Warning! The reign of Roman Emperor Caligula involves a descent into murder and madness! I don’t know about you but I think it’s time to put Caligula on trial and uncover his many transgressions.Read More
Does your home have a cool passageway connecting you across town? Probably not, but the Medici family had the Vasari Corridor built across Florence making for a quick, private trip between their home and work. Cool right?!
Okay, I admit, it’s not like you’re pulling a special book and a secret door opens, but the Vasari Corridor has gone through quite an adventure! And, luckily for us, the corridor is not so secretly exclusive anymore so let’s check it out.Read More
The Italian Renaissance is home to many impressive paintings including Titian’s iconic Venus of Urbino. This sensual work encourages much discussion surrounding classical works, marriage, and female beauty. Let’s see what Titian’s painting has to say!Read More
What better place to visit for cool ancient objects and their stories than a museum!? But, wow, can they be overwhelming! Don’t panic…we want you and your kids to enjoy your museum visit so we have complied some great tips for visiting museums with kids!Read More
“A young woman with nonhuman countenance, is carried on a conch shell, wafted to shore by playful zephyrs; and it seems that heaven rejoices in her birth.”-Poliziano
Who is this young woman Poliziano is speaking of? It’s none other than Venus, the beautiful goddess of love! Venus, and other gods and goddesses, are central icons in some Renaissance works especially as scholars and artists alike looked towards the classics. Remember Bronzino’s An Allegory with Venus and Cupid or even Titian’s Bacchus and Ariadne? Those are just a few paintings we’ve touched on that focus on the myths!
I’d like to introduce you to another great painting featuring Venus: Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus! This painting reimagines the very beginning of our favorite love goddess. For inspiration, Botticelli most likely looked towards his friend Poliziano and classical writers Homer and Virgil.
Why don’t we see what Botticelli’s painting has to say about Venus!?Read More
Italian painter, Tiziano Vecellio, better known as Titian, knew how to tell a story in a single frame. In one painted scene, Titian weaves together a story of abandonment and the thrill of love at first sight alongside the immortalizing and captivating powers of classical gods and playfully rowdy mythical creatures. This is the pictured story of Bacchus and Ariadne.Read More
Who is Paolo Uccello? What is he known for? What can we learn from his work? Let’s find out! Read on to find out who Paolo is while taking a closer look at one of his masterpieces: The Battle of San Romano.Read More
Since I moved to London, almost 5 years ago, people have been asking me what I miss most about Italy. Well, the list is long, of course. I miss the sea, the weather and my family, for a start. But most importantly, like most Italians abroad, I miss the food. While there’s nothing like my grandma’s ragu’ or my dad’s cannoli, there are some wonderful Italian restaurants in London that make me feel (almost) at home.
As lockdown’s slowly lifting, making plans:
You’re right, during lockdown restaurants have been closed a long time. But, hey! Surely, we can make plans for when we return to the new normal! When people say that pasta and pizza are always good, no matter what you put on top of them, the heart of all Italians ache a bit… If you’ve tried some authentic Italian food, I’m sure you understand the difference between a good and a mediocre pizza. In case you don’t know where to get a real taste of Italy, let me tell you about the three best Italian restaurants London has to offer!
1. La Mia Mamma, For the Best Pasta in London
La Mia Mamma is one of my favourite Italian restaurants in London, and is definitely the home of the best pasta in London. The restaurant literally ‘imports’ Italian Mammas from all different regions of Italy. There is a rotation of moms taking over the kitchen and creating a great selection of regional dishes. Other than making fresh food every day, the mammas welcome all guests singing Italian patriotic songs or hugging you when you arrive, just like a real loving mom would do. With Italian music in the background and loud Italians debating at the tables around you, it really feels like being in the Bel Paese. Located in Chelsea, I usually enjoy a nice walk after dinner. And remember, they have a super long waiting list, so make sure to reserve your table far in advance!
Until restaurants are allowed to open, La Mia Mamma are also offering deliveries of “survival packs”, DIY packs and more!
2. Santa Maria Pizzeria, for Authentic Italian Pizza
Is there anything that makes Italians happier than eating a real Napolitan pizza? The answer is no! We might be able to get used to London’s windy and rainy weather, but not to a life without pizza. Angelo and Pasquale, both from Naples, imported a wood-fired oven from Italy (without which you wouldn’t be able to make the perfect pizza). Soon afterwards, they opened Santa Maria in the borough of Ealing. I guarantee that the pizza you eat there tastes just like the ones you would eat in the top pizzerias of Naples. One of the things I love the most about Santa Maria is that it is a place for anyone! From penniless students to famous singers, to politicians and VIPs, this pizzeria welcomes everyone. Also, Santa Maria is the place to go if you’ve had a light lunch and need your daily carbs intake: the pizza is HUGE!
Of course, all of the Santa Maria Pizzeria restaurants are currently closed. But you can still order online through Deliveroo!
3. Ristorante Orsini, a Delightful Italian Restaurant in London
Ristorante Orsini is another authentic Italian restaurant in London that I love. This small, family-run restaurant is perfect for both lunch and dinner. Located in South Kensington, many people like to go there during their break from a visit to either the V&A or the Natural History Museum. There’s a familial vibe and it is incredibly hard to choose from the wide selection of authentic Italian dishes that they offer. Of their delicious plates, I tried their amazing homemade pasta, and fell in love with their tagliolini, served with plenty of seafood. They’re also famous for their ‘fritto misto’ (fried fish). But… perhaps my favourite thing was the dessert! So… if you’ve got room, don’t forget to order their gelato or Tiramisu’.
Sadly, this restaurant is fully closed during lockdown. But once restaurants and bars open again, it will be important to support local businesses, so remember to stop by!
Transforming your Home into an Italian Restaurant
It’s true that it’s possible to eat good Italian food in London. But… be careful! While almost every single restaurant in London serves pasta, finding ‘real pasta’ in London is not easy. I’m looking forward to being able to visit my favourite Italian restaurants, but for now I’m cooking plenty of Italian dishes at home. For those of you are not lucky enough to be on lockdown with an Italian, don’t worry! Cooking Italian food is really easy. If the ingredients are fresh, they won’t need much elaboration.
Need some ideas for fun things to do at home (apart from making pizza, of course)? Subscribe to our blog for some inspiration!
Ever heard of the terrible 5th century Plague of Athens? Over 2400 years later we’re living though another dreadful health crisis. How did the Greeks handle theirs? And is coronavirus comparable to the many illnesses that have hit the world so far? Historians and art-historians like us love to say that the past always teaches us something. Some stories, like that of the Plague of Athens, are timeless, and we can learn from them even today.Read More
Lo stile di vita degli Italiani – notoriamente chiamato La Bella Vita – è ammirato da tutto il mondo, e spesso anche imitato. Ok, mettiamo le cose in chiaro sin da adesso. Sono Italiana, se state già pensando che sono di parte. E comunque, sarete d’accordo con me sul fatto che i turisti che viaggiano nel Bel Paese, spesso raccontano della nostra abilità di celebrare e apprezzare ogni aspetto della vita. Si inizia dal tempo che gli Italiani dedicano ad amici e famiglia, si passa al buon cibo e si finisce con la bellezza artistica e naturalistica in cui siamo immersi.Read More