Travel Italian Style

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas: Italian ceramic pottery Kitchen Gadgets and Cooking Accessories

Italian ceramic pottery

For the most important woman in our life, picking a gift might seem difficult. Does the woman of the house consider herself as the Master of the Kitchen, divinely inspired to produce culinary creations? Why not try surprising the chef this coming Mother’s day with awesome  Italian ceramic pottery  kitchen gadgets and cooking accessories tailored for her needs. In a house, the kitchen is expected to be the busiest room. At any given time, you may be baking, prepping, cooking, cleaning or simply jotting down a shopping list for the week. Whatever your tasks are, everything is achieved faster with the help of some accessories that make kitchen organizing a breeze. I have rounded up some important pieces to suit all the mothers in your life, which you can give as presents any day you wish. After all, presents are not meant for the occasion itself, but as an expression of your appreciation for your loved one. Here we go:

# 1  Italian ceramic pottery : Ceramic Canister Sets

Italian ceramic pottery

These sets have been aiding our organizing problems since the olden times. Kitchen canister sets add class and sophistication to any home or kitchen decor. Not only are they useful but they are also a delight to look at. With such intricate designs, these timeless pieces are just hard to resist! I’m pretty sure you even have one at home. They look better when placed on the kitchen countertop as an eye-pleasing array. It’s nice looking at how it fills the blank area between the upper and lower kitchen cupboards. I suggest you buy Italian-made ones. Why, you ask? Like I mentioned, the most special woman in your life deserves a precious gift, and these items do not come cheap. But if there’s one thing for sure, that is the fact that the money you spend will be all worth it when you see the smile from your loved one. Let me give you a list of Italian hand painted canisters where you can choose the style fitting of your loved one.

BOTANICA Collection

The Botanica Collection is one of my favorites because of its huge home décor pieces designed with old world fruit botanicals especially painted by hand in the  Italian ceramic pottery capital Umbria. To give you a clearer imagery, each piece is inspired by apothecary vessels. The said vessels are used in the XV and XVI century by pharmacists. Each item in this collection features a pattern known as ‘Scavo distressed’ finish in order to look like it has aged. Following the standard in making Deruta canisters, it is 100% safe for food.

VENEZIANO Collection

What makes the Veneziano collection one of a kind is that it features a simple but timelessly elegant pattern. The central motif of this design is patterned to the color and shape of a rose. With its origins tracing back to the XII century, the design depicts the classic motif of Decoro Veneziano, also known as Venetian Décor. These Deruta canisters are sure to delight your loved one because of its intricate detailing.


These  Italian ceramic pottery Tuscan ceramic canisters are reminiscent of the ancient Raffaellesco pattern. Dating back to the graceful arabesques of the XVI century, the ‘Raffaellesco’ design is inspired by the famous painter Raphael’s famous frescoes, which illustrates a stylized dragon. As history put it, Master architect and painter of the Italian High Renaissance Raphael was known to be the first to have painter the Raffaellesco (also described as a dragon figure) pattern. The story behind the pattern mentions of a benevolent deity named Raffaellesco. The creature is believed to bestow good fortune as well as fair winds to the seagoing travelers during that period.

ARANCI Collection

The Aranci design is a popular Italian ceramic canister collection. To illustrate its beauty, the said design features lemons and oranges accented by arabesque leaves together with a trim of cobalt blue color. With original Majolica pieces from the 15th century as inspiration, this traditional Tuscan design is painstakingly hand-painted by skillful artisans hailing from all sides of Italy. This 100% guaranteed food safe collection includes canisters, table accessories, home décor, bottles, bowls and trays.

#2 Dean and Deluca Spice Rack

Italian ceramic potteryIf there is anything in a kitchen that would inspire me to cook more, this item will be it. This spice rack stands out because it looks like a mad scientist’s props, minus the chemicals of course. The small test tubes are like magic because they store spices in such a fashionable way, don’t you think? Just putting it on the tabletop makes you wnt to look at it all day long. Plus, it also serves as a good conversation piece. 40 large tubes cost $165.00 and each collection includes a bunch of spices like: Cayenne Pepper, Whole Cumin, Fines Herb, Ground Coriander, Whole Allspice, Stick Cinnamon, Fennel Seed, Curry Powder Blend, Whole Cloves and Basil. It is definitely a complete package worth your savings.

