Garda Lake, Italy . WELCOME ‘TO PRATELLO WORLD’

( talian and english version)

I produttori di vini Garda DOC, sono paladini della storia, della sua bellezza e della biodiversità. Lo testimoniamo la cura e la preservazione delle ‘pievi’, degli antichi sentieri, delle architetture passate dei borghi e delle mura ‘marogne’ testimoni di ere geologiche.

E’ un atto d’amore verso il ‘loro’ lago.
Un amore che trasuda nelle parole, negli sguardi e nell’irresistible simpatia di Naikè Bertola , al timone della cantina Pratello a Padenghe sul Garda, nel cuore della Valtènesi, zona ricca di vigneti, borghi suggestivi, santuari di antica devozione e castelli risalenti al X secolo, famosa per la bellezza del paesaggio e per la produzione di vini.

Naikè Bertola

Pratello è un vero ‘universo’: vigneto, cantina, olio, olive, ospitalità, ristorante con piatti tipici della zona, frutteto, orto, frutta antica, allevamenti allo stato brado di razze autoctone e una spettacolare “bottega contadina” che propone prodotti unici e autentici, come confetture, confit, ragù, sottaceti, agrodolci …

Non mancano degli insoliti ospiti: due alpaca, animali estremamente docili e rispettosi, vivono nei prati. tra gli uliveti e si nutrono d’erba. Gli alpaca sono conosciuti soprattutto per la loro morbida lana che Pratello tratta ed utilizzata per la creazione di capi caldi e soffici, rigorosamente realizzati a mano.

Un alpaca di Pratello

I vini Pratello abbracciano sia i territori della Valtenesi che della Lugana, nel rispetto della natura, della biodiversità degli ecosistemi dei loro vigneti  in una passione di famiglia che da cinque generazioni cura la terra e i suoi frutti.

Dalle Cantine Pratello

Tra le etichette di spicco vorrei citare Opera un raffinatissimo rosè che ho amato molto e… una novità: un vermouth base di vino, alcohol, assenzio romano, arancia, fogli di angelica, zenzero, cannella, ribes, basilico, rosa , acqua e zucchero… un blend sofisticato ma tanto vibrante… “da farvi fare le capriole” come assicura il boss Vincenzo Bertola oppure, come aggiungo io ,,, “ da farvi ballare sulle punte…”.
Non a caso si chiama Ballerina!

English Version

The producers of Garda DOC wines are champions of history, its beauty and biodiversity. Witness the care and preservation of the ‘pievi’, the ancient paths, the past architecture of the villages and the ‘marogne’ walls, witnesses of geological eras. It is an act of love towards ‘their’ lake. A love that exudes in Naikè Bertola, at the helm of the cellar Pratello in Padenghe sul Garda, in the heart of Valtènesi, an area rich in vineyards, suggestive villages, sanctuaries of ancient devotion and castles dating back to the 10th century, famous for the beauty of the landscape and for the production of wines.

Naikè Bertola

Pratello is a real ‘universe’: vineyard, cellar, oil, olives, hospitality, restaurant with typical dishes of the area, orchard, vegetable garden, ancient fruit, native breeding farms in the wild and a spectacular “peasant shop” offering unique products and authentic, such as jams, confit, meat sauce, pickles, sweet and sour …

There is no shortage of unusual guests: two alpacas, extremely docile and respectful animals, live in the meadows. among the olive groves and feed on grass. Alpacas are known above all for their soft wool which Pratello processes and used to create warm and soft garments, rigorously handmade.

Un alpaca di Pratello

Pratello wines embrace both the territories of Valtenesi and Lugana, respecting nature, the biodiversity of the ecosystems of their vineyards in a family passion that has taken care of the land and its fruits for five generations.

Dalle Cantine Pratello

Among the prominent labels I would like to mention Opera a very refined rosé that I loved a lot and … a novelty: a vermouth based on wine, alcohol, absinthe, orange, angelica leaves, ginger, cinnamon, currant, basil, rose, water and sugar … a sophisticated blend but so vibrant … “to make you do somersaults” as assured by the boss Vincenzo Bertola or, as I add ,,, “to make you dance on your toes …”
It is not by accident that it is called ‘Ballerina‘!

BEYOND SHAKESPEARE: ROMEO AND JULIET SING, DANCE AND… LOVE FOREVER

A PLAY? AN INTERVIEW? A CONFESSION? All that and much more… A LOVE STORY ? Definetely yes!

At Teatro Carcano, Milan

Italian iconic actors Ugo Pagliai and Paola Gassman are the protagonists of this unpublished Romeo and Juliet that the company Babilonia Teatri, winner of the Silver Lion at the 2016 Biennale Theater has drawn from William Shakespeare.
Ugo and Paola sweet and deep togetherness, makes a couple who have been linked for more than fifty years, creating emotional moments, So it is their acting which is moving and profound. It makes them concrete and however poetic they never sound courtly.
The profound and irreverent gaze that characterizes the company framed Shakespeare’s great classic with a radical overturning of perspective making the absolute protagonist of the show a stainless couple like the one formed by Pagliai and Gassman.
The new version of “Romeo and Juliet” focuses entirely on the protagonists of the story, putting aside the whole outline: the war between their respective families, Romeo’s friends, Juliet’s parents and the friar.

Yesterday and today

And the show asks us how much this story is also ours, how much is that of the actors who interpret it, how long it can still survive itself after having accompanied us
i would like to mention the ending moment at the tomb with which Shakespeare punctuates the entire text, here take on a veracity that shocks and excites us, pushing us to empathize with the actors on the stage “. The age of Romeo and Juliet changes, but the combination of Love and Death on which Shakespeare’s masterpiece is based remains present.

At Teatro Carcano, Milan
till April 24TH , 2022

THE POWER OF KINDNESS

TEATRO CARCANO DI MILANO
Only on Moday April 11th at 8.30 pm

Written and performed by Gianrico Carofiglio

GIANRICO CAROFIGLIO will introduce a civil prayer on the power of kindness, doubt, the ability to ask (and ask oneself) good questions to face the challenges of modernity. Carofiglio is author of numerous successful books of legal inspiration and detective stories, Gianrico Carofiglio, Premio Strega 2020 with his novel “The measure of time” (Einaudi, 2019), has long practiced the profession of public prosecutor, specializing in investigations on organized crime .


Kindness is the most powerful tool to defuse the simplifications that lead to authoritarianism and violence. It is the opposite of meekness or submissiveness and can only be practiced as a result of a choice. That is an act of courage. Kindness together with courage means taking responsibility for one’s actions and being in the world, accepting the responsibility of being human.
The audience of the Carcano Theater will have an unmissable opportunity to explore these important issues, carried out with intelligence and political and civil sensitivity by the former magistrate Gianrico Carofiglio.

.

WHEN IDEAS AND TALENT MEET…

Oblivion Rhapsody at Teatro Carcano, Milan
5 irresistible performers in a breathtaking show where music and words, play together, boasting hilarity, ideas and talent, all served with a great energy.


