Milan. Found Leonardo’s original signature !

Milan
EXHIBIT “
NERO SU BIANCO” .(BLACK ON WHITE)
On a notary document dated June 8, 1496 , has been found an original signature by a Legend: Leonardo da Vinci.
Now you can see that precious page in an extraordinary exhibit at The State Archive of Milan  Archivio di Stato di Milano, that dedicates a rich exhibition to Leonardo, based on some of his rarest documents, relating to his great works.
The show is accompanied by an engaging multimedia exhibition that will take you to a magical room where the passage of time is represented in a cycle that develops from dawn to night; from birth to Leonardo’s death of Leonardo.
This is the end of an amazing journey through 4 rooms respectively dedicated to:
Leonardo and Milan, The Virgin of the Rocks and the Last Supper, Leonardo and the other works and finally Leonardo’s Signature, taking place at the height of an almost dreamlike, immersive  narration: the spectator is at the center of a loggia delimited by large arches and closed by curtains moved by the wind.
The exhibition is based on extensive research conducted in the Milan State Archive and presents a selection of more than 50 documents, among which some unpublished works of great interest that span a time span of almost six centuries. Transcribed and acquired in high definition, the documents will be linked to the most significant images of the works of the Florentine GeniusTill March 28, 2020
Free admission.
Visits by reservation only
Monday to Thursday: 10.00-18.00
Friday: 10.00-14.00
Visit without reservation
Friday: 14.00-19.00
Saturday: 10.00-19.00
www.archiviodistatomilano.beniculturali.it
Free tickets booking:  as-mi.comunicazione@beniculturali.it

 

 

 

CESARE ZUCCA
Travel, food & lifestyle.
Milanese di nascita, vive tra New York, Milano e il resto del mondo. Viaggia su e giù per l’America e si concede evasioni in Italia e in Europa.
Per WEEKEND PREMIUM fotografa e racconta città, culture, stili di vita e scopre delizie gastronomiche sia tradizionali che innovative.
Incontra e intervista top chefs di tutto il mondo, ‘ruba’ le loro ricette e vi racconta il tutto qui, in stile ‘turista non turista’.

 

CAN THE ESPRESSO BE A… COCKTAIL?

Coffee liqueur has a long history dating back to the times of the unification of Italy and has always met the taste of consumers.
Espresso Bottega, a new proposal from the Bibano di Godega winery and distillery  draws inspiration from this long tradition and thanks to the careful selection of raw materials and their skilful mixing, is refined and intriguing. It is characterized by the persistent aroma of mocha, by the delicate fruity notes of peach and apricot, as well as by the slight hints of chocolate.

Espresso Bottega is produced exclusively with Arabica coffee of the fine Sidamo and Djmmah varieties, grown in the mountainous area of ​​Ethiopia. The quality, character and personality of this liqueur depend not only on the excellence of the raw materials, but also on the three different types of roasting used and the three different ways of extracting the aromatic component: hot infusion, which allows you to obtain hints of “mocha”, the cold infusion, which gives finesse and enhances the varietal characteristics and, finally, the classic hydro-alcoholic infusion, which gives the product more body and structure. Before filtration and bottling, a small percentage of grappa is added, which gives the product additional intensity.

 

 

The moderate alcohol content (20% vol.) Makes it an ideal after-meal, to be eaten smooth or with ice. It is also an excellent ingredient for preparing cocktails. Finally, it can accompany coffee desserts, dry pastries and can add an “alcoholic” touch to tiramisu.

 

 

 

For more info https://www.bottegaspa.com/en/collections/espresso/

 

 

MILAN, A SURPRISING RAINBOW QUARTER

 

Text and photos
by Rossana Beccari

 

A palette of colors characterizes this romantic area near Piazza Risorgimento and
I challenge anyone not to say
“it doesn’t seem to be in Milan” …

But of course we are in Milan close to the center and to be surprised we do not have to look up to count how many floors a skyscraper has and the gardens are not vertical: we are in the Rainbow District, also called the Garden District.

 

The history of these houses dates back to the end of the nineteenth century: conceived and designed by a building cooperative to meet the needs of the workers who worked in the area, to live in simple and affordable houses; the Workers’ Housing Company still exists and its first intervention was the worker village of Porta Vittoria. Over the years, the inhabitants have started to beautify the neighborhood, preferring to personalize the facades, now owned, with bright colors and pastel tones; the careful maintenance of the gardens completes the redevelopment of the neighborhood … they are said to trigger real challenges to create the most beautiful real estate unit.

Milan, via Abramo Lincoln and adjacent via Franklin.

WELCOME TO THE SAVINI MILANO 1867. A legendary institution for over 150 years

Text and photos by Rossana BeccariGalleria Vittorio Emanuele II was inaugurated on December 31, 1877
As a matter of fact,  the  so called ‘Salotto di Milano’ was already completed in 1867, when the covered passage was completed and so under a transparent roof, among stuccos, mosaics and elegant decorations, the Gallery comes to life with its shops, bars, restaurants and the prestigious headquarters of the Ricordi music publisher.
Once upon a time there was Caffè Gnocchi, then it changed its banner and became the elegant Stocker Brewery until in 1885 the space was purchased by Virginio Savini:
who transformed the venue into a posh living room enriched by beautiful crystal chandeliers, cutlery, table mats, silver food warmers and tailcoat waiters. The success spanned the golden season of the Belle Epoque and the fabulous 1950s.
Savini has always kept its aura of exclusive place but it is also an interesting archive of memories, stories of characters, curiosities of city life … and why not? … a little
of ‘gossip’: like the iconic ‘table 7’ on the first floor, in the most romantic corner with large windows overlooking the Gallery,
Why iconic? Because that spot was reserved only for the ‘Divine Soprano Maria Callas’ often escorted by Luchino Visconti, Franco Zeffirelli … and of course Mr.Onassis.
A cocktail is dedicated to her, her favorite, based on bitter herbs, still on the list and could only be called “DIVINA”.
Savini has always been the favorite venue for world-famous singers and composers.
Regular guests were Verdi, Puccini, Toscanini, Eleonora Duse and D’Annunzio At the beginning of the twentieth century,
Savini became a place for Milanese intellectuals, writers and artists: from these tables Filippo Tommaso Marinetti founded and became the leader the group known as ‘The Futurist” followed by legends such as Charlie Chaplin, Ava Gardner, Henry Ford, Hemingway and the iconic grand entrance of Liza Minnelli, who’s limo was allowed to drive into the Galleria and stop right in front of the restaurant entrance! That ‘s a star!
Today the Savini Milano 1867 sign is part of Milan’s historic shops and Italy’s historic venues
SAVINI MILANO
1° Piano / 1° Floor

Via Ugo Foscolo, 5
Corner of Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
Opening Hours
From 12.00 to 2.30pm
and from 7.00pm to 10.30pm.
Closed for lunch on Saturdays and on Sunday
Tel +39 02 72 00 34 33

Passo del Cerreto, Collagna, RE , Italy. A CHESTNUTS BIG PARTY!

Collagna, RE , Italy:
On Saturday January18th at 5.00 pm, a yummy ‘Gastronomic Laboratory of the Apennines’ will take place. at the Passo del Cerreto, at the Giannarelli Restaurant, Visitor Center of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennine National Park.
The protagonists are chestnut producers and restaurateurs of the Zero Km circuit of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines. On the occasion, the fourth ‘Contest’ will take place among the producers of chestnut flour made with the traditional method on the ridges of Emilia and Tuscany, a monument of tradition that binds the territory. Three moments of the competition: the sensory analysis of the product, by a jury of experts; the tasting of competing flours with small samples produced by the restaurateurs of the Km Zero circuit; the revisiting of a traditional dish by a representative chef from the Apennines.
‘Dolce & Farina’ is the event dedicated to the chestnut chain: an ancient path that has always linked the Apennini communities to their mountains. For many small villages, the recovery of the bread tree – as the chestnut was traditionally called – and its fruits, as well as the re-ignition of the dryers and the production phases of the precious flour, represent a renewed sense of community; a job for all the autumn months, until the winter, which brings people back to being together for a good that returns to being collective..on Saturday 18 January 2020 at 5.00 pm
INFO
turismo@parcoappennino.it
www.parcoappennino.it

CESARE ZUCCA
Born in Milan, he lives in New York, Milan and the rest of the world.
Cesare likes to travel up and down America as well as spending time  in Italy and Europe.
For NTT, he photographs and tells about cities, cultures, lifestyles and discovers both traditional and innovative gastronomic delights, among interviewing top chefs from all over the world, “stealing” their recipes and  write everything here, in  a perfect ‘ non touristy tourist’ style..
 

ROCKING ON STAGE: ELVIS MEETS JIMI

SUMMARY TRAVEL ARTICLES 2020

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    Budapest ONE December 13 pag 1,2,3budapest-onebudapest-traveller-finny-new-hotels-draggedBOUTIQUE HOTEL CASA ANGELINA,  AMALFI COAST
    by Cesare Zucca

    http://www.torrettas.com

    Three ‘Nobel’ days in Oslo Stay at the Grand Hotel
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    3 HOTELS ROOF TOPS you don’t want to miss
    by Cesare Zucca

    Grand Hotel Central, Barcelona, Spain

    THE THIEF, Oslo, Norway

    riga 1 per webriga 2 per web

     

    Discovering beautiful Poland POZNAN by Cesare Zucca

    Article Breslavia and Poznan Page2 Poznan

    INTERCONTINENTAL HOTEL Phnom Penh

     

     


    BEST ‘KIDS FRIENDLY’ MUSEUMS IN NEW YORK
    Children’s Museum of The Arts (103 Charlton St) invita all’arte, coinvolgendo i bambini in disinvolte classi di pittura, ceramica, scultura e musica.
    New York City Fire Museum (278 Spring St) organizza Safety Tour, una vera lezione sul fuoco con tanto di simulazione di incendio, dove un vigile newyorkese insegnerà le tecniche di salvataggio.
    Children’s Museum of Manhattan (212 West 83 St) è un immenso asilo stile Disneyland con cinque piani di attrazioni, giochi educativi, passatempi intelligenti e divertimento, da Let’s Dance, spazio interattivo dedicato ai bambini che amano ballare, a Art, Artists & You  dove i piccoli si improvvisavo artisti .
    Natural History Museum (CPW/79 St) ospita The Butterfly Conservatory, una foresta con più di 500 farfalle da tutto il mondo.

    You just don’t realize how lucky you were when your join the guided 3,30-hour food tour organized by VisitLLjubljana.com managed by the Tourism Office of Ljubljana until you experience it.          

    They offer numerous guided city tours  including the Historical City Centre and Ljubljana Castle revolving around history, art and landmarks, whether on foot, bicycle or on a boat cruising the river.

    There is no other way to sample the incredible diversity of Slovenian food in so little time and in such a fun and well-paced way.
    Slovenia is a small country yes, but it counts no less than 24 gastronomic regions.

    Ljubljana, reminding me of Paris in a way, is pretty much in the center of the country and, as a capital, has attracted many food vendors and restaurateurs to benefit from the largest concentration of population (and tourists) of the country. But, right off the bat, let me tell you that, at no point, do you feel shepherded to a pasture of touristic traps you would have found on your own. The choice is balanced between food shops and restaurants, clearly very carefully picked.

    Also, it isn’t a gorging party:
    at the end of the tour, you feel satiated, without ever feeling over full!. As all good cooking requests, things started with the sourcing of ingredients: the market!
    And Ljubljana is blessed, right in its center with a human sized, yet substantial farmer’s market, with one section dedicated to only certified organic vendors. I had noticed on my way to the tour some beautiful chanterelle mushrooms, as well as yellow broad beans that I had never encountered before. Lucky enough, I was able to find them again and was met with the most charming smile the seller could have shared.

