‘GREEN BOOK’ I SO WISH THE ‘GREEN’ WOULD GO ‘GOLD’, THE COLOR OF THE OSCAR!

My reaction at the end of Green Book’s screening was: ‘Best road movie after driving Miss Daisy..,classically made, impeccably performed and written’.The story follows the highly famous and incredibly successful pianist, Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali), who takes great risks as an African American man touring through the highly racial deep south. Tony Lip (a spectacular Viggo Mortensen) a bouncer from an Italian-American neighborhood in the Bronx,  who is hired to drive the musician   on a concert tour from Manhattan to the Deep South. They must rely on “The Green Book” to guide them to the few establishments that were then safe for African-Americans.  As the tour progresses, the audience goes through many parts of the south where not only racism was prevalent against African Americans and Italians, but also acknowledge the severe homophobia that existed so terribly in the 1960s. A real story that shows the journey of Tony and Don. Confronted with racism, danger-as well as unexpected humanity and humor-they are forced to set aside differences to survive and thrive on the journey of a lifetime. One white and one black met at the apartheid society. At the beginning, they didn’t understand each other and came up a lot of conflict. After a period of time, they started to help each other and Tony always stood up for Don .They turned to be friend or even more than that. I loved the direction, the cinematography , the music, the editing and the excellent performances,.
I truly wish the ‘green of that book’ would change color into ‘gold’, the color of the Oscar.(traduzione)
La mia reazione alla fine della proiezione di Green Book è stata: “Miglior film on the road dopo Driving Miss Daisy. Una pellicola classicamente realizzata, eseguita e scritta in modo impeccabile”.
La storia segue il famoso pianista afroamericano Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali), che si azzarda a voler fare una tournee  nel profondo Sud degli Stati Uniti. Tony Lip (uno spettacolare Viggo Mortensen) buttafuori di un quartiere italo-americano del Bronx, viene ingaggiato per guidare il musicista  Devono fare affidamento su “The Green Book” per essere guidati verso le poche strutture che venivano segnalate come sicure per gli afro-americani. Il tour inizia e attraversa molte luoghi impregnati di razzismo contro gli afroamericani e severamente omofobi. Di fronte al razzismo, al pericolo, oltre che all’umanità e all’umore inaspettati, sono costretti a mettere da parte le loro differenze per sopravvivere e continuare nel viaggio. Un bianco e un nero che si incontrarono nella società dell’apartheid e che superano conflitti, trasformandosi in amici e anche più.
Ho amato la regia, la cinematografia, la musica, il montaggio e le eccellenti performance.
Mi auguro davvero che il “verde” del libro cambi colore in “oro”, il colore dell’Oscar.

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Teatro Carcano, Milan. The World Premiere of QUEEN LEA-R

Last night at Teatro Carcano, Milan the World Premiere of QUEEN LEA-R,
‘en travesti’ musical play freely adapted from by Shakespeare ‘s King Lear

Open scenario, a doll store with a vintage feeling , on stage the Nina’s Drag Queens Company, in a quite intense musical play conceived by Francesco Micheli, renewed and re-written by the British playwright Claire Dowie and the Italian composer Enrico Melozzi.
The plot is about Lea Rossi moved from Italy to Uk in the 70’s and opened a little doll shop, whose sign reads: Lea R.
The elderly lady is now facing the end of her business and of her life. Struggling with her physical decay, she is unable to give way to new generations, and to separate herself from her things, in spite of the efforts of her three daughters and of the loyal friend Mrs. Kent.The Shakespearean themes are now associated to a contemporary, stark atmosphere, where castles become studio apartments, the moors are hospices, and the madness is senile dementia. In this harsh world the old “queen” has no place to go but a hospice and here her epic visions – knights, wars, and medieval kingdoms – come to life.
Queen LeaR deals with some uncomfortable themes of our time, such as old age, illness and death, on the background of a generation with a hard legacy on his back, a generation of children who may never be fathers. Drag queens act, sing, dance, make people laugh and cry, live and stir strong emotions: for this reason a drag queen is the perfect key to translate Shakespeare in a present-day form, innovating it through a contemporary, eclectic and excessive mask. Queen LeaR is also built on the idea of mixing together different kinds of show. The ambition is to put on stage a form of entertainment at the same time popular and high, which takes its strength from the use of pastiche and the break of genres boundaries.
I loved (and the public too) the crazy and unxpected inserts of contemporary hits  from the Italian Franco Battiato’s The Cure to the classic I will survive just to mention few. All songs ‘live’ revealing some pretty good voices. This format is not so new… the iconic Quartetto Cetra, back in the 60’s  or the ilarious Trio used that gig in the past.  The drag queens’ performances as contemporary opera: a theater with a great visual impact and accurate musical drama dealing with capital issues sometime  sacrificing the enjoyment of the show.
Dowie’s libretto has accustomed the audience ( literally populated by Nina’ friends drug queens,) to her ironic and daring plays, where a social urgency coexists with an amazing lightness. Irreverent, poetic, brilliant, Claire Dowie is a rare and original voice on the European scene and her plays have been translated into many languages and seen around the world. Alessio Calciolari, Gianluca Di Lauro, Sax Nicosia, Lorenzo Piccolo, Ulisse Romanò studied in the main Italian Theatre Academy and performed in many productions in Italy and abroad, ranging from theater to opera, dance and cinema.

Queen LeaR will reign on stage till Jan 20
Here INFO AND TICKETS
https://www.teatrocarcano.com/

 

 

 

Spell it right! Two ‘C’ and two ‘T’. Here ‘s the BOCCONOTTO , a delicacy from Abruzzo.

The History of Bocconotti –
Tradition places the origin of the Bocconotto of Castel Frentano towards the end of 1700, during the period of greatest diffusion of chocolate in Europe, the main ingredient of the filling. A sweet idea, always based on what has been handed down, from the creativity of a cook who invented for her noble master, famous for being very greedy, a little sweet to eat in “a single bite”. Today the Bocconotto is one of the symbols of Abruzzese gastronomy: a casket of delicate shortcrust that contains a filling of chocolate, minced     almonds and a pinch of cinnamon. The Bucci family owns and maintains the correct doses of one of the first recipes handed down. At the right balance between the ingredients, it combines passion for the traditions of Abruzzo and Castel Frentano.
The history of the Bucci family – Like all success stories, even the Bucci family and Bottega del Bocconotto’s story begins almost by chance. Since the 1960s the Bucci family has been engaged in a florid and productive artisan activity, with a wide range of customers not only in the province of Chieti and in the region, but throughout Italy.
Their main office was in Castel Frentano – where the Bottega stands today – and, as soon as summer began Claudia Bucci, the current owner, used to spend time in her grandfather’s sales point. So, sitting on the entrance steps of the store, she realized that many people stopped to ask for information with a single question: “Where can we buy the Bocconotti, the typical sweets of Castel Frentano and Abruzzo?”.Bocconotto’s tradition is a long tradition, linked in the territory to important events such as weddings, baptisms, confirmations and communions … in practice you can not talk about feast without having on the tables the delicious sweets from the heart of chocolate and almonds. So, after giving directions on where to buy the Bocconotti to many people, in his mind he took a very happy idea: to put the same Bucci family to work with the opening of a workshop and a shop for the sale of Abruzzo dessert ! Sure of his intuition decided in a very short time to kick off the activity, strong also of another element: he was the custodian of one of the oldest recipes ever handed down by Bocconotto, thanks to his grandmother Sabbiuccia, known for his reputation as a skilled custard. It was she who prepared the Bocconotti for all of Castel Frentano and for every party: why not make such a delight to taste even those coming from neighboring villages? It was 2008 … and from there, after a period of settling, the success came, thanks to an increasingly large audience of customers and consumers who were able to recognize in the Bottega del Bocconotto of the Bucci family a quality guarantee closely linked to the tradition of Castel Frentano.Today the Bottega del Bocconotto is a flagship of all Abruzzo, a family-run business supported by valuable employees, operating in all stages of processing, from the preparation of individual ingredients up to packaging and sale.

