What is Italy Chronicles?

Italy Chronicles, formerly Blog from Italy, has been chronicling life and goings on in Italy in English since 2005.

Through the years, this site has evolved and is now, perhaps, more a magazine than a blog.  Italy Chronicles covers, amongst many other topics, Italian news in English, and has become an ever growing source of news, analysis and information on many aspects of Italy attracting visitors such as universities, businesses, governments, and even the CIA.

You will find everything here: from news and politics to prosecco, from bunga bunga and Berlusconi to pictures of Italy’s beautiful landscapes and buildings, as well as tips on good Italian wines to try.

If you want to know what life in Italy is really like – beyond the pizza, pasta and mafia stereotypes, then Italy Chronicles is for you.

Articles are sometimes provocative, other times they cover current events in Italy – including the murky Machiavellian world of Italian politics.  You will also find articles on Italy’s incredibly varied cuisine and wines, as well as bits and bobs on Italy’s love affair with cars and motorbikes.

Although Italy is a fascinating country and has plenty going for it, but the Boot has its darker sides too.  Yes, there are articles on Italy’s infamous criminal organization – the mafia.

Good Italy is constantly at battle with bad Italy, and the struggle is far from over, as you will discover if you come here regularly or if you sign up for Italy Chronicles’ weekly digests so you’ll never miss a post again – you can subscribe here

For regular bite-sized updates on Italy, join nearly 24,000 people who follow and interact on Italy Chronicles’ complimentary Twitter account: @newsfromitaly

Italy Chronicles is an independent privately run publication which is not affiliated with any other publisher.

If you’d like to support Italy Chronicles, you can find out how to do so here: Help Support Italy Chronicles

A Source of Reference and Analysis

Italy Chronicles’ articles have been cited in the Italian press, and have been mentioned by publications such as the Huffington Post, and some articles have been linked to from Wikipedia.  Alex Roe appears as a guest commentator on Italian affairs on the radio in Australia, has been interviewed by the BBC and has appeared on television in the USA via video link.

Explaining the eclectic nature of topics found on this site is that Italy Chronicles founder and author Alex Roe has an extensive range of interests, as you will discover if you read this: A List of My Interests‘.  This diverse range of interests means that his posts on Italy Chronicles cover an wide variety range of subjects, though the overriding theme is invariably Italy.

In addition to founder, editor and publisher, Milan, Italy based Alex Roe, various other writers regularly contribute or have contributed to Italy Chronicles:

In addition to the above writers, Italy Chronicles publishes stories contributed by guest writers.

If you’d like to consider giving Italy Chronicles a minor (or even major) financial hand, you can find out how to, here: Help Support Italy Chronicles

Road Works in Paolo Sarpi, Milan
Road Works in Paolo Sarpi, Milan

Italy Chronicles can Help You Understand What Makes Italy Tick

If you are likely to be coming to Italy on business regularly in the near future, or you are about to be re-located to Italy for a few years by your employer, then Italy Chronicles will give you some idea as to how Italy functions, or not.

On the other hand, if you are an expat in Italy and are looking for Italian news in English, then Italy Chronicles may well interest you.

Shop Window for Italy

In addition to helping people understand how Italy works, Italy Chronicles is also used as a sort of shop window so people can see all that Italy has to offer – which is a lot.  You’ll find posts on not so well known Italian food, wine and other Italian tipples.

Not All Mischief and Mafia

What is good about Italy tends to be obscured by what is not so wonderful, but then that is Italy – very much a country of contrasts.  There is much more to Italy than what is reported in international media, as you will discover if you flick (click?) through this Italy Chronicles’ section: Good Italian Things

What Others Say About Italy Chronicles

A list of just some of the things people have said about Italy Chronicles:

Dennis Redmont, a former Associated Press bureau chief, and Pulitzer Prize finalist, and media consultant based in Italy, who I know and work with, commented that the style of Italy Chonicles’ posts is ‘cutting-edge’ and that he considers Italy Chronicles represents the future of traditional journalism.

– It’s good to be considered as a form of ‘pioneer’! – Alex Roe. Oh, and what Dennis Redmont does not know about the media in Italy can be written on the back of a postage stamp.


