Warning: This video is so funny you might pee yourself.
Graphic Language. Keep the Kiddies Away!
CIVITA DI BAGNOREGIO, Italy (NY Times)— Forgive Sandro Rocchi if he seems a smidgen satisfied as he enjoys a midday glass of red wine at his children’s restaurant and relishes the unlikely revival of this stunning hilltop village. He moved away in the 1970s for lack of prospects. Now there are shops, restaurants, boutique properties and gobs of tourists.
“The place has come back to life,” Mr. Rocchi said.
There is a teensy problem, though.
Civita di Bagnoregio is slowly, steadily collapsing, and it has been for centuries. Landslides have incrementally eroded the sheer cliffs, at one point slicing off the ancient stone residence of the village’s most famous native, Giovanni di Fidanza, the medieval theologian canonized as St. Bonaventure. For years, this losing war of geological attrition was not such a big deal because barely anyone lived in Civita, and not too many people visited.
The year-round population is still tiny — maybe six people, maybe eight — but Civita, 75 miles north of Rome in central Italy, is now a tourism dynamo, with more than 500,000 visitors expected this year. It is a candidate to become a Unesco World Heritage site. It is the centerpiece of a regional tourism campaign and is featured on city buses in Rome. It is, everyone agrees, a marvel.
Photo Tourists played on the columns outside the San Donato Church in Civita. More than 500,000 visitors are expected this year. Credit Nadia Shira Cohen for The New York Times And it is still collapsing, if very slowly. In May, a hillside gave way near the elevated one-lane road that leads to the footbridge that leads to the village. The road remains stable as crews are working on the hillsides; tourists have not seemed to notice. A local geologist estimated that Civita had suffered about 10 landslides during the past year, some of them small, others more damaging.
“Rain is the main problem,” said the geologist, Giovanni Maria Di Buduo, who oversees a local museum dedicated to the geology of Civita and the surrounding region. “Rain gets into the fractures of the volcanic rock and creates alterations. In the last five centuries, we’ve seen a reduction of the cliff by about 20 percent due to landslides.”
Given the newfound tourist trade, as well as the historical and cultural significance of a village first built by the ancient Etruscans, the Lazio regional government is moving to respond. One possibility is to push for a national law granting special status and funding to Civita. Also, Lazio officials say they will draft a 10-year plan for a holistic approach to reinforcing and protecting the village, after more ad hoc efforts in the past....
(Read the entire article here)
A 42-year-old Italian from Naples has become the first woman to win the world pizza making championships. Teresa Iorio scooped the coveted Caputo trophy on Thursday, awarded to the best pizza made in traditional Napolitano style, Ansa news reported. “I'm so happy,” said a tearful Iorio as she picked up her award. “I'd like to dedicate this to my mother and my father who taught me the art of pizza making. Whenever I roll out a pizza base I think of my dad,” she told reporters.
Iorio had extra cause to celebrate, being the first female to win the award in the competition's 14 year history.“I thought it was impossible. I want to share my award with pizza making women everywhere.” Iorio said. The master pizza maker comes from a family of pizza making women and heads up the pizzeria Le Figle di Loro in Naples, with an all female staff that includes her two sisters and niece.
The world pizza making championships celebrate the complex craft of pizza making and attracted 500 pizza chefs from all over the world to Napoli Pizza Village this year. At Napoli Pizza Village, the chefs competed in a number of different categories, including gluten-free pizza, pan pizza and even free style pizza before their creations were judged by an expert jury comprising Michelin-starred chefs.
I thought that as a treat, I'd show you an assortment of some of the best looking pizzas I've ever seen. Celebrate pizza by making one at home this week! Here are some links to other posts that will help...
PIZZA MAKING: Putting together a pizza toolkit
Nostra Cucina: Our Pizza Sauce Recipe
RECIPE: How to make a basic thin crust pizza dough
Let these pizzas inspire you!
Let's get this straight from the outset. I'm an American. Sure, I'm technically Italian-American--full blooded, both sides of my family. My Dad was born in Molfetta, Puglia. My Mom was born here but is second general Napoletano. But I learned to be happy and proud about being an American after living in France for a while. Other countries don't hold a candle to our freedom and the possibilities our American way of life offers.
