Perugia, Italy. Discover Hotel Sangallo and meet Chef Islam


Be enchanted by the wonderful landscape of Umbria, in my opinion one of the most beautiful regions of the Peninsula. Perugia is awakening from the forced torpor of the lockdown: many accommodation facilities of all kinds, many museums, restaurants and trattorias, have reopened and tourists, especially Italians and Europeans, have returned to enjoy the beauty of this city. Among the hotels, the 4-star Sangallo Palace stands out for its quality-price ratio, service and location, being strategically located right next to the escalator that will first take you to the magical Rocca Paolina, the imposing fortress built by Pope Paul III.

La Rocca Paolina. Get lost in a labyrinth of underground rooms of extraordinary beauty

Continuing on the escalators, you will arrive in the wonderful center where the Fontana Maggiore triumphs in the sumptuous Piazza IV Novembre, the setting for summer concerts during the Umbria Jazz festival.

Night fairy tale on the square

Let’s go back to where we started from, and that is the Sangallo Palace.
A venue that we recommend for its exquisite hospitality and professionalism, welcoming comfort rooms, design details in the furnishings and lighting, which quote the floor graphics of the Annunciation by Perugino with futuristic neon accents. colored in the showers

Perugino in the quotes of the Hotel Sangallo

Despite being in the center, the rooms are very quiet, thanks to a first-rate anti-noise system. For workouts, relaxation and a nice swim, you will find a rich spa with swimming pool and gym

The spa and a really “Perugina” room with the iconic couple of the famous kisses

Finally, his excellent (indeed I would say very good) Sangallo Restaurant, where we meet Chef Kamrul Islam, born in Bangladesh and living in Italy for more than 30 years.

His renowned cuisine is now decidedly Italian, indeed Umbrian with a French accent.
There is a lot of traditional Umbrian cuisine in the pasta dishes, strictly homemade, like strangozzi, served with salmon and zucchini and umbricelli alla norcina, with cream and sausages.

Chef Kamrul Islam

Good morning Kamrul, your first memory in the kitchen?
When I was looking around mother Nasmakan intent on preparing our typical dishes. Unlike Indian cuisine, ours is much simpler and certainly less spicy. Sitting at the table is a ritual, just like in Italy, and no expense is spared for food.
Your cooking is …
Based on local products, meats, vegetables, cured meats, cheeses, I would define it as an Umbrian cuisine, often with traditional dishes, such as polenta and sausage and grapes, a classic of the winter months.

A Chef Ismal signature dish: Colfiorito lamb chops marinated in herbs

Do you cook at home?
(laughs) Never! My wife forbids me, only her is at the stove, also because our women think that we husbands are not so good at cooking. that we mess and leave everything in a mess, so at home they don’t let me touch a pot.
What does Mrs. Ismal cook?
In my house, the pasta is a winner, also because I have a son who literally lives only on pasta … sometimes rice, as a second course maybe a hamburger or a chicken breast, or … again pasta!
Always and never in your refrigerator…
Well, easy to guess: many types of pasta in the pantry and some homemade sauces in the fridge. Never: eggplant. And yes I like them a lot … but for my wife they are out of discussion … Luckily I cook them here in the restaurant … i

Unfortunately never … in the chef’s house fridge

Where do you like to spend a weekend?
If we stay in the area, at Lake Trasimeno, if we have a few more days, we like to visit a European city like London or Paris, but above all to discover our wonderful cities in Italy, also because the hospitality of Italians is incomparable.
Do you do gastronomic research on your travels?
No, when I go on vacation I take off my chef uniform and completely forget that I am a cook. I am a pure tourist interested in other things.

fishing and relaxing on Lake Trasimeno

Any new dish on your menu?
Brand new, perhaps you are the first to taste it. A very summery dish and easy to make: lemon and mint tagliatelle. Here the recipe

LEMON AND MINT TAGLIATELLE.

Ingredients for 4 people)
1 lemon peel
Egg Tagliatelle (300 grams)
Fresh mint (1 bunch of 50 grams)
Garlic (2 cloves)
Olive oil
Parmesan cheese (30 grams)
Parsley (10 grams).
Preparation : Boil the lemon peel to chop later Prepare the mint pesto with garlic, olive oil, parmesan and parsley. Mix everything well and pour over the pasta cooked al dente
A wine to pair?
A wine that interprets history, elegance and modernity. Think it was the first Chardonnay to be grown in Umbria, in the early 1970s and its label recalls, with stylized graphics, the four-lobed tiles of the fourteenth century. that adorn the facade of the Cathedral of Perugia, I am talking about Umbria Chardonnay of Cantine Lungarotti, with a full and well balanced character. It has a color: intense straw yellow with greenish reflections and a perfume that expresses notes of banana, peach and pean

Chardonnay Lungarotti

The Lungarotti company maintains a strong family imprint based on respect for the values that unite tradition, history and territory and is today directed by the sisters Chiara Lungarotti and Teresa Severini, while Maria Grazia Lungarotti successfully directs the work of the Foundation. At the forefront of environmental protection, the company operates a sustainable viticulture, with choices that aim at obtaining the best quality of the grapes without stressing the plant or the soil, together with the defense of the environment, not using either herbicides or chemical fertilizers. i.

The Lungarotti hills, famous for their Rubesco

INFO
Hotel Sangallo Palace
Secret Umbria
Cantine Lungarotti

Angsana Resort Corfù, Greece

Angsana Resort Corfù, Greece

Posted on

Looking for an historical, alive, welcoming destination?
The answer is Greece
Looking for a Greek Island historical, alive and welcoming?
The answer is Corfù
Looking for an amazing accommodation where indulge your Corfù vacation?
The answer is the Angsana Resort Corfù, the newest, incomparable addition to the Island.

The view from the Angsana Terrace

I spend there 5 fabulous days, enjoying my room, my terrace, the SPA, the private “Emerald”
beach and the immense swimming pool, a truly amazing endless space that literally seems to plunge into the blue sea.

the Angsana Corfù swimmimg pool

The resort is set on an idyllic lush green hilltop overlooking the turquoise waters of the historical Benitses Bay. It boasts a close vicinity to the exotic Paxoi and Antipaxoi islets.
Located a short 12 km drive south of Corfu town, an UNESCO World Heritage site with its imposing Old Fortress, the resort is strategically positioned for must-see spots, beautiful sandy beaches, historical sites and activities for all tastes, an experience of local heritage and a deep sense of belonging.

The estate is surrounded by a landscape of exquisite beauty with Mediterranean gardens and olive tree groves, overlooking the picturesque Benitses Bay, presenting far-reaching views of the Ionian sea and the countryside.

THE SWIMMING POOLS
This swimming pools are undoubtedly among the Angsana Corfu’s greatest attractions. They both, outdoor and indoor, encapsulates the heart of the resort’s lifestyle. In addition, an indoor heated pool for winter days or training regimes and a kids’ pool bring the fun of poolside life to every guest.

A personal fitness program can be designed and executed at Angsana Corfu dedicated state-of-the-art Gym and at the outdoor Yoga Pavilion, for a healthy and fit summer life.

Yes, that’s me with the lifeguard, always present and on the alert, with a smile, like the entire professional team working in the property.

THE ROOMS
The resort offers a collection of 159 contemporary rooms and suites, plus 37 luxury villa homes built in the style of local architecture, laid out across the hilltop estate.with a choice of 159 rooms and suites plus 37 private pool villas, backdropped with infinity sea views.

Spacious and stylish accommodation on a historical hilltop location of Corfu, offering a fine blend of the Greek “philoxenia, friend to the stranger” and the mystique of Asian hospitality, a home away from home feeling.

amazing sunset from my beautiful terrace

The rooms, the suites and pool villas are backdropped with infinity sea views define the spacious and stylish accommodations on a historical hilltop location of Corfu, offering a fine blend of the Greek “philoxenia, friend to the stranger” and the mystique of Asian hospitality, a home away from home feeling.

THE FOOD
Here comes one of my favorite part…. Food here is amazing.from the huge breakfast buffet to the greek cuisine of Sofrito, to the experience at Botrini’s, a fine dining restaurant guided by the stellar Chef Ettore Botrini.

Botrini’s and Sofrito

THE AMAZING BREAKFAST
From Freshly pressed juices made to boost your health and stamina, enhancing a feeling of happiness in you, to rich omelettes made just the way you like them, an infinite number of local and international sweets and desserts,

You will find fresh homemade bread, cold cuts, salmon, local cheeses, a great variety of yougurt, fresh honey that melts under your eyes, a huge choice of vegetables, cooked or sautéed, such as mushrooms, potatoes, yellow and red cherry tomatoes and ratatouille,

So, If you are into salads, You ‘ll find them
if you are into eggs, You ll find them
if you are into sausages …well, you got it !

Add seasoning of any kind, sweet and salted delicacies, fruits and tasty local pastry, such as bougatsa a greek pie with a creamy custard and light phyllo, and the incomparable cheese pie called tiropita… in short: a king’s breakfast!

Dessert time: going local with bougatsa and tiropita

DINING
Angsana Corfu places gastronomy pleasures high on its priority list… and so do I !
The resort offers a unique palette of vibrant flavors and taste combinations sourced from around the world. Our chefs serve up a universe of options, from fusion Asian cuisine and sushi bites to Greek cuisine with local Corfiot delicacies and tasty international favorite dishes.

With a full range of signature restaurants, and outdoor dining lounge terraces overlooking a panorama of expansive seaviews and mountainous Corfiot landscape, every meal will be an experience to remember.

Angsana Corfu is a Mediterranean sanctuary of extraordinary beauty, a luxurious spa and beach resort offering the warmth and charms of its unique blend of Greek and Asian hospitality. Its proximity to Achilleion Palace, once home to the famed Empress Sissi of Austria,
enriches its surroundings with echoes of a royal era.

THE SPA
What better than a relaxing foot massage upon my arrival? I gOt the stress out and enjoied the one hour session that you I felt like walking on a cloud.
Wellness is revived in the signature award-winning Angsana Spa, a space of euphoria, providing guests with a rejuvenating sense of touch using fusion massage techniques, where East meets West.

Angsana Spa consists of 11 treatment rooms, outdoor with secret gardens and superb seaviews, located right next to the indoor pool area overlooking the bay, making it a true oasis for the body and the soul.

There will always be something for the children, who can happily hang out and socially mingle at our kids’ club and pool, the Ranger’s Club. Our beach spot will offer luxurious sun loungers, a beach bar and fun water sports activities. A dedicated concierge is available to deliver special guest requests.

The “Emerald Beach” at Angsana

And this is only the beginning…. more surprises are in their way…
Like an additional 4th and 5th floor huge terrace where you ‘ll feel like on top of the world

And if… a photo is worth more than a thousand words…
THAT’S THE WAY I WAS FEELING, WHILE THERE!

