Every year we typically retreat to the nice quite of the Valtidone hills in which we get a chance to recharge our energies and plan the rest of the year both workwise and Casa ChiesiCasa Chiesi Web Site wise!
This year we took part of the Confluenze festival which is a yearly event organised by our dear friend Azzura Zanoli (along with a vast team of collaborators). The initial editions of this festival use to concentrate on the town of Nibbiano which is directly below us and roughly a 10 minute drive from our country place.
This year the festival ran between August 3rd and August 10th which was perfect for us since we had just started our Summer Holiday.
One of the highlights for Betti and myself was a night walk into the woods with an artist that organised an excersice that consisted of painting on white sheets of paper the reflection cast out by the folliage in the woods. So basically we met in the forrest with a team of roughly 30 people who broke down the task towards someone holding a flashlight or torch (in most cases the mobile phones provided the perfect light source) and the other person trying to recreate the folliage on paper that derived from the shadows.
I have to confess that after seeing Betti so full of entusiasm and egging me on to join her in the fun (mind you I cant remember the last time I took a paint brush in my hands) the experience was so liberating and fun! Quite an interesting experiment with beautiful results in the middle of the evening in the famous Bosco delle Streghe (which means Witch Forrest, a name Azzura came up with years ago).
The theme of this years festival was Walking (Camminare) so most of the events revolved around beautiful walks that helped us better understand and appreciate the beauty which is Valtidone. We are looking forward to next years edition of this ever expanding event.
Check out their website (english version coming soon) at this link
Next year if you are in this neck of the woods we invite you to join in on the festivities.
Here is the location of the town of Nibbiano.
As most of you probably know we are a couple that are living in the city of Milan which is a bit hectic by nature (but not as hectic as New York) so roughly 12 years a go we decided to make a small investment and buy an old abandoned trattoria in the small town of CaBazarri in the beautifu hills of Valtidone close to the town of Nibbiano.
This place is roughly and hour and fifty minutes away from our place in Milan and has been the main center of a lot of wonderful moments in our Italian lifestyle experience. In fact we usually are able to spend weekends and short holiday breaks away from the polluted air in Milan.
For us the most magical moment and one which we cherish the most is the Summer Vacation which here in Italy roughly last 3 weeks and is the perfect time to also turn off the preassure valve and relax. This year is even more special since the hot temperatures that people suffer in the city are far away due to the fact that we are at 700 meters above sea level with a drop of about 10 degrees which makes for sleeping under covers at night and no sweat fests like we had in Milan last month.
This is also a great time to go down and visit the Trebbia River which is roughy 30 minutes away and also explore and enjoy other sites and sounds of the valley. In fact we even had time to whip up another recipe which here in the country is a favourite from Betti’s secret arsenal. This time it’s Italian Lemon Mousse (check out the recipe here).
Anyway to give you an idea of this small secret retreat we enjoy on a regular basis here are some photos
Hope you all enjoy a great Summer break wherever you might find yourself and thanks for the support.
Next month I am heading out to the BorderlessLive event in London to promote our brand and expand our adventures from Italy.
Coming back from Traverse19, the traveller bloggers festival that took place last weekend, I want to honor the city of Trento, which hosted us in one of the historical places that well represent the affection of Trento to culture: it Social Theater.
It is a classic Italian theater, with a vaguely neoclassical architectural approach, with a deep stage, a good capacity, its “Palco Reale“, an imposing chandelier, golden decorations and beautiful frescos in the ceiling but It was long considered the most beautiful theater in Tyrol.
It is quite curious to know that in the subsoil important pieces of the building fabric of the Roman Tridentum were discovered with a paved stretch of road, a Domus with mosaics, a craft workshop, and traces of medieval renovations.
As you walk around you can perceive the presence of Roman ruins through the glass frames distribute here and there in the conference rooms.
The history of the social theater of Trento is a story with a happy ending that spans over the life of the city from the beginning of 1800 to today.
The theater was built by a private citizen, Felice Mazzurana, who was also its first owner and its activities started 1819 with the show
“La Cenerentola” by Gioachino Rossini.
Mazzurana believed that Trento was missing a “Real theater” and when the building was completed, he succeeded in selling, in one day, almost all the theater boxes to the rich city families.
