Wednesday, February 29, 2012



02012012 Naples was once upon a time the largest city in Italy, and also in Europe. Today, it is better known as a UNESCO World Heritage Site brimming with history, arts, music, architecture, culture, and gastronomic adventures. You can relax and unwind at Orto Botanico which is one of the most beautiful landscaped gardens in the city. It was created nearly 200 years ago. You can take a leisurely stroll and discover its array of unique flora, be it palms, tree fern glades, cacti, shrubs, or flowering trees. The site is open daily, and admission is free. 48 hours in Naples | 48 Hour Visit
02022012 Face it - Naples is likely not the first destination to come to mind when planning a trip to Italy. So imagine my surprise, on a recent trip there, when I discover a dynamic, architecturally and artistically interesting city with enough world-class sights to keep me occupied for days. The city has devoted itself to cleaning up its act over the past decade, and while it retains elements of the old Naples, today’s Naples is well on its way to reclaiming its 2,800-year birthright as one of Italy’s most important centers of art, gastronomy, architecture, and culture. The Brighter Side of Naples | National Geographic Traveler
02032012 Naples is a very old place and has many legends and spirits associated with it. Of the two most famous spirits in Naples, the bella ‘Mbriana is certainly the more positive one. The other is Munaciello, a much darker and frightening entity. The bella ‘Mbriana only appears for an instant, as a reflection in a window or through a curtain swaying in a breeze. She is described as a beautiful young woman with a gentle face, and there is brightness about her. Her name derives from the Latin “Meridian;” the brightest hour of the day. This is significant because Southern Italians are referred to as Meridionali, a word that has the same Latin origin and refers to the people of the midday sun. Lessons from the bella ‘Mbriana | Magna GRECE
02042012 No matter where I go in Italy and the world, I come home and find myself relieved to be back in Naples. Ultimately, though, the reason I love living in Naples is that the people here rarely treat me like a foreigner. In Naples, you know what happens when I speak Italian? Nothing. The waiter brings me a cup of coffee. Or the water or wine I ordered. It's expected that you speak Italian, almost as Americans expect people to speak English in the United States. Non si muove | The American
02052012 Lulu Kennedy, Fashion East founder, began her degree in Contemporary Cultural Studies at Middlesex University then transferred to ‘Instituto Orientale’ in Naples where she also organised acid house raves, booking London DJ's to come and play, including Princess Julia. One legendary rave was in a medieval castle and when the police arrived to close it down Lulu’s team just hoisted the drawbridge and carried on! After a little too much fun, Lulu decided it best to come back to London where she finished her degree and started working in contemporary art galleries. We Love Lulu Kennedy | Fashion's Most Wanted
02062012 I’m discovering great things about every port. Today for instance, after visiting the Silhouette, the newest ship that is nearly identical to the ships I’ve been on, we went out for pizza in Naples, Italy. It was pretty good. They cooked it in a wood fired oven which gave it a smoky and even a bit charred flavor. Very good. Three Cruises Down. | RyanOnTheShip
02072012 On Friday night, we joined a tour offered by the USO to a local winery for grape picking and wine tasting. Just the drive to the winery was an adventure. We left for what was supposed to be a 20 minute drive to a winery located on the side of Mount Vesuvius. This winery does not sell their wine to any other stores or distributors, and they're only open on Saturday & Sunday to the public... except for special events and tours such as ours. Since we were very, very late, we were quickly led into the vineyard and given shears & crates to get to clipping. Pepe the Winemaker supervised. Grape Stomping & Wine Tasting | In Search of Gelato
02082012 “Falanghina is a historic grape from Campania, the region that includes Naples. Sannio is a hilly region of Campania, north of Naples, with a wine-growing history so ancient that it was favorably mentioned – as Samnium in Latin – in the works of Pliny, Cato and Horace.” Vin Bar – Santa Monica | Refined Palate
02092012 A meal is like a fine Italian opera, many singers of differing range coalesce into a beautiful entertaining story and a memorable experience. And like wandering upon some street corner in New Orleans, you may fortuitously stumble upon such a talent. That is exactly what happened when I wandered into The Chefs of Napoli. Having been to Italy and particularly to Naples several times, I know the real deal. Chefs Luigi Barile and Antonio Cacace are the real deal. Both hail from the hometown of Sophia Loren, Pozzuoli, Italy. A small seaside town nestled in the outskirts of Naples about twenty minutes drive from the big city. Both their fathers were fishermen. Childhood friends, they grew up together and were introduced to the cucina at an early age. Learning how to make gnocchi from Grandmother led to working in family restaurants and eventually here to America. The Chefs of Napoli | Basil Magazine