Arrivederci Corfù! See you soon ! Τα λέμε αργότερα !

Arrivederci Corfù !
See you soon !
Τα λέμε αργότερα !

INFO
Angsana Resort Corfù
Akra Punta, Benitses, Corfu, Greece

Photos © Cesare Zucca 2021

Angsana Resort Corfù, Greece

Looking for an historical, alive, welcoming destination?
The answer is Greece
Looking for a Greek Island historical, alive and welcoming?
The answer is Corfù
Looking for an amazing accommodation where indulge your Corfù vacation?
The answer is the Angsana Resort Corfù, the newest, incomparable addition to the Island.

The view from the Angsana Terrace

I spend there 5 fabulous days, enjoying my room, my terrace, the SPA, the private “Emerald”
beach and the immense swimming pool, a truly amazing endless space that literally seems to plunge into the blue sea.

the Angsana Corfù swimmimg pool

The resort is set on an idyllic lush green hilltop overlooking the turquoise waters of the historical Benitses Bay. It boasts a close vicinity to the exotic Paxoi and Antipaxoi islets.
Located a short 12 km drive south of Corfu town, an UNESCO World Heritage site with its imposing Old Fortress, the resort is strategically positioned for must-see spots, beautiful sandy beaches, historical sites and activities for all tastes, an experience of local heritage and a deep sense of belonging.

The estate is surrounded by a landscape of exquisite beauty with Mediterranean gardens and olive tree groves, overlooking the picturesque Benitses Bay, presenting far-reaching views of the Ionian sea and the countryside.

THE SWIMMING POOLS
This swimming pools are undoubtedly among the Angsana Corfu’s greatest attractions. They both, outdoor and indoor, encapsulates the heart of the resort’s lifestyle. In addition, an indoor heated pool for winter days or training regimes and a kids’ pool bring the fun of poolside life to every guest.

A personal fitness program can be designed and executed at Angsana Corfu dedicated state-of-the-art Gym and at the outdoor Yoga Pavilion, for a healthy and fit summer life.

Yes, that’s me with the lifeguard, always present and on the alert, with a smile, like the entire professional team working in the property.

THE ROOMS
The resort offers a collection of 159 contemporary rooms and suites, plus 37 luxury villa homes built in the style of local architecture, laid out across the hilltop estate.with a choice of 159 rooms and suites plus 37 private pool villas, backdropped with infinity sea views.

Spacious and stylish accommodation on a historical hilltop location of Corfu, offering a fine blend of the Greek “philoxenia, friend to the stranger” and the mystique of Asian hospitality, a home away from home feeling.

amazing sunset from my beautiful terrace

The rooms, the suites and pool villas are backdropped with infinity sea views define the spacious and stylish accommodations on a historical hilltop location of Corfu, offering a fine blend of the Greek “philoxenia, friend to the stranger” and the mystique of Asian hospitality, a home away from home feeling.

THE FOOD
Here comes one of my favorite part…. Food here is amazing.from the huge breakfast buffet to the greek cuisine of Sofrito, to the experience at Botrini’s, a fine dining restaurant guided by the stellar Chef Ettore Botrini.

Botrini’s and Sofrito

THE AMAZING BREAKFAST
From Freshly pressed juices made to boost your health and stamina, enhancing a feeling of happiness in you, to rich omelettes made just the way you like them, an infinite number of local and international sweets and desserts,

You will find fresh homemade bread, cold cuts, salmon, local cheeses, a great variety of yougurt, fresh honey that melts under your eyes, a huge choice of vegetables, cooked or sautéed, such as mushrooms, potatoes, yellow and red cherry tomatoes and ratatouille,

So, If you are into salads, You ‘ll find them
if you are into eggs, You ll find them
if you are into sausages …well, you got it !

Add seasoning of any kind, sweet and salted delicacies, fruits and tasty local pastry, such as bougatsa a greek pie with a creamy custard and light phyllo, and the incomparable cheese pie called tiropita… in short: a king’s breakfast!

Dessert time: going local with bougatsa and tiropita

DINING
Angsana Corfu places gastronomy pleasures high on its priority list… and so do I !
The resort offers a unique palette of vibrant flavors and taste combinations sourced from around the world. Our chefs serve up a universe of options, from fusion Asian cuisine and sushi bites to Greek cuisine with local Corfiot delicacies and tasty international favorite dishes.

With a full range of signature restaurants, and outdoor dining lounge terraces overlooking a panorama of expansive seaviews and mountainous Corfiot landscape, every meal will be an experience to remember.

Angsana Corfu is a Mediterranean sanctuary of extraordinary beauty, a luxurious spa and beach resort offering the warmth and charms of its unique blend of Greek and Asian hospitality. Its proximity to Achilleion Palace, once home to the famed Empress Sissi of Austria,
enriches its surroundings with echoes of a royal era.

THE SPA
What better than a relaxing foot massage upon my arrival? I gOt the stress out and enjoied the one hour session that you I felt like walking on a cloud.
Wellness is revived in the signature award-winning Angsana Spa, a space of euphoria, providing guests with a rejuvenating sense of touch using fusion massage techniques, where East meets West.

Angsana Spa consists of 11 treatment rooms, outdoor with secret gardens and superb seaviews, located right next to the indoor pool area overlooking the bay, making it a true oasis for the body and the soul.

There will always be something for the children, who can happily hang out and socially mingle at our kids’ club and pool, the Ranger’s Club. Our beach spot will offer luxurious sun loungers, a beach bar and fun water sports activities. A dedicated concierge is available to deliver special guest requests.

The “Emerald Beach” at Angsana

And this is only the beginning…. more surprises are in their way…
Like an additional 4th and 5th floor huge terrace where you ‘ll feel like on top of the world

And if… a photo is worth more than a thousand words…
THAT’S THE WAY I WAS FEELING, WHILE THERE!

Arrivederci Corfù! See you soon ! Τα λέμε αργότερα !

Arrivederci Corfù !
See you soon !
Τα λέμε αργότερα !

INFO
Angsana Resort Corfù
Akra Punta, Benitses, Corfu, Greece

Photos © Cesare Zucca 2021

Meissen, Saxony, Germany . Discover the Meissner Fummel, the “flying sweet bread”


Welcome to Meissen. History, art, porcelain and a dessert that flies … 

MUST SEE IN MEISSEN

Stadtmuseum This is the city museum, in the former church of a Franciscan monastery. Do not miss the large manual press dated 1788 or the last fishing boat on the Elbe river The Cathedral of 1400, of French-Gothic style, one of the most richly furnished and decorated Saxon churches. The perspective of the columns really looks like a neverending curtain.

Frauenkirche, make your way up to the spire (193 steps!) For a spectacular view of the city and to hear the Meissen porcelain bells. Albrechtsburg, a fairytale castle built in the Gothic style, overlooking the city of Meißen, in the land of Saxony, Germany.

Un bellissimo tramonto a Meissen

It is actually the porcelain, locally nicknamed “white gold”, one of the things that Saxony is best known for, being the first place in Europe to produce porcelain since the early 1700s. Two crossed blue swords will welcome you in the famous Manifattura di Meissen whose precious creations are famous all over the world. le cui preziose creazioni sono famose in tutto il mondo.

le meravigliose ceramiche di Meissen, per impreziosire la vostra tavola

At the end of the visit, do not miss the well-stocked gift shop, I’m sure you won’t resist the temptation to buy a souvenir.

piccoli souvenir in porcellana

The historic puffed sweet bread

Meissen’s historic sweet specialty is Meissner Fummel, whose origins date back to at least the 17th century. It is a pandolce with a very thin and extremely crumbly puff pastry, so fragile that it breaks at the slightest vibration.

‘bretzel’ salati e il tipico pane dolce soffiato

It has a rounded shape, empty inside, very light and extremely fragile. A real cloud! It has no specific flavor, so no appreciable nutritional value, however, with the addition of a sprinkle of powdered sugar it becomes a dessert, often paire to a good sweet wine.

Volete la ricetta? Eccola Curious about the recipe? here you go!

MEISSNER FUMMEL

Meissner Fummel, Il dolce tipicodi Meissen. La dimensione è quella di una pagnotta sottile e friabile., vuota all’interno e riempita d’aria.

Ingredients
▢ 50 g of butter ▢ 1 egg yolk ▢ 100 g of flour ▢ 1 pinch of sugar ▢ salt ▢ 1 straw (not a joke)

Preparation
▢ Put the flour on a work surface, mix well with the sugar and salt and then add the butter. ▢ Knead the dough well for about 10 minutes so that at the end it is elastic. ▢ Roll out the dough very thin. ▢ Brush one half with egg yolk and cover the other half. Press the edge firmly and flip the piece of dough to the other side. It is best to place everything on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. This is then spread to obtain two thin discs, on one of which, moistened with water or egg, is made to match the other by squeezing the edges well. ▢ At this point, use the straw, first to pierce the upper half of the dumpling, then to blow some air into it and inflate it slightly. ▢ Then put the gnocchi in the oven preheated to 240 degrees and bake for 3 minutes.

INFO
Manifattura Porcellane di Meissen
Meissen Tourism
Visit Meissen

Harlem: gospel, banana pudding and the legendary Miss Norma Jean Darden

Harlem, meta delle comunità afro-americane e di visitatori provenienti da tutto il mondo.

TEXT AND PHOTOS BY CESARE ZUCCA

Sunday morning in Harlem, a destination for African-American communities and visitors from all over the world. For those who love to travel in groups, there are organized tours, including welcometoharlem.com, harlemspirituals.com, harlemheritage.com.offering a global view of Harlem and its historical path.

Gospel masses start at 11, better to arrive well in advance to ensure entry. Harlem, a destination for African-American communities and visitors from all over the world.

Abyssinian Baptist Church

Among those that host the most renowned choirs I like to mention: New Mount Zion Baptist Church, one of the most traditional churches in the neighborhood, founded more than 80 years ago. Its choir is considered one of the best in Harlem. Here the singing never stops, even during the Pastor’s sermon. In fervent union with music, the faithful clap their hands, mark the time and pray ecstatically (171 West 140th Street) .Abyssinian Baptist Church, a true architectural jewel with splendid mosaic windows. It boasts a mighty choir and is a favorite destination for tourists. Long line to enter. (132 Odell Clark Place / West 138th Street) Mount Neboh Baptist Church Its choir, in addition to traditional sacred hymns, sings new versions of popular pieces such as “Oh Happy Day” and “At Calvary.” The service starts at 10.45. (1883 Adam Clayton Powell Ave) and finally

The Greater Refuge Temple, my favorite. Large modern amphitheater where numerous choirs alternate. The energy is sky high, the music is enthralling. , voices and prayers are transformed into a musical crescendo, accompanied by organ, drums, electric guitar, and by the numerous tambourines with which the elegant African American ladies mark and color the rhythm. (2081 Adam Clayton Powell Avenue)

The Greater Refuge Temple


Powerful voices and sensational harmonies result in a collective frenzy that ignites souls and turns into a real show. Video and photo shooting inside the church are prohibited. Unadvisable (and irreverent) to be smart.

