Focaccia in Calvarina

Focaccia in Calvarina

apericena in agri

FOCACCIA

in Calvarina

Baita Calvarina, an agritourism in Calvarina, a hill near Arzignano, created some super duper events for Thursday nights in the Summer: the Apericene in Agri.

baita calvarina

The agritourism is well appreciated in our area because the food is good and there’s a lot of space, inside and outside. 

It’s perfect for our large family lunches. 

In the Summer evenings Baita Calvarina is a lovely location, lit by the last rays of the sun and with a temperature that is always a couple of degrees lower than in town. 

due focacce in calvarina

In July 2020 the owners invented the “Apericena in agri“, evenings with focacce and boards of cold cuts and cheese, to share with family and friends while drinking something chilly in the hot Summer.

The apericene are held on Thursdays, and on those days these are the only things that are on the menu, if I’m not mistaken.

The event is quite successful because

1. up there temperatures are much better

2. focacce are delicious. 

the focacce

focaccia in calvarina con provola, noci e miele

The focacce, with slow rising, are of 4 different tastes with interesting ingredients (like honey, onion, nuts), plus two simple with tomato and parma ham. 

My favorite was with caramelized onion. 

They were so inviting that I forgot to photograph them, I didn’t think about it at all, only these two (after I had already eaten a bit of the first two). 

To match the focacce they offer some artisan beers, made in a brewery from Vicenza.

Or white wine, for the aficionados like my father.

focacce

The location

baita calvarina la sera

Location and set up are also super.

Location does not need explanation, it’s on a hill surrounded by nature.

giardino della baita calvarina

For the Summer due (or thanks to) Covid-19 they set some large tables in the garden.

There’s a lot of space and social distance is guaranteed.

lavanda dentro un bicchiere
lavanda e birra in baita calvarina

I hope these events will continue for the rest of the Summer, because I want to go back (I would go right now, if it wasn’t Tuesday morning when I’m writing).

It’s Going to be Perfect!

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Dinner at Corte di Casale

Dinner at Corte di Casale

Dinner at

Corte di Casale

Vicenza

A Wednesday of August I went for dinner at Corte di Casale.

The Corte di Casale isn’t a restaurant, open every day for lunch or dinner; it’s an old villa usually booked for events, company dinners, weddings. Sometimes Arianna, the manager, organizes a “tasting” dinner, where engaged couples or anyone interested can taste their dishes.

One of the best cuisines of the area, in my modest opinion.

The location

An old residence of the 1800s, with some rustic antiques, a big green area and a lot of nature around.

The details

Smoked mozzarella and taralli.

Starters

Prosciutto and melon.

Sopressa and figs. Love figs on the table!!

First courses

Risotto with Barolo wine, Belfiore apples, crunchy speck.

I’ve never had a better risotto in my life.

 

Corte di Casale - wedding in vicenza

“Bundle” with artichokes and king prawns, on a bed of valerian.

Second courses

Sliced calf with berries and seasonal vegetables.

At this point I was quite full, but it was so good that I asked for a second portion (just one slice).

Great quality wine as always.

Dessert

Mojito sorbet and sponge cake with creams.

Follow their facebook page for updates on their next tasting dinner 🙂

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Laita

Laita

Bruschetta at

Laita

La contrada del gusto

Some time ago I was at the Laita, la contrada del gusto, for dinner; one of the collest places in my area, the “Valle del Chiampo”.

It’s an old contrada renovated and converted into an elegant restaurant, a bruschetteria and gelateria.

I took so many pictures that night that I decided to make a blog post out of it.

 

The location

These old stone houses are one of our richest heritage.

Surrounded by the nature of the Alta Valle del Chiampo.

With style.

Grandparents’ bed.

Laita,

details

Aperitivo with fried gnocco and pancetta.

Sambuca syrup, durello wine and lemon.

Laita,

The Food

Bruschetta with Burlino caciotta, smoked trout in cubes, saor, apple, fresh baby spinach.