They range from the Divine Comedy to the italian classic ‘Promessi sposi’ ,from the hilarious number where each singer can express himself only with vowels or consonants, up to the incredible medley where in only five minutes the Oblivion tell the story of rock.
Imagine the cheesy lyrics of popular pop italian singer Gianni Morandi over the Queen’s music… just to give you an example…

Five talented performers, intelligent lyrics guaranteed fun, many ideas and an immense talent.
I am surprised that Oblivion have not yet made a big splash on TV, perhaps with an ‘Oblivion Show’ but maybe it’s better this way ,,,
Let’s keep them a little secret for a while longer, like you do with a precious jewel …


In the meantime, if you don’t know them again, you can discover them at the Carcano theater until March 13th. An intense Italian tour will follow. Check the dates on www.oblivion.it
Don’t miss Obivion!
#oblivion # teatrocarcano

Teatro Carcano, Milano.Oblivion Rhapsody.
5 irresistibili performers in uno show mozzafiato dove musica , parole , ma soprattutto giochi di musica e giochi di parole si intrecciano con ilarità, idee, talento.
Si va dalla Divina Commedia ai Promessi sposi , dall’ esilarante numero dove ogni cantante può esprimersi soltanto con le vocali o con Le consonanti , fino all’incredibile medley dove in cinque minuti gli Oblivion raccontano la storia del rock. Immaginatevi i testi di Gianni Morandi sulle musiche dei Queen … giusto per darvi un esempio…

Cinque bravissimi interpreti, testi intelligenti divertimento assicurato
E, ripeto, tantissime idee e smisurato talento. Mi meraviglio che gli Oblivion non siano ancora sbarcati in un TV show tutto loro…. ma forse è meglio così,,,
Teniamoceli cine un piccolo segreto ancora per un po’ , come si fa con un gioiello prezioso…
Intanto , se non li conoscete ancora, potete scoprirli al teatro Carcano fino al 13 marzo. Seguirà un’intensa tourneè italiana .
Le date sono sul loro sito www.oblivion.it
Da non perdere!
#oblivion #teatrocarcano

INFO
Teatro Carcano

‘CYRANO’ , IL FILM-MUSICAL… ECCO I MIEI VOTI

Visto Cyrano, premesso che sono di parte, in quanto sono un musical fan…
(questo è stato tratto da un musical che a Broadway fu un mezzo fiasco)
Ecco i miei voti:
Recitazione di Peter Dinklage -Cyrano: Voto 8 ,
Recitazione del cast Voto 7,
Storia: avvincente e a tratti commuovente Voto 7,

Le canzoni. beh, non vanno da nessuna parte Voto 6 ,
Il ritmo: è mediocre, poteva essere un buon 15 minuti più corto…Voto 6
Le coreografie: possono o non possono piacere,,,voto 7 per l’impegno
Le voci voto 5 ,
Scenografie voto 8, quasi tutti gli esterni girati a Noto, Sicilia…
I costumi di Massimo Parrini (giustamente condidato all’ Oscar) sono spettacolari Voto 9 !

L’accostamento pubblicitario a Moulin Rouge è ridicolo… Voto: inclassificabile
La scena del balcone Voto 8 …..
Totale voto 7/8 ….

BEWARE OF THOSE WANDING MINES … at Manzoni Theatre, in Milan.

An irresistible theatrical version of the hit movie “Loose Cannons” by Ferzan Ozpetek who also directed the ‘onstage’ version. An exceptional cast headed by the daring FRANCESCO PANNOFINO, the great primadonnas IAIA FORTE and SIMONA MARCHINI, the friend-enemy brothers ERASMO GENZINI and CARMINE RECANO.

ATTENZIONE ALLE MINE VAGANTI … Teatro Manzoni, Milano

Un’ irresistibile versione teatrale della hit cinematografica “Mine vaganti“ di Ferzan Ozpetek che ha curato anche la regia teatrale. Un cast eccezionale capeggiato dal rocambolesco FRANCESCO PANNOFINO, le stupende primedonne IAIA FORTE e SIMONA MARCHINI , i fratelli amici-nemici ERASMO GENZINI e CARMINE RECANO.

Ozpetek, coadiuvato dai giochi dei tendaggi in movimento, e luci di Pasquale Marti e i costumi di Alessandro Lai, ha ricamato una commedia che, tra segreti nascosti, rivelazioni a sorpresa, drammi e comicità, fa meditare, commuovere, sorridere e ridere.

#minevaganti #francescopannofino #iaiaforte #simonamarchini #erasmogenzini #MimmaLovoi #RobertaAstuti #carminerecano #francescomaggi #lucapantini #edoardopurgatori #simonamarchini #sarahfalanga


Per non menzionare un momento molto ‘Priscilla’ che ti farà sbellicare dalle risate ….


Si replica fino al 20 Marzo,
Seguiranno Firenze, Napoli, Civitanova marche, Fano, Mestre.
Uno spettacolo consigliatissimo, da non perdere!

Ozpetek, the writers, the cast the games of the Luigi Ferrgno’s moving curtains, and lights by Pasquale Marti and the costumes by Alessandro Lai, have embroidered a comedy that reveals hidden secrets, surprise revelations, dramas and comedy, making you meditate, move, smile and laugh.
Not to mention a ‘Priscilla like’ moment that will make you die laughing

At Manzoni Theatre until March 20
Florence, Naples, Civitanova Marche, Fano, Mestre will follow.
A highly recommended show, not to be missed!


#minevaganti #francescopannofino #iaiaforte #simonamarchini #erasmogenzini #MimmaLovoi #RobertaAstuti #carminerecano #francescomaggi #lucapantini #edoardopurgatori #simonamarchini #sarahfalanga

UN GALA MAGICO PER RICORDARE LA ‘SIGNORA DELLA DANZA’

GALA CARLA FRACCI
Milano, Teatro Carcano
Una serata memorabile in onore della grande Stella della Danza.
Il Gala si è aperto con un suggestivo video delle case popolari di Milano , dei tram della città insmma del mondo in cui Carla è nata e ha visstuto i primi anni di ua vita che la porterà, indscussa primadonna, sui palcoscenici di tutto il mondo. La regia e supervisione del M° Menegatti ha sottolineato e fatto rivivere alcune interpretazioni e momenti significativi della ‘Signora della Danza’, con l’attenta guida della Maitre du Ballet Sabrina Bosco.


Il gala ha visto la partecipazione di importanti Etoiles internazionali del Teatro dell’Opera di Stara Zagora, Teatro dell’Opera di Budapest, Real Conservatorio di Mariemma di Madrid, Balletto di Mlano, Teatro dell’Opera di Vienna, Teatro alla Scala, Teatrp dell’Opera di Brno, Cecoslovacchia , American Ballet Theatre, NY. Straordinarie performance, coadiuvate dal Corpo di Ballo e Allieve della Scuola Danza Accademia e Centro Studi coreografici del Teatro Carcano ,

Un momento magico : Gloria Buzzi del Teatro dell’ Opera di Starà Zagora e Federico Mella del Balletto di Milano, sulla musica di Mascagni, nella coreografia di Sabrina Bosco ,
Pura poesia!

LOREDANA BERTE’ CELEBRITY CHEF

New York. La “Regina dl Rock ” si trasforma in “Pasta Queen” per conquistare il “Re della Pop Art”.

