An Italian Holiday during COVID 19
So as most people know the month of August in Italy is a month when the country comes to a near standstill and people go on their coveted and long-awaited Holidays. When I moved to Italy back in 1992 it was usually a four-week event and as you can all probably imagine I was quite surprised and pleased since I was coming from a culture where to accommodate a week-long yearly break you had to prove that you deserved the break due to your outstanding performance and make sure that someone could cover your back at the moment!
In Italy, it is a diverse approach but in the last years, it has been reduced to a two to three-week time frame which is still not bad! Taking advantage of the so-called calm COVID 19 controlled situation we opted on push starting our Casa Chiesi travel adventures back into action (remember we have gone through a severe indoor lockdown that started in February and dragged on till middle May with a slow return towards a very timid venturing out approach.
Along with Betti, we opted for a visit to her Mom who is up in the Val Seriana region of Italy (where we discovered this beautiful lake) and from there, the idea was to explore two art cities Ferrara and Ravenna (watch this space for upcoming articles!) to then close it out down at our dear friends place down by Recanati in the Marche area.
I have to admit that the approach was to avoid large crowded areas (such as beaches or isolated islands) so as not to risk any issues with the virus. We also rented out full home settings via AirBnB and constantly wore masks everywhere we went.
All I can say is it felt great to get back in the swing of things as travel bloggers even if most sites had access restrictions and the number of tourists we encountered where mostly Italian and in way smaller numbers than expected.
So all I can say is that Casa Chiesi is back with new articles very soon…
Adopt a Hostel : A great initiative to support Hostels Worldwide
We had the inmense pleasure of meeting some wonderful people when we attended last years Traverse 19 event which was held in the beautiful city of Trento – Italy. Being one of our first every Travel Bloggers experience Betti and I were super happy to engage and take advantage of the fantastic tours along with mind opening lectures and presentations from fellow Bloggers.
Of these we had the pleasure of meeting Kashyap Bhattacharya and his partner Sabrina Wulf. Kashyap is the mind behind Budget Traveller, a fantastic blog and the author of a great book that covers Hostels (The Grand Hostels: Luxury Hostels of the World) of which he is definetly an expert in.
Due to the non-existent travel situation we currently find ourselves in they have both embarked on supporting a movement called AdoptaHostel to give a helping hand to a series of Hostels worldwide via a system of coupons that one can purchase for future use once this whole situation hopefully comes back to normal.
We love the initiative and invite you to check it out over at https://www.adoptahostel.com/
Anni 20 in Italia : A wonderful exhibit at Palazzo Ducale in Genoa – Italy
If you have the chance to pass by Genoa before March 1st don’t miss the exhibition “Anni 20 in Italia”.
Carlo Carrà, Felice Casorati, Galileo Chini, Giorgio de Chirico, Fortunato Depero, Achille Funi, Virgilio Guidi, Alberto Martini, Arturo Martini, Fausto Pirandello, Enrico Prampolini, Alberto Savinio, Scipione, Gino Severini, Mario Sironi, Adolfo Wildt:
these are the artists who interpreted the difficult transition between the end of the first World War and the advent of Fascism, the roaring ‘20, revolutionary and feverish years, set between two enormous, wicked war disasters.
The exhibition takes us through the less glamorous sides of this interesting historical curve, a real cross-section of the society of the time, from which emerges the “modern classicism” that characterized the stylistic experiences of the twentieth century and Magic Realism.
I truly love this period of Italian art perhaps a little deserted by foreigners who often focus on more famous remote eras. This exhibit is a very good opportunity to take a look at our 20th century.
Palazzo Ducal Exhibit Info:
When Venice Floods…
This last week brought in the very dismal images from a flooded Venice for which most of my friends got back to me saying: But isn’t it always underwater during the rainy season? Obviously what they are referring to is the famous “aqua alta” phenomenon which due to the high water table and occasional rains makes the city have to bring out the wooden planks and tourists can move around relatively easily by way of these elevated platforms.
But this time it’s a whole different story! I had the chance to speak via video chat with our fellow travel bloggers friends Daryl and Mindi Hirsch of 2FoodTripers who were able to waddle out and make it to Verona yesterday and told me they had never experienced anything like this! And it was their first time in Venice! They were interviewed on the Newsweek Online edition regarding how dangerous it was. Check out the article at this link
A state of emergency has been declared and obviously all the politicians were on-site yesterday expressing solidarity and doing the typical photo ops of which Italians are a bit fed up about and we have seen in previous situations such as the famous Aquila Earthquake back in 2009. The sad part about this is that there is an ongoing project to save the city from the lagoon water invasion called Mose which nobody actually knows how it will work and has been under construction since I arrived here back in 1992! Here is some more info on this controversial project >> link
Venice is one of my favorite cities in Italy (to the point that I told Bett I would love to live there in the future!) so to see this devastation is truly heart-wrenching. Let’s hope that this is not another mute wake-up call that falls on deaf ears!