 

PANETTONE CAKE WITH A FRUITY TWIST FROM ABRUZZO

There are several legends about the birth of the Milanese panettone.
The most common dates back to the 1476. It tells of Ugo, a young falconer
who worked for Ludovico il Moro, the Duke of Milan.
The boy was secretly in love with Adalgisa, daughter of Toni, the most popular baker in Milan. To spend more time with her, Ugo managed to become a pastry cook apprentice. Christmas was coming, and Ugo wanted to give a twist to the usual bread.He sweetened up the dough, adding sugar, butter, eggs, raisins and chopped candied fruits, then he cooked and shaped it like a giant muffin.The novelty instantly became the talk of the town. Everybody wanted the new Toni’s bread (pan de Toni) soon named panettone.


There’s another side to the story. The Peduzzi Family (with Gaetano Sergiacomo, founder of Rustichella d’Abruzzo in 1924 and grandfather of the current Owners Maria Stefania e Gianluigi Peduzzi) moved from Valle d’Intelvi (Como) to Chieti (Abruzzo) in 1800, bringing with them all the Lombard culinary influences and starting the generation of high quality Food & Wine.
Here comes the artisanal production of this panettone labelled Rustichella D’Abruzzo from natural sourdough starter yeast, a mixture of flour and water. Each day throughout the entire year (including holidays), 10 kg of dough known as the Starter is prepared. It is composed exclusively of flour, water and 1 kg from the previous days Starter.
Aside from the classic taste, Rustichella d’Abruzzo proposes other real proper pleasures for your palate: the typical Black Cherry Panettone, for those who don’t like raisin and candied fruits (but don’t want to renounce to the tastiness of the typical Christmas sweet),

 

Another taste for the Figs and Chocolate Panettone, candied fruits and raisins free, made of irresistible dark chocolate drops and dry dotted figs from Cosenza. A tasty voyage discovering of Bella Italia from north to south, from the knowledge of the Pastry Master to the generosity of the sun that kisses the most desirable fruits of Italy.


INFO
https://www.rustichella.it/?lang=en

Magical Aladdin’s Lamp with the legendary puppets by Carlo Colla and sons

Aladdin’s Lamp is placed in the very rich collection of fairy tales by the legendary  Compagnia Carlo Colla & Figli where, alongside the titles of the repertoire as Cinderella and Puss in Boots, among the new creations. It was in fact expressly written in 1993 by Eugenio Monti Colla, who in the following year also directed him for his debut at the Spoleto Festival. The show, proposed in Milan in ’94 / ’95, was subsequently on tour, among other things, in Cremona, Rome, Puglia and the Macerata Opera Festival, always welcomed with great warmth by the public. Also in this case the “numbers” affect: the marionettes are two hundred, including protagonists, supporting actors, extras and animals; the animators are twelve of which two employees to move only the genius, a singular creature two meters long with the head, the bust and the arms of papier-mâché and the rest of the body made of silk and organza; the paintings of the show are thirteen plus the prologue and correspond to the same number of scenes, partly realized ex novo and partly coming from old shows; two hundred costumes were created for this edition; at least three are the inevitable parades: the procession of the princess, the parade of magical slaves produced by the genius and that of the imperial army that returns victorious led by Aladino, composed of dozens of puppets. The story basically follows the story of the Thousand and One Nights and is set in China, the true East for the Arabs. Among the many curiosities we can finally mention the character of the magician who is a Maghreb dervish, the two genes that come out one from the magic ring and the other from the lamp, one is black, symbol of the irrational, the other is white to to mean reasoning and feeling: from their union will come harmony.The music was composed specifically for the show by Danilo Lorenzini and, more than a commentary on the action, they are a real symphonic poem that follows the action.
Aladdin will ne onstage at
Teatro Studio Melato. Created as an experimental space, a “gymnasium” for the young students of the Piccolo’s Theatrical School and location for the annual international Masterclasses, the Teatro Studio, with its circular layout, is very much appreciated by directors from all over the world for the special relationship it creates between the actors and the audience.
Dates
12/ 27 – 01/06 , 2019
Tickets
https://www.piccoloteatro.org/en/2018-2019/la-lampada-di-aladino

 

 

 

 

