How Italy Paved the Way to the Birth of Starbucks Coffee

“La vita inizià dopo il caffè (Life begins after coffee). Any Italian believes this.” The original Starbucks Company gave birth to its first store at the Pike Place Market in downtown Seattle in 1971 selling only whole roasted coffee beans.  When Howard Schultz joined the Starbucks Company in early 1983, the company only sold roasted…

Ten Rules for Cooking the Perfect Pasta Al Dente!

  1.    Never add oil to pasta water. As the old expression goes, “Oil and water never mix.” Oil is less dense than water and that’s why it will always float on top.  Adding oil to the water will not keep your pasta from sticking together and when you drain the pasta, the oil…

Via Appia Antica: Do All Roads Really Lead to Rome?

Do all roads really lead to Rome? The Via Appia Antica (The Appian Way) aka “Regina Viarum” (Queen of Roads) is one of the most famous roads in Europe and is considered to be one of the oldest in Rome. It was named after the Roman censor, Appius Claudius Caecus, who initiated and completed the…

WHY TRAVELERS MAKE THE BEST EMPLOYEES

We all know that traveling is fun, fun, fun, but planning it is not an easy task. It takes a lot of time, patience, effort, brain cells, and it also leaves a dent on our bank accounts.  However, like everything else, getting better at something needs constant practice and certain skills. In time, travelers learn…

Padre Pio: Pray, Hope, and Don’t Worry

by Pia Henrietta (A tribute to Padre Pio on his 131st birthday on May 25th, 2018 and on his feast day on September 23, 2018. Originally posted on May 24th, 2017). Padre Pio, or Francesco Forgione was born on May 25, 1887 in Pietrelcina, a small town and commune 15 kilometers from the province of…

Get a Room!

by Pia H. Foggia, Italia Le Colonne Bed & Breakfast on Via Luigi Zuppetta is one of Foggia, Italy’s treasures. Located in the heart of Foggia, this bed and breakfast boasts of southern Italian character, charm, and feel.  The rooms offer a balcony, a private bathroom, a very comfortable bed, a TV,  a desk, and…

A Victorian Christmas in California

Last December, I witnessed the clock as it turned back its hands for more than a century ago.  It all happened in Nevada City, California where almost everyone, locals and tourists alike dressed up in Victorian outfits. Every year in December, Nevada City, California celebrates a Victorian Christmas and everyone is invited. As I stood on…