Tasting Life Twice

Author Crystal King muses on life, history, writing and food.

Posts about Viva Italia!:

An Italian Roundup for September

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Crystal King Sep 23, 2016 1:40:23 PM
An Italian Roundup for September

I'm a voracious consumer of information, especially about il mio posto preferito sulla terra (my favorite place on earth), Italia. Why not share all those fun tidbits with my readers? I'm going to start doing these roundups more often. We can dream about la bella vita together. 

Buon Natale!

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Crystal King Dec 25, 2015 9:00:16 AM
Buon Natale!

One of the most well-known Italian Christmas carols outside of the US is Caro Gesu Bambino which means "Dear Baby Jesus." It's a newer carol, dating to about 1960 and one of the earliest American-known singers to cover it was Frankie Avalon. The lyrics are here  (Italian and English) if you are interested, and below, Italian treasure Andrea Bocelli does a beautiful version of the song. Buon Natale my friends! And Buone Feste to those of you who are celebrating other holidays. I wish the best for you and yours this season. 

The Fabulous Kessler Twins

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Crystal King Nov 25, 2015 8:55:27 AM
The Fabulous Kessler Twins

I was watching the Italian station RAI Interational the other day and one of the things that I love about the station is that they have little segments with snippets from variety and music shows over the last 40 years or so. It's a fascinating look at the wacky, beautiful, funny and talented side of Italian performers. One of the things they showed last night was a bit from a show that the Kessler Twins did. The Kesslers hail from Munich and were well known in Europe back in the day, particularly in Germany and Italy. Here's a sample of their awesomeness: 

Rome by Drone!

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Crystal King Apr 9, 2015 1:39:19 PM

I'm not entirely sure what I think about drone technology. It has incredible possibilities and on the flip side, terrifying possibilities. On the incredible side of things, I love that you can be an armchair traveler and have a birdseye view of beautiful places in the world. One of my favorite videos of this sort is this wonderful view of Rome by drone. It makes me feel desperate to be there again, walking the streets where my novel's characters once walked.  httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oTw-kvXS9Sk

Dante and Roberto Benigni - Tutto Dante

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Crystal King Mar 29, 2013 7:58:01 AM
Dante and Roberto Benigni - Tutto Dante

As someone learning Italian, I feel especially fortunate that I live in a city that lets me pick up at least one Italian channel on cable. In this case it's RAI, but not the channels you would see in Italy. Instead it's a sanitized, washed out version for Italian audiences, mostly consisting of Italian game shows, soap operas, calcio (soccer/football depending on where you live), funny variety music shows and a smattering of news. Every once in awhile there is a gem, though, like the show Il Provo Del Cuoco, which is a cooking/cook-off show.

Adorable Italian Ad: Armando's Dream

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Crystal King Mar 24, 2013 8:06:52 PM
Adorable Italian Ad: Armando's Dream

I stumbled across this fantastic advertisement for Grano Armando pasta and I had to share. It's an adorable, beautiful mini-film of sorts, about a young Italian boy with a special dream. The cinematography is wonderful and I love the characters in the film. I think it does the trick--if I saw Grano Armando pasta, I think I'd be pretty inclined to think about buying it.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QfLzvxnazsA

White Smoke and a New Pope

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Crystal King Mar 14, 2013 5:25:58 AM
White Smoke and a New Pope


Unless you've been living under a rock, they chose a new Pope yesterday, Pope Francis I.  I watched this particular conclave with interest, not because I'm Catholic, but because the book I'm currently writing takes place in Renaissance Italy, about a cook who was responsible for feeding several conclaves that had to choose a Pope.  I wrote more about that in a previous blog post.

Italia in Primavera

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Crystal King Aug 22, 2012 5:38:48 PM
Italia in Primavera


The planning has begun! For our tenth anniversary (and for research!!), my husband and I have decided that Italy is definitely in our future for a week or so in the spring. We'll spend some time in Rome for sure, because it is where our heart of hearts reside, but Florence is also on the agenda, with perhaps a stint in Siena for a night.