Today I attended the commemoration of the death occurred on February 19th of Umberto Eco, the worldwide known philosopher, semiotician, writer and university professor and I was surprised to note how much he was loved by the Milanese citizens who gathered inside the Sforza Castle courtyard to tribute its final farewell in such a number you would think unimaginable for an intellectual.
Milanese citizens gathered inside the Sforza Castle courtyard to tribute their final farewell in such a number you would think unimaginable for an intellectual. His knowledge was enormous and his way to communicate it was very light: legions of students must miss this man today, born to teach, unrivaled for his wit, sensitivity, humor and boundless culture.
During its long academic career, he has received 41 “honoris causa” degree from different University around the world and he had other two more which were ready to be added to the list.
This morning was a beautiful day and when we stay in the city we usually go to the market which I love since the first day I made Italy my home. The unique experience of visiting the vendors, joking with them regarding the products they carry and then taking home some real food is priceless.
Another highlight is the fact that you can also get some great deals on delicate cashmere sweaters and fine crafted Italian footwear to mention just a few of the items available.
Here is a video peak of our visit this morning with Betti driving up a bargain with the vendors (or so we think!)
Betti and the Italian Market:
I’ve heard many times about this walk that leads from Voltri, on the outskirts of Genoa, to Varazze, passing through the towns of Arenzano and Cogoleto, that winds along the coast overlooking the sea, following the route of the old railway dismissed in the ’60.
I finally managed to go and try the long path (16 kilometers!!!) the other day, with my sister who lives in Camogli, on a gorgeous sunny morning.
Part of the walk is done under the original tunnels dug and built to pierce the mountain where the rock that plunges into the sea prevented the straight progress of the train. You can still see the traces of the mines used to break through into the hard rock. The rest is just open sea and open sky.
Check out the pictures and if you happened to be somewhere around Genova don’t miss this treasure re-qualified and given back to inhabitants and visitors.
Yesterday we went for a stroll in one of our favorite Italian Street markets which are roughly 5 minutes away from our house in walking distance (Ah! The pleasures of not having to drive in this great city that is Milan!).
I had the pleasure of encountering this funny lady that later explained the tradition of eating Eel on the night before Christmas in certain regions of Italy. As you can see from the video below the Eels are live! Not my idea of a fun dish to cook in this Holiday season but it was quite fascinating, to say the least!
If you feel up to it and can locate some fresh Eels in your neck of the woods here is the recipe:
Capitone in bianco or Anguilla in bianco is a very traditional recipe that is very common in most parts of Italy for the day before Christmas when, in theory, you should not eat meat. Ingredients are for 4 people.
1 kg of eel (anguilla or capitone)
56 fresh bay leaves (yes, 56, it is a symbolic number etc)
Some rosemary (rosmarino)
23 juniper berries
2 cloves of garlic
1 small glass of dry white wine
1 tablespoon brandy
6 tablespoons of olive oil.
Wash, gut and skin the eel iI. Cut it into 3-inch pieces, flour them and fry in a frying pan in which you had heated 4 tablespoons of oil with garlic. As soon as the fish is coloring, put salt and pepper and pour the wine, lemon juice, brandy and a ladle of water. Then add the bay leaf, rosemary and juniper berries. Cover and cook over moderate heat for about 30 minutes, adding a little bit of water should the gravy dry up a bit. Add 2 tablespoons of oil prior to turning off the heat and serve.
Last week a friend of ours from the Blab community invited us to join on a worldwide Periscope experience called Scope Day for Holidays(#SDxHolidays) which occurred in a 48 hour period between December 12th and December the 13th.
Betti was pretty caught uo for work over the week so I decided to take the bike and my live streaming setup and show the folks the pre-Christmas atmosphere that occurs in the center of Milan and to be more precise along the Duomo area. I took a stroll down the side of the church, then went on to cover the Rinascente store (Italy’s equivalent of Bloomingdales in New York) went into the Gallerie Vittorio Emanuele to visit the original Prada store were the whole empire started to then finish up at La Scala Opera house!
Okay, This is the second time we do something like this (first time was on Google+ and Nazim spilled a glass of wine over the keyboard!)
Video has been removed because Blab closed.
Yesterday we decided to visit our friends that import the best Cod Fish from Norway in Milan (At least we think so!). Hope you enjoy our visit and we will be preparing a feature on how to cook Cod Fish the Casa Chiesi way!
If you find yourself in New York till the 6th of January we highly recommend that you visit the current “Alberto Burri: The Trauma of Painting” at the Guggenheim Museum. We highlighted this amazing artist and the restoration of his Teatro Continuo here in Milan.
At the fourth day of the Milano fashion week I worked on the most awaited event of the season: the Givenchy party to celebrate Riccardo Tisci and his ten years at the Maison along with the opening of the first Givenchy boutique in Via Sant’Andrea 9 in Milan. When I got the call sheet (the email were my agency gives me the working appointment for the day after) I was very surprised to know that the party was going to take place in one of my favorite abandoned buildings in town: the Cristalleria dei fratelli Livellara. I’ve dreamed about this building and it’s possible restoration for years! It’s a former crystal factory from 1935 that looks like the physical interpretation of a Antonio Sant’Elia ( the Italian futuristic architect that drew the future but died too young to built it) dream. At the beginning of summer, the heir of this crumbling property decided to open it to the public as a bar and event area with the evocative name Spirit de Milan. The Fashion world has long whiskers and immediately put its paws on it. Is was a perfect setting for the visionary party that had everything you can imagine between a circus, a gay pride, a sadomaso rave and a pop concert (even Nicky Minaj was on stage). Nothing was left behind!!
But I must say…. it was worth the effort!
Last Sunday we went to visit the new Metropolitan Market in Milan which is running in conjunction with the Milan Expo 2015. Lot’s of great food truck options along with an internal food market (a bit overpriced but space is really nice). We will be running an upcoming article soon with more details of this new reality in Milan.