Direct from Italy! Follow the adventures of two Americans living and running a villa in Puglia, Italy, and learn all about Italian the culture, people, food and fun. Every week, well share our lives with you and what life in Italy is really like especially for two Americans. From Italian recipes to travel in Italy to interviews with others who share the same Italian spirit, well cover it all. So come along for the ride and discover that life is better when you put a little Italian into it.


  • 045: Non Stereotypical Italian Music with Michael Hynes

    045: Non Stereotypical Italian Music with Michael Hynes

    05/09/2016 Duración: 50min

    At Villa Cappelli, we often surround ourselves with stereotypical Italian music like pizzica or Neopolitan classics, but when guest Michael Hynes visited, we were entertained with the likes of Elton John, Billy Joel and more!  It was another magical moment with our guests, and hopefully, the podcast captures even just a little bit of that. Topics we cover: How guests surprise us with their talents here at Villa Cappelli, including our latest guest from Australia, Michael Hynes How Steven has never tried Vegemite What Vegemite is actually like How we "discovered" Michael talent at the piano How Michael can easily memorize the songs, but is slower in memorizing the lyrics Paul's favorite song from his Catholic Confirmation (and yes, he really does sing in during the episode) Michael is a human jukebox, knowing over 500 songs!!! How Steven couldn't memorize a song for the life of him during high school band Michael doesn't consider himself a genius, but the writers of the songs are the geniuses How we got our p

  • 044: The Amalfi Coastline

    044: The Amalfi Coastline

    25/07/2016 Duración: 50min

    Join us on a trip to the Amalfi Coastline, arguably one of the most beautiful places in the world. Learn what we think were definitely the highlights you shouldn't miss. Topics we cover: It was Paul's birthday recently. So we talk about how you used to not be able to sing Happy Birthday on any television show or movie without paying royalties. Though we are not sure that is true any more. Anyone know for sure? Let us know in the comments. How we made very good time traveling from Villa Cappelli to Amafi, even taking a scenic tour How inexpensive it can be to rent a car in Italy, especially if you are an Italian citizen AutoEurope is the site Paul used to rent the car Paul thinks you should get an international license when coming to Italy and renting a car. Here's one site for that. How we met our friend ???? there to took us all around. It always helps to find a local who can show you around. The driving conditions in Amafi The Emerald Grotto The amazing ceramics shop we visited right across from the caves

  • 043: Eat Happy with Anna Vocino

    043: Eat Happy with Anna Vocino

    15/07/2016 Duración: 41min

    Anna joins us again for another fun podcast, featuring an amazing day of food shopping with Paul, a delicious lunch, and a fun discussion about her new cookbook Eat Happy. Topics we cover: How Anna's last name is ironic. It translates to "little voice" yet she is a voice over talent. Anna's mission to find stracciatella (more info below) How cheese shops are call caseificio and why The cheese grater also has name based on a similar base The local dialect is influencedd by the different cultures that have all been in the area and thus is also a history of the area The two biggest influences to the local Terlizzi dialect are French and Arabic How areas near Lecce have a more Greek influenced dialect How the local dialects were all spoken languages, no written languages What Paul and Anna did all day, shopping and enjoying Aperol Spritz (recipe here) How it is mandatory to have a gluten-free section in Italian supermarkets Our lunch, which included steamed mussels, and Paul's "recipe" for the mussels Our lunch

  • 042: Orecchiette with broccoli rabe

    042: Orecchiette with broccoli rabe

    26/06/2016 Duración: 38min

    Orecchiette with broccoli rabe is one of the signature dishes in Puglia. In this podcast, Paul and I are joined by Anna Vocino as we talk all about this amazing dish. Topics we cover: How long it's been since Anna's last visit in person How Paul and I are getting married now that gay marriage is recognized in Italy The different versions and spelling so broccoli rabe For the record, it's spelled rabe, or raab, and sometimes called rapini. In Puglia, it's called cime di rape (roughly translate to turnip tops) We discuss more of the broccoli rabe characteristics, which I cover more in detail below In northern Italy, they will throw away the little "heads" of the broccoli rabe and eat only the leaves In some places in southern Italy, they will throw away the leaves and each only the "heads" We eat everything What exactly caper berries are and where they come from Essentially, a caper is a small bud on a caper bush. You pick these buds before they flower and preserve them to have capers If you don't pick t

