Valle dei Cavalieri, please ADOPT ME…

 

 

 

 

Today I take you to Succiso, a small village of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines that has attracted Japanese, American, Swiss, Burmese, Canadian and Korean researchers who aim to climb the hairpin bends immersed in the nature of Emilia Romagna. I discovered the COOP VALLE DEI CAVALIERI  that runs a bar, a grocery store with locals products, the visit center of the Park, an efficient restaurant, with annexed six rooms with bathroom, and ultimately also a center well-being, extra service both for guests and for occasional tourists and hikers. The farm also offers hospitality, genuine homemade food, locally produced sheep cheese, and porcini mushrooms. The restaurant offers “Menu Kilometro 0″, guaranteeing quality and freshness and recovering and enhancing the agro-food and gastronomic heritage of the National Park. The Park project aims to encourage local and traditional agro-food supply chains, bring producers and consumers closer together, and encourage forms of tourism related to the excellence of the territory.
The products of our farm range from lamb to castrato, from Pecorino cheese to cured meats, from homemade tortelli to pizza bread and homemade desserts.
Main agricultural activity of the Cooperative which consists in breeding of Sardinian sheep. E ‘started with about 20 items bought at the time by a Sardinian shepherd who moved to the lower Reggiana and currently has 200 heads of which 160 milking; the breeding is of sedentary type and mainly dedicated to the production of milk. With the 200 garments currently present in the company, the Cooperative produces in the mini-owned dairy about 50 quintals of “Pecorino dell’Appennino Reggiano” cheese according to a certified specification.
In order to reach this number of garments, genetic selection has been neglected over the years. Today it is indispensable to have a minimum milk production from each garment so that the economic return is balanced and we can continue with this difficult (at least for the areas in question) activities. Therefore, a “restructuring” of the flock is essential. What is the goal to achieve? to purchase a ram of genetic improver for the new breed of Sardinian breed and 20 “Lacoune” sheep with a ram.With your free offer, you can contribute to achieve this important goal and support this Community Cooperative which is a virtuous example of how the responses of the community, also supported by local authorities, create services and overcome inefficiencies, generating economic and employment value not negligible within the same community.
So …. adopt a sheep!
Here info
http://www.valledeicavalieri.it/

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VENICE. THE HANDS OF THE SPLENDID CA’ SAGREDO

                                                                               Buongiorno Cesare, sorry I literally have 5 minutes, i got to run to Mestre to sign the extension of showing ‘Support’.

They accepted our proposal, therefore Lorenzo’s sculpture is going to stay, It’s a victory!”

 

 

I am in Venice and I am meeting the flamboyant Lorenza Lain, general Manager of Hotel Ca’Sagredo,
The sculpture she is referring to is the amazing (and controversial) ‘Support’  an artwork by Lorenzo Quinn, an Artist known to sculpture body parts, and especially hands. as these two giant hands rising from the waters of the Grand Canal ideally aiming to protect the façade of Ca’ Sagredo, one of Venice’s most beautiful and iconic buildings that risks sinking due to a changing climate. At the same time, however, they could destroy it and let the city sink at any moment, because “A hand could hold so much power, said Quin, the power to love, to hate, to create, to destroy. “Venice is a city of floating art that has inspired cultures for centuries, said Quinn, but in order to continue to be like this, it needs the support of our generation and the future ones, because it is threatened by climate change and the decay caused by time”.Inaugurated on May, the sculpture was supposed to remain there until November., but thanks to the combative pressure of Lorenza and her team, it is still standing and it will stay longer.
The sculpture created a controversy: are the hands symbolically saving Venice from the threats linked to climate change or may be interpreted as instruments capable of destroying the city ? I walked on the small streets of the city and asked few locals (wasn’t easy to find some real ones, they were mostly tourists…) I got different answers:
The younger guys see the art as a positive message:.”Sure  those hands are protecting our city” “Can’t you see? Venice is sinking, needs a support, I wish the hands would stay forever and I hope to see more of them to protect other buildings” Someone, more cynically  went like “Nah, to me is the symbol of the invasion of too many tourist getting their hands on Venice and trying to steal its beauty”  Finally an older lady told me ” C’mon the hands are innocent! those are baby’s hands!
I guess she is right, the hands are the ones of a boy, as the model was Lorenzo’s son Anthony who is eleven years old.
Ca’ Sagreto benefitted of a huge amount of pics, videos and selfies, stimulating the curiosity to visit and stay in the hotel . I did, I spend a great night in one of the room , facing the canal. I was happy right from my arrival, welcomed by an
enchanting lobby and a high-level reception where you can find all the information you need to be guided to discover the magic of Venice. My room was charming, with Venetian glass lamps, white marble bathroom, comfy bed, a private little terrace and a complimentary tempting selection of chocolates and truffles.

In the morning I took a tour of the venue, excited to discovered the magnificent palazzo, which is the only Museum-Hotel of the City. The venue is a meticulously renovated 15th-century palace, with its lavish pink façade, between Ca’ d’Oro and the Rialto Bridge on the spectacular Grand Canal. I took me time to discover the extraordinary artworks throughout the palazzo.It is a real gem, half hotel, half museum with important works of art by 17th and 18th-century artists Sebastiano Ricci, Niccolò Bambini, Pietro Longhi and a beautiful Giambattista Tiepolo‘s canvas dated circa 1740. From every room and Suite you can admire the beauty of the lagoon city, the passage of Venetian gondolas and the roofs of romantic Venice. All accommodations have the most modern comforts from A/C to Wi-Fi. The rooms and suites are ideal both for a romantic visit to Venice and for a family to discover the Arts and Cultures of Venice.

