Crazy, dreamers, revolutionaries. ‘Donne’ are the women of Milton Fernandez


 

Milton Fernàndez, writer, poet, director, editor who since 2011 is also artistic director of the Milan Literature Festival, has collected them in his volume Donne. Crazy, dreamers, revolutionaries published by Rayuela Edizioni.

I had the pleasure to attend to the book presentation at the sumptuous Sala Della Musica, located at second floor of the magnificent Ca’ Sagredo in Venice.

                                                               The author ranges from 17th century France to Mexico in 1910, from the mid-nineteenth-century slave-making America to Argentina in 1977, in an attempt to understand the many ways in which men have written and determined the history of women over time.
The stories are short and very intense, the lives of the protagonists are all real, those of women who silently or publicly have marked the history of all.
There is Clara de la Rocha, colonel and Mexican revolutionary; Martine De Bertereau pioneer of French mineralogy; Sojourner Truth, the first black woman in history to bring a white man to court and win the case;                                                                ; Azucena Villaflor, one of the Argentinean mothers of the Plaza de Mayo; Lilly Parr, English champion of a sport that has always been the exclusive preserve of men; Rose Mapendo, founder of Mapendo International, an organization that helps refugees from African wars and bring together broken families.
Fernàndez is a man who with deep respect seeks to enter the mystery of women, with eyes and pen full of amazement at what they have endured and overcome.
There is so much gratitude in these stories, as if the book were a way of thanking them for the moral and intellectual lesson they gave the world.
But there is also a lot of bitterness and pain; the stories of yesterday resemble tremendously those of today and the parable has not ended:

 

 

 

The Sabines are kidnapped by Romans led by Romulus, as they are necessary for the birth of a nation.
Innocent women assaulted, molested, victims.

I found astonishing example in the Ca’ Rezzonico Gallery, Venice , in the glorious painting Susanna and the elders by Stefano Ricci, where a young girl Susanna  molested and blackmailed by two older liars.
 In another room I found Felice Ficherelli’s painting picturing the horrible story of Lucretia, legendary heroine of ancient Rome  .Her tragedy began when she was raped by Sextus Tarquinius, son the king of Rome. After exacting an oath of vengeance against the Tarquins from her father and her husband, she stabbed herself to death.What Boko Haram has done, recently in Nigeria, with the kidnapping of 20 girls. News that has been held for a few days on the Western news, but then take refuge among the inevitable facts of existence.
Rummaging in the memory we will always find an important woman, like my grandmother, strong temper, 14 boys to grow up, says Fernandez, who cites the movie Sliding Doors, where the fate of the protagonist could suddenly change and what could she become?

Dancers/Choreographers Pina Bausch and Isadora Duncan also appear in the book, as the first women who had the courage to stage dance as a form of freedom. The author underlines the importance of dance in his life, as a maestro d’ami , he was a master of weapons, like a choreographer of swords.Leonardo Da Vinci, continues Fernandez, described life as a series of moving figures and even the tragic final act of Shakespears Hamlet where all the characters die should be an example of a choreographed moment’.

Thirty-four stories of women who, through the ages and countries of the world, together tell the feminine condition in a complete historical vision.
Milton Fernande Women. Crazy, dreamers, revolutionaries.

Rayuela Editions

 

 

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THE ORIGINS, THE SEARCH, THE TRADITIONS, THE SECRETS OF A REFINED CUISINE IN VENICE

INTERVIEW WITH CHEF DAMIANO BASSANO AT L’ALCOVA, VENICE
Damiano, originally from Salento, began his career in Paris and Strasbourg, followed by Spain and the United States. Traditional Italian flavors combined with unique touches are the distinctive elements of its cuisine. He loves experimenting and creating new combinations. Since two years he has been the as Executive Chef of the renowned restaurant L’Alcova, in the splendid Hotel Ca’Sagredo taking care not only of the restaurant and breakfast menu, but also the rich buffets of special events, such as the one tonight, for the presentation of the book ‘Women’ written by Uruguay born Milton Fernandez.

 

On these occasions, will your menu be inspired to the theme and atmosphere of the event?
Certainly. Today, as a tribute to the latin author, I prepared finger food with roast beef and lime, mini tacos and small empanadas that remind me so much of the tiny Pugliese panzerotti.