In 1835 the theater changed its name to Teatro Sociale and the management passed from Mazzurana to the Società del Teatro.
In 1881 the theater underwent a first restructuring curated by Count Manci and in 1893 the second representation of Manon Lescaut took place there with the presence of the opera author, Giacomo Puccini. These were the golden years of the late nineteenth century, la Belle Epoque when Verdi works came to Trento under the directing of Arturo Toscanini.
Then with the First World War, arrived the closing of the theater and its transformation into a military warehouse.
In 1924 the venue underwent another restoration which signed the beginning of a new era, the cinema. For 60 years the Teatro Sociale hosted prose, opera, and cinema until 1984 when, the impresario Zuliani, unable to bear the costs of the restoration, decided to sell it to the Province Trento which later granted it to the Municipality of Trento.
This ownership change prevented the risk of the theater being turned into a department store
The last restoration, which ended in 2000, gave us back the structure that we see today and we have attended in these days both in his main hall dedicated to entertainment activities and in all the other rooms where the conferences were presented.
Thanks again to Traverse for letting us discover a small Italian jewel and for the city of Trento that hosted this event
Short video I did before the opening ceremony
The last four days have been an eyeopener for us over at Casachiesi! Thanks to our dear friends and fellow bloggers Chef Dennis K. Littley and his wife Lisa Ross along with Amy Askin who pointed out this fantastic blogger conference we were able to attend for the very first time in the city of Trento, Italy which we never had the chance to visit but was on our bucket list.
We took advantage and left early Thursday morning so as to be able to visit and prepare three articles regarding this area. The scent of fresh air and new attractions had us gleaming with anticipation as we knew that we only had two days before the beginning of the weekend sessions which revolved around improving our blogging assets (this site, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube)
If you are curious about what the seminars revolved around here are the schedules for each day
Useful Links related to Traverse Events and VisitTrentino:
Visit Trentino: https://www.visittrentino.info/en
Traverse Events : https://www.traverse-events.com/
This years edition of Traverse in Trento: https://www.traverse-events.com/traverse19/
We arrived on Thursday to the wonderful of Trento for our first Blogger conference. Our dear friend Chef Dennis K. Littley suggested that we come and join him at this wonderful conference which this decided to center around the city of Trento. Two day conference with fellow and speaker covering all things related to the world of blogging.
A great opportunity for us to prepare some new articles about an area of Italy that we had not visited. So watch this space for new articles and some feedback from our experience at Traverse 19 in Trento.
It’s that time of the year again! Crazy deadlines and a wonderful sense that the city is full of life in April. Yes…it’s that time of the year when the famous Salone del Mobile in Milan takes place and the horde of design obsessed fanatics gather in the city to party, see the latest trends and network.
For those who have never visited during this period let me do a nice rundown of what occurs followed with some tips and also some highlight events that you should check out if you are in town.
Ever since I moved to Milan (wayback in 1992) this Event typically takes place during the first or second week in April staying far way from the Easter Holiday which is on the third week of April so as not to lose visitors.
We recommend the following as a base to start with
Locations not to be missed:
the Botanical Garden
the Brera Academy
Brera Design District
– via Palermo 1, Brera Design Apartment (3rd floor) this year will be set up by Cristina Celestino. Planetarium is his project inspired by space and the underwater world, which will reinterpret the carpet as a contemporary material in a setting with luminous sculptures.
– via Palermo 1, The Socialite Family, a “Parisian” apartment in Milan.
– via Palermo 1, the gallery-home that will host a new exhibition and Le Botteghe su Gologone, a collection that combines contemporary design with the traditions of the Sardinian Barbagia.
– via Palermo 5, Marimekko (P5Apartment).
– via Palermo 16, Maisons du Monde.
– via Solferino 11, Dimore Studio, Boffi and Paola C, the invitation is to get lost in temporary locations and showrooms.
– via Moscova 28, Moooi in the beautiful location of the Santa Teresa Media Library.
– via Lovani 6, Artek.
– via Goito 7, HEAD, Haute école d’art et de design de Genève.
– corso Garibaldi 116, DcomeDesign Reloaded (Humanistic Library of Santa Maria Incoronata).
