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“Ciao, Buongiorno a te” (Hello, Good Day to you),

The first month of 2018, has brought us back to Italy. As we start our journey from home, we thought it was best to pass through some familiar places and gather some new tastes as we journey along. In Italian, New Year’s Day is called “Capodanno” (pronounced kah-poh-dahn-noh), which translates as “head of the year.” If you are looking for a place to celebrate New Year 2019, look no further - Italy welcomes the new year with some amazing firework display.

Fireworks - the Roman Colosseum - an unforgettable experience!!!

Due to its shape, Italy is often referred to as “Lo Stivale” (the Boot). With 61 million inhabitants, it is the fourth most populous EU member state. In ancient times, the Italic tribe known as the “Latins” formed the Roman Kingdom. Rome ultimately emerged as the dominant power in the Mediterranean basin, conquering much of the ancient world and becoming the leading cultural, political, and religious center of Western civilization. The legacy of the Roman Empire is widespread and can be observed in the global distribution of civilian law, republican governments, Christianity and the Latin script.

During the Renaissance period, Italian culture flourished producing famous scholars, artists, and polymaths such as Leonardo da Vinci, Galileo, Michelangelo and Machiavelli. Italian explorers such as Marco Polo, Christopher Columbus, and Amerigo Vespucci discovered new routes to the Far East and the New World, helping to usher in the European Age of Discovery. The early 20th century saw two World Wars – during which Italy saw the rise of a Fascist dictatorship, and then a period of economic crisis & social turmoil.

Today, Italy has the third largest economy in the Eurozone and the eighth largest in the world. The country plays a prominent role in regional and global economic, military, cultural and diplomatic affairs, and it is both a regional and a universal power. Italy is also a founding and leading member of the European Union. As a reflection of its cultural wealth, Italy is home to 51 World Heritage Sites, the most in the world, and is the fifth most visited country.


What's inside this box?

Taralli Al Pepo Nero – Black Pepper Crackers
Taralli Al Pepo Nero – Black Pepper Crackers

Taralli are circular shaped crackers that are common all over the southern parts of Italy. Similar to bagels, they are briefly boiled before being baked, which gives them a very interesting texture. Baked Taralli can then be kept in an airtight container for several months.

La Florentine Soft Torrone with Pistachio
La Florentine Soft Torrone with Pistachio

Sweet delicacies have always played a vital role in the culture and tradition of fine Italian cuisine. Italian desserts decorate tables at weddings, holiday parties, and other family gatherings. The La Florentine brand offers a variety of delicious confections including an extensive assortment of torrone nougat candies. This soft nougat is made with honey, sugar and egg whites with toasted almonds and/or pistachios all of which is enclosed in a delectably thin-wafer.

San Giuliano Green Olive Spread
San Giuliano Green Olive Spread

San Giuliano Black and Green Olive Spreads are an excellent aperitif and a tasty condiment, ideal for anyone wishing to enjoy the traditional taste of olives blended with olive oil. This is perfect for those who appreciate freshness and lightness since it is 100% natural with no preservatives or coloring. We would recommend diluting the spread with olive oil to get a typical seasoning for pasta, sandwiches, pizza, and other savories.


Asturi Sesame Torinis
Asturi Sesame Torinis

Asturi Torinis are all-natural savory mini Grissinis (or thin, crisp Italian Breadsticks). They are baked in Italy using only the highest quality unbleached wheat flour and olive oil. Light and delicious, they are the ideal snack all by themselves, or paired with your favorite hors-d’oeuvres, dips, or cheeses and are a great accompaniment for any occasion. We recommend pairing this with our Green Olive Spread along with a dash of olive oil.

Mulino Bianco Pan di Stelle Cookies
Mulino Bianco Pan di Stelle Cookies

Mulino Bianco is one of the most popular cookie makers in Italy, and the Pan di Stelle (Bread of Stars) is their signature creation. These chocolate cookies are dotted with 11 stars and bring authentic Italian flavor to your home. Pan di Stelle is inspired by a dream of chocolate skies that sparkle sweetly with stars. They are the perfect escape when you need a sweet, starry daydream.