    Then, we got to visit the permanent covered market, a beautiful building along the riverbank. That was like entering a world of its own. Gorgeous charcuterie, cheeses, breads (got a loaf of this dark and dense bread, yet moist and oh! so tasty). A separate section is dedicated to fish, perhaps for temperature and odor control. Whatever the reason might be, I was really impressed by the display of fish available and the absence actually of any strong fishy smell. Slovenia is known mainly as an inland country, but it does have a little bit of coast on the Adriatic Sea and they sure know how to source the best of what can come out of it. Everything looked so fresh, a real temptation for any cook.
    But carrying fish on ice for the rest of the tour was NOT going to happen!

     

     

    We met our lovely guide Simona in Ciril-Metodov, the cobblestoned main street. She took us at Klòbasarna, where we had the first tasting: a warm smoked sausage form the Carniola region just South of Austria, in other words at the Northern end of Slovenia. Made of the finest pieces of pork, this sausage neither greasy nor too dry, just hit the spot accompanied by a light red wine, a little horseradish and mustard which I loved.

     

     

    Simona took us in more that 7 venues, specialized in different specialties, from the syrups and the honeys of Dobrote-Dolenjske,  to the traditional cake prekmurska gibanica homemade at
    Gujzina

    I won’t be going in the detail of all the things tasted, either in gastronomic shops or in restaurants… I want you to go and experience it for yourself. Besides beef tongue, fried chicken, honey (Slovenia is Europe’s largest producer per capita), my heart will go for this humble dish of mashed potatoes with sautéed onions and bits of bacon that we tasted at a very special restaurant, Druga Violina, where all the members of the staff suffer from some form of disability or another. It felt really good to contribute to this effort to support the community and, let’s be frank, it also tasted soooo good, just by itself. With influences coming from all neighboring countries (Italy, Austria, Hungry and Croatia), tucked between sea, plains, forests and mountains, the small country of Slovenia is rich of diversity and, if this three-hour tour cannot cover everything, it sure serves as the best introduction one can hope to taste in this timeframe!
    Tours priced at 52€ everything included,
    To make a reservation
    For more info www.visitLjubljana.com

    GRAND HOTEL TOPLICE, JULIJANA RESTAURANT IN BLED, SLOVENIA

    Slovenia. Bled, about an hour North of the capital Ljubljana to the North-West of Slovenia. Rather than the town it is the beautiful lake that gives the name Bled, famous among the European elite as early as the 1930’s with the construction of a luxurious hotel providing  natural hot spring source knowned for health benefits.I am talking of the Grand Hotel Toplice, a venue that boasts a rich history, a magical location, gorgeous alpine and lake views and sumptuously comfortable, elegantly styled rooms.

     

    Each of the rooms and suites at Grand Hotel Toplice has its own unique character and are traditionally styled with beautiful parquet floors, rich furniture and beautiful paintings with many of the rooms benefiting from breathtakingly beautiful lake views. The hotel has been recently renovated and restored to its former glory and is one of the best hotels in Slovenia as well as being a member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World collection.

     

     

     

     

     

    It has hosted many eminent guests and is frequented by celebrities such as  Vivian Leigh, Arthur Miller, Pablo Neruda, King Hussein of Jordan, Paul McCartney and…me, with my best friend-chef-writer Philip Sinsheimer, graciously hosted by Sava hotel and resort group that manage the venue.

    Starting from the impeccable reception. the hotel boasts luxurious accommodation, few restaurant, a bar  and the enchantment of Lake Bled. All rooms and suites are individually decorated in an enchanting and traditional style, lavishly equipped with an excellent range of facilities, a relaxing thermal swimming pool and benefit from different saunas, wellness services and a solarium among a private lido, where Philip (expert swimmer) dived in the limpid lake water while me (lazy man…) was indulging in a relaxing sunbathing. We dedicated the morning ( when the light is best) to row to the island where the minuscule baroque chapel.I was anxious to hear the bells rings, because  I knew about the legend wich narrates that around the year 1500, the leaseholder of Lake Bled at the time, Hartman Kreigh, disappeared. People said he was killed. Sad for the events, the Lady of the Castle collected all of her precious golden jewellery to be melted down and casted into a bell for the chapel on the island of the Lake, so that the bell would toll in remembrance of  beloved companion. They say the bell has a magic power, when it rings, you should make 3 wishes and wait for them to become real.  We did 99 steps and finally we arrived at the church, where the view is really breathtaking and, yes, we waited for the bell… Not sure my wishes are becoming a reality, we ll see….

    A true wish coming true was the  splendid dinner we were invited for dinner at Julijana Restaurant where Chef Bertoncelj prepared a great dinner.
    I leave Philip the privilege of writing about it, since he is a chef and a food blogger.

                                      GRANDE CUISINE BY THE LAKE
    This historic landmark now called the Grand Hotel Toplice, operated by the Sava hotel and resort group, has managed to preserve the relics of the past with grand salons adorned with memorabilia pictures and bring all the comfort of modernity at the same time.This delicate balance between past was brilliantly reflected in the cuisine of the executive chef Simon Bertoncelj and the whole crew under him. Having dinner at the gastronomic Julijana Restaurant, especially if the weather allows to eat al fresco facing the lake is a moment of bliss: the quality of service, attention to detail and classic decor 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.

    The mise en bouche consisting of a delicately baked oyster and a buttery giant shrimp had all the signs of what you can expect in a palace restaurant: prime quality ingredients simply treated. This seafood opening was in synch with the view of the water even though it wasn’t the sea. As I were to learn later by the chef, unfortunately, as beautiful as it is, the lake doesn’t often yield the quantity of fish needed to take place on the menu.

     

    The mushroom cappuccino with porcini had the depth of flavor one can only get in top notch restaurants, served piping hot but adorned with the freshness of a few micro greens scattered on top rather than the old habit of a dollop of cream and a few chives. Fresh too was the vitello tonnato inspired salad, bright and lively. Here, as in all the great restaurants experienced in Slovenia, the wine list paid homage to the country’s fine wines, such as the 2017Verus Chardonnay from Stajerska, the western part of the Podravje region in the North of the country. At last a chardonnay that can showcase both concentration of flavors and freshness in the palate with a mere 13° alcohol content.The shining fish course was a thick and moist turbot filet, perfectly cooked and adorned by a beautiful composition of vegetables and foamy grapefruit sauce. Here again: classic base and modern composition. Though generous, nothing was heavy, and the beautiful matured saddle of veal served pink with a herb crust was still welcome.

    To finish, the iconic Bled Cream Cake, which recipe goes back to 1953 and is secretly kept by the Sava hotels group. The result was up to the legend. Even though I really do not have much of a sweet tooth, and I have had my share of mille-feuilles in France, this raised version of the classic with just two layers of perfectly crisp puffed pastry holding a firm custard covered by a layer of lighter whipped cream is to die for…

    Chef Simon Bertoncelj, who has worked under the commands of Gordon Ramsey, seems rather poised and discreet, but if you really want to find out, he opens his kitchen to a guest table of 2 to 6 people for a 7-course menu cooked and served, right before their eyes…and ears!

    For more info
    Julijana Restaurant
    Grand Hotel Toplice
    Cesta svobode 12, 4260 Bled, Slovenia
    +386 4 579 10 00

    Contact

    Cesta svobode 12, 4260 Bled, Slovenija

    Reception

    +386 4 579 10 00

    Reservations

    +386 4 579 16 00

     

     

    Hotel Hellsten, Stockholm. Memories of an exotic journey

    Hotel Hellsten is located in the heart of Stockholm and is the ideal starting point for all those who are visiting the City, since the attractions and sites of interest are reachable by public transport within easy reach including the subway that is just round the corner.
    The next street is the busy Sveavägen, Stockholm”s only real boulevard. The hotel is just around the corner from the underground (metro) stop Rådmansgatan. The locality is one of the most exciting in Stockholm, with a multitude of different restaurants within a few minutes walking distance. It is also a short walk from Gamla Stan, Stockholm’s historic and beautiful old town. I loved the area, and the next busy street Sveavägen, so alive and full of restaurants, shops and…barbers & haidressers,don’t ask me why, but very useful…

    The rooms are divided into various types depending on the services they offer, mostly in different styles, some have canopy bed, some are equipped with the classic Swedish fireplace called kakelugnar, light rays, wooden panels, even a private sauna,

     

     

     

    The walls are painted with warm colors that span from orange to red, to blue, to purple.

     

     

    All rooms have private new bathrooms, TV, telephone, free wired internet access and a hairdryer. They are non-smoking as well as the entire structure.

     

    My room had a cosy little terrace.

    Here and there I found exotic touches, my guide explained that Mr.Hellsten, owner of Hellsten, Rex and the newest Hellsten Glashus, is an enthusiastic traveller who likes to collect items from his trips. I loved the african masks !

     

     

     

    You have a colonial-style bar where coffee and tea are served 24 hours for free. Great idea! Every Thursday Hellsten Earth Bar transforms into one of Stockholm’s premier jazz venues. Exciting live acts on stage at 8pm and on the last Thursday of each month you are welcome to jam with the band, just bring your instruments or vocals, and the entrance is free.. Comfy beds and an excellent breakfast buffet that included pancakes, cold cuts, cheeses, eggs, lots of fruits and the traditional Swedish meatballs and served in a sunny and spacious veranda.
    Add Hotel Hellsten on your next trip to Stockholm!
    For more info
    http://hellsten.se/en/Hotel_Hellsten

     

    Industrial or design? A posh stay in Hamburg

    In my last trip to Hamburg I got the chance to visit and stay in Hotel Gastwerk and The George, two great properties owned by Fortune Hotels Group.
    They have different style and decor, both friendly, welcoming and worth to spend one (or few) nights there.Let’s start with the industrial red bricks Gastwerk. The name says it all, It was a squared and rigorous red bricks gas factory. Roughly 120 years ago, the old gas plant provided light to the streets and houses in West Hamburg. In the impressive and carefully restored industrial building, built with brick and steel, modern design and historical architecture form a fascinating harmonic setting. Gastwerk is first Hamburg’s design hotel.

    The building welcomed me with a large hall with a wide, meticulously well lighted reception and two unforgettable metal elevators, one red and one yellow lighted.                                                 The industrial adventure was already starting…

     

     

     

     

     

     

    141 rooms, lofts and suites, some with modern walls with a contemporary feeling, some with bricks walls (I love them), like the loft-like one where I was staying, giving the perfect atmosphere of and warehouse.

    In addition to that Gastwerk boasts a configurable conference area, the Mangold restaurant (I didn’t dine there, so no idea of the food) the L.BAR, the beautiful SPA, free parking spaces in front of the hotel and underground.   Here and there you’ll discover classy touches of fresh flowers, old  black and white pictures, original gas machines, and a splendid old water boiler.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The second Fortune Hotel is The George, located in the hearth of the vibrant Saint George area.                                                        This venue is a triumphant tribute to the apotheosis of a ‘boutique hotel’ concept, where design meets furniture, lighting and that smell of trendyness…

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    This reinterpretation of English style in Hamburg results in rooms swathed in warm colors ranging from cocoa to Champagne, lamps with delightful pleated shades and stylish wallpaper in a variety of designs.                             Super comfy mattresses, a nice view of the Lake Alster, not to mention that sweet & cute ‘Welcome Cesare’The George Hotel is a four-pearl property flush with a Great-Britain-in-the-’60s design, with 125 stylish rooms that all have flat-screen TVs, minibars, and free weight, a party-vibe bar, the supercool rooftop Campari Lounge in the terrace with a spectacular view of the Alster, a defined breakfast buffet that included a fine selection of cold cuts, imported cheeses, fruits and vegetables, and…

     

    Yes! there is Da Caio, italian restaurant (where I could not resist peeping at the menu, which I found correct in dishes choices and…right spelling, which is always a good sign for an Italian eating in an Italian restaurant abroad…

    Here info
    Hotel Gastwerk
    The George,
    Fortune Hotels Group.