02102012 Executive chef Andrea Froncillo came to Salito's after being executive chef at an impressive list of Bay Area restaurants including Calzone's, the Stinking Rose, the Crab House at Pier 39, Bobo's, the Franciscan at Fisherman's Wharf, and the Old Clam House, all in San Francisco, and the Dead Fish in Crockett. Froncillo was born in Naples, Italy, learning to cook in his grandmother's kitchen before receiving his formal training from the E.N.A.L.C. culinary school, graduating with honors. Bread & Butter | Marin Independent Journal
02112012 Even after the post Neapolitan pizza invasion took captive our minds and stomachs, Di Fara remained a critic and consumer favorite. Some might say this is a purely American pizza, and I couldn’t disagree more. Is very much an Italian pizza, made to order, by a single hand. Even the afternoon intermissions evoke memories of Napoli. Dom has expertly crafted the perfect fusion of American and Italian principals, ingredients, and flavors. In Brooklyn, a Pizza thats all Heart | Authentic Italian American
02122012 On the way to Amalfi the coach stopped to admire the view of the town of Positano that clings improbably to a vertical cliff with buildings tumbling chaotically from the top right down to the beach at the bottom. All transport in Positano is only possible on foot but it looked well worth the effort as it boasted the most picturesque pastel villas adorned by pink bougainvillea and pots of boiling red geraniums and sweet smelling Mediterranean herbs. Best of all, in my opinion, was the village of Vallone di Furore, where steep rock walls sheltered an enclave of abandoned and partially collapsed fishermen’s houses and a tiny harbour with a beach littered with small hard working fishing boats all resting up for the day. The Amalfi Drive |
02132012 The Amalfi drive is noted as one of the world's most picturesque coastline drives. Sorrento, Italy | Liquid Blue
02142012 A crenellated castle, pink-washed clifftop church, and pebbled beach make Vico Equense perhaps the most dramatic—though surprisingly undiscovered—village on the Sorrento Coast. A Village Escape in Vico Equense | Travel + Leisure
02152012 Naples is a diamond-in-the-rough, offering stunning landscapes, historical monuments and a burgeoning art scene. Though Naples is not a touristy city in the same sense as Venice, Florence or Rome, it should be. This is a city teeming with grandiose monuments, piazzas, churches and museums, and some of Italy’s finest and best-value-for-money cuisine. Beauty Amid the Chaos in Naples | TravelMuse
02162012 In the evening, we took the underground tour of Naples. Naples, like many cities in Italy, was built on top of old Roman cities. The interesting part was the aqueducts. It was 40 meters below ground level. Plants in the aqueducts. There is so much water in the air down in the aqueducts that these plants grew without the need for watering. Naples, Pizza, Pompeii, and Brothels |
02172012 Paestum is an ancient Greek coastal town about 80km south of Naples with a surrounding area partially devoted to the cultivation of their Carciofo di Paestum (Paestum Artichokes). Most of the fields we occasionally saw as we drove into town were full of plump purple buds floating above a mass of green foliage. The predominant method to cook the Paestum artichokes is to roast them above (but not touching) hot coals. The Artichoke Blog | Feast of Paestum Artichokes
02182012 The martyrium complex founded by St. Paulinus at Cimitile, near Nola. The bishoprics of Neapolis and Nola had a complex relationship in late antiquity. Ancient Naples: A Documentary History | Rabun Taylor
02192012 Arpaise in the Province of Benevento is a nature lover's paradise hiking and horseback riding. Arpaise | travelcampania
02202012 Ischia has all the beauty of Capri at about half the price. It has great beaches, friendly restaurants and thermal hot springs bubbling up from its volcanic core. For sightseers and photographers alike, the Aragonese Castle and the Gardens of La Martella are must-sees. | BootsnAll
02212012 In 1976, Gore Vidal wrote of Villa Cimbrone: Twenty five years ago I was asked by an American magazine what was the most beautiful place that I had ever seen in all my travels and I said the view from the belvedere of the Villa Cimbrone on a bright winter's day when the sky and the sea were each so vividly blue that it was not possible. The Terrace of Infinity, entirely restored by Lord Grimthorpe in 1907, commands a sublime view. The high point literally and figuratively of our trip to the Amalfi coast. This balconata belvedere is believed to have existed ever since the days of ancient Rome. Standing on the stone balcony, one feels weightless, dizzily suspended between earth and heaven over the blue Bay of Salerno. The Splendor of Ravello | Your Garden Matters