 


Let’s talk about fish.
Where do you shop?
At the Rialto market. I rely on seasonality and suggestions from my supplier.
From there I decide the menu of the day and make fish dishes that maintain the typical Italian cuisine, always keeping an eye to our international clientele, often with different tastes from ours.
Today, an elderly Venetian told me that this market is becoming increasingly scarce and less stocked. It’s true?
Unfortunately, yes, slowly it is reducing in extension and presence of sellers, a bit like the real Venetians that today are only around 50,000. Even the fishermen confirm that the fish choices have changed and the variety has shrunk. Delicacies like the schie … have become a memory. Today the request is primarily oriented on mussels, clams, sea bream, sea bass, king prawns, tuna, sword.. in other words ‘universally known fish’, available everywhere but preferred by tourists who generally fear experiencing tastes that they do not know.
Sad, right?
Yes, because I think it would be nice to let the customer try the local typicality. I find it genuinely useless to propose in Venice some American scallops, easily available even in New York!
Fruits and vegetables?
Amazingly good. We are supplied by the island of Sant’Erasmo, whose sale and removal was so successful that the Consorzio di Sant’Erasmo opened a sales outlet right here in Venice. We hope for good … too much success sometimes spoiled.
A fish that you love to cook but which you gave up, given the doubtful reception of the international customer?
I have no doubt; the spatula, which I would love to cook especially after my Sicilian experiences. Even my supplier told me ‘Damiano, the spatula is not so difficult to procure, but there is no request, I am sorry … pick up another fish’.
It reminds me a bit of the phenomenon of globalization. There are no artisan shops because of the large chains promoted by consumerism. So mothers or grandmothers who cook in a trattoria, are not there anymore?
Well, I find them when I go back to my Salento. There is still some small osteria without a specific menu. Grandma cooks daily 2 or 3 dishes according to what she found at the market. And they are all spectacular!
Do you cook at home?
Almost never, I prefer to go out with friends, I rarely make a salad and if I am really  in the mood, I make my favorite dish: spaghetti tomatoes and basil. I love simplicity!
Never in your fridge …
Prepacked mayonnaise and mustard.
Always in your fridge …
Cherry tomatoes.

 

The top dishes of tonight’s menu?
Spaghetti, zucchini and wild mint creamed with bottarga, then fresh sea bass sauteed with salt, oil and thyme and served on a summer panzanella with red onion and fresh gherkin.
So there is a touch of Mediterranean heritage in your kitchen for the Serenissima?
Of course, here I revive perfumes and tastes that I always keep in my heart, naturally adapting them to an international clientele of a certain level.
About the Mediterranean thing… try my semifreddo with basil and my apricot mousse with rosemary ….

DINNER AT THE ALCOVA, THE RESTAURANT OF THE LUXURIOUS HOTEL CA’SAGREDO, VENICE
Prosecco on the table, (with which I adopted with throughout the all dinner) and small varied sandwiches, including a delicious black fennel bread.                                                                 
As a starter a pie of beets, figs, almonds and mini melon balls. I’m not a big lover of sweet and sour, but I found it pleasant.

 

Here is comes a more determined and tasty stewed moscardino with polenta, a typical Venetian dish. As pasta dishes, I tried the spaghetti with zucchini and mint, creamed with bottarga. Honestly I found the flavors a bit ‘disjointed, perhaps not very connected, I definitely preferred spaghetti with cuttlefish ink served with crispy cuttlefish, al dente, tasty, light and not too saturated of fishy flavor.                                                                              Then a chef recommendation: fresh sea bass served on squares of a slightly acetate panzanella bread garnished with cherry tomatoes, cucumbers and red onions.

 

The pairing with the panzanella didn’t really appealed to me, but I respect the intentions of Bassano, who’s Salento’s origins like to add to the menu a little of Mediterranean cuisine and the aroma of the local herbs, as in the grand finale:
a mousse
with basil and a spectacular rosemary semifreddo.
Fresh and refreshing, with an extra point to the rosemary!

 

Restaurant L’Alcova

Hotel Ca’Sagredo

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.

 

How to surprise your guests? Cook a tasty no-sugar, no-salt, no-fat dinner.