    Two memorable days in Pula

    I would like to thank the lovely ladies Viviana Vukelic and Adriana Bajic from Ente Nazionale Croato per il Turismo in Milan and the super cool Goran from the Tourism Office in Pula, Chef Deniz Zembo and my amazing guide Rossana. They truly contributed to make my Pula’s visit memorable, fun and wonderful.
    For more info
    ENTE NAZIONALE CROATO PER IL TURISMO
    https://croatia.hr/en-GB
    TOURISM OFFICE PULA

     

     

    Hacienda Chichen: discover the most revered Mayan site the smart way!


    Chichen Itza, located inland of the Yucatan Peninsula, about 200 km East of Cancun, is one of the most visited archaeological sites in Mexico with over 2.6 million tourists in 2017.
    Do the math…                                                   .That’s on average over 7000 visitors a day. Even though the site is not limited to the iconic Kukulcàn pyramid (photo 1) and covers a very large area (over 300 hectares), that is a lot of human flesh roaming around! Especialy when one considers that the most popular way to visit the Unesco world heritage site is via tour operators organizing day trips from Cancun or Merida, creating a huge influx of fully loaded buses arriving around 11 AM or so every day. Arriving with the sun at its hottest among hordes of tourists had always been a deterring idea to me. I had sacrificed the visit of wholly site during my passed 3 visits of Yucatan, favoring the ruins of Tulum and Cuba, less crowded and still awesome examples of the might and splendor of the Mayan civilization. For this fourth visit this last spring, I was determined to visit the legendary Chichen Itza in the best way possible. Staying overnight at the Hacienda Chichen revealed to be the smartest answer possible. Smart because by staying overnight in this historic hotel located a few hundred feet from the archeological site enables to start exploring the grounds as early as 8 AM, before the arrival of the crowds. Smart, because the hotel combines genuine elegance and great service while respecting authenticity and ecological responsibility. Follow me, let me show you the way…When I arrived from Tulum around noon at the Chichen Itza bus terminal, I was left at the main entrance of the site in one of the largest parking lots I have ever seen: hundreds of buses still unloading their loads of tourists from every continent. The line to the ticket booth was long, the heat dreadful. Instead of joining the frenzy, I hopped in a cab and 10 minutes later, I was discovering the old-world charm of the Hacienda Chichen. The check in was a breeze and the welcoming cocktail made of pineapple and Chaya leaf juice refreshing as heaven (pic 3). I was later to learn that it had been freshly made from the organic garden of the property, providing a lot of the fruits, vegetables and herbs used by the kitchen

     

    The front desk offered to arrange the purchase of my ticket to visit the site the next morning, without any surcharge, avoiding the hassle to wait in line. They also offered the possibility to have a legitimate private guide for the visit, but as usual, I declined in order to feel totally free and visit at my own pace. The afternoon was mine to relax and enjoy what the Hacienda had to offer. The 28 rooms set in a total of 12 cottages spread out on the lush grounds were originally built to host archeologists who helped excavate the site. Now they are opened to all offering soothing air conditioning, large bed, beautiful sheets, large bathrooms, fresh flowers and hammocks on the front porch for those eager to adopt the Mayan way to take a nap at the sound of singing birds

     

     

     

    Another way to relax in a horizontal way is to indulge in one of the treatments at the Yaxkin spa. And that’s exactly what I did, with the 45-minute Pakal treatment, a Maya healing ritual focusing on the head and the upper body. The soul is also soothed by an initial prayer in Mayan language by my charming therapist.

    I loved the fact that the room was very large, not one of those cubicles where on feels locked up. The outside garden was present in the room with the use of various herbs and plants, including a refreshing aloe vera jelly applied on the face.Totally relaxed, I finished the afternoon by lingering by the superb swimming pool, large and square as I like them to do laps at length. .Recycled and chemical-free water added a guilt free sensation to the overall pleasure. Time went by and before I knew it was time to meet the general manager for a grand tour of the property, including the restored church where weddings can be organized, surrounded by the beautifully maintained vegetation).
    No wedding the evening of my stay, but I still felt like a very special person, enjoying an evening drink on the beautiful front patio at the sound of a traditional trio singing deep from the heart local ballads.
    For dinner, I ventured across the street to the humbler Villas Areological hotel (http://www.villasarqueologicas.com.mx/chichen-itza.html)
    that I wanted to check out for its restaurant serving a variety of traditional dishes from Yucatan. The best, by far, was the cream of Chaya soup and I appreciated the selection of Mexican wines. The night was young, but the day had been long, so I was eager to return to my beautiful room for a good night sleep. At 8:20 Am, I recuperated my ticket to visit the site and was guided to the private entrance specific to the Hacienda. I was alone when I crossed the gate and after a ten-minute walk, I was facing the beautiful Mayan pyramid with the company of a couple of iguanas, but not another human soul. 

     

     

    The morning air was cool, and the silence only broken by singing birds. All the merchants on the way were focused on unpacking their things, leaving me unburdened. Besides the famous pyramid, I loved walking through the gigantic ball game field practically alone

    As well as discovering the sacred cenote (sinkhole) and the perfectly aligned columns without the eye sore of groups of tourists ruining the geometry of the monuments.    After three hours of walking at my own pace, I went back to the Hacienda, walking against the growing flow of visitors and the solicitations of the souvenir vendors, they were in full swing mode, trying to sell their T-shirts and miniature statues probably made in China!
    The heat had risen and a last dip in the pool after a refreshing outdoor shower felt like pure bliss. At noon I was packed and ready to leave this magical place.                                       
    A short taxi ride took me to the small town of Piste where I tasted a delicious and original pozole de coco, lightly sweetened and perfectly chilled (pic 20), then hopped on a collective to reach Valladolid after 24 hours of total serenity, visiting the most famous Mayan site in the best way possible…
    the nontouristytourist way!

    Text and photos by Philip Sinsheimer

     

    HACIENDA CHICHEN RESORT AND YAXKIN SPA 

    http://www.haciendachichen.com

    Tel: +52 999 920 8407

     

     

     

    A ‘HYGGE’SUMMER IN COPENHAGEN

    In summer Copenhagen is an ideal destination: favorable weather, long and sunny days, smiling, polite and serene people. It seems that everyone here discovers the secret of happiness: hygge, a Danish word that invites you to enjoy the simple pleasures of life and live alone or with friends, at home or outside, special and happy moments.
    Find yourself singing on the beach around a bonfire, have a nice picnic at the park, attend an outdoor concert, participate in a street festival or take a bike ride … these and more are the little pleasures of life that feed the hygge spirit in the life of the Danes.

    To find out right away just do this test . The result is a real personalized treatment based on hygge, released with all the tips on how to get it on a trip to Denmark.
    Useful and precious, a true friend! I’m talking about the Copenhagen Card, a pass that allows you to visit as many as 86 museums and attractions, use all public transportation for free and benefit from discounts on tours, bars and restaurants.


    I also used it for a tour of the canals and the port. 1 hour, audiogude in all languages, a show of ancient and modern architecture, a sea of photos. passing the numerous bridges of the city. But pay attention to be seated: the bridges are very low and the risk to bump your head on it, it s quite possible.
     Tivoli

     

     

    The oldest playground in the world. You will skip over breathtaking roller coasters,you will be projected into space, you will remain suspended in the air more than a thousand other rides in the charming gardens where the oriental facade of beautiful
    Hotel Nimb stands out.

    After the aerial acrobatics, I finally relaxed in the Brasserie, famous Nimb restaurant,
    French cuisine, refined menu, excellent wine list, good service and relaxing atmosphere (apart from the crowded side room that celebrated a noisy birthday…) I tasted the Chef’s specialties, a delicate mollusk bisque served with scampi and carrots, a crunchy turbot à la meunière, sprinkled with lemon drops, ending with a puff pastry stuffed with strawberries and cream, all paired to my favorite Sancerre Domaine de La Garenne, deliciously fruity, In short, a dinner worthy of the unique atmosphere of the location.
    Copenhagen history boasts of royalties and magnificent castles,Here my favorites
    Amalienborg Palace, a must for anyone with a taste for royal history and the life of Denmark’s royal family who still resides inside the palace. Experience royal history at the museum and sense the present of one of the world’s oldest monarchies from the beautiful palace square where you can watch the changing of its famous guards called Den Kongelige Livgarde. Every day you can experience the changing of the guards, as they march from their barracks in 100 Gothersgade by Rosenborg Castle through the streets of Copenhagen and end up at Amalienborg, where the changing of the guard takes place at 12:00 noon.
    Christiansborg Palace famous for its hall covered with 17 giant tapestries, which tell 1000 years of Danish history, It is a gift from The Danish business community in occasion of Her Majesty Queen Margrethe 50th birthday,. Bjørn Nørgaard painted the full-size sketches upon which the tapestries were woven. These impressive royal rooms host the official receptions in the presence of the Queen, between a sparkle of uniforms and great evening gowns. Better to avoid arriving by car or taxi, the protocol prefers that the guests present themselves in a carriage…

     

    As a food lover, I could not resist the temptation to descend into the legendary Royal Kitchens to discover the background of an official banquet, browse the Queen’s recipes and admire one of the largest collections of copper crockery in Europe.

     

     

    To be or not to be…
    I recommend a small excursion outside the city. Helsingør 30 minutes by train.
    The famous Castle of Kronborg, better known as Hamlet’s house, reigns there. In fact, here Shakespeare set his drama. Gossips say that the writer had never been there, but would have been an actor in his company to tell him about this mighty fortress, from whose park, littered with cannons, you can glimpse Sweden. Suddenly the walls resound with the voices of the characters of Hamlet, which appear, like ghosts, perfectly interpreted by talented actors who bring to life the tragic events of the drama, You could spend a whole day in Kronborg, and live many experiences, guided tours through the casemates and the halls, explore the passages and towers, see a play and relax admiring the sea – but if you prefer, you can get an idea Kronborg concrete even in just one hour. Kronborg is open all year round (except 1st January, 24th, 25th and 31st December) from 11am to 4pm. In the summer (June, July and August) the schedule is extended: from 10.30am to 5.30pm.
    After all that drama I needed a…great meal and I went to the renowned restaurant Brasserie 1861, where I met the Chef. His name is Casper Stuhr Sobczyk I can describe him as a gentle viking with the sweetest smile and… smoked sardines tattooed in his arm.
    They called him ‘the king of herbs ‘for his passion for vegetables and fresh products from the field. His passions are: fish, molluscs, entrails as lamb’s brain, (not so popular in the quite skeptic Northern Europe), He started with French cuisine, passed to the molecular and ended up with mixing them two styles. ‘I like to play with the ingredients, says Casper, like for example, pairing strawberries to balsamic vinegar. I worked in Danmark a lot, including the Copenhagen National Library. I got good reviews and I started my new adventure here at Marienlyst Hotel, In my my fridge at home, there is always place for eggs, probably because my wife loves them, lot of vegetables and of course several max sizei Pepsi. I Love Pepsi… ‘His friendly Verona born partner Fabio Ciccarelli started serving a surprising appetizer: a revolutionary version of the traditional blini, made with caviar white sturgeon, to be mixed to crème fraiche on herbal waffle. The ingredients just melt perfectly together.

