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Italian Men: Style Guru?

I have just spent the best part of an afternoon hunting in wardrobes, draws, suitcases and bags to find any item of clothing that fits me. When I say “fit”, I mean go over my leg higher than my knee or over my head lower than my neck!

The air was blue. That was until the Italian came into the room to see what the commotion was. I shed a tiny tear of frustration that my baby weight is trespassing wherever it can set up camp on my body and he burst into laughter explaining that his situation was far worse.

How so? (I won’t attempt to write in my usual take on an Italian accent).

“Well”, he said, “I’ve been a stay at home dad for twelve months, I’ve eaten far more than I should have and exercised far less than I should have. Money has been tight and the majority of my current wardrobe is from Primark.   I’m about to go to Italy where I know my family and friends will ridicule me for the weight gain and chastise me for the ill fitting ill suited outfits.
And you think that you have a problem?!”

Ok amore mio, point taken.

So it seems that the Italian is just as fearful as I am of rocking up in Venice looking like a beached whale in Bermuda shorts and flip flops. Here readers, is the reason for his concern. Italian men are generally very cool, well dressed and always matching. Always!

Just check out these average run if the mill fellas from my Pinterest board, La Mia Bella Moda.

I feel his pain, I really do! That said, I’m really looking forward to the eye candy *glances sheepishly through dark sunglasses as handsome men walk by*.

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Do we really beleive that these guys are on a lunch break from the office? Too cool for school. foto.

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The scarf.  LOVE.  The colours just add a litlte bit of umph.  Italian men, they can do it like this. foto.

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Now this is how you stand out in a crowd! My Italian would wear this, the brighter the better! foto.

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Every Italian man needs a Vespa as his main accessory! foto.

Even older Italian men look fabulous!  In Italy, age doesnt define when you become a slob – check out this old dudes shoes! I wouldnt mind strolling down the strada with him when i’m collecting my pension. foto.

As Shakespeare said, the clothes maketh the man!

X-O-X

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Posted by on July 21, 2012 in Italia

 

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Italian Women: Style Guru?

Yesterday I was Skyping my sister-in-law to confirm that she has a push chair for me to borrow next week when we touch down in Venice town.

I haven’t seen her for a while as she has been at her in-laws beach house in the South of Italy. I was horrified!

There she was all tanned and brown as a berry, all slim and svelte, not a hair out of place and wearing a beautiful cerise pink summer dress. There I was, all white and pasty, still in my pajamas, yesterday’s mascara had slid to my cheek and my hair hadn’t seen a brush for days!

Oh dear Lord! What am I to do? I’ve got a week to wax, EVERYTHING, pedicure, manicure, hair died, eyebrows done, skin scrubbed, fake baked and dig out any item of summer clothing I have that 1) fits me thirteen months after giving birth and 2) isn’t black. It’s a task but for the sake of vanity I’m up for the challenge. Think Susan Boyle meets Sofia Loren!

This is it, you see, Sofia Loren, she’s a icon; beautiful, classy, stylish, sexy. She’s Italian. Italian women just have it.  Dont they?

Here are a few effortlessly stylish signorinas from my Pinterest board La Mia Bella Moda showing us how Italian fashion, street style, is done.

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Love this yellow dress and colouful shoes.  I would definitely need a tan for this outfit! foto.

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The shoes.  Elegant.  Nude.  Loving a nude shoe these days but again, doesnt look great with pasty white legs – tan me up! foto.

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Now I happen to know that this little number is Dolce & Gabbana.  Its a classic and teamed up with flats and 50’s sunnies, this is right up my strada! foto.

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Again, flat embellished shoes go so great with this pretty dress.  Got to get me some jewelled flats! foto.

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Imagine looking this cool when youre in your lounge gear! Italian style is most certainly in the genes. foto.

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This is my favourite! I’m not too into tattoos (I dont have any) but I love the dress, the hat, the flat shoes and i even love the tatty cotton bracelets.  This girl just oozes cool, chatting on a street corner.  Belissima! foto.

You see what I’m up against!! Wish me luck.

X-O-X

 
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Posted by on July 19, 2012 in Italia

 

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CoffeeSetMatch

 “A cup of coffee is always the beginning of something – a day, a conversation, an encounter, a break, a story” – Francesca Lavazza

This is MY story.

Ok, I’m English, I like tea, right? Right. But. Being married to an Italian kind of rubs off on you after a while and I now have a tiny penchant for coffee. Espresso. Latte. Not Cappuccino. At least not in England. I’m sorry to say but my fellow Brits just don’t know how to make a cappuccino. I best enjoy this on a sunny day, slight breeze blowing through the hair, sunglasses perched on head, people watching at the bottom of the Rialto bridge in Venice.

It might sound strange to you that a blogger by the name of “Tea”&Biscotti is writing about coffee. However, coffee to the Italians is what champagne is to the French! And for that reason I couldn’t help but get involved in Lavazza UK’s challenge to create as many coffee related recipes as I can in 2 weeks!

Lavazza’s Coffee Set Match campaign can be seen on take-away cups as well as a virtual cup promotion online which you can access here – it’s great, go ahead and and play- you have to in it to win it!  Prizes include six pairs of tickets to Wimbledon, 90 Lavazza A Modo Mio Favola Plus Wimbledon Limited Edition coffee machines and 500 sets of four exclusive espresso cups created especially for the tournament.  

Now that I’ve received my shiny new Lavazza A Modo Mio Favola coffee machine and a whole array of wonderful coffee goodies… Let the bean hit the machine!!!