For the black ladies, it is an opportunity to show off an elegant look and unpredictable hats.

Per le black ladies, l’appuntamento domenicale è anche un’occasione per sfoggiare un look elegante, acconciature elaborate e imprevedibili cappellini.


It’s time for lunch, one of the most popular soul food restaurants is Spoonbread Too
which serves authentic Southern American home cooking, famous for gumbo, collard greens and traditional fried chicken.

Norma Jean, ieri e oggi

The restaurant is run by a Harlem icon: the legendary (and still beautiful) Norma Jean Darden, one of the first black top models in fashion history.
Norma serves comfort food based on the family recipes she collected in the book Spoonbread and Strawberry Wine, written with her sister Carole.

il fortunatissimo libro libro Spoonbread and Strawberry Wine,

Among the classic dishes of the South, here is the “banana pudding” a banana pudding enriched with whipped cream or, just like the grandmothers of the South, with a meringue top.
GRAND MA BANANA PUDDING

Il “banana pudding” di Norma Jean Darden

Norma Jean Darden’s “banana pudding”, a Southern dessert made with layers of vanilla custard, biscuits and slices of fresh bananas Ingredients For 8 people 4 tablespoons of 00 flour 1 1/2 cup of sugar pinch of salt 3 separate large eggs (you will need the egg whites later for the meringue) 3 cups of milk 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract 1 box of vanilla wafers about 45 wafers 5-6 bananas 3 egg whites 1/8 teaspoon of cream of tartar 1/4 cup of sugar 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract Preparation Preheat the oven to 325º F. How to make custard for pudding Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan. Lightly whisk the egg yolks and whisk to combine with the milk in a large bowl or also use a large liquid measuring cup, such as 4 cups. Whisk the egg yolk mixture into the dry ingredients in the saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir constantly until the custard has thickened, remove from heat and add the vanilla extract. How to assemble banana pudding Arrange the vanilla wafers on the bottom of a 2-quart dish, such as an oven-safe glass bowl or dish. Slice the bananas and place them on top of the vanilla wafer layer. Pour 1/3 of the pudding over the waffles and bananas. Repeat the layering process, ending with a wafer layer. Grandma recommends serving it in a glass bowl How to make the meringue garnish: Use a very clean whisk and bowl that have been chilled for a while. Then, whip the egg whites with your electric whisk at very high speed. When the egg whites begin to foam, add the cream of tartar and then the sugar one tablespoon at a time. Continue beating the egg whites until all the sugar has dissolved and hard peaks form, then stir in the vanilla extract.
Spread the meringue over the top of the pudding, taking care to spread it completely to the inside edge of the plate to completely cover the pudding. Cook for 25 minutes until the meringue is lightly browned.
Remove from the oven and serve.

Nonna consiglia di servirlo in una ciotola di vetro

Spoonbread Too
366 West 110th Street, di fronte a Morningside Park, New York

Tour
https://welcometoharlem.com/
https://www.harlemheritage.com/
https://www.harlemspirituals.com/

Cesare Zucca
Travel, food & lifestyle. Born in Milan, Cesare lives between New York, Milan and the rest of the world.For WEEKEND PREMIUM he photographs and talks about cities, cultures, lifestyles and discovers both traditional and innovative gastronomic delights. Cesare meets and interviews top chefs from all over the world, ‘steals’ their recipes and tells you everything in his blog, in style ‘Turista non Turista’

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Harlem: gospel, banana pudding and the legendary Miss Norma Jean Darden

Harlem, meta delle comunità afro-americane e di visitatori provenienti da tutto il mondo.

TEXT AND PHOTOS BY CESARE ZUCCA

Sunday morning in Harlem, a destination for African-American communities and visitors from all over the world. For those who love to travel in groups, there are organized tours, including welcometoharlem.com, harlemspirituals.com, harlemheritage.com.offering a global view of Harlem and its historical path.

Gospel masses start at 11, better to arrive well in advance to ensure entry. Harlem, a destination for African-American communities and visitors from all over the world.

Abyssinian Baptist Church

Among those that host the most renowned choirs I like to mention: New Mount Zion Baptist Church, one of the most traditional churches in the neighborhood, founded more than 80 years ago. Its choir is considered one of the best in Harlem. Here the singing never stops, even during the Pastor’s sermon. In fervent union with music, the faithful clap their hands, mark the time and pray ecstatically (171 West 140th Street) .Abyssinian Baptist Church, a true architectural jewel with splendid mosaic windows. It boasts a mighty choir and is a favorite destination for tourists. Long line to enter. (132 Odell Clark Place / West 138th Street) Mount Neboh Baptist Church Its choir, in addition to traditional sacred hymns, sings new versions of popular pieces such as “Oh Happy Day” and “At Calvary.” The service starts at 10.45. (1883 Adam Clayton Powell Ave) and finally

The Greater Refuge Temple, my favorite. Large modern amphitheater where numerous choirs alternate. The energy is sky high, the music is enthralling. , voices and prayers are transformed into a musical crescendo, accompanied by organ, drums, electric guitar, and by the numerous tambourines with which the elegant African American ladies mark and color the rhythm. (2081 Adam Clayton Powell Avenue)

The Greater Refuge Temple


Powerful voices and sensational harmonies result in a collective frenzy that ignites souls and turns into a real show. Video and photo shooting inside the church are prohibited. Unadvisable (and irreverent) to be smart.

For the black ladies, it is an opportunity to show off an elegant look and unpredictable hats.

Per le black ladies, l’appuntamento domenicale è anche un’occasione per sfoggiare un look elegante, acconciature elaborate e imprevedibili cappellini.


It’s time for lunch, one of the most popular soul food restaurants is Spoonbread Too
which serves authentic Southern American home cooking, famous for gumbo, collard greens and traditional fried chicken.

Norma Jean, ieri e oggi

The restaurant is run by a Harlem icon: the legendary (and still beautiful) Norma Jean Darden, one of the first black top models in fashion history.
Norma serves comfort food based on the family recipes she collected in the book Spoonbread and Strawberry Wine, written with her sister Carole.

il fortunatissimo libro libro Spoonbread and Strawberry Wine,

Among the classic dishes of the South, here is the “banana pudding” a banana pudding enriched with whipped cream or, just like the grandmothers of the South, with a meringue top.
GRAND MA BANANA PUDDING

Il “banana pudding” di Norma Jean Darden

Norma Jean Darden’s “banana pudding”, a Southern dessert made with layers of vanilla custard, biscuits and slices of fresh bananas

Ingredients For 8 people
4 tablespoons of 00 flour 1 1/2 cup of sugar pinch of salt 3 separate large eggs (you will need the egg whites later for the meringue) 3 cups of milk 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract 1 box of vanilla wafers about 45 wafers 5-6 bananas 3 egg whites 1/8 teaspoon of cream of tartar 1/4 cup of sugar 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Preparation
Preheat the oven to 325º F. How to make custard for pudding Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan. Lightly whisk the egg yolks and whisk to combine with the milk in a large bowl or also use a large liquid measuring cup, such as 4 cups. Whisk the egg yolk mixture into the dry ingredients in the saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir constantly until the custard has thickened, remove from heat and add the vanilla extract. How to assemble banana pudding Arrange the vanilla wafers on the bottom of a 2-quart dish, such as an oven-safe glass bowl or dish. Slice the bananas and place them on top of the vanilla wafer layer. Pour 1/3 of the pudding over the waffles and bananas. Repeat the layering process, ending with a wafer layer. Grandma recommends serving it in a glass bowl How to make the meringue garnish: Use a very clean whisk and bowl that have been chilled for a while. Then, whip the egg whites with your electric whisk at very high speed. When the egg whites begin to foam, add the cream of tartar and then the sugar one tablespoon at a time. Continue beating the egg whites until all the sugar has dissolved and hard peaks form, then stir in the vanilla extract.
Spread the meringue over the top of the pudding, taking care to spread it completely to the inside edge of the plate to completely cover the pudding. Cook for 25 minutes until the meringue is lightly browned.
Remove from the oven and serve.

Nonna consiglia di servirlo in una ciotola di vetro

Spoonbread Too
366 West 110th Street, di fronte a Morningside Park, New York

Tour
https://welcometoharlem.com/
https://www.harlemheritage.com/
https://www.harlemspirituals.com/

Cesare Zucca
Travel, food & lifestyle. Born in Milan, Cesare lives between New York, Milan and the rest of the world.For WEEKEND PREMIUM he photographs and talks about cities, cultures, lifestyles and discovers both traditional and innovative gastronomic delights. Cesare meets and interviews top chefs from all over the world, ‘steals’ their recipes and tells you everything in his blog, in style ‘Turista non Turista’

Hotel Mercure Wittenbergplatz, Berlin

To avoid surprises, I relied on Accor, a large and tested hotel chain and I chose the 4 stars Hotel Mercure Wittenbergplatz, a central, modern, welcoming and excellent quality-price accommodation.

Mercure Wittenbergplatz is part of the mighty Accor chain, with facilities around the world.
Excellent service, welcoming rooms, contemporary design and meticulous attention to hygiene and sanitation, as well as all the attention due in these times of Covid.

The ‘all safe’ label respects the new improved cleaning protocols and guarantees hygiene and prevention measures for the safety of the guests, from the sanitization from the rooms to the breakfast food that is scrupulously served in sealed containers.

The hotel overlooks the square of the same name, the metro is a stone’s throw away, and is located right next to the iconic KaDeWe, a colossal department store founded in 1907 and still a favorite destination for shopping, while on the top floor a colossal triumphs gourmet paradise, with shops, outlets, markets, restaurants, wines and food from all over the world.

INFO
Mercure Wittenbergplatz Hotel  (https://all.accor.com/hotel/9147/index.en.shtml)
Visit Berlin (www.visitberlin.de/it)
Berlin Welcome Card (www.berlin-welcomecard.de/it)


In Berlin: 25hours Bikini Hotel, a hot (and green…) spot

NOT TO BE MISSED
• Reichstag
• Holocaust Memorial
• The Museum of Film and Television

• The Wall and Checkpoint Charlie
• Brandenburg Gate
• The Dome
• Tiergarten
• Alexanderplatz and the TV Tower

THE MUSEUM ISLAND
A spectacular ensemble made up of five great museums, UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
The Altes, the Neues, the Pergamon, the Bode and the Alte Nationalgalerie. Unmissable!
You will find the Berlin WelcomeCard Card very useful, offering free admissions and transport as well as discounts, maps and useful addresses. It can be purchased in different parts of the city or online.