 

 

 

 

 

The breakfast was essential, but made with fresh and quality food, and served in the amazing Sala del Doge, where the ceiling holds a painting by Nicolò Bambini, depicting a glorious god Apollo from which the other characters try to find shelter.Unfortunately I had no time Ca’ Sagredo’s restaurant  L’Alcova with its splendid panoramic terrace on the Canal Grande, featuring Chef Damiano Bassano who has worked in Paris, Strasbourg, Spain, USA and Spain in the three-star Michelin-starred restaurant Ferran Adrià, in Catalonia.
Damiano’s kitchen is a laboratory of traditional Italian flavors combined with unique touches are the distinctive elements of its cuisine, such as “Marsala scented tuna medallions” and t”Carnaroli risotto with prawns, burrata and almonds
I will definitely go back to Ca’ Sagredo and try his dishes,
and please…keep those ‘hands’ on!                           Ca’ Sagredo
is one of the  Small Luxury Hotels on the World.

 

WORLD BEST HOTELS

THE HISTORY
The hotel was established by the Sarkies Brothers, in 1887 and named after Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, the founder of Singapore. The property, which had only ten bungalow rooms, built immediately its reputation for high standards in services and accommodations becoming the most fabled hotel in the Far East and a must destination for royalties, celebrities and wealthy clientele, all pictures in an impressive hall of fame. Legends as Charlie Chaplin, Maurice Chevalier, Jean Harlow, Noel Coward. Hollywood royalties as Ava Gardner and Elizabeth Taylor.

 HM Queen Elizabeth II and HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh,
in 2012 the Duke and Duchesse of Cambridge, just to mention few.                There is no lack of anecdotes: Somerset Maugham, who visited several times and worked all mornings under a frangipani tree in the Palm Court, apparently wrote the gossip and scandal he overheard at Raffles dinner parties into his short stories.

 

 

 

 

 

For more than a  century, Raffles Singapore has offered luxurious all-suite accommodations, where the original style is perfectly preserved, giving a mesmerizing blend of luxury, history and classic colonial design. Within its walls are more than a hundred expansive suites, framed by polished teak verandas and white marble colonnades, clustered around lush tropical gardens. Each is serviced by the legendary Raffles Butlers and offers every modern convenience necessary.
MY STAY
The enchantment started from the very beginning, right when I approached the entrance and I was welcomed by the smiling doorman elegantly dressed with an immaculate 

crisp white Gieves and Hawkes military uniform decorated with a black satin sash and gold braid, I could clearly imagine reliving the era of sovereign hospitality in the early days.

My Butler Jeff, was waiting for me in the Suite 117, one of the historical bungalow-room. It felt like a furnished apartment with high ceilings that I had already lived in, not a room that I was staying for the first time. I stepped through the door into a small ante-room, decorated with botanical prints.

To the right was a round breakfast table with an orchid and a welcome fruit bowl on it, not to mention the delicious kaya truffles.

A Nespresso machine was on the counter next to a selection of alcoholic drinks including the iconic 1915 Raffles Gin. Giant yellow tied-back curtains partitioned the ante-room from the huge bedroom with its two-post bed, chaise long, suit stand, writers table and giant armoire wardrobe. And beyond there was the timeless green marbled bathroom with two rooms; one with basin and Raffles amenities. the other with toilet, shower, giant bath tub and ceramic elephant pot holders

In the morning, I enjoyed a sumptuous breakfast that included very traditional recipes such as prata (fried flatbread cooked over a flat grill. served with a vegetable and meat-based curry), nasi lemak (fragrant rice dish cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaf) and chicken fluffy char sue pau, the most famous classic Cantonese dim sum..

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In the afternoon I took a tour of the venue. There were signature restaurants and bars since the 1900s, Long Bar, where visitors and guests will be welcomed to continue the tradition of throwing peanuts on the floor as they sip on a chilled glass of hand-shaken Singapore Sling. Then I stopped by at the Tiffin Room, A part of Raffles’ history since 1892, and serving up delectable North Indian cuisine. This beautiful space is also known for its signature High Tea, served with a tempting selection of cakes filled with banana, strawberry and carrot compote, and delicious cherry madeleines (I loved them…)
The tea is open to public, upon reservation.THE NEW RAFFLES
Raffles is now going under a careful and sensitive renovation supported by award-winning interior designer Alexandra Champalimaud. The reopening is scheduled for the second half of 2018. The restoration will update its distinctive suites with new amenities and technology while maintaining the sense of space and colonial ambience. Raffles Singapore will have 115 suites, some named after local cinemas during the early to mid-1900s, as the famous Alhambra, Diamond Marlborough, Odeon and Theatre Royal. The venue will boast new events spaces, including a majestic 300-guest ballroom, named Jubilee Ballroom as a tribute to the Jubilee Theatre, originally a cinema in the 1930s at the same location. Elegantly sophisticated in hues of cream and gold, complimented with an air-conditioned pre-event foyer, the new space will be the ideal venue for weddings and social galas. Once reopened, the Raffles Arcade will showcase social spaces and a variety of lifestyle experiences. This includes a refreshed Raffles Gift Shop that will house a History Gallery to illustrate the heritage of Raffles Singapore. The Arcade will also be home to a brand-new Raffles Spa, a holistic sanctuary for hotel residents and the community to escape the bustle of the city. Writers Bar will be expanded to a full bar and be the place for bespoke cocktails, discreet elegance and intimate conversations. All event spaces will also have striking lighting elements and the latest audio-visual technology, to be relevant for today’s social galas and events.
A TRIBUTE TO THE GRAND DAMES
One new Promenade Suite will be named after Lady Mountbatten Countess of Burma  and wife of Lord Louis Mountbatten who was the Earl of Burma, last Viceroy of India and also Southeast Asia’s Supreme Allied Commander during the Second World War. In September 1945, Lord Mountbatten was in Singapore to witness the surrender of the Japanese Forces.The other will be dedicated to Lady Sophia, wife of Sir Stamford Raffles, the founder of Modern Singapore, and for whom Raffles Hotel Singapore is named after.