I’ve just stumbled across this blog by chance and want to let you know I love it. I’m always looking for websites about Italy I could refer my international friends to when they want to know more about life in the boot. Your blog – with its mixture of real life vignette, news and political commentary – totally does the trick.

Keep up the great work  – Elisa 2008

Grazie Mr Roe!
I accidentally found your website today…I like it a lot, it is always very
interesting and funny for me to learn the foreigners POV about this country…
so I guess I have found a perfect blog for me to read…sarò un lettore
affezionato del tuo blog!

continua a scrivere (Keep writing)

un saluto – An Italian reader 2008

Hi Alex,
Posting your articles is a pleasure. They are always so interesting. I
still have the other Berlusconi article to read and I’ll post that one
as well.
Cheers for now

Barrie – An eminent Stumbler! Barrie also runs Indonesia Travel Guide – Why Go Indonesia


Find out how you can Help Support Italy Chronicles

Link to Italy Chronicles

If you would like to link to Italy Chronicles, just copy and paste this HTML code into your website or blog:

<a href=’https://italychronicles.com/’ title=’Italy Chronicles – facts, news, events and expat life in Italy’>Italy Chronicles</a>

For WordPress Users, via Add New Link page:

Name: Italy Chronicles

Web Address: https://italychronicles.com/

Description: Italy news, facts, events and expat life in Italy

Italy Chronicles is Powered By:

An Apple iMac 21.5-Inch Desktop – great screen, good for image editing and much, much more.

Blackberry Bold 9790 – excellent for email, Twitter, and not too bad for web surfing and even writing articles for this site.

A Google Nexus 7 –  for Twitter and email. Excellent apps.

Samsung Netbook – NC10 – lightweight and great for travelling – portable web provided by wifi and a Vodafone internet key.

Canon EOS 7d, plus various lenses and other bits and photographic bobs.

WordPress – an excellent, powerful, and flexible web site platform.  If you think WordPress is ‘just for blogs’, think again – it is an excellent all-round website management system.

StudioPressGenesis Framework and LifeStyle theme (modified).  I chose StudioPress because of its reputation for being server-friendly – believe me, this is much more important than you might think.  I also love the Genesis Framework’s ability to be tweaked endlessly.
Check out the Genesis Framework

The Genesis framework is an excellent ‘container’ for WordPress themes.  It also comes with features which will allow you to cut down on the number of server-resource sapping plugins, as well as excellent SEO and other comprehensive settings too.

Gensis is powerful, very flexible indeed, secure, and updated regularly too.

Blogging beginners can get up and running quite quickly.  Whereas those with more knowledge of css and php (if you don’t know what they are, then you are probably just starting out) can have a lot of fun. Clever people who are capable of actually building WordPress themes will have a ball with Genesis, I’m sure!

You will need the Genesis framework and a so called child theme to get started.  There are plenty of child themes to choose.  Yes, it does cost money, but if you are serious about blogging, you’ll find that Genesis is an excellent investment.  The Genesis/Wordpress combination can also create very effective websites for small to medium sized businesses.

I recommend you go check out Genesis!

Synthesis – with its fast WordPress hosting, which I hope you have noticed from visiting this website.  I heartily recommend this service.

As the Synthesis people say, and its part of CopyBlogger Media:

Synthesis outperforms generic web hosting by optimizing your site in two critical ways:

  1. Our servers are specifically configured for WordPress in ways that were once only available to those with either mad technical skills or big budgets. The result is the ability to handle the high volume traffic spikes that you’re experiencing (or hoping for).
  2. We eliminate the nefarious “hidden” drag on WordPress performance, which is shoddy code in theme design. We uniform the experience by only accepting sites that use the Genesis Framework for WordPress, which allows us to tweak further for optimal results, instead of guessing and limiting your other choices out of fear, uncertainty, and doubt.

Synthesis brings the Genesis community what were at one time considered “insider” hosting configurations that boast technologies including NGINX, APC, and PHP-FPM. Not sure what that means?