#3 The OCD Obsessive Chef Cutting Board

Italian ceramic potteryThis chopping board made its way to my list of faves to give as a present (and to receive as well!) because of how it helps in releasing some of your anxiety. If you look at the Obsessive Chef Cutting Board, you will notice the display featuring the most exact and down to the detail measurements to give you an idea on the size of everything you are cutting. Sounds like a handful, right? But it is really helpful as you can measure your food according to the size you want. It is not only good for those with OCD, the item also suits those who are required to make food at a particular size. This is a good gift for a chef, an aspiring chef, or a person with a small case of OCD. It is made up of natural anti-bacterial bamboo, 9″ x 12″ x .5″ in dimensions and can be hand washed.

#4 Never-Soggy Bowl

Italian ceramic potteryA product under the brand Obol, the Never-Soggy Bowl is an ingenious kitchen helper. Its purpose is pretty straightforward: you keep the dry stuff dry, and the wet stuff just nearby. The item’s one of a kind design has a special space dedicated for placing your cereal while it also has  a lower reservoir for milk or chocolate, whichever you want to pair to your breakfast. The unique bowl with two compartments seems easy to hold, given its textured non-slip grip and rim. It is made in the USA, BPA-free, dish washer safe and made up of unbreakable polypropylene.

#5 Tri-Blade Plastic Spiral Vegetable Slicer

Italian ceramic potteryFrom the trusted brand of Paderno Cuisine, this slicer is a keeper, that I am sure of. Your loved one will like this! It enables you to create spiral cuts as well as fruit or vegetable  noodles a small span of time. Its blade plates and body frame  are built of high-quality,  ABS plastic that is 100% guaranteed to be BPA-free. If you closely look at it, the  blades are made of stainless steel, which really is a plus for kitchen accessories because it makes it easier to clean. Tabs are fitted for easy release, it has four powerful suction feet. Would you believe that this item does not really require any outlet connection or even batteries? With a unit as useful as this minus the added electricity cost, I don’t see any reason why you would not buy your loved one this special gift.

In this slicer, even the most novice in the kitchen can make  spaghetti out of zucchini, ribbon strands made up of cucumber, curly fries from a fresh potato or even long, spiral strands from your favorite green apple. How does it happen? Well, the product comes with the three blades: one shredder blade, a chipper blade (built with large holes) of course, lastly, a very straight blade. There is also one storage compartment under the frame which keeps the other two blades, along with  third blade already in its place once you purchase it.

#6 Pyrex 3-Piece Glass Measuring Cup Set

k2-_8a737465-1f41-4d6d-a02d-a1378c6d5407.v4With this last gift idea I will share with you, let me tell you one thing: you can never go wrong with a three-piece Glass Measuring Cup Set from trusted brand Pyrex. I consider it to be a necessity in every kitchen and it would be a shame if your loved one has not snagged one of these yet. Perfect for everyday use in cooking, the Pyrex brand ensures high-quality items for its customers. It would not be that famous after all had they been making below average products, right? Anything from the Pyrex brand is an investment, so I hope we are clear with that. This is a must-have for moms, so you better go and buy your loved one now.

There you have it. I hope that I have given you help in my own little way as to how you will surprise your loved one this mother’s day. We are so lucky to be surrounded by such women in our lives, and its only proper to give them the gift they deserve, especially on their special day. What ideas do you have for Mother’s day? Share them for others to see and try as well.

Italy and its best places

Deruta: Heart of Italy’s Pottery Industry

DERUTAWhat is one reason you need to visit Deruta, Italy? One word: Ceramics.

Deruta- a majestic stone hill town lays in the central part of Umbria, located in between the cities of Rome and Florence. When you look at it, Deruta seems like an ordinary medieval town along the beautiful countryside. However, once you enter the ancient passageways, you will notice how unique this hamlet truly is, since its sole industry is ceramics-making. As a dedication to Deruta’s thriving tradition for the art, approximately two hundred stores as well as workshops are established there. Additionally, a Ceramics Museum and a school for Ceramic Arts were built to recognize the ceramic industry which first surfaced in Deruta centuries ago.

Known as Majolica, the first pottery pieces were brought into Italy by the Spaniards hailing from a place called ‘Majorca,’ hence the name. It was popularized in Italy by travelling merchants, which then spread quickly all throughout the country. You can even see the Moorish designs still noticeable in most of the designs.

Thanks to its strategic location along the natural clay deposit-rich Tiber, Deruta rose as an artisan town. Deruta flourished in its ceramic artform industry during the Renaissance era, given that it was Italy’s main manufacturer of Majolica pieces. As a testament t its success, designs which are well-known during that period still exists up to now. Such hand-painted pieces were made with high-attention to detail, complimented by decorative and vibrant colors.