– corso Garibaldi 117, Hem.
– via Ciovasso 17, MT Masking Tape.
– Largo Treves 5, Memphis.
The 2019 edition of the 5vie district is dedicated to the work of Ugo La Pietra.
– via Cesare Correnti 14, Territorial Design, Genius Loci. Discovering the traditional Italian know-how that meets design.
– via Meravigli 7, Masterly – The Dutch in Milan (Palazzo Turati).
– Corso Magenta 24, The Litta Variations.
– via Santa Marta 15, ceramic Paravicini.
– via Santa Marta 18, Human Code by Roberto Sironi, a reflection on human development and 300,000 years of evolution.
– via Bandello 14, Rossana Orlandi, a reflection on human development and 300,000 years of evolution.
Duomo / San Babila
– via Gesù 5, Palazzo delle Meraviglie, Bagatti Valsecchi Museum.
– via Manzoni 5, The Manzoni-Tom Dixon, Restaurant and showroom.
– via Morigi 9, Botanical Reflection, Palazzo Belgioioso.
– via Pietro Mascagni 8, Interstellar, Dimorestudio.
– corso Monforte 35, COS Palazzo Isimbardi, with a 3D printed installation by the French architect Arthur Mamou Mani.
– Palazzo Reale, The Art Side of Kartell, to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the company.
– via Festa del Perdono 7, Interni Human Spaces, State University of Milan. In particular we point out the tribute signed by Piuarch studio to the Forest of Violins, the centenary forest in Val di Fiemme swept away by bad weather last fall. Two large spruce logs will emerge suspended from the loggia of the University’s Courtyard.
– via Ferrante Aporti 27, 17 installations in maxi format. There will be a strong Japanese presence, Maarten Baas with a special project, Freitag, Rapt Studio with the interactive installation Tell me more …
– Royal Room of the Central Station, Pleasure & Treasure, Austrian design.
– via San Gregorio 29, Wallpaper * Handmade, Isko, Denim Sound Texture.
– via Bergognone 34, Ventura Future, Bagatti Valsecchi Museum.
– via Tortona 32, IKEA-Lexus, Torneria where the new speaker collection will be launched with a light and sound installation.
– Superstudio Più, Superdesign Show-Innovation & Tradition, Normann Copenhagen, Lexus, LG Electronics, Japan Loves Superstudio, Korea Craft & Design Foundation, Materials Village.
– Opificio 31, Paola Navone studio, Belgium is Design, Hyundai (in collaboration with the Monocle magazine), Peugeot Design Lab, Citroën …
– via Tortona 35, Outspoken Design Language.
– via Savona 56 / A, Sony Affinity in Autonomy.
– via Savona 35, Norwegian Presence.
– via Vigevano 18, Nendo.
Palazzo Bovara Palazzo Bocconi
– via Vivaio 7, Wonderglass, Nendo, Institute for the Blind.
Island Design District
– via Gaetano de Castillia 26, La Stecca 3.0, the first bar entirely printed in 3D and other events.
– via Genova Thaon by Revel 21, Japanese design and art installations (Fonderia Napoleonica Eugenia).
– via Pastrengo 14, Milan Design Market, Milan Icons with the miniatures of Milan’s most iconic buildings by the artist Ornella Corradini.
– Via Pastrengo 7, Different Bodies, Royal Academy of Fine Arts Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation (KADK).
– via Confalonieri 11, The arctic and sustainable living, Academy of Art and Design of the University of Lapland.
– via Procaccini 4, Unduetrestella, Kids.
XXII Triennale dedicated to sustainability and the relationship between man and the environment.
Being a passionate fan of the old Fiat 500 car (it is my dream to buy one of these relatively soon!) while doing some research regarding the cost and repair tips for these antique classic cars I stumbled upon a young 23 year old self-taught femail mechanic called Giovanna who was recently featured on La Repubblica online edition of the famous Italian Newspaper.
Wow! What a treat to see such a young architect decide to learn on her own how to repair and restore these models from scratch!
Here (in Italian) are some of her videos explaining the genesis of her training
La Repubblica featured article video:
Nana’s Garage promo
Giovanna explains how to restore a Fiat 500 engine
To close out here is where you can find some more information regarding this talented young entrepreneur.
