Silvia Marchetti

Silvia Marchetti

Silvia Marchetti is a Rome-based freelance reporter. She covers finance, economics, travel and culture for a wide range of international media. Silvia has a master degree in journalism and has lived abroad most of her life in Switzerland, Russia, Holland and Indonesia. She’s fluent in four languages.

Show more

Latest from Silvia Marchetti

The history of ice cream, from iced slush to vanilla cone – but was it invented by the Chinese or Italians?

Ice cream can be traced back to 1200BC and Mesopotamia, and early versions were invented all over the world; the turning point came during the Renaissance when the modern gelato emerged.

18 Jun 2020 - 11:07AM

Ice cream can be traced back to 1200BC and Mesopotamia, and early versions were invented all over the world; the turning point came during the Renaissance when the modern gelato emerged.

The history of ice cream, from iced slush to vanilla cone – but was it invented by the Chinese or Italians?
An island for less than the cost of a tiny city apartment? Escape to Scandinavia or Great Britain

Live the Robinson Crusoe lifestyle with all the mod cons on one of these beautiful islands where social distancing is not an issue

11 Jun 2020 - 12:40AM

Live the Robinson Crusoe lifestyle with all the mod cons on one of these beautiful islands where social distancing is not an issue

An island for less than the cost of a tiny city apartment? Escape to Scandinavia or Great Britain
The real story of eau de cologne: neither French nor German, the perfume with roots in an Italian medicinal drink

It may have a German city in its French name, but eau de cologne was made by an Italian man – and it was originally sold as a medicinal drink, not as a type of perfume. A museum dedicated to its true origins has opened in Italy.

25 May 2020 - 2:46PM

It may have a German city in its French name, but eau de cologne was made by an Italian man – and it was originally sold as a medicinal drink, not as a type of perfume. A museum dedicated to its true origins has opened in Italy.

The real story of eau de cologne: neither French nor German, the perfume with roots in an Italian medicinal drink
Private islands for sale in Europe, from Italy to Finland to Ireland – birds, not beaches, forests, not palm trees, and with prices primed to fall

You won’t find beaches or tropical weather, but instead views of mountains, and wild birds for neighbours, if you buy a private island in Europe. From the lakes of Finland to the seas off Greece, privacy can be yours.

6 May 2020 - 8:00PM

You won’t find beaches or tropical weather, but instead views of mountains, and wild birds for neighbours, if you buy a private island in Europe. From the lakes of Finland to the seas off Greece, privacy can be yours.

Private islands for sale in Europe, from Italy to Finland to Ireland – birds, not beaches, forests, not palm trees, and with prices primed to fall
Chinese noodles not the inspiration for pasta, historians say, its roots are in ancient Greece – and they have the texts to prove it

Pasta was eaten in the Mediterranean region many centuries before Marco Polo was born, and China wasn’t the influence people think, say food historians. Ancient texts and artefacts from Pompeii bolster their argument.

23 Apr 2020 - 7:26AM

Pasta was eaten in the Mediterranean region many centuries before Marco Polo was born, and China wasn’t the influence people think, say food historians. Ancient texts and artefacts from Pompeii bolster their argument.

Chinese noodles not the inspiration for pasta, historians say, its roots are in ancient Greece – and they have the texts to prove it
Self-isolation tips from a 21st century hermit in ‘ghost’ village in the Alps, where for 14 years he has been the only resident

Social distancing and staying at home are easy for a man who lives alone, as the sole resident of an abandoned village in the Lombardy Alps. His advice to those in coronavirus lockdown: use the time to meditate on what really matters in life.

18 Apr 2020 - 9:00PM

Social distancing and staying at home are easy for a man who lives alone, as the sole resident of an abandoned village in the Lombardy Alps. His advice to those in coronavirus lockdown: use the time to meditate on what really matters in life.

Self-isolation tips from a 21st century hermit in ‘ghost’ village in the Alps, where for 14 years he has been the only resident
Easter traditions: why we eat chocolate – and why all the eggs, baby chicks, bunnies and pastel colours?

Spring is the season of ‘rebirth’, the egg represents life itself, but did you know there is a kinky side to the Easter bunny?

