Pizza di Pasqua: Easter in Umbria

03/25/2016 14:07:40 PM

Instead of an oversize bunny rabbit leaving a basket of candied eggs, citizens of Orvieto wake up on Easter morning to a breakfast of Pizza di Pasqua (it’s not really a pizza, but it’s not exactly a cake either). Pizza di Pasqua is a ye ...


11/08/2015 18:47:01 PM

Chosy, an American woman living in Rome decided to dip back into the dating pool after a long hiatus from romance. She was curious to know if being a single woman in Italy was any less disappointing than in the U.S. For her first foray back ...

31 Days of Orvieto: A CULMINATION…

08/31/2015 10:01:26 AM

I can’t believe it’s been 31 days already! Time flies when you’re having fun! What a wonderful experience it’s been to sit down everyday and write about the people, places and things that make this city so special and unique.

31 Days of Orvieto: Day #30 – BLING!

08/30/2015 04:18:36 AM

Friends  Massimo Aloisio and Tiziana O. Aloisio are the dynamic duo behind  OROGAMI, an exquiste jewellery store located on Via del Duomo. What makes their work especially unique (as well as beautiful) is the fact that, along with great ...

31 Days of Orvieto: Day #29 – FAMOUS ORVIETANI IN HISTORY

08/29/2015 02:43:29 AM

ASCANIO VITOZZI (1539–1615) was an Italian soldier, architect and military engineer (and the son of Ercole lord of Montevitozzo). He was instrumental in the design and building of Palazzo Reale in Torino, where he lived until his death…Also, ...

31 Days of Orvieto: Day #28 – COFFEE/CAFFE

08/28/2015 10:12:33 AM

Coffee bars in Italy are its life blood. For over 100 years, Bar Montanucci has been pouring caffeine-addicted Orvietani their morning cappuccinos (in my case, caffe latte) as well as offering fresh, handmade pastries, cakes and…..wait for ...

31 Days of Orvieto: Day #27 – ARTISAN AGAIN…

08/27/2015 16:40:40 PM

Day #27 of “31 Days of Orvieto features another remarkable ARTISAN, Loretta Lovisa. Loretta painstakingly and lovingly creates (by hand, of course) ‘Merletto di Orvieto‘ (Lace of Orvieto). In producing this traditional and highly-i

31 Days of Orvieto: Day #26 – CHURCH DAY!

08/26/2015 09:48:05 AM

…And what a church it is! The Duomo (cathedral) of Orvieto is nothing less than breathtaking. Built by order of Pope Urban IV to house the Corpal of the Miracle of Bolsena, the Duomo broke ground in 1290 and was completed in 1591. The Gothic ...

31 Days of Orvieto: Day #25 – FOOD!

08/25/2015 11:44:45 AM

The typical cuisine of Orvieto tends to lean heavily on ‘meat’: Cinghiale (wild boar) and its cousin, maiale (pork), as well as dishes made of pigeon or dove (yes, I said pigeon). These ancient recipes also make room for our vegetarian ...

31 Days of Orvieto: Day #24 – ON STAGE LIVE! MUSICALS!

08/24/2015 16:10:51 PM

Some might say that Orvieto is a sleepy little town with not much going on…but there’s one group of citizens that would beg to differ. Compagnia Mastro Titta, under the direction of Paola Cecconi, is a community theatre group comprised ...

31 Days of Orvieto: Day #23 – ARTISIANS…AGAIN

08/23/2015 06:27:02 AM

There are so many wonderful, traditional craftsmen and women that I want to to be sure to showcase in these last 10 days of the project. Meet Alberto Bellini: Famous terracotta ceramicist, who I believe arrived here in a time machine from ...

31 Days of Orvieto: Day #22 – WE’RE HAVING A HEAT WAVE…

08/22/2015 03:10:34 AM

What can you do when temperatures top 38C (100F)? Eat gelato of course! But don’t settle for just any old ice cream…head to the world-renowned Gelateria Pasqualetti ( This family-owned and operated ...

31 Days of Orvieto: Day #21 – PAPER

08/21/2015 09:13:47 AM

Lamberto Bernardini’s 15th-century papermaking studio is where you can see carta marmorizzata (marbled paper) being made by hand. “Floating paper” has been traced back to Japan 835 C.E., but it really developed as a true art form in P ...

31 Days of Orvieto: Day #20 – ARE YOU AN ETRUSCAN?

08/20/2015 13:30:59 PM

Before it was Orvieto, this Etruscan city was called Velzna (circa 3rd century B.C.). The Etruscans may have been short in stature, but they were long on engineering and cultural sophistication. They were adept winemakers, perfected the terracotta ...