Bottom line: As a managed Linux solution for WordPress, you don’t have to understand what those silly acronyms mean to get world-class performance when your content attracts big attention. We run our own high-traffic, mission-critical websites on these exact configurations … because they work.

Security with Synthesis is also a high priority.  Read more about: Synthesis features.

And Synthesis supports the WordPress theme Italy Chronicles sits upon – Genesis – natively, which is an added advantage.

If you couple Genesis with Synthesis hosting – you’ll have a winning threesome!  You, the publisher or webmaster, StudioPress and decent hosting too.

Vaultpress – the WordPress backup system run by the makers of WordPress.  It’s not free, but it is an excellent service and I really do recommend it.  The Vaultpress people will even sort out problems with malicious software if you happen to download a hacked plugin from the main WordPress site. Alex Roe knows something about this… 😉

Italy Chronicles/Blog from Italy – The, former, Global Blog

Blog from Italy, now Italy Chronicles, caught the attention of global news site, GlobalPost, and author Alex Roe is proud to say that content from this site was featured as one of the world’s top 350 blogs on the Italy section of GlobalPost, an innovative web site dedicated to reporting news from around the world.  Owning to a change in the way in which Google treats content, Italy Chronicles is no longer, as of July 2011, featured on GlobalPost.

A little more about me

Alex Roe

OK, here is the boring stuff about me, Alex Roe, the guy in the photo on the left. I’m a nearly 50 year old English teacher, media consultant, trainer, translator, blogger, webmaster, amateur photographer and all round technology buff, ok, nerd.  I can install and set up things like WordPress and I can tinker with CSS, php, and HTML when I need to.  I write articles for other web sites, such as AskMen.com, where you will find a profile on Milan written by yours truly – AskMen.com – Milan Profile

During my stay here I have acquired an Italian other half, Cristina, and a son called Martin, not to mention Atman, our Manchester terrier dog and, in addition to the pooch, I have a reasonable ability to speak and, just about, write in Italian.

Many years ago, I was born in England, but don’t try asking me where I am from, because I really do not know.

Italian ancestors

In the dim and distant past, my Italian ancestors went to the UK from Milan, so I suppose you could say that I’ve come back to my roots. I love living in Italy and think that it is possibly one of the most beautiful places on earth, so I’ll be staying here for some time to come, I imagine.

In the course of my life here I have built up quite a lot of ‘local knowledge’ especially with regards to Milan.  If you are coming to the city for any reason, or actually want to live and work here, I know recruitment consultants, a few lawyers, a commercial real estate consultancy and have a few other contacts who may be of use.

Just drop me a line via the contacts page and I’ll let you know if I think I can or can’t help out. I’m also good at tracking down information about anything and everything on the Internet, and my knowledge of Italian can be very useful in this respect.

Don’t worry, I won’t ask for money for any of my attempts to help! Unless, that is, I start finding myself snowed under with requests for information about everything and anything, but I don’t really think that will ever be the case! If you do happen to find my assistance particularly useful, then an Amazon gift certificate would be greatly appreciated, but by no means feel at all obliged to do this.

OK, now you know a wee bit more about me, and you will learn even more by reading my articles.


Italy Chronicles does run articles which are supported by advertisers from time to time. Such articles, which are carefully chosen and relate to Italy, will have the tag ‘advertorial’.

Please note too that Italy Chronicles is affiliated to Art.com, AllPosters.com, Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Booking.com and StudioPress. Links to items supplied by Amazon and to hotels and other accomodation may be included in articles on this site.  If sales or bookings are made, Italy Chronicles earns a commission on these sales. Income from advertorial articles and other sales helps cover the costs of running this site and the objective is to generate enough income to be able to generate more traffic and then to reach a high enough income level to being paying others to write about Italy for Italy Chronicles.

Enjoy this chronicle of Italy. And do not forget to dig around using the search system, or take a look at the Most Read section to see what people find interesting on Italy Chronicles.

The ‘Related Posts’ feature situated beneath posts will also help you to excavate yet more articles on Italy. And you can always subscribe to Italy Chronicles rss feed to keep up with Italy Chronicles and Italy.