LOISON XMAS PANETTONE GETS A FRUITY ZEST

THE ENCHANTMENT OF THE LANGHE

Destination Langhe Roero, Piedmont, Italy.
What a wonderful trip! Starting from the exquisite 5 stars boutique hotel La Ribezza located in Monteforte d’Alba, a suggestive borgo  on the hills of the Langhe, a territory  located in the southern part of Piedmont and encompasses the whole range of technical and economic processes relating to the winegrowing and winemaking that has characterized the region for centuries. The Langhe offer panoramas of carefully cultivated hillsides, following ancient land divisions punctuated with buildings that lend structure to the visual space: hilltop villages, castles, Romanesque churches, farms, cellars and storehouses for cellaring and for the commercial distribution of the wine in the small towns and larger towns on the margins of the vineyards.
The serial property is outstanding for its harmony, and the balance between the aesthetic qualities of its landscapes, the architectural and historical diversity of the built elements associated with the wine production activities and an authentic and ancient art of winemaking. 
The vineyards of Langhe-Roero constitute an outstanding example of man’s interaction with his natural environment. Following a long and slow evolution of winegrowing expertise, the best possible adaptation of grape varieties to land with specific soil and climatic components has been carried out, which in itself is related to winemaking expertise, thereby becoming an international benchmark. This landscape covers eleven little towns located in the  wine-growing areas with outstanding landscapes and the magnificent Castle Grinzane Cavour, an emblematic name both in the development of vineyards and in Italian history.
Back to the hotel: The pleasant surprises started from the reception (where a lovely lady offered to taste 4 different fragrances, in order for me to pick up my preferred and have all toilette amenities. like soap, shampoo, and shower gel  of the same fragrance. MY room was spacious, cosy, well equipped with TV screen, wifi, and tasty welcome fruit basket and a tempting bacio di dama (a two buttery hazelnut cookies sandwiched together with a dollop of dark chocolate) left on my pillow before the night, with a courteous prevision of the next day weather. How nice..
.La Ribezza boasts 20 rooms, a wonderful outdoor sauna-gazebo where you can relax while admiring the breathtaking view, Did I mentioned the view?…
The moRning after we left for an ‘simulated’ truffle huntIing with the expert trifulau Carlo Olivero and his dog Steel. Simulated means that a truffle was previously hidden on the ground (of course Steel didn’t know where…) Well, in less than 10 minutes the was able to locate one. Then Carlo took us for a little walk, when suddenly Steel went crazy over a spot and started digging, He was right! There another big one  (and not purposely hidden)  Everybody, Carlo included, very happy! Grand finale. Gala Dinner at 3 Michelin star Piazza Duomo.That was an  amazing gastronomic adventure with dishes created by resident Chef Enrico Crippaand guest Chef Támas Szell, from Stand, Budapest.
The remarkable menu
headlined the collaboration between the Italian and Hungarian  Bocuse d’Or Academies and the participation of the Hungarian Academy at the next edition (the 89th) of the Alba International White Truffle Fair 2019
The truffle is a sort of mushroom known since ancient times. The first testimonies come from the diet of the Sumerian people and from the time of Jacob the Patriarch, around 1600 – 1700 B.C. Truffle are known as a qualitative ingredient in finest quality kitchens. Their cost could reach up to amounts of one hundred dollars per kilogram!y
White truffle fair is held in the city of Alba, which is located in northwest Italy, for more than 80 years. The fair is held every Saturday and Sunday from the first half of October until the second half of November. It is a bonanza that celebrates not only truffles, but also the tipical products of the territory, from wine to cheese, to cakes, pastas and any kind of food produced in the Langhe. Visitors from everywhere, with particular attendance from Northern Europe, Germany, Switzerland, France, but with constantly growing presences also from the United States, Brazil, Australia and East Asia, in particular Hong Kong and Singapore, have confirmed the success of the 88th edition of the Alba International White Truffle Fair,
An edition, the one just ended, which took place “Between earth and moon” paying tribute to the satellite of the earth which, through the phases of the moon, is an integral part of the search path and which was also inspired by organizers and visitors. The vintage, quantitatively and qualitatively exceptional, has been lived intensely at the World Market of the White Truffle of Alba, the largest international exhibition of truffles from the Piedmont hills of Langhe, Roero and Monferrato. Here each single truffle has been checked by the special “Quality Commission”, available to customers for the entire duration of the Fair to guarantee quality and safety in purchasing. The season, which was hypothesized could be very interesting for the quantity and quality of the product, has surpassed the brightest expectations with about 700 kg of Alba White Truffle sold at the World Market of Alba White Truffle.
A celebration that offers a unique cultural experience. Chefs, vendors, experts and amateurs gather to have a glimp and possibly a taste of the precious mushroom. I was kindly invited to a yummy workshop featuring Chef Gabriele Boffa, from Relais Sant’Uffizio , Cioccaro , Asti . Gabriele, originally from Alba has an impressive curriculum: Yannick Alléno in France, Mugaritz in Spain, Pujol in Mexico, Piazza Duomo, in Italy,
He
prepared a Filetto alla Torrengo, with cooked radicchio, heart of lettuce, béarnaise sauce, smoked butter, onion water, fassona meat and, of course, white truffle.
Delicious! The yearly Alba International Truffle Fair is the most important food and wine event of Langhe Roero, increasingly open to the internationality of the proposed contents, will host, in fact, the Magogian food and wine tradition, thus contributing to promote two top-level enogastronomic traditions and consolidate the cultural relationships that bind the two Academies. In fact, both Academies are engaged in the preparation of the respective candidates for the World Final of the Bocuse d’Or, the most prestigious haute cuisine contest in the world, which will be held in the next 29 and 30 January, 2019  in Lyon. Between the many highligt of the trip I would like to mentin a dinner at Ca’ del Re, Verduno, a great lunch at  Wine Bar Barolo Friends in Barolo, the  wine tasting at Sordo Wines and and a visit to the exhibit Nina’s Tale in the suggestive San Domenic Church , where we got the chance to meet with the Artist Valerio Berruti.

 

 

All of that embraced by the beauty by the enchanting Langhe!

INFO
International White Truffle Fair
Boutique Hotel La Ribezza
Academy Bocuse d’Or Italy
Academy Bocuse d’Or Italy  Press Office
Bocuse d’Or

THE LEGEND OF THE MILANESE PANETTONE

There are several legends about the birth of the milanese panettone.
The most common dates back to the 1476. It tells of Ugo, a young falconer
who worked for Ludovico il Moro, the Duke of Milan.

6_Anonimo

The boy was secretly in love with Adalgisa, daughter of Toni, the most popular baker in Milan. To spend more time with her, Ugo managed to become a pastry cook apprentice. Christmas was coming, and Ugo wanted to give a twist to the usual bread.He sweetened up the dough, adding sugar, butter, eggs, raisins and chopped candied fruits, then he cooked and shaped it like a giant muffin.

The novelty instantly became the talk of the town. Everybody wanted the new Toni’s bread (pan de Toni) soon named panettone.

The history goes on
After centuries, the panettone is still the delicious centerpiece at many festive tables,
In 1930, two well-known patisserie masters, Mr. Agostino Panigada and Mr. Giovanni Cova came together to create their first workshop in Viale Nurzia in Milan. Here the real “Panetun di Milan” was born.
Traditional Panettone generously filled with  raisins and candied fruit peel (including a lot of squared oranges that I love) The “Milanese” pound (Libbra) is an ancient unit of measurement of Northern Italy – it corresponds to 1120 grams. Breramilano. have adopted this peculiarity to highlight the prestigious “Milano” line, where the combination between taste and art reaches the most impressive outcome. This line, called BreraMilano1930 (now widely distributed in the US)  is characterized by making use of a special paper, rough to the touch, that takes its stylistic inspiration from their original 1930s collections.  Breramilano produces superior quality confections particularly their Panettone and Pandoro which are known as the undoubted symbols of Milanese confectionary art all over the world. For this company, remembering and respecting the past means keeping alive the ancient confectionary art traditions, respecting old recipes and checking every single ingredient for quality. Their aim is to keep alive the flavors of the past as time goes by.
Finally, like in the old times, this panettone is rigorously hand
wrapped exactly like they use to do in the old Milan …Foto. Cesare Zucca

 

 

 

 

LOREDANA ‘I am no Lady’ BERTÈ CONQUERS MILAN

IN ONE OF HER MAJOR HITS SHE DECLARES ‘NON SONO UNA SIGNORA’(I am no Lady) THAT’S HOW THE FLAMBOYANT ITALIAN ROCK STAR LOREDANA BERTÈ LOVES TO INTRODUCE HERSELF

Text by Cesare Zucca
Album Photos by Giovanni Squatriti
Concert Photos by Cesare ZuccaLast night, all the ‘hip Milan’ packed at the Teatro Nazionale, in occasion of the comeback concert of Loredana Bertè, the undiscussed Italian Queen of Rock. Not a real come back: Loredana did not disappeared from the stages and the press, but she is not been recording a new album since 13 years.
The sold out concert was introducing ‘LiBertè‘ the very new work of the Artist where Loredana’s scratchy voice pours out all her anger, sleepless nights, bad thoughts, disappointments and disillusions.
The second part of the concert opens with Liberté (that gives the title to the whole album) with Loredana wearing a straight jacked (exactly like on the CD cover)
In a tour de force performance with song signed by great authors like Fabio Ilacqua, Davide Simonetta, Maurizio Piccoli, Ivano Fossati, Enrico Ruggeri, Pino Daniele, among others. Supported by a great band and her longtime backsinger-friend Aida Copper, Bertè scored her rich repertoire that includes hits like Dedicato, Mare d’Inverno, E la luna bussò,
Among new songs and previous hits, there was one that particularly touched me, rearranged with a new rendition. It is titled ‘Stare fuori,
while the big screen was showed the original video that I worked for as a stylist ..and I still love!
I would like to point out Anima Carbone(Soul charcoal) which is absolutely my favorite track of the album. The lyrics( (by Loredana Bertè) and the music (by Fabio Ilacua) are strongly pairing in a screaming confession.
The text says:
I’m not tired of making mistakes
And to burn up the time
To step on every morality
And then throw it away
If God has cheated on my disgrace
He’s got to settle the bill
With my charcoal soul
Of meat and anarchy
II so wish that Loredana’s new album would be released worldwide and her concert would perform not only in the Italian venues, but also abroad.  I am pretty sure that a lot of European and oversea rock lovers would be mesmerized and captured by her flamboyant personality and her music.
Following the tradition of those majestic ‘No Lady’ Artist like Nina Hagen, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Dolores O’Riordan, gritty and charismatic queens of the stage, soloists and frontwomen who gave to rock music a feminine imprint, revolutionizing the world of music. Some were true pioneers, eradicating stereotypes with their provocative performances and feminist texts. Others have collected this important legacy, adapting it to time and change, always leading the woman power forward.
Long life to Freedom, viva la LiBertè!
LiBertè tour will hit road till summer 2019 .
Check the schedule and if it happens that you ‘ll be in Italy, do not miss it!