(italian and english versions)

Loredana in stile Warhol

Ciao Loredana, è uscito da poco il libro “Caro Elio” dedicato al grande Fiorucci.
Ci sei in molte foto…
Praticamente ero la madrina delle aperture di negozi Fiorucci in mezzo mondo: Milano, dove andavo spesso con Mimi, Londra, Los Angeles, New York dove ho vissuto più di 1 anno…
Un momento che ti piace ricordare?
Tanti momenti indescrivibili…forse la conferenza stampa per la presentazione del mio primo album. E’ avvenuta a Milano, proprio negli uffici di Fiorucci in Galleria Passerella. Elio aveva tappezzato le vetrine con i miei poster e regalava a tutti uno strepitoso borsone da spiaggia con dentro una maglietta e il mio album… non potrò mai dimenticare fan, giornalisti e discografici che facevano a botte per averne una…
Che tipo era Elio Fiorucci?
Una persona unica, speciale, generosa… mi ha riempito gli armadi delle sue cose, io non vedevo l’ora di poterli indossare in qualche show televisivo o nei miei video. Ricordo che eravamo a Londra e Elio è spartito per tornare dopo un paio d’ore con una sorpresa. Era andato a Carnaby Streeet e mi aveva portato un abito fatto di fazzoletti… una vera opera d’arte, Si, mi voleva davvero bene, pensa che mi ha perfino messa nelle sue storie a fumetti, vedi quella in look pirata e quel capellone smilzo? Beh (ride) siamo io e Renato Zero… visti da Fiorucci…

Loredana Bertè e Renato Zero, protagonisti dei fumetti Fiorucci. Immagni tratte dal libro ‘Caro Elio’,Mondadori

A proposito di Fiorucci New York, è vero che lì hai conosciuto Andy Warhol?
Certo, proprio nel Fiorucci Store sulla 59esima. Lì  praticamente ci passavo tutti i pomeriggi… era un mondo incantato, frequentato da VIP pazzeschi: Grace Jones, Mick Jagger, Brooke Shield, Truman Capote, Jackie Onassis, Keith Haring… C’era un meravigliosa macchina del caffè camuffata da organo e nessuno lo sapeva usare… allora mi ci sono messa io, ho imparato in fretta e mi venivano dei cappuccini fantastici, tanto che tutti mi scambiavano per una “barista rock”.
Un giorno è arrivato Andy Warhol e il mio caro amico Leonardo Pastore ci ha presentati: “Andy, devi assolutamente conoscere Loredana, è una grande rock star italiana e una bravissima cuoca , fa delle paste sensazionali,,,,”

Breakfast da Tiffany e caffè da Fiorucci …

E Warhol  come ha reagito?
Beh, devo dire che il fatto della rockstar non gliene fregava più di tanto… ma ha rizzato le orecchie quando ho saputo della pasta… “Stasera devo fare un contratto con dei clienti italiani. Loredana, sarebbe bellissimo fargli trovare una vera pasta ‘Made in Italy.’…”
Insomma, era un invito alla Factory!  E te pareva che gli dicevo di no???
Sono corsa subito al fantastico negozio Bloomingdale’s e li ho preso di tutto e di più, compreso lo scolapasta… e meno male, perchè poi mi sono accorta che alla Factory nessuno conosceva l’esistenza dello scolapasta, compreso Andy che gli ha fatto una valanga di Polaroid…

L’ iconico stile “Polaroid” che con Warhol è diventato arte.

Come è andato il tuo debutto da chef ?
Un successone!… Andy mi ha soprannominato “The Pasta Queen” e alla Factory ci sono tornata tante volte. Lì passato un sacco di pomeriggi, avevo il mio angolino preferito  seduta sopra una maxi versione della lattina Campbell Tomato Soup, ma una originale, mica una copia….ti giuro, non mi sembrava vero… Intanto la mia fama di chef era dilagata e mi piaceva sorprendere gli amici della Factory cucinando dei piatti sfiziosi. Una delle mie ricette top era il pollo alla birra con patate al forno, Semplicissimo , ma  tutti ne diventavano matti …

Pollo alla birra, piatto di grande successo nella Factory di Andy Warhol

La news è dilagata… “La cucina di Loredana è una bomba!” e hanno incominciato a chiamarmi gli amici, da Elsa Martinelli a Tito e Leonardo Pastore, a Dan Munroe, il regista del videoclip per la mia canzone Movie”. Mi sono scatenata in tanti piatti diversi: pasta lunga, pasta corta, al pomodoro, con le arselle…e poi i secondi, come il mio pollo alla birra con patate al forno,semplicissimo, ma  tutti ne diventavano matti …
Facevamo una cenetta e poi ci mettevamo glamour per andare allo Studio 54.

Fiorucci vintage: plastica, felpe e il mitico completo jeans sfoggiato mille volte dalla Bertè.

Una bella esperienza?
Yes! Interpretare il ruolo di  “Regina della Pasta ” è stata un’ esperienza indimenticabile, in più per contaccambiare la cortesia, Andy ha voluto collaborare alla realizzazione del videoclip di “Movie” con sue immagini di New York che aveva girato di notte e Christopher Makos, grande fotografo della Factory, mi ha regalato la foto di copertina del mio album Made in Italy, un bellissimo primo piano in bianco e nero.

La copertina di ‘Made in Italy’. Artwork e Foto di Christopher Makos della Warhol Factory.

Cara  “Pasta Queen”, ti andrebbe di tornare sul trono e regalarci la ricetta di uno dei tuoi piatti ‘seduttori’…
(ride) Certo: è un piatto semplicissimo e profumatissimo: spaghetti con tonno e pomodorini ciliegini freschi freschi…

SPAGHETTI ALLA BERTÈ CON TONNO E CILIEGINI

La ricetta di Loredana Bertè

 !ngredienti

  • 360 g di spaghetti
  • 160 g di tonno sott’olio
  • 20 pomodorini ciliegini
  • Origano
  • Prezzemolo

Preparazione
Scaldate dell’olio in una pentola, versate un’abbondante presa di origano secco.
Aggiungete il tonno e schiacciatelo con la forchetta per sbriciolarlo.
Dopo 5 minuti regolate di sale e aggiungete i pomodorini che avete tagliato a metà.
Disponeteli nella padella tutti con la parte tagliata rivolta verso il basso. Mettete il coperchio e fate andare per circa 15 minuti.
Attenzione: l’olio non deve friggere, ma solo trasmettere calore e far appassire i pomodorini.
Aggiungete un cucchiaio abbondante di prezzemolo tritato e, se vi piace un po’piccantino, un pezzettino di peperoncino. Fate insaporire per 5 minuti, a fuoco dolce e con il coperchio, mescolando più volte.
Intanto, cuocete gli spaghetti in abbondante acqua salata, scolateli al dente e amalgamateli al condimento. Fateli saltare per qualche istante a fuoco allegro e poi lasciateli riposare un minuto prima di servire.

CESARE ZUCCA
Travel, food & lifestyle.
Milanese di nascita, vive tra New York, Milano e il resto del mondo. 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 tutto nel suo blog, in stile ‘turista non turista’.

