Virtual Travel

In Praise of Italy: How to Host A Roman Holiday At Home

Just because we can’t travel right now doesn’t mean we’re giving up on what we love. This week, let’s celebrate all things Italy—because if anyone knows how to have a good time, it’s the birthplace of la dolce vita. Whether you use these ideas for date night, digital happy hour, or just because, let our new series show you how to bring your favorite destinations to you, wherever it is you're social distancing.

Senior Editor, Jetsetter | @lindseytravels |

See recent posts by Lindsey Olander

Album to Blast

Easy Recipe to Cook

Penne alla Vodka is a classic Italian pasta dish made with penne in a creamy tomato and vodka sauce close-up in a plate

Penne alla Vodka

IngredientsHow to Make It
– 1 lb penne
– 3 tbsp butter
– 2 tbsp olive oil
– 1 whole medium onion, finely chopped
– 3 garlic cloves, minced
– 1 cup vodka
– 1 14-oz can tomato paste or tomato sauce
– 1 cup heavy cream
– 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
– 1/4 to 1/2 tsp salt
– Ground black pepper
– Grated Parmesan
– Basil
1. Prepare penne al dente (or as preferred), then set aside.

2. In a large skillet, sauté onion and garlic in butter and olive oil over medium heat, stirring frequently until softened. Pour in vodka and stir to incorporate. After reducing for 2-3 minutes, add in the tomato
paste and stir until it has coated onions and garlic and is beginning to darken. Reduce to low heat.

3. Add heavy cream, stirring to combine. Sprinkle in red pepper flakes and half the Parmesan and stir until melted. Season to taste. Turn off heat and stir in cooked pasta, folding in the remaining Parmesan. Serve with basil leaves as desired.

Recipe adapted from The Food Network.

…and when all else fails?

Drinks to Sip

Classic Italian Aperol spritz cocktail in glass on gray background

Aperol Spritz

IngredientsHow to Make It
– 3 oz prosecco (chilled)
– 1 1/2 oz Aperol
– 3/4 oz sparkling water or club soda
– Orange slice
Fill a white wine glass halfway with ice. Add Aperol, prosecco, and sparkling
water and stir with a spoon. Garnish with an orange slice if desired.
Negroni Cocktail, with Gin, Red Vermouth, and Campari, over Ice with Orange Twist in Dark Luxurious Bar

Classic Negroni

IngredientsHow to Make It
– 1 oz gin
– 1 oz Campari
– 1 oz sweet vermouth
– 2-3 oz chilled club soda (optional)
– Orange slice
Shake the gin, Campari, and vermouth with ice. Strain into a highball glass
filled with ice. Top with club soda, if desired. Garnish with an orange slice.

Outfits to Wear

For info on these editor-selected items, click to visit the seller’s site. Things you buy may earn us a commission.

Movies to Watch

Retro photos in B&W of Rome, Italy

The Talented Mr. Ripley (Netflix) | Cinema Paradiso (Hulu) | Roman Holiday (Prime Video)

Book to Read

My Brilliant Friend is the first installment in The Neapolitan Novels, Italian author Elena Ferrante’s four-part saga about a complicated female friendship set against the backdrop of postwar Naples. It has become such a phenomenon that it now has its own HBO series.

Buy It Here

Even More Stuff to Set the Mood

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