WHERE TO STAY
25hours Bikini Hotel Berlin
Funky, young, fun, full of surprises, the 25hours hotels, spread across half of Europe, never disappoint. The Bikini, very close to the grandiose Zoo, is inspired by a trip to the jungle: relaxing hammocks, pelouche sweet monkeys, gadgets, and bicycles for rent (ideal for visiting the city).

Eco-friendly everywhere, also in the SPA and in the public spaces, full of greenery, glass and exposed pipes and the industrial ceiling left intact.
The rooms are equally eccentric and trendy. IThe one I was staying in , had a cozy open-space shower, overlooking a wonderful panorama of the Zoo.

On the 10th floor, with a spectacular view of Berlin, you will find the NENI restaurant led by Chef Christian Drewitsch which offers a culinary mosaic inspired to Austrian, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern influences, with a touch of Israeli cuisine. The most important ingredient is sharing the table where everyone can try a little bit of everything.

Useful Info
25hours Bikini Hotel ( https://www.25hours-hotels.com/en/hotels/berlin/bikini-berlin )
Visit Berlin (www.visitberlin.de/it)
Berlin Welcome Card (www.berlin-welcomecard.de/it)

WHERE TO STAY WHILE IN BERLIN

It is difficult to identify a privileged area to choose where to sleep in Berlin.
A bit like London, in fact, the German capital does not have a well-defined center and after the fall of the wall, the geographical importance of the places has undergone a downsizing. In any case it must be said that Berlin is a modern and well-organized city: whatever the area you choose, it will certainly be connected by public transport to get around the city quickly; moreover, during the weekends the subway also works at night. –

I Choose…HOTEL LOUISA’S PLACE

More than central location, excellent cleanliness of the structure, spacious and well-kept apartments, have kitchen with balcony equipped with chairs and table .. great for smokers … with the room key you can also open the central door … heated very well … very satisfying breakfast … all very nice …
Located in the elegant Kurfürstendamm is an historical building and is located directly on the magnificent boulevard surrounded by sights, numerous designers boutiques, restaurants, bars .

Experience the charm of Berlin at the turn of the century in one of our 47 individual hotel suites. A hotel suite in our Louisa’s Place offers a unique living experience during your hotel stay. In our suites with a separate living room and bedroom you will find rest and a relaxing atmosphere after an eventful day. All our rooms impress with individual floor plans and classical interior. Choose your suite out of five different categories.

The hotel is named after Queen Luise of Prussia, and occupies a Prussian-era property that has been immaculately restored, complete with a handsome library with bookshelves, comfortable armchairs and classic lamps, antique furnishings (sadly, the lovely fireplace is fake), and tasteful, modern décor installed by local interior designer Etchika Werner. The resulting look is of homely elegance.

A typically Berlin-style luxury boutique hotel, Louisa’s Place is located on the prestigious Kufürstendamm shopping street, close to shops, restaurants, cafes and entertainment in central Berlin. This building dating back to 1904 has been completely restored, keeping its original style. The elegant interiors combine classic style with modernism, the antique style furniture and decorations blend perfectly with the best technologies. Equipped with forty-seven suites, all spacious and comfortable, furnished with classic furniture and wooden floors. All rooms have large, modern bathrooms and a fully equipped kitchen for short and long term stays.

Louisa’s Place offers a high standard of services that are hard to find in other small hotels like .A fully equipped kitchen with a fridge, stove and oven, microwave, coffee maker and kettle makes your stay many times easier for all guests who strive to keep their distance. Benefit from the possibility of being able to prepare a little something by yourself or to be able to take care of yourself completely.

Spacious family suites offer all the amenities for your family stay. They all have a separate bedroom and living room. Some family suites have a balcony or winter garden, so you can end the evening with a glass of wine.Talking of wine, the owners produce one of the most unique red called Bella’s Blend from The Heret Family, Sonoma County

When your stay on the occasion of leisure or work for a longer period you may have particular demands on your accommodation. The central location directly on the Kurfürstendamm is the ideal base for the city centre. Our suites with their generously-dimensioned living spaces and fully-equipped kitchens also cater ideally to the requirements of those who need a base for longer stays. We will delight you with the warm and personal service we extend to all our guests. Our comprehensive range of hotel services can be availed of by long-stay as well as short-stay guests.

The typical architectural style from the turn of the century gives each and every one of our 47 suites its own distinctive character. Different floor plans allow a range of personal preferences to be catered for in 5 different categories of stylish and comfortable suites ranging in size from 41 sqm to 102 sqm.
Our Louisa’s Place suites are not only ideal for classic hotel stays. As they are generously dimensioned and have fully-equipped kitchens, they also boast everything that is necessary in a temporary home used for longer. We would be pleased to offer you a package tailored to your requirements.

The hotel is located towards the western end of the Kurfürstendamm – slightly quieter than the eastern end, but with plenty of shops, restaurants and theatres still within easy walking distance. The closest U-Bahn (Adenauer Platz) is a one-minute walk, and will bring you to sights such as the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church and the bustling Zoologischer Garten area in less than 10 minutes on foot.

As well as the library, there’s a well known Restaurant SAVU and Marcus & Mira hair salon on the ground floor, a small but refined lounge opposite reception, and a spacious basement spa with a decent-sized pool plus a fitness room, sauna, a couple of rooms for massage and cosmetic treatments, and its own small bar area with healthy drinks and snacks.

You will feel welcome to Kurfurstendamm and enjoy THE Louisas’s Place!

INFO

LOUISAS’S PLACE
Kurfürstendamm 160
10709 Berlin
Tel: +49 30 63103-0
Fax: +49 30 63103-100
E-Mail: info@louisas-place.de

DISCOVERING POTSDAM “GERMAN VERSAILLES”

Welcome to Potsdam, the “German Versailles”, a historic destination in the Brandenburg region, Germany. It is located a short distance from Berlin, easily reachable by an S7-Bahn train and with a regular ticket that covers zones A, B, C. Rich in sumptuous palaces, many of which are Unesco heritage, it offers art, history, castles, wonderful parks and culinary delicatessen

NOT TO BE MISSED

Charlottenhof Castle
Neuen Palais
Barberini Museum
Belvedere
Sanssouci Palace and Park

My reccomendations
The Cecilienhof Palace where Churchill, Truman and Stalin discussed the future of Germany in the famous 1945 Conference, currently the subject of an exhibition.
Film Museum celebrates Studio Babelsberg, the center of German expressionist cinema of the 1920s: one of the oldest in the world, starring Marlene Dietrich and Fritz Lang, among others.

Dutch district the most characteristic of the whole city, adorned with 17th century buildings designed by the Dutch architect Boumann.

WHERE TO EAT
Soup Bistro

If you fancy a good soup
Der Butt
If you are a fish lover. Excellent traditional dish: eel with dill sauce.

Zum Fliegenden Hollaender
Spartanly hasty, menu in German, although (reluctantly) they will give you the one in English. Typical dish: a rich roast of pork with plums and the traditional kartoffelklosse, potato dumplings, perhaps my favorite dish of the local cuisine.
These great dumplings, also called kartoffelknödel, go well with meats and sauces. The ideal potatoes are the floury ones, such as Russets and Yukon Gold. They should be cooked with the peel, the day before. Cool, peel, mash and refrigerate for 12-24 hours and then mix with the flour, 1 cup of cornstarch, melted butter, eggs, salt and nutmeg.
We then move on to the creation of the gnocchI which must be about 8 cm in diameter and hide a cube of stale bread inside. A gentle boil for about 15 minutes and your kartoffelklosse are ready to be served.
Grandma’s trick
To prevent the gnocchi from sticking to your hands, just wet them with water or dust them with flour.


INFO

Welcome to Brandenburg
tourism info


WORLD’S BEST CHEF EVER! MEET MR. PELLEGRINO ARTUSI

The acknowledged father of modern Italian cookery, Pellegrino Artusi was born in 1820 in Forlimpopoli. He lived in his native town until 1851, when the city was violently attacked by the band of the Passatore, an infamous highwayman The Artusi family moved to Florence after that. Pellegrino became a wealthy man  Working in finances and, at the age of 45, was able to concentrate full-time on his big passion: the home cuisine. He loved to search, meditate, About the recepies, have someone else to experiment the cooking and, finally, taste. Artusi anticipated trends which would become popular during the XX century, among them the introduction of pasta as the typical first course on the Italian menu. The book was ahead of its time. No publisher was interested.  Finally, in 1891, the author took a chance and published it at his own expenses. Success was as unthinkable as it was overwhelming. During the following 20 years, the author himself worked on 15 editions and the “Artusi” became a hit. Casa Artusi was founded in the name of  its cultured gastronomist and his manual La Scienza in Cucina e l’Arte di Mangiar Bene (Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well). one of Italy’s best read books. Most Italian families had it—and still have it. It has been translated into English, French, German, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian and Japonese.
HAPPY 200!
Casa Artusi, is celebrating the 200 years of Pellegrino’s birth with an opulent FESTA ARTUSIANA
In addition to celebrating the fact that Artusi was born in Forlimpopoli
, says the Mayor of Forlimpopoli Milena Garavini, we want to celebrate our country, our city and the fact that, after all, Artusi could not be born anywhere else, because this is the land where the sense of hospitality it is still sacred, in which the first companion at the table are still ‘al ciacri’, in which being together is culture.
Being together at the party on Pellegrino’s birthday represents the desire to do, to be there, to “not give up” that distinguishes us and the desire to look forward with hope for the future. Obviously we want to do it safely and peacefully, observing all possible cautions and all safety devices, also because where there is no serenity there can be no fun.MORE THAN 2O RESTAURANTS IN THE PIAZZA!
The restaurant is undoubtedly one of the most important aspects of the Festa Artusiana. People who come to Forlimpopoli for our event stop in one of the many restaurants to taste the various menus on offer. In all these years we have worked to ensure that the gastronomic offer always improves over the various editions .. In addition to their fabolous menu, each restaurant will prepare one Artusi’ s dish, scrupulously   following the original recipe.
HOW TO GET INTO THE FESTA
The entrances to the party area are characterized by large portals located on Largo Paolucci de Calboli, in Via A.Saffi, in Via A. Costa and Via Monte Grappa.
The exits from the party area are located on Largo Paolucci, Via San Rufillo, Via del Castello and Piazza Trieste.
INFO
http://www.festartusiana.it/

Finally…. the great Number 7
Artusi’s recipes are all numbered and probably the masterpiece is the Number 7, the famous cappelletti al’uso di Romagna (Romagna-style cappelletti pasta)
The name cappello (hat) comes from its shape. The pasta is filled with capon breast, parmesan, nutmeg, ricotta and raveggiolo (a mild creamy cheese), carefully shaped to six centimeters in diameter and boiled just a few minutes in a rich capon broth with celery, carrots and beef bones.