31 Days of Orvieto: Day #19 – SECRET PLACES

08/19/2015 08:42:43 AM

La confaloniera (a promenade on the northern edge of the wall) is not a ‘secret’ exactly, however many visitors don’t often find themselves in this part of town…but they should. It’s a lovely place for a morning walk, to

31 Days of Orvieto: Day #18 – IT’S ALL ABOUT ‘NOTHING’

08/18/2015 15:12:37 PM

Orvieto is a vibrant and lively city, but it also offers a slower, tranquil pace. In the daytime, the city swells with visitors (yah, we like that), but at night, locals come out with their families for a stroll along the ‘Corso’. Maybe ...

31 Days of Orvieto: Day #17 – WOOD!

08/17/2015 13:34:15 PM

Examples of the ancient art of woodworking can be found on nearly every street and alleyway (and home) in Orvieto. Bottega Michelangeli has been creating its signature wood furniture and whimsical figurines since 1789. Continuing in full operation ...

31 Days of Orvieto: Day #16 – IT’S PICTURE DAY!

08/16/2015 06:19:15 AM

As we come to the mid-point of our project to spread the word about the marvels of Orvieto (in 31 installments), today I thought I’d post some of my favorite shots of life in Orvieto. If you love Orvieto or want to support the effort to ...

31 Days of Orvieto: Day #15 – WHEN LOVE AND ART COLLIDE

08/15/2015 14:20:05 PM

Massimo Chioccia was born in Sugano, a tiny village near Orvieto. He graduated with honors from the Academy of Fine Arts in Viterbo. Olga Tsarkova left Russia to continue her studies at the prestigious Academy of Fine Arts in Rome. The two ...

31 Days of Orvieto: Day # 14 – PARLA ITALIANO?

08/14/2015 07:28:33 AM

I came to Orvieto for the first time in 2002, but returned in 2004 to learn Italian by the’ immersion method’. Embarrassingly, 11 years later I’m still struggling (apparently, I suck at mathematics AND languages). Luckily my good fr

31 Days of Orvieto: Day #13 – HOUSEWARES…

08/13/2015 06:23:48 AM

…but of the beautiful kind! Did you know that the “Green Rooster of Orvieto”, created in the 13th-century, is one of the oldest Majolica ceramics (Italian tin-glazed pottery) dinnerware designs in Italy? Some of my favorite local pott ...

31 Days of Orvieto: Day #12 – LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION

08/12/2015 06:24:28 AM

You may be wondering why in the world I’d be posting photos of my day in Rome on a project dedicated to Orvieto? Well, it’s to illustrate one of the great things about our town: It’s smack-dab in the middle of Italy, on a main rail

31 Days of Orvieto: Day #11 – FOOD, SLOW, FOOD

08/11/2015 08:36:25 AM

Today, I shine the spotlight on fierce Chef Valentina Santanicchio. She grew up on her parents’ organic farm in nearby Ficulle where, I imagine, her dedication to real food began – it’s in her blood. She opened her first restauran

31 Days of Orvieto: Day # 10 – SALUTE

08/10/2015 10:59:21 AM

So, you think you have to forego your workouts when visiting Orvieto? Well, you’d be wrong. On top of lots of strolling, you can take a Zumba class with the great Oxana Voropinova at Persiede dance studio (along with ballet, jazz, etc). ...

31 Days of Orvieto: Day #9 – ANCIENT CHURCHES

08/09/2015 04:42:57 AM

Day #9 of “31 Days of Orvieto” features my favorite church in Orvieto, Chiesa di San Giovanale. Built in 1004 (out-dating the Duomo by almost 300 years), it’s located in the Medieval part of town with expansive views of the countrys

31 Days of Orvieto: Day #8 – GO JUMP IN THE LAKE

08/08/2015 06:24:14 AM

…Lago di Bolsena, that is. Just a 20-minute drive from Orvieto, this oval-shaped crater lake (with a quaint medieval village) was formed from a volcanic eruption 370,000 years ago. Geologist believe that a piece of the volcano was catapulted ...

31 Days of Orvieto: Day #7 – MAJESTIC

08/07/2015 01:29:55 AM

Want a bird’s eye, panoramic view of Orvieto and its surrounding Umbrian countryside? Just climb the 271 steps (45m) to the top of Torre del Moro. The medieval tower sits at the ‘intersection’ of Corso Cavour and Via del Duomo and f

31 Days of Orvieto: Day #6 – CHOICE!

08/06/2015 06:37:04 AM

Some people live where they happened to be born, where they got a job or where a spouse is from. But some of us, like my friend Brian, chose our home. Brian is an example that it’s never to late to realize a dream or change your life. I once ...