11 Apr 2020 - 3:00PM

Spring is the season of ‘rebirth’, the egg represents life itself, but did you know there is a kinky side to the Easter bunny?

Easter traditions: why we eat chocolate – and why all the eggs, baby chicks, bunnies and pastel colours?
From death dances to water fights: 6 wacky ways Easter would normally be celebrated around the world – if it wasn’t for the coronavirus pandemic

Covid-19 has put the breaks on this year’s celebrations – but there’s more to Easter than bunnies and chocolate; many cultures cling to timeworn traditions that are often baffling to outsiders

11 Apr 2020 - 1:00PM

Covid-19 has put the breaks on this year’s celebrations – but there’s more to Easter than bunnies and chocolate; many cultures cling to timeworn traditions that are often baffling to outsiders

From death dances to water fights: 6 wacky ways Easter would normally be celebrated around the world – if it wasn’t for the coronavirus pandemic
Coffee wars: Italians adore espresso, but what about matcha, frappuccino, pumpkin spice and Starbucks-style sweet drinks invading traditional cafe culture?

When an Italian thinks about coffee, it’s jet black – but things are changing, and non-Italian, American-style speciality coffee drinks are taking hold

19 Mar 2020 - 9:00AM

When an Italian thinks about coffee, it’s jet black – but things are changing, and non-Italian, American-style speciality coffee drinks are taking hold

Coffee wars: Italians adore espresso, but what about matcha, frappuccino, pumpkin spice and Starbucks-style sweet drinks invading traditional cafe culture?
Mac and cheese: can this classic comfort food be considered an authentic pasta dish and what do Italians really think?

A family favourite in the UK and US – but don’t expect to find this cheesy, gooey dish on the menu in Italy

18 Mar 2020 - 2:28PM

A family favourite in the UK and US – but don’t expect to find this cheesy, gooey dish on the menu in Italy

Mac and cheese: can this classic comfort food be considered an authentic pasta dish and what do Italians really think?
Bergamot: from perfume, oil and tea to food and juices, how the fruit’s growing popularity is reviving one of Italy’s poorest regions

Mostly grown in one of Italy’s poorest regions, bergamot is prized for the oil it produces that has long been used in perfumes and tea. Now its popularity is soaring – especially in Asia – thanks to a growing use in things like food and juices.

4 Mar 2020 - 5:38AM

Mostly grown in one of Italy’s poorest regions, bergamot is prized for the oil it produces that has long been used in perfumes and tea. Now its popularity is soaring – especially in Asia – thanks to a growing use in things like food and juices.

Bergamot: from perfume, oil and tea to food and juices, how the fruit’s growing popularity is reviving one of Italy’s poorest regions
Pizza origins: how did this beloved dish come to be, and what do famous chefs think of pineapple topping?

The traditional Neapolitan dish began as a poor man’s meal but evolved into Italy’s beloved comfort food – but the staple ingredients were chosen for more than taste alone

29 Feb 2020 - 12:00PM

The traditional Neapolitan dish began as a poor man’s meal but evolved into Italy’s beloved comfort food – but the staple ingredients were chosen for more than taste alone

Pizza origins: how did this beloved dish come to be, and what do famous chefs think of pineapple topping?
Nutella, filled with mozzarella – really? What is ‘nutzzarella’ and why are Italy’s top chefs up in arms about this cheese and chocolate combo?

Why would anyone combine cheese with chocolate spread – and more importantly, how does it taste?

18 Feb 2020 - 8:00PM

Why would anyone combine cheese with chocolate spread – and more importantly, how does it taste?

Nutella, filled with mozzarella – really? What is ‘nutzzarella’ and why are Italy’s top chefs up in arms about this cheese and chocolate combo?
What garlic can do for your sex life – and the surprising ways you can take it

Piedmont’s bagna càuda hot garlic soup is said to have been invented by a witch to ward off infertility and increase reproduction – but why should it be consumed via unconventional orifices?

13 Feb 2020 - 12:49PM

Piedmont’s bagna càuda hot garlic soup is said to have been invented by a witch to ward off infertility and increase reproduction – but why should it be consumed via unconventional orifices?