CESARE ZUCCA
Travel, food, wine & lifestyle.
Milanese by birth, lives between NY, Milan and the rest of the world. Cesare photographs and narrates cities, cultures, lifestyles, top chefs, and discovers traditional and innovative gastronomic delights  to tell you everything here,
in his non-touristy style.

Alta Badia, Italy. LET’S HAVE A MOUNTAIN PICNIC! (italian and english version)

LET’S HAVE A MOUNTAIN PICNIC!

In Alta Badia, in the heart of the Dolomites a UNESCO World Heritage site, picnics are back in fashion. You can order a picnic basket from ten refuges taking part in this initiative and enjoy your meal in the peaceful meadows next to the hut.
In Alta Badia, nel cuore delle Dolomiti patrimonio mondiale dell’UNESCO, i picnic sono tornati di moda. Puoi ordinare un cestino da picnic da dieci rifugi che prendono parte a questa iniziativa e goditi il ​​tuo pasto in prati tranquilli.
Una delle proposte enogastronomiche si chiama “Mountain Picnic”, che consente ai visitatori di gustare i migliori prodotti dell’Alto Adige, comodamente sdraiati in un pascolo verde a 2000 metri sul livello del mare. I turisti possono ordinare un cestino presso le dieci capanne che prendono parte all’iniziativa. Ogni rifugio offre una selezione diversa basata su specialità e prodotti locali. Dopo aver raccolto il cestino da picnic, ti verrà anche fornita una coperta…indipensabile per un classico pic nic !
One of the food and wine proposals is called “Mountain Picnic”, which allows visitors to taste the best products of South Tyrol, while comfortably lying in a green pasture at 2000 metres above sea level. Tourists can order a picnic basket with a unique menu at the ten huts taking part in the initiative. Each mountain hut offers a different selection based on local specialities and products. Upon collecting your picnic basket, you’ll also be given a blanket – no good picnic is complete without one! – and you can enjoy your picnic in the meadows near the huts. This allows all excursion enthusiasts to choose a safe spot to enjoy lunch.The baskets can be purchased in advance by contacting the hut or collected directly, with no prior order, at the participating mountain huts.

CURIOUS ABOUT THE MENUS?
Ütia Crëp de Munt: Local sliced meats and cheeses, dumplings salad with “turtres” (local speciality, fried pastry filled with ricotta cheese and spinach or sauerkraut), apple strudel.
Ütia I Tablá: Appetizer based on speck, smoked salami, local cheeses and bread, BIO barley salad, Alto Adige natural yoghurt with blueberry compote, Alto Adige apple.
Ütia Pralongiá: Fresh goat cheese wrapped in speck on salad with a honey dressing, venison ham, stewed sauerkraut and “föies da soni” (fried potatoes pastry), local yoghurt with wild berries and crumble.
Ütia de Bioch: Speck, smoked salami, pickles, hard boiled egg, horseradish, apple, cheese, bread, barley soup and “turtres”, Linzer cake.
Ütia Jimmi: Fresh cheese with mountain herbs, walnuts, tomatoes preserved in oil and local salami, venison burger, rustic bread, sauerkraut salad with crunchy speck, mayonnaise with juniper aroma, local venison meat, hazelnut tart with wild berry jam.
Ütia Saraghes: Appetizer with mixed cold meats made by “Lüch da Ciampidel farm”, including speck and cold salami, mixed salad leaves with fresh local cheese, hard boiled eggs (from free range chickens from a local farm) and smoked ham with an aromatic herb dressing, homemade chocolate and hazelnut cake with red currant jam.
Ütia Lée: Summer salad with strips of beef, wrap with speck and Fodom-cheese, carrot cake.
Ütia Las Vegas: Mixed salad with Mozzarella cheese, Püccia bread with cutlet, Linzer cake.
Ütia Franz Kostner: Mixed appetizer of local products, “Piz da Lech” pasta salad, dessert of the mountaineer.
Ütia Boconara: Boconara appetizer with cold meats, own smoked salami, local cheeses, spelt salad, fruit salad or strudel.
Once you have finished your picnic, you can bring the baskets back to the hut, showing respect to the natural landscape by leaving the meadow as you found it. The baskets will be sanitised before being used again. Prices range from 20 to 28 Euro per person depending on the menu selection.
Ecco le malghe e i menu

Ütia Crëp de Munt: affettati e formaggi locali, insalata di gnocchi con “turtres” (specialità locale, pasta fritta ripiena di ricotta e spinaci o crauti), strudel di mele.
Ütia I Tablá: Antipasto a base di speck, salame affumicato, formaggi e pane locali, insalata di orzo BIO, yogurt naturale altoatesino con composta di mirtilli, mela altoatesina.
Ütia Pralongiá: formaggio di capra avvolto in speck su insalata con salsa di miele, prosciutto di cervo, crauti in umido e “föies da soni” (yogurt di patate fritte), yogurt locale con frutti di bosco e crumble.
Ütia de Bioch: Speck, salame affumicato, sottaceti, uovo sodo, rafano, mela, formaggio, pane, zuppa d’orzo e “turtres”, torta Linzer.
Ütia Jimmi: formaggio fresco con erbe di montagna, noci, pomodori conservati sott’olio e salame locale, hamburger di cervo, pane rustico, insalata di crauti con speck croccante, maionese con aroma di ginepro, carne di cervo locale, crostata di nocciole con marmellata di frutti di bosco.
Ütia Saraghes: Antipasto con salumi misti della “fattoria Lüch da Ciampidel”, tra cui speck e salame freddo, foglie di insalata mista con formaggio fresco locale, uova sode (da polli ruspanti di una fattoria locale) e prosciutto affumicato con aroma salsa alle erbe, torta fatta in casa al cioccolato e nocciole con marmellata di ribes rosso.
Ütia Lée: insalata estiva con strisce di manzo, impacco con speck e formaggio Fodom, torta di carote
Ütia Las Vegas: insalata mista con mozzarella, pane Püccia con cotoletta, torta Linzer.
Ütia Franz Kostner: antipasto misto di prodotti locali, insalata di pasta “Piz da Lech”, dessert dell’alpinista.
Ütia Boconara: antipasto di boconara con salumi, salame affumicato, formaggi locali, insalata di farro, macedonia o strudel.
Il prezzo di un cestino varia da 20 a 28 Euro a seconda del menu scelto

INFO
http://www.altabadia.org – Tel .: +39 0471 / 836176-847037 –
Email: info@altabadia.org

CESARE ZUCCA
Travel, food & lifestyle.
Milanese by birth, lives between NY, Milan and the rest of the world. Cesare photographs and narrates cities, cultures, lifestyles, top chefs, and discovers traditional and innovative gastronomic delights  to tell you everything here,
in his non-touristy style.

 

Secret Croatia: ISLANDS WITHOUT CAR

Walking barefoot in Secret Croatia
ISLANDS WITHOUT CARSUnije
– this small paradise is located in the shadow of the island five times larger, Losinj. Cars don’t circulate here because the narrow streets are narrow. The main means of transport is the wheelbarrow; however, a small airport is located on the island. The northern part of the island is of particular ecological importance as it is located on the route of migratory birds. It
is still known for its olives, at the time of the Roman Empire it was all an olive grove. Next to Unije are the islets Vele and Male Srakane. Even here there is no traffic, but there are many bees that attract biologists from all over the worl
https://www.visitlosinj.hr/it/unije.aspx?q=1–1-1-1

Susak –  a small island located in the northern Adriatic, known for its numerous sandy and shallow bays. There are no roads on the island, there are no cars, there are no disco noises; only kilometers of paths that connect the village to remote bays. During the day, small tractors with trailers circulate on the island, the noise of which can only be heard when the load is removed from the ship. A peculiarity is its popular dress, in fact this island, which has just a hundred inhabitants, has the shortest popular dress in Europe and the only one that does not cover the knees.
Silba – called “the door of Dalmatia”. This island is an oasis of peace: cars don’t circulate here too. This island of seafarers and sailors defended themselves from the machines with a decree approved by all the inhabitants. The best known attraction of the island is undoubtedly Toreta, the tower with an external spiral staircase. According to legend, in the 19th century Petar Marinic built it as a reminder of a love never forgotten.
http://www.tzsilba.hr/en/
Zlarin is an island near Šibenik. Zlarin is a car-free green island, a paradise for children, ideal for a relaxing holiday, for those who love taking walks and bathing in the crystal clear sea. All over the world it is known for its corals – here the jewels and coral objects are still worked in a traditional way since the fifteenth century, today remembered in a museum. From 2019 it is the first plastic free island of the Adriatic islands where the use of disposable plastic objects is prohibited.

Prvić – is a small island in the vicinity of Vodice. There are two typical Dalmatian fishing villages on the island: Prvić Luka and Šepurine, and they are connected to each other by a 1 km long road that can be traveled on foot or by bike as traffic is prohibited here.This island is the closest to Sibenik and the coast, so it is called Prvic “the first”. It is also called “the Island of Fausto”, according to Fausto Veranzio, the famous scientist and inventor of the seventeenth century who spent his childhood in Prvic Luka and was buried there.https://www.vodice.hr/it/vodice/isola-di-prvic

 

 

Lopud is located in the Dubrovnik region, it is a small island with a long maritime tradition, without cars and without roads. It represents an excellent alternative to mass tourism.The island boasts a long history, of which you can find evidence: remains of medieval churches, fortresses, summer houses and a splendid Franciscan monastery. The right place for relief from the heat is the Dordic-Mayner park, full of palm trees, pine trees and flowers. Lopud also boasts one of the most beautiful beaches, Šunj, through the thick and luxuriant vegetation.Koločep – the southernmost inhabited island of Croatia, located west of Dubrovnik is a true corner of paradise. There are no roads on the island; the only paved road is the one that connects two fishing villages – Gornje Čelo and Donje Čelo. It is wide for pedestrians, but not for cars.How to get there: with one of the daily ferries from the port of Gruz in Dubrovnik or with a taxi boat

For more information, visit the website https://croatia.hr/it-IT

CESARE ZUCCA
Travel, food & lifestyle.
Milanese by birth, she lives between New York, Milan and the rest of the world. He travels up and down America and allows himself to escape to Italy and Europe.
For WEEKEND PREMIUM he photographs and narrates cities, cultures, lifestyles and discovers traditional and innovative gastronomic delights. Meet and interview top chefs from all over the world, ‘steal’ their recipes and tell you everything here, in the ‘non-touristy’ style
‘nontouristytourist.com ’

AROUND THE WORLD ‘LUCKY CHARMS‘ PORTAFORTUNA

DI CESARE ZUCCA

Amuleti, simboli, talismani: in tutto il mondo esistono i portafortuna. Perché non programmare il nostro prossimo viaggio in uno di questi paesi, accompagnati dalla protezione del loro portafortuna ? Pronti per il giro del mondo? Ecco dove andare e cosa riportare dal viaggio.
Amulets, symbols, talismans: lucky charms exist all over the world. Why not plan our next trip to one of these countries, accompanied by the protection of their lucky charm? Ready for the world tour? Here’s where to go and what to bring back from the trip.