Bread: wholegrain ciabatta with rye flour.

Coppa gelato (you would have enough for dinner just with this one).

Laita’s has recently been voted 7th best Italian icecream parlour.

Gelato at Laita’s deserves its own space because it’s a unique experience.

Particularly the affogato.

and when night comes…

It’s the attention to details that makes this place so special, from the ingredients of the dishes to the smallest flower on display.

definitely recommended…

It’s Going to be Perfect!

come with me!

Bolsena Infiorata

Bolsena Infiorata

Bolsena

Infiorata

Corpus christi

Bolsena, a medieval village on the shore of a lake with the same name, on the day of the Corpus Christi becomes even more beautiful with the Infiorata.

bolsena castle

The infiorata is an exhibition of drawings made with flowers, seeds, leaves and peat along the streets of the town.

(Bolsena is also famous for the hydrangeas, there are plenty around town and there’s even a festival a couple of weeks before the infiorata, dedicated expressely to this flower) 

I was in Bolsena during the infiorata in 2019 and I took loads of pictures, that I obviously would like to share (unfortunately in 2020 and 2021 the event was cancelled due to Covid19). 

bolsena infiorata

but first, a bit of history…

In 1263 AD in Bolsena during Mass a consecrated host started to bleed, as if it was flesh. This miracle was considered proof that the body of Christ is in fact in the Eucharist.

So the following year Pope Urban IV established the feast of Corpus Christi, that previously was only celebrated in Belgium.

From that date, during the Corpus Christi the Eucharist is exhibited and carried around the towns.

In Bolsena the procession is particularly important because with the Blessed Sacrament there’s also a “Sacred Stone” that is taken around, the stone where the blood dropped. 

Moreover, since 1995 the celebration got even bigger with the Infiorata.

Getting ready

preparing the flowers for the infiorata in bolsena
light blue petals for the infiorata
Works for the Infiorata start a few days before the Sunday on which the procession will take place.
women preparing the petals for the infiorata in bolsena
Along the streets of Bolsena you can meet groups of women that separate petals from the flowers, the main material used in the Infiorata.
drawings used as base for the infiorata

The Infiorata and procession are held on a Sunday, but some groups start to draw on Saturday night, because it’s very hot during the day and it’s more difficult to work in the sun. 

drawing used as base for the infiorata
children working at the infiorata during the night
Creating the drawings is a team work, everybody is busy, from the youngest to the elderly. It’s a nice party of the town that involves everyone.
working at the infiorata during the night
preparing the infiorata in bolsena
Sunday
people working at a drawing during the infiorata in bolsena

On Sunday works start early in the morning  and continue without break.

posing petals for the infiorata in bolsena
people working at the infiorata in bolsena
women preparing the petals for the infiorata
infiorata bolsena
leaves used for the infiorata in bolsena
drawing a sun with petals at the infiorata in bolsena

Before

 

After

a sun done of petals at the infiorata in bolsena
watering the flowers at the infiorata because they stay fresh and don't fly away
Flowers are kept wet throughout the day, so that they stay fresh and they don’t fly away.
a geometrical drawing at the infiorata in bolsena

Here are two galleries of images (click on the arrows to see all the pictures) 

Many drawings represent religious images, but there’s more. 

The procession

At 4 pm starts the procession during which Eucharist and Sacred Stone are carried around the town of Bolsena, followed by representatives of the town, of the Church and of the communities. 

procession at the infiorata in bolsena
the corpus christi procession in bolsena
The procession follows the drawings on the streets. Only the priest carrying the Sacred Stone can walk on the flowers, the others must walk on the side.
a banner carried in the Corpus Christi procession during the infiorata in Bolsena
street of bolsena during the infiorata

Once the procession is finished you can walk on the drawings. If you are strong enough. 

Personally I didn’t feel like ruining these works of art that took days to prepare, just an hour after they were finished.   

a lady with red hair drawn with flowers at the infiorata in bolsena

Another gallery. I took so many pictures, and the drawings were all so special, it would a shame not to share them all. 

