After rising up from the valley floor in the funiculare tram, a short walk brings you to the old plaza, la Piazza Vecchia. Encircled by palaces, a bell tower and a colonnaded portico, the space is punctuated at its center by a Baroque fountain from the late 1700s. The piazza is the heart of the city.Those palaces [...]
For 4 Euro and 20 cents – about $6.00 – each way, I was able to hop on the train and take a 45 minute ride to Bergamo, east-north-east of Milan. Amazing amazingness. I’m still picking my chin up off the floor. I’m in awe that I can spend just a few dollars and in [...]
I guess this blog site might be a turn-off to vegetarians. Sorry about that. I’m living in Italy. Not just meat, but RAW meat on the menu… and I eat it all. Shavings of raw lard. Ground up who-knows-what. Slices right off the moldy leg bone. Bring it on.
Mmm. It’s 10:00 p.m. and I just cut into a big chunk of Cinghiale Bresaola – uncooked, aged, wild boar meat. (Cinghiale: ching-GHYA-lay) Yum. So good. Peppered on the outside. Dense/firm. Deep red. I bought it at the artisanal fair the beginning of last December when I sampled foods from every region in Italy. It’s been waiting [...]
It’s an odd position to be in this limbo of not knowing how long I’ll stay in Italy. My original plan was to be here for a year, but as my Seattle departure date approached last June, I thought, and all my friends concurred, that one year might not be long enough. I arrived in [...]
This could easily be the next big thing. The new, chic food. All it would take is some hip New York restaurant to put it on the menu and spread the word. Or a Guru T.V. Show Chef to rave about it: The All-American Grilled Mortadella Burger. You could cut a half inch thick slab [...]
Getting out at Milano Centrale Metro Station to change from one line to another, I came up the escalator and was faced with this beautiful, colorful, tired doorway. Gorgeous.
January 7, at 40 degrees on a gray day, I bundled up and hopped on my bike for a ride along the canal. Down a ways, with a construction site on the opposite shore, I spotted a calico looking quite content, “meatloafing” on a pallet of concrete blocks. The guy smoking on the balcony beyond [...]
Walking past the bus stop, this ad stopped me in my tracks. McDonald’s. (A stranger in few parts of the world.) The assurance of 100% Italian Meat. The seared map of Italy on the big Mac meat patty. “When you eat our meat, it’s a whole other story, all Italian. Here’s a link to their website. [...]
“I was born in 1945 during the war years and I grew up with family members all around me talking about politics and The War. They didn’t always agree. I think that being surrounded by these discussions as a child is why I love history so much today.” Today Angelo became my second personal tour [...]
Have you ever wondered about the first ones to eat something new that they hadn’t encountered before? IS it edible? What PART is edible? Should it be eaten RAW or COOKED? What part do you DISCARD? What part is most DELICIOUS? How is it best PREPARED? What should it be eaten WITH? Traveling to and [...]
This whole time (Italy, France…) is a lesson for me that my life experience is entirely a reflection of what’s going on between my own ears. For instance, Americans always say “The French are arrogant and unfriendly!”, but I refused to walk around Paris with that belief and viewpoint. So I extended myself and was [...]
“Maureen, there are a few of us having some appetizers and wine. Why don’t you come join us?” It was Mario, the regional director for ONAV, the National Organization of Wine Tasters. We had met a few times at their wine-tasting events: Prosecco-tasting, Barbera- and Barolo-tasting, Champagne-tasting. I’m going to attend their 9 week course [...]
Gotta love these Italians. They had two national, Catholic holidays at the beginning of December. Then two weeks off for Christmas and New Years. Then, today is the Feast of the Epiphany, also a national holiday. (Italy is about 98% Catholic.) A lot of people took this whole week off since they were already on [...]
From my journal entry, New Year’s Day 2010: I took off walking toward the Duomo at 4:10 today. It’s New Year’s Day. I needed to get out of the house and get my body moving. I decided to zig zag through the “neighborhood” on streets I’ve never seen before, rather than take the sure, known [...]
I haven’t seen this much fur ever, anywhere. Between Milano and Paris my eyes are full-up with fur coats! Women stroll arm-in-arm with a sweetheart or a girlfriend and browse the shop windows in their below-the-knee, full length coats. Fur ruffs. Fur hats and shawl collars.
New Year’s Eve. “Capodanno” they call it here. Fireworks are going off in the distance. Having just come back from the energy of Paris, I don’t feel compelled to go downtown tonight, but will follow my tradition of spending the evening writing. Part of that act is the reflection on the past year, and for [...]