Venice, Italy
The magnificent Scuola Grande San Giovanni Evangelista, hosted Gusto in Scena , a bonanza of Chefs and food and wine Producers and hosted by Marcello Coronini, author of La Cucina del Senza
(cooking without)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The mission was to serve tasty dishes in which you do not notice the lack of fat, salt or sugar. 14 Chefs covered the challenge literally surprising the audience with their inventions cooked without all those three forbidden ingredients. I was particularly impressed by the juicy vegetal broth created by  Chef Alessandro Gilmozzi, and used to make an excellent risotto. Alessandro for over 20 years, has been experimenting unusual ingredients from his mountains giving life to new gastronomic expressions able to leave an incisive mark on anyone who tries them.Among all the Chefs, I like to mention Oliwer Glowing, from ‘La Tavola, Il Vino e la Dispensa’ in Rome, Luca Marchini, from ‘L’erba del Re’ in Modena, Luca Veritti from Met Restaurant at Metropole Hotel in Venice, creator a really original menu called Tra Contemporary Cuisine, combining two philosophies: the traditional Italian and Veneto recipes, and a futurist style through which the same recipes are elaborated and proposed in a creative way. I should mention all of them, but I like to keep some secrets, teasing you to attend to the next edition of  Gusto in Scena.

 

 

Remember. the Cuisine of the Senza is good, tasty, attentive to health, but also very attentive to flavors, as was proved by Ristorante Vecio Fritolin who prepared an entire ‘without’ dinner

The highlight of the evening?
An amazine gallinella with vegetable bisque and spiced bread.
Delicious!

 

PALAZZINA G A 5 STAR HOTEL IN THE HIDDEN VENICE

by Cesare Zucca                                                                                                                                           Welcome to Palazzina Grassi, the “so hidden-nearly impossible to find- celebrities filled” exclusive hotel designed by Philippe Starck

room low

A room with private terrace   Photo©CesareZucca

Reach San Samuele Piazza and then venture yourself into a small calle street. You won’t find a hotel sign, just look for the bull!. That’s the entrance to a hidden paradise.

At Palazzina G everything is costumized, from a confidential check-in while sipping a drink, to your choice of pillows,to exquisite meals prepared a vista (under  your eyes) by Chef Luigi Frascetta in a restaurantsurroundedby columns and different designer chairs.the P G restaurant copy

The trendiest five-star hotel on the Venetian scene will once more be the lagoon’s hotspot, combining the refined atmosphere of contemporary cinema with DJ sets by the hippest artists,

The Krug Lounge , a private canal entrance Photo©Cesare Zucca

 

Check the web www.palazzinag.comRoyal-Mojito                                           

My 10 fav restaurants in Venice (“cicchetti” included)

La Palanca at the Giudecca

La Palanca at the Giudecca

RESTAURANTS
40 ladroni  Address Fondamenta della Sensa, 3253, ( great food, nice garden) good prices
La palanca ph  041 5287719 see pic!  ( open only for lunch)  take vaporetto, exit la palanca, go left. located in the great Giudecca area, tables outside, great view, facing S.Marc Square.make a reservation good prices
Mistra‘ Address Calle Michelangelo 53c also in the Giudecca aerea ph 041 522074
Ostaria alla Vedova, famous for the Best venetian meatballs  and more, close to the famous Golden House, Cà d’oro Address: Calle del Pistor ph 041-528-5324. good prices
Trattoria Da Bepi  adress Cannaregio, 4550 stop ferry Ca’D’oro.
Al Paradiso perduto– Address Sacco della Misericordia – Cannarreggio aerea- (the owner will pick up the fish for you)
Le antiche carampane  (where real venetians go) ) ph 041 5240165 Address :: San Polo, 1911, expensive, excellent, closed sunday and monday .

TRADITIONAL VENETIAN CICCHETTI
( tapas + wine) for a drink or aperitivo during the day, evening.
Arco  douzen of tapas, close to ponte rialto  direction san polo) good prices
Corte del remer ( next to fiaschetteria toscana) self service great happy hour  Address: calle del remer, ph 0415228789
Al Mascaron  tiny tiny and traditional ( great cicchetti and more) Castello 5525, Calle Lunga Santa Maria Formosa  ph 041 522 5995  good prices

FANS, FANS, FANS… Where? In Venice! Wherelse?