What garlic can do for your sex life – and the surprising ways you can take it
From bulls’ testicles to balut to bird’s mucus – 5 weird edible aphrodisiacs from around the world

Icelandic people eat rotten shark known as hákarl while Colombians feast on roasted leafcutter ants – all because of the apparent libido-boosting effects

11 Feb 2020 - 4:00PM

Icelandic people eat rotten shark known as hákarl while Colombians feast on roasted leafcutter ants – all because of the apparent libido-boosting effects

From bulls’ testicles to balut to bird’s mucus – 5 weird edible aphrodisiacs from around the world
Destination weddings: why China’s millennials love Italy for getting married – the romance and glamour of cities like Rome, Venice and Florence, and the scenic countryside

More Chinese millennials are choosing Italy for their destination weddings, with the average celebration costing over US$90,000. We talk to the planners who do everything they can to put together the perfect event.

6 Feb 2020 - 8:47PM

More Chinese millennials are choosing Italy for their destination weddings, with the average celebration costing over US$90,000. We talk to the planners who do everything they can to put together the perfect event.

Destination weddings: why China’s millennials love Italy for getting married – the romance and glamour of cities like Rome, Venice and Florence, and the scenic countryside
How did Italy’s Venice Carnival start – and why all the scary masks?

Carnival in Venice, Italy, is often linked to funny and terrifying masks, along with pageantry, allegorical wagons, dancers and extravagant costumes

30 Jan 2020 - 7:00AM

Carnival in Venice, Italy, is often linked to funny and terrifying masks, along with pageantry, allegorical wagons, dancers and extravagant costumes

How did Italy’s Venice Carnival start – and why all the scary masks?
Why wealthy Chinese love Italy’s white truffles: prestige, unpredictability and their powerful earthy flavour

Wealthy Chinese happily outbid their rivals for Italy’s largest and finest white truffles, drawn to their prestige and mysterious nature. But the strong, earthy flavour is also a big draw, as is the beauty of the land in which they are found.

23 Jan 2020 - 10:01AM

Wealthy Chinese happily outbid their rivals for Italy’s largest and finest white truffles, drawn to their prestige and mysterious nature. But the strong, earthy flavour is also a big draw, as is the beauty of the land in which they are found.

Why wealthy Chinese love Italy’s white truffles: prestige, unpredictability and their powerful earthy flavour
What are boob cakes, and why do Italians love them so much?

Even the most conservative of Italians can’t get enough of the sexy cakes that are meant to look like small, firm breasts

2 Jan 2020 - 6:01PM

Even the most conservative of Italians can’t get enough of the sexy cakes that are meant to look like small, firm breasts

What are boob cakes, and why do Italians love them so much?
Which country has the strangest New Year’s Eve tradition?

Customs include sleeping in coffins, having sex the night before the new year, and smashing crockery

31 Dec 2019 - 2:00PM

Customs include sleeping in coffins, having sex the night before the new year, and smashing crockery

Which country has the strangest New Year’s Eve tradition?
China develops appetite for cheese, with surge in imports from EU. Elite’s evolving tastes, and pizza, behind the trend

Cheese and other dairy products have not been historically popular in China, but imports are increasing, and cheese ambassadors from Europe are working to break into a market that is potentially the world’s biggest.

31 Dec 2019 - 6:23AM

Cheese and other dairy products have not been historically popular in China, but imports are increasing, and cheese ambassadors from Europe are working to break into a market that is potentially the world’s biggest.

China develops appetite for cheese, with surge in imports from EU. Elite’s evolving tastes, and pizza, behind the trend
Why Chinese tourists love Italy’s quaint rural villages: scenery, solitude, silence – luxuries many don’t have at home

More Chinese tourists have visited Italy this year than any other European country, with many seeking out places that offer space and solitude – a trend that is helping revitalise depopulated villages in rural areas of the country.

12 Dec 2019 - 7:38PM

More Chinese tourists have visited Italy this year than any other European country, with many seeking out places that offer space and solitude – a trend that is helping revitalise depopulated villages in rural areas of the country.

