Amy Bizzarri

Amy Bizzarri



Prost! Bake up a perfect pretzel for Oktoberfest

Traditional German pretzels, the perfect accompaniment to a stein of Oktoberfest beer, were first twisted into their characteristic loop in the Middle Ages, when European monks baked them up during the Lenten season, their knot shape likely representing hands in prayer. In Germany, pretzels are so popular that they've been used as the bakers guild emblem since the 12th century.
The Chicago Tribune Link to Story

This All-Female Firm Is Taking Their Talents To TV

In 2015, designers Christina Samatas and Renee DiSanto created Park & Oak, a Glen Ellyn-based firm in Illinois. A nod to the streets where they reside–Samatas is on Park Boulevard, while DiSanto lives on Oak Street–their company of seven women focuses on creating homes that feel unique, lived in and layered with textures and warmth.

4 Chicago Design Stops To Check Out This Summer

As the summer temps rise, so do the number of Windy City design offerings. Space 519, for instance, has moved into a next-level flagship store (200 E. Chestnut St.), where co-owners Lance Lawson and Jim Wetzel offer an assortment of home goods, apparel and accessories. In the Burr Ridge Village Center, designer Leslie Bowman opened The Design Bar (725 Village Center Dr.), a 7,000-square-foot showroom offering flooring, cabinetry, custom bedding, lighting and wallcoverings–plus a gallery of high-end giclees (pictured above and below).

Spumoni, the tricolored Italian frozen treat, traces Chicago roots back to one man

Born in the small town of Casamassima, Italy, and celebrated by Italian-Americans across Chicago, colorful spumoni is the quintessential summertime semifreddo. Attend any Italian-American family summer wedding, graduation, birthday or anniversary, and expect to be served this almost-frozen treat, which unlike its cousin gelato, is usually served sliced, to showcase its distinct, pastel-toned layers.
The Chicago Tribune Link to Story

Best Glamping Spots Close to Chicago

Kick it Little House on the Prairie-style at Kinnikinnick Farm where you can glamp on a real working farm. Only an hour-and-a-half northwest of Chicago, the farm-stay program will have your kids picking eggs, feeding pigs and milking goats. The accommodations are a cross between a log cabin and a classic tent with running water and an insulated chest that functions as a refrigerator.
Red Tricycle Link to Story

Tale of 2 ricotta pies — one sweet, one savory — for Italian Easter feast

The Chicago Tribune Link to Story

Form Meets Function as Chicago Showcases the Decorative Arts

Love the decorative arts? Then these places definitely should be on your sightseeing hit list this spring. Find out why a chair is more than a chair at the Richard H. Driehaus Museum, tour a world-class collection of American and European furniture and objet d'arts at the venerated Art Institute of Chicago, and head to Chicago's gallery districts to see what's new on the contemporary decorative arts scene.

CPS butter cookies: You can still find the classics years after they disappeared

Rich, buttery and just 5 cents each, Chicago Public Schools' iconic butter cookies made lunchtime all the merrier from the 1960s and through the ’80s. These classic shortbread cookies, pressed with three fingers for good measure and baked to toasty perfection, once graced cafeteria trays across the city.
The Chicago Tribune Link to Story

STEINBERG: Where to go next? Book bird-dogs intriguing Chicago spots


Holiday Gift and Stocking Stuffer Ideas for Teens

Looking for the perfect holiday gift for your favorite teen? From trendy tech gadgets to gifts that will make high school life a little easier, we picked out fifteen amazing gifts and stocking stuffers that are bound to please even the pickiest teen. key2Bme makes for the perfect teen stocking stuffer.
Social Moms Link to Story

What’s New in Colorado Ski Country for the 2017-18 Season

Colorado Ski Country USA offers world-class skiing and snowboarding, while also embracing families with little ones who are just getting the hang of the bunny slopes. The 2017-18 ski season promises new events, updated infrastructure including new terrain and chairlifts, as well as plenty of new lodging and dining options.
Social Moms Link to Story

10 lesser-known Italian cheeses you'll want to try

The Chicago Tribune Link to Story


Amy Bizzarri

Amy is a freelance travel writer focused on family, food and fun, with a special interest in family adventure travel, vintage/retro travel and green/eco-friendly destinations, both in the US and abroad. Her latest travel-focused book, The Best Hits on Route 66, to be published December 2018 by Globe Pequot, is now available for pre-order.

Amy has a special interest in Chicago history and is the author of three Chicago history focused books: Discovering Vintage Chicago (Rowman, 2015), Chicago's Iconic Dishes, Drinks and Desserts (American Palate Series / The History Press, 2016) and 111 Places (emons Verlag, 2017).

Amy speaks several languages, and with two travelling kids, ages 8 and 17, she's an expert on family travel. Based in Chicago, Amy has voyaged as far away as Mali, West Africa and the Galapagos Islands. She lived in London for two years; Italy for five.

A fluent Italian speaker with an M.A. in Italian, Amy has a special place in her heart for il bel paese and considers herself an expert on Italian travel, food and wine.

An experienced teacher with an M.Ed. in Teaching and Learning, Amy offers a unique perspective on educational travel.

Amy has hosted television and radio segments covering everything from solar eclipses to Al Capone's favorite nightclub.

To view Amy's online portfolio, visit Follow along on her travels at