02222012 Villa Peirce is nestled in the beautiful park of Rocca Matilde. The large enchanting park spreads from Posillipo's hill to the sea providing the perfect setting for a variety of citrus trees, caves, temples, fountains, paths, bridges and terraces and was documented by many famous authors. An extremely beautiful natural setting was further inspired by true romantic English taste. Enchanted by the Posillipo's natural beauty and troubled by her marriage, the Marchesa left England to reside in Naples in 1842. The three story building, as it appears today is laid out at sea level on a small man made harbour. The vaults, terraces, pillars, towers, marbles recall Moresque inspiration. In 1909, the Peirce family bought the property and more recently the villa was owned by Achillle Lauro. Gala Dinner | European Workshop on Optical Fibre Sensors 2007
02232012 From the tourism point of view, Herculaneum is known for the vibrant colors of the frescoes inside some of the villas. The details are, indeed, pretty impressive. One of the things that I find both exhilarating and shocking about historical sites and artifacts in Italy is how close you can get to them. There are certainly some things that are too delicate to allow rough handling by the masses, but there's a surprising amount that you can not only touch, but walk on. Herculaneum: Pompeii’s mud-covered sister city | TourAbsurd
02242012 Remains of rotten fish entrails have helped establish the precise dating of Pompeii's destruction, according to Italian researchers who have analyzed the town's last batch of garum, a pungent, fish-based seasoning. The desiccated remains were found at the bottom of seven jars. The find revealed that the last Pompeian garum was made entirely with bogues (known as boops boops), a Mediterranean fish species that abounded in the area in the summer months of July and early August. Fish Sauce Used to Date Pompeii Eruption | Discovery News
02252012 Pizzeria Anna, in the small town of Agropoli, is a place without pretension. I ordered the pizza a sorpresa, the surprise, which turned out to be divided into eight sections, each representing a different selection from the menu. It arrived like a painting, like a masterpiece you see, smell and eat. The base was light and crisp – not too crisp, but nowhere near soft or spongy. One section was a sample of the remarkable and rare duchessa – a ham and mashed potato pizza, which tasted much better than it sounds, and was not at all stodgy or bland. Another section held perfectly cooked squid and huge, succulent prawns. Yet another was a triangle of salad, with rocket leaves, slivers of carrot and what I think were pumpkin flowers. Elsewhere there was creamy mozzarella, fragrant basil and a rich, sweet, almost fruity tomato sauce. I travel to Italy regularly and I eat plenty of pizza so believe me when I tell you that this was extraordinary. Is this the best pizzeria in Italy? | The Guardian
02262012 A pizzeria called Sorbillo was on my list of 'places to eat pizza' and according to my Time Out guide to Naples it didn't close for August. So we walked down Via Santa Maria di Constantinopoli, through Piazza Bellini, ending up at the beginning of Via dei Tribunali. This was another arrow straight road but it seemed to have much more shops along it than its parallel, Spaccanapoli. We even found a SSC Napoli store where we bought Rory the team's football kit. Forza Napoli | Colin Owen
02272012 The exact circumstances of the discovery and description of the fossil of Scipionyx is an intriguing story. Giovanni Todesco during a journey in South Italy visited the site of Pietraroia and hoping to collect some fossils he examined a slab of unusual shape in a dump of rocks used for the construction of a new street. Observing more carefully the rock he noted imprints of bones covered by a thin layer of sediments. He took the slab home and tried to remove the thin layer of sediments, but soon abandoned this arduous task and the presumed bird-fossil became forgotten for years. Only in 1992 Todesco contacted the palaeontologist Giorgio Teruzzi, who finally recognized it as dinosaur and contacted the rare Italian dino-experts. The history and geology of the first Italian dinosaur: Scipionyx samniticus | History of Geology
02282012 The Amalfi Coast is one of Italy’s greatest treasures; in contrast to the landlocked beauty of Tuscany, the Amalfi region is all about the interplay of the Mediterranean sea and the hilly coast line, with all the plunges and beautiful colors associated with the villages that dot the coastline. Positano, Sorrento, and Amalfi are just three of the towns worth exploring here, but the entire region offers a luxurious artist’s haven. Artistic Travel along Italy’s Amalfi Coast | TravelSort
02292012 As is well documented by a bunch of archival sources, for about five years Giotto served as court painter to King Robert the Wise in Naples. He first appears on the king’s payroll in late 1328, was made an official member of the Royal household on January 20, 1330, and remained in Robert’s service at least until 1333 or perhaps even early 1334. A document dated May 20, 1331, also provides information what Giotto was working on: An altarpiece (which had already been completed by that time), and wall-paintings in the Capella Secreta as well as in the Capella Magna of the Castel Nuovo, the most important of the city’s Royal residences. Giotto’s Frescos in Naples (Lost Artworks #1) | L’historien errant