On the contrary, Deruta’s origins remain a little bit unclear. As witnessed by the fortified castle, Deruta was in between Perugia and Todi. Deruta finally had its own constitution in the thirteenth century. Things were setting off fine until the plague wiped out many inhabitants of Deruta, during the second half of the 1400s. With the small town aligning against the Pope, they were met with a negative response, suffering devastation and sacks. The event was also called the Salt war. Perugia was subdued by the Papal States, giving Deruta a much needed peace. Why you ask? Because along with the peaceful ambience came the good skills to arise. Also in this time that the ceramics industry boomed, and a peak for orders was seen for the first time.

deruta  italyOnce you grace the town of Deruta by way of porta San Michele, old furnaces will be the first things you’ll see. Overlooking Piazza Biordo Michelotti is Sant’ Arcangelo, a Romanesque church. On the opposite side of the Piazza is a fountain of a polygonal shape, tracing its origin way back 1948. See, Deruta is really an old town with Piazza Biordo Michelotti dating back to 1300. It houses 1848 Piazza dei Consoli as well as rare artifacts from the Neolithic and Etruscan times.

While you are in Deruta, why not visit the Art Gallery and the Museum of Ceramics? There you can marvel at various and very important painting collections like in the hospital of San Giacomo, from the churches of Sant’Antonio, as well as in San Francesco. You will be impressed at the list of artists who have their masterpieces there, including: Alunno, Baciccio, Stendardo, Amorosi, Fiorenzo di Lorenzo and Guido Reni. You can actually look through century-old paintings here, to boot.

Opposite the Town Hall, you will then get to see the church of San Francesco, which is Gothic in its truest sense. The interiors are lovely! If you go down the narrow Via Mastro Giorgo, you cansee the chrch of Sant’ Antonio. The church shelters and maintains priceless important frescoes by Gian Battista Caporali and Bartolomeo.

When you go to the Piazza Cavour, you will see the Madonna del Divino also known by most as Madonna of Cerasa. Built in 1601, it is highly possible for you to see a small church while you pass by Via Tiberina. The moment you see the adorable church, you will find out that adorning the façade are gorgeous and timeless majolica tiles.  

Madonna del Divino Amore is seen at the center of the church, which is presently dubbed as  Madonna of Cerasa. Through the roads of Via Tiberina you’ll pass across the little church of Madonna delle Piagge built in 1601. Close by is a museum dedicated solely for ceramics, with all its history and different kinds. Now isn’t that great? Traveling a foreign country with your favorite hobby as their main industry is like hitting two birds with one stone.

deruta pottery italyWith Deruta housing dozens of family-owned workshops and studios related to pottery, no wonder the industry continues for such a long time since it is passed to generation after generation. With tiny “factories” generating jobs for local artisans, the tourism industry of the place might also be booming. The artisans painstakingly paint the patterns by hand, with sizes ranging from a small butter dish to huge ornate wall plates as well as garden ceramic stables. Adding the art, culture, food and attitude of the people, all the money spent for travelling with always be worth it.  

An upper and lower town divides Deruta, comprising the non-descript modern buildings lined up across Via Tiberina, the lower town with retail stores and showrooms along with the older and more historic part of Deruta which is located on the upper portion of the town. Similarly, the streets are teeming with shops where you can even watch the painters working their canvass some magic.

With most businesses made up of families, no wonder old and classic designs still survive like the ricco deruta, rafaellesco combined  with other modern designs. Unfortunate news though for the hardworking artists, since their designs are not protected there from people willing to freely borrow the design.

As for your future travel plans with the people you lovemost or as a solo traveler, why not give Deruta a chance?  It’s for sure a nice ride to be in, as you will see the beauty of the town unfolding within your eyes.    

Italian Culture

Italian Customs, Facts and Traditions

ItalianItalian culture was influenced by arts, architecture, family, food and music. Italian culture has flourished for centuries.

Overview in Italian customs and traditions:

 Population of Italy

 Did you know that 96 percent of Italian population is made up of people purely Italian. Italo-Albanian, German, Austrian, North African Arab, Albanian and other European groups fill out the remaining population.


Italian is the official language of Italy. Ninety percent of people in Italy is speaking Italian as their native language. Other dialects spoken in Italy are Friulian, Neapolitan, Sardinian, Ligurian, Sicilian, Venetian, Calabrian and Piedmontese. Milan is using Milanese language. Other Italians speak other languages including Babarian, Albanian, Cimbrian, Corsican, Catalan, French, Croatian, Greek, German, Walser and Slovenian.