I was impressed by the quality of the drawings made with products found in nature 

and there are actually many people involved in the making of the Infiorata, with great care and attention

truly beautiful

It’s Going to be Perfect!

vieni con me!

Venice Carnival

Venice Carnival

Venice Carnival

pictures, history and costumes 

The Carnival in Venice is one of of the most beautiful carnivals not only in Italy, but in the whole world.

Unfortunately this year, the 2021, it will be a virtual event, due to covid-19 emergency. Nevertheless there are some people wearing the traditional costumes around, so I might go one of these days.

Luckily I have been there more than once and I have a few pictures and information about the Carnival that I would like to share with you. 

costumes at carnival in venice
Its fame comes mainly from the beautiful masks and costumes that wander around the calli and campi during this time of the year. 
We usually link masks and costumes to carnival (and Halloween), a time of parties and change, we dress up to be somebody else for a few hours. 

But in Venice it hasn’t always been this way… 

History of Carnival in Venice

history of carnival in venice

Carnival has very old origins, it probably derives from the Saturnali in Ancient Rome, a time at the end of the month of December when civil rules were temporarly suspended.

It was time of banquets and subversion of the social order: for a few days slaves were free and a princeps was elected and dressed with a mask and bright colors.

A few centuries later, when Venice was administered by the Serenissima Republic, wearing masks and costumes was popular and an ordinary affair.

history of venetian masks
venice carnival
history of carnival in venice
At the time masks were used to hide one’s identity during illegal meetings or activities. 

For instance, the mask was used to go to casino or brothels. 

Hidden under the tabarro (a mantel) were often carried arms. 

history of venetian carnival

For this reason in 1269 the use of masks and costumes was legally forbidden, allowed only during Carnival.

Bauta (the cocked hat with a mask that was open at the bottom and permitted to eat and talk) and tabarro could be worn at official parties and on national holidays.

In the meantime the Carnival (that lasted from Christmas to Mardi Gras) and Venetian masks became more and more important, and in 1436 was established the statute of mascherari, the artisans that create the masks.

Carnival continued to be a time of transgression, where you could do anything, with the anonymity given by the mask.

 

Venice Carnival
In 1776 married women were forced to wear bauta and tabarro to go to the theatre.
Venice carnival

In 1700, when Carnival was at its highest, new costumes became popular, those coming from the Commedia dell’arte theatre pieces, and they continue to be among the most popular: Pulcinella, Colombina, Arlecchino, Pantalone. 

history of venice carnival

From 1797, with the end of the Republic of Venice and the invasion of Napoleon first and the Austrian Empire later, the Carnival was suspended and prohibited. Masks could only be worn at private parties.

Carnival was organised again only recently, in 1979.

venice carnival mask

The carnival today

Nowadays curious and enthusiastic from all over the world come to Venice not only to see the beautiful costumes, but also to wear them.

It is possible to buy or rent a costume in the few ateliers that can still be found in Venice.

Around town you can see many stalls selling cheap masks, but true Venetian masks are made in papier-maché, not plastic, and cost from 30 euro up (they are artisanal works).

venetian masks
maschera veneziana
Some of the costumes you can see in Venice during the Carnival are traditional, with the white mask and the rich headgear. 

Others are inspired by movie characters or exotic cultures. 

venetian mask
carnival in venice

Carnival is one of my favorite times to visit Venice; during about two weeks you can see costumes on gondolas, prizes are given to the best masks and all type of events are organized.

venice carnival photographer
And don’t forget the frittella, an equally important protagonist of the Carnival in Venice. 
venetian frittella
venetian costumes
venice carnival
venetian mask
masks in venice

Venice during the Carnival is particularly busy and sometimes it’s difficult to move around, but I think it deserves a visit at least once in a lifetime. 

venice carnival
It’s Going to be Perfect!

vieni con me!