 

 

For more info Raffles Singapore

HUA HIN THAILAND, GOOD WINE IN THE TROPICS???

HUA HIN HILLS VINEYARD PROVES IT’S NOT A JOKE…AND WORTH A VISIT!
by Philip Sinsheimer
Photo: Cesare Zucca, Philip Sinsheimer

It’s harvest season and 2017 appears as a challenging vintage in Europe (“a catastrophy” in Italy according to our host Cesare Zucca). Climate has always been a nail-biting stress factor in wine production and the recent warming observations are not helping… Well, not helping everybody! If some predict the growing production of wines in small Northern players such as the UK, Southern European big producers are feeling the heat and are worried. Wine geography has seen many changes with the emergence of “New World” wines of North America, as well as Chile, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa in the Southern hemisphere. But wines of decent quality in tropical countries had never come to my attention… Until the discovery of Mansoon Valley wines in Thailand! During our one month trip in Southeast Asia at the beginning of the year, I had conditioned myself to limited opportunity of interesting wine discoveries. I was ready to enjoy the beers of the various countries visited and an occasional bottle of rather generic imported wine. But, our initial stay in Bangkok at the Centara Grand Central World already gave us a taste of how serious the wine lists were at its various restaurants.
When we visited their sister property Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hua Hin , around 3 hours South of Bangkok in the historic royal beach town of Hua Hin.                The Centara Hua Hin  is a magnificent venue designed to evoke the spirit of the 1920s. Colonial influences meet modern-day comforts and soothing views are to be had of the swimming pools or the magic gardens, populated by grass elephants and other animals.

 

The hotel opened at a time when the new railway line to Malaysia was transforming the sleepy fishing village of Hua Hin into Thailand’s first beach resort.

Sensitively extended and renovated, Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hua Hin retains its air of that bygone age of elegance. I had an even greater surprise during our meal at the elegant, yet relaxed Suan Bua restaurant: a local white wine was offered to go along the traditional Thaï dishes, from shrimp with mango salad to roasted duck in red curry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

            I have  to say I was skeptical, but all preconceptions disappeared after a few sips of this Mansoon Valley colombard, both crisp and delicate, with exotic fruit and citrus aromas, along with floral notes. Wow! Perfect pairing with the lemongrass used in the dishes and perfectly cooling to counterbalance the heat of the chilies.I was very curious about it all and the adorable staff of the hotel arranged a visit to the vineyard located less than an hour away. The drive was a beautiful occasion to see a bit of the country side with many fields, mainly pineapple plantations. What a surprise to see in the background of one of the most iconic tropical fruit a well manicured vineyard of over 100 hectars. The surprise does not stop there, as I had the opportunity to tour the property on the back of an elephant (if you’ve never done this, just be prepared, it’s a beautiful, but rather rocky ride). The large and elegant tasting room dominates the valley and one can appreciate the key position of the vineyard that benefits from a cooler micro climate with breezes coming from the hills. This is essential to the production of wines that do not taste “cooked”. It’s also the occasion of learning about who is behind this incredible business operation: a man whose name you may not know, but whose fortunate was made by a beverage you definitely have heard about. No, not wine… Red Bull! Chalerm Yoovidhya is among the richest man in Thailand with a fortune approaching 10 billion US dollars according to Forbes this year. Upon returning from his studies abroad where his taste for wine was developed, Chalerm took up the challenge of growing grapes in his native Thailand and show the world that great wines can be crafted even at the 13th latitude of the northern hemisphere. New World wines are old, new latitude wines are in! Hua Hin Vineyards is actually one of three vineyards he owns, but it serves as the flagship of the Mansoon Valley brand. The winemaker is German born Kathrin Puff, who worked in several wineries in Italy and New Zealand before meeting this tropical challenge with brio. I had the chance to sample a few of the large collection of wines available at the vineyard and all showcased a serious winemaking expertise. A brut blanc de blancs, showacses the delicate a floral notes of chenin blanc, colombard and viognier grapes that compose this traditional champenoise method sparkling. Besides the colombard white, I tried the medium sweet chenin blanc, which was not cloying at all and promised a nice pairing with spicy meats dishes and seafood salads. Among the two high-end “Cuvée de Siam” bottles, made with the best grapes of chosen parcels, I was really impressed with the red, made with the oldest vines of shiraz and sangiovese, aged in French oak barrels and bottled unfiltered. The result: a spicy wine combining medium tanin and long finish (which earned 84 points by Robert Parker). The white was a serious wine, but lacked a bit of the freshness so pleasant in the other more simple whites. To finish on a sweet note, the chenin blanc late harvest with a nice balancing acidity invites to be enjoyed along with seared foie gras, aged gorgonzola or a more local mango, sticky rice and coconut dessert.                                             Yes,!
Good tropical wine is a possibility and Hua Hin is the place to go to check it for yourself!

Munich. The Flushing Meadows. Surprise!

Text and Photos © Cesare Zucca
While in Munich, I had the pleasure to stay in the ‘one and only’ Design Hotel The FLUSHING MEADOWS, Fraunhoferstraße 32. The pleasant surprises started with the Glockenbachviertel district where the venue is located, which is not only home to Munich’s gay and lesbian scene, but a destination for a hip young crowd of all backgrounds. The area offers fashionable bars, snug bistros, trendy stores and supercool shops, all nested in one of Munich’s most picturesque boroughs.