English version

LOREDANA BERTÈ: “MY SECRET RECIPE TO CONQUER ANDY …”
BY CESARE ZUCCA –

Hi Loredana, the book “Caro Elio” dedicated to the great Fiorucci has just come out. You are there in many photos …
Basically I was the testimonial of Fiorucci’s store openings all over the world: Milan, where I often went with my sister Mimi, London, Los Angeles, New York where I lived for more than 1 year …
A moment you like to remember?
So many indescribable moments … maybe the press conference for the presentation of my first album. It took place in Milan, right in the Fiorucci offices in the Galleria Passerella. Elio had plastered the windows with my posters and gave everyone an amazing beach bag with a t-shirt and my album inside … I will never forget fans, journalists and record companies who were fighting for one

What was Elio Fiorucci like?
A unique, special, generous person … he filled my wardrobes with his things, I couldn’t wait to be able to wear them on some TV show or in my videos. I remember we were in London and Elio is divided to return after a couple of hours with a surprise. He went to Carnaby Street and brought me a dress made of handkerchiefs … a true work of art, Yes, he really loved me.
Speaking of Fiorucci New York, is it true that you met Andy Warhol there?
Of course, right in the Fiorucci Store on 59th Street. There I spent practically every afternoon there … it was an enchanted world, frequented by crazy VIPs: Grace Jones, Mick Jagger, Brooke Shield, Truman Capote, Jackie Onassis, Keith Haring … There was a wonderful coffee machine disguised as a organ and nobody knew how to use it … so I started it myself, I learned quickly and I was making fantastic cappuccinos, so much so that everyone mistook me for a “rock bartender”. One day Andy Warhol arrived and my dear friend Leonardo Pastore introduced us: “Andy, you absolutely must know Loredana, she is a great Italian rock star and a very good cook, she makes sensational pastas ,,,,”

Images from the book ?Caro Elio’ , Mondadori.

How did Warhol react?
Well, I must say that the fact of the rock star didn’t give a damn much … but he pricked up his ears when I heard about the pasta … “Tonight I have to make a contract with some Italian clients. Loredana, it would be great to let him find a real pasta ‘Made in Italy .’…”
In short, it was an invitation to the Factory! And do you think I was saying no ???
I immediately ran to the fantastic Bloomingdale’s shop and took them with everything and more, including the colander … and thank goodness, because then I realized that at the Factory no one knew about the colander’s existence, including Andy who took douzen of Polaroid of it…
How did your debut as a chef go?
A hit! … Andy nicknamed me “The Pasta Queen” and I’ve been back to the Factory many times. I spent a lot of afternoons there, I had my favorite corner sitting on a maxi version of the Campbell Tomato Soup can, but an original, not a copy …. I swear to you, it didn’t seem real … Meanwhile my fame as a chef it had spread and I liked to surprise the friends of the Factory by cooking delicious dishes. One of my top recipes was beer chicken with baked potatoes, very simple, but everyone was crazy about it …

Pollo alla birra, piatto di grande successo nella Factory di Andy Warhol

Then my friends started calling me, from Elsa Martinelli to Tito and Leonardo Pastore, to Dan Munroe, the director of the video clip for my song “Movie”. One of my top recipes was beer chicken with baked potatoes, very simple, but everyone was crazy about it … We had dinner and then we got glamorous to go to Studio 54.

Fiorucci vintage: plastica, felpe e i leggendari jeans. Fiorucci vintage: plastic, sweatshirts and the legendary jeans outfit worn often by Bertè.

Playing the role of “Factory’s Queen of Pasta” was an unforgettable experience, in addition to eschange the courtesy, Andy wanted to collaborate in the creation of the video clip for my song “Movie” with images of New York that he took at night and Christopher Makos, great photographer of the Factory, made the cover photo of my Made in Italy album, a beautiful black and white close-up.

La copertina di Made in Italy. Artwork di Christopher Makos della Warhol Factory di New York

Dear “Pasta Queen”, would you like to return to the throne and give us the recipe for one of your ‘seductive’ dishes …
(laughs) Of course: it’s a very simple and fragrant dish: spaghetti with tuna and fresh cherry tomatoes …

SPAGHETTI BERTÈ WITH TUNA AND CHERRY TOMATOES

La ricetta di Loredana Bertè

Ingredients
360 g of spaghetti
160 g of tuna in oil
20 cherry tomatoes
3 cloves of garlic
Origan, Parsley
Preparation
Peel the garlic and fry it in a pan with oil. Add a generous pinch of dried oregano. Add the tuna and mash it with a fork to crumble it. After 5 minutes, remove the garlic from the pan, season with salt and add the cherry tomatoes that you have cut in half. Arrange them all in the pan with the cut side facing down. Put the lid on and let it go for about 15 minutes. Attention: the oil must not fry, but only transmit heat and let the cherry tomatoes dry. Add a generous spoonful of chopped parsley and a small piece of chilli. Cook for 5 minutes, over low heat and with the lid on, stirring several times. Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in plenty of salted water, drain when al dente and mix with the sauce. Sauté them for a few moments over high heat and then let them rest for a minute before serving.

SERRA YILMAZ

(In italian and english)
Serra Yilmaz, attrice culto e “Musa” del regista Ferzan Özpetek che le riserva sempre uno spazio speciale nei suoi film.”Signora” intelligente e colta, dai modi gentili e dalla genuina affabilità. Mi conquista immediatamente con quell’accento straniero, la dizione pacata , la squisita attenzione alla parola da scegliere, il sorriso rassicurante, la  risata schietta e… la sua grande passione “gourmet” per la cucina e il buon cibo.

Dove ama passare un weekend libero?
Beh, vivo in tre città, Firenze, Istanbul e Parigi e quindi dipende da dove mi trovo. Le destinazioni cambiano, comunque non mi piace andare in posti troppo lontani, sarebbe un impegno troppo laborioso e non mi farebbe godere pienamente delle mie ore di libertà. Se mi trovo a Firenze, potrei optare per la Toscana, in Maremma o a Donoratico per vedere il mare, perché il mare mi manca sempre… Se mi dovessi trovare ad Istanbul, punterei verso il Mar Nero sia lato Asiatico che Europeo, oppure il Nord Egeo, una delle mie destinazione preferite.

Instanbul

E quando si trova a Parigi?
Visto che il TGV ti porta così velocemente, punterei verso Sud-Est in Borgogna o in Alsazia oppure le Lande dove trovo ottimi vini e buon cibo.
Una buongustaia internazionale…e il suo piatto preferito?
Yaprak sarmà,  un piatto tipico della cucina turca:  sono involtini in foglia di vite. Ne esistono di tanti tipi: con riso e olio d’oliva con cipolla, pinoli e uvetta, o quelli con la carne, ricoperti di yogurt.

i tradizionali yaprak sarmà

Vengono serviti a varie temperature, io li preferisco caldi, cucinati con del succo di limone e delle susine quasi acerbe per ottenere una certa acidità. Anche le foglie di vite sono importanti: le migliori sono all’inizio della stagione perchè sono più tenere.
Lei li cucina?
Raramente, richiedono veramente troppa pazienza, ma li adoro mangiare… specialmente se cucinati dalla Signora Nergis, una cara amica di Istanbul che li fa proprio come piacciono a me.