Andiamo….

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I would love to hear about any funky, unusual or even traditional recipes you have, food or drink, that I could very cheekily borrow.

Grazie Mille!

x-o-x

 
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Posted by on May 11, 2012 in London

 

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My Italy: Liberation Day

Today in Italy it’s Liberation Day, Festa della Liberazione, a day that celebrates the end of World War II.  But lets not concentrate on the boring stuff.  What I want to tell you is that today, it’s also the feast day of Venice’s patron saint, Saint Mark, celebrated with a procession and other celebrations in Saint Mark’s Square.

So I thought I would have a little celebration of my own and share with you a few pics that I have taken over the years of Venice….my second home! Now obviously I think my own photos are pretty lovely, but if you want to see some professional snaps, check out Otts World. Absolutely stunning!

The Grand Canal just under the Rialto bridge -my favourite spot to watch the Gondoliers

St Mark’s Basilica, St Mark’s Square

Venice wouldn’t be Venice without a mask..

My husband is from the Friuli Venezia Giulia region and when I first starting visiting, to be honest I was bored stiff.  I didn’t appreciate its beauty but over the years I admit, it has grown on me.  Last summer we picked the hugest fresh tomatoes from the farmer’s field next to our house and made sauce for the pasta.  We picked courgettes and used the lovely yellow courgette flowers to fry – delicious!  And the best thing is this, every morning in summer, I make my breakfast, a hot steaming espresso and I sit outside on the terrace, put my feet up and take in the view.

Not bad waking up to this every day huh?!

And when the day gets a bit too much to bear, I can just wash it all away with a nice chilled glass of white made from the grapes that grow in the vineyard at the bottom of my garden!

X-O-X

 
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Posted by on April 25, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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A Few Things About Italy..

I suppose I should write a sort of intro to who I am, how I met my husband and what this “Italy” thing is all about.  I suppose I should.  Someday.

I have been to some wonderful far away destinations in my life and I can tell you, whole heartedly, that Italy was never on my top list of places to go – this in itself may be a shock to some but I’ve always been more interested in the more rare countries.  Italy is on the doorstep, right? Plenty of time to go there.  When I met my husband I was kind of forced to go and forced to like it.

I remember the first time he took me to Venice and got really really mad because I was like.. “ooh, yeah, its nice”.  I met my husband the week after I had got back from travelling so I had been spoilt on Machu Pichu, Sugar Loaf Mountain and Ankor Wat.  Venice to me was a river after that.  He just didn’t get the anti-climax.

It’s been a journey this whole ‘liking Italy’ thing but I can say that I’m almost there.  I kind of miss it when I haven’t been there for a while. I’m starting to appreciate how tasty fresh vine tomatoes are and I can even tell the difference between a good and a bad olive oil.

There have, however, been a few things that I just find a bit odd about Italy and Italian people in general.  Let me tell you a few things that I have discovered:

They eat hotdogs and chips as a pizza topping

They eat ice cream in the winter

They never ever ever eat an apple with the peel on! No no no…

The eat salad at the end of a meal (this is supposed to aid digestion and they actually believe that!)

When you go for dinner at someone’s house, they serve it on plastic throwaway plates (I’m not sure if this is to save on the washing up given any dinner is made up of at least 10 courses!)

Men do actually wear pastel coloured trousers and socks

Everyone wears sunglasses no matter what the weather

All women use Femiwash, not normal shower gel, it HAS to be PH balanced (bothered?)

They actually use a bidet on a daily basis, for bum washing, not for soaking swimwear

They would rather sweat to death than use the aircon as they are terrified of catching a cold

No wonder Italy is a country known for its relics, they keep everything and don’t replace anything (My mother-in-law tried to pass down my husband’s baby clothes for my daughter..he’s 40, he’s male.. how does that even work?  It does in Italy, waste not want not!)

Everyone dresses the same: same fairy hooded puffa coats, same faux patent leather wedge trainers, same same same…

And last and most weird of all, they are totally obsessed with Hello Kitty!

I’m sure some of these are complete generalisations and may only affect those Italians that I’ve met, seen, known etc.  But seriously, hotdogs and chips on a pizza??! Weird!

 
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Posted by on March 31, 2012 in Italia

 

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Amore Mio

“Venice is like eating an entire box of chocolate liqueurs in one go.”

 –Truman Capote

Just one Cornetto..

Whilst Venice is the most romantic city in the world, I have a tiny bit of it at home: my husband.  However, I don’t think he got the message, let alone was in the queue, when the Italian Stallion romance cards were handed out.  He’s not the best at gift buying if previous Valentine gifts are anything to go by:

  • A pair of eyebrow tweezers with a light on – he thought they were practical so I could see the tiny hairs I always miss.  He was either telling me that I was useless at plucking my monobrow or trying to blind me with the light!
  • A pair of skiing salopettes – we’ve never been skiing!
  • A cuticle oil – that he had bought at Christmas on a 3 for 2 special offer.  He had given the other two to his nonna and sister and saved the last one for me!

I never hold out much hope for Valentines where my romantic Italian husband is concerned and I’ve stopped hoping that he will eventually get it right.  I don’t need tweezers or ski pants or cuticle oil.  He’s my best friend and the best daddy, that’s gift enough for me!  (but I wouldn’t turn my nose up at the odd box of Ferrero Roche!).

Ps, I secretly hope he reads this and realises the error of his ways – who am I kidding??! 🙂

 
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Posted by on February 14, 2012 in London

 

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