More info for dates and venue
LiBertè Tour 2018-2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NEW YORK, TAKING YOUR KIDS TO THE MUSEUM…

 

From NY to Italy. Life is a marathon for Pier…and the others.

Hamburg, discovering HafenCity, Where to stay? My suggestion is HOTEL 25 HOURS HAFENCITY.

HafenCity It is the new futuristic district of Hamburg, area of ​​creatives and artists,
To get there they have specially built the metropolitan U4 line. in 3 stops from the center you have already arrived. Here you can breathe fresh air, the spaces are open and many Hamburgers get away from work to go for a drink or a snack.
I stayed at the brand new 25 Hours HafenCity Hotel where I had a great time.
I felt like a sailor, the rooms look like a ship’s cabins, with prosperous painted models on the bathroom walls.Here atmosphere is easy and relaxed , The motto says  COME AS YOU ARE! There is also free access to a spectacular spa in stones and wood. In the morning a rich buffet breakfast is set up, there you can find everything, including rote gruetze, my beloved raspberry, blueberry and cherry sauce served on lean yogurt. Yummy!For lunch or dinner, the HEIMAT restaurant welcomes you with local and international food.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is a wide variety of room types. Cabins, Each of the cosy 21-25sqm / 226-269sqft M Cabins contains a queen-size bed and has an ocean-going atmosphere without compromising on comfort. Perfect for short trip ashore. As you would expect from 25hours, they are designed with plenty of attention to detail.Anchoring made easy. The M Cabins+ are boutique retreats with an area of 21-25sqm / 226-269sqft and maritime-themed decor. Ideally suited for a short shore leave. These rooms either overlook Hamburg’s spectacular port or have full-length windows looking out onto the quiet courtyard.ou can almost smell the sea.                                                                               The laid-back Bunk Bed Cabins have an area of 20sqm / 215sqft and contain two single beds. You could be forgiven for forgetting you’re still on land. Ideal for friends to discover Hamburg or colleagues after a long office day. In addition you can find large Cabins are inspired by the harbour and the sea and offer enhanced comfort. With an area of 31-35sqm / 334-377sqft, they feature a king-size bed and additional seating. Finally the spacious XL Cabins, perfect forr those guests who are planning a special or extended stay in Hamburg and the logbook is a great source of inspiration. After a day spent exploring, free use of the Hafensauna is the perfect way to unwind.span approx. 40sqm / 430sqft and feature maritime design and extra comfort. The rooms each have a king-size bed, a couch to relax on and a Nespresso coffee maker. A room with a bath is available on request.
From many rooms, Guests can look out over the courtyard garden and landlubbers can explore the HafenCity by bike or using one of our MINIs

INFO
25 HOURS HAFENCITY

 

 

WHERE TO STAY WHILE IN HAMBURG, GERMANY. My suggestion: NOVOTEL Hamburg City Alster Hotel

Novotel Hamburg City Alster Hotel
4-star hotel boasting modern rooms and suites with a desk and free WIFI
Central location and U-Bahn station on our doorstep make the Novotel Hamburg City Alster hotel the ideal base in Hamburg.  5-minutes away from Alster-Schwimmhalle and within 20 minutes of English Theatre Of Hamburg. Highlights at this hotel include in-room free WiFi, free high-speed Internet,
Great place, convenient rates.

and LCD TVs. All 210 soundproofed rooms feature sofa beds, satellite TV, and separate bathtubs and showers. You’ll find nice touches like soaking tubs and free toiletries to enhance your stay. Coffee/tea makers, free newspapers, and safes are also available. Enjoy the fitness centre, Turkish bath/hammam, and sauna. Business amenities include a meeting room and a business centre.
Added amenities include free WiFi in public areas and laundry facilities. Each morning excellent buffet breakfast is served between 6:30 AM and 10:30 AM. Sights within a 20-minute walk of this 4-star Hamburg-Nord hotel include Museum of Arts and Crafts Hamburg and Mundsburg Center. Enjoy the comfort of the sauna and the video games area. Rooms are spacious and bright, Super comfy bed…I slept like a baby!
As I said, the hotel is centrally located  so all the major venues are easily reachable.
Dining in is an option with room service, and minibars provide refreshments.


I had a great lunch at the hotel stylish restaurant Novo2, and a nice chat with the executive Chef, who told me that his menu focuses on seasonal products and evergreen tasty meat. and suggested a juicy and tender La Maracho Rump Steak with sauteed vegetables  and … a silver swan (just for decoration…)

 

 

 

 

Novo2 is an innovative combination of a bar lounge , that offers delicious seasonal dishes and light snacks are served from 6.30am to 9.30pm. A cool spot where where you can have a nice glass of wine, like i did!


INFO
Novotel Hamburg City Alster Hotel
Luebecker Strasse 3
22087 HAMBURG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DUBAI CELEBRATES WORLD PASTA DAY 2018

26 members representing 18 countries (Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, Mexico, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela) and the two Federations European industrial pasta manufacturers (UNAFPA) and industrial Semouliers. Among the most important activities promoted by the IPO, the organization of the World Pasta Day, a fixed appointment every October 25, since 1997, celebrates the important role played by pasta to nourish the world and its ability to adapt to every culture. Every year a different city is elected as a “world capital” of pasta to welcome producers, representatives of the scientific and gastronomic community, institutions and stakeholders from around the world.
The Kingdom of Pasta will be celebrated worldwide on October 25 in Dubai!
I am a pasta lover and here are my choice for this big event.
Good pasta hunting!

Egg specialty SQUID INK LINGUINE and MACCHERONCINI ny Campofilone

SPAGHETTI A MATASSA Artisanal pasta by Cav. Giuseppe Cocco in Fara S.Martino, Abruzzi

 

World Pasta Day has been celebrated o since 1998 with promotional initiatives and parallel events held throughout the world. 2018 marks its 20th Anniversary!

3 GREAT SPAGHETTI from Rustichella d’Abruzzo, Pianella, Pescara. CHITARRONE, PRIMOGRANO, SPAGHETTI DURUM WEAT BRONZE DRAWN,and TRITICUM farro bio-organic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The event is organized by the IPO (International Pasta Organization), for which Aidepi has taken care of the Secretariat since its foundation in 2005.

The first  World Pasta Day was held in Naples in 1998. Since then, this event has been held every year, moving to Genoa, Rome, New York, Barcelona,  Mexico City, Istanbul, New York  Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Moscow,  São Paulo and .Milan EXPO 2015

LE LIMONCINE by Campofilone, with essential lemon oil.

the unbelievable SPAGHETTI RAPIDA by Rustichella d’Abruzzo.It cooks in 90 seconds!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Organisation and AIDEPI (Italy) in Dubai, with the support of ITA (Italian Trade Agency).
The event aims to maximize promotion of an extraordinary, good, healthy, nutritious, accessible and sustainable food, a pillar of the Mediterranean Diet, recognized as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.