 

 

At your arrival, downstairs on the street, your are welcomed by a small bar serving fresh juices, including their popular Super Danke, a green multivitamin shake.

 

 

 

 

Let’s get in. By a metallic elevator I reached the reception on the 4th floor, where Ramon and lovely Aglaia escorted me to a definitely surprising room on the 3rd floor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let me tell you that all the 16 rooms are different and each of them is dedicated to local celebrities who designed them, including Michi Beck , member of the well-known German hip hop group Die Fantastischen Vier , while the 4th floor rooms has been designed by the owners.

 

 

 

 

 

 

My room 305 was styled by the local techno musician, DJ Hell. Black was the inspirational color, including a metal skeleton band stand in an alcove and a vinyl record player ready for action.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Actually it couldn’t be more appropriate, since myself I have been spinning records for many years, back in the ’80 Milan disco scene.
Totally different atmosphere for the other room I experimented, the 306,that offered a combo of high-tech furniture, sound proved walls and 2 pretty romantic feathers ceiling lamps, ballerina style.

 

 

 

Other additions include a Nespresso machine, coffee capsules, complimentary bottles of mineral water, and a pile of trendy magazines to flick through.

 

 

 

 

The bathrooms are a sleek combination of white tiling and copper details on the  powerful showers.                           Super comfy mattresses, private access to the rooms, free WiFi.

Guten Morgen!
A rich and healthy breakfast is served till noon (or even later) in the nice roof top bar with its little terrace overlooking the City.

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘Be cool’ is staff’s password.
Original and unconventional, Flushing Meadows is undoubtedly the coolest place to stay in Munich.
I ‘ll go back …After all, I ‘ve got 14 more rooms to discover and …more surprises waiting…

for more info
The Flushing Meadows Hotel & Bar”
Fraunhoferstraße 32, 80469 München, Germany

Phone:
+49 89 55279170

 

 

My gospel article published in ‘Onda d’Urso’


Dear Barbara,
nel tuo prossimo viaggio a NY, non perderti una domenica-gospel a Harlem, meta delle comunità afro-americane e di visitatori provenienti da tutto il mondo.

Articolo di Cesare “Pumpkin” Zucca

Le messe iniziano alle 11. Riprese video e foto vietate. Sconsigliabile (e irriverente) fare i furbi. Per chi ama viaggiare in gruppo, esistono tour organizzati, tra cui harlemspirituals.com. Per chi, come te, preferisce viaggiare indipendente, basterà zigzagare per le strade e lasciarsi attirare dalla musica, sia provenga da una grande cattedrale, sia da piccoli edifici, dove le funzioni sono meno coreografiche, ma spesso più intime e coinvolgenti. Ecco le più famose.

Gospel e cibo dell'anima: una domenica ad Harlem
Gospel e cibo dell'anima: una domenica ad Harlem

New Mount Zion Baptist Church (171 W 140 St). Il suo coro gospel è considerato tra i migliori  di Harlem. Mount Neboh Baptist Church (1883 A. Clayton Powell Av) Oltre agli inni sacri, ascolterai canzoni popolari come ‘Oh Happy Day’, Abyssinian Baptist Church (132 Odell Clark Pl/W 138 St) gioiello architettonico, ma turistica e quindi lunga fila per entrare, Metropolitan Baptist Church (151 W 128 St) ospita illustri cori provenienti da altre congregazioni. La mia preferita è Greater Refuge Temple (2081 A. Clayton Powell Av). Energia alle stelle, musica trascinante, accompagnata dai tamburelli delle black ladies dagli incredibili cappellini.

Gospel e cibo dell'anima: una domenica ad Harlem

Gospel e cibo dell'anima: una domenica ad Harlem

E dopo questa full immersion di fede e musica, ti meriti un lunch soul food, la cucina afro-americana originaria del Sud degli USA. Da provare: fried chicken croccante pollo fritto, collards e turnip greens erbe amare e verdure saltate con salsa all’ aceto, black eye beans fagioli neri, cornbread, pane caldo di mais, candied yams patate dolci, grits semolino di mais tritato e pecan pie, fantastica crostata alle noci.

Gospel e cibo dell'anima: una domenica ad Harlem

Gospel e cibo dell'anima: una domenica ad Harlem

 Da accanito turista-non- turista, sconsiglio il popolarissimo Sylvia’s Restaurant (328 Malcolm X) con musica dal vivo. Meglio Amy Ruth‘s (113 West 116 St), famoso per il pollo fritto. Spoonbread (547 Lenox, 366 W 110 Street) Due locali creati dalla leggendaria Norma Arden, una delle prime modelle nere nella storia della moda. Popolarissimi (e consigliabili) i self service con ricco buffet e atmosfera locale. Tra questi Londel’s (2620 Frederick Douglas Blvd), due Jacob’s (2695 F. Douglass Blvd, 373 Lenox Ave) e quattro Manna’s (486 Malcolm X Blvd, 2353 F.Douglass Blvd, 54 E 125 St, 70 W 125 St) Prezzi popolari. Ci si serve da soli e si paga a peso. E’ lì che va la gente nera di Harlem.

Big kiss from Pumpkin

Fotografie di Cesare ‘Pumpkin’ Zucca

Munich: Anna Hotel, grandma (and myself) are satisfied!

Anna hotel, is one of Munich’s first design hotels, is located at the heart of the city, right by the Karlsplatz / Stachus, close to the central railway station.
At my arrival I had warm welcome with several pleasant touches in my room .

 

 

 

 

From a nice of the city,
to a beautiful perfumed bag of lavander, to  a rich local fruits plate,to a smart couple of condoms hidden in a anna hotel box.

