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"Follow me."

Two simple words can lead to a fantastic adventure.

Maybe a restaurant recommendation leads to the best meal of your life. A stranger's pointing down the road brings you to small village that you dream of retiring to. Or even a suggestion of visiting a simple hidden courtyard provides much needed respite and rejuvenation on a hot day of too much sight-seeing.

It is a uniquely and wonderfully Italian trait to accompany you wherever you go. Even a shopkeeper you ask for directions to the train station will walk outside and down the corner to make sure that you see which street across the plaza you need to take.

This charming facet of Italian life is found all over, but more prevalent the warmer the weather gets. So this summer, ignore your mother's advice to never go with strangers, and let those simple words guide you to discovery.

Follow me for our favorite picks from around Italy in the July newsletter.

Here's what else you missed:

  • Tis the Season for . . . Estati!
    You'd think the l'estate (Italian for "summer") was festive enough already, but most Italian regional capitals take things even further with the official estates, an entire summer of outdoor concerts, films, performances, and festivals

  • Events this Month: FDA Lifts Imported Cured Meat Ban
    Culatello, coppa, salame fellino - a variety of previously unimportable meats are now ostensibly allowed into the U.S., but enforcement of the new regulations is very unclear.

  • Traveler Tip: Bringing Home Meat and Cheese
    Customs and Border Patrol has coined the phrase "when in doubt, keep it out," further scaring consumers from these items home from abroad. So how do you know what to bring?

  • Things We Love: Pecorino di Pienza
    Though always aged in oak barrels for at least 90 days, this sheeps milk pecorino from Pienza comes in many varieties. Read about my favorite.

  • July Recipe: Apricot Crostata
    Easy to store, cut, and finish in one go, crostatas combine one of the most important parts of an Italian meal - presentation - with one of Italians' favorite ways to end a meal: fruit!


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in Cultural 2579 0

This month in Joyce's Little Black Book (our newly renamed and redesigned newsletter), we celebrate Carnival - one of the bright spots of a cold northern Italian winter - with a look at the craftsmen who still handcraft costumes for Venice's lavish balls.


Here's what else you missed:

    • Feature Article: Via Emilia
      We continue our feature focus on Roman roads with the Via Emilia, the perfect route through Italy's most famous culinary attractions. Check out the notes from my little black book for my (top secret!) favorite picks along the way.
    • February Holidays: Italy's Other Carnivals
      Yes, it does seem like Venice is the only carnival around, but there are actually many large (and in some ways, more enjoyable) festivals around the country. We detail two top picks in the newsletter.
    • News This Month: Award-Winning Italian Film Comes to America
      One of the most talked about films in Italian cinema last year is now opening in the U.S.
    • February Recipe: Frappe
      Not a Starbucks Frappe! Though just as sweet. These sugar-dusted, fried knots are a favorite belly warmer during the carnival season.
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