Image description: Pelmeni

From Russia to Italy: food discoveries from our years abroad

Image description: Two plates of dumplings, on a table. Maga Flores-Trevino—Aosta Valley – Seupa à la valpellinentze (Zuppa alla valpellinzese)   Food in the Aosta Valley, where I spent a big part of my year abroad, is a reflection of the cow-filled, mountainous land situated between France and Switzerland in Northern Italy. Mountain climate and […]

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An Ice-Cream Tour of Vercelli

How likely is it that you’ve heard of Vercelli? It isn’t a village. It’s Wikipedia article puts its 2009 population at 47,720. If you’re lucky enough to have sat (or are cursed enough to be sitting) your Preliminary Examination in English Language and Literature, Early Medieval Literature, c. 650–1350 (you’re definitely part of the in-crowd), […]

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La dolce vita or la dolce morte in the infernal city?

Italy is a rather peculiar place. Its history of sovereign republicanism ensures travelling even for an hour or so becomes a uniquely transformative experience. There is nonetheless, the Italian stereotype. A people united in their attitude to living, loud voices, expressive gestures, echoing laughter and appreciation for carbohydrate-based foods. Inasmuch, perhaps, through a particular set […]

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A postcard from Italy

While the more youthful among you were frantically grappling with the ins and outs of Oxford ‘culture’ (hopefully becoming less and less bewildered every day by regular references to Bridge, Battels, and, perhaps most mystifyingly of all, Banter) – indeed, while the more experienced among you were busy recovering from the transition between three months […]

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