 

 

 

 

 

Nice thoughts, I though…. I felt a blend of contemporary design, elegance, warm colors and a mattress for a 5 star comfort…including the possibility to use free of charge the sauna, steam bath, whirlpool, fitness room and rest area can be used in the next door Hotel Königshof.
I started the morning with a rich breakfast buffet
and topped up your energy levels over the day from a
wide selection juices, bread, cold cuts, cheeses, salmon, fruits, delicious desserts,
including a seductive apricot tarte…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I ordered a poached egg ,unexpecatcly  served with a kinda of a sweet n sour sauce.
Then I met with loveley  Silva Caldera, Sales & Marketing Manager . She is from Italy and yes, we spoke italian…She was so nice to give me few tips on the City, where to go, what to do…and my curiosity was satisfied when I knew that the name Anna comes from  the grandmother of the first owner, then we took a tour of the hotel.
Anna that boasts of 75 rooms, including 11 teak deck rooms with glass shower and coloured LED lighting , 5 tower rooms with view over Karlsplatz, among other rooms with terraces and a spectacular tower suite with great view.
Again, service, comfort, accuracy and a warm smile targeted anna hotel exactly like grand ma would have loved…

 

 

 

 

 

For your info
https://www.annahotel.de
Schützenstr. 1 | 80335 Munich

 

THE “GENTLE GIANT” IS WAITING…with a ‘secret’ phone number…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The river Po, called the “gentle giant”, is the longest river in Italy. With its 650 km (about 400 miles), it runs through the Po Plain and flows into the Adriatic Sea, forming a delta and one of the largest wetlands in Europe and in the Mediterranean Sea. The Po Delta Park is a wonderful land, where blue sky and clouds get reflected on the water, like a magical palette of hundreds of shades. It should be experienced by bike, by boat, by canoe, or on foot, by walking slowly across, discovering the gentleness of its landscape, the warm and rough welcome of the fishing lodges, the emotion of the boat bridges, the wide horizons, the activity in the fishing lagoons and in the vegetable gardens. From equipped beaches of Rosolina mare, Boccasette and Porto Barricata to some isolated sandbars strips of land that are formed at low tide and where there are numerous colonies of wading birds: gulls, terns etc..making the area a wonderful bird-watching attraction. I discovered Scano Boa island, where the fishermen used to live in straw houses and recently retrieved to allow visitors to experience the life of these lands. You must get a boat to get there , ask locally and yes I have their ‘secret’ mobile number)

There I had a succulent lunch thanks to Signora Chef…….. who generously prepared yummy clams with tomatoes and garlic, fried mussels and fried fish

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To get there , you must ask locally how to call a boat , to reserve a great meal … well you got t have Lady’s number ….which I do !!!!  Check below..)

 

 

 

From September 18th to 23rd 2017 Po Delta and its jewel Venetian Botanical Garden, will host the World Youth Forum MAB UNESCO 2017.Hundreds of young people aged 18 to 35 coming from 120 countries around the world will gather in the heart its Biosphere Reserve.

                                              The Forum is conceived as an event that will provide young people with a unique opportunity to meet, debate and share their vision and commitment to sustainable development. It aims to become a place where strategies and action proposals can be discussed and implemented in order to achieve,

 

 

 

 

Since the area produces the excellent Riso del Delta del Po,  all the partecipants will be challenging in a cooking competition where that rice that will be the main ingredient of tipical dishes from different countries.
I am crazy for risotto and rice…I soooo wish to be in the jury …

 

 

 

 

 

Delta people just love their land.
“The Po Delta is a territory where development can start from the pursuit of happiness.” says Marco Gottardi, Po Delta Park’s director, while expert guide Sandro Vidali like narrate about the last 400 years when the Venetians diverted the course of the Po. Isabella Finotti guided me through the fascinating botanical garden, which is a unique habitat for many species of animals and plants. Alessio Greguoldo has experimented with a new oyster farming system in the Po Delta. Today, more than 1,500 Delta people are members of the fisheries Consortium of Scardovari. Numbers are huge! About 80,000 quintals of clams and 50,000 of mussels!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where to stay
Ca’ Zen, a 17th-century Venetian villa, nestled in a garden.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Agriturismo Monte Scala, clean and cozy.

 

 

 

 

                         Where to eat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Osteria del pesce  Via San Gaetano, 78 Cà Pisani Porto Viro (Rovigo)
Trattoria alla Rosa (my favorite) Via Treponti, 8/A, 45011 Bellombra (Rovigo)
Il Bilancione, Via Bacucco, 17, Ariano Nel Polesine ( Rovigo)
Scanno Boa (ask locally how to get there by boat, and yes….
I do have their cell number +39 345 92 34483

 

info@parcodeltapo.org
www.parcodeltapo.org

Sheraton Hua Hin Pranburi Villas. Kick back away from the crowds in luxury

by Phlilip Sinsheimer
Photo:Cesare Zucca

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thailand.
After a few days in Hua Hin city,
I checked in for 2 nights at the Sheraton Hua Hin Pranburi Villas about 30 minute drive south in a super quiet locality called Pranburi.

 

 

Even though unlucky with unexpected rain, the stay was just fantastic.

The villas are super spacious, comfortable and private.
Didn’t use the private pool to cool off from the sun, but after a long relaxing hot bath in the outdoor tub.

The food was awsome: just loved the breakfast buffet with various both Thaï and Western treats. Not the widest variety ever, but no one should be frustrated and everything was top notch. Who needs 90 items if half of them are disappointing.The à la carte menu of the restaurant with ocean view had me have the best Thaï food so far: true flavors with excellent ingredient sourcing. Loved the local Pranburi squid, partially sun dried for a great flavor and texture.