Instagram account: Nana’s Garage
Facebook account: Nana’s Garage
Its official! This June we are going to attend one of the most coolest conference events!
Traverse is back for 2019 and heading to the stunningly beautiful Trentino, Italy!
We will be joining bloggers, YouTubers, Instagrammers, influencers and digital content creators from around the world for a series of talks, workshops, masterclasses, panels, one on ones and more in Italy. Midweek events will be taking place in the days leading up to the conference, with the whole event open to influencers from all backgrounds and abilities.
For the first time at Traverse, post event adventures will take places following the conference, giving attendees the chance to spend more time in this stunning region.
The great thing is that we will be joining our dear friend Chef Dennis K. Littley (https://www.askchefdennis.com/) and his wonderful wife Lisa! We can’t wait!
Roughly 13 years ago we had the fortune of coming across a small abandon country house up in the town of Ca Bazzari (Bazzari) which is our paradise for relaxation when the city of Milan gets to be a bit too much. A small old three-story barn with a patio and no landscaping to deal with but which offers wonderful views of the Val Tidone valley which is considered quite close to the Tuscan hills in beauty and nature (with less tourist!)
Right behind our house is a vast wood area which is covered with Chestnut trees (that tend to arrive in October) that provide fertile ground for the growth of Mushrooms (especially of the Porcini variety). We constantly stumbled upon our neighbor’s descriptions of how many Mushrooms they had found in the past years but in our constant walks in the woods the constantly ran into mushrooms that when we brought them into town they were the joke of the town and suggested to use as poisonous solution to get rid of the spouse. Betti obviously did not appreciate.
This weekend she decided to put a stop to that and dragged me into the woods in search of the always elusive Porcini mushroom. I suggested we try to go as far up and away from the main paths as possible and with Betti guiding the way we stumbled upon a whole field of diverse mushroom from which immediately Betti saw these orange colored variety called Ovuli which are way more rare than the Porcini mushrooms and hard to find.
Upon re-entry from the woods, we brought our bag of mushrooms which obviously contained the typical set of poisonous-looking Porcini but included in the pack we had these two gems
This time Ms. Fernanda and the local mushroom experts dropped their jaws and told us that they are the hardest to find since they are considered a delicacy which gathers a price of 50 euro per kilo!
Betti immediately got on the phone with her Mom to inquire on how to cook them and the final conclusion was just to brush off the dirt, slice them thin and pour a touch of olive oil and lemon drops over them and to dispense of them raw. A true delicate taste and a great way to put a highlight on the weekend.
Who has not dreamed of a traveling cottage able to protect us like a snail shell snail from the elements and able to take us to the most exotic and faraway places, maybe without a circulation permit, car insurance or monthly car payments?
From June 30th to September 9th at the Tadini Academy in Lovere is open the exhibition entitled “Lo squardo del viaggiatore”, which narrates the journeys and the work of Giorgio Oprandi: the artist who introduced colonial Africa to the Italians but perhaps the most interesting thing on show in the exhibition is the car that accompanied him on all his travels.
Oprandi was a painter and an explorer born in Lovere who was the precursor of those artists that, at the beginning of the ‘900, painted landscapes and inhabitants of the Italian overseas possessions.
He was a solitary traveler who toured between deserts, cities, and colonies of Africa with his Fiat 503 equipped with a 16-horsepower petrol engine, that was modified to be equipped with a kitchen and a room, containing all the tools of the craft colors, brushes and canvases.
It is almost impossible to follow the traces of his uneasy wanderings: only the titles of the paintings and sketches give us the geographical coordinates of the artist’s nomadism.
After more than twenty years of traveling between Africa, Albania, and Italy, in the fifties, the historic vehicle was replaced with a second prototype: a Fiat “Giardinetta” equipped with a special framework on which, once the hood has been lowered, a tent could be mounted.
A careful restoration of the first original car welcomes visitors to the exhibition: browsing inside the cockpit you can try to imagine the spirit of adventure and freedom of this artist and his romantic existence.
But in a future date, we will come back to this town overlooking Lake Iseo because it still has many stories to tell.