A very beautiful, modern book! A charming guide to Italian culture. All you can do is read it and plan future trips to Italy!

Winner of the "Zelta ābele 2020" book design competition, in the "Reference Works" category.

An exciting look into Italian daily life, cuisine, holidays, and language.


The author of "Italy With Me" is Ieva Smiļģe. She has lived in Italy (in the Abruzzo region) for several years, in an Italian family rich with traditions. Ieva has experienced everything she writes about in the book, starting with making espresso in a traditional Italian coffeepot and making fresh pasta with her mother-in-law, and ending with energetic gesticulating and using the local dialect! Being Latvian herself, Ieva presents the aspects of Italian culture that are most likely to surprise, confuse, excite, and entertain readers! By reading about Ieva’s experiences you’ll learn, for example, the difference between Roman and Neapolitan pizza, how Carnival is celebrated in Italy, and why Italians gesticulate!

This title is neither a guidebook for tourists nor a comprehensive encyclopedia of Italy. It’s a book about various observations and characteristics of Italian cuisine, language, holidays, and daily life, which the book’s author has discovered either on purpose or by accident. Of course, it would never be possible to cover everything about Italy within the parameters of one book. Besides, each person’s experience is subjective and different. "Italy With Me" gives readers a glimpse of Italian daily life, cuisine, holidays, and language, and helps them to understand the Italian mentality, way of life, and worldview a little better. It also helps readers overcome a few of the stereotypes that some believe are true about Italians and their country.

The book has been published by the Italian Language and Culture Centre L’ITALII. In addition to the author’s experiences, the book is enriched by Zane Homka’s apt, Italian-influenced illustrations, as well as Baiba Linga-Bērziņa’s clever design.

The book was translated into English by Žanete Vēvere Pasqualini and was edited by Mārta Ziemelis.

Discover Italy!

Get to know Italian culture, traditions, and lifestyle!

The creative team

Ieva Smiļģe


Žanete Vēvere Pasqualini


Mārta Ziemelis


Inga Kalniņa

Project manager

Zane Homka


Baiba Linga - Bērziņa


Phone Number

+371 29 858 202


Kalpaka bulvāris 10, Riga, LV-1050