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

How sharing snacks, from tapas to dim sum and meze, feeds a primal need in us all

Sharing snacks is a tradition around the world, from tapas in Spain to dim sum in China and meze in the Middle East and North Africa. According to anthropologists, it is an important bonding experience for humans.

31 Jan 2021 - 2:41AM

Sharing snacks is a tradition around the world, from tapas in Spain to dim sum in China and meze in the Middle East and North Africa. According to anthropologists, it is an important bonding experience for humans.

How sharing snacks, from tapas to dim sum and meze, feeds a primal need in us all
Spanish paella: from humble peasant meal to rice dish famous around the world, and loved by Asians

Spanish paella, with the staple ingredient of rice giving it inherent Asian origins, is today a popular dish around the world. It has a colourful history.

26 Jan 2021 - 6:16PM

Spanish paella, with the staple ingredient of rice giving it inherent Asian origins, is today a popular dish around the world. It has a colourful history.

Spanish paella: from humble peasant meal to rice dish famous around the world, and loved by Asians
Curry puffs: how a Portuguese snack arrived in Southeast Asia in the 1500s and became a hit across the region

Curry puffs may have been named by the British, but centuries earlier, Portuguese traders introduced the empada – a kind of pie – to Southeast Asia. Now, most countries in the region have their own variation of the popular snack.

12 Jan 2021 - 10:48AM

Curry puffs may have been named by the British, but centuries earlier, Portuguese traders introduced the empada – a kind of pie – to Southeast Asia. Now, most countries in the region have their own variation of the popular snack.

Curry puffs: how a Portuguese snack arrived in Southeast Asia in the 1500s and became a hit across the region
Tamales, adobo, leche flan – Spanish, Mexican dishes Filipinos took as their own, along with New World fruits such as tomato, avocado, and papaya

Dishes such as adobo, ingredients such as beef, and cooking techniques such as baking entered the Filipino kitchen from Spain and its New World colonies and were adapted to local tastes during hundreds of years of Spanish rule.

6 Jan 2021 - 1:03PM

Dishes such as adobo, ingredients such as beef, and cooking techniques such as baking entered the Filipino kitchen from Spain and its New World colonies and were adapted to local tastes during hundreds of years of Spanish rule.

Tamales, adobo, leche flan – Spanish, Mexican dishes Filipinos took as their own, along with New World fruits such as tomato, avocado, and papaya
Indonesian food with a colonial twist: how the feast of rijsttafel, or rice table, became a social tool and status symbol

A hybrid feast of Indonesian dishes, rijsttafel, or rice table, was inspired by a tradition of indigenous communal eating that Dutch colonists turned into a social phenomenon.

16 Dec 2020 - 12:30PM

A hybrid feast of Indonesian dishes, rijsttafel, or rice table, was inspired by a tradition of indigenous communal eating that Dutch colonists turned into a social phenomenon.

Indonesian food with a colonial twist: how the feast of rijsttafel, or rice table, became a social tool and status symbol
Chin-chin! How a Chinese drinking toast became popular in Europe

Frequently used for toasts in Britain, Italy and France, the phrase ‘chin-chin’ has Chinese origins and was imported to Europe after the Renaissance period.

9 Dec 2020 - 3:55PM

Frequently used for toasts in Britain, Italy and France, the phrase ‘chin-chin’ has Chinese origins and was imported to Europe after the Renaissance period.

Chin-chin! How a Chinese drinking toast became popular in Europe
How Asia fell in love with real Neapolitan pizza, and the disciples who learn from Naples about true pizza making

Pizza makers from Naples, home of the original pizza, have travelled the world, opening schools and training locals to make authentic Neapolitan pizza. Some of these chefs have since opened their own pizzerias in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.

2 Dec 2020 - 5:18PM

Pizza makers from Naples, home of the original pizza, have travelled the world, opening schools and training locals to make authentic Neapolitan pizza. Some of these chefs have since opened their own pizzerias in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.