  • 041: Fighting big drug companies with Celebrity Trainer Vinnie Tortorich

    041: Fighting big drug companies with Celebrity Trainer Vinnie Tortorich

    13/06/2016 Duración: 01h05min

    We talk with Italian-American trainer to the stars, Vinnie Tortorich, about his life growing up in an Italian family in Louisiana, his NSNG lifestyle and his new Pure Vitamin Club. WARNING: This episode is not family friendly. Any young ones should probably not listen. A little intro to Vinnie: He's Hollywood's go-to guy when it comes to health and fitness. A true celebrity fitness trainer. (He's the guy training all those celebrities to look good on film and television) He's also the host of a hugely successful podcast with Anna Vocino where he dishes out health and fitness advice. He created the No Sugar, No Grain (NSNG) movement and thereby simplified healthy eating in one fell swoop. He has written a best selling fitness book called Fitness Confidential, which to give you a quick reader's digest of the book, talks about how Vinnie beat cancer many years ago and along the way gives you an inside look at the corrupt world of fitness and fitness products. The book, as of this recording, has 1078 reviews on A

  • 040: Ghosts and Gay Weddings in Italy

    040: Ghosts and Gay Weddings in Italy

    03/06/2016 Duración: 30min

    After and short break, we are back with a new podcast covering everything from our haunted villa in Puglia to our first gay wedding in Italy at Villa Cappelli. Here are some of the topics we cover: How our first guest of the season, Bud and Pam, where actually fans of the podcast Out guests that week, Penelope and Whitney, who didn't know Bud and Pam, actually ended not only being from the same town but living very near each other. Both Bud and Whitney were former military and Bud actually uses to work for Whitney's cousin Why Steven thinks the villa is magic, bringing the right people to the villa whenever we need them, including: A wrist surgeon after I broke my wrist A chef who directly me to a program for our FDA inspection Elizabeth (from episode 15 here: connecting with her family And the one I forgot on the podcast, a trademark lawyer when we were having a trademark dispute with another another oil producer The study of grounding and why we think people sle

  • 039: One of the best authentic Italian meals ever

    039: One of the best authentic Italian meals ever

    30/04/2016 Duración: 17min

    Antichi Sopori is definitely serves one of the best authentic Italian meals ever — really one of the best meals ever period. And, to be perfectly honest, I use the word "authentic" mostly for Google. Because, while these dishes are spectacular, the chef takes traditional Italian foods and refines and redefines them to create totally original tasty little morsels.  In other words, while the dishes could have originally come from your grandmother's kitchen, these particular dishes are probably something no Italian grandmother would make.  Certainly not Mama Cappelli. A majority of their ingredients for each dish come from their large garden a few meters away from the restaurant.  So it is a nice, heavy vegetarian meal (until you get to the meat course, of course). The head chef, Pietro Zito, couldn't be a nicer guy and his staff really is top quality.  The waiters know everything about the menu and every dish, while also serving everything with a flourish and a smile. Hopefully the pictures and descriptions alo

  • 038: Is there Italian food without pasta?

    038: Is there Italian food without pasta?

    22/04/2016 Duración: 37min

    While that is a bit sacrilegious to talk about Italian food without pasta, it can be done. And rather easily. Anna Vocino, joins us for the second part of her interview where we talking making "noodles" from vegetables and how to eat Italian food without eating sugar or grains. Topics we cover: How Paul has been foraging for wild asparagus this spring What wild asparagus is like How we have been preparing them, including a frittata, a mussel and asparagus frittata, an asparagus and shrimp pasta sauce, a pizza rustica with asparagus How artichokes are so much bigger in the United States than in Italy Italians eat so much more seasonably Since Americans haven't really grown up with it, they have a hard time even knowing what's in season Spiralizing vegetables My spiralizer reviews, based on my experience and hearing from others I have this spiralizer. The good: it's cheaper and smaller so it fits easily in a drawer. The bad: it's not so easy to use and sometimes I feel just chopping the vegetables extra fine