Serra, lei è un’esperta in gastronomia… non posso non chiederle come è stata la sua esperienza in Celebrity Master Chef?
Per me non è stato un’esperienza determinante nel senso che non guardando quasi mai la TV sono arrivata senza capire dove fossi capitata. Comunque sono stata felice di aver partecipato perché ho conosciuto persone piacevoli, anche se la mia avventura non è stata un granché anche perché… sono stata eliminata quasi subito, senza aver tempo di capire le “regole del gioco” , che peraltro non mi interessano più di tanto…

i mille volti di Serra

Il suo primo ricordo in cucina ?
Un ricordo …dolce. infatti mi piaceva aiutare mamma a cucinare torte e dessert.
E a tavola?
Adoravo la cotoletta di un pezzo di carne che mia mamma sceglieva con molta cura dal macellaio di fiducia e che cucinava alla perfezione, in maniera del tutto unica.

Kadayif con pistacchi, tipico dolce turco

Lei è un’icona gay ed è amatissima dalle donne, si è mai chiesta perché?
(sorride) Beh bisognerebbe chiederlo a loro…
Riguardo all’”icona gay”, ne sono lusingata, penso che sia il lavoro di Özpetek che sovente tratta queste tematiche e lo fa con grande garbo e rispetto. Per le donne… davvero non so, comunque voglio raccontarle un aneddoto che mi succede di frequente, soprattutto quando sono in Turchia. Ogni tanto mi capita che ci siano degli uomini, di solito di una certa età, che mi fermano per strada perché mi vogliono conoscere, ma poi si bloccano e regolamente slittano su “mia moglie ti adora”
E lei cosa risponde?
(ride) “E tu no”?

YAPRAK SARMA’

Ingredienti per 6 porzioni
500 gr di carne macinata
1 cipolla Tritata
1/2 mazzetto di prezzemolo tritato
1/3 di tazza di riso e bulgur
1 cucchiaio di concentrato di pomodoro
1/4 tazza di acqua calda
Succo di limone
Foglie fresche o in vasetto
Per la salsa
1/3 tazza di burro
2 cucchiai di concentrato di pomodoro
Preparazione
Mettere le foglie in una ciotola piena di acqua fredda. Sciacquarle , asciugarle  e usarle nella parte interna. Per realizzare il ripieno, mettere in una ciotola carne, cipolla, bulgur, prezzemolo, pomodoro, sale e pepe. Per aggiungere un piacevole gusto leggermente acidulo, unire del succo di limone. Aggiungere 1/4 tazza di acqua calda e mescolare bene.
Mettere 4-5 foglie di vite intere con il gambo rivolto verso di voi, la parte lucida sul fondo, prendere un po’ del ripieno e iniziare a rotolare creando degli involtini a forma di sigaro. Chiudere i lati. Foderate la pentola con alcune foglie strappate, potete anche adagiare delle susine quasi acerbe per ottenere una certa acidità, così come suggerisce Serra, quindi adagiate gli involtini, questo eviterà che le foglie si attacchino al fondo della pentola, durante la cottura.
Fate bollire l’acqua, mettete un’altra piccola ciotola sull’acqua bollente con 1 cucchiaio di concentrato di pomodoro e 1/4 di burro, il burro si scioglierà con il vapore, quindi versate l’acqua bollente nella miscela di pasta e burro, mescolare bene, l’acqua deve essere sufficiente per coprire foglie ripiene. Versare la salsa sulle foglie ripiene. Mettere un piatto sopra le foglie, per evitare che galleggino o si aprano, cuocere a fuoco basso, circa 35 minuti. Estrarre il piatto, servire con uno yogurt denso e, se vi piace l’aglio, profumato con aglio fresco.
Servirli caldi.

In English

Serra Yilmaz, extraordinary actress and a great chef.
Cinema, theater, her beloved Turkish cuisine and the original recipe of “yaprak sarmà”.

Serra Yilmaz, cult actress and “Muse” of director Ferzan Özpetek who always reserves a special space for her in his movies.I As soon as I meet Serra, I immediately followed in love with her foreign accent, the calm diction, the exquisite attention to the word to choose, the reassuring smile, the frank laugh and … her “gourmet” great passion for cooking and eating good food.

Hi Serra, let’s talk about your weekends. When you have time, where do you like to spend them?
Well, I live in three cities, Florence, Istanbul and Paris and so it depends on where I am. Destinations change, however I don’t like to go to too far a place, it would be too laborious a commitment and would not allow me to fully enjoy my hours of freedom. If I am in Florence, I could opt for Tuscany, Maremma or Donoratico to see the sea, because I always miss the sea … If I were to find myself in Istanbul, I would aim for the Black Sea on both the Asian and European sides, or the North Aegean , one of my favorite destinations.
What about when you are in Paris?
Since the TGV train goes so fast, I would head south-east to Alsace or the Landes where I find great wines and good food.
So you are an international gourmet… and what is your favorite dish?
Yaprak sarmà, a typical dish of Turkish cuisine: they are rolls in vine leaf. There are many types: with rice and olive oil with onion, pine nuts and raisins, or those with meat, covered with yogurt.They can be are served at different temperatures, I prefer them hot, cooked with lemon juice and almost unripe plums to get a certain acidity. Vine leaves are also important: the best are at the beginning of the season because they are more tender.
Do you cook them?
Rarely, they rarely require too much patience, but I love to eat them … especially if cooked by Mrs. Nergis, a dear friend from Istanbul who makes them just the way I like it.

Your first memory in the kitchen?
A ” sweet” memory … in fact, I loved helping my mom cook cakes and desserts.
And at the table?
I loved the cutlet of a piece of meat that my mom chose with great care from her trusted butcher and that she cooked to perfection. in a completely unique way..
You are a gay icon and loved by women, have you ever wondered why?
(smiles) Well you should ask them …
As for the “gay icon”, I am flattered, I think it is Özpetek’s work who often deals with these issues and does so with great grace and respect. Rearding the women… I really don’t know, however I want to tell you an anecdote that happens frequently, especially when I’m in Turkey. Sometimes it happens to me that there are men, usually of a certain age, who stop me on the street because they want to meet me, but then they stop and regularly slip on “my wife loves you” ...
And what do you answer?
(laughs) “Why, don’t you”?

Yaprak sarmà recipe

Ingredients for 6 servings
500 gr of minced meat
1 chopped onion
1/2 bunch of chopped parsley
1/3 cup of rice and bulgur
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
1/4 cup of hot water
Lemon juice
Fresh leaves or in a jar
For the sauce
1/3 cup of butter
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
Preparation
Place the leaves in a bowl filled with cold water. Rinse them, dry them and use them on the inside. To make the filling, put the meat, onion, bulgur, parsley, tomato, salt and pepper in a bowl. To add a pleasant slightly sour taste, add some lemon juice. Add 1/4 cup of hot water and mix well.
Place 4-5 whole vine leaves with the stem facing you, the shiny part on the bottom, take some of the filling and start rolling into cigar-shaped rolls. Close the sides. Line the pot with some torn leaves, you can also lay some almost unripe plums to get a certain acidity, as suggested by Serra, then lay the rolls, this will prevent the leaves from sticking to the bottom of the pot during cooking.
Boil the water, put another small bowl on the boiling water with 1 tablespoon of tomato paste and 1/4 of the butter, the butter will melt with the steam, then pour the boiling water into the mixture of pasta and butter , mix well, the water should be enough to cover stuffed leaves. Pour the sauce over the stuffed leaves. Place a plate on top of the leaves, to prevent them from floating or opening, cook over low heat, about 35 minutes. Take out the dish, serve with a thick yogurt and, if you like garlic, scented with fresh garlic.
Serve them hot.

