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Franky in New York

The Beautiful Life

Welcome back to our new issue! Summer has officially started, and with it the ritual of vacation planning. Still looking for inspiration, better if about some unconventional destinations? We've got you covered. Franky has asked his BFFs, who happen to also be travel planners and bloggers: Cassandra Santoro from Travel Italian Style, Ilene Modica from Our Italian Journey, and Karen La Rosa from La Rosa Works Sicily will tip your Italian not-so-traditional trip.

Also, would you fancy upgrading your vacation to a real Tuscan experience? Then check our new partner, Siena Experience Italian Hub: an educational hub in the heart of an historic building in Siena offering courses, experiential workshops, activities, and field trips. 

Italy is waiting for you... all you have to do is plan your unconventional journey!
What do you think about when you think about vacations? Total lack of errands to run and things to do? Well, ancient Romans did the same. The Italian word "vacanza" (vah-kà-nzah) comes from the Latin verb "vacàre" which means "to be empty". Already in ancient Rome, the absence of work or duties meant being on vacation: human beings haven't changed that much in the end...
Have you ever considered experiencing Italy for something beyond just a vacation? And, if so, can you imagine anything more enthralling than living it in Siena, in the heart of Tuscany? You do not have to wait any longer: Siena Experience Italian Hub ( is there for you, with an impressive array of possibilities. And Franky in New York is more than happy to partner with this proactive team run by two energetic, 100 percent senesi ladies: the Director Barbara Latini and the Hospitality, Marketing and Tourism manager Eva Pratesi.  

In a medieval building overlooking the concave Piazza del Campo, the hub organizes active language learning courses, workshops, networking with the locals, and customized experiences. "Don't just think about traditional wine or cheese tasting," underlines the Director of the hub Barbara Latini. "Our workshops are various and mostly unconventional. Of course we offer visits to the local artisans shops, but also brief intensive classes of canto lirico (aka how to learn singing the opera) run by the Scuola Italiana di Canto. And also visits to the artists who paint the tapestries for the Palio, urban trekking trails around one of the most beautiful and well preserved medieval cities in the world, workshops of gold-ground medieval painting, family tours to 'become children again' in our beautiful town." 
One of the top moments, needless to say, is the Palio. On this occasion, this year on Saturday, July 2, Siena Experience Italian Hub rises and shines, offering one of the most stunning views on Piazza del Campo: a series of windows directly overlooking the pitch from where you can enjoy the race in any details - minus the crammed square.

Wanna find out more? Check Siena Experience Italian Hub website and follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. Summer Experience is in full bloom...
Our Trip Tippers Squad
The following tips come from true experts, and the ones of you who have been following us since the very first beginning know them well. A big big thanks to Cassandra Santoro, founder and CEO at Travel Italian Style (, Karen La Rosa from La RosaWorks Sicily Tours (, and Ilene & Gary Modica from Our Italian Journey (

Beside tipping your trip, our friends are at work on new projects. Cassandra is spending her second consecutive year in Italy, looking for new itineraries and local activities to spotlight, Karen has just got back to Sicily and is working on a new series of tours, Ilene and Gary are almost done with the second book of their series "Our Italian Journey". Check on their websites to find more details about the above destinations.

Pack your stuff, it's travel time...
Less famous than Bolzano, this little town is a perfect base to explore Trentino Alto Adige - aka South Tyrol. Go hiking or rent a bike, and you will be puzzled by how vast an array of choices you'll have. Informations, and inspirations, at 
"Younger sister" of Trieste, Udine is perched on the far northeastern corner of Italy, squeezed between the Alps and the Adriatic Sea. Quiet and elegant, it is definitely worth a visit - if not being your base to explore Friuli Venezia Giulia and Veneto. Find more at
Have you ever been to Padova, or have you just skipped it going straight to Venice? If so, you have missed quite a lot of remarkable things to see, starting with Prato della Valle, the biggest square in Europe. More ideas also at
Not only the beach, but also a stunning medieval town, and amazing trekking trails. Welcome to Chiavari, a tiny hidden gem on the Tigullio Gulf not far from Genova and the Cinque Terre. To know more, either follow our friends or go to
Green Umbria is the precious heart of Italy, full of medieval towns that inspire relaxation and reward their visitors with unforgettable experiences. Spoleto makes no exception, especially if you manage to be there during the Festival dei Due Mondi (June 24 - July 10). More info at
Its Sassi, the houses carved in stones, have been its shame for a long time. Now they are its pride, and one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites. Matera is definitely worth at least a one day-stop on your trip: find out more at
If you are looking for some quieter vibes, yet want to have an authentic Amalfitana experience, this is the place. Cetara is a tiny fishing village, featured by the late chef Anthony Bourdain: give it a shot, at least to try their famed alici, the local anchovies. More tips at
Shining in white limestone, this little town far from mass tourism is a perfect base to visit Puglia. The Romanesque Cathedral and the Benedictine Monastery are unmissable. Some other info at
On the southeastern Sicilian coast, Selinunte hosts the vastest archeological site in Europe. Here you can retrace 2,500 years of history: the temples and the museum really are worth a visit. You can get more information at or discover the amazing trip Ilene and Gary did.
This tiny village in the province of Catania is at the heart of the production of olives, almonds, citrus fruits, and excellent table grapes. Quiet and typical, is a great base to visit Ragusa, Noto, Siracusa, and Taormina: they all are within less than two hours driving.
In awe with cheese? Then you have to check this. There's a "cheese road" in Sicily, winding through tiny villages and caseifici (cheese farms). Castronovo di Sicilia is about 50 kilometers southeast of Palermo: there you can start your trip tasting fresh ricotta made with sheep or goat milk, or even La Tuma Persa (the lost cheese).
That Sicilian wines are great is no news, but if you are planning a trip to Sicily you may want to visit the exact places they come from. On the northern side of Mount Etna there's Linguaglossa, the ideal starting point for touring wineries and - why not - raise a toast to this amazing land while enjoying the landscape.
After cheese and wine, why not taste the famed Sicilian olives and olive oil? Castelvetrano, in the Belice Valley, province of Trapani, is the place to be. Many farms are still family run, and they are just waiting for you to go and discover what the real extra virgin olive oil tastes like. Just a few days, and we promise you'll become true connoisseurs.
Each Story Needs to Be Told

Your story needs to be told, and so does your loved ones’. Now you have the opportunity of making it count. Be part of our new project, the Italian American Who’s Who: the first collection ever of all the Italian American stories. A massive loving tribute to the community and a way to preserve your family’s memory for future generations. This is the first comprehensive recognition to a community that has left such an undeniable mark in this country, no matter the original background. And it’s not just about legacy: Who’s Who will also help in reconnecting family members and friends who have lost touch over the years and in expanding one’s own network.


One for the Road

Stars have inspired and guided her for a whole life. Margherita Hack, the Florentine astronomer famous all over the world, was born 100 years ago. To celebrate her and her huge contribution to science, Italy Postal Service has created a commemorative stamp. 

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