Sunday flea markets

In US, we call them Flea Markets, but in Italy they are known as Mercatini dell’antiquariato. Each town has it’s own mercatino, usually happening on Sundays and on a monthly recurrence. It’s a boon for tourists who want to bring home a piece of contemporary Italian history. Before you leave, try to Google for ‘Mercati fiere’ and add the name of the city you are going to visit. You’ll likely end up with several relevant links to lists of local events you may be interested to attend. Of course, none of these information is in English 🙁

The postman always rings twice

Postmen in Italy know very well their neighborhoods. You can spot them on their Vespa carrying their bags full of mail, quickly get off their motor scooters and ring (twice) every bell until somebody opens the main door of the building. Unlike in US, postmen will not pick up outgoing mail. You have to drop it in those red mailboxes dispersed around the city.

Don’t ask for Pasta Alfredo, please…

My wife is collecting in her new ebook a variety of misinterpretations of Italian cuisine. Today it’s the turn of … Pasta Alfredo.
Alfredo Sauce or, Salsa Alfredo, is more of a myth than a reality and you are not going to find it in any real Italian recipe books. There is a restaurant in Rome which makes the original fettuccine Alfredo, but that is made with butter and Parmesan cheese. The only product that somehow resembles Salsa Alfredo (Alfredo Sauce) is called panna (which is a thicker version of whipping cream). I suggest you do not ask for Alfredo Sauce when you are in a restaurant because the vast majority of the people will not know what you are talking about.