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Italy & the Italians

We created these pages to help you really Discover Italy. Journalists Donald Strachan and Steve Keenan — who visit several times every year — have gathered a rich crop of local stories and written destination guides to help you make the most of your vacation. As they say in Italy, “Buon viaggio!”

Italian Coffee: Make It Like a Pro Once You Get Home

Italians hold a love of coffee close to the national heart. They introduced the drink to the rest of Europe from Egypt, and Venice opened its first café around 1683. There are many ways to enjoy a coffee in Italy, and almost as many methods to brew it Italian style when you’re back home. This short guide covers four of our favourites.

Italian cityscapes: how art is so much better than photographs

A picture is worth a thousand words, so the saying goes. But in Italy, sometimes an artist's-eye view tells us more than just a photograph. According to New York-born painter Steven Assael, “there are dramatic differences between how the camera looks at and experiences the world and how we see it.” We examine some landscape photos and paintings side-by-side.

A Guide to Buying Leather in Florence

As early as the 14th century, around 1,600 shoemakers were working in the city of Florence — around a third of them based close to the tanneries of the Oltrarno district. Leather was also in demand for book covers, saddles and other horse tack, and it is still closely associated with Florence. We speak to a traditional Oltrarno shoemaker and offer advice on how and where to bag the best leather in the city.

8 Ways to Know You’re Embracing Italian Culture

Everyone loves the taste of Italian culture they get from renting our villas. But what if you stayed longer, and even set down new roots? Those who do, often find life starts to change in unexpected ways. We speak to four expatriates who embraced their new lifestyles, to see what they consider the telltale signs you’re living life like an Italian.

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