Il teatro di Paolo Poli

Milan, On the sixtieth anniversary of his debut. Teatro Gerolamo host the exhibit Il teatro di Paolo Poli (the documents of the Giorgio Cini Foundation from the artist’s personal archive) shows images and materials from the personal archive of the great actor,
Curated by Maria Ida Biggi and composed of original documents from the artist’s archive, the exhibition resumes and enriches the initiative carried out in Venice after the donation and was born from an idea of ​​Roberto Bianchin, consultant and former artistic director del Gerolamo at the time of its reopening, in 2016, after 33 years of closure. Milan.


The exhibit hosts clips of Poli’s shows, rare original and unpublished photographs, autographed letters, telegrams form theater celebrities, postcards, playbills, programs and room booklets, scripts and director’s notes, scores of the music he personally selected, press review articles and various study materials. and work, as well as beautiful sketches for the amazing costumes and props created by the set designer and costume designer Santuzza Calì.

Actrice Lucia Poli, Paolo’s sister, introduced the Exhibit then performed on stage withher “solo” show “Walking around with my authors” .
She spoke about her friendship with brother Paolo and how deeply the theater influenced her life form the child till now .

Poli was one of the first ever actor en travesti, and one of the first openly homosexual public figures. playing on stage celebrated woman like an irreverent version Santa Rita da Cascia,
I asked Lucia what was her very first reaction , when saw her bother wearing woman clothes…”Not a big deal, she answered, . I remember that Paolo, me and my 2 sisters, used to drees up with Aunt dresses and play drama, comedy or music… was fun and kind of normal.


Lucia’s theatrical carrier never stopped, on stage with her bother or alone.
About choosing her repertoire Lucia says “In my journey I stumbled upon words and I was enchanted. Because words and literature have always been my first source of inspiration, the oldest love. And it happened that the favorite authors decided for me the stages, the directions and often the contents of my theatrical adventure.

The Exhibit IL TEATRO DI PAOLO POLI
November 6-22, 2021 at the Teatro Gerolamo, Milan


Bologna: sleeping at Palazzo

Un’indimenticabile notte a Palazzo.
Il Palazzo Gregorini Bingham
vanta 200 anni di storia, arte e cultura. Fu disegnato dal celebre architetto Camillo Morigia e in seguito divenuto residenza del Conte Riccardo Bingham e di sua moglie Adelaide Gregorini.
Il Il palazzo offre sei suites, dotate di ogni moderno comfort e arricchite da stucchi, stemmi, pavimenti antichi e tutti i beni artistici rinnovati da un accurato restauro per preservare la loro resistenza e la capacità di trasmettere energia. Scoprirete inaspettati elementi artistici, come pavimenti originali, stemmi ottocenteschi, affreschi che ornano i soffitti, oltre a  suggestivi saggi di restauro che trapelano dalle pareti.

Le suites propongono allo stesso tempo una esperienza confortevole, frutto di una ristrutturazione e di un design che mescola elementi artistici a un’ assoluta cura dei dettagli tecnologici di ultima generazione. Ho scelto la Suite Exagon, chiamata così per il soffitto dal disegno esagonale, un ambiente antico e nello stesso tempo contemporaneo. Ho apprezzato i tessuti speciali e biancheria rigorosamente di artigianato italiano.


Il Palazzo non serve la prima colazione (peccato, mi sarebbe piaciuto sedermi in uno dei salotti e gustare un capuccino con chsisà quale dolce delizia…) però in camera troverete tutto il necessario per un buon caffe o un the mattiniero, compresi deliziosi biscotti al cioccolato.

Qui l’eleganza contemporanea si manifesta attraverso materiali nobili come il legno, i marmi e i metalli satinati si alternano in uno stile che accoglie e custodisce. Il servizio, discreto e attento, è sempre disponibile ad ascoltare le esigenze degli ospiti, nel completo rispetto della loro privacy.

WHO IS FRANCESCA TOLOT ?

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FrancescaTolot

Francesca Tolot is probably as famous as the celebrities she’s worked on. Originally from Italy with a fine-arts background, Francesca had already made a name for herself in Europe working on powerhouse editorials for the likes of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, before moving to Los Angeles and landing her first major job with none other than Madonna herself.

Ofra Cosmetics teamed up with ‘the one and only’ Francesca Tolot to bring a capsule collection which not only embodies Francesca’s style but gives makeup lovers the opportunity to really tap into their creative side…The rest, as they say, is history and her impeccable yet unique style made her one of the most sought after makeup artists in a very short amount of time.

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She’s renowned for her work with pretty much every singer, actress, supermodel, fashion magazine, designer campaign you can imagine .Think…Beyonce, Naomi Campbell, Jennifer Lopez, Janet Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor, Vogue, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, Valentino, Mercedes Benz…just to name a few, her incredible book One Woman 100 Faces is a must. It exhibits a collection of her work over 20 years of her career and it’s a visual feast to say the least.

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Weekend in London. Where to stay. Classic or trendy?

LONDON Where to stay
Cercate classe e tradizione ? Consiglio il cinque stelle Royal Lancaster Hotel. Si affaccia su Hyde Park e, secondo me, rappresenta il top dell’eleganza, discreta e sempre di buon gusto accompagnata a un servizio ineccepibile.

Due ristoranti: Nipa Thai serve autentica cucina tailandese e Island Grill, che offre piatti della tradizione locale. L’elegante Hyde Bar è perfetto per un cocktail. Il ricchissimo breakfast è servito nello splendido ristorante Park con vista mozzafiato sul parco.
Dalle camere, progettate in modo impeccabile per combinare stile e comfort, si oode di una vista spettacolare giorno e notte. Arredamento vagamente anni ’60, sembrerebbe che James Bond possa entrare nella hall da un momento all’altro.


Eccleston Square Hotel
Perfetto esempio di alta classe alberghiera che sposa Ie più avanzate soluzioni tecnologiche.È uno dei primi hotel al mondo a fornire connessioni TV 4K e, grazie al soundbar Sonos Beam, un suono perfetto. Comandi digitali dovunque, dal controllo di tutte le funzioni in camera, all’inclinazione del letto e, come se non bastasse, vi verrà consegnato un cellulare gratuito per chiamate illimitate a numeri mobili e fissi britannici e internazionali.
Chi prenota direttamente può usufruire di un minibar gratuito rifornito ogni giorno. Si trova a pochi minuti da Victoria Station e della metropolitane Circle, District e Victoria, nonché il Gatwick Extress. Ah dimenticavo…. gli ospiti possono utilizzare il meraviglioso giardino privato antistante l’hotel!

Intercontinental a magnificent hotel in Phnom Penh

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I had planned it all and planned it well. We arrived in Cambodia’s capital and enjoyed a 2-night stay at the Intercontinental a magnificent venue that isn’t in the touristic epicenter of Phnom Penh which would be close to the river, close to the Royal Palace, but actually it is rather central taking the city in its full scope. There are good things about staying at a hotel that is NOT particularly meant for tourists and that ISN’T in the touristic hub of town.

