Saturday, December 31, 2011



12012011 Bob: "Italy gave us pizza - we give them Mickey D's." Jokes & Trivia - Just For Laughs | CruiseMates
12022011 Naples. The Naples of our collective imagination. The old country, where one was always led to believe it all started. With a spoonful of nostalgia and even more sauce, we were told the Italian food we ate in America came from here. But to what extent was what we knew as Neapolitan ever Italian or even from Naples? What was lost in the long trip over all those years ago when the people who started these businesses first arrived? I thought I'd find out. Off to Naples, following the red sauce trail - Controsenso - that means ‘against sense.’ And very little about Naples makes sense. In the beginning, certainly, many will say, not the way they drive or navigate the roads in Naples' historic central district. Generally, everything here that you want to do -- the answer is ‘maybe,’ ‘we hope so,’ ‘I don't know.’ It's exactly like what's so great about this town. It doesn't really work.” - Anthony Bourdain, host of No Reservations. Tony Bourdain's Guide to Naples | Travel Channel
12032011 Quick: What looks like an oyster, but is crunchy and a little sweet? We’re talking sfogliatelle (say it with an Italian lilt: svohl-yah-TELL-eh), the crinkly, ricotta filled pastries from Naples which are, in my opinion, the crowning glory of Italian pastry. What makes them so charming, in addition to being absolutely delicious, is that they look impossible to make, almost mysterious. Sfogliatelle! The French make their mille-feuille (thousand layer) through a rigorous process of rolling, smearing with butter, then folding, rolling, resting, folding, rolling, resting. “Napoleons”, by the way have nothing to do with the little emperor, rather the word is a bastardization of napolitan, referring to Naples, Italy. Flaky Times in a Flaky World | myMEGusta
12042011 Thanks to the ancient import and export activities of its massive port cities and Mediterranean hubs, Campania Felix amassed a significant patrimony of grapevine material. Fertile growing conditions and volcanic soils, plus the proximity of Rome, a major domestic market, gave rise to authentic, varied and unique wines, represented today by crisp and polished whites such as Fiano di Avellino and Greco di Tufo, hearty reds like Taurasi made from the Aglianico grape, rosés, passito sweet wines and now metodo classico sparklers. Not only do many of the varieties come directly from ancient Greece, so do some of the growing methods. In Irpinia, the hilly growing area inland from Naples, cherry, pears and fruit trees were planted between grapevines as an alternative crop and as a trellis system for the grapes. This technique, borrowed from the ancient Greeks, was implemented as a way of suspending grape clusters sometimes as much as 16 feet off the ground to free space for vegetables and legumes planted underneath. Touring the Amalfi Coast | WineEnthusiast
12052011 The novelist Ali Smith feels her spirits lift as she explores the borderlands between fact and fantasy at the Villa San Michele on Capri. Earlier this year I stood in the sculpture loggia at the Villa, and I didn’t just look a god in the eye, I poked a god in the eye. Even better: I cleaned out the eye of a god. I leaned forward under the green bronze head of a Mercury looking down at me, one wing spread open on the side of his head, and removed a small piece of cobweb from the hollow of one of his eyes. It didn’t matter—or rather, it wasn’t what mattered. I was high up on Capri, whose rearing rock bluffs rise out of the sea into a choreography of cloud and cliff, a never-ending shape-shift between mist and revelation. Now you see, and now you don’t. Capri has a way of letting you see differently. A “dreaming sphinx”, Munthe noted in his travel journal in 1885; that’s what the poets called Capri, an “antique sarcophagus”. The Wings of Capri | Intelligent Life
12062011 The grandmother-granddaughter pairing didn’t greet me with hugs like I imagined. In fact, I didn’t know what I imagined, signing up to live with a host family for a month in Sorrento, Italy. The grandmother began grabbing my bag even to my English-Italian protest. “Faccio io! Faccio io!”, she kept saying. With jet lag and fear hanging over, all of the Italian I had picked up in one year in a classroom in California soared out into the Sorrento sky. Tongue-tied and tired, they showed me to my room, pointing to the shower. I can take a hint in any language. “Alle otto per cena, OK?” I mustered up a “Sí” and went straight for the shower. Learning Italian and How To Travel From The Nonna | Lonely Planet
12072011 Here is a video of the event "The Sound of 3R", that took place in Naples last weekend. "3R" stands for "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle". The performance, jointly realized by local environmental activists and a band of percussionists, underlined the fundamental importance of responsible environmental practices - such as working for a drastic reduction of waste, and re-using and recycling items as much as possible. The Sound of 3R | CIEE Study Center in Naples, Italy