Bonomi Savoiardi (LadyFingers)
Bonomi Savoiardi (LadyFingers)

Known in Italy as Savoiardi, Ladyfingers are a sweet, fairly dried, finger-shaped sponge cakes. They are often used in making the classic Italian Tiramisu, and can also be enjoyed with a cup of your favorite coffee or tea. They are intentionally made firm so that they can stand up to wet ingredients. This is the flagship product of Forno Bonomi - an Italian company making cakes since 1850.


Spelari Spicchi Agrumi (Citrus Fruit Candy)
Spelari Spicchi Agrumi (Citrus Fruit Candy)

It all began in 1836 in Cremona, when Enea Sperlari sensed the commercial potential of the typical dessert of the Cremonese tradition: nougat. More than 180 years have passed since that fundamental intuition, and Spelari is an Italian household name. Spelari uses citrus fruit juices and natural flavors to make this candy which leaves us with an amazing taste in our mouths.



TopPhrase

TopMunch was formed with a mission to educate people about the different cultures in the world. The learning curve is incomplete if people do not understand the native language, and with this, in mind, we present TopPhrase. TopPhrase provides our customers with basic phrases and their usages in each country so that everyone would be able to conduct basic conversations with locals of that country.

This month, we are traveling to Italy. An interesting fact - “The Adventures of Pinocchio” (a celebrated Children’s classic and the most translated non-religious book in the world) was written by an Italian author, Carlo Collodi.

Greetings
Good morning “Buon Giorno”
Good afternoon “Buon Pomeriggio”
Good evening “Buono Sera”
Hi / Hello “Ciao” or “Salve”
How are you? “Come va” (co-meh va)
I’m fine, thank you “Sto Bene, Grazie” (sto be-ne, grah-zie)
Please “Per favore” (por fa-vor)
Thank you “Grazie”
Nice to meet you “Piacere di Conoscerla”
Excuse me, Pardon me “Mi Scusi”
You’re welcome “Prego”
Goodbye! “Arrivederci!”
Vocabulary
Do you speak English? “Parli Inglese?”
I don’t speak Italian “Non parlo Italiano”
Where is ___? “Dov’e ___?”
Where is the bathroom? “Dov’è la toilette?”
How much? “Quanto costa?”
The Bill, please “Il conto, per favore.”
It’s Expensive “È Costoso”
Do you understand me? “Mi capisci”
Speak slowly, please “Parla lentamente, per favore”
true “Si”
false “No”
I am sorry “Mi dispiace”
I do not understand “Non capisco”
What’s your name? “Come ti chiami?”
How do I get to ____? “Come faccio ad avere ____?”
the train station? “la stazione ferroviaria”
the bus station? “la stazione degli autobus”
the airport? “l’aeroporto”
Can you write it down please?" “Si può scrivere in giù, per favore?”
Today “Oggi”
Tomorrow “Domani”
Next week “La prossima settimana”
Help Me! “Aiutami!”
Stop! “Stop!”
Police! “Polizia!”
Water “Acqua”
I’m lost “Mi sono perso”
Can you help me? “Mi può aiutare?”
Numbers
1 Uno
2 Due
3 Tre
4 Quattro
5 Cinque
6 Sei
7 Sette
8 Otto
9 Nove
10 Dieci
11 Un-dici
12 Do-dici
13 Tre-dici
14 Quattor-dici
15 Quin-dici
16 Se-dici
17 Dici-asette
18 Dici-otto
19 Dici-annove
20 Venti
21 Vent-uno
22 Venti-due
30 Trenta
40 Quaranta
50 Cinquanta
52 Cinquanta-due
60 Sessanta
63 Sessanta-tre
70 Settanta
80 Ottanta
90 Novanta
100 Cento
150 Cento-Cinquanta
200 Due-cento
300 Tre-cento
500 Cinque-cento
800 Otto-cento
900 Nove-cento
1000 Mille
2000 Due-mille


TopTravel

We, at TopMunch, aim to provide our customers the opportunity to experience the different cultures in its entirety. If you were to travel to this country, you would need in your kitty a guide to take you around the different local sights along with tips about how to gain an experience that can be preserved in your treasure chest of memories.