     

     

     

     

                                                                 Then a salted unusually cooked burned salmon, followed by a mackerel with foie gras, green peas. As a main dish , I tasted halibut with asparagus that burned for few minutes to maintain the crunchiness.

    Every dish was so intense, so fresh and so herbal.
    No wonder why Chef Sobczyk is the ‘king of herbs…
    ’In the summer, Denmark is a foodies paradise with its festivals and gastronomic events Do not miss the Copenhagen Cooking & Food Festival from August 24th to September 2nd, during which Copenhagen becomes a huge Nordic restaurant and definitely stop at the new street food Reffen, an urban playground recently opened, that mixes crafts and culture.

    Reffen is a place where the people of Copenhagen are invited to take part in the development. 54 start-ups in the form of food stalls, bars and creative workshops many confirming the dogmas “Reduce and Reuse”.

     

    Mermaid yes or no?
    The most celebrated mermaid statue of The Little Mermaid from Hans Christian Andersen’s children’s story, sitting on a stone at Langelinie in the harbor of Copenhagen, Denmark. Honestly I saw her from the boat and I have to say that the invading ‘selfie addicted crowd’ didn’t appeal to me… So I went at night, and here she was, alone, shining on the dark, mysterious and looking like wanting to splash in the water any minute,
    That, I call a magic encounter with Miss Mermaid…for more info
    #visitdenmarkstories @govistdenmark.

     

    Hamburg, Germany, Why go there and where to stay, what to eat

    I started my Hamburg experience with an avalanche of photos and selfies on board of the Stadtrundfahrt double-decker bus, providing earphones in all languages. In a couple of hours you’ll know the city, get off when you want, visit and get the next one. An indispensable tour, also in a mini-cruise version with Harbor Cruise You will enjoy the aquatic view of the city, of the immense port and of the colossal cargo ships with gigantic containers.
    Hamburg means bricks, red bricks, so my next stop was Speicherstadt.

     

    Almost a kilometer of old warehouses with typical red bricks, used as storage for incoming goods: oriental carpets, tea, raw coffee, cocoa, tobacco, spices. Among the attractions: a kaffeerösterei, an old coffee roaster, where you can also enjoy decadent cakes with strawberries and cream.

     

     

     

    Chocoversum,  a true chocolate triumph,
    Manufactumtrendy shop and the Spice Museum  where you will find and taste everything: European spices, Asian and Indian flavors, exotic perfumes, 50 varieties of pepper, cloves, cinnamon, turmeric, mustard seeds and the most expensive ones: orchid vanilla and saffron.

     

    Miniatur Wunderland Models of trains and landscapes in miniature? I was doubtful …well, I was amazed. Two huge floors where landscapes and cities of all the world have been meticulously reconstructed with airports, motorways, railways in great turmoil and crowded by a thousand minuscule people, including a team while washing Pope Francis car…

     

     

     

    Travel and read.
    130 bookshops stocked with second hand books! Passengers are allowed not only to read them during their journey ,but also to take them home.

     

    Elbphilharmonie
    Extraordinary glass structure, with windows that look like eyes. With its perfect acoustic, hosts concerts and shows. You get there with a spectacular 82 meter escalator that runs through The Plaza, from which you can enjoy a great view.
    Perfect location for a drink or a snack at the Beer & Dine and a little shopping in the well-stocked book, music and souvenir store. Tickets can be booked 18 weeks in advance and children up to three years do not pay.
    Hamburg and its museums. I chose two. Kunsthalle, 700 years of art, from the great masters of the Renaissance until 1800 with Manet, Caspar David Friedrich, up to the German expressionism (which I adore) and the contemporary avant-garde .
    MKG  Great museum with unusual exhibits: famous deco posters, precious vintage pianos, sketches and 30s dresses, a space dedicated to design furniture, photo galleries avant – garde and much more.
    It is true that the hamburger was born in Hamburg?
    The most famous meatball in the world is ‘made in the USA’ or ‘made in Hamburg’?
    The name would leave no doubt, but the Americans boast its paternity.
    The Germans claim that it was cooked in the houses of Hamburg and then it was exported to the USA, while for the Americans it would be born in the port of Hamburg, a municipality located in the state of New York and the inventors would have been the Menches brothers who in 1885 would propose the first sandwich stuffed with meat during the country festival Erie County Fair.
    Legends aside, here you will find space burgers. The best from Burger Lounge, Jim Block Jungfernstieg, Dulf’s Burger , Otto’s Burger Grindelhof and Schanze .

    WHERE TO STAY
    I tried two hotels, both experiences were great!

    Novotel Hamburg City Alster Hotel
    4-star hotel in the 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, 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!
    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

     

     

    Luebecker Strasse 3

    22087 HAMBURG

    Germany

    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!

     

     

     

    What does a real Hamburger drink?
    Beer, of course! It has been produced in Hamburg for over a millennium and has become an icon of German culture. Here some popular ones.
    Ratsherrn, one of the city’s most famous artisan breweries From pilsner to light beers. Galopper des Jahres, popular and animated. The members of the staff are true fan of craft beer, so be sure to ask for their recommendations: they know what to suggest for every taste and palate. Blockbräu, a terrace with a wonderful view.
    My favorite? Altes Mädchen An incredible variety of excellent local and around 70 international beers, also combined with tasty German specialties.Remember, the real Hamburger does not drink Coca Cola!

    The preferred alternative is fritz-kola, rich in caffeine and lemon. It was born in 2002, invented almost for fun by young friends Lorenz and Mirco and produced with a really amateur process. Imagine: the labels were photocopies and they were glued by hand on the bottle …
    Today it is the national soft drink.

     

     

    Red lights …
    night and day!

    The St. Pauli district was once a bad area full of noisy pubs, frequented by criminals, sailors and prostitutes. Today the taverns have become artistic skyscrapers, like the Dancing Towers, which seem to really dance, while the smoky haunts of the past have become fashionable places.

    But the raunchy survived: sex shops, theaters, striptease, burlesque and the inevitable bouncers who invite you to enter. In addition to the ‘sensory’ attractions, the neighborhood is full of super-trendy shops, new boutiques, hip clubs and bars

    Keep walking around the St.Pauli district,
    head towards Markstrasse and the surroundings of KarolinenvIertel.

    There You will find small bars, self-managed restaurants, flowers, perfumes, mini boutiques and lots of vintage. If you are ‘bio’ dive into the Rider Markt Halle, and a relaxing drink from Zoe the bar of the different sofas. For more chic and exclusive products, head to Hole Bleichen.

     

     

     

    Then it comes the time for…
    beauty and relaxation.

    After a long walk, it is right to take a relaxing break in Jungfernstieg, in the heart of Hamburg with a fantastic view of the Alster river. Here Nivea Haus awaits for you, this is the official store of the famous face cream, born in Hamburg in 1929. Here you can find classic or brand new creams for face and body, cosmetics, revitalizing treatments, relaxing massages, as well as manicures and pedicures.

     

    Plus a really cute souvenir: your ‘Nivea’. You ‘ll be photographed and in a second …you’re on the cover of the famous blue box. I couldn’t resist …

     

     

    So, what do you think?
    Am I fine for a cream cover?

     

     

     

    MATERA, Italy. The city, the Sassi and the best Lucanian dishes


    Matera is one of the oldest cities in the world. By day the sunlight enhances its white. At night, it looks like an immense nativity set up under the starry sky.
    Its quarter I Sassi, ancient dwellings dug into the tufo, where the roofs serve as a base for the houses that have developed on higher levels. These were dug entirely into the rock and represent one of the most striking examples of exploitation of natural resources to obtain suitable conditions for the life of a large community. In the caves often lived more families and despite the lack of space, almost all daily activities took place in the cavities of cave-houses: from handicrafts to weaving, from food storage to animal care (dogs, chicken, pigs, horses and donkeys were living with the family as primitive source of heating). The temperature was constant and guaranteed by the characteristics of the sea tufo , so the inhabitants did not suffer too much from the cold in winter and found a shelter from summer heat. This way of life for years has been seen as a sign of backwardness and incivility. The inhabitants of the Sassi were often considered as primitives living like animals. In 1952 Sassi was considered “the Italian national shame”and abandoned in the late ’50s, Sassi was able to be redeemed until they became Unesco World Heritage in and will be the 2019 European Capital of Culture. Its amazing scenario has been used s a set for Mel Gibson “The Passion” Pier Paolo Pasolini “The Gospel According to Matthew “King David”, Christ The Lord: Out of Egypt “, and the remake of “Ben-Hur “.

    I took the Gran Tour of Sassi,
    an intense 3 hours guided tour and I learn so much about the history of this amazing city. The tour begins in front of the Cathedral, in the upper part of the City, and then goes deeper into the tangle of narrow alleys, caves, cellars, churches, small gardens, tiny squares and districts. I was able to discover in detail these unusual dwellings partly carved out of the limestone. It s a long walk, so wear comfy shoes.

    Matera is also well now for its cooking tradition, a classic example of Italian peasant cuisine, using free ingredients combined with a fair amount of labor and know-how to  turn an odd edible food into a delectable dish.
    Here my choices:
     ll Terrazzino  
    View, ambience, real food, rich menu, moderate prices and …did I mentioned the view? Welcome to Il Terrazzino, one of the oldest deck restaurant in Sassi Eustachio Persia welcomed me with a dish of local cold cuts, including my fav lampascioni, bulbs of a common wildflower in southern Italy, then I ordered lamb, and…surprise! iIt came wrapped in yellow strawpaper.
    This place used to be a cantina, told me Eustachio, just wine, no food.So people used to cook it at home and take it here, all wrapped up in paper tto keep it warm, then tear the bag and eat it paired with a nice glass of wine.Then came the crapiata a soup of different legumes, cereals and potatoes typical of the Basilicata cuisine of rural tradition, prepared in great quantity every year on the first day of August in the district La Martella, close to the cultivated fields and served to the inhabitants. Eustachio took me downstairs, to the 17 century cellar, which incorporates the typical architecture of the Sassi and was refurbished to retrace moments of daily life of the peasant life,

    Baccus
    Simple yet elegant restaurant Located in the Sassi area, Baccus is well know for its Chef Carlo Pozzuoli who likes to reinterpretate typical local dishes and flavors of the past  in a modern way.

     

     

    Starting with super crunchy chips of red peppers, followed by fagots of ziti with cream of yellow and red peppers, bundled in a slice of sweet scamorza cheese topped by goat ricotta curlS.

     

     

    A soupy Dish with tagliolini pasta with black and white chickpeas, considered ideal fro pregnant women, since it contains a lot of iron.
    The menu dedicates an attentive search of local herbs, like the cicoriella, the sivone and other fresh leaves variously used in cooking: in salads, minestrone, simply boiled with oil and lemon, or as a filling of ravioli and pansotti or excellent omelettes.

     

     

     

    Carlo and his wife Mariella were wonderful hosts. Not only keeping me company at the table but also surprising me with a taste of a sweet heart shaped Sporcamuso, (begrime the face) a dessert so full of cream that I inevitably ended up with hot pastry cream all over my face.