31 Days of Orvieto: Day #5 CULTURE!

08/05/2015 07:25:58 AM

When you walk up the Corso Cavour from the funicular station, you’ll find the neoclassical, 560-seat Teatro Mancinelli. It hosts international theatre companies, avant-garde, jazz, dance and music. But, it’s the Fracassini masterpiece ...

31 Days of Orvieto: Day #4 – FUN FACT DAY!

08/04/2015 07:12:54 AM

Did you know that: 1) 2,500ish year-old Orvieto sits on volcanic tufo cliffs; 2) The Pope(s) slept here; 3) There’s an underground city with as many as 1,200 Etruscan caves and wells; 4) It was sacked by Julius Caesar’s Rome in 280 BC; ...

31 Days of Orvieto: Day # 3

08/03/2015 01:41:29 AM

Day #3 of “31 Days of Orvieto” highlights the ARTISAN. Our friend Steven Brenner of Cross-Pollinate & The-Beehive has made a film showcasing Orvietano (Roman by birth) Federico Badia, a young man who creates handmade shoes and other l ...

31 Days of Orvieto: Day #2

08/02/2015 06:41:30 AM

DAY #2 of “31 Days of Orvieto” is entitled INSPIRATION. Roman-based artist Roman-based artist Kelly Medford is a frequent visitor to our town. Other great artists who’ve found their muse here: J.M.W. Turner, Umberto Prencipe and

31 Days of Orvieto: Day #1

08/01/2015 15:04:44 PM

As some of you may know, during the entire month of July, I created a Facebook Project called, “31 Days of Orvieto”.  About half-way through the month, however, I suddenly realized that many of Orvieto or Bust’s followers are not o

The Sicilian: Remembering My Father

06/21/2015 04:18:16 AM

Originally posted on Orvieto or Bust::Luke Joseph DeBella: 1917 – 2004 As the 10-year anniversary of my father’s passing comes and goes, I have been thinking a lot about him and of the legacy he left behind.  To say that he was my role ...

Lollo & Me

04/06/2015 11:20:56 AM


01/07/2015 07:25:46 AM

*Oops! Yesterday, I accidentally published the following Italy Book Tours review ahead of scheduled release and had to take it down from the site!  For the followers of this blog who got a erroneous notification, I apologize profusely!  Here ...

Vicolo World War III

12/01/2014 11:48:33 AM

There’s never a dull moment on my little vicolo…. (Read Vicolo Wars and Vicolo Wars: The Sequel).

Book Review: The Gondola Maker by Laura Morelli

11/09/2014 05:28:54 AM

“From the author of Made in Italy comes a tale of artisanal tradition and family bonds set in one of the world’s most magnificent settings: Renaissance Venice.” 

Top 8 Survival Tips for The “Language-Challenged” in Italy

07/24/2014 10:05:03 AM

Tip #1:    Point and grunt. Tip #2:    Always have Google Translate open on your phone and a copy of the “Alfabeto Fonetico” in your wallet. My name spelled out this way is Torino-Otranto-Napoli-Imola. Domodossola-Empoli-Bologna-Emp ...

Vicolo Wars: THE SEQUEL

03/24/2014 17:35:21 PM

  THE SAGA CONTINUES… (Read Vicolo Wars here). Since declaring war in my little alley things have gone from bad to worse.  Remember the plants that I couldn’t water when motorcycles were parked underneath the windowsill? Not a problem ...

The Last Olive Harvest in Italy

11/24/2013 16:37:09 PM

Paolo and Elizabeth needed help harvesting their olives. The window of opportunity was closing and with rain in the forecast, this was possibly their last chance for raccolta delle olive. Temperatures have dropped considerably in Umbria and ...

La Passeggiata d’Orvieto

11/04/2013 07:41:19 AM

The clock tower bells ring out to announce it’s six o’clock. I jump up, grab my coat, obligatory scarf and run out the front door towards the main street of town! No one loves Sunday passeggiata (evening stroll) more than I do!   All over ...

Artist Kelly Medford is Taking It To The Streets

09/04/2013 15:29:05 PM

It goes without saying that painters of landscapes love the out of doors, but for one American-turned-Roman resident, Plein air painting isn’t only a passion it’s a way of life. Riding around the Eternal City on her “tricked out” bicycle ...

Vicolo Wars

08/05/2013 15:22:00 PM

I live on a quiet little vicolo (alley) just off the main piazza in town. It’s very private – the entrance to my apartment is the only one on the lane. No cars are allowed to drive down this street, however, foot traffic, motorcycles and ...

Don’t Call Me “Expat”

07/26/2013 11:34:30 AM

I don’t like the word “Expat” –  it feels exclusionary, divisive and, dare I say it, a bit elitist.  I never liked being a member of a clique in school either, preferring to spread myself around, hopping from one social and ethic ...