Go beyond language, discover Italian culture.


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Culture diversity

Introduction

Italy is made of 20 regions; each one has its traditions, customs, traditional food and even dialects. Moreover, there is also a big difference in climate, with Northern Italy being colder during winter and Central and South enjoying mild winters.

Food and cooking

Even though each region varies so much, it can be said that they all have something in common when it comes to cooking. Indeed, all the traditional food is made with fresh ingredients, which guarantees a healthy nutrition for adults and children alike. The most traditional dishes are parmigiana aubergines, lasagna, gnocchi, cannelloni, pizza of course, fettuccine, and many more hailing from each region. As per desserts, we find the popular tiramisu, ciambellone the favourite Grandma s cake, ideal for the afternoon snack (merenda), strufoli, crostata (tart), panna cotta and many more. Eating is a big part of the Italian culture with people enjoying going out for a meal or staying at home and inviting friends for dinner. Drinking is mostly conceived as a complement to food and rarely people drink alcohol without eating.

 Cultural Values

The most important value in Italy is Family. Personal relations are scrupulously maintained with loyalty in the family and in the work environment. As per family, young people are encouraged by their parents to stay home as long as possible as especially mothers cannot conceive their children living in a separate accommodation. It must be said that the economic environment does not facilitate the moving. However, young people enjoy staying at home, they usually do not contribute to the expenses and their mother does all the house work. Only when they marry young people move out. However, it is a common practice to stay in a separate apartment in the parents’ house. The mother in law has a strong power towards their daughter in law and male Italians have dependent relationships with their own mother. That is why we usually refer to them as mammoni. As per work, people tend to stay in the same job for many years; they value their employer and establish loyal relationships with them.  However, the mentality of the job for life impedes self-development and does not improve the quality of work as especially in public posts where people assume a lying back attitude, neglecting their work duties.

Next business etiquette.

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Out in Nettuno with Mum


Hi folks, I hope life is treating you well. This post is all about going food shopping in Italy with my mum. Having been living in the UK for long time, it is always a delight for my eyes going to the bakeries and supermarkets when I am over there. I loved choosing tasty tomatoes, zucchine and other vegs. I also enjoyed going to the bakery to buy the best bread and pizza. If you go to Italy and you want to taste pizza on the go at very modest prices go to a bakery. You will find pizza con patate (with potatoes), pizza rossa (with tomato sauce), pizza con zucchine (with courgettes), pizza bianca (plain pizza which is amazing) and more varieties. You will also find local sweets and cakes at fair prices. It is the best choice if you are sightseeing and do not stop at a restaurant or pizzeria to have a meal. The bakery in Italian is called forno so ask Dov’e’ il forno piu’ vicino? (Where is the closest bakery?) Trust me you it will be good for your taste buds and your purse! Enjoy the pics folks. A presto!

Out for dinner with a special family


During my stay in Italy I had the immense pleasure to catch up with my long date friends. A few days before my departure I met my dearest friend Simona who introduced me to her third child; the little Beatrice who is only 9 months. We went to have dinner in Nettuno in the characteristic medieval town where we had a great antipasto di mare (a mix of delicious fish and squid) followed by Fettuccine allo scoglio (with seafood) and Tagliolini al coccio (with local fish) We washed the delicious meal down with local chilled white wine and fished off with a piadina with nutella. I had so much fun with her children Martina and Sofia who also enjoyed the local cuisine, eating spaghetti alle vongole (with clams) and pasta al pomodoro. Her children looked very healthy with no problems of overweight whatsoever. I guess it’s because Simona thoroughly avoids junk food and gives her children sweet treats only occasionally. Martina is only 7 even if she looks older as she is really tall and had not problems in devouring her spaghetti al pomodoro which usually is not very liked by children in this country I noticed. Anyway I spent a beautiful evening with Simona and Mauro and their happy children. I wish them all the best I hope to see them very very soon for more fun. I am awaiting to play giggino e giggetto again immerse in Martina and Sofia’s laughs. Well done Simona you are a great mum!  Mauro a splendid father! A good happy family keep it this way!

 

Nonna Lena’s tiramisu


 

No need to put any liquor, this recipe follows the traditional art of making tiramisu. In fact, tiramisu was initially born without liquor as was destined to adults and children. However, as there is plenty of coffee in the dessert I would suggest to replace coffee with hot chocolate for children if you do not want to have a sleepless night!

Ingredients for 8 people: cocoa powder for sprinkling, mocha coffee enough to deep the savoiardi biscuits. 400 gr of savoiardi, in English lady fingers. 500 gr Mascarpone, 6 medium eggs, 120gr of sugar plus 2 spoons of coffee (optional).

Procedure: Prepare the coffee and leave it to cool. Divide the egg whites from the yolks. Beat the egg whites till stiff; in a medium bowl place the sugar and the yolks and beat them until you achieve a smooth mixture. Then add mascarpone and beat all together until you get a frothy, homogenous cream. With a wooden spoon, slowly pour the egg whites into the cream and slowly mix them stirring them from the bottom towards the top. Take a baking pan or an oven dish. Start dipping the savoiardi in the coffee, I personally prefer to give them a quick dip. Then start placing them horizontally and cover with a thick layer of cream. Start again dipping the savoiardi, this time place them vertically. Cover up with all the cream left and sprinkle the cocoa powder on top. Put in the fridge for at least three hours. Please be aware Tiramisu contains raw eggs and therefore has to be refrigerated, consume within two days.