  • 037: Eating gluten-free in Italy with Anna Vocino

    037: Eating gluten-free in Italy with Anna Vocino

    16/04/2016 Duración: 28min

    While Italy is known as the land of pasta and pizza, it is actually very easy to avoid gluten here. Italians are very aware of celiac disease and even have entire grocery store aisles full of gluten-free products. Anna Vocino, a great friend to Villa Cappelli,  the voice at the start of every podcast, and a celiac herself, joins us to talk about her experiences visiting Italy. Topics we cover: Anna's stay at Villa Cappelli several years ago Her aunt and uncle renewing their wedding vows in a church (Chiesa di Santa Maria di Cesano) from 1055 A.D. Anna and another woman, a Wiccan, helped officiated the renewals in a Catholic church. Thank goodness for language barriers! How Anna's daughter sang "Haulalula" at the ceremony Paul experience with New Kids on the Block Anna's experience watching us on The Pitch Anna and Paul's advice to young people in advertising or acting Woody Allen's movie Bananas How Anna and I don't eat sugar or grains Anna's diagnosis as a celiac and how she's dealt with it How you can find

  • 036: Sun-Dried Tomato Spread

    036: Sun-Dried Tomato Spread

    10/04/2016 Duración: 14min

    Sun-Dried Tomato Spread is probably a product you're not very familiar with, mainly because, as far as we know, we're one of the few people who make it. So we're making a quick episode, as requested by listeners, to explain this product. We'll explain exactly what it is, why you might want to use it, and how to use it. We go into more depth in the podcast, but below are some show notes as well. What is Sun-Dried Tomato Spread? Sun-dried tomatoes blended with extra virgin olive oil and spices to create a product that's somewhere between a ketchup and a paste. We use those mainly just a reference so you know a bit of the taste and consistency of the spread. It naturally a tiny bit sweet due to the concentration of the tomotoes and it is thick like a tomato paste but has much more flavor than just a paste.   Why use it? Lycopene. Sun-dried tomatoes are said to provide the most lycopene, gram per gram, than any other food and have 20 times more lycopene than fresh tomatoes. Plus, the spreads are made with extra

  • 035: Italian Superstitions  Expat Life with Rick Zullo

    035: Italian Superstitions & Expat Life with Rick Zullo

    31/03/2016 Duración: 45min

    Italian superstitions While Italian superstitions aren't any crazier than any other country's, but they are interesting for someone who didn't grow up with them. We're talking with Rick Zullo today who wrote about a lot of these on his blog which talks about his expat experiences throughout Italy. Topics we cover with Rick: Rick's Italian heritage The Italian-American ghettos created by Italian immigrants in the U.S. How these ghettos kept some traditions more strict than even in Italy Where all these ghettos are located, everywhere from New York to Chicago to Lousiana Italian wines How mythology, superstitions and religion mix a lot in Italy Paul's theory on where the tradition of Easter Eggs comes from The worst insult you can say to someone here in the south, Ki Te Murt.  Which by the way in the inspiration for our new line of hot and spicy products. How a lot of these superstitions and traditions are followed with a sense of obligation to family and culture The tradition of first confession and first ho

  • 034: Easter in Italy — Mama Cappellis Easter memories

    034: Easter in Italy — Mama Cappelli's Easter memories

    22/03/2016 Duración: 25min

    Easter in Italy Last year we did a whole podcast covering some of the strange and mysterious customs we've experienced in Italy during holy week. You can find that here: This year, we sat down with Paul's mother so she could tell us how they used to celebrate Easter when she was young. She shares some recipes, memories and laughs. Here's a list of all we talk about: Ragu sauce Connie describes her famous ragu sauce recipe. You'll find that here: No Meatballs! Connie confirms our no meatballs and spaghetti rule the we talked about here:     Stuffed Lamb or Veal Breast I will be following up with a real recipe with pictures and a video here. But here's the recipe as Connie describes it. If you listen, you'll see why we say "recipes are dumb" as no Italian grandmother will ever give you e

