The last couple of weeks has been packed with events, here in Italy.
Summer is finally happening, which is the most important news – in my humble opinion. We can finally eat outside, go to the beach and just stay outdoors. I hope such weather lasts for a while now, allowing us to go for day trips and hikes. I can’t wait. I hope I’ll be able to take you with me and show you some hidden places of this wonderful country.
Apart from that, Italy has been focused on one thing, as of late: the Uefa European Championship! I have to admit that I am not actually a big fan of soccer, but when our national team plays abroad in an international competition, I show a mild interest in it – which eventually grows a bit if the team qualifies for the final rounds of the championship. My husband keeps saying that I am such a bad supporter, but it’s not me, it’s the soccer world I just do not get. Anyway, our team seems to be doing great things, so everybody is happy here! Let’s see how it goes! Do you have a favorite team in the championship?
There’s actually something else which has got me way happier, lately. Chef Massimo Bottura’s restaurant, Osteria Francescana in Modena, has been nominated The World’s Best Restaurant 2016 and this made me so proud! It is such an outstanding award for an hard-working genius like Massimo Bottura. I have always admired him because he has always given the greatest importance to the Italian cooking tradition, which is the root and the base of all his dishes, making experiments with it and taking it to a whole new level.
Moreover, he uses the best Italian ingredients and he has decided to live and work in a provincial town like Modena, which – thanks to his work – is now known all over the world. If you want to know more about his work, I really recommend you Chef’s Table first episode, which is focused on his life and work. You’ll know more about him and about a lesser known yet incredibly beautiful area of Italy. By the way, all episodes are really great, if you are interested in food and cuisine.
There has been another super important event in Italy, lately! Our national airline, Alitalia, has renewed their uniforms and this has caused a debate all over the country. Food and fashion are two things we are really serious about and we love complaining as well, so we went on for days saying how ugly and inelegant these uniforms are. Actually, I am probably a mosca bianca (a rare bird), but I really like these new uniforms. They are fresh and new and full of colors, all things that I love. What do you think about them? Aren’t they cool?
Another big event of the week was the opening of The Floating Piers, the installation by world-renowned artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude. The famous duo has made it possible for people to walk on water, creating a floating dock system of polyethylene cubes which undulate at the movement of waters. As for all installations by Christo and Jeanne-Claude, the walkway is covered with bright orange fabric.
The site of the installation is Lake Iseo, a nice lake in the north of Italy, which has a tiny little island in the middle. The walkway connects the shore with the island and runs for 3 kilometers in and around the lake. Not all the walkway is actually walkable, but it is amazing anyway. Moreover, the lake is surrounded by mountains, making it very easy to appreciate the installation in its entirety. The opening has a great success, taking those usually sleepy little towns by storm.
Last but absolutely not least, my husband turned 40 years old last Friday! We celebrated with a nice dinner in a new restaurant nearby, where we ate typical Ligurian food. We ate very well, lots of interesting dishes, and an amazing brandacujun, one of the most traditional dishes of our area. Brandacujun is a dish made with stockfish and potatoes, which are boiled and then shaken vigorously until they are turned into some kind of cream.
Have you ever heard of brandacujun? Would you like to taste it?
If you are interested in learning more about Italian culture and lifestyle, I’d suggest you jump on my digital Vespa and join Be Italian For A Month, your 30-day virtual journey to Italy.
You will also learn some Italian words, you’ll receive some typical Italian recipes – ready to be cooked and enjoyed, you’ll get to tour around Italy, and learn about Italian traditions, proverbs, stereotypes, you name it. Plus, some cute surprises along the way!