ITALY is Now open for American travelers to visit without quarantine when taking a COVID tested flight.
Crown jewel of pompeii restored, just in time to keep eu funding. Another key to life in life in the Ancient Roman Empire was unlocked as Italy revealed a recently restored villa in the city of Pompeii. The event marked a rare success in an excavation project that has been continually marred by mismanagement and inefficiency. The “Villa of Mysteries” is one of the crown jewels of the ancient city, a complex that boasts some of the most well preserved and intriguing frescoes in the entire site. The unveiling of the newly restored villa comes at a crucial time for Pompeii, which was at risk of losing its EU funding and its designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
I have a newsflash for North American travelers dreaming of an upcoming trip to Italy: if you’re not careful, the Brits are going to beat you to the best rooms and villas. There are a lot of questions that I often see about when to book certain parts of your Italian vacation, so let’s unpack to most important ones: when should you book?
Located where Italy fades into Austria and Switzerland, Italy’s ski valleys have a layered history that today is often best expressed in their food.
In the past, for decades at a time, these secluded valleys remained insulated from other cultures—even those just one mountain away. But as the World Wars changed boundary lines of many European countries, areas that were once Austria because Italian overnight.
In rifugi, the alpine lodges that dot the slopes and ski villages offering food and lodging to visitors, northern Italian favorites like polenta mingle with Austrian spatzle and bratwurst-like sausages. You’ll find seemingly typically Italian pastas, like spinach ravioli cooked in sage butter, toting Germanic names (schlutzkrapfen).
Originally, these lodges served hikers crossing over the mountains in the summer months, serving simple food included in the cost of a night’s stay. But as technology advanced and the Alps and Dolomites became predominantly ski destinations, the cuisine changed to echo the well-heeled visitors.
Today, the mountains have enough Michelin stars to make most major cities blush. You’re just as likely to indulge in peacock ravioli with pioppini mushrooms and goose liver with roasted pumpkin, mugo pine meringue, liver terrine and candied kumquats as a simple plate of mountain cheese and cured speck.
Food and the rifugi themselves typically center around a well-tended wood stove or grill, so sausages, filling steaks, and even wild venison, feature heavily in the evening menus. And, as you’d expect with the chilly weather, soups play an integral part in the local cuisine, especially hearty beef stews reminiscent of the goulash of the Austrio-Hungarian.
My favorite picks are Baita (a local name for rifugi) Fraina and Da Aurelio.