CASERECCE bio farro by Vis Vita, S.Martino , Padova

 

RUOTE PAZZE by Benedetto Cavalieri. Maglie, Lecce

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MISTA CORTA by Gentile, Gragnano, Naples

CANDELE LUNGHE by Pastificio Di Martino , Gragnano, Naples.

SPAGHETTATA EXPRESS. a gift box created by Rustichella d’Abruzzo celebrating the World Pasta Day. It contains durum wheat semolina spaghetti, tomato and basil sauce and the traditional wooden fork.

 

 

 

 

Authoritative experts and opinion leaders will be invited to delve into scientific, economic, technological, cultural and gastronomic aspects linked to pasta in front of an international audience made up of pasta makers and supply chain operators, representatives from the economic sector, academics, institutions and media, to reaffirm the truth about pasta starting from its roots and outlining its path between past, present and future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Attending or not to the Dubai event, October 25 will be a great excuse to eat more than one pasta dish…wherever you are!for more info
http://2018.worldpastaday.org/

DISCOVERING TURIN

I spent 4 fantastic days in a fantastic city: Turin, capital of the Piedmont Region, Italy.
Turin is a remarkable treasure of history , arts, culture and…great food.
Let’ s start with the history. Many venues to visit, so I choose two of them and I adventured myself in a fascinating journey through the Royal Palace and the Savoy dynasty. The breathtaking apartments, the Royal Library, the Royal Armoury, the Savoy Gallery, the Archaeological Museum and the close Guarini’s Chapel of the Holy Shroud  recently reopened to public.
The next day I went to Venaria, the monumental Savoy Royal Residences and gardens, housing one of the most important centers for art and culture in Italy.

 

 

 

 

 

You will be amazed by the enchanting Hall of Diana, the huge complex of the Stables, the famous golden ship Bucentaur and much more.

 

The venue hosts several great exhibits, including Easy Rider, a glamorous exhibit that celebrate the magical world of motorbikes, evergreen symbol of “leaving the world behind”, “freedom”, and “speeding into the unknown”. and a great photo gallery showcasing the amazing work of Elliott Erwitt. 

 

 

The current exhibit Hercules and his myth focuses and illustrates the figure of the Hero with a selection of extraordinary paintings and art objects created in classical antiquity and between the 16th and 18th centuries and literally surprising the visitor with an unexpected selection of those pretty tacky 60’s-70’s movies and their posters, starring the very first Superman.
Looking for a unique museum?
National Museum of Cinema, located In the iconic Mole Antonelliana, symbol of Turin.

 

 

 

It runs vertically, up the ramps that line the inside of the building while exposing historical archives in film history, costumes, wigs and elements that have been used by great artists, and impressive screens showing films.

 

 

On the year commemorating the centenary of Leonard Bernstein’s birth, one of the biggest composers and orchestra conductors of the 20th century, the NationalMuseum of Cinema organised a large multimedia exhibit  Soundframes that investigates the complex relationship between music and moving images.             

From the first musicals, to impressive scores created by great composer such as John Williams, Ennio Morricone, Hans Zimmer, etc.The exhibit is exclusively made up of screenings winding along the Temple Hall’s helicoidal ramp. Visitors to the exhibition will be provided with wireless headphones that are necessary for a 360 degrees immersion. To complete this emotional journey into the universe of music in cinema, the last part of the itinerary consists of 6 rooms with highly interactive features.

 

Into modern art?
Here two beautiful museums:
GAM. In addition to its rich collection, starting Oct 26, the museum will host THE MACCHIAIOLI Italian art moves towards modernity, an exhibition that focuses on the antecedents, birth and highly successful debut period of Macchiaioli painting, spanning the experimentation of the 1850s and the masterpieces of the 1860s, exploring in-depth the artistic dialogue established between 3 Italian Regions: Tuscany, Piedmont and Liguria. MEF is hosting 100% ITALIA, a journey through the three great wars that have changed the world and its perception and, above all, an accurate account of Italian creativity.
The show proposes a selection of exceptional works never exhibited. masterpieces that are usually kept in private collections and that are hardly exposed to the public     .Welcome to Turin, Capital of taste!

 

On my arrival night, lovely Silvia from TurismoTorino.org took me to one of her favorite restaurant, Tre Galli, located in the heart of the Roman Quarter, one of the oldest areas of Turin.

There I became 100% Piedmontese!

 

Boiled tongue with the traditional salsa verde (anchovies, parsley, bread soaked in red vinaigrette, garlic and egg yolk) .

 

 

Then panissa risotto with beans and bacon, a traditional peasant dish also known as paniscia depending on the local dialect, and here served in a metal can. Silvia ordered Agnolotti alla Piemontese, that are fresh pasta dumplings, similar in shape to ravioli and stuffed with tender fassona meat. I tried one: it was rich, generous and tasty.>

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To follow, a delicate flan with leeks and fonduta of Toma Montecauri cheese.
Sweet finale with a bonet (peach stuffed with a creamy fusion of Chocolate and nuts.Shall we lunch ?

Caffè Elena
Established in 1800, right in the heart of the magnificent Vittorio Veneto.

Here furniture and atmosphere have remained unchanged.Ideal for breakfast as well as the lunch break or a later aperitif paired with  high quality tapas made on the spot. I sat at the small table by the window, the one preferred from Emilio Salgari the world best pirates stories writer.

 

 

I had handmade potato gnocchi with sausage and sheep cheese, then grilled fassona (super tender meat) with arugula salad and parmesan cheese.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For dessert, I had panna cotta
made with a historical recipe, adding Vermouth Carpano, a bitter drink invented in Turin ,
cacao and hazelnut crumble. Yes, You need a long walk after that lunch.
Chiodi Latini
‘We are a vegetale–integrale restaurant’, told me Antonio Chiodi Latini, the quite bizarre owner and creator of this minuscule venue in the center of Turin. ‘No meat, no fish, no derivates, not at all those sad unflavored vegan dishes. We don’t want to be a trendy place, We like to research , experiment and have the right knowledge of raw materials, their benefit, their taste. We propose a new approach to healthy food, whole foods, paying attention to plant-based ingredients, placing them at the center of our dishes in all their simplicity’.
At lunch, the menu offers 5 choiches, Business, Image, Premium, Whole and Experience (to be booked in advance)

 

Under Antonio’s authorisation, I mix matched some of the choices, Starting with a porcini and cream on stale bread, followed a velvety watercress and Swiss chard with roasted pumpkin seeds, a broccoli cream, then the signature dish called  ‘PA-PO-BA,we can’t do without it’ (that’s PAsta, Pomodoro, BAsilico)


and ending with the ‘chilly’ sorbet Freddoloso (90% fennel, cardamom, cream of parsley.) As drinks a healthy kombucha (fermented tea , pine needles and cones) and a delicate smoothy with fennel extract, celery. green apple, lemon, ginger and zucchini squash.
Pizza maniac?
Tasteit
An unusual concept for making pizza. It is called ‘gourmet pizza’ and you will be the creator! You have the possibility to have ‘your’ customized pizza, choosing between the selection ‘earth’ or ‘sea’. In the first section there is a great presence of parmigiano cheese because the manager Domenico made a long culinary experience in Emilia-Romagna, Parma ham or Ghirardi reserve smoked scamorza, the famous culatello di Zibello, porcini mushrooms, pesto of parmesan rucola in poppy seed crust. Any sea proposal? There is no lack of unusual couplings, such as the amberjack fillet paired with spinach, guancialino slice and porcini or a tuna and shrimp tartare with kiwi, orange citronette and grapefruit zest, or low temperature cooked octopus, mashed potatoes and taggiasca olives.
The most popular? W
ith stracciatella, pork fillet cooked at low temperature, lard from Colonnata,  sprinkled crispy bacon and sesame seed vinaigrette. For lunch, the menu takes on a more business format with the choice of two first and three seconds. I chose amberjack risotto with tomato and cheese stracciatella. Perhaps because of
the late hour (it was almost 2.00 pm) to my taste, the rice was a little overcooked.