Thanks to the passion for antiques and collecting of the Beggiato family, owners of the Hotel Metropole in Venice, and the precious association with the Palazzo Mocenigo Museum we may witness beauty and history in a unique exhibit showcasing some amazing fans from the Beggiato’s collection www.hotelmetropole.comfan3Hand painted, lace, silk, tortoiseshell, mother-of-pearl… but also eclectic with ostrich feathers, this is without doubt one the most impressive collection in the world.
Made mainly in France, England and Italy, fans became popular in Europe between the 17th and 18th centuries.
Considered for the most part as aristocratic and artistic objects with images painted both on the surface and the mounts, for a long time they represented indispensable accessories for upper class ladies who used the fan as a way of proclaiming their status and femininity.
At Palazzo Mocenigo from 7th June to 14th September 2014
mocenigo.visitmuve.it
fan mez

HUNTING FOR BEADS IN SECRET VENICE

Sat Sept 4th 2013                                                                                                              If you are in Venice, don’t miss it!                                                                                  If You are not in Venice… travel there for a magical day !   IMG_4045 copy IMG_4048 copyParticipants of all ages challenge themselves searching and discovering beautiful hidden corners of Venice. The hunt starts in Campo San Simeone Grande, Santa Croce  at 3.30 pm. IMG_4053 copy IMG_4121 copy IMG_4128 copy Wear comfortable shoes,                            bring your camera,                                and a venetian glass bead necklace
and amulets

IMG_4138 copy IMG_4139 copy         ……….Free participation!  Just book yourself and friends at

info@doyoubead.com or call +39 041 5230292 IMG_4166 copy At the end, prizes to best groups and a toast                              hosted by enchanting Hotel Ca’Negra          http://www.hotelcanigra.com facing the Grand Canal

IMG_4107 copy

VENICE:DO YOU BEAD?

Let me introduce the charming “signora veneziana” Gloria Beggiato, owner of the magnificent Hotel Metropole and creator of the 2013 Fashion Design Made In Venice a five months event dedicated to strictly Venetian designers whose products favour refined and precious materials

Once a year, the windows of the Metropole’s Oriental Bar become a luxurious display of Venetian excellence and help rediscover objects combining art, technique and fashion. www.hotelmetropole.com

Once a year, the windows of the Metropole’s Oriental Bar become a luxurious display of Venetian excellence and help rediscover objects combining art, technique and fashion.
www.hotelmetropole.com

Among this year artists, Marisa Convento presented Venetian Dreams, an amazing collection of necklaces, earrings, bags and corals created from the most beautiful Venetian glass beads as a tribute to the traditional crafts of Venice, once entrusted to the patient and creative hand of the “impiraresse” (bead workers).

Among this year artists, Marisa Convento presented Venetian Dreams, an amazing collection of necklaces, earrings, bags and corals created from the most beautiful Venetian glass beads as a tribute to the traditional crafts of Venice, once entrusted to the patient and creative hand of the “impiraresse” (bead workers).

Despite hours of work Marisa aims to keep prices under control. For example, a stunning glass bauble on a cord costs about $75 and this elegant handmade bag is less than $250.

Despite hours of work Marisa aims to keep prices under control. For example, a stunning glass bauble on a cord costs about $75 and this elegant handmade bag is less than $250.

Coming right from the sea…This spectacular necklace looks like a coral tree, but is actually made from minuscule red beads. It took two weeks of work!

Coming right from the sea…This spectacular necklace looks like a coral tree, but is actually made from minuscule red beads. It took two weeks of work!

Marisa is also an enthusiastic supporter of DO YOU BEAD?  www.doyoubead.com, a project that aims to popularize the culture and tradition of glass beads produced in
Venice and Murano, increasingly threatened by the marketing of no value products
 and no historical repertory.

Marisa is also an enthusiastic supporter of DO YOU BEAD? www.doyoubead.com , a project that aims to popularize the culture and tradition of glass beads produced in
Venice and Murano, increasingly threatened by the marketing of no value products
 and no historical repertory.

In an age of fakes and degradation of genuine products, what is common to all designers and companies involved in
DYB? is a great passion for these little wonders that are traditional Venetian beads

In an age of fakes and degradation of genuine products, what is common to all designers and companies involved in
DYB? is a great passion for these little wonders that are traditional Venetian beads

The glass beads are in fact part of the fundamental enormous artistic heritage that the city of Venice has produced over the centuries.


The glass beads are in fact part of the fundamental enormous artistic heritage that the city of Venice has produced over the centuries.

Check Marisa Convento web www.venetiandreams.altervista.org

Check Marisa Convento web www.venetiandreams.altervista.org