Che tu ci creda o no, le leggende sui poteri attribuiti a questi talismani hanno viaggiato attraverso mari e continenti, dai tempi più remoti, fino ad oggi. Ecco una mappa ‘fortunata’ alla ricerca del talismano (e della buona fortuna) che vorreste possedere.
Believe it or not, legends about the powers attributed to these talismans have traveled across seas and continents, from the earliest times, to the present day. Here is a ‘lucky’ map in search of the talisman (and good luck) you would like to own.

Squame di carpa, Polonia
La carpa è un pasto tradizionale di Natale. E’  un pesce saporito ed è  considerato un cibo portafortuna. La tradizione dice che dovreste tenere la carpa nuotare nella vasca da bagno fino al momento di essere cucinata, ma i polacchi moderni optano per carpe belle pronte da mangiare. Dopo averlo gustata, la gente recupera delle scaglie, le pulisce e le infila nel portafogli fino alla successiva vigilia di Natale.
Carp scales, Poland
Carp is a traditional Christmas meal. It is a tasty fish and is considered a lucky food. Tradition says that you should keep the carp swimming in the bath until it is cooked, but modern Poles opt for nice carp that are ready to eat. After enjoying it, people retrieve the flakes, clean them and put them in their wallets until the following Christmas Eve.


Cavallo Dala, Svezia
Statuetta giocattolo realizzata con gli scarti del legno, scolpiti per la prima volta centinaia di anni fa come passatempo. E’ simbolo di buona fortuna, portatore di forza e dignità. Souvenir di rigore per chi visita la Svezia.
Dala horse, Sweden
Toy figurine made from wood waste, carved for the first time hundreds of years ago as a pastime. It is a symbol of good luck, a bearer of strength and dignity. Penalty souvenirs for visitors to Sweden.

Elefante, India
Posizionato davanti alla porta di casa o all’ ingresso dei negozi procura forza, potenza, stabilità e saggezza. Ganesha, una delle divinità indù più conosciute, ha appunto la testa di un elefante.
Elephant, India
Positioned in front of the front door or at the entrance to the shops, it provides strength, power, stability and wisdom. Ganesha, one of the best known Hindu deities, has the head of an elephant.


Higa, Brasile
Un ciondolo che raffigura un pugno chiuso con il pollice che spunta tra l’indice e il medio, un ovvio riferimento alla vagina. Si dice che distragga gli spiriti maligni dai loro propositi perversi.
E’ uno degli amuleti più usati, lo potrete trovare in corallo, quarzo rosa, legno, marmo, cristallo e persino in plastica.
Higa, Brazil
A pendant that depicts a clenched fist with the thumb sticking out between the index and middle fingers, an obvious reference to the vagina. It is said to distract evil spirits from their perverse purposes.
It is one of the most used amulets, you can find it in coral, rose quartz, wood, marble, crystal and even plastic.

Acchiappasogni, USA
Una ragnatela di corda per intrappolare gli incubi. La leggenda narra che quando il sole sorge, i brutti sogni catturati nell’acchiappasogni si dissolvono, poiché non possono sopravvivere alla luce del giorno. I nativi americani Chippewa o Ojibwa hanno progettato questi talismani per proteggere i loro bambini.
Dream catcher, USA
A cobweb of rope to trap nightmares. Legend has it that when the sun rises, the bad dreams captured in the dreamcatcher dissolve, since they cannot survive the light of day. Chippewa or Ojibwa Native Americans designed these talismans to protect their children.

E se proprio non riuscite a dormire… puntate verso il Guatemala


Bambola preoccupata, Guatemala
Coloratissime bamboline realizzate a mano. Secondo la credenza, le persone che non riescono ad addormentarsi dovrebbero tenere vicino al letto una o più bamboline. Ci penseranno loro a scacciare le preoccupazioni e  garantire sogni d’oro.

And if you really can’t sleep … head for Guatemala
Worried doll, Guatemala
Colorful handmade dolls. According to the belief, people who cannot fall asleep should keep one or more dolls near the bed. They will take care of driving away worries and guaranteeing sweet dreams.


Hamsa, Israele
L’immagine di una mano che, oltre a proteggere dal malocchio, decora casa, spazi pubblici e ufficI. Questo ciondolo protegge dall’energia negativa e porta felicità. Può essere indossato con la mano rivolta verso l’alto o verso il basso. La parola “hamsa” fa riferimento al numero cinque in ebraico e si dice che simboleggi i cinque libri della Torah.
Hamsa, Israel
The image of a hand that, in addition to protecting from the evil eye, decorates the home, public spaces and offices. This pendant protects from negative energy and brings happiness. It can be worn with the hand facing up or down. The word “hamsa” refers to the number five in Hebrew and is said to symbolize the five books of the Torah.


Nazar, occhio del diavolo, Armenia, Romania, Albania, Afghanistan e Iran
Come l’Hamsa, il Nazar è pensato per proteggere dal malocchio. In genere è fatto a mano con vetro blu, bianco, azzurro e nero

Nazar, the devil’s eye, Armenia, Romania, Albania, Afghanistan and Iran
Like Hamsa, the Nazar is thought to protect against the evil eye. It is typically handmade with blue, white, light blue and black glass


Occhio di Allah, Turchia.
Amuleti a forma di occhi di vario colore. Appaiono un po’ dappertutto: nelle decorazioni per la casa, nei gioielli, e perfino nei tatuaggi. Secondo la tradizione, servirebbero a proteggere  dall’invidia e dal malocchio.
Eye of Allah, Turkey.
Amulets in the shape of eyes of various colors. They appear everywhere: in home decorations, in jewelry, and even in tattoos. According to tradition, they would serve to protect from envy and the evil eye.

Scarabeo, Egitto
Adorato dagli antichi Egizi, veniva considerato il simbolo della resurrezione, associato con il sorgere del sole e della continua rinascita dell’Egitto. Indossare o regalare un amuleto o un ciondolo che lo raffiguri significa ancora oggi proteggersi contro tutti i mali
Beetle, Egypt
Adored by the ancient Egyptians, it was considered the symbol of the resurrection, associated with the rising of the sun and the continuous rebirth of Egypt. Wearing or giving an amulet or pendant that depicts it still means protecting yourself against all evils.

Maneki Neko
Adorabili figure di gatti, spesso esposte agli ingressi dei negozi per portare fortuna ai loro proprietari. Variano per dimensioni, design e naturalmente prezzi.
Maneki Neko
Adorable cat figures, often displayed at shop entrances to bring luck to their owners. They vary in size, design and of course prices.


Tumi, Perù
Coltello della civiltà precolombiana che abitava la zona dell’attuale Perù. Può essere d’oro, d’argento o di bronzo e viene spesso appeso al muro, perché considerato portatore di buona fortuna. E’ il simbolo nazionale ed è utilizzato nella pubblicità turistica del paese.
Tumi, Peru
Knife of the pre-Columbian civilization that inhabited the area of ​​present-day Peru. It can be gold, silver or bronze and is often hung on the wall, because it is considered to be a bearer of good luck. It is the national symbol and is used in the country’s tourist advertising.


Maiale. Germania
Durante la fine del XIX e l’inizio del XX secolo il maiale era un popolare portafortuna in Francia, Inghilterra e Irlanda, così come in Germania e Austria, dove era – ed è tuttora – noto come Glücksschwein (“maiale di buona fortuna”). Sinonimo di prosperità, infatti durante il Medioevo, possedere dei maiali era segno di agiatezza, ancor oggi simboleggia prosperità, ricchezza e abbondanza, meglio se ben rimpinzato di monete…
Pig. Germany
During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the pig was a popular lucky charm in France, England and Ireland, as well as in Germany and Austria, where it was – and still is – known as Glücksschwein (“good luck pig”) . Synonymous with prosperity, in fact during the Middle Ages, owning pigs was a sign of comfort, even today it symbolizes prosperity, wealth and abundance, better if well stuffed with coins …


Ghiande. Inghilterra
Secondo un’antica leggenda, nonostante le querce attraggano i fulmini, gli alberi che producono ghiande sono innocui, essendo stati risparmiati dal dio Thor, il creatore lampi e tuoni. Da millenni si dice che le ghiande proteggano da malattie e dolori o che accelerino il processo di guarigione.
Acorns. England
According to an ancient legend, although oaks attract lightning, the trees that produce acorns are harmless, having been spared by the god Thor, the creator of lightning and thunder. For millennia, acorns have been said to protect against disease and pain or to speed up the healing process.


Gris-gris, Ghana
Nato in Ghana, è emigrato nel Nord America e in Louisiana.  Pare che sia in grado di scongiurare il male e procurare la buona sorte. Avrebbe molti poteri, come attirare l’amore, far concludere affari, avere buona salute e perfino far smettere di spettegolare. Da raccomandare ai tipi troppo gossip.
Gris-gris, Ghana
Born in Ghana, he emigrated to North America and Louisiana. It seems that it is capable of warding off evil and bringing good luck. He would have many powers, such as attracting love, making deals, having good health and even making gossip stop. To recommend to types too gossip.

Zampa di coniglio, USA
Molti lo tengono appeso al portachiavi. Tra i presunti seguaci di questo amuleto, vengono citati l’attrice Sarah Jessica Parker e il presidente Franklin Delano Roosevelt.  La credenza dice che procuri non solo buona fortuna, ma sia anche in grado di aumentare la fertilità.
Rabbit paw, USA
Many keep it hanging on the key ring. Among the alleged followers of this amulet, actress Sarah Jessica Parker and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt are mentioned. The belief says that it not only brings good luck, but also increases fertility.

Ferro di cavallo
Portafortuna storico: dall”arte islamica e dall’iconografia egiziana fino alle moderne abitudini degli Americani. Si dice che un ferro di cavallo appeso sulla porta (rigorosamente con le punte verso il basso) tenga lontane le forze negative e riversi buona fortuna su tutti coloro che entrano in casa.
Horseshoe
Historical lucky charm: from Islamic art and Egyptian iconography to modern American customs. A horseshoe hanging on the door (strictly with the points downwards) is said to keep negative forces away and pour good luck on everyone who enters the house.