12082011 Antonio Salvatore Dattilo-Rubbo was born in Naples on June 22, 1870. Young Antonio showed early a talent for art, won a drawing prize at fourteen, and began his art training at the School of Fine Arts in Rome, then joined the Academy School in Naples. Although Dattilo-Rubbo’s painting was dark and academic on his arrival in Australia and it was these portraits and genre paintings, with their skilful craftsmanship and sound drawing, that gained him immediate acceptance by the art community in Sydney, the seeds of experimental development and interest in colour had already been sown. Cavaliere Antonio Dattilo-Rubbo: Painter and Teacher and some prominent pupils | Manly Art Gallery & Museum
12092011 Inaugurated in 2009, following Marco de Luca’s stunning restyling of Anacapri’s historic Add’O Riccio restaurant, located on the rocks just meters away from the Grotta Azzurra, provides the perfect water’s edge location in which to enjoy the island’s traditional fish and seafood specialties. With 6 terraces of various dimensions, and a total seating capacity of 300, Il Riccio easily transforms into a stunning venue for an unforgettable sea edge wedding reception or glamorous social event. Il Riccio, Capri, Italy | Live Fabulous: Nikki Fowler
12102011 We arrive at the Terme Belliazi at Casamicciola Terme about ten minutes later and once I have established that I can have a look at the Roman baths underneath before a massage, Richard goes to a sunny square to do a watercolour. This spa is like something out of a Fellini movie. I am taken past cublicles and through the half-closed curtain I can glimpse old men wrapped in sheets and moaning softly. On the black and white marble floor are buckets of mud and plastic sheets smeared with mud. This is fango. 'Si,' I reply bravely. 'I'll have the fango.' Roman Mysteries & Western Mysteries |
12112011 The book opens in Rome where her group of 10 women arrive to tackle jet lag while discovering some of the city’s ancient and modern treasures. On their transfer to the Sorrento Peninsula in Campania, the group stops off for a visit to explore the ruins of Pompeii. The next day they’re off to discover Campania’s ancient Greek heritage at Paestum. A brief stop at Vietri sul Mare gets the ladies in a flurry of ceramic shopping excitement, but it’s not until their third day in Campania that they get the first full taste of the Amalfi Coast’s beauty by visiting Positano. Gelato Sisterhood on the Amalfi Shore by Chantal Kelly | Ciao Amalfi !
12122011 The big boat takes you past these amazing cliffs of insanity to rowboat jockeys. Then you wait near the grotto entrance for your rowboat turn, and then your guide takes you into the legendary sea cave. The process takes an hour for a five minute cave tour but the journey makes it all worthwhile. As we approached the cave in our little boat, I had that same sensation I do in the opening moments of The Pirates of the Caribbean. Here, there are no rails. The blue reflection is spectacular. Our guide sang well, putting others to shame. Instead of sailing back to Capri’s main harbor, we asked our guide to drop us off at a pier nearby. capri | Rachel: Photo Diary
12132011 Our walking/hiking tour of the Amalfi Coast begins in Cava de’ Tirreni, a town with a thousand years of history, nestled in a hilly landscape overlooking the Mediterranean Sea and known as the “green gate of the Amalfi Coast.” The location of this town, with its impressive Benedictine Monastery, is the perfect starting point for our adventure and an easy access to the coastal walks. Walk ancient paths and dramatic seascapes. | Siciclando
12142011 Journeying to the Amalfi Coast, you’ll enter a landscape dominated by limestone cliffs and brilliant blue seas. In Pompeii and Positano, archaeological wonders mingle with ristorantes serving Italy’s best-known dishes, regional wines, and chilled liqueurs like limoncello. Guided Walking | Country Walkers
12152011 The city of Salerno has taken holiday lights to another level with their whimsical and creative Luci d’Artista displays. Stroll through the medieval streets of Salerno’s historic center through Il Giardino Incantato, The Enchanted Garden, where you’ll discover dragons and fairies surrounded but a world of colorful floral lights. It’s a magical setting for holiday shopping in Italy! 5 Ways to Celebrate Christmas and New Year’s in Campania! | Charming Italy
12162011 Kelly Brook is staying at the L'Albergo Della Regina Isabella on the island in the Bay Of Naples and chose to have a dip in one of the hotel's three pools. She turned tourist as she strolled the streets of old Napoli before taking to the waves on a boat trip. The brunette beauty also cooled down with an ice cream as she checked out the pottery on a souvenir stand. She wrote on her official Twitter last night: 'In Naples! Men are looking at me like I am Gelato!! Are there women in Italy??' Ciao bella! | Daily Mail
12172011 The book opens in Rome where her group of 10 women arrive to tackle jet lag while discovering some of the city’s ancient and modern treasures. On their transfer to the Sorrento Peninsula in Campania, the group stops off for a visit to explore the ruins of Pompeii. The next day they’re off to discover Campania’s ancient Greek heritage at Paestum. A brief stop at Vietri sul Mare gets the ladies in a flurry of ceramic shopping excitement, but it’s not until their third day in Campania that they get the first full taste of the Amalfi Coast’s beauty by visiting Positano. Gelato Sisterhood on the Amalfi Shore by Chantal Kelly | Ciao Amalfi !