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LA TORRETTA Cinque Terre

“LA TORRETTA”, Cinque Terre, Ligury
A gentle yet accurate reception, bottles of Italian prosecco and Cuban rum welcome you in one of the ten gorgeous sunny rooms that harmoniously mix a combination of antique and contemporary pieces.
My suite with a nice welcome! an iced bottle of prosecco

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Most of them have balcony overlooking the vineyards to one side and the blue Mediterranean to the other. At breakfast time, the “buongiorno” , is a real “good morning” thanks to Gabriele’s Mamma who prepares the most delicious torte salate (salted cakes with fresh vegetables) and the succulent torta di riso ( a rice cake traditionally cooked every year con August 10th, but available here every morning! ). All this goodies enhance a generous breakfast with local cheeses, meats, home-made patisserie, fresh squeeze oranges.

Mamma does breakfast. Do not miss her “torte salate” and the traditional rice cake!Enjoy one ( or more…) glass of wine offered at your arrival or served at the sunset aperitivo time in the terrace that boasts a spectacular views of the stunning Bay.
Spectacular view from the terrace
Superbly located in the centre of the wonderfully picturesque village of Manarola a once-in-a-lifetime ultimate destination in beautiful Cinque Terre, Ligury, Ital. Reservation a must. Here the link
http://www.torrettas.com