The score went up  with the arrival of a slice of pizza scampiamola which takes its name from the raw scampi paired with a delicate guacamole just flavored with shallots, pepper and just a drop of tabasco (thank God! I hate  guacamole full of garlic, coriander and onion !)

 

Fancy some tapas?
Languorini

Cosy little bar that will delight you with its creation. I tried the one called  Maialino nel panino (semi-sweet bread, pork strips cooked at low temperature and the chef’s sauce) the always classic black bread and Mediterranean anchovies and ‘U pulpo’, crispy octopus, scamorza cheese and herb mayonnaise. To drink, a FOG crafted white beer.

Chocoholic?

 

Your destination is the store of Guido Gobino where you will find the cremino al sale, a chocolate praline enriched with integral sea salt and extra virgin olive oil, was awarded in 2008 as the Best Praline of the World from the prestigious London Academy of Chocolate.Are you a coffee lover?
Do not miss Nuvola Lavazza Museum. Lavazza is one of the oldest Italian factory producing coffee since 1885. The museum is a  multi-layered journey through the world of coffee, from the first grocery store where Luigi Lavazza invented the concept of blending, to the characters from advertising campaigns to yearly calendars, shoot by renowned photographers such as Helmut Newton, and Annie Leibovitz.
To end the journey at the bar where you would tray some experimental coffee drinks or food, like the amazing coffee sprinkled chips.
Did you say burger?
Check out  M** Bun, first ‘slow food’ burger of the history .
They use only meat processed in the Scaglia farm in Rivoli, strictly Km.0 obtained from animals raised and fed with cereals and fodder grown in their fields, to guarantee a unique taste and consistency at every bite.
In addition you can find different raw tartare  (plain, with capers or olives.
     The menu is a fanny mix between Italian and Piedmontese dialect, burgers here are oven grilled, chicken, fassona, pig. and a daily winter soup. The potatoes are to die for: absolutely fresh-cut and grilled to perfection. (forget those greasy fast food fries.) To drink artisanal beer from Susa, local wine and Molecola, a home-made alternative to Coca Cola. I got one and took me a minute to realize that even here the name is playing with words, mixing Mole ( the symbol of Turin) and Cola, as per the drink….

My favorite restaurant with traditional Piedmont cuisine? The istorical Porto di Savona opened in 1863 and still one of the most representative venue in Turin.

 

I started with a mix of traditional appetizers vitello tonnato ( cold veal with tuna sauce),

Zucca, which is my last name. In italian, it means ‘pumpkin. Long story short, I couldn’t resist to try a little bit of a very promising pumping creamy soup with robiola cheese and amaretti. It definitely was a good choice. Then a Turin must: Fritto Misto Piemontese. A fried mix of salty to sweet. Enjoy 9 different ingredients: sweetbreads, anchovies with green sauce, tomino cheese with green sauce (parsley, garlic, olive oil)) Vegetable flan with Parmesan creamy sauce, amaretto, fruits and more. Perfectly fried, crunchy, not greasy and super tasty
Then I had the opportunity to taste the Finanziera, a real Piedmont treat. Apparently it was born in the eighteenth century and offered by the peasants to the revenue officers, whose jacket inspired the name. y. It’s  an old poor recipe that used the less noble parts of slaughtered animals and the entrails, such as brain, lungs, testicles, sweet bells, liver and cock’s crest which were left to those who performed the slaughter and immediately cooked, prepared and consumed.Today the Finanziera is considered an elaborate and sophisticated specialty.

Where to stay?
I checked in at Genova Hotel, a four star Best Western Plus property, steps to Central Station Porta Nuova and all the transportation. Super central, excellent service, comfy bed, even a jacuzzi in my room!

 

The breakfast is generous and delicious. Among fresh cold cuts, a lot of cheeses, including my favorite tomini.
Lots of homemade cakes with fruits.
I loved the one with caramelized pears and
(of course) the traditional Turin gianduja chocolate.
I stayed 4 nights and I highly recommend it.

 

Get the Torino&Piemonte card!

Free admission in the most important museums and exhibitions in Turin, in the castles, fortresses and Royal Residences in Piedmont and discounted tickets for many attractions, events, rides, including the great City SightSeeing Torino bus 

 

 

 

Bric Paradiso Roero DOCG Riserva 2013: memory of the sea

 

Among the vineyards of Nebbiolo at Tenuta Carretta, the storied winery in Piobesi d’Alba, those planted in the Menzione Geografica Aggiuntiva “Bric Paradiso” in Roero are distinguished for their ability to showcase a particular, and lesser-known, face of this wine. The soils of marine origin – poor in organic matter and rich in mineral salts – the predominantly sandy composition of the soils, the steep slopes of the vines and the important daily temperature range which is accentuated in the last stages of maturation gives the Roero DOCG wines that originate here ample and intense aromas, structure, finesse and the elegance renown in the great wines of Piedmont. These characteristics are coupled with the distinct terroir of the Roero that may seem unusual in a Nebbiolo. However, it is just further proof that vines grown on the left bank of the Tanaro benefit from the soils left from millions of years ago, which we know from the abundance of fossils found, when the area was the seabed of the Padano Sea. All of this amounts to a Roero DOCG appellation, which also bears the label of “Riserva” due to a long ageing in barrel and bottle. The 2013 vintage is remembered for an unusually late harvest, so much so, that the last of the Nebbiolo grapes were harvested in the first week of November.
A spring with below-average temperatures and plentiful rainfall slowed down the vegetative growth of the vines and required attentive care in the vineyards to ward off plant diseases caused by the excess water. Then, in September and October, there were consecutive warm and clear days which helped to balance vine growth and ensure proper ripening of the grapes. This turn in climate resulted in a harvest of much higher quality than expected given the circumstances. In particular, the Nebbiolo grapes proved to be some of the best of that year, showcasing the aromatic terroir that distinguishes it. This is all thanks to the contrastof hot days and cool nights that occurred in the last phase of ripening.

Roero Riserva DOCG Bric Paradiso 2013
A limited-production label of only seven thousand bottles Roero Riserva DOCG Bric Paradiso is made from the best Nebbiolo grapes harvested within the Bric Paradiso Menzione Geografica Aggiuntiva in the municipality of Piobesi d’Alba. The particular terroir of the vineyard united with sustainable vineyard management and attentive winemaking result in a wine in which its elegance, finesse and drinkability overpower austerity and a heavy structure. Roero Riserva Bric Paradiso, after ageing for 18 months in barrel and another year in bottle, is a deep ruby red with garnet flashes and intense aromas of red fruits, black pepper, spices and licorice. The palate is balanced between structure, elegance and drinkability with a persistent, long, mineral finish

