Candida Martinelli's Italophile Site

Main Page This family-friendly site celebrates Italian culture for the enjoyment of children and adults. Site-Overview


House and Garden

Home Decor

Murals, Stencils, Tiles

Palaces of Sicily

Modern Italian Design

Decor with Prints

Tile Splash-backs

Stencil Decor

Italianate Furniture

Low Cost Decor

Graphic Artists

Murano Glass



Villa / Garden Prints

Framed Prints

Art, Sculpture...

Eduardo De la Maria



Garden Inspirations

Balcony Gardens


Language of Flowers



Theatre, Music, Cinema


Commedia dell'Arte

Theatre in 1860s

Tomaso Salvini

Adelaide Ristori

Cecilia Bartoli

Italian Music



Domenico Modugno

Opera Singers: Caruso, Tetrazzini, Gigli, Patti

Caruso in SF Quake

Eurovision / San Remo Song Festivals


Recent Films

Terence Hill

Francesco Nuti

Anthony LaPaglia

Italian Humor and Toto



Hyphenated Italians

Hyphenated Italians

London's Italians and Barometers

Mulberry Bend, NYC

Old New York

Roaming the World, G. P.

Brazil / Argentina, by R. B.

John, Italian Emigrant, by D. H. Lawrence

Joe Petrosino, NYC Pioneer Policeman

East Haven, Conn, J. M.

Rivesville, West Virginia, R.T.

Tomaso Salvini

Adelaide Ristori

Caruso, Tetrazzini, Patti

Caruso in SF Quake

Giovanni Boldini



Books Set in Italy by Genre


Mysteries in Ancient Rome

Historical Novels

Thriller / Drama

Children's Books

Romance Novels


Audio Books in Italian

Dual-Language Short Stories

Bestselling Italian



Italophile Articles and Books

Italians as Europeans

Political Humor

Altan and Cipputi

Italian Literature

Marco Polo's Travels

Petrarch and his Love Sonnets

A Sicilian Romance

Illuminated Manuscripts

The Brownings

Divine Comedy



Marcus Aurelius

Anonymous Andalusian Cookbook


Sicilian Romance

Pompeii Revisited

Linda Proud

Bianca by W. E. Norris

Wallace Breem

Room with a View

Enchanted April



Free PDF Books

Enchanted April

Room with a View

Medieval Cookbooks

Anonymous Andalusian Cookbook

Plutarch's Lives

Agatha Christie's First Poirot Story

Short Classic Mystery Stories

Stage Stars

Ancient Rome

A Sicilian Romance

Italian Renaissance

Stage Actor's Lives




Candida's Italophile Links

Italophile Book Reviews

Italophile Books Site/Shop

Italian News Weblog

YouTube Channel for Italophiles

Zazzle Italian Art Xmas Cards

Italophile Shop

Writing Website: Italophile Author of Clean Fiction

Traditional Mystery Set in Italy by Candida

Crime Novel with Italian Policeman by Candida

Two Non-Italy Articles

A non-Italy article by Candida: A book that helped keep WWII soldiers sane and humane

A non-Italy offer:  Nerja, Spain Beachfront Apartment to Rent



Two Hyphenated Italians in a Contemporary Romance/Satire novel (paperback and e-book):  Gina Accornero's quiet life is threatened when the media invade her sleepy seaside town in search of a disgraced TV star, Robert Granieri.  "This romantic spiced with a rich satire of the wired world we live in."  Click here to go to the book's page.



Two Hyphenated Italians in a Contemporary Romance/Family Life novel (paperback and e-book):  "A Modern Multicultural Fairy Tale: This sweet modern romance is chock full of matchmaking and happy endings for everyone concerned, with the exception of the obligatory ogre, who gets his just desserts while the happy reader develops an inexplicable craving for bagels."  Click here to go to the book's Amazon page.




Click on a topic in the columns left and right to visit that page on this site, or click one of the slideshow images to visit that page  



A Gift from Candida

FREE e-book of delightful kitten poems accompanied by charming kitten drawings.  25 poems and 30 images.  30 pages for children.


Click the PDF e-book link to open the book in your browser, to view it, and then download it if you like it.  Or right click on the link and click on "Save Link As" in the box that appears, to download the e-book.  PDF e-books can be read on any e-reader.

PDF E-Book



Sweet Chestnuts - Castagne

Sweet Chestnuts are castagne in Italian, from the Latin castanae, which comes from the Greek town of Castanis where there were groves upon groves of sweet Chestnut trees in ancient times.

There is marked distinction between the variety of chestnut that produces one nut per spiky pod, and the ones that produces several nuts per spiky pod

The one large nut is called a marrone, and is considered superior for roasting, boiling, stuffing fowl, and for making candied chestnuts, castagne carmellate, a specialty during holidays (often called the French marrons glaces outside of Italy).  Marroni have a high sugar content, making it a good source for chestnut sugar and syrup.

The smaller multiple nuts are sold at markets to the price-conscious, but they are generally used for the chestnut flour that is still used throughout Italy, especially in sweets recipes.  The flour is also used for making special breads and pastas.



Roasted Chestnuts

If you've ever been to Italy in December or January, you remember the lovely scent of chestnuts roasting over fires in steel drums on street corners.  For almost nothing, you can get a handful of hot-roasted chestnuts, wrapped in paper to warm your hands and your stomach.

