Some things I found strange the first time I went to Italy

Last week Caterina, PocketCultures contributor from Italy, wrote about some things she found strange when she lived in England. As an English person who has spent a lot of time in Italy (I am married to an Italian!) I thought it would be fun to look at it the other way round – things I did not expect when I visited Italy.

Italian food is famous in many countries around the world, and one of the most famous Italian dishes in Britain is Spaghetti Bolognese. Or so I thought. It turns out in Italy each sauce is normally combined with a particular shape of pasta – spaghetti with clams, penne with arrabiata (spicy tomato), … Bolognese sauce, or ragu as it’s usually called in Italy, is rarely served with spaghetti.

Italian breakfast

And whilst we’re on the topic of food, let’s talk about breakfast. The typical Italian breakfast in a bar is a cappuccino with a ‘pasta’ – a croissant, doughnut or other pastry. As Caterina wrote, it’s very different to the traditional breakfast served in British cafes. At home Italians might eat biscuits, or even a piece of cake, to go with their coffee. I have to admit I was surprised – In England we might eat a couple of biscuits mid-afternoon, but only as a treat, and definitely not as a meal.


January 30, 2013 Comments disabled

Picture Postcards: Cowboy boots in Texas

This week’s clothing photo has been sent to us by our contributing editor Ana. She says these boots were spotted in Sheplers Western Store in Texas, USA.

December 25, 2011 Comments disabled

Picture Postcards: Street fashion in Argentina

Bundled up

Our contributing editor, Ana, has sent us these photos of the clothes she wears when she is out and about in Argentina in the winter. Thanks, Ana. Looking good!

Buenos Aires

Read more:
Holiday Season in Argentina
Camila O’Gorman, the Romantic Heroine of Argentina
Students Day and Spring Celebrations in Argentina

December 13, 2011 2 comments

Picture Postcards: Clothing in Minorca

Happy December!

This month we are looking at clothing around the world on Picture Postcards. Our contributor, Marta from Spain, has sent in this photo by Joana Muñoz of a shoe from Minorca. She says; “It’s a typical shoe from Minorca (Balearic Islands) called abarca in Spanish, avarca in Catalan, made from recycled tyres and leather. Seen throughout Spain during the hot and long summer holidays.” 


See more:
Horchata de Chufa from Spain
Funny Photo from Spain 
Graffiti in Granada, Spain 

December 4, 2011 1 comment

An Okinawan Wedding

Okinawa is a chain of islands forming Japan’s southernmost Prefecture. The islands were once an independent nation known as the Ryukyu Kingdom. Some traditions and cultural events seen in Okinawa would seem foreign, even to other citizens of Japan. The Okinawan Wedding is one of them.

This Photo Essay shows some of the events that take place during the typical Ryukyu Wedding. Not shown are the 300-500 guests filling the Wedding Hall. They are seated at tables drinking and dining.

The Typical Ryukyu Wedding

Imagine a formal marriage ceremony, in any western country, being conducted at the wedding reception. Then, add a dinner theater with floor shows, dancers and live bands and keep it lively for a few hours.

The performers, on stage, have rehearsed for months. They are all friends, family, classmates, neighbors or coworkers of the bride and groom. They are good. They could be part of a Las Vegas production.

Each photo in this essay includes the time it was taken. This should give you a sense of timing and what takes place, as the bride and groom go through more than a few changes of attire during the conduct of an Okinawan Wedding Ceremony.

Okinawan Wedding Attire


March 2, 2011 18 comments

How to dress for trendy Rio

Rio de Janeiro (15)

I pack for a trip to Rio to celebrate my birthday. In my bag, nothing like the regular clothes I usually wear in my daily routine. It is more lightweight, with trendy accessories. More intense colors are needed for the perfect looks for the day at the beach and night at Lapa, a place of bohemians. I don’t want to look like a serious girl from Brasilia, but a cool tourist visiting the ebullient city of the Christ the Reedemer.


February 25, 2011 3 comments