Why Chinese tourists love Italy’s quaint rural villages: scenery, solitude, silence – luxuries many don’t have at home
Is panettone a cake or a bread? The story of Italy’s fruity Christmas favourite

Italy’s seasonal sweet bread is soft and fruity, yet tougher than tiramisu – but is it really better than Christmas cake?

2 Dec 2019 - 12:19PM

Italy’s seasonal sweet bread is soft and fruity, yet tougher than tiramisu – but is it really better than Christmas cake?

Is panettone a cake or a bread? The story of Italy’s fruity Christmas favourite
Is polenta an aphrodisiac? The hard truth: why the Italian dish is loved by mice and men

The traditional Italian dish is a semi-liquid cornmeal mush that doesn’t look appealing, but wives know that it is a potent sex booster and a ‘reproduction’ culinary secret

29 Nov 2019 - 10:00AM

The traditional Italian dish is a semi-liquid cornmeal mush that doesn’t look appealing, but wives know that it is a potent sex booster and a ‘reproduction’ culinary secret

Is polenta an aphrodisiac? The hard truth: why the Italian dish is loved by mice and men
Why German tourists are to blame for spaghetti bolognese – the beloved Italian pasta dish that doesn’t even exist in Italy

One of the most frequent mistakes tourists make when travelling to Italy is ordering spaghetti bolognese – a guaranteed way to conjure a confused, or concerned, waiter

29 Nov 2019 - 2:54PM

One of the most frequent mistakes tourists make when travelling to Italy is ordering spaghetti bolognese – a guaranteed way to conjure a confused, or concerned, waiter

Why German tourists are to blame for spaghetti bolognese – the beloved Italian pasta dish that doesn’t even exist in Italy
The sexiest sausage in the world? Sanguinaccio, Italy’s first form of Viagra

Dating back to Ancient Rome and literally meaning ‘ugly blood’ in Italian, innuendo-inducing sanguinaccio is a huge salami-shaped tube of meat or chocolate, made with pig blood and believed to be a powerful aphrodisiac

19 Nov 2019 - 10:00AM

Dating back to Ancient Rome and literally meaning ‘ugly blood’ in Italian, innuendo-inducing sanguinaccio is a huge salami-shaped tube of meat or chocolate, made with pig blood and believed to be a powerful aphrodisiac

The sexiest sausage in the world? Sanguinaccio, Italy’s first form of Viagra
Nutella, Ferrero Rocher, Gianduia paste: how are they all related?

A year’s production of Nutella would wrap around the Earth 1.7 times – but where does the chocolate spread come from?

12 Nov 2019 - 10:14AM

A year’s production of Nutella would wrap around the Earth 1.7 times – but where does the chocolate spread come from?

Nutella, Ferrero Rocher, Gianduia paste: how are they all related?
How white chocolate evolved from a coating for kids’ medicine into a sweet, creamy treat

The weird story of how white chocolate was made is surprisingly tied to medicines and energy-booster formulas discovered by its creator, Henri Nestlé

9 Nov 2019 - 5:26AM

The weird story of how white chocolate was made is surprisingly tied to medicines and energy-booster formulas discovered by its creator, Henri Nestlé

How white chocolate evolved from a coating for kids’ medicine into a sweet, creamy treat
Gorgonzola or Roquefort – which was the first blue cheese ever, and is the mould good for you?

Gorgonzola and Roquefort’s origins are said to be in the ninth century. However, a recent publication suggests that Roquefort could go back even earlier, to when southern France was part of the Roman Empire

31 Oct 2019 - 3:22AM

Gorgonzola and Roquefort’s origins are said to be in the ninth century. However, a recent publication suggests that Roquefort could go back even earlier, to when southern France was part of the Roman Empire

Gorgonzola or Roquefort – which was the first blue cheese ever, and is the mould good for you?
Move over French champagne, Italian spumante is the world’s best sparkling wine – and here’s why

It’s official: spumante trashed champagne at this year’s wine awards – but what is the story behind this bubbly Mediterranean upstart?

20 Oct 2019 - 2:00AM

It’s official: spumante trashed champagne at this year’s wine awards – but what is the story behind this bubbly Mediterranean upstart?

Move over French champagne, Italian spumante is the world’s best sparkling wine – and here’s why