But... There is a lot to be learned from other cultures, as I did after living and traveling throughout France when I was a younger man. As complex as France was, I found Italy to be much more simple in many ways. The food is more simple--much easier to grasp the simple cooking methods than in French cuisine. The wine is both simple and good, whereas French wines, varieties and classifications are mind-boggling. The architecture is also simple in a timeless way... some villages have barely changed since the time of the Romans.
But mostly I want to explore the lifestyle. What are the elementary things that make the Italian way of life so loved and prized throughout the world --no less by the proud people of Italy itself? If you want to live the Italian life you need to go on a Voyage to both Italy and inside yourself. You need to ground yourself in the basic things that make Italians both complex and simple... that allow them to appreciate the mundane things around them, their families and the natural world around them--especially in the sense of where their food comes from.
So, here are some things you might try to live The Italian Life...
So, try these suggestions and live the Italian way... be a Buongustaio (person of good taste). Learn to live la dolce vita (the sweet life).
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Before becoming a Voyager in Italy we heard all sorts of horror stories about pickpockets and didn't want to become victims. To be honest, it wasn't all that bad, however, there are still things you should do and watch out for when traveling in Italy.
I hope this helps protect you while you are on your own Grand Voyage. Rome is no worse than Manhattan, Florence is just plain packed shoulder to shoulder with tourists, Naples is… well, Naples. Just be careful and have a great time!
For more... read:
Keeping Things Safe against Pickpockets & Thieves
Travel Tip: Before Losing a Wallet in Italy...
Keeping Safe in Italy: Gypsies, Scams, beggars and Italian Toll Booths?
Rome Taxiphobia: Much Ado About Nothing
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Simple and easy to prepare... Thin baguettes cut and hollowed out into short tubes. Stuff with rolled prosciutto and tuck a stick of sharp provolone or caciocavallo in the middle. Perfect as hors d'oeuvres for a party or as a simple antipasto.
I've written before about odd things Italians eat, but this takes the cake...er... spleen, that is. In Italian, this sandwich is called Panini con la Milza--in Napoletano dialect it's Pani Cà Meusa. Many claim this street food from Palermo in Naples is delicious. I mean, I don't know about you, but I've never been one to clamor for organ meats. My Dad would have loved this. I still remember the stink... er... smell... of Dad frying up liver, onions and peppers for his dinner. Once in a while, he'd add some heart.
Many people love the old world, earthy flavors of sweetbreads (pancreas), liver, heart, brains and other organ meats. If you're one of them, the next time you're in Palermo, look for a vendor selling this Panino. It starts with a sesame seed roll. Next, veal (poor baby cow) lung... yes, lung... and spleen are fried in lard. Put the cooked organ meat into the bread and top it with grated caciocavallo. A Philly Steak this ain't. Ok... can I have a Pani Cà Meusa, hold the spleen, hold the lung with extra caciocavallo? (Shades of Jack Nicholson in Five Easy Pieces).
It's primarily found on the streets of Palermo but you can also get yours at Pani Cà Muesa, a local lunch joint across from the marina. They are also known for various other fritters and croquettes in case your not into organ meats.
As for me, I dunno... sitting watching sailboat masts rocking and rolling in the harbor while eating spleen and lung...er... uh... (gulp)... Gotta go!
--Jerry Finzi (the guy with a fairly narrow palette)
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We saw many nutty sights with cars and drivers in Italy. This video shows a typical Italian way of thinking in order to solve a problem...
I found this beautiful video profiling the Solimene Ceramics Factory on the Amalfi Coast in the seaside town of Vietri sul Mare. Aside from Solimene producing some of the most beautiful ceramics from Vietri, the building--although tired--is a Mid-Century Modern architectural gem. Read about our visit to this unique ceramics factor, the other nearby ceramics shops and our drive on the Amalfi Coast here.
Enjoy the video...
If you enjoyed this video... send us some nice Italian cheese. Perhaps an aged sheep's milk caciocavallo. ....Ok, then just LIKE us and SHARE with your friends. Ciao!