Our journey, this month, has brought us to Italy. Due to its shape, Italy it is often referred to as “LoStivale” (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 t he 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
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.
Mulino Bianco Galletti Biscuits
Mulino Bianco Galletti Cookies are made with an eggless pastry and topped with sugar crystals that bring out their sweet flavor and delicate texture. Founded in Parma, Italy in 1877, these treats are famous for their natural ingredients and rich taste - making them delectable on their own or with coffee.
The Sfornatini are the original naturally leavened bread sticks, light, tempting and perfect with every meal. These delicate and crispy breadsticks, which are made with salt, rosemary and olive oil, are the perfect accompaniment to hot and cold dishes, thin slices of prosciutto or just wine.
Asturi Foccacci Bites
Mediterranean Diet is widely considered a naturally healthy way of life, and their cuisine carries with them a mix of flavors, which are usually difficult to resist. This is mainly due to the Mediterranean Olive Oil used to prepare their delicacies. Foccacci Bites are deliciously crispy and delicate in texture and can be eaten alone or paired with your favorite hors d'oeuvres, dips, or salsas.
Asturi Amaretti Cookies
Asturi Amaretti cookies follow an 18th century recipe first baked in Venice, Italy. They are the original Italian macaroons. Light and crunchy, they make a sophisticated snack to pair with espresso, dessert wine, or as a simple, yet tasty end to the meal. In Italy, they are also crumbled over gelato, ice creams and desserts.
This month, we are travelling 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.
|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)|
|Nice to meet you||“Piacere di Conoscerla”|
|Excuse me, Pardon me||“Mi Scusi”|
|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”|
|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”|
|Can you write it down please?"||“Si può scrivere in giù, per favore?”|
|Next week||“La prossima settimana”|
|I’m lost||“Mi sono perso”|
|Can you help me?||“Mi può aiutare?”|
We, at TopMunch, aim to provide our customers the opportunity to experience the different cultures in its entirety. We have listened to the local music, learnt to converse in the local language, and hopefully already munched on a few local flavors already. If you were to travel to this country, all that you would need now in your kitty is a guide to take you around the different local sights along with local tips about how to gain an experience that can be preserved in your treasure chest of memories
With this mission 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.
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.