With this in mind, we present to you our travelogue – TopTravel through which, we will not only be opening your eyes to the different sights in a country but shall also be helping you plan your next getaway or vacation to that country.

Italy

With 50.7 million tourists a year (2015), Italy is the fifth most visited country in international tourism arrivals. Tourism is one of Italy's fastest growing and most profitable industrial sectors, with revenues estimated to be around $203.53 billion. People mainly visit Italy for its art, cuisine, history, fashion and culture, its coastline and beaches, its mountains, and ancient monuments. The Roman Empire, Middle Ages, and the Renaissance Era have left many cultural artifacts for the Italian tourist industry to use. Rome is the third most visited city in Europe and the 14th in the world; the Colosseum is the 39th most visited place in the world. Milan and Venice are two other important tourist destinations in Italy.

Rome: Rome is Italy’s greatest city, and somewhere everyone should go at least once. Rome has also been called Caput Mundi (‘capital of the world’), with this historical metropolis dotted by thrilling vestiges of ancient splendor, from the awe-inspiring Roman temple of the Pantheon to the world’s most iconic Roman ruin, the Colosseum. It is also the heart of the Catholic world.

Cinque Terr: Fondly referred to as “The Italian Riviera”, these five ingeniously constructed fishing villages, which are set amid some of the most dramatic coastal scenery on the planet, can bolster the most jaded of spirits. Cinque Terre's unique historical feature is the steeply terraced cliffs bisected by a complicated system of fields and gardens that have been hacked, chiseled, shaped and layered over the course of nearly two millennia.

Pompeii: Below the rumbling volcano of Mt Vesuvius stand the ruins of Pompeii, an ancient Roman city preserved in time by the eruption of Mt Vesuvius in A.D. 79. Excavations have revealed the remains of houses, markets, baths, temples, theaters, streets scarred by the tracks of chariots, and human remains. Visitors can tour the site, walk along the old streets, and see the engineering used by Romans over 2000 years ago.

Things to do in Italy
  • Spend 15 minutes with Leonardo Da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” in Milan
  • If you want to see an amazing collection of Italian Renaissance art, then you should definitely visit the Uffizi Gallery in Florence
  • Get a guided tour of the Vatican Museums, and as a bonus get a guided visit to St. Peter’s Basilica as well.
  • There’s nothing like eating something as universally well known as pizza in the place where it was born - Naples
  • See an opera in Verona. Opera fan or not, there’s nothing quite like sitting in a Roman amphitheater, just as people have done for thousands of years, watching a show.
  • Eat two scoops of gelato daily – Remember, Italian gelato is made with milk, not cream, so it’s a lot less fattening than you think. And you’re walking everywhere, anyway, so it’s a well-deserved treat.
  • Get lost in Venice – Some places require a map. Some places require that you forget the map. Venice belongs to the latter category.
  • Drive down the Amalfi Coast to enjoy the vista of mismatched shelves of color tumbling down mountainsides to the sea.
  • See an Italian soccer game – Italian soccer can be considered a second religion in this country, and experiencing a game first-hand lets you witness the passion Italians feel for their clubs. Whatever you do, however, just don’t make the mistake of cheering for the visiting team.
  • Enjoy a romantic night ride on a gondola or a vaporetto along Venice’s Canal Grande
  • Take a boat-ride to the Pink Beach in Budelli, located in the Maddalena Archipelago. The pink sand owes its color to microscopic fragments of a certain red coral. Although the beach is inaccessible to tourists, one can admire this wonder of nature from afar on a boat.
  • Pisa, the birthplace of Galileo, definitely warrants a visit especially so as to feast one’s eyes on the Leaning Tower of Pisa.