Killing time inside the villa, reading, watching TV, catching up with email left no time to boredom. The staff just couldn’t be nicer and professional.

Stepped out the resort to have a long walk along the ocean. The beach has been washed out on large portions, but discovered abot 7km South a beautiful beach.
Just outside the resort I had my favorite foot massage ever at Mali massage for a mere 300 Bahts. In the village great moment on a terrace with a Leo Beer and snacks.
Everyone in town seems relaxed and someone offered a free ride back to the hotel.
Loved that place.

Italy: welcome to ROMAGNA, where people love to host …

Unsinkable promoter Roy Berardi and Fausto Faggioli, organized an educational press tour featuring Italian and international press members such as Australian Desmond O’Grady, Alabama’s Pauline Fitzgerald, Chef/Author Philip Sinsheimer from Los Angeles, Silvia Donnini from Milan and me, from…everywhere in the world!
Our base was Fattorie Faggioli  at Borgo Basino, on the heights of Cusercoli,
There we were welcomed and pampered by the Faggioli family with the proverbial warmth and empathy of Romagna
. For a Non Touristy Tourist like me, this place was heaven, far from noise, cars, immersed in a peaceful green valley. I was feeling the quality of life, in s natural environment that contributed to the health of its spirit and body.
Mountain trips are provided, among herb gathering, hay baths,
healthy sauna with herbs and mud bath.
Here rooms are cozy, there is a nice swimming pool.
The spectacular food are made by fresh products cultivated on the premises, totally
home-made, healthy and delicious with prices definitely affordable
In addition to that  the Faggiolis organize an internship for workers and future experts.
Our group was taken around to visit local borghi (little historical villages) and to acknowledge the identification of identity and biodiversity, of a territory that is now actively engaged in the tourism development of the new “Destination Romagna”. that I consider the most genuine, deep and sincere Region in Italy, where nature, history, wine and food and wine relate to roots, memories and traditions.
We started visiting Ravenna discovering of the quirky “Hospitality Shops” of the historic center and participating to a Happy Bio  meeting by the sea hosted by the Regional Advisor To agriculture
delightful Mrs. Simona Caselli.
On the second day, Alberto Zattini, took us to the grandiose Piazza Saffi in Forli,
then we moved In Bertinoro, where we met Tourism Concil Mirko Capuano,
Lunch  (with a spectacular view)  at Osteria Cà de Bè
 
I loved their hand made fresh pastas. especially the passatelli in brodo,
followed by tastings of  delicious rabbit with vegetables and roasted pig, 
to end with the famous latteruolo
a signature dessert
created by iconic 19th century chef
Pellegrino Artusi
                                                                                                                                           In Predappio, Mussolini’s birth place, we were welcomed by Mayor Giorgio Frassineti, we ended the day at the vineyards of the Poderi da Nespoli and the visit to the wine cellar. Quite a journey …so Roy decided to give us a relaxing morning at the  Emi and Gianmarco Rossi‘s Terme di Fratta, a luxury hotel with an equipped spa that blends wellness, beauty and health.
The next day we moved to the Ridracoli Dam, taking a suggestive sailing around the lake at the edge of the great National Park forest. In the hamlet of Santa Sofia, then, walk with the councilor Ilaria Marianini to discover the the  River Bidente outdoor sculpture park, curated by Renato Barilli and Claudio Spadoni. Gran finale In Pianetto di Galeata with a succulent dinner at Osteria La Campanara
authentic testimonial of the Romagna gastronomy.
I finally had the traditional tripe with tomatoes, among pastas and excellent Sangiovese and Albana the masters of local winery.

 

 
For the next two days, Philip and I went to the close Forlimpopoli the city that every year pays a tribute to its most illustrious citizen Pellegrino Artusi, the acknowledged father of  modern Italian cookery, Pellegrino was born in 1820 in Forlimpopoli. He was a succesful businessman, became a wealthy man and, at age 45, was able to concentrate full time on his passion: the home cuisine. He loved to search, ponder recipes and have someone else cook his experiments. After long research, he narrowed his findings to 790 favorite recipes that he collected in a manual called “La Scienza in Cucina e l’Arte di Mangiar Bene” (“The Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well”).
The city celebrates Pellegrino hosting the Festa Artusiana, a tempting feast where  from now till June 2th,  from 7 p.m. to midnight, the historical city center changes into a “town to be tasted.” The big castle dominates the borgo, where courts, alleys, streets and squares have names of recipes from Artusi’s book.
All the best restaurants and the street vendors in the area are invited to participate and include in their menus several of Artusi’s specialties.
For nine evenings, Forlimpopoli becomes the capital city of “Eating Well,” thanks to the partnership with Casa Artusi, the first Italian gastronomic center devoted entirely to traditional home cookery. Casa boasts a library, a museum and a school that teaches practical courses both for food lovers and professionals wanting to learn how to improve their skills.
We had a wonderful Artusi dinner in the Casa’s restaurant. tarting with a  traditional welcome small carrot soup,
then the famous tortelli , stuffed with ricotta cheese and fine spices,followed by paccheri pasta with duck ragu and beef with cloves and white beans, to end with an almond chocolate dessert with zabaione cream.
Yummy!!
To welcome Philip, Laila Tentoni, Casa Artusi Director set up a fresh pasta making class , coached by Carla Brigliadori  head teacher of the Artusi cooking school…not only … but
also accurately supervised by a local Marietta ( the name is from Artusi,s assistant) and the attentive eye of Alberto Capatti, considered the top connoisseur of the Artusi cuisine.
So, if you want to feel welcome…put Romagna in your next vacation agenda.
              A region where people love to host, eat, drink and love tobe merry …

Caserta Region, Italy: a beautiful journey to the Villa

 

 

 

To celebrate their wines, Villa Matilde owners Maria Ida and Salvatore Avallone, invited distributors, buyers, bloggers to spend a wonderful time in Cellole, in the Caserta Region,

 

 

The location boasts a wonderful vineyard, a restaurant, a swimming pool, several bedrooms and, of course, good wines and delicious specialties from a traditional or revisited cucina napoletana.