‘GRAND CHOCOLATE’ PANETTONE… IS COMING! Check for Brera Milano 1930

In on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of  extraordinary composer and good food lover  Gioachino Rossini,, the prestigious Milan pastry shop Giovanni Cova & C,  also distributed in the US under the label Brera Milano 1930,  pays homage to him, dedicating his panettone to his works. Renewed collaboration with Archivio Storico Ricordi also for next Christmas-2018.  The idea of ​​celebrating the 150th anniversary of the death of Maestro Gioachino Rossini stems from the meeting of Giovanni Cova & C., an icon of craftsmanship in the Milanese patisserie, and the Archivio Storico Ricordi, custodian of the works of the greatest Masters of Melodrama , and represents the opportunity to continue the cultural journey that unites music with Italian confectionery excellence. The Ricordi Historical Archive is the most important private music collection in the world. Here are preserved the immortal musical works of great artists who have left an indelible mark on the musical culture. The Archive, founded in 1808, is the historical memory of the musical publisher Ricordi, acquired in 1994 by the German multinational Bertelsmann, which has since guaranteed its conservation and cultural development. Its prestige lies in the variety of preserved documents, which offer a complete view of Italian culture, industry and society. Hosted at the Palazzo di Brera in Milan, the Archive collects scores, letters of composers, librettists and singers, sketches and sketches, booklets

vintage photos and Art Nouveau posters. A sweet tribute to the most famous Italian opera Composers, such as Donizetti, Respighi, Toscanini, the incomparable Paganini, or the great Rossini of which this year is the 150th from hid death ,
To enrich the Ricordi Line the 2018 cake will be dedicated Rossini with the Panettone GranCioccolato (Grand Chocolate) covered with lozenges of dark chocolate and chopped hazelnuts and enriched with thick drops of dark chocolate, greedy in the recipe and precious in the wrap wanted for the occasion with the reproduction of the autograph score of the work L’Italiana in Algiers of Maestro Gioachino Rossini honored in his 150th anniversary also in the famous portrait of Vespasiano Bignami.
Panettone

Grand Chocolate
joins the range to offer to all the greedy of the magic ingredient an unparalleled combination capable of mixing the acidulous tones sourced from the yeast with the
moderate bitterness of a fondant 47% rounded in closing by the fragrant taste of butter. A cake devoted to a scrupulous selection and combination of first-class ingredients, from the first milk-processing centrifuge butter that arrives weekly from Northern Europe to strictly fresh eggs, from the flour mix selected in 80 years of mother yeast able to make the difference on a processing process of about 72 hours from the first delivery to the finished product. The hand wrapping gives an emotion capable of embellishing the Christmas table with an ode to the most extraordinary Italian musical culture, to be savored by capturing the aromas, for an experience of the five senses.

I tasted it, I loved it!

For more info
Panettone Grand Cioccolato
by Giovanni Cova & C
distributed in the US under the label Brera Milano 1930

LJUBLJANA CASTLE, STRELEC RESTAURANT: WOW-FACTOR GARANTEED! By Philip Sinsheimer

No proper visit of Ljubljana can be complete without a visit to the fortified castle way on top of the hill dominating the city. Easily accessible by tram, it rewards any visitor with breathtaking views of the city as well as a cultural journey into Slovenia’s history.
Don’t expect lavish ballrooms, the castle served mainly a military role, but various sections of the high perched citadel have small museum like spaces to visit, from Slovenia’s tormented history to a more anecdotal marionette collection.

 

 

Let’s face it, the view is the main draw for many visitors, but for the happy few, a meal at the revered Strelec Restaurant with tables both indoors or outdoors is the perfect way to admire at length the city below and enjoy one of the best culinary experience they will get to experience in whole Slovenia. It is pretty rare actually that a touristic hub is granted with a fine dining experience thanks to the talent of chef Igor Jagodic who is seen as a true reference in Slovenian fine dining. To top it all, this comes at a very reasonable price with tasting menus going from 44€ for 4 courses to 77 euros for the top of the hill 9 course experience. This is quite incredible for a chef already saluted chef of the year, winner of Regional Restaurants official selection.
Those who want to be free to chose can also pick à la carte from various Slovenian specialties, as humble as a Kranjka sausage served in the pot with freshly grated horseradish and sautéed potatoes.

But there are also chef’s creations with elegant plate compositions :
crispy octopus with young peas and strawberries anyone or would you rather experience the matured beef with goose liver, poached egg yolk and vegetable bouquet?

 

 

The service is truly first class.
As we asked if we could change tables to enjoy fully the experience without the sound of loud neighbors, our question was met with a smiling “of course” and an impressive efficiency to make it happen seamlessly.I also noted not only the incredible wine list which will enable you to sample some of the country’s best bottles, but the quality of our server’s knowledge on the wines and his capacity to describe them to match both food and personal preferences. His help was so important, because, especially among the native grape varieties. Quite frankly without his guidance, I never would have tasted (let alone pronounce it!) this beautiful white wine, Vitovska Grganja 2017 by Boris and Alen Lisjak (have a picture of bottle held, very dark label though), coming from the Slovenian region facing the Italian’s Friuli-Venezia Giulia.The perfectly cooked high-quality beef sirloin slices accompanied by a medley of both raw and cooked vegetables found a perfect match once again with a couple of Slovenian red wines. Having so far mainly tasted whites, this came as a beautiful surprise. If you re not dazzled by the view, you may well become dizzy by these exciting pours. See it as an educational experience, the last tram is there to get down the hill sound and safe!
For more info Strelec Restaurant, Ljubljana Castle 

 

 

 

The beauty of Ljubljana and the enchantment of Bled, Slovenia.

Ljubljana is the delicious, small, neat, clean, surprisingly lively and cheerful capital of Slovenia. The tiny, pedestrianized center, under the hill where the Fortress dominates the city, follows the curve of the Ljubjanica river and the walks on both sides are home to an impressive number of bars, restaurants and trendy clubs that are the heart of the nightlife. To go from one side of the river to the other there are the three old bridges, Cevlarski most, the Triple bridge and basically the one of the Dragons.Turning around you will meet green electric cards with the words Ljubliana The Friendly City. They are free, for tourists and locals, and you can go up for a tour of the city or simply to move comfortably from one side to the other
The best way to explore the city?  Rent a Bicike(LJ). bicycle.

 

Really convenient and practically free. The symbolic price (€ 1 for one week, € 3 for the whole year) covers the enrollment in the system. The first hour is free, if you want to cycle more, it goes from € 1 to a maximum of € 4.

 

For the lazy ones or simply for those who prefer a more sedentary transport, there is Urban, electric train ups and downs that runs throughout the city. € 8, ticket valid all day. Turning around you will meet green electric cars with the words Ljubliana The Friendly City. They are free, for tourists and locals, and you can go up for a tour of the city or simply to move comfortably from one side to the other.

 

 

 

You can also take a Boat Tour, a suggestive excursion in a boat open in summer and heated in winter, to discover the city from the river Ljubljanica.

An applause to Joze Plecnik, the greatest Slovenian architect and one of the most important pioneers of modern architecture in many European capitals including Vienna and Prague. It is a must to take a walk in the heart of Ljubljana and cross its famous Three Bridges. A riverside-night full of restaurants, bars, clubs, music at night. Maybe you did not know that Chef Ana Ros, winner of the 2017 World’s Best Chef Award, is from Slovenia! Ljubljana is a food heaven and offers the delicious Food Tour, a guided tour dedicated to anyone love good food and like to know the culinary history of this city.

 

Through shops, markets and typical restaurants, you will discovery (and taste!) a lots of local specialties. From the honey of Dobrote-Dolenjske, to the sausages of Klobasarna, to delicious cakes. Four green Dragons. The symbol of the city, will welcome you at the beginning and the end of the bridge.