 

Buddha che ride, Tailandia
Sebbene il Buddha ridente possa essere trovato in culture di tutto il mondo, è prevalentemente presente in Tailandia e India. Simboleggia la felicità e l’abbondanza perché il Buddha che ride non è mai infelice. Ma attenzione, sarete fortunati solo se ogni giorno gli accarezzete dolcemente lo stomaco, con  un atteggiamento positivo. Niente solletico, altrimenti…
Buddha laughing, Thailand
Although the laughing Buddha can be found in cultures around the world, it is predominantly present in Thailand and India. It symbolizes happiness and abundance because the laughing Buddha is never unhappy. But be careful, you will be lucky only if you gently caress his stomach every day, with a positive attitude. No tickling, otherwise …

Dente di alligatore
Per chi gioca d’azzardo o lavora nel settore finanziario o si cimenta in sport estremi. Spesso appeso al collo di qualche surfista americano o australiano che, oltre alla bravura, deve avere un pizzico di fortuna. un po’ hippie, un po’ anni ’70, perfetto per un look vintage.
Alligator tooth
For those who gamble or work in the financial sector or try their hand at extreme sports. Often hanging on the neck of some American or Australian surfer who, in addition to the skill, must have a bit of luck. a little hippie, a bit 70s, perfect for a vintage look.

E IN ITALIA ? ….

Cornicello, Napoli
Si dice che già nel 3500 A.C. si appendessero corna di animali fuori dalla porta, come augurio di benessere, fertilità e matrimonio felice. Col passare del tempo, il corno iniziò ad essere lavorato a mano, modellato con la silhouette di un peperoncino e dipinto di rosso. Il cornetto è diventato un portafotuna in tutto il mondo, ma, inutile dirlo, quello’verace’ lo troverete a Napoli, magari in una delle tante bancarelle del vivace quartiere Spaccanapoli.

What about Italy?
Cornicello, Naples
It is said that as early as 3500 B.C. animal horns hung outside the door as a wish for well-being, fertility and a happy marriage. Over time, the horn began to be worked by hand, modeled with the silhouette of a chilli pepper and painted red. The croissant has become a photo frame all over the world, but, needless to say, the ‘true’ one will be found in Naples, perhaps in one of the many stalls in the lively Spaccanapoli district.


Toro, Milano
Nel cuore della città vi aspetta la meravigliosa Galleria in Piazza Duomo, con i suoi negozi superlusso. Ma arrivati nel centro, guardate in basso e troverete un toro mosaicato che, poverino, ha i testicoli un po’ malconci… E’ infatti un classico portafortuna posare il calcagno (destro, mi raccomando…) e fare almeno un giro completo, magari immortalato da un video selfie….
Toro, Milan
In the heart of the city, the wonderful Galleria in Piazza Duomo awaits you, with its super-luxury shops. But arrived in the center, look down and you will find a mosaic bull that, poor fellow, has a little battered testicles … It is in fact a classic lucky charm to put down the heel (right, I recommend …) and make at least one complete turn, perhaps immortalized from a selfie video….

Delfino, Roma
Si dice che anticamente, i marinai romani che trascorrevano molti mesi in mare, fossero informati dall’apparire dei delfini che la terra e le proprie abitazioni fossero vicine. Magnificamente rappresentato in affreschi, mosaici e monete, il delfino era ed è ritenuto un simbolo di protezione e un messaggio di pace. Indossare un ciondolo con il delfino significa simbolicamene che state percorrendo il percorso giusto.
Delfino, Rome
In ancient times, Roman sailors who spent many months at sea were said to have been informed by the appearance of dolphins that the land and their homes were close. Magnificently represented in frescoes, mosaics and coins, the dolphin was and is considered a symbol of protection and a message of peace. Wearing a pendant with the dolphin symbolically means that you are following the right path.

Quadrifoglio, Irlanda e …Dolomiti
Una leggenda cristiana afferma che Eva prese con sé un quadrifoglio dopo essere stata bandita dal Paradiso, proprio per non dimenticare la bellezza del luogo che stava lasciando.
Già nel 1620 la letturatura celtica parla di questo rarissimo talismano (pare ce ne sia 1 su 10.000) reputato messaggero di 4 “fortune”, una per ogni foglia: rispetto, abbondanza, amore, salute.
Four-leaf clover, Ireland and … Dolomites
A Christian legend states that Eve took a four-leaf clover with her after being banished from Paradise, just to not forget the beauty of the place she was leaving.
Already in 1620 the Celtic reading speaks of this very rare talisman (it seems there is 1 in 10,000) considered messenger of 4 “fortunes”, one for each leaf: respect, abundance, love, health.


E’ un iconico simbolo irlandese, ma p
erchè l’ho collocato anche tra le verdi vallate dominate dalle Dolomiti? Semplice, perchè ogni anno amo passare qualche giornata in quelle zone e regolarmente, dico regolarmento, trovo un quadrifoglio…   Fortuna? Casualità? Chissà …
Mi ha portato fortuna?…
Dei talismani non c’è dato di rivelare gli effetti…perderebbero i loro poteri.
It is an iconic Irish symbol, but why did I also place it among the green valleys dominated by the Dolomites? Simple, because every year I love to spend a few days in those areas and regularly, I say regularly, I find a four-leaf clover … Luck? Randomness? Who knows …

Did it bring me luck? …
Talismans are not given to reveal the effects … they would lose their powers.

CESARE ZUCCA
Travel, food & lifestyle.
Milanese by birth, she lives between New York, Milan and the rest of the world. He travels up and down America and allows himself to escape to Italy and Europe.
For WEEKEND PREMIUM he photographs and narrates cities, cultures, lifestyles and discovers traditional and innovative gastronomic delights. Meet and interview top chefs from all over the world, ‘steal’ their recipes and tell you everything here, in the ‘non-touristy’ style
‘nontouristytourist.com ’

 

 

MILAN KEEPS ON COOKING!

A special apron bearing the words “MILAN KEEPS ON COOKING” to send a positive message to Milan, Italy and the whole world in a moment of immobility and general concern that threatens to deal a blow to everything the catering sector. The idea came to the team of the agency Alessia Rizzetto PR & Communication, specialized in the food & beverage sector “Milan, says Alessia, the dynamic, creative and productive city par excellence, will not stop, rather will continue to” cook “dishes, ideas and opportunities , although the Covid-19 epidemic forced us to change our lifestyle for the moment.
We therefore lend ourselves as a sounding board to a message of optimism that starts from the Milanese chefs and that we hope will reach the public and institutions,
“The goal, continues Alessia, is to relaunch the attractiveness of the made in Italy gastronomy on a national and international scale, of which Milan is one of the undisputed strongholds, without neglecting the precautionary measures imposed by the serious ongoing health emergency.
There are already more than 30 chefs, pizza chefs, pastry chefs and catering entrepreneurs – in alphabetical order, Mattia Accarino, Marco Ambrosino, Enrico Bartolini, Andrea Berton, Cesare Battisti, Eugenio Boer, Fabrizio Borraccino, Daniel Canzian, Nicola Cavallaro, Roberto Di Pinto , Gianluca Fusto, Antonio Guida, Ernst Knam, Filippo La Mantia, Martina Miccione, Davide Oldani,
Mathias Perdomo, Wicky Priyan, Eugenio Roncoroni, Laura Santosuosso, Lorenzo Sirabella, Luigi Taglienti, Matteo Torretta, Viviana Varese, Simone Zanon, Andrea Zazzara
– to have joined the awareness campaign by taking the front line for the recovery of Milan. They were symbolically given an apron to wear and then take a photo to be published on their social networks together with a message using the hashtag #milanokeepsoncooking
In the next few days, moreover, the chefs involved in the initiative will be asked to create video recipes that can be easily replicated at home,  Stay tuned for more info….

MILAN, A SURPRISING RAINBOW QUARTER

 

Text and photos
by Rossana Beccari

 

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

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

 

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

Milan, via Abramo Lincoln and adjacent via Franklin.

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    by Cesare Zucca

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

     

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

     

     

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

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

     

    GRAND HOTEL TOPLICE, JULIJANA RESTAURANT IN BLED, SLOVENIA

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

     

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

     

     

     

     

     

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

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

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

                                      GRANDE CUISINE BY THE LAKE
    This historic landmark now called the Grand Hotel Toplice, operated by the Sava hotel and resort group, has managed to preserve the relics of the past with grand salons adorned with memorabilia pictures and bring all the comfort of modernity at the same time.This delicate balance between past was brilliantly reflected in the cuisine of the executive chef Simon Bertoncelj and the whole crew under him. Having dinner at the gastronomic Julijana Restaurant, especially if the weather allows to eat al fresco facing the lake is a moment of bliss: the quality of service, attention to detail and classic decor evoke a certain respect of classical elegance. This doesn’t constrain the cuisine to old classics, and the chef’s creativity and modern techniques seem to find their place very naturally in this elegant environment.

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

     

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

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

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

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

    Contact

    Cesta svobode 12, 4260 Bled, Slovenija

    Reception

    +386 4 579 10 00

    Reservations

    +386 4 579 16 00

     

     

    Hotel Hellsten, Stockholm. Memories of an exotic journey

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

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

     

     

     

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

     

     

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

     

    My room had a cosy little terrace.

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

     

     

     

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

     

    Industrial or design? A posh stay in Hamburg

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

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

     

     

     

     

     

     

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

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

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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

     

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

    Here info
    Hotel Gastwerk
    The George,
    Fortune Hotels Group.

    Two memorable days in Pula

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

     

     

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


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

     

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

     

     

     

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

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

     

     

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

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

    Text and photos by Philip Sinsheimer

     

    HACIENDA CHICHEN RESORT AND YAXKIN SPA 

     

    http://www.haciendachichen.com

    Tel: +52 999 920 8407

     

     

     

    A ‘HYGGE’SUMMER IN COPENHAGEN

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

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


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

     

     

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

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

     

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

     

     

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

     

     

     

     

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

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

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

     

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

     

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

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

     

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

     

     

     

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

     

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

     

     

     

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

     

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

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

    Novotel Hamburg City Alster Hotel
    4-star hotel in the modern rooms and suites with a desk and free WIFI
    Central location and U-Bahn station on our doorstep make the Novotel Hamburg City Alster hotel the ideal base in Hamburg. 5-minutes away from Alster-Schwimmhalle and within 20 minutes of English Theatre Of Hamburg. Highlights at this hotel include in-room free WiFi, free high-speed Internet, and LCD TVs. All 210 soundproofed rooms feature sofa beds, satellite TV, and separate bathtubs and showers. You’ll find nice touches like soaking tubs and free toiletries to enhance your stay. Coffee/tea makers, free newspapers, and safes are also available. Enjoy the fitness centre, Turkish bath/hammam, and sauna. Business amenities include a meeting room and a business centre. Added amenities include free WiFi in public areas and laundry facilities. Each morning excellent buffet breakfast is served between 6:30 AM and 10:30 AM. Sights within a 20-minute walk of this 4-star Hamburg-Nord hotel include Museum of Arts and Crafts Hamburg and Mundsburg Center. Enjoy the comfort of the sauna and the video games area. Rooms are spacious and bright, Super comfy bed…I slept like a baby!
    Dining in is an option with room service, and minibars provide refreshments. I had a great lunch at the hotel stylish restaurant Novo2, and a nice chat with the executive Chef, who told me that his menu focuses on seasonal products and evergreen tasty meat. and suggested a juicy and tender La Maracho Rump Steak with sauteed vegetables  and … a silver swan (just for decoration…) Novo2 is an innovative combination of a bar lounge , that offers delicious seasonal dishes and light snacks are served from 6.30am to 9.30pm. A cool spot where where you can have a nice glass of wine, like i did!
    INFO

     

     

    Luebecker Strasse 3

    22087 HAMBURG

    Germany

    HafenCity. It is the new futuristic district of Hamburg, area of ​​creatives and artists,
    To get there they have specially built the metropolitan U4 line. in 3 stops from the center you have already arrived. Here you can breathe fresh air, the spaces are open and many Hamburgers get away from work to go for a drink or a snack.