  • 033: 19 Great Italian Travel Tips

    033: 19 Great Italian Travel Tips

    12/03/2016 Duración: 42min

    The ol' country is an amazing place to visit, but there's a lot to see and do. So we wanted to provide these easy Italy travel tips for you. While this is not an extensive list by any means, it will give you some basics to help save you time and money when traveling to Italy, and maybe avoid some headaches as well. Topics we cover: First, our new sponsor Sign up and get a free book AND a free 30 day trial membership. Just go to How our last podcast really touched a nerve on the Internet. Listen to that here:   Now, the all important travel tips for Italy 1. Come in the "off-season" Obviously this tip is harder to follow if you're traveling with kids, who are traditionally off in the summer months, but if you can make it during April, May, September, and October, Italy can be a little easier to navigate for a few reasons. It's a lot cooler. July and A

  • 032: Traditional Italian Food — what NOT to do when it comes to Italian food in Italy

    032: Traditional Italian Food — what NOT to do when it comes to Italian food in Italy

    06/03/2016 Duración: 47min

    There are lots of "rules" when it comes to traditional Italian food. And what you may think would be the same for Italian food in the states can be very different than what you'll find in Italy. Here are 14 things to never do when cooking or eating in Italy. Note: We base our conversation a lot off this original blog post: Topics we cover: First, our new sponsor Sign up and get a free book AND a free 30 day trial membership. Just go to The differences between jams and conserves And more on Colpo D'Aria (where I talked about it in this episode):   Now, the all important "don'ts" when it comes to traditional Italian food in Italy. 1. Don't add oil to pasta water Paul and I agree with this one. It's totally not necessary. While your pasta should have salt to flavor the pasta, the oil doesn't serve any purpos

  • 031: Why your Italian food may not be real food

    031: Why your Italian "food" may not be real food

    26/02/2016 Duración: 33min

    Food fraud is rampant, especially when it comes to big food companies. In this episode, we cover a range of fraud in Italian foods, from coffee to "parmasan" cheese to balsamic vinegar to extra virgin olive oil. Discover why the Italian "food" you may be buying may not really be Italian food at all. Topics we cover: Paul's trip to Florida to take care of some of his mother's affairs Our advice when shipping packages to friends and family in Italy Paul's rant about Starbucks, well his rant about the people of Starbucks Why can't women have their wallet ready at the cash register when checking out anywhere? How cashiers ALWAYS ask if you have exact change when checking out anywhere here. How Parmesam "cheese" is not really cheese, but cellulose More on this subject, because it's important. I don't know about you, but I don't really want to eat wood pulp, which is was cellulose if you didn't know. Supposedly it is a safe anti-clumping additive when it is only 2-4% of a product (still sounds gross to me). But

  • 030: Italian cures for the common cold, fact v. fiction

    030: Italian cures for the common cold, fact v. fiction

    19/02/2016 Duración: 25min

    Italians have some amazing home remedies when you're feeling under the weather. These natural cures have been handed down from generation to generation and for good reason. They actually work. I'll attempt to add a little science to the why and also explore a few traditions that probably won't cure any cold, but are practiced nonetheless. Note: I should state I am not a doctor nor do I play one on TV. All of these "remedies" are cures I've discovered while living in Italy and following the advice of older family members. This podcast and show notes pro­vide gen­eral infor­ma­tion and dis­cus­sion about med­i­cine, health, and nutrition.  The words and other con­tent pro­vided in this podcast and show notes, and in any linked mate­ri­als, are not intended and should not be con­strued as med­ical advice. If the listener or reader or any other per­son has a med­ical con­cern, he or she should con­sult with an appropriately-licensed physi­cian or other health care worker. Never dis­re­gard pro­fes­sional med­ical