     


    Da Mario
    ‘We represent the tradition. My family managed this restaurant since the 50’s’ told me Anna, owner of the popular Ristorante Pizzeria Da MarioSince then we are always been loved by the people from Matera and from all over the world. Many celebrities have eaten here: Richard Gere, Mel Gibson just to mention few’                                         

     

     

    I went there for lunch and followed Anna’s suggestions, starting with a tasty orecchiette alle rape with anchovies and toasted breadcrumbs, then I tried home made strascinati pasta with cardoncelli mushrooms and garnished with the typical crunchy peperone crusco, fried red pepper. Da Mario is know for its pizza. I tried a baby Margherita, perfectly cooked. ‘I love my town, peaceful and quiet, I run the restaurant a cosy BnB called Sassi Belvedere although sometimes I need some noise… some that’s why I have a place in Milan, where I go , like an escape little vacation, but then I am happy to be back in my Lucania ( the ancient name of Basilicata) Sorry I still call it Lucania.. perhaps it’s because I like the old things…
    I don’t blame her..
    Where I stayed.
    Residence San Gennaro, located in the inner courtyard of the old “neighborhood”, once the fulcrum of the days of the inhabitants
    Super friendly host Francesco delighted me with anecdotes about the city, gave me tips took me to the prehistoric hypogeous cave below the residence, embellished with a precious Nativity and prepared a great breakfast that included fresh local products. I stayed in Guerricchio suite, that has a kitchenette, a delightful double bedroom, a private bathroom and a cute little balcony to enjoy the view on the enchanting Sassi of Matera. It is At the entrance an artistic work of great value welcomed me. “Girasoli di Guerricchio”, a Lucanian artist to whom the suite is dedicated.

    I also loved

    Casa Noha
    An amazing gateway” to the city, charting its history thanks to an innovative communication project, where the walls, the ceilings and the floors will take to an extraordinary journey through the history of Matera from its origins to the present day.
    MUSMA
    (Museum of Contemporary Sculpture Matera)
    This unique museum provides the perfect environment for the symbiosis of sculpture and the characteristic carved sites in the Sassi; the exhibition galleries, in fact, consist not only of the rooms of the Palazzo, but also the vast hypogea, where the works of art are revitalized by the strength and beauty of the surrounding rock hewn spaces

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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DUO BALDO, WHEN MUSIC AND FUN HAVE A PARTY…


The musical comedy team DUO BALDO is renowned violinist Brad Repp and pianist/actor Aldo Gentileschi. Their critically acclaimed performances combine virtuosic performances, theatrical humor, and pop culture.
Duo Baldo made their debut with Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli in 2004.  In February 2006, Duo Baldo won first prize at the National Short Theater Competition in Florence. After winning first prize at the 2009 Musicomicontest, they performed at the opening of the 2010 Salzburg Festival.  Other engagements include the Chamber Music Society of Trieste, as well as appearances in many US cities including Cincinnati, Baltimore, El Paso, and internationally in Milan, Lucca, Lugano (Switzerland), Dubai (UAE), Mexico City, Paunat (France) and tours of China, Taiwan and Japan. Violinist Brad Repp has appeared as violin soloist with José Carreras.  He performs on a 1736 Testore violin.  Aldo Gentileschi performs on whatever piano he can find.After having sold out in Tokyo, Salzburg, Mexico City and Washington, CONdivertimentoCERTO finally returns to Milan to open the Harmonies and Sounds of the Spazio Teatro No’hma exhibition.
Aldo Gentileschi (pianist) and Brad Repp (violinist), “play” with music, humorously interpreting many classic songs from the most famous repertoire.They know how to  add theatrical comedy to the most splendid melodies.
What a repertoire!
From Mozart , to Debussy, to Gershiwn to a funny Per Elisa, to Paganini and John Cage. The violinist Maestro Repp and his ‘victim’ Aldo build an irresistible show that offers a different way of approaching the world of classical music. Jokes, tics, musical provocations become the fabric of the show in which music is combined with fun.
Let’s have them play & party!


Jan 8, 9 2020
At TEATRO NO’HMA TERESA POMODORO
Via Andrea Orcagna 2, Milan
Free entrance. To make a reservation
http://www.nohma.org/

CESARE ZUCCA
Born in Milan, he lives in New York, Milan and the rest of the world.
Cesare likes to travel up and down America as well as spending time  in Italy and Europe.
For NTT, he photographs and tells about cities, cultures, lifestyles and discovers both traditional and innovative gastronomic delights, among interviewing top chefs from all over the world, “stealing” their recipes and  write everything here, in  a perfect ‘ non touristy tourist’ style..
 

 

 

Milan.: MIC celebrates the great Federico

From 7 to 18 January 2020 at the MIC – Interactive Cinema Museum.
A century after its birth and sixty years after the release of La Dolce vita, the Cineteca Italiana Foundation pays homage to the great master Federico Fellini with an exhibition dedicated to him, Do you remember Federico? fA rich proposal that wants to celebrate not only the director but also the man who talks about himself without masks. To this end, the festival offers its most famous and exclusive documentaries in which Fellini tells about himself and his poetics, capable of revolutionizing Italian cinema and making it famous internationally.
The exhibition is designed to combine in a single great tribute to the Director and to explore the poetry of Fellini and to understand the great contribution he has been able to give to the history of cinema. Among the documentaries proposed in the review, Ciao Federico! by director Gideon Bachmann, who will open the review on Tuesday 7 January at 3pm, a film capable of capturing the magical atmosphere of the glittering set of the Satyricon, in the only truly complete and rich backstage on Federico Fellini’s way of working.
The irony, the boundless creativity, the brilliant intuitions emerge in a unique atmosphere that has fallen over the time. A wise work of alternation between archive material and interviews that tells a salient moment in the director’s career, in which he seems to be looking for new artistic paths.
Following, at 17, FMM: Fellini, Mastroianni, Masina – Interviews on the set of Ginger and Fred, another work by the director Gideon Bachmann in which Giulietta Masina first and Federico Fellini with Marcello Mastroianni then, open to the director in telling the production of the film that sees them reunited after many years. The mutual expectations and ambitions emerge, as well as the general sense of the project in the precise historical moment.
At 8.30 pm we continue with Fellini Fine Mai documentary presented at the 76th Venice International Film Festival for Venice Classics, in which the director Eugenio Cappuccio personally tells Fellini who lives again through the power of the images, sounds and photographs kept by Rai Teche: fragments of life and poetry of cinema, often unknown, and revealed by those who have had the good fortune to work with him. For the occasion, the director Eugenio Cappuccio will be present in the room for a meeting with the public.
On Friday 10 January at 3pm Fellinikon will be screened, a rhythmic and eccentric editing film of images captured from the Satyricon set: the preparation and filming of some scenes with different director’s commentary inserts. Another contribution by director Gideon Bachmann, in continuity with what has been done in Ciao Federico! to the re-discovery of Fellini’s genius in action.
Saturday 11 January at 3pm another great documentary interview: Fellini: I am a great liar by the Canadian director Damian Pettigrew, a biographical story by Federico Fellini, a year before the director’s death, which traces his entire career revealing that he was above all a talented “liar”. An exciting journey full of testimonies from friends, technicians and actors, archive images, scenes cut and never seen by his most famous films and extracts of recently restored films.
The occasion also offers nine of his timeless works, some of which are awarded the Oscar: La Strada, Rome, I vitelloni, Amarcord, Fellini Satyricon, La Dolce vita, 8 ½, Giulietta degli Spiriti, The nights of Cabiria . A selection of the absolutely unmissable works both for those who love the great director and for the younger ones who want to know their poetics.
To complete the review, Sunday 12 January at 17, a meeting with a projection of the anthropological docufilm by Lorenzo Bassi and Franco Longobardi Fellineide: a fascinating and amusing excursus on the director Federico Fellini in which two of the main crossroads of his unmistakable style will be explored, the paradoxical and evocative characterization of the human fauna that has constantly populated his works, and the taste for the grotesque and the scratchy satire. Franco Longobardi meets the audience.
more info
MIC
Viale Fulvio Testi 121
Milano

CESARE ZUCCA
Born in Milan, he lives in New York, Milan and the rest of the world.
Cesare likes to travel up and down America as well as spending time  in Italy and Europe.
For NTT, he photographs and tells about cities, cultures, lifestyles and discovers both traditional and innovative gastronomic delights, among interviewing top chefs from all over the world, “stealing” their recipes and  write everything here, in  a perfect ‘ non touristy tourist’ style..
 

 

MILAN, ITALY. ‘IL DONO’: A GREAT FREE GIFT FOR THE CITY

I saw Voca’s show a while ago at Off-Broadway New World Stages in New York.
It was amazingI I looooved it! The group will be performing one night only at the former railway station of Porta Romana, owned by FS Sistemi Urbani (Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane Group), an unusual venue that will become the stage where Voca People, an internationally renowned Israeli company, will perform on a very special night December 19th. 2019
Voca are eight aliens from the planet Voca, where they communicate through music and vocal expressions. Using only a cappella singing and beat box (which consists of playing percussion as drums and cymbals through the voice)No instruments, no sound effects, It will be a show beyond every boundary and barrier, a kind of a ” theater outside the theater” that it will create an intergalactic musical explosion from the planet Voca, located somewhere behind the sun. Using no instruments, only vocals, they create an alien, innovative sound that’s music to your ears.
What a repertoire! Hits from the ’70s to Mozart to Michael Jackson to ABBA…and those ‘greatest hits’ from any kinda of music, or armonia as the aliens would say….spanning from
Opera, to Bee Gess, to Disco music, to Queen, to classical to the greatest movie soundtracks to literally dozen and dozen of popular tunes.

“‘Il Dono’(The Gift ), says Teatro No’hma’s President Livia Pomodoro, is a special initiative that aims to different theatrical ​​experiences with the public as a journey from the stage to the beating heart of the city, this year our ‘dono’ will be the amazingly talented Voca People. INFO
Teatro No’hma
At Porta Romana Railway Station
Giovanni Lorenzini 3/A, 20139, Milano MI
Free entrance , reservation a must.
By phone 39-0245485085/0226688369
Online  www.nohma.org

CESARE ZUCCA
Born in Milan, he lives in New York, Milan and the rest of the world.
Cesare likes to travel up and down America as well as spending time  in Italy and Europe.
For NTT, he photographs and tells about cities, cultures, lifestyles and discovers both traditional and innovative gastronomic delights, among interviewing top chefs from all over the world, “stealing” their recipes and  write everything here, in  a perfect ‘ non touristy tourist’ style..
 

I LEGNANESI…the funniest italian family on stage!

Herr they go again …. A new show from the funniest Italian Family .The theatrical company I Legnanesi was born in 1949, in an oratory of Legnano, led by late Felice Musazzi. The exclusively male nature of the company is due to an ancient ecclesiastical ban that prevented to women to act with men, so that women’s roles were interpreted by the same male actors in disguise, talking in the Legnanese dialect.
The company became famous and performed in mayor theaters, gaining great popularity and winning several awards. Musazzi died in 1989. The company, that went trough different casts, is still performing successfully. The man of the house is (or should be) Giovanni (Lorenzo Cordara) but is indeed his wife Teresa (Antonio Provasio, who is also co-writer and director) who runs the family. They have a flamboyant daughter, Mabilia (Enrico Dalceri) a not-so-young blond hairdresser, always looking to get married to a rich guy.

I saw their recent production, The Colombo Family …. and I canìt wait for the new show..

Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 20.22.51The courts are celebrating the feast of Sant Ambrogio. Teresa with the help of friends and nuns, is preparing a festive re-act of the Passion, featuring Mabilia in the roule of the Virgin Mary “Just call her Mary, forget the Virgin” suggests Teresa.During the rehearsal Mabilia falls for a newcomer who plays Jesus Christ.Teresa starts with researches. The guy is actually the descendent of a wealthy family (totally inspired to the Addams) living in a remote villa. The Colombos decide to visit them and, through grotesque situations and campy gags, including in psychih session, to talk with a dead uncle who apparently hid a winning lotto ticket in the houseMy favorite line?
When Teresa tells Pina, a very short parent,  “Do not go out alone. The grass is high and we’ll not found you anymore”Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 20.22.20This company brings to the stage the stories, customs and traditions of Lombardy but is widely appreciated outside Lombardy, thanks to the modernization of the original texts , the usage of more of an Italian text and the choice of universal themes such as the family, the economic crisis, the neighborly relations and of course their love-hate relationship.Finally, Mabilia offers some great musical numbers, first with a tribute to the iconic italian musical diva Wanda Osiris, then as a flamboyant Cuban singer sourrended by colorfull young dancers, while in the grand finale: all actors show up as “men” in ” elegant tuxedos.Year 2020
Here we go again….
A TV movie debut:
The next ‘Legnanesi’ adventure is called ‘Non è natale senza panettone’ there is no Xmas without panettone cake’ which is the first movie they ever made.
Airing on December 16th in the Italian Channel Rete 4
Followed by a long tour in many Italian cities
Here more info on the tour and how to get tickets
www.ilegnanesi.it

CESARE ZUCCA
Born in Milan, he lives in New York, Milan and the rest of the world.
Cesare likes to travel up and down America as well as spending time  in Italy and Europe.
For NTT, he photographs and tells about cities, cultures, lifestyles and discovers both traditional and innovative gastronomic delights, among interviewing top chefs from all over the world, “stealing” their recipes and  write everything here, in  a perfect non touristy tourist’ style..

 

 

From a bench to Shakespeare… (kinda)…

BY CESARE ZUCCA
My first encounter with the very talented comedians  Ale and Franz, was in front to my TV, watching their funny gig. two men chatting while sitting on a bench) with Ale reading the newspaper and making with the bewildered Franz in the great show called Zelig.
Ale and Franz is an Italian comic duo formed by Alessandro Besentini and Francesco Villa  in addition to Zelig; since then they have taken part in various successful TV shows, as well as acting in films and plays.
Well. forget the bench, Ale and Franz are now on the stage of Teatro Manzoni with the play Born under a contrary star, the painful story of Juliet and her Romeo”, directed by the agile and lively director of Leo Muscato.
It is a variation of  the famous Shakespearean tragedy, directed by a director who can improvise stopgaps for small roles..
The text is a pre-text for improvisation, as happened in the late sixteenth century. At the beginning of the show, the actors themselves, at the front, announce the spirit of the staging: mas-sanctify the text.
Ale is Juliet, in a fluffy white tutu and Franz is the handsome Franz’s Romeo who creates a character in balance between lyricism and irony. On the stage they put into play all their ability to have fun and have fun, but the result is unexpected. The rough Ale is a moving Juliet, as tender and naive as you’d expect from a young girl while the handsome Romeo, Franz is impetuous as expected from his character as a young lover.
The protagonists are no longer the characters of the drama but the actors themselves who, in balance between tragedy and comedy, tell first of all themselves. Each one represents a character: the avant-gardist, the attorone, ( big actor) the promiscuous, and everyone has a story of his own that led him to that stage.
A cast of all men performing even female roles, observing the authentic Elizabethan spirit. Rivals and accomplices at the same time, on the one hand the jokes are stolen, on the other they help each other as much as they can. The Elizabethan script obviously requires a cast of transformist comedians and Muscato brings together a group of very talented actors, including the great with Paolo Graziosi, who actually performed Mercuzio in the play directed by Franco Zeffirelli.Although the text is entirely Shakespearean, with the exception of the short prologue, the risk of these rewritings that wink at the cabaret is that the “character” takes precedence over the text, as is partially the case in this production.I have the feeling that most of the audience. as fans of the comic duo, got pretty disappointed  to see their fav comedians acting like Shakespearean actors  or at least Shakespeare amateurs. The laughs were few and anxiously expected.
I had the feeling that the search for comedy and a strong characterization of the characters prevails over the overall vision, conveying a feeling of fragmentation and sometime getting pretty boring.
Luckily the story of Romeo and Juliet triumphs over everything,
If you want to know more about Ale and Franz

MAY THE “FORTEZZA” BE WITH YOU ! Discovering the Campania Region, the wines and… the witches!

TEXT AND PHOTOS BY CESARE ZUCCA

Campania Region, Italy.
Torrecuso
is an enchanting medieval ‘borgo’, that offers a suggestive view of the Taburno and the Valle del Calore. Its origins date back to 216 BC, probably on the initiative of some Etruscan refugees from the Tuscan town of Chiusi who called it “TurrisClusii”.
Today is a small village characterized by narrow, winding streets, which surround the square on which stands the splendid Palazzo Cito, adapted into an ancient tower; the building was the residence of the feudal lords of Torrecuso and today is the town hall.

The soil is sunny and lends itself well to growing grapes; here is produced the Aglianico del Taburno, which makes this place an important station for food and wine tourism.
In the last decades the production of other typical vines such as Falanghina, Coda di Volpe and Greco has been increased, all included in the Taburno D.O.C..
I will take you to the best of the wineyards in Torrecuso, the great Cantina La Fortezza and invite you to taste its excellent wines, but allow me to start witha little history of this magical land…
Torrecuso is located close to Benevento, a town mythically traced to the arrival of a Greek hero back from the disastrous Trojan war. In this case it would have been Diomedes to found it and on the Beneventan soil the Greek prince would have met and almost met with death with Enea, a Trojan hero.
Historically, the first settlement dates back to the Osci, and then passed under the control of the Samnites. The first ‘bad’ name was Maleventum that means a ‘huge disaster’, then luckily changed to the positive name of  Beneventum  when the city became a Roman colony, in 268 BC.
Throughout the Roman period the city became one of the most prosperous since it represented a very important junction for the main commercial routes and roads. 
Although tortured by violent earthquakes and barbarians invasions, Benevento gained the reputation of a city difficult to conquer: even the Franks and Charlemagne himself had to stop at its borders. In 1077 Henry III ceded the city and the entire area to the Church, which held power until the unification of Italy.
For a few years, in 1798, it was occupied by Napoleon’s troops,then in the hands of the Bourbons, then again of the Church.
Here come the witches!
Benevento has always been in the popular belief the capital of witches, in that peasant and genuine territory where legends and traditions have a weight, the nightly Janare were the most ferocious species of those witches.
These were women who possessed the knowledge of the occult and magical rites, such as invoices and the evil eye, capable of ruining life. According to tradition, in fact, it was necessary to place an upside-down millet broom or a bag with grains of salt in front of the door, counting which the witch would have lingered until dawn, when the light, her bitter enemy, would have forced her to flee away, leaving the inhabitants of that house or that room in particular in peace.
T
here was a widespread belief that these witches gathered under a walnut tree on the banks of the Sabato river to worship the devil. Aggressive and acid, they use to go around naked and celebrate the Sabbath, or demonic rites: banquets, dances and orgies.
“Ointment ointment
take me to the Benevento nut
above the water and above the wind
and above Benevento ».There are still janaras around  today?
I asked several Benevento citizens, but apparently the malifigcent witches aren t no more. Perhaps some older women are preparing healing natural ointments or infusions, as regular herbalists. But hey, I’ ve been told that you can recognize them, because they are the last ones to leave the church after the mass…
Strange…Are the witch going to church?
The only surviving witch is the Strega Liqueur, a traditional drink obtained by the distillation of about 70 herbs and spices from all over the world. You can drink it neat, icy or mixed in long drinks or cocktails.Let’s move from the legends to a truly magic reality…
I am taking you to La Fortezza Vineyards, located in Torrecuso,
where their headquarters extend on the east slope of the Regional Park of the Taburno-Camposauro: the slopes are a succession of vineyards, woods and small clearings, which only in the last hours of the day the Monte Taburno profile subtracts light and heat.In the middle of the vineyards stands the beating heart of our business: the cellar.
Entirely coated in stone and well integrated into the surrounding landscape is made up of two bodies. In the upper part a Villa and wide open spaces primarily intended for lawn: a charming place by sweeping views looking towards the Apennines that separates the Campania from Apulia. The underlying body, which opens more than two gates in medieval style strictly processed hardwood, home to the productive activity itself: a perfect blend of tradition and modern technology.The barrel vaults, that dominate the area destined to accommodate the aging of wine, entirely coated in terracotta bricks and partially dug into the tuff, bring us closer to an idea of ​​the cellar to those who were the old “cellai” of rural farms, that is, those places that were intended to keep as much wine as food.
The local processing, where there are machines for wine making, bottling and labeling room, steel tanks and warehouses for goods destined to commercialization complement the wine cellar, with a production potential of about two million bottles.Here La Fortezza’s grape varieties:
Let’s start with the Aglianico del Taburno, a generous quantity that allows an accurate selection in the vineyard for the various sales lines and to guarantee the production of wines of the highest quality such as the Riserva, whose grapes come from a vineyard of about seventy years of age.  Falanghina del Taburno, whose exposure of the vineyards gives us the best results in terms of sugar content, perfumes and acidity of the wine without having to resort to cuts in working phase. By the time we select in outside the vineyards of Greek and Fiano to be allocated to our products by imposing a strict and meticulous discipline of crop for producers: once the land and its vineyards identified, these are followed in all the basic steps until the collection that takes place under our supervision.
Want to go bubbles?
I like to point the Sparkling Falanghina, the Aglianico Frizzante and the precious “Maleventum”  a brut obtained with the charmat method.
Last but not the least I like to mention the delicate rosèe Aglianico dl Taburno, perfectly pairing fish and the fragrant Olio La Fortezza, both excellent choice if you are having a local great dish with baccalà (salted codfish) a remarkable specialty of this territory, which I had the pleasure to taste at a typical restaurant Trattoria Nunzia, in Benevento.
Sweet finale? Do you love chocolate?
Well, while you are there, take a trip to to San Marco dei Cavoti to visit the Antonio Autore Artisanal  Factory that produces the one and only handmade ‘croccantino’.a delicious traditional recipe of a bar of sugar, almonds and hazelnuts. It will be a pleasure for your eyes and for your mouth!

INFO
La Fortezza
Torrecuso, Benevento
www.lafortezzasrl.it

Antonio Autore
San Marco dei Cavoti

Cesare Zucca
Milanese di nascita, vive tra New York, Milano e il resto del mondo. Viaggia su e giù per l’America e si concede evasioni in Italia e in Europa.
Per WEEKEND PREMIUM fotografa e racconta città, culture, stili di vita e scopre delizie gastronomiche sia tradizionali che innovative.
Incontra e intervista top chefs di tutto il mondo, ‘ruba’ le loro ricette e vi racconta il tutto qui, in stile ‘turista non turista’.

WINE articles by CESARE ZUCCA

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Linda Ronzoni and Silvia Gottardi are two great women passionate about two wheels who call themselves the “CICLISTE PER CASO”, make a stop at the Bottega headquarters in Bibano di Godega, during the long bicycle ride that is taking them from Bari to Milan.
The arrival is scheduled at around 17.30 at the Bottega headquarters, where they will be welcomed by Monica Lisetto and a representation of the Women of Wine, headed by Alessandra Boscaini, regional delegate of Veneto. A visit of the Bottega structure will end with a toast based on Prosecco Docg, to anticipate the next stage that will lead the two cyclists to Feltre, crossing the hills of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene, recently included in the Unesco World Heritage list.
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https://nontouristytourist.com/2018/10/17/bric-paradiso-roero-docg-riserva-2013-memory-of-the-sea/

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Today I take you to Tenuta Carretta one of the most historic Italian wineries, founded back in 1467 and located in the Roero area, in the South of Piedmont Region, Italy .The property’s vineyards also extend close to the Langhe, such as 2.6 hectares in Barolo on the prestigious Cannubi hill, from which the nebbiolo grapes destined for the production of the celebrated Barolo Cannubi, a wine of grand character, elegance and longevity.Thanks to the vines’ exposure to sun and to the particular microclimate, it is a wine of grand character, elegance and longevity, thanks to the exposure to sun and to the particular climate.