 

We were all invited and the Villa looked really festive.

 

 

 

 

 

Actually the celebrations started the night before, indulging in a luscious dinner in the terrace of the five-star, overlooking the beautiful bay, unexpectedly lighten up by fireworks.

 

 

 


There I met Mr. Avallone. and his team among other journalists and several wine distributors from all over Europe. During the all event, guests were invited to try the wines.
I loved the golden and soft Falanghina Roccamonfina 

a  sophisticated fruity white that brings hints of pineapple, banana, yellow peach to rose and sage a great glass to star you meal , served with appetizer , light dishes, fish and white meat.

Then the Mata Rosé, elegant sparkling wine obtained from one of the oldest and noble native Carnation vines, the Alleanic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


My
special applause goes to Terre Cerase Rosè, (I have to confess:I had 4 glasses) with a floral the bouquet of morello cherries, black and red wild berries, plus delicate hints of spices, ideal with fish, poultry, veal and making an outstanding paired with bufala mozzarella.

 

 

 

 

Last but not the list the reason why we all were there. We were graciously invited to Celebrate the king of the Villa, His Magesty Falerno del Massico, a red wine famous in literature and history is a blend of aglianico and piedirosso; the clusters are carefully quality-selected from the hillside vineyards on the San Castrese estate growing on the slopes of the extinct Roccamonfina volcano, in the province of Caserta. Showing a deep red, its intense, rich bouquet is brimming with fragrant sweet violets, cherries, blackberries, and raspberries, finely balanced in all teir components. The “Falerno Party” started with the Exclusive Ceremony of opening and tasting Falerno del Massico aging in Amphora:
What an entertaining show! Fabio Gennarelli (Wine Making Director) opened one of the “Phitos” the traditional clay Amphora used exclusively by Villa Matilde, followed by an a unique sensing experience: the Vertical tasting of Falerno del Massico Vigna Camarato spanning from 1995 to 2010.  A parade of eight glasses where every “millesime” was telling his own story.

 

 

 

 

The outdoor lunch featured delicious seafood bites(I had to video some) and the one and only pizza fritta, freshly fried and stuffed by the expert hands of the Chef from “La Masardona”.

 

 

 

 

Not to mention the final dinner stuck between tradition and  innovation, created by the chefs of
Taverna del Falerno
and the “Grand Hotel Parker’s 5 Stars Restaurant”  pairing their dishes with the new Villa Matilde baby born:

sparkling Spumante Mata Falanghina, with its warm golden reflections and a fine and elegant perlage, thanks to the long stay on yeasts. Just put your nose to the glass to feel delicate scents of ripe fruit mixed with hints of yeast and crust of bread. The taste is fresh, elegant and harmonious, with acidic and intense fruity notes typical of the Falanghina, which are accompanied by pleasing sensations.
A dinner that brought
the culture of food of Napoli and Campania.ending with a nice souvenir that anyone who is a little superstitious would have love it . A little red corn, mounted on a Villa Matilde cork, a traditional “Good Luck”
for the Neapolitan people.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Discovering the wines of the Euganean Hills, Italy

Are you a wine lover? Do you like to discover new tastes while sipping a nice glass of white or red? Do you enjoy to end up a dinner with a sweet touch of dessert wine? Or …do you indulge meditation?
Here several good reasons to visit the Euganean Hills, to get acquainted with the local wines, starting from the typical Fior d’Arancio, a very golden Moscato to a variety of whites with the typical straw-yellow color and jasmine scent, The hills produce Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon reds, the Chardonnay, , the Merlot, to my fav, the sparkling Serprino.
I forgot… most importantly, are you ready to discover a hidden gem in Italy? Breathtaking panoramas, art, culture and good food?

Already excited?
Well, hold your glass (still empty…) and let’s start your journey with some tips…
Where to stay, where to eat, what to visit.

Where to stay
Abano Ritz Hotel
Abano Terme is famous worldwide as the “Thermal Baths of Venice”, thanks to the extraordinary curative qualities of the thermal water and the bio-thermal clay or aged mud: a true medicine without side effects. At AbanoRitz boasts two swimming pools, the SPA, wellness rituals and culinary experiences at our 3 restaurants; immersed in a territory that offers a wealth of culture and folklore, as well as golfing and other sports.

 

 

 

 

Where to eat
Antica Trattoria Taparo in Torreglia, since 1921.
Not to be missed the ‘baccalà itinerary’ stockfish cooked in 3 different ways. 

 

 

 

 

 

Al Sasso in Teolo, celebrated for his one and only fried chicken, which (unfortunately ) I could not try… Instead I had an elaborate pasta dish, tagliolini with morchella mushrooms and snails.

 

 

 
What  to visit
Villa Barberigo, Valsanzibio. A sumptuous residence dated 1600, so spectacular that has been renamed the little Versailles. Get lost in the amazing labyrinth garden.

 

Cini Castle, Sanctuary of the Seven Churches and Villa Duodo in Monselice
At the foot of the Colle della Rocca there rises an imposing architectural complex called Castello Cini, which incorporates several diverse types of building.