 

People say that it brings good luck to stroke it and take home a dragon magnet, or a tshirt or one in pelouche  that you will find in the adorable Dragon Shop in the central Ciril-Metodov Street. I suggest to visit these beautiful churches: the Franciscan and the Saints Cyril and Methodius, the streets Mestni Trg (which becomes Stari Trg) and then Gornji Trg, the Kongresni Trg on which stands the beautiful University and the near the Parliament.
A must see is the Ljubljanski Grad , the mighty fortress that dominates the city offering breathtaking views of the City.. Today totally renovated and ntegrated with modern elements. used for a different events, including exhibits, cultural meetings, shows and concerts. Don’t expect lavish ballrooms, the castle served mainly a military role, but various sections of the high perched citadel have small museum like spaces to visit, from Slovenia’s tormented history to a beautiful puppets collection.   On the terrace the excellent Strelec Restaurant offers traditional Slovenian recipes revisited by the famous Chef Igor Jagodic who is seen as a true reference in Slovenian fine dining. To top it all, this comes at a very reasonable price with tasting menus going from 44€ for 4 courses to 77 euros for the top of the hill 9 course experience. Those who want to be free to choose can also pick à la carte from various Slovenian specialties, as humble as a Kranjska sausage served in the pot with freshly grated horseradish and sautéed potatoes. But there are also chef’s creations with elegant plate compositions: I had an amazing crispy octopus with young peas and strawberries anyone or would you rather experience the matured beef with goose liver, poached egg yolk and vegetable bouquet.  Every Sunday the Flea Market is a collector’s paradise. There you can find vintage stuff, original items, paintings, ceramics and jewels, while the Central Market offers fruit, vegetables, spices, Slovenian specialties such as ham and the traditional prekmurska gibanica (my favorite is at Gujzina)) Ljubljana is a great city for shopping. Many in the Ciril-Metodov. Among my favorites, there is the Catbriyur workshop-laboratory that supplies the cups even to Her Majesty Queen Elisabeth. Ladies and girls, here you will find unique ceramic jewelry, such as necklaces, brooches and earrings that will be envied by your friends.
For a special dinner, I suggest the new and innovative Bistro Monstera,, created by Bine Volvic, the judge of Master Chef Slovenia. It is a tiny restaurant with a traditional-alternative menu, where the law of ‘no waste’ prevails starting with the cutlery that is never changed. Top night in Metelkova Mesto, former slums, became the most alternative area of ​​the city. After sunset, it hosts music and underground performances. A riot of graffiti, street and locals that are the point of reference for the young crowd.If you are in the mood for an out of town excursion, I suggest a…paradise.
Lake Bled. It is only an hour North of the capital Ljubljana to the North-West and can be reached by car or with a convenient bus (perfect wifi on board)

It is a charming alpine lake, in the center of which stands a small island with its Gothic church from the legendary bell whose toll is customary to express 3 wishes.Bled is also offering hot spring source and thermal waters.

 

 

 

Be prepare to find a postcard like dreamy locationa, and breathtaking sunsets. You can come and go in the day, or enjoy an unforgettable night in the historic facilities of the elegant Grand Hotel Toplice, famous since 1930’s with grand salons adorned with memorabilia pictures and bring all the comfort of modernity, including a lido, a superb spa with swimming pool and free boats to row with to the island,

 

A remarkable venue for its class, for the fantastic views you can enjoy from your room or from the terrace and for the excellent Julijana Restaurant, signed by the starred Chef Simon Bertoncelj.  Having dinner at Julijana, especially if the weather allows to eat outdoor, facing the lake is a moment of bliss: the quality of service, attention to detail and classic décor evoke a certain respect of classical elegance. This doesn’t constrain the cuisine to old classics, and the chef’s creativity and modern techniques seem to find their place very naturally in this elegant environment. Sweet final: the famous sweet Cream of Bled, an iconic cake, a heavenly millefeuille which recipe goes back to 1953 and and is still secretly kept by the Hotel. The result was up to the legend: two layers of perfectly crisp puffed pastry holding a firm custard covered by a layer of lighter whipped cream is to die for..Last bit not the least: The precious Ljubljana Card that gives free admission to more than 20 attractions, free travel on city buses, guided tour of the city, 24 hour internet access.valid 24, 36 or 72 hours will be a great friend that will guide you to discover the beauty of the City.

 

For more info on Ljubljana and Bled
http://www.visitljubljana.com/en/visitors/

 

 

 

 

 

 

LJUBLJANA SLOVENIA, VINOTEKA MOVIA. IS ORANGE THE NEW WHITE? By Philip Sinsheimer

Let’s be honest, before I set foot at the beautiful Movia wine bar in Slovenia’s capital, I had never heard of “orange wines”. Have you? If not, the best thing is to do is go right now over there and ask for an orange wine tasting. For 18€, you will get a flight of 4 of them, beautifully presented and explained by the great staff, possibly Leonard, the charming and oh so enthusiastic young sommelier in the making.
I received a royal treatment from Borut, the manager of the wine bar, located on one of the most passing streets of Ljubljana’s center. It was 10 pm and all the tables outside were taken, so we started our tasting inside, historic looking bar with wood panels and huge counter. But, wherever we were, I know you’re burning to know what in the world are orange wines?
The short and simple answer is that they are NOT of course wines made out of fermented oranges! No, they are white wines with a dark and deep yellow hue, some leaning towards a true orange color. Why this color? Because of the way they are made. In short, white grapes are crushed and left to macerate and ferment leaving the juices in contact with the skins and pits. For how long? It depends, up to a year. The process is very natural in a way, often no yeast or other additives need to be added. Since when has this technique been done? Only 5000 years ago, approximately, especially in the Caucasus region and what now is Georgia (the country). But, it’s only 20 years or so ago that the process made a big come back. Here we are, Slovenia having been with Italy one of the wine countries at the forefront of this revival. So, if in doubt, you are in the right place and in good hands to discover the world of orange wines.
Ok, how do they taste like? Imagine a light, pale, crisp, light pinot grigio from Veneto… well, it’s about the perfect opposite of that: mature, deep, with tannins reminding red wines (because of the skin contact) and complex. These are serious, bold, sipping white wines demanding to be served cold, but not chilled, definitely not the type of wine you serve in an ice bucket by the pool. To go with them, Vinoteka Movia also offers various plates of delicacies to round things up, including some gorgeous and perfectly sliced “pata negra”, the king of Spanish cured hams, but also local charcuterie, cheese and Italian mortadella, for example. Now, orange wines are not for everyone. Some may actually be turned off by their semi-oxidized aromas: instead of appreciating expressions of honey, tropical nut, cooked apple and hazelnut, they may think this wine has passed its age or has been left opened on the counter for too long, thus this wood varnish and linseed oil smell and flavor.                      It’s alright, no panic… You are entitled to your taste, Borut won’t hate you or eat you up! He is prepared with about every type of wine you may like in the house. And yes, all of them Slovenian wines. Go for a flight of white wines, red wines or a mix of both with a tasting of various Movia wines, Movia being a very large producer located in Ceglo, on the western side of Slovenia, close to the order with Italy. Trust me, Slovenia is THE “under-discovered” wine country. The diversity of the terroirs and wine styles may be actually their obstacle to global recognition, because it is quite difficult to any non-Slovenian to decipher what’s written on a bottle: what refers to the area, what to the grape varietal, what to the producer?         With its fantastic staff, so attentive and knowledgeable, the quality of the pours (and of the gorgeous glasses used), I can tell you Vinoteka Movia is THE place to go for both newcomers to the world of orange wines and Slovenian wines in general, and aficionados who already know a thing or two on the matter, ready to be wowed and ask for more!

For more info Vinoteka Movia