 Chestnut Seller

Roasted Chestnuts

  • Make a cut the side of each chestnut's skin.  Make sure to cut through the shell.  This is to release the hot air that builds up during roasting.  If you don't do this, they will explode in your oven, or worse, over the open fire!
  • Put them in a pan in a hot oven, or over an open fire, and stir them around a bit to make sure they roast evenly.
  • Roast them until the nut meat is tender which usually takes about 15 minutes. 
  • If you want, you can test if they are done by inserting a sharp knife into the cut in the nut's skin.  If it enters easily, the chestnuts are done.
  • Remove them from the heat and peel them.  They are best eaten warm



Health Properties

The health properties of 2 1/2 chestnuts:

  • 60 calories (a slice of bread is over 100, to put it in perspective)
  • 1 gram protein
  • 13 grams carbohydrates
  • 1 gram fat
  • 1 milligram sodium
  • 20 % vitamin C

Chestnuts are a rich source of carbohydrates, which means it provides a quickly digestible source of energy, giving it a reputation for making men lusty.  It actually stabilizes the body's blood-sugar levels, allowing for sustained energy and strength.

Women are said to whiten  their complexions by eating chestnuts (but not the men?), and the nuts are indeed used to make a bleaching products, as well as a stiffening agent. 

Who knows, they may even make women lusty, too, but that was not something domineering Greek and Roman men considered important, desirable--or perhaps even possible!



Chestnut Recipes

(11 recipes on the Chestnut page on this site)










About this Site

This is a hobby-site.  Any money made from links and ads provide funds to cover my computer, Internet, and website hosting and domain name costs.  Anything left over, I spend on pasta! 

I promote some of my books here too, all written with Italophiles in mind, available in paperback and e-book formats from Amazon.  I hope you enjoy them, and if you do, a review would help others find them. 


Candida Martinelli

Established July 2003


Food, Drink, Recipes

Italian Food

Culinaria Italy

Sicilian Food



Olives and Oil

Medieval Italian Cookbooks

Anonymous Andalusian Cookbook

Eat Less / Feel Full

Cookbooks to Buy

Quince - Mele Cotogne

Coffee, Chocolate

Italian Wine

Italian Liqueurs

Vov Recipe

Coffee Liqueur Recipe

Grappa (LaPaglia)



Chestnut Desserts

Sweets and Recipes

Zabaione, A Saint's Recipe Men Love



Cream Desserts

Salame Dolce - A Chocolate Candy

Panettone, Amaretti

Italian Rice Desserts



Towns and Touring

Alinari Photography

Photo / Virtual Tours

Aerial Italian Images

Photo Galleries

Milan - Milano

Pompeii - Vesuvius

Palaces of Sicily


Ricordo di Venezia Postcard Book


De' Medici Family

Borbottoni's Old Florence Scenes

Florence Art

Florentia Paper

Edith Wharton's Della Robbia Terracottas

The Brownings

Living/Working in Italy

Residence Clubs

Italian Language


Italian Media Today

Travel in Italy - Links to Online City Guides


Dating and Mating


Marco Polo

Carnival - Carnevale

Carnival Costumes

Venice Art

Venice in 1860s

Murano Glass

Free Venice Art


Rome Art

Living in Ancient Rome

Fun Latin Phrases

Mysteries in Ancient Rome

Roman Costumes



Italian Culture for Children


Sliding-Art Puzzles

Strega Nona

Italy Coloring Pages

Italian Artist Bios

Renaissance Paper Dolls

Child's Menu Page

Cow Game

Goose Game Free Game Board

Cards - Tarot Cards

Card / Board Games




Goose Game

Calcio - Football

Ziginette - Zecchinetta


Strega Nona

Children's Books, CDs, Games, Treats

Free Italian Children's Stories On-line

Emilio Salgari's Adventures

Italian Artist Bios for Children



Holiday Fun and Gifts

Italian Xmas Cards

The Nativity

La Befana

Angels in Italian Art

Catholic Prayers in Italian / English

Italophile Gift Ideas

Luxury Gift Ideas

10 Recipes for the Holidays

Easter Story

Christmas Story in Italian and English


Carnival (Halloween and Commedia) Costumes

Religious Art - Marquetry



History Comes Alive

De' Medici Family

Life in Ancient Rome

Natural History of Italy


Ancient History

The Middle Ages

The Renaissance

The Age of Discovery

Age of Colonialism, Capitalism, Reason, Industrial Revolution

Italian Unification

Fascism and The World Wars

Post War Growth and European Integration

Marco Polo

Amerigo Vespucci

Living in Ancient Rome



An Italian in a Crime/Romance novel (paperback and e-book):  An Italian at Europol deals with crime and women,  "...reminded me a lot of the show Criminal Minds", "the focus isn't on the violence but rather on the underlying psychology".  Click here to go the book's page. 



Short Story Collection with stories about crime, murder and the often difficult male-female relations, a la Daphne du Maurier (paperback and e-book):  "well-crafted" and "unpredictable"  Click here to go to the book's page.



Traditional Murder Mystery set in Italy (paperback and e-book):  A retired woman visits Italy and gets involved in murder.  "An old-fashioned who done it with plenty of suspicious characters, set in modern day Italy."  A long, leisurely read. Click here to go to the book's page.