The Contrada dell’Onda has won the Palio dell’Assunta!

contrada onda siena palio 2013 assunta

SienaFree.it has just reported that the Contrada dell’Onda (the Wave) has won the Palio dell’Assunta in Siena, Italy today!

Italians love fireworks (buon 4 luglio a tutti!)

italian fireworks

Above: A fireworks display in Trieste, Italy (image via Wikipedia).

According to the Wikipedia entry for pirotecnica (pyrotechnics), “Italy is one of the countries that has a marked pyrotechnic identity.”

The bottom line? Italians love fireworks.

Italy is home to one of the world’s leading gatherings of pyrotechnic enthusiasts: Caput Lucis, the international fireworks championship, now in its tenth year.

Most believe that fireworks were first introduced in Italy by Marco Polo who brought them back from Asia in the thirteenth century.

By the time of the Renaissance, fireworks had become a true art form in Italy and they played an important role in aristocratic pageantry. Most believe that the invention of fireworks can be attributed to the Chinese but that it was the Italians who turned them into a form of celebratoin.

Today, some of the world’s leading producers of fireworks are Italian.

And here in the U.S., Grucci — the “first family of fireworks” — traces its roots back to nineteenth century Puglia where it was founded.

Wishing everyone a fun and safe holiday, buon 4 luglio!

Congratulazioni, Ed and Amy, winners of the Live Like an Italian Sweepstakes!

wine sweepstakes facebook

Above, from left: Will Rogers (Mazzoni ambassador) with Live Like an Italian Sweepstakes winners Ed and Amy from Atlanta.

Ed and Mary from Atlanta were this week’s winners of the Live Like an Italian Sweepstakes.

Their prizes included a stove-top coffeemaker by Bialetti, an icon of Italian coffee.

Click here to read more.

And click here to enter the sweepstakes online.

Taste Mazzoni at the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival!

Live Like an Italian is at the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival throughout the weekend.

Please stop by and taste with us!

atlanta food and wine festival

Buona festa della mamma! Happy Mother’s Day!

wild orchid montalcino tuscany

This week, Mazzoni winemaker Alessandro Bindocci snapped this photo of a wild orchid as he was walking through the vineyards at the Tenuta Il Poggione in Montalcino where Mazzoni wines are produced.

Happy mother’s day! Buona festa della mamma!

Buona Pasqua… rosemary for Easter

rosemary bumble bee

Above: A bee feasts on the blossoming flowers of a rosemary bush. Easter and the arrival of spring are a time of renewal and rebirth.

In many ways, Easter is a “bigger” holiday in Italy than Christmas is.

Indeed, until the time of the Napoleonic conquest, many Italian city states observed and celebrated the new year at Easter and not the week after Christmas as they do now.

rosemary trulli

Above: A wild rosemary bush in Puglia.

Easter and the official arrival of spring are a time of renewal and rebirth. And while many Italian families certainly will gather for Christmas celebrations in December in their hometowns, Easter is the yearly holiday that nearly all families will celebrate together.

And no Easter celebration is complete without roast “Paschal” lamb that has been seasoned with rosemary, a traditional spice used in Italy — especially southern Italy — for lamb.

Happy Easter to you and your family from the family at the Live Like an Italian blog.

We’ll see you next week. Buona pasqua…