Monday, 24 February 2014

vintage lambretta advertising

our newest acquisition from the local antiques market, in Vittorio Veneto.
a page from a 1959 italian magazine featuring a lambretta adv.

it will look great near the same year's playboy cover!

Saturday, 8 February 2014

italian lexicon for the curious traveller

if you have been reading this blog for a while, you probably came across italian words like osteria, agriturismo, malga...
i studied foreign languages for a few years, and i know that some words just cannot be translated, without giving up a small part of their original meaning. so, it's about time to share a little lexicon designed for anyone who wants to travel and discover the rural Itay, and for anyone who is naturally curious.
this new blog section is called italian lexicon for curious travellers and from now on you can find it n the right column. i will keep it updated, hope you like it!
have a lovely weekend 

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

when it rains

as a kid, i had this book, called che cosa fare quando piove, by richard scarry. the original title, in english, is best rainy day book ever. you've probably already heard of it, or at least i hope so, cause it's such a great childrens book. if you have not, it is a collection of ideas on what to do on rainy days.

i cannot emulate mister scarry, but here it has been raining for days, so i had some time to make my personal list about that. i hope you like it, and want to share some of what you like to do when it rains {stay in bed all day: not accepted!}.

indoor picnic

i am still a kid, i know. i should go back to richard scarry. but it's so fun! you know i love picnics, and i have to wait months (months!) before i get an outdoor one.

go outside for a walk

i'm aware this is not the "when the sun is shining" post, keep reading. 
the only problem we have, while walking in the rain, is that we don't want to get wet {because we're going to do things like work}. but, if we expect that, and we're okay with it because we are keeping in mind the hot shower we'll take back home, it will be lovely.
bring an umbrella, some colorful rain boots, make sure you're warm enough. enjoy the drops on the trees, the sound(s) and the reflections, jump on a puddle. if you're lucky, you can catch the best moment: when the rain stops and the sun comes out. isn't that light amazing?

it's raining outside, so we're camping inside

do you know that photo by tim walker? since i saw it for the first time, i have been fascinated. coziness plus camping! i had to try it, and that was the perfect opportunity.

try something new

it could be a recipe you've never tried yet. or the start of a new tradition. 
marco and i made some canederli for dinner, a typical trentino dish, made of old bread, flour, eggs and salami. 
plus, the idea of starting a bookclub with some girl friends is growing!  

ice skating date

a field trip to the closest (indoor) ice rink. this is the one point of the list i have not done yet. 

visit a museum/exhibition

we chose an amazing illustration exhibition, called Illustri, held in Vicenza. it featured eleven talented italian illustrators: shout, emiliano ponzi, olimpia zagnoli, bomboland, ale giorgini, mauro gatti, riccardo guasco, francesco poroli, umberto mischi, jacopo rosati, rubens cantuni. we loved it and a piece of it, a fine print by riccardo guasco, is now at home with us, a reminder of that heavy rain day. 

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Transilvania roadtrip. January, 18-20th

after a day in Bucharest, our romanian journey continued with a roadtrip to Transilvania, kindly organized by Anna {green holiday italy} and Dario, who hosted us in Romania.
like everyone i suppose, i had some images of Transilvania on my mind: the land of vampires, with castles, mysterious aura, spooky landcapes.. well, i cannot say it is actually like that, but, as in every legend, there is a grain of truth.

in Transilvania there are many well-preserved castles, fortresses and fortified churches, the medieval allure is everywhere. many rooftops have that witch-hat look which movies and illustrated books taught us to associate with unearthly tales. other houses seem stolen from the disney's sleeping beauty set. {you know the one where Aurora lived with the three fairies? that kind of house}

add winter colors and thick mist, and you'll understand why Mr Stoker chose this location for his Dracula novel {although he never visited the place}. Transilvania but in particular Bran castle, which was our first stop.

the castle doesn't look sinister at all, and is much more beautiful than i thought. built on the top of a hill back in 1212 by knights, it has seen a lot. it has been a stronghold, a strategic location, a customs post, a royal residence, a fictional home of a vampire count, and now it is a museum.
Bran castle

then, we moved on to Râșnov Fortress, another former teutonic knights site, with impressive towers, bastions and drawbridge, with a small village inside. now it has been partly restored, but still requires a strong intervention. 

Brașov, the town we visited after the fortress, was a pleasant discovery. a charming town, very european, with a dark gothic church {the black church, biserica neagra}and a big mountain {tampa mountain, muntele tampa. you can hike to the top in about 1 hour, or take the cable car} behind, which add character to the city. 

last stop was Prejmer fortified church {unesco world heritage site}. as old as Bran castle, we were able to see just its high walls, cause it is closed on sunday.

Râșnov Fortress

looking outside the car window, the images i now associate with romania are large, large fields, a little snow, craft markets, flocks, haunted looking houses, people dressed in bright colors, cheese and honey for selling in stalls along the road, soviet style hats.

Bran castle, details
let's talk about food! the inevitable ciorbă {a meat/vegetable/fish soup}, meat, potatoes, cabbage were our companions for a few days, but Romania has also its street food tradition!
the most common street treat is  covrigi, baking goods that look like pretzels, decorated with sesame seeds. but the one we loved the most is called kurtos kalacs, and it's the interesting one to see, too. 
made from sweet dough, it is wrapped around a -sort of- rolling pin, baked above cinders, covered in butter and sugar. it has a crispy crust, and once baked, is rolled again in chopped walnuts. delicious!

{i made a mistake with one of the two rolls shooted in Transilvania, so the images from lovely Brașov - the view from the top of tampa mountain, the vintage looking cable car, the old man with the dove just ouside the black church, marco eating covrigi...- can't be shared. they'll remain memories. i'm so sad about that!}
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