Manca l’Italia (Missing Italy)

Today, I’m going to stray from my chronological story about finding, purchasing, furnishing and vacationing in my Italian villa.

It has been six months since our return from my most recent trip to my beloved Italy and I am manifesting all of the symptoms of Italia-itis:

  • Thinking constantly of Italy
  • Talking constantly about Italy
  • Suddenly speaking in Italian to innocent bystanders
  • Waking up with the Italians  . . . this has been interesting
  • Cooking authentic Italian dishes in authentic style (no Americanized food here)

Beware, should you visit me during dire “manca l’Italia” times, you may be subjected to lengthy sessions of viewing my many photos or subject to listening to our ramblings of all things Italia. My apologies to anyone I may have bored. . . but I ask for leniency, as this is a documented illness. You can leave Italy, but Italy never, ever leaves you!

Most recently, I have really, really been missing the real Italian cooking. I don’t care how many “Italian” restaurants you may dine at here in the states, you will be hard pressed to find a truly authentic one. There are a few, and you will find in almost every case, they are currently owned by someone who recently immigrated directly from Italy. However, the short list is further limited by removal of the above restaurants who have modified their recipes to please Americans, rendering their offerings less than authentic.

My response to this has been to cook the real Italian meals I crave. Recently, I enjoyed a meal of Spaghetti con Vongole and Tiramisu, both authentic and totally homemade – right down to the spaghetti – ask my friends John Iannotti, whose job was to separate the individual spaghetti strands and place them on the drying racks and Jean Iannotti, whose job was to chop and prepare the very many ingredients for the vongole sauce. These poor innocent victims who were my guests at Villa del Mare in Florida had absolutely no idea they were stepping into a Culinary Studio Experience that required their participation!

Here is the process and results of the Villa del Mare Culinary Studio Experience:

Fun was had by all! And let me just say YUM!!

I will be happy to share my recipes for the pasta, vongole, tiramisu and limoncello martini with you for your enjoyment (for free). Just comment below with your email address and which recipes you would like! I still have a “day job” . . .who could afford to buy the pasta making apparatus without one? . . . so please allow about a week to receive the recipes.



(Jo Oxley)


11 thoughts on “Manca l’Italia (Missing Italy)

  1. Conni Andrews

    Limoncello martini – YAY! I don’t know why you need to mix the Limoncello with anything other than a couple of cubes of ice but, you’ve got my interest. Just add vodka? (hey, there’s 3 words that could go with anything)

    Side note – I’m heading to Cuba on Monday, 3/20/17. It’s a cultural trip with Road Scholar.
    I want to experience Cuba before it becomes the next Miami Beach!
    Perhaps we should plan a visit together to share stories and photos.
    Best to you, Conni

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ellen Chapman

    I just wanted you to know how much I enjoy your posts. I often wonder how it is to blog and not know if people are even listening. Thank you. Up here near Tallahassee a few of us have the it-language disease and meet weekly for conversation and fun. Recently we have been playing monopoly in Italian and before that scrabble (scarabeo).


    1. Hi Ellen,
      Thank you so much for your comment and letting me know you’re there and care!! You are correct, it is a bit strange not to know whether anyone even read your blogs much less appreciates them. Sometimes it feels like the movie Julie and Julia where she says “hello, is anyone out there? Are you listening??” My husband and I just moved to Florida a year ago. This year we have met many many Italian families that came over to directly from Italy themselves. They live right here in our neighborhood. We are lucky enough that when we go to the pool over lunch we have Italians to speak Italian to! They also have promised to teach us some Italian car games and we’re very excited about it!


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