12182011 South of Naples, Positano is one big cliff rising from the Bay of Salerno. The town’s one road winds, turns back on itself, loops around churches and villas and trees that have been here since donkeys determined where the road would go. The advent of the automobile gave Positano to the world. Yet, despite metallic din drowning whispery breezes, I have not found a corner of Positano that lacks an avian chorus. Perhaps natural selection increased the volume of birdsong to give visitors the music they did not know they missed until they arrive woozy and white-knuckled from the hairpin road from Naples, vacation nerves jangling, inner accountant snapping, “You paid a lot for this, and you better get your money’s worth.” Positano | Stiggerink's Blog
12192011 From the first moment, you're transfixed. Must be something about standing hundreds of feet above the blue-green Mediterranean. Or the lemon-infused air wafting through olive groves. Or the fishing villages carved out of cliffs. Your feet glide upon centuries-old cobblestones. Up ancient steps etched into rugged hillsides. To the magnificent vistas from Path of the Gods. From Italy's Amalfi Coast to the Isle of Capri | Backroads
12202011 The Cilento coast is fairly rocky territory, with the shoreline lapped by a crystal sea. We cycle through quaint fishing villages where the traditional way of life is still very evident. We ride to the Greco-Roman city of Paestum with its well-preserved temples and amphitheatre, before heading to the stunning Amalfi Coast itself. We spend two days riding here, visiting beautiful towns like Minori and Positano, but also exploring the peaceful hills inland with their spectacular sea views. Cycling tour in Cilento and Amalfi | Explorer Travel
12212011 Caught the train to Naples and then took the local train (Circumvesvian) to Sorrento. The Circumvesvian wasn't the most comfortable ride, but the cheapest way to get to Sorrento. The hostel (Seven Hostel) we stayed at was great, I absolutely loved staying there. It felt more like a resort than a hostel and it was cheap. We dropped off our stuff and walked along the coastline, stopping at a few viewpoints suggested on the map. The water was amazing, it was blue and so clear that you could see everything on the bottom. My favorite place - Sorrento | TravBuddy
12222011 There is no end to the wealth of native grape varietals in Campania, whether white or red. Vines seem to love its volcanic soils, spilled so many centuries ago from Mount Vesuvius and Mount Massico along the northern coast. Ancient Romans used Campania as their playground, and who can blame them—with perfect produce and vineyards which practically grow themselves. The Romans’ most famous wine—Falernum—is believed to hail from these volcanic soils. Powerful Aglianico flourishes here (as it does too in Basilicata, which claims similar volcanic soils) while native grape Casavecchia is bottled by a handful of winemakers intent on preserving history in a bottle. White wines from Falanghina, Biancolella, Greco or Fiano are a good reason to spend long evenings on the island of Ischia, off the coast of Naples, gazing at the sea and indulging in fresh seafood. Italy > Campania | north berkeley wine
12232011 Victor Burgin used the photograph as a starting point and a diagram. "It tells me to begin in Pompeii." Before his trip, he thoroughly researched the Pompeii ruins from books. In Pompeii, Burgin found the same columns where the woman and photographer once stood. He first took a panorama of stills as well as photos of the columns. The video installation combines both series of photographs. Burgin quotes from his own accompanying text, which describes the basilica: "The capitals are Pompeian Ionic, their volutes embellished with palmettes curling back to the abacus." Victor Burgin: Voyage to Italy: 'It's not simply an architectural photograph' | Press Republican
12242011 ‎"Our peculiar tradition has been to combine art, creativity, design and industrial products," said Vincenzo De Luca, the Italian Consul General to Shanghai. "When I was in high school, I read a lot of newspapers and magazines about international issues and affairs. I also enjoyed movies and music from foreign countries. Beginning in the 1970s in Italy in the schools and universities there was a lot of attention paid to international issues and foreign culture," De Luca told the Global Times. "Students were also very interested in those fields." It was in his final year of university, when he attended a course in international relations, that a teacher told him that he had the makings of a good diplomat. "And he encouraged me to attend preparation courses for the diplomatic career examination when I graduated. I passed the examination soon after. That was in Naples in 1987." The perfect blend | Global Times