     

    I stayed at the brand new 25 Hours HafenCity Hotel where I had a great time. I felt like a sailor, the rooms look like a ship’s cabins, with prosperous painted models on the bathroom walls.

     

    Here atmosphere is easy and relaxed , The motto says  COME AS YOU ARE! There is also free access to a spectacular spa in stones and wood. In the morning a rich buffet breakfast is set up, there you can find everything, including rote gruetze, my beloved raspberry, blueberry and cherry sauce served on lean yogurt. Yummy!

     

     

     

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

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

     

     

    Red lights …
    night and day!

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

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

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

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

     

     

     

    Then it comes the time for…
    beauty and relaxation.

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

     

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

     

     

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

     

     

     

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


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

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

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

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

     

     

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

     

     

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

     

     

     

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

     


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

     

     

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

    I also loved

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

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     
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HOTELS REVIEWS BY CESARE ZUCCA

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Looking for an historical, alive, welcoming destination?
The answer is Greece
Looking for a Greek Island historical, alive and welcoming?
The answer is Corfù
Looking for an amazing accommodation where indulge your Corfù vacation?
The answer is the Angsana Resort Corfù, the newest, incomparable addition to the Island.

the Angsana Corfù swimmimg pool

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Be enchanted by the wonderful landscape of Umbria, in my opinion one of the most beautiful regions of the Peninsula. Perugia is awakening from the forced torpor of the lockdown: many accommodation facilities of all kinds, many museums, restaurants and trattorias, have reopened and tourists, especially Italians and Europeans, have returned to enjoy the beauty of this city.


Among the hotels, the 4-star Sangallo Palace stands out for its quality-price ratio, service and location, being strategically located right next to the escalator that will first take you to the magical Rocca Paolina, the imposing fortress built by Pope Paul III.

La Rocca Paolina. Get lost in a labyrinth of underground rooms of extraordinary beauty

In the Sangallo Restaurant, I meet with Chef Kamrul Islam, born in Bangladesh and living in Italy for more than 30 years.

Chef Kamrul Islam

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WHERE TO STAY

Let’s discover more ‘niche’ accommodations.
Corte di Gabriela
In the small Calle degli Avvocati a very accurate residence awaits you where the inspiration of the owner / chef will reserve you a perfect welcome, starting with the linen, served in rustic paper bags, to the silky sheets.

Modern design, small breakfast strictly home cooked, exquisite and served in a delightful garden. Here and there vintage photos with past festival stars, Paul Newman, Claudia Cardinale, Jane Fonda…

EGO’ 
Literally next to the Rialto Bridge, a 4-star luxury boutique hotel that tells the story of Marco Polo and the Silk Road. It will be the very kind Ekaterina to welcome you and tell you how each room recalls an episode of her journey, while here and there historical hints about the life of the great conqueror pop up.

For a special night, a soecial room, a round bed, a jacuzzi decorated with gold, moon and sun and when you wake up a rich breakfast served in your room or in the sitting room overlooking the Grand Canal.

Naples, Santa Chiara Boutique Hotel
A jewel into a jewel ! Un gioiello nel gioiello.

I am in Spaccanapoli, a pulsating artery of social life in the historic center, at number 23 of Via Benedetto Croce, Palazzo Tufarelli, a historic 17th century residence that welcomes me with a magical and evocative courtyard, awaits me. From the arches, images, film scenes, noises, the voices of the ladies and the whisperings of nobles come to mind. I slip into the lift with a vintage coin mechanism (yes, to get on or off you put a coin!) Today out of use, but suggestive . Benvenuti al Santa Chiara Boutique Hotel  a jewel of hospitality, art and history that was born in the womb of Naples, from which it inherits hospitality and passion.

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HAMBURG

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PALAIS HANSEN KEMPINSKI, Vienna
published on Zester Daily

KEMPINSKI, Vilnius
published on Traveller/Vanity Fair

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LONDRA
Dove alloggiare
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!see full article

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LOOKING FOR ‘A ROOM WITH A VIEW’?
HERE 7 SPECTACULAR DESTINATIONS

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Budapest ONE December 13 pag 1,2,3budapest-onebudapest-traveller-finny-new-hotels-draggedBOUTIQUE HOTEL CASA ANGELINA,  AMALFI COAST
by Cesare Zucca
A contemporary interpretation of the Italian Riviera; an innovative, intimate retreat of 43 guestrooms. Although just a few minutes’ drive from the destination village of Positano, Casa Angelina’s fishing village location immerses guests in an off-the-radar authenticity that occupies a prime spot on the Amalfi coast.Resting high up on the cliffs, the converted fishermen’s homes look to the future with an immaculately minimalist design complimented by exquisite Murano glass sculptures. Screen Shot 2016-06-14 at 12.54.28Aperitivi are served at the on-trend Marrakech Bar, and the rooftop gourmet restaurant—Un Piano nel Cielo—offers sweeping views of the Gulf of Salerno. Guests are also encouraged to make use of the restorative spa and exclusive access to Casa Angelina´s own beach, La Gavitella, to fully appreciate la bella vita. Screen Shot 2016-06-14 at 12.54.33INFO
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LA TORRETTA, CINQUE TERRE
At the gentle yet accurate reception, you ‘ll find a bottle of Italian prosecco and Cuban rum
to welcome you in one of the ten gorgeous sunny rooms that harmoniously mix a combination of antique and contemporary pieces.

SAM_3185 copyMost 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.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

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

Three ‘Nobel’ days in Oslo?
Stay at the Grand Hotel
by Cesare Zucca

The Nobel Peace Prize 2014 has been awarded  to Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai and Indian children right’s campaigner Kailash Satyarthi.
900x506Malala rose to fame after Taliban militants shot her at close range in the head for speaking out against the Islamic extremists and demanding education for girls.
Satyarthi has headed various forms of protests and demonstrations, all peaceful, focusing on the exploitation of children for financial gain.
Nobel Committee chairman Thorbjorn Jagland said the joint prize was symbolic because it was important for “a Hindu and a Muslim, an Indian and a Pakistani, to join in a common struggle for education and against extremism.
Highlights of the 3 days event include:
Save the Children’s Peace Prize Party [in Norwegian] outside the Nobel Peace Center.
Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony in Oslo City Hall.
Torchlight parade and The Nobel Banquet at the Grand Hotel
_DSC7796Oslo 9,10,11 of December 2014
Great time to visit Oslo, celebrate PEACE, enjoy the magnificent Grand Hotel a superb symbol of a first-class hospitality with tradition, atmosphere and style
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3 HOTELS ROOF TOPS you don’t want to miss
by Cesare Zucca

Let’s go straight to the point.
You want service, design, comfort and an amazing view.

Witt Istanbul Hotel, Turkey

Witt Istanbul Hotel, Turkey Just opened this summer in the neighborhood of Cihangir, the Rooftop Permaculture Garden, designed by Aybike Zengin and Deniz Ucok, caps off the timeless luxury of the18-room Witt Istanbul Hotel. A lofty place to relax, cozy sitting areas are ensconced by lush greenery and infused by the aromatics of flowers and edible herbs. Created with the recognition that societies far-and-wide face joint challenges of food security and climate change, this garden is a sustainable agriculture model of community-involved vermicomposting and micro-green cultivation practices. Take in a moment of urban escapism along with views of Turkey’s Bosphorus, Topkapi Palace, and Galata Tower.

Grand Hotel Central, Barcelona, Spain

Grand Hotel Central, Barcelona, SpainlWith its panoramic rooftop deck, the 147-room Grand Hotel Central offers a discreet and luxurious hideaway high above Barcelona’s fashionable El Born district. Unobstructed city skyline views extend beyond the infinity pool, best taken in from the poolside perch of the floor level sunbeds. Dine on gourmet dishes of beef carpaccio and chilled gazpacho at the soaring Skybar. Post dinner drinks are paired with classic cocktails, DJ-curated beats and the local flair for which Barcelona is renowned. www.designhotels.com/grand-hotel-central

THE THIEF, Oslo, Norway

THE THIEF, Oslo, Norway As Oslo’s first waterfront hotel, THE THIEF and its 116 rooms overlook the canals of Tjuvholmen and Oslofjord. A 360-degree panoramic view from the rooftop terrace is the hotel’s crowning highlight. Rub shoulders with the hip Oslovian set at the weekly rooftop-bar sessions where intimate performances range from chilled-out acoustic sets to up-tempo DJ electronica. THE THIEF BAR also hosts the year-round THIEF MUSIC UNPLUGGED showcase, presenting the works of today’s musicians, and introducing the stars of tomorrow. From sipping sundowners during the summer months to seeing in the New Year in THE THIEF’s inimitable style, the rooftop remains Oslo’s hottest spot whatever the weather. www.designhotels.com/the-thief

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Discovering beautiful Poland
POZNAN
by Cesare Zucca

Article Breslavia and Poznan Page2 PoznanVISITING MEXICO CITY?
CHECK THIS HABITA HOTEL!
by Cesare Zucca
TUCKED BETWEEN HISTORIC FACADES ON A TREE-LINED ROAD IN MEXICO CITY’S TRENDY CONDESA NEIGHBORHOOD,
THE HOTEL CONDESA DF FUSES THE SPIRIT OF ITS BOHEMIAN SURROUNDINGS WITH A PLAYFULLY SIMPLE AESTHETIC DESIGN.
HOUSED IN A 1928 BUILDING IN THE FRENCH NEOCLASSICAL STYLE
www.condesadf.comScreen shot 2016-01-15 at 7.58.20 AM

 

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

TEXT AND PHOTOS BY CESARE ZUCCA

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

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