New Summary TRAVEL articles by Cesare Zucca

  • screen-shot-2016-10-03-at-19-24-56screen-shot-2016-10-03-at-19-25-02 see full article
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    see full article see full article One_il piacere del lusso_anno II_n2 see full article see full article see full article                                                       see full article see full article see full article see full article PDF_travel_articles final version gdansk-food budapest-traveller-finBOUTIQUE HOTEL CASA ANGELINA,  AMALFI COAST
    by Cesare Zucca
    http://www.torrettas.com Three ‘Nobel’ days in Oslo Stay at the Grand Hotel
    3 HOTELS ROOF TOPS you don’t want to miss
    by Cesare Zucca   Discovering beautiful Poland POZNAN by Cesare Zucca 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, daLet’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 Posted in Food, travel | Tagged Food Tour, Ljubljana, prekmurska gibanica, Tourism Office of Ljubljana | Leave a reply Edit GRAND HOTEL TOPLICE, JULIJANA RESTAURANT IN BLED, SLOVENIA Posted on 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 ghtoplice@hotelibled.com Reservations +386 4 579 16 00 info@hotelibled.com   Posted in Food, travel | Tagged Bed, chef Simon Bertoncelj, Grand Hotel Toplice, Juljiana Restaurant, Slovenia | Leave a reply Edit Hotel Hellsten, Stockholm. Memories of an exotic journey Posted on 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   Posted in travel | Tagged Hotel Hellsten, Stockholm | Leave a reply Edit Industrial or design? A posh stay in Hamburg Posted on 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. Posted in travel | Tagged Da Caio, Fortune Hotels Group, Gastwerk Hotel, Hamburg, The George Hotel | Leave a reply Edit Two memorable days in Pula Posted on Great history, mild climate, smooth sea, unspoiled nature, dream beaches, friendly locals, smiling people, amazing food and…best teeth on hearth!                                                                                               Welcome to Croatia! I spent only two days in Pula, but, believe me , I ‘ll go back!. Pula is the largest town on the Istrian peninsula and offers a diversity of attractions to lovers of culture. The rich itinerary of its three thousand year old history, where every step you take through the Old Town is a landmark, begins and ends with the Roman amphitheatre. The city has a long tradition of winemaking, fishing, shipbuilding, and tourism.
    The Arena. Pula’s amphitheater was built around the end of the first century before Christ. It was August with a very hot weather. That s why my lovely guide Rossana met me there early in the morning , immediately after they open the gate. I suggest you to do the same. Rossana told me a quite cute legend about a raw linen made tent (they called it velarium) that used to be opened up to protect from the sun and give some shade to the audience while watching the show, or function as a bug umbrella in case of rain. Actually the morning is he best time to come to the arena  as well the sunset time. Often the Arena hosts operas, concerts and performances. The acoustic is amazing: Tenors Giorgio Pavarotti, Placido Domingo and Beniamino Gigli said the this place was one of the most suitable for their voice and for the public. In the Arena have been performing great music legends such as Tina Turner, Joe Cocker, Sting, Simply Red, Robert Plant, Status Quo, Massive Attack, just to mention few. Every summer, Pula host a superb Film Festival in the Arena,
    Celebrity town. Pula was also the residence of many Italian celebrities, from Italian singer Sergio Endrigo, to Italian actress Alida Valli who was celebrated as one of the most beautiful woman in the he world. Pula girls!
    The legacy of Alida Valli keeps the tradition. Beauty, charme, and those beautiful legs, so famous all over the world, make the local girls  into dreamgirls ! Writer James Joyce
    choose Pula as his residency for several years. After a full day of historical sightseeing you will find many coffee shops on the street Forum including Café Uliks is a must for any fans of James Joyce, the Irish author who worked in Pula as a teacher in the early 20th century. Wines and food Wines top quality wines including Malvasia (one of my favorites) the most famous Istrian wines produced from indigenous white grapes. and Teran, a  rich red wine, intensely purple colored, able to compet with the Italian ones but less expensive. A big time specialty is the  zgvacet ragout. It is a sauce of diced chunks of chicken meat. In Pula, just as in most towns of Istria, be sure to taste seafood specialties, of which dishes rospi (monkfish), sea bass or delicious buzara Kvarner scampi only a small number of delicacies on offer. In Pula you should try and shells, thanks to the clear waters are a special flavor mussels, scallops or kanaštrele excellent fish stew, and definitely should try the black risotto with cuttlefish. Lovers of oily fish to taste anchovies to savor. This dish is eaten cold and fried sardines topped with sauce, oil, onion, vinegar and spices.In Pula you should try and maneštras traditional thick soup whose main ingredients are potatoes and beans with added mixture of bacon and garlic.
    Truffles!
    Many Pula’s restaurants carry the highlight of gastronomy: the white truffles. Try them with fusi or gnocchi with truffles or shaved over meat or cheese. But the real combo, the Romeo and Juliet of the choiche should be truffles and eggs! Bars, shops, market and flea markets Have fun, look around, bargain!
    Smile! Dental tourism, is hot in Croatia, organized groups come here and put their teeth in place  with low-budget, cheaper prices, excellent quality, good materials and expert dentist. How to contact them who contact them? Or you can see on the websites or call the local tourist agency that will give you advice on the best places or to be so lucky to have a  friend who has already been here already. Do not!
    Croatia has its own currency: the kuna.
    Don’t change your money in the street, you may get useless Balcanian or Bulgarian money…
    Go into a bank and change there! Where to stay I stayed at Amfiteatar Hotel, located in the heart of the Pula city, hotel Amphitheater is at a 2 minutes walking distance to the Arena and 5 minutes walking distance to the city cathedral, with the harbor also in the close vicinity. Beach and the airport are only 10 minutes away by car. Very close to the arena and within a short walking distance to all the other attractions in the  old town. I had dinner in the outdoor restaurant, Owner Chef and culinary star Deniz Zembo prepared delicious local dishes with a twist. I loved the grilled octopuss and  delicious cake. 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 http://www.pulainfo.hr/     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       Posted in travel | Tagged Chichen Itza, Mexico | Leave a reply Edit A ‘HYGGE’SUMMER IN COPENHAGEN Posted on 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. Posted in travel | Tagged Copenhagen | Leave a reply Edit Hamburg, Germany, Why go there and where to stay, what to eat Posted on 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?
          Posted in travel | Tagged Hamburg | Leave a reply Edit MATERA, Italy. The city, the Sassi and the best Lucanian dishes Posted on
    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             Posted in Food, travel | Tagged Baccus, Basilicata, Da Mario, Il Terrazino, Matera, Sassi | Leave a reply Edit
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    see full article see full article One_il piacere del lusso_anno II_n2 see full article see full article see full article                                                       see full article see full article see full article see full article PDF_travel_articles final version gdansk-food budapest-traveller-finBOUTIQUE HOTEL CASA ANGELINA,  AMALFI COAST
    by Cesare Zucca
    http://www.torrettas.com Three ‘Nobel’ days in Oslo Stay at the Grand Hotel
    3 HOTELS ROOF TOPS you don’t want to miss
    by Cesare Zucca   Discovering beautiful Poland POZNAN by Cesare Zucca 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, daLet’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 Posted in Food, travel | Tagged Food Tour, Ljubljana, prekmurska gibanica, Tourism Office of Ljubljana | Leave a reply Edit GRAND HOTEL TOPLICE, JULIJANA RESTAURANT IN BLED, SLOVENIA Posted on 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 ghtoplice@hotelibled.com Reservations +386 4 579 16 00 info@hotelibled.com   Posted in Food, travel | Tagged Bed, chef Simon Bertoncelj, Grand Hotel Toplice, Juljiana Restaurant, Slovenia | Leave a reply Edit Hotel Hellsten, Stockholm. Memories of an exotic journey Posted on 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   Posted in travel | Tagged Hotel Hellsten, Stockholm | Leave a reply Edit Industrial or design? A posh stay in Hamburg Posted on 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. Posted in travel | Tagged Da Caio, Fortune Hotels Group, Gastwerk Hotel, Hamburg, The George Hotel | Leave a reply Edit Two memorable days in Pula Posted on Great history, mild climate, smooth sea, unspoiled nature, dream beaches, friendly locals, smiling people, amazing food and…best teeth on hearth!                                                                                               Welcome to Croatia! I spent only two days in Pula, but, believe me , I ‘ll go back!. Pula is the largest town on the Istrian peninsula and offers a diversity of attractions to lovers of culture. The rich itinerary of its three thousand year old history, where every step you take through the Old Town is a landmark, begins and ends with the Roman amphitheatre. The city has a long tradition of winemaking, fishing, shipbuilding, and tourism.
    The Arena. Pula’s amphitheater was built around the end of the first century before Christ. It was August with a very hot weather. That s why my lovely guide Rossana met me there early in the morning , immediately after they open the gate. I suggest you to do the same. Rossana told me a quite cute legend about a raw linen made tent (they called it velarium) that used to be opened up to protect from the sun and give some shade to the audience while watching the show, or function as a bug umbrella in case of rain. Actually the morning is he best time to come to the arena  as well the sunset time. Often the Arena hosts operas, concerts and performances. The acoustic is amazing: Tenors Giorgio Pavarotti, Placido Domingo and Beniamino Gigli said the this place was one of the most suitable for their voice and for the public. In the Arena have been performing great music legends such as Tina Turner, Joe Cocker, Sting, Simply Red, Robert Plant, Status Quo, Massive Attack, just to mention few. Every summer, Pula host a superb Film Festival in the Arena,
    Celebrity town. Pula was also the residence of many Italian celebrities, from Italian singer Sergio Endrigo, to Italian actress Alida Valli who was celebrated as one of the most beautiful woman in the he world. Pula girls!
    The legacy of Alida Valli keeps the tradition. Beauty, charme, and those beautiful legs, so famous all over the world, make the local girls  into dreamgirls ! Writer James Joyce
    choose Pula as his residency for several years. After a full day of historical sightseeing you will find many coffee shops on the street Forum including Café Uliks is a must for any fans of James Joyce, the Irish author who worked in Pula as a teacher in the early 20th century. Wines and food Wines top quality wines including Malvasia (one of my favorites) the most famous Istrian wines produced from indigenous white grapes. and Teran, a  rich red wine, intensely purple colored, able to compet with the Italian ones but less expensive. A big time specialty is the  zgvacet ragout. It is a sauce of diced chunks of chicken meat. In Pula, just as in most towns of Istria, be sure to taste seafood specialties, of which dishes rospi (monkfish), sea bass or delicious buzara Kvarner scampi only a small number of delicacies on offer. In Pula you should try and shells, thanks to the clear waters are a special flavor mussels, scallops or kanaštrele excellent fish stew, and definitely should try the black risotto with cuttlefish. Lovers of oily fish to taste anchovies to savor. This dish is eaten cold and fried sardines topped with sauce, oil, onion, vinegar and spices.In Pula you should try and maneštras traditional thick soup whose main ingredients are potatoes and beans with added mixture of bacon and garlic.
    Truffles!
    Many Pula’s restaurants carry the highlight of gastronomy: the white truffles. Try them with fusi or gnocchi with truffles or shaved over meat or cheese. But the real combo, the Romeo and Juliet of the choiche should be truffles and eggs! Bars, shops, market and flea markets Have fun, look around, bargain!
    Smile! Dental tourism, is hot in Croatia, organized groups come here and put their teeth in place  with low-budget, cheaper prices, excellent quality, good materials and expert dentist. How to contact them who contact them? Or you can see on the websites or call the local tourist agency that will give you advice on the best places or to be so lucky to have a  friend who has already been here already. Do not!
    Croatia has its own currency: the kuna.
    Don’t change your money in the street, you may get useless Balcanian or Bulgarian money…
    Go into a bank and change there! Where to stay I stayed at Amfiteatar Hotel, located in the heart of the Pula city, hotel Amphitheater is at a 2 minutes walking distance to the Arena and 5 minutes walking distance to the city cathedral, with the harbor also in the close vicinity. Beach and the airport are only 10 minutes away by car. Very close to the arena and within a short walking distance to all the other attractions in the  old town. I had dinner in the outdoor restaurant, Owner Chef and culinary star Deniz Zembo prepared delicious local dishes with a twist. I loved the grilled octopuss and  delicious cake. 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 http://www.pulainfo.hr/     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       Posted in travel | Tagged Chichen Itza, Mexico | Leave a reply Edit A ‘HYGGE’SUMMER IN COPENHAGEN Posted on 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. Posted in travel | Tagged Copenhagen | Leave a reply Edit Hamburg, Germany, Why go there and where to stay, what to eat Posted on 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?
          Posted in travel | Tagged Hamburg | Leave a reply Edit MATERA, Italy. The city, the Sassi and the best Lucanian dishes Posted on
    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             Posted in Food, travel | Tagged Baccus, Basilicata, Da Mario, Il Terrazino, Matera, Sassi | Leave a reply Edit
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