  • 029: Five of our favorite extra virgin olive oil recipes

    029: Five of our favorite extra virgin olive oil recipes

    11/02/2016 Duración: 21min

      The newest harvest of extra virgin olive oil is in and to celebrate, Steven gives you five amazing recipes where extra virgin olive oil is the star. Villa Cappelli Pinzimonio   Recipe Type: Snack Cuisine: Italian Author: Villa Cappelli Prep time: 15 mins Total time: 15 mins Instead of bread, Italians dip a much healthier alternative— raw, fresh vegetables — into their extra virgin olive oil. Ingredients [url href="" target="_blank"]Villa Cappelli Extra Virgin Olive OIl[/url] Bell peppers Cauliflower Broccoli Fennel Celery Carrots Radishes Salt and Pepper Vinegar (optional) Instructions There really is no set "recipe." Just prepare a big plate of fresh vegetables cut into strips or pieces for dipping. Serve with a bowl of Villa Cappelli Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Have some vinegar (any kind really) and some Villa Cappelli 100% Italian Sea Salt on hand if anyone wants to add a little extra flair to

  • 028: Terlizzi — a foodie paradise

    028: Terlizzi — a foodie paradise

    05/02/2016 Duración: 39min

    From amazing butchers to delicious cheeses to insanely fresh fruit and vegetables, you'll find it all in Terlizzi, Italy.  Being our "hometown," it holds a special place in our hearts here at Villa Cappelli. In this episode, we'll take you a short tour of this charming town and what makes it so special — and it's not just the food. Topics we cover: The status of our extra virgin olive oil shipment for this year Whey have to ship our 500 mL bottle's labels all the way from Japan What people call their "country homes" here in Italy The national graffiti contest featured as your enter Terlizzi How Italians always manage to save money How Terlizzi is known as the city of flowers, being the largest fresh cut flower producer in all of Italy The rules of the Living Villa Cappelli drinking game: every time Paul corrects Steven, you have to take a drink every time Paul contradicts himself, you have to chug your whole drink Terlizzi is also known for its ceramics, which we use for some our extra virgin olive oil H

  • 027: Is an Italian womans place only in the kitchen?

    027: Is an Italian woman's place only in the kitchen?

    20/01/2016 Duración: 32min

    What role do Italian women play in their society? How about American women? Does it differ? Joe and Andrea Lathe-Vitale return for the second part of our sit down with them around the kitchen table. Things got a little political and we discussed a bit how we have seen women's places in Italian culture and society.   Topics we cover: A couple of reasons homes stay in families for so long How Italy does not let anyone go by the wayside — they take care of you How there is only one homeless person in all of Terlizzi Why the women do not want the men to do any housework, according to Paul How women didn't want Steven to help clear the table How Italians always figured out a way to put away money Paul's memory of Christmas Clubs How a lot of men from Southern Italy were icemen in the summer and home heating oil in the winter What jobs were listed on the records for Andrea's family How women used to not able to pass down Italian citizenship to their family Pay inequality in America with men v. women How women sti

  • 026: Hot Sauces  Italian Healthcare

    026: Hot Sauces & Italian Healthcare

    08/01/2016 Duración: 30min

    Love spicy food? Want to know what the health care system in Italy is like?   In this, the first of a two part interview, we discuss both topics with Joe and Andrea Lathe-Vitale. These two are making the big move to Italy as well as making their own line of hot sauces. Finally, near the end of the podcast, we get into how the healthcare is here in Italy compared to the U.S. Click here for 5 fun & delicious places to add spice. Topics we cover: How Andrea and Joe are planning on moving to Italy Our common love for hot sauces How they name their products after their cats You'll find their products at Fancy Cat Sauce Co. Joe's favorite pepper Finding the right mix of flavor and heat when it comes to hot sauces Joe and Andrea's visit to the mill The ibuprofen properties of extra virgin olive oil Where I first learned about it in Extra Virginity Why Steven doesn't fear fat (and how he lost 30 lbs. — Be sure to check out Vinnie Tortorich and Anna Vocino's podcast for more info and Vinnie's best-selling book)

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