 

Not to mention the iconic 2010 Barolo Cannubi Riserve 100% nebbiolo grapes , with a  minimum refinement of 60 months, of which at least 36 in barrel and 18 in bottle. Enjoy its scent of roses, citrus notes, cacao and spices.

 

 

Yes, Tenuta Carretta is preparing to showcase their wines in the industry’s biggest fairs in Verona, Italy called Vinitaly,  the largest Italian wine show hosting the best winemaking all over Italy.
Verona, April 15-18, 2018  at Pavillion 10, Stand R4
Tenuta Carretta is a splendid winery that sets the stage of an amphitheatre of unique and evocative vineyards. They make up a part of the touristic ‘wine mosaic’ through which visitors can follow a guided trail through the vineyards Guided visits to the winery, the elegant Charme Hotel and a welcoming Enoteca – Wine Shop, make up the rest of the mosaic.I saved the best for last…
Two high-end restaurants where your dishes will take to meet  the royalties of the territory: the tartufo bianco di Alba ( Alba’s white truffle) and the porcini.

 

 

 

 

Did I made you eager for all that?
Well, here how to make a reservation to this  Paradise… Milan, April 6th Berlucchi from 7.30 pm at Mercato Duomo Davide Oltolini will host a wine tasting featuring the classic Brut, Rosee and Saten Franciacorta Berlucchi ’61,
and including the new Nature, with five exquisite dishes large tapas like,
spanning from cold cuts, to veggies, to cheeses that representing the Italian excellence in the world of gastronomy. The event will take place in the beautiful Franciacorta Lounge right on Piazza Duomo. Wine tasting and food 35 Euros.IMG_9345 copy


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The Non Tourist Tourist is famous for discovering hidden gems.
Last summer I discover a jewel into a jewel into a jewel…
The incomparable  Tenuta Venissa Resort located in the island of Mazzorbo, which is home to a vineyard that has been able to overcome the challenge of the high tide for centuries, giving rise to a wine with characteristics that are entirely unique.                          Matteo Bisol created not only an amazing five star resort, but also a unique wine nested in a unique bottle

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Text and photos by Cesare Zucca
Back in the 70′ the iconic Fiorucci New York store discovered that music could actually influence and improve the sales. screen-shot-2016-10-26-at-10-27-57“Never play slow music, told me the legendary store manager Enrico Baroni, the man who helped the Fiorucci empire to bloom. Slow rhythm makes costumers slowing down; they loose the excitement of a new purchase and easily get bored of the shopping adventure. In our store we play loud up-tempo music either pop or disco and most importantly without any interruptions. That causes a shopping rush and improve the appetite of buying”screen-shot-2016-10-26-at-10-33-41
The world famous Japanese wagyu cows, in order to produce the tender kobe beef…non only are pampered with massages, drink beer and sake, but also spend their days  lessening to Mozart! The body relaxes, the muscles stretch and they seem to enjoy the music vibrations.

Can music influence the aging process of wine?
In the magical atmosphere of the Podere Rocche dei Manzoni in the beautiful Langhe territory (in Piedmont region, province of Cuneo) resident wine producer Rodolfo Migliorini and  one of the most influential living composers, Italian Maestro Ezio Bosso. screen-shot-2016-10-26-at-09-47-47
Recently this extraordinary couple of creative souls and long time friends invited press, friends and all the people who in recent years have “filled rooms” of the company
The occasion was to introduce the brand new sparkling wine named Valentino Cuvèe 185th Door, an exclusive, limited production (only 1500 bottles and 150 magnun size) of the  spumante cuvèe made with classic chardonnay, pinot noir and locally rarely used pinot meunier. . During an informal press conference, Rodolfo and Ezio unveiled the convincing theory that music can actually influence the wine making process, from the vineyard to the final bottle.
Obviously many questions:

How a sparkling wine may get refined listening to music? Which kind of music?
Bosso selected among his works a “symphony for the wine”: a suitable composition to act during the wine aging process and to influence the second fermentation of yeast. Loudspeakers were installed in the vineyards and in the cellars. After a minimum of 4 vintages assembly, a percentage which varies according to the characteristics of each of them, 185th Door, during its life in the bottle, which lasts at least 8 years, is subjected to a measured musical stress and controlled to optimize the activity of yeast.“We are the first to have thought of applying the vibrations of music to a sparkling wine refinement process, says Migliorini, At first, we proceeded by trial and after 12 years this project is still in an embryonic basis. However, with the data collected during the trial I can say that thanks to the music the activity of yeast is faster and the product is improved.  Certain notes and sounds have frequencies that the wine seem to .. listen , enjoy and mature with a pleasant aging. In the coming years we will try to understand how to further influence the activity of the yeast, thus modulating the music according to our needs“.img_9277-copy

Why 185th?
What’s behind that door?
Ezio as a co-composer of this innovative method, loved have a very unique and personalized name: The ‘door’ is linked to the theme of ‘the rooms’ the common thread of his recent albums.The 185, takes us the alphabet where the R (Rodolfo) is the18th letter while the E (Ezio) is the 5th. Ezio continues “The sounds coming from a violin and  a cello, from a full orchestra or simply from my piano were able to pass through wood and cement of the barrels to create a chain of harmonies that reborn in a chain of wine.

FASHION    MARRIES GAVI DEI GAVI LA SCOLCA AT MAISON VERSACE
Milan, October 6th Vendemmia di Montenapoleone

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AURUM, In the name of gold 
Are you a wine lover? Do you like to discover new tastes while sipping a nice glass of white or red? Do you enjoy to end up a dinner with a sweet touch of dessert wine?
Or …do you indulge meditation?
Here several good reasons to visit the Euganean Hills, to get acquainted with the local wines, starting from the typical Fior d’Arancio, a very golden Moscato to a variety of whites with the typical straw-yellow color and jasmine scent, The hills produce Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon reds, the Chardonnay, , the Merlot, to my fav, the sparkling Serprino.
I forgot… most importantly, are you ready to discover a hidden gem in Italy? Breathtaking panoramas, art, culture and good food?
Already excited? Well, hold your glass…
On the panoramic outdoor of the Villa Beatrice, a former Convent founded in12th century, on the top of the hill, we tried the Quota 101 wines, I loved the Malterreno an authentic expression of the Euganei  territory.  Authentic and true. The grapes are hand-picked in September, when the sun has made them nice and ripe. Warm yellow color, scent of Summer, in the mouth it is velvety and well-structured.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next stop at Paolo Brunello’s Cantina Vignale di Cecilia,  located in Baone.
My fav was the white Val di Spie, an experimental trip in the world of sparkling wine, blinks its eye to the traditional natural fermentation in the bottle, while maintaining its natural yeasts, followed by the first born at Vignale, the red Passacaglia made with Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Barbera boasting a long maceration as well as the handmade mixing of fermenting grapes. In the evening I met with lovely Elisa Dilavanzo, owner of Maeli Colli Euganei featuring the yellow muscat
from these amazing volcanic hills, where Elisa decided to “work towards the production of a wine that is rich in emotion whilst at the same time a worthy ambassador for this prestigious territory”.Sparklyn Moscato Giallo IGT
Muscat 85% Chardonnay 15% Destemming and soft pressing, maceration on the skins for three days, pressing, fermentation on natural yeasts without added sulphites. The wine is bottled on its own yeasts with in-the-bottle secondary fermentation using the original must following the time-honoured method.
Grand finale with a wide varIety of Zanovello wines, hosted by Mr. Franco Zanovello, President of La Strada del Vino and owner of Cà Lustra wines. I ended my journey with the iconic Passito, born in the year 1200. Believe me, no many other places on earth would enrich a meditation time like being on the top of one of those volcanic Hills, specially after sipping a glass of a delicious wine…
The team of the Raffles Siem Reap, engaged us to pay a visit to a real jewel., located in their sister property in Phnom Penh, I am talking of the historic a place that exudes the charm of old school luxury. Not only do the walls spoke of history but, the service evokes a tempo of another time, a pace where the demands of productivity are not part of the game. Not to say we waited a long time for our cocktails, we waited just the right time for it to be made to perfection!
The signature cocktail is the Femme Fatale,
created for Jacqueline Kennedy during her 1967 visit in Cambodia.The bar boasts a selection of 54 hand-picked gins and among the most recent offerings you can pair your libation with a spoonful of Giaveri caviar from Italy for a very friendly $5.We were hosted by the young French F&B manager of this legendary institution,
Thomas Bianco. Thomas had the barman create on the spot a cocktail combining ingredients I loved: bourbon, fresh lime and ginger juice, simple sugar and mint leaves. Shaken with egg white and served on the rocks with a splash of angustura bitters. What a treat! Thomas coined the name Tsin-Tsin for the cocktail in a heartbeat, combining the first letter of his first first name and the first 3 letters of my last name for an inviting chin-chin ring to it. It is now on the menu of the Elephant Bar, sealing in history the final touch of a night made of whimsy, fun and good taste.
Info for The Elephant Bar at Ruffles Hotel Le Royal in Phnom Penh  at
http://www.raffles.com/phnom-penh/dining/elephant-bar/

 

Moet Ice Impérial breaks the tradition and launches a new style, a genuine drink experience that mixes unexpectedly sparkles and ice cubes to strawberries, raspberries and lime. 
Moët & Chandon created more than 270 years of elegance and savoir fête  now blended harmoniously with an irreverent yet inimitable spirit of celebration. Moët & Chandon created more than 270 years of elegance and savoir fête  now blended harmoniously with an irreverent yet inimitable spirit of celebration.

                                            A glizzy white bottle with the inevitable black tie, golden label and silver reflections Moët Ice Impérial is perfect synthesis of the Maison’s values: elegance, glamour and pioneering spirit.An  ideal drink for exclusive summer excursion in the trendiest locations all around the world: from the beaches of Acapulco, Rio de Janeiro and Saint Tropez, to Los Angeles, to the magnificent Duomo Terrace in Milan

Yesterday I went to the picnic lunch at the Palazzo Monti della Corte , in Nigoline right in the heart of the Franciacorta region, one of the best producer of sparkling wine.