How Asia fell in love with real Neapolitan pizza, and the disciples who learn from Naples about true pizza making
How Jill Biden could lead the recovery of a Sicilian village: ancestral home hopes for tourist revival with White House connection

Jill Biden is on track to become the first Italian-American first lady, and the village in Sicily her great-grandfather left for the United States plans to use the connection to boost tourism and help recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.

17 Nov 2020 - 2:56AM

Jill Biden is on track to become the first Italian-American first lady, and the village in Sicily her great-grandfather left for the United States plans to use the connection to boost tourism and help recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.

How Jill Biden could lead the recovery of a Sicilian village: ancestral home hopes for tourist revival with White House connection
Story of the pistachio: the nut’s origins in the Middle East, and how Italy grows the finest variety, newly popular in China

First planted in the volcanic soils of Sicily by the ancient Romans, who brought seeds from the Middle East, the Italian island’s pistachio orchards produce the finest variety of the ‘smiling nut’. Now Sicilian pistachios have new fans in China.

8 Nov 2020 - 6:21PM

First planted in the volcanic soils of Sicily by the ancient Romans, who brought seeds from the Middle East, the Italian island’s pistachio orchards produce the finest variety of the ‘smiling nut’. Now Sicilian pistachios have new fans in China.

Story of the pistachio: the nut’s origins in the Middle East, and how Italy grows the finest variety, newly popular in China
How anise went from medicinal plant to raki, sambuca, ouzo and pastis ingredient

Drinks flavoured with anise were used as medicines for thousands of years, before distillers turned them into aperitifs and digestifs such as raki and pastis, popular around the Mediterranean.

21 Oct 2020 - 12:59PM

Drinks flavoured with anise were used as medicines for thousands of years, before distillers turned them into aperitifs and digestifs such as raki and pastis, popular around the Mediterranean.

How anise went from medicinal plant to raki, sambuca, ouzo and pastis ingredient
Secrets of the Italian rice used in risotto – and the rice paddies of Little China where it grows

Ask someone to name an Italian rice variety and, if they answer at all, they will probably say Arborio or Carnaroli. But these are just two among the 200 varieties grown in the rice paddies of Piedmont and Lombardy near Milan.

24 Aug 2020 - 1:12PM

Ask someone to name an Italian rice variety and, if they answer at all, they will probably say Arborio or Carnaroli. But these are just two among the 200 varieties grown in the rice paddies of Piedmont and Lombardy near Milan.

Secrets of the Italian rice used in risotto – and the rice paddies of Little China where it grows
Foods made of blood around the world: dishes, recipes and why people eat them, from the protein to the supposed sex boost

Both Asian and Western culinary cultures feature blood recipes deeply rooted in local traditions, with many foods and dishes seen as gourmet delicacies or sought-after for supposed medicinal purposes.

6 Aug 2020 - 7:31AM

Both Asian and Western culinary cultures feature blood recipes deeply rooted in local traditions, with many foods and dishes seen as gourmet delicacies or sought-after for supposed medicinal purposes.

Foods made of blood around the world: dishes, recipes and why people eat them, from the protein to the supposed sex boost
Did fish sauce in Vietnam come from Ancient Rome via the Silk Road? The similarities between nuoc mam and Roman garum

Nuoc mam in Vietnam, nam pla in Thailand, patis in Philippines – Southeast Asian fish sauces bear a startling similarity to garum, prized by ancient Romans. Could their fish sauce have travelled along the ancient Silk Road?

28 Jul 2020 - 8:46AM

Nuoc mam in Vietnam, nam pla in Thailand, patis in Philippines – Southeast Asian fish sauces bear a startling similarity to garum, prized by ancient Romans. Could their fish sauce have travelled along the ancient Silk Road?

Did fish sauce in Vietnam come from Ancient Rome via the Silk Road? The similarities between nuoc mam and Roman garum
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?