Family in Italy

According to expert family and marriage therapist, family is an extremely essential value in Italian culture. The family solidarity is focused in their own family and their extended family.


Roman Catholicism is the major religion in Italy. It is actually not surprising as Vatican is found in the center of Italy.  Ninety percent of the population are Catholic.

Arts in Italy

ItalianItaly is very famous for its contribution in arts, music and architecture. Actually, when it comes to art, all I can think of its origin is Italy. Thus, many form of arts are available in Italy. Italy is home for different world’s famous iconic structure including  the Leaning Tower of Pisa and Colosseum.

Italian Cuisine

ItalianPasta! Yes, when it comes to food. Italy is known for its pasta. I just read an article online that each of the cities or places in Italy offer its own version of Italian pasta.

Italy is undeniably one of the country that has influenced other countries in different aspects. For me, Italy has brought civilization to some parts of the world. Italy is really very rich in culture, tradition and customs.

Italy and its best places

Consider These Places When You Travel To Italy

Italy is my dream land. I mean I really wanted to travel the Italy from within its little towns to big and famous cities. Let’s have countdown to some of the places I really wanted to go to and have a picture perfect.

  1. Leaning Tower of Pisa – This is one of the famous landmark in Italy. This is located in the city of Pisa, Italy. People loved to go to this place and post for picture. It’s bizarre position which was unintended according to authorities add more magic to the amazing architectural icon.Pisa  Italy
  2. Gondola in Venice – Who would not want to go and experience traveling the city with the use of gondolas? Gondolas are those boats used by people as means of transportation in the Great Canal of Venice.Get away from the buzzing and bustle of your town with an unwinding gondola ride at the Venetian Lagoon. Gondola  Venice
  3. Vatican City – People, especially the religious and Catholic persons would really wish to go to the main or headquarter of Roman Catholic Church. I want to participate in a mass wherein The Pope will lead it. Dream checklist!vatican city
  4. Cinque Terre, Italy – This famous place is a string of vintage colorful houses in the Italian Riviera coastline. Cinque Terre Italy
  5. Bergamo, Italy -And for artistic individuals, you will definitely love the place of Bergamo. Bergamo is a city known for baptisteries, art, music, museums and culture. Bergamo ItalyActually, there’s a lot more, I believe and you can actually see that in one  of my featured pages on top. But, I only know these amazing places for now, maybe I’ll ask Big G for more info. You can actually now use internet for more info, like me.  So, if you have any amazing places in Italy you can recommend or know, we can discuss and feature in here. I love to hear it from you. Feel free to comment and share it with me.
Travel tips

Little Ways To Help You Save Money For Traveling

italy travel

Let’s have an exercise. Tally all your expenses in a sheet of paper, home rents, utility bill, celphone bill, school payment etc.

Then write as well your discretionary spending. This is the money you spend on your food, drinks, shopping, night outs and other similar spending.

And all of that add up to a large sum of money. Yes. We all thought these small expenses could end up to that large sum of money. Experts in finance call that “phantom expenses”.

Well, you might be asking why I discuss it. But, this is actually very important in traveling. We need money to travel and same with we can’t travel without money. Thus, we need to cut those unnecessary spending or expenses in order to get to your dream land and as for me, in Italy!

You’re lucky enough as I will be sharing with you tips and creative ways how to cut expenses and save money to get on the road of traveling:

italyCut the Starbucks coffee – You really love Starbucks, right? Well, they too love your money. You may not notice it but it does drain your bank account with that daily expense. To save money, brew yourself a coffee or drink a tea, in this way, it is more healthier and budget-friendly.

italy foodCook your own food – In this modern day, everything is fast and instant. I truly understand that you don’t have time to prepare your own meals but trust me, it’s just very quick especially is you’re just cooking for yourself. You know what? I’ve tried that. It has benefits too. Since I am doing the cooking, I can make sure that everything was clean, properly prepared and is healthy as I can choose it personally. Try giving up on eating meals on restaurants at least twice a week and see how much money you can save.

travel in italyStop drinking- Alcohol is very expensive. If you cannot stop this habit, at least limit it and see how much money you can earn. Put those on your savings account.

traveling in italyQuit smoking – Smoking kills your dream travel, money and even yourself. You still want to travel around the world, right? Then, quit smoking. You’ll be healthier and richer- because instead of buying a stick of cigar, put this on your piggy bank.