Traverse 19 in Trento : Opening party
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.
Piano City Milan in the courtyards
This Sunday we had the wonderful pleasure of receiving an invitation from our dear friend (as well as talented designer link link here Anders Lunderskvo and his lovely wife Michela Solari (her showroom in Milan is here) to attend one of the editions of Piano City which was set up in the courtyard where Andres has his Laboratory.
Piano City Milano is based on the concept of Piano City Berlin and it finds itself at a fourth edition bigger and better than ever. In fact this year long lines to get into the main events kept us away but an invitation for such an intimate courtyard option was perfect for a beautiful Sunday morning.
Here is a short video snippet that gives an idea of the talented pianist (Julia Barriero and Lorenzo Cattel) who graced us with the wonderful sounds of Schumman, Chopin, Bizet, Honegger and Debussy.
More info regarding this specific concert at this link: Piano City Milano
Casa Chiesi is now on Anchor : The beginnings of a podcast?
For the last couple of week, I have been playing with the new version of Anchor FM (2.0 to be precise) which is an App for both IOS and Android that lets you become an audio broadcaster in a very simple and fun way. I had been debating for the last couple of months the need or willingness to set up some sort of Podcast related to our love for Italy.
I am really loving the simplicity and fun factor in using this new tool but the jury is still out on if we should do a Podcast and more precisely: what subject matter?
This is going back and forth between myself and Betti for the last couple of weeks and since we are now heading to our MUCH needed Holiday break (It’s our 25th Wedding Anniversary this August 15th) the jury is still out.
In the meantime, we invite you to subscribe to our Anchor station and check out myself talking about a diverse subject matter related to what else? Italy of course!
Listen to our latest episode of Casa Chiesi on Anchor by clicking on: Casa Chiesi on Anchor
Casa Chiesi is highlighted on the blogger web site Bloglovin
We are super happy to have added our Casa Chiesi Italian Lifestyle to the Bloglovin platform. Bloglovin is a great platform that offers insights into numerous worldwide Blogs that can be of interest. A great tool to also find other similar blogs that cover Italy which is our main focus over here at Casa Chiesi.
We have noticed a great group of bloggers with similar interest to our love for Italy. A key source for engaging with fellow bloggers is key towards the mission statement that Betti and myself have always stressed: Our love for Italy!
Casa Chiesi City Belly from Bologna
Last week we were in the wonderful city of Bologna since Nazim had some work related issues and I decided to come along for the weekend. During the Christmas Holiday while doing some brainstorming regarding interesting content that we would love to offer our blog visitors we came across the idea of doing highlights of our favorite Italian cities from the main center or so the so-called Piazza.
Since the center of each Italian town is the essence of which derives history, art and culture we came up with the name Casa Chiesi City Belly, (sounds like “siti belli” which in Italian means “beautiful places”, quite a funny coincidence.)
So here goes the first pilot which we did on Facebook Live and now available also on our YouTube channel:
Hope you like it and please drop your comments and suggestions for the future shows!
Grazie Betti and Nazim
Christmas in Camogli and the Cappon Magro
Cappon magro is an elaborate and rich Genoese salad of seafood and vegetables over hard tack arranged into a decorative pyramid and dressed with a rich sauce.
The foundation of a cappon magro is a layer of hard tack biscuits (“gallette”) rubbed with garlic and soaked in seawater and vinegar. Then a pyramid is built up layer by layer.
Each layer may consist of one or many vegetables, fishes, or seafood. All recipes include boiled white fish, a lobster, green beans, celery, carrots, beets, and potatoes. Some authorities insist that black salsify is essential. Other seafood and vegetables may also be included. Each ingredient is boiled separately, cut up, and seasoned with oil and vinegar. Each layer is dressed with a sort of cross between salsa verde and mayonnaise; it consists of parsley, garlic, capers, anchovies, the yolks of hard-boiled eggs, and green olives ground together in a mortar with olive oil and vinegar. The pyramid is topped with a lobster capped with its coral. The sides of the pyramid are garnished with green olives, botargo, capers, anchovy filets, crayfish, artichokes, and quartered hard-boiled eggs