Tasting a Berlucchi Brut, one of the most recognized product of Franciacorta

Tasting a Berlucchi Brut, one of the most recognized product of the Franciacorta region.The territory of Franciacorta is a section of the Province of Brescia

The annual Franciacorta Festival will entertain again his visitors with a two days tour de force of exquisite food and superb wines.
Saturday 25 will be dedicated to the discovery of the territory, its wines,its products and its food. Photo N.Tirelli
The wineries will organize little events, guided tours and tastings during the day, while in the evening the best restaurants, diners, farms and the Strada del Franciacorta venues will offer their menu, dedicated to local food and wine culture


South Tyrol is waiting  for you. 300 cellars, 100 artisans of Italian taste. 150 international wine producers! Merano is hosting the annual WineFestival, an international wine&food bonanza,  one of the most exclusive places and occasions for all industry operators, where the recurring keyword is always “excellence”.In addition You will find the best Italian wines produced organically, biodynamically and naturally, the  Beer Passion experience, where the artisan flavour becomes beer, Consortium: the Italian protection consortia are presented within the Gourmet Arena, charity Wine Master Classes. where the revenues of which are given to charity and spectacular show cooking among,seminars and workshops for discussion on the future of wine in Italy and Europe.November 5th-10th
More info at www.meranowinefestival.com

Imagine: a secret bottle kept in the cave for years (sometimes more than 30). It’s the rich and velvety wine called sciacchetrà. This aged treasure resurges in occasion of a wedding as the greatest gift that the family of the groom could offer to the bride’s family. I had the privilege of opening a bottle than was more than 10 years old. It reminded me of a rich passito straw wine, sweet and liqueur-like.
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TERRACE TIME

Chiantigno Photo © Cesare Zucca 2016

Chiantigno Photo © Cesare Zucca 201

On the Rooftop of the Hotel, that is called “Terrazza Boscolo” by Dama, Sommellier Diana Zerilli will create two exciting drinks Chiantigno, born from the encounter between Chianti Colli Senesi Mormoraia,with Campari, Gin, Angostura, Rosmarine and Ice Tropical Wine, con Vernaccia San Gimignano Mormoraia,
with Honey, Mango, Ice.

The Villa Il Palagio perches elegantly at the top of a long steep drive, overlooking the distant Tuscan hills and the undulating countryside which has always had profound agricultural significance. Screen Shot 2016-04-30 at 13.19.50The nearby medieval town of Figline Valdarno was known as the “barn of Florence” for its abundant corn supplies. Grains, wine, oil, sugar beets, peaches, apricots and cherries have long been grown here. Not only…Palagio has been the summer retreat for
Sting and Trudie’s family and friends for more than 15 years.Palagio produces an excellent red wine.
A blend of Sangiovese, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvigon Biodynamic wine. Screen Shot 2016-04-27 at 10.26.06Named after Sting’s song “Sister Moon”
this was the first IGT Toscano wine produced at Il Palagio.

MILAN EXPO 2015
Wine Pavillion, a true multi-sensorial experience. Tasting Settesoli.
Great surprise at Expo 2015!
I visited the Wine Pavilion boasts a wide array of communications tools, as it narrates the history of wine-production.The exhibit brings all five senses into play, with taste taking priority. Some of the best-qualified sommeliers are on hand to arrange wine-tasting experiences blending tastes with aromas.IMG_7903

I attended to the Cantine Settesoli tasting hosted by charming PR Roberta Urso.IMG_7871 copy

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My favorite wines?
Inzolia, a very reasonable price for a great white wine. Light and fruity, just the way I like it. Roberta suggested fatty fish such as halibut or dory with potatoes and cherry tomatoes to go with.
Grillo, with a distinct aroma of jasmine and citrus.To be served with grilled vegetables, medium seasoned cheese, legumes soups, raw meats.
The legendary Nero D’Avola with its ruby red, and a brightly intense taste, smooth and warm, with a distinctive scent of marasca, local red cherry, excellent with raw meat and grilled white meat.IMG_7892 copy

The Mandrarossa wines are the toprange of Cantine Settesoli.
They come from the careful selection of both the vineyards and the vines, together with the harmonious combination of local culture, traditional farming and winemaking technology.
The tasting ended up with an amazing finale.

The “meditation” chardonnay CALADEITUFI  calaMandrarossa Vendemmia Tardiva, produced in a small vineyard that slopes down toward the coast, between sandy dunes and wild vegetation. the breeze refreshes the grapes that are left to ripen on the plant.   Deliciously perfect as a  “solo” wine or ‘solo’ wine or accompanied by light cheeses, desserts, dry fruits. Settesoli is the largest wine company in Sicily, Twenty million bottles are made in a year and they are sold in 35 countries. “Settesoli is a stellar constellation, said proudly Cantine the general manager Salvatore Li Petri, each producer is a star”.

 
From Friday Feb 26th to Sunday 28th  “Wine Festival I am Romagnolo” where quality food and wine enthusiasts will enjoy local Sangiovese, Albana, Pagadebit *and more img_4542-copy

Try the wines of 30 wineries of Romagna, dozens of winemakers of the territories of Forli, Faenza, Cesena, Ravenna and Rimini
Purchase the cup,  and ticket “Euroromagnoli”, enjoy the guided tastings tours.
Entrance to the Festival is free.
Info at  Sono Romagnolo


Colomba is a traditional Italian Easter yeast bread. It is shaped like a dove (colomba in Italian), the symbol of peace and resurrection. Soft and fragrant, colomba is a generous cake with butter and eggs, filled with raisins and candied orange peel. Italian Easter yeast bread..The colomba could mean not only a peace message but also solidarity. Like in the case of the artisanal Colomba Arcobaleno (Rainbow Dove)  created by the Milanese sommelier Diana Zerilli  who supports gay rights and gay issues in Italy, such as marriage and child adoption. Her colomba is made with Sicilian Avola almonds, Calabria cedar, kneaded with Vernaccia Mormoraia, a traditional white wine from San Gimignano,d zerilli

Beside food, Diana passion  and expertise is (of course) wine. Twice a week, she gives classes and wine tasting at Hotel Rubens in Milan. Each class will introduce an Italian region, with its local wines and food.
March 10th Wines from Valle d’Aosta
March 17th Wines from Veneto and Diana’s Chiantigno drink tasting
March 22th Wines from Piemonte.Classes will continue in April, after Easter Holi days. Each class costs 35 Euros.zerillisommelier@gmail.com
To celebrate their wines, Villa Matilde owners Maria Ida and Salvatore Avallone, invited distributors, buyers, bloggers to spend a wonderful time in Cellole, in the Caserta Region, The location boasts a wonderful vineyard, a restaurant, a swimming pool, several bedrooms and, of course, good wines and delicious specialties from a traditional or revisited cucina napoletana. We were all invited and the Villa looked really festive.

 

During the all event, guests were invited to try the wines.I loved the golden and soft Falanghina Roccamonfina a  sophisticated fruity white that brings hints of pineapple, banana, yellow peach to rose and sage a great glass to star you meal , served with appetizer , light dishes, fish and white meat. Then the Mata Rosé, elegant sparkling wine obtained from one of the oldest and noble native Carnation vines, the Alleanic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


My special applause goes to Terre Cerase Rosè, (I have to confess:I had 4 glasses) with a floral the bouquet of morello cherries, black and red wild berries, plus delicate hints of spices, ideal with fish, poultry, veal and making an outstanding paired with bufala mozzarella. Last but not the list the reason why we all were there. We were graciously invited to Celebrate the king of the Villa, His Magesty Falerno del Massico, a red wine famous in literature and history is a blend of aglianico and piedirosso; the clusters are carefully quality-selected from the hillside vineyards on the San Castrese estate growing on the slopes of the extinct Roccamonfina volcano, in the province of Caserta. Showing a deep red, its intense, rich bouquet is brimming with fragrant sweet violets, cherries, blackberries, and raspberries, finely balanced in all teir components. The “Falerno Party” started with the Exclusive Ceremony of opening and tasting Falerno del Massico aging in Amphora:
What an entertaining show! Fabio Gennarelli (Wine Making Director) opened one of the “Phitos” the traditional clay Amphora used exclusively by Villa Matilde, followed by an a unique sensing experience: the Vertical tasting of Falerno del Massico Vigna Camarato spanning from 1995 to 2010.  A parade of eight glasses where every “millesime” was telling his own story. Not to mention the final dinner stuck between tradition and  innovation, created by the chefs of “Taverna del Falerno”and the “Grand Hotel Parker’s 5 Stars Restaurant”  pairing their dishes with the new Villa Matilde baby born: sparkling Spumante Mata Falanghina, with its warm golden reflections and a fine and elegant perlage, thanks to the long stay on yeasts. Just put your nose to the glass to feel delicate scents of ripe fruit mixed with hints of yeast and crust of bread. The taste is fresh, elegant and harmonious, with acidic and intense fruity notes typical of the Falanghina, which are accompanied by pleasing sensations.
A dinner that brought
the culture of food of Napoli and Campania.ending with a nice souvenir that anyone who is a little superstitious would have love it . A little red corn, mounted on a Villa Matilde cork, a traditional “Good Luck”
for the Neapolitan people.

 

      


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


FOOD ARTICLES, CHEF INTERVIEWS, RESTAURANT REVIEWS by Cesare Zucca

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screen-shot-2016-09-30-at-12-50-30On my first night In Athens, I discovered a real hidden gem called Nice n Easy, a cosy restaurant song offers a beautiful menu based on quality and simple organic ingredients, carefully chosen. The dishes, created by the well known Chef Christos Athanasiadis, are a blend of Mediterranean flavors, keeping an eye to the tradition and the innovation. In the ‘savvy&healthy’ menu I found the place of origin of each ingredient, calories, and the nutritional value of each dish. Many of them have a screen legends ’signature’ from. Between the pastas stands up (who else…) the Sophia Loren, a gluten free vegetarian dish with skioufihta pasta, wild mushrooms, organic baby tomatoes and aged Cretan Graviera cheese flavored with thyme. Talking of screen goddess, here comes Audrey Hepburn grilled wild mushrooms with gorgonzola, flavored with thyme and Brigitte Bardot, where carrots, zucchini, baby corn, soya and bamboo sprouts meet noodles made of konjac root, that has zero calories, is rich in fiber and, thanks to the glucomannan, it absorbs liquids in the stomach, improves the level of glucose in the blood and decreases cholesterol, helps to detoxify the body and to stabilize the glycemic index and cholesterol levels. Viva la Bardot! I loved the gluten free Sean Connery, baked wild fresh salmon with barley crust, herbs and citrus, on quinoa tabbouleh with mustard- honey sauce. For meat lovers I suggest the succulent Frank Sinatra, prime beef flank tagliata with marinated grilled zucchini, organic baby tomatoes and truffle oil.All paired with an intense Thema 2016 made of assyrtico, probably Greece’s most striking white grape from Drama, Northern Greece.More than anything, ‘nice n easy’ is a way of living. It’s the food, it’s the music, it’s the people and it’s the moo. Nice n’ easy in open all day for lunch and dining, coffee and cocktails, and a fab Sunday brunch.see article

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At the last Milano TuttoFood, I met with Carlo Bolli, active producer of Palaghiaccio historic farm dated back more than one thousand years ago on the most rich soils of the Mugello valley, I tried a real excellence of Tuscany, called Grand Mugello Ubaldino, a straw-colored cheese compact, derived from simple ingredients: raw cow’s milk, cultures, rennet, salt. then the rich and creamy Gran Tartufo Toscano, regarded as an authentic art in Tuscany, It is aged in the “Ubaldini Grottos” located beneath the medieval Palagiaccio dating back around the 1200’s.Finally a big surprise, the Tonno di Firenze. (Firenze’s tuna). It is produced by baking white pieces of beef in white wine, extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper and flavors. It has light hazel color, tastes and tones of light and delicate tuna
The beef is called tune because it’s smooth, tender and easy to cut as a piece of tuna. www.palagiaccio.us/

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GORI WINERY, FRIULY, ITALY: FROM MAGNIFICENT MAGNIFICAT TO HISTORICAL VERMUT, FROM RIBOLLA PRECIOUS GRAPES TO A LICIT DRINKABLE CANNABIS!

You want more?
I really enjoyed the Friulano, pure expression of the territory, the Chardonnay, the fruit of an international vine that finds here a suitable habitat, thus becoming one of the most characteristic white wines of the region;