost the Earth.

Verona (pictured below) is setting of one of the most famous romances of all time -- Shakespeare's tragedy, Romeo and Juliet. In one of the most famous scenes in all of Shakespeare's plays, Juliet stands on her balcony and announces her love for Romeo. The balcony is found within Verona's streets, on Via Cappello. It is free to visit, and traditionally thousands of love letters are pinned to the wall underneath the balcony, or written on to the wall throughout the courtyard.

For those looking for a romantic stroll, Verona is surrounded by hills -- scaling one of these provides breathtaking views of the town, and the Adige River that twists and turns its way through the town centre.

An inexpensive train ride from Verona takes visitors to romantic Venice. Famous for its canals -- Venice is home to numerous romantic walks through the charming and architecturally stunning. Walking through the streets costs nothing, and excellent little cafes offer inexpensive snacks and meals for couples looking to take a break from the walking.

Venice's highlights are the famous San Marco square and the Bridge of Sighs on the main canal -- with traditional stories suggesting couples who kiss under the bridge at sunset are blessed with eternal love.

Getting a gondola here can be expensive, but the canal can be navigated by boat-taxi at a much more affordable rate.

Elsewhere in Northern Italy, romance flourishes in Milan's Duomo square. Dominated on one side by the stunning Duomo cathedral, here the square is regularly packed with young couples sharing a gelato ice cream or enjoying an espresso and taking in the late afternoon sunshine.

Below is an image of the city of Verona

Image of Verona, Italy city photo


 
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Agriturismo in Italy

What is Agriturismo? In Italian, it is actually a combination of two words - Agricoltura and Turismo - agriculture and tourism.

It basically means spending your vacation on a farm.  It started becoming popular in the 1980s when many Italian farmers were looking for other ways to supplement their income. At an Italian agriturismo you will usually have the chance to experience the foods prepared from raw materials produced on the farm.  Some will allow their guests participate in the activities surrounding the farm such as wine-making, cheese-making, olive production, milking cows, etc.  It is usually a very rustic experience.  Agriturismo can be another option instead of a typical Italian vacation that involves Italian hotels.  Most of them are located in Tuscany, Umbria and Sicily.

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