From the XI to the XVI centuries the castle has changed from a luxurious residence, to defensive tower to become a Venetian villa. The Council Hall with frescoes and wooden stalls on the walls,

the room Jacopino with bevelled fireplace and kitchen with a rich collection of tools in the medieval and Renaissance Romanesque House;

the Armory, a precious room with frescos walls and the Carrara motif of red and white checkerboard which contains one of the most important collections of arms and armours in Italy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Catajo Castle

Photo Enrico Paggiaro
Located in Battaglia Terme, close to Padua, with 360 rooms, decorated by the amazing GianBattista Zenotti’s frescos, this castle  is considered among the most unusual of the Villas in Veneto, it has served as a mansion, ducal palace and imperial residence. conceived in 1570 by the wealthy Obizzi family as
theatre to receive and amuse their guest.

Glamorous balls, sea battle scenes, huge theatrical productions…in a way hey were one of the greatest party planners of all ages.

                                                                                                         Photo Art New Media

Where to stop
Arquà Petrarca one of the most beautiful Italian burg, included on the prestigious list of Parchi Letterari Italiani (Italian Literary Parks), those locations that where celebrated in the italian and international literature by famous authors. The quiet and enchanting beauty of the Euganean Hills has been an iinspiration for writers, poets and artists,  Bruce Chatwin, Shelley, Byron, and Foscolo, narrates theses inspiring places that vibrate of beauty, passion, and poetry. Unique colors, flavors and scents bring to the attention of environmental oases, ancient abbeys, castles, villas, country retreats and other excellent stages. Visit the village where the iconic poet Francesco Petrarca  Francesco Petrarca (1304-1374) lived and the house that hosted his final days.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Literary Park take you to a journey through an itinerary identified by 11 plaques that portray sentences from different authors who immortalized the landscape and its heritage.

For more info
parco petrarca e dei colli euganei
c.baldin@confpd.it

 

Let’s…finally toast!
On the panoramic outdoor of the Villa Beatrice, a former Convent founded in12th century, on the top of the hill, we tried the Quota 101 wines, I loved the Malterreno an authentic expression of the Euganei  territory.  Authentic and true. The grapes are hand-picked in September, when the sun has made them nice and ripe. Warm yellow color, scent of Summer, in the mouth it is velvety and well-structured.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next stop at Paolo Brunello’s Cantina Vignale di Cecilia,  located in Baone.

My fav was the white Val di Spie, an experimental trip in the world of sparkling wine, blinks its eye to the traditional natural fermentation in the bottle, while maintaining its natural yeasts, followed by the first born at Vignale, the red Passacaglia made with Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Barbera boasting a long maceration as well as the handmade mixing of fermenting grapes.

 

In the evening I met with lovely Elisa Dilavanzo, owner of Maeli Colli Euganei featuring the yellow muscat
from these amazing volcanic hills, where Elisa decided to “work towards the production of a wine that is rich in emotion whilst at the same time a worthy ambassador for this prestigious territory”.
Sparklyn Moscato Giallo IGT
Muscat 85% Chardonnay 15% Destemming and soft pressing, maceration on the skins for three days, pressing, fermentation on natural yeasts without added sulphites. The wine is bottled on its own yeasts with in-the-bottle secondary fermentation using the original must following the time-honoured method.

 

 

 

 

Grand finale with a wide varIety of Zanovello wines, hosted by Mr. Franco Zanovello, President of La Strada del Vino and owner of Cà Lustra wines. I ended my journey with the iconic Passito, born in the year 1200. Only in the Euganean Hills that the 100% Fiori d’Arancio muscat grapes keep that strong Mediterranean character, cheerful and vigorous.
Intense aromas, thick and colorful skin, crunchy pulp,are the hallmarks of this archaic variety that likes bright and dry sites. It’s a farmer’s tradition to harvest the ripest grapes and let them dry on racks in the old barns with the dual aim of producing a strong sweet wine and rustic cakes for the spring-winter festivals. Its intensity and complexity allow it to enter the category of “meditation wine.”

Believe me, no many other places on earth would enrich a meditation time
like being on the top of one of the volcanic Euganean Hills,
specially after sipping a glass of a delicious volcanic wine…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monselice, the Cini Castle,

Villa Duomo and the Seven Churches street

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dinner at Al Sasso in Teolo

Sunday Another castle , in Lispida , hosting the Volcanic Wines event

 

Sunday

Visit Castello Catajo, monumental palazzo hosting the Obizzi family.

Affrescos and room, outodoor , garden

7 GOOD REASONS TO VISIT PRATO, ITALY

Fabrics vagary at the Museo del Tessuto, 1700 amazing embroidery, biscuits dated 1858, how to became a crewelwork artist and more…

At the top of my list
The Museo del Tessuto hosting the exhibit Il Capriccio e La Ragione ,

me, having a great time at at the exhibit

Here you will find a luxurious display of embroideries, silks, brocades, and lampasses from 1600, when new nations were discovered and new costumes  images and stories were imported to Europe.

Porcelains, paintings of landscapes, and the new profession of the fabric painter  starting from the vagary of remembering antique historical ruins to portraits either official or private.

France launched and updated this elaborate fashion, stating different styles, from bizarre to dentelle, to the beautiful drawings of Jean Revel, a major figure in Lyonnaise silk from the 18th century and a pioneer of the French style, who carried his innovative style beyond the courts of Versailles and Paris.

In the center: the exhibit curator Daniela Degl’Innocenti

The exhibit will be on till April 29th 2018.
Plan your visit to Prato because …here 6 more reasons to visit this Tuscany jewel.

Palazzo Pretorio  Austere and imposing this impressive palace has dominated Prato’s Piazza del Comune for more than eight hundred years acting as a silent witness to the political, civil and military history of the city.
The Duomo with its spectacular pulpit by Donatello