12252011 The history of the Greek community of Cumae is of great historical importance for the West since it transmitted the Greek culture to the local communities, and it made the letters of the Greek alphabet known to the Latins, laying the basis for the alphabet which would afterwards become the most important in the world. archaeological trip to cumae | CIEE Napoli
12262011 I Borboni is a leading producer and champion of Asprinio di Aversa, an ancient white wine varietal with tree-hugging vines. The winery, which I visited in May, is situated in the town of Lusciano, about halfway between the two provinces where Asprinio is produced, Naples and Caserta. The appellation takes its last name from Aversa, the town in Caserta around which most of the vineyards are found. To grow Asprinio, I Borboni supports a traditionally Etruscan viticultural system known as vite maritata (“married vine”) by which the vines wrap around the tree trunks of poplar trees and climb to heights of 15 metres. This poses special challenges for the grape pickers, hence the made-to-measure scala napoletana. Joseph’s ladder & the vineyards of Aversa | youngandfoodish
12272011 Some maintain that it comes from a wild native variety domesticated by the Etruscans living in Capua (a city in the province of Caserta). It has similar etymological origins as some of the primitive Lambruscos (Aspro and Cruet) and was cultivated in the same way (vines trained to live supports such as trees, in the case of Asprinio, popular trees) as many of the Lambruscos from the Po River Valley. So there. Asprinio | my life italian
12282011 Follow me inside the kitchen of working-class pizza joint in downtown Napoli and see how they make deep fried pizza, the cult Neapolitan street food. Pizza Fritta is a Neapolitan street food that has never quite taken on outside Naples but enjoys a cult-like reverence amongst the locals. The concept is simple - seal the toppings between two layers of pizza dough and deep-fry it until crispy. Pizza Fritta |
12292011 You all might wonder how come I have this access to the kitchen of one of the best restaurants in Amalfi Coast – Conca del Sogno. Well, this is because my husband’s grandfather was one of the first customers of the Tizzani family, the owners of this wonderful restaurant, so they know my husband’s family since they started this business. My husband always tells me his grandfather Enzo used to be quite a personality. Whenever “nonno” Enzo visited Conca del Sogno, he would sneak into the kitchen to see what the chef and the cooks where preparing. Behind the kitchen door of Conca del Sogno | Tales of Ambrosia
12302011 Our winery, Cantina Episcopio, founded in 1860, embodies a tradition which we have never betrayed. In 126 years, the Don Pasquale bar has “sipped” stories from the movies world, confessions from stars in the show-business, melanchonies of love, dreams of freedom, ideas for tales, and inscrutable silences. Hotel Palumbo’s Ristorante “Confalone” provides pleasure for the palate and a feast for the eye. In the Sala San Giovanni – a 17th century dining room that boasts a priceless painting of St. John the Baptist by Guido Reni, one of Caravaggio’s pupils – and in the Sala Grande – with its 18th century majolica floor and panoramic terrace with superb view – guests can enjoy beauty in its noblest and most varied forms – right here in Ravello. Hotel Palumbo stands 350 metres above sea level: the astounding blues of sky and sea are enhanced by the intense green of the Hotel’s Mediterranean gardens. Luxury Hotel in Ravello: Hotel Palumbo | Italian Collection
12312011 Review of Mustilli Falanghina Sant'Agata de' Goti DOC 2010 by Franco Ziliani: “This wine is vinified in a very simple way. The grapes are hand-selected and -picked. Crushed immediately, the must is fermented in stainless steel at a controlled temperature for about two weeks and is subjected to frequent bâtonnages (stirring of the lees). When needed, a portion of the must undergoes malolactic fermentation. The wine ages at least three months in bottle. My tasting "told" me this about the wine: A vibrant golden color, dry nose, focused, great backbone and elegance, intense and layered, with notes of citrus and orange blossom, hints of white peaches and apple and almond. Altogether a fragrant, zesty wine with a marked minerality. When you first drink it, its attack is dry and clean, rapidly expanding on the palate with great freshness and richness. On the finish fills your mouth and has a rather long finish, all underlined by a wonderful acidity. This Falanghina has a load of energy and liveliness, making it a pleasure to match with your meal and, indeed, to be drunk as an ottimo aperitif. Again, many thanks to Leonardo Mustilli for having rescued Falanghina and made it one of the key white wines of the South.” Ode to Falanghina | Muddy Boots