Happy December 1st! Christmas is fast approaching. There are only 24 days left to shop! If you are lucky enough to find yourself in Italy at this time of year, you can visit one of the many Italian holiday markets that appear in many cities up and down the boot. These markets are popular with the … [Read more...] about Italian Christmas Markets mercatini di natale
How do Italian joke around in the Italian language? Reading the novel Dreaming Sophia you will learn a bit of Italian and words the Italian use for joking around. For starters, a battuta is a joke in Italian. The word means “to hit” in the sense of a “punch line of a joke. It can … [Read more...] about Kidding around in the Italian Language
Dreaming Sophia Book Trailer! Enjoy! Take a sneak peak at the new novel "Dreaming Sophia," by Melissa Muldoon. Melissa Muldoon writes the dual-language blog StudentessaMatta.com in Italian and English. She produces Matta Youtube videos in Italian and co-leads Italian Language Immersion … [Read more...] about Dreaming Sophia Book Trailer
Nights of Cabiria—in Italian: Le notti di Cabiria—is a 1957 Italian drama film directed by Federico Fellini and starring Giulietta Masina, François Périer, and Amedeo Nazzari. Based on a story by Fellini, the film is about a prostitute in Rome who searches for true love in vain. The film is … [Read more...] about The Nights of Cabiria: Film by Federico Fellini
Melissa shares her new bookDreaming Sophia with readers in a Youtube Video Chat I wanted to share with my readers a video I made last month shortly after publishing my new novel about Italy called "Dreaming Sophia". In this short video, I talk about my book, the experience of writing it, and … [Read more...] about Dreaming Sophia a novel set in Florence, Italy is here!
Last week marked the 50th anniversary of the flood that devastated Florence in 1966. On November 3rd, after weeks of torrential rains, the Arno’s banks gave way and river water gushed into the city. Florence was caught, virtually unaware that night and was ill-equipped to deal with the aftermath of … [Read more...] about 1966 Flood devastated Florence. City saved by Mud Angels
“I Medici - Masters of Florence” is the title of a new television series on Rai Uno (Italian TV). The protagonists of the series are Cosimo de’ Medici, played by Richard Madden and Giovanni de’ Medici played by Dustin Hoffman. The production was produced in English with an international cast, … [Read more...] about I Medici the Masters of Florence: Watch how the Duomo was built!
The protagonist Sophia in "Dreaming Sophia" at first rejects the idea of traveling to Italy and following in the footsteps of her mother. Gradually, however, Sophia awakens to the idea after a series of encounters with muses that appear to her in her daydreams. Here is a little teaser from … [Read more...] about Waking up to Italy—the art of dreaming
At the end of October, Americans celebrate Halloween, but the Italians celebrate All Saints Day. Halloween is a relatively new “imported” holiday for the Italians, and traditional Italians thumb their noses at the “Trick or Treat” or “Dolcetto o Scherzetto” scene. They prefer to save dressing up for … [Read more...] about Borgo a Mozzano—the place to find the Devil on All Saints Day in Italy
In Italy, it is a common practice to greet someone with a light kiss on both their cheeks. This is true even if you are just newly acquainted or if you have known someone for quite a long time. At an Italian social event, you can just imagine that half the time is spent kissing people, hello, and … [Read more...] about Etiquette of the Italian kiss
One of the most famous and mythical stories in history is that between Giuseppe and Anita Garibaldi. The event that changed their lives took place on July 21, 1839. While he was in South America to fight alongside the separatists of the Rio Grande, Garibaldi, during an inspection in the small town … [Read more...] about Who was Garibaldi and who did he love?
It is my extreme pleasure to speak at the Fiera del LibroThe Italian Book Fairat the invitation of Libreria Pino & l’Istituto Italiano Cultura in San Francisco The book fair falls during Italian Culture Week and celebrates the Italian language and culture through books. It seems appropriate, … [Read more...] about Fiera del Libro San Francisco Celebrates Italian Cultural week
“Now…let me see, where do I start? Yes, well…naturally an artist must begin by carefully studying all the inconsequential things around them—horses, gears, muscles, cats, dogs, noses, fingers, and toes. Look closely. Let nothing escape your inquisitive eye.” This is the advice Leonardo da Vinci … [Read more...] about Leonardo’s advice—Sketch everything you see
Have you heard of Giorgio Vasari? He was an Italian painter, architect, writer, and historian. But, most importantly he is famous for one particular written work called “Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects.” He is considered the “father” of art … [Read more...] about Giorgio Vasari First Art Historian
It seems the Ponte Vecchio in Florence is always in the news for one reason or another! Are you familiar with the famous landmark? Have you walked across one of the original Florentine bridges that connect the Oltrarno to the city center? At the foot of the bridge, it is said Dante waited each … [Read more...] about Ponte Vecchio Florence’s Historical Bridge
It is really quite remarkable! Last Saturday evening I had the pleasure of meeting Sophia Loren! Days later and I am still walking on air. After all, we are talking about one of Italy’s film icons! The leading lady of Italia! This crazy girl… ME…actually kissed Miss Loren on both cheeks, in the … [Read more...] about Meeting Sophia Loren! A dream comes true!