Month: June 2015


Culture: Emperor Augustus

As you may or may not know, Emperor Augustus, born Octavian, was the grand-nephew of Julius Caesar.

After his great-uncle’s death he was named heir and went head-to-head with Mark Anthony and his lover Cleopatra to become the next ruler of Rome.

Following his victory (and their suspected double suicide), he established the Roman Empire and became the first Emperor of Ancient Rome, creating a constitutional framework, better road networks and an unprecedented period of peace across Rome.

Whatever you hear though, one thing is certain; Augustus was incredibly popular for a dictator. So popular in fact, that when his house burned down in a fire, the people of Rome, rich and poor alike, donated money to rebuild it, unprompted.


Sicilian Folk Stories: The Genius of Palermo, the pagan deity of the city

A large bearded man breastfeeding a snake, a male, serving as a pagan counterpart to Santa Rosalia: between ancient mythology and Renaissance and modern history, discover the origin of the protective deity of the city of Palermo.

This is the protective deity of the Sicilian city, its genius loci in Latin. A male counterpart of Santa Rosalia, he is simply known as Genio di Palermo – the Genius of Palermo. He is represented as a mature, bearded and crowned man, nursing a large snake. Various representations of him exist through the city of Palermo, including sculptures, fountains, frescoes and a mosaic. A veritable symbol and vivid personification of the city, with his fascinating iconography he embodies the spirit of the Sicilian people, long accustomed to encountering and clashing with the other, and with the strange. From his mythical origins to his many historical revisions, here is everything there is to know about the Genius of Palermo.

Who is the Genius of Palermo and where to find his statues


Who is the Genius of Palermo and where to find his statues

In the religion and culture of the ancient Romans, the genius loci was a natural or supernatural entity tied to a place and considered an object of worship and veneration. The association between the Genius and the physical place probably originated from the assimilation of the Genius with Lares, figures from Roman mythology who represented the guardian spirits of deceased ancestors and who oversaw the smooth running of the family, property or economic activities. It is also interesting to note that, in more recent times, the term “Genius loci” has become an expression used in architecture to describe the aesthetic and socio-cultural characteristics of a place, an environment or a city. Thus it is a term that speaks to us in a transversal manner about the character of a place as the result of human-environment interactions and the habits that people develop in this context. In short, it indicates the character and the personality of a place. What, then, is the personality of Palermo?



Who is the Genius of Palermo and where to find his statues

Most likely the origins of this symbol are pre-Roman, and therefore very ancient, but there is no certain information about the most archaic origins of this urban divinity. Ovid (first century BC) and Pausanias (second century AD) report that it represented the Genius loci of Palermo, but many of the later interpretations complicate the picture and offer additional and particularly suggestive perspectives.

Who is the Genius of Palermo and where to find his statues

According to some interpretations, the from the seventeenth century, for example, the bearded man is Palermo while the snake represents Scipio Africanus, the Roman general helped by the inhabitants of Palermo in the war against Hannibal’s Carthaginians. As a token of thank, Scipione is said to have donated a conca aurea, or golden basin, to the city (the base on which Palermo stands is called the “conca d’oro”) with a central statue of warrior feeding a snake from his breast.
The statue of the Genius in Palazzo Pretorio in fact is in a small basin, which reads: Panormus conca aurea suos devorat alienos nutrit, meaning “Palermo golden basin devours its own and feeds strangers”. This motto (which highlights the ambivalence of Sicily, a land that enchants the stranger but often hurts those who are born there) could be constructed as associating the Genius with the god Cronus (Saturn for the Romans), the great father of ancient mythology who devoured his own children.

Who is the Genius of Palermo and where to find his statues

The most enigmatic detail is unquestionably the snake (symbol of the earth, fertility and rebirth) feeding from the man’s breast. According to one of the most common interpretations, this iconography evokes the contact that Palermo has always had with the other, the foreign and the different. Through exchanges, trades, invasions and hybridisation, Sicily has always been generous in offering its beauty to those who come from outside, although in some cases it was not offered, but rather stolen, invaded and attacked. The other attributes – the dog (symbol of fidelity), the sceptre and the crown (symbols of regality) – are typical attributes of Asclepius, the Greek god of medicine, who is also linked to the serpent, as a symbol of renewal and healing. Sometimes the Genius is associated with an eagle, a symbol of pride and freedom, and another symbol widespread throughout the city of Palermo.



Who is the Genius of Palermo and where to find his statues

Not counting the various minor reproductions (such as engravings), there are eight representations of the Genius around the city. The Genius of the Port (or Genio del Molo) is a marble high relief located at the entrance of the port of Palermo, and is the oldest of the eight representations (neither the exact date nor the author are known). This Genius inspired another monument, the Genius of Villagrazia, a sculptural relief from the late seventeenth century. Elsewhere around Palermo are the Genius of Palazzo Pretorio, also without a specific date, and theGenius of Garraffo, made by Pietro de Bonitate at the end of the fifteenth century, which is at the Vucciria, in a niche in the aedicule by Paolo Amato.

Who is the Genius of Palermo and where to find his statues

In the eighteenth century the symbols and meanings linked to the Genius multiplied and diversified. The Genius played a more political and social role, becoming a sort of lay patron, a receptacle of the political momentum and enthusiasm of the inhabitants of Palermo. Triumphal allegories, symbols of the city, emblems and icons of political and civil history of the city began to accompany the iconography, as in the fresco of the Apotheosis of Palermo (1760) at Palazzo Isnello, the Genius of the Fountain in Villa Giulia (1778) (in the cover of this article) or in the Genius of Mosaic, a nineteenth-century masterpiece in the Palatine Chapel at the Norman Palace (which holds a medallion with the portraits of Ferdinand III of Bourbon and his wife Maria Carolina). The Genius of Piazza Rivoluzione, conversely, is a sculpture from the fifteenth century, placed on the fountain in the square. It became a true symbol of the desire for freedom of the people of Palermo during the revolts of 1948, and an icon of desire for redemption and liberation from foreign domination.


Source: Swide, by: Jonathan Bazzi


Summer in Rome: 10 tips by an insider

If you come to the Eternal city, as well as visiting the touristy places, why not enjoy the city like an insider?

Summer in Rome is something magical, especially if you come for the first time. Don’t just plan to visit it like any old tourist, but add some stops off the beaten track too. Swide is here to help. Last summer we talked about grattachecca, jazz, beaches, tiramisù and many other heavenly things to do. But the resources of Rome are infinite, so let add some others to the list.


Summer in Rome, food, music and green: enjoy it like an insider 5

The best place for eating, chatting and enjoying music or cultural expositions in summer is Lungo Tevere. The Roman river is a place full of life and pubs, in this period, thanks to Romans who treat it like an annual appointment. Make sure to pass by, or spend an entire evening on the banks.



Summer in Rome, food, music and green: enjoy it like an insider 6

In one of the most iconic places in Rome for street art, in Via del Gazometro in Testaccio, there is an adorable bistrot with 20ies style furniture and delicious fresh food: from sandwiches to quiche passing by cakes for the sweet toothed, but also cocktails, beer and wine, everything is studied with love and care to leave the clients really satisfied.




Summer in Rome, food, music and green: enjoy it like an insider 11

Founded by two entrepreneur mums Daniela Gazzini and Cristina Cattaneo, with the idea and the ambition of creating beautiful refreshments spots in green urban areas and art sites of Rome. They absolutely do it with their ViVi Bistrot in Villa Doria Pamphili. The food is healthy and tasty, using only high quality organic products to satisfy the most demanding palate. Guests can sit and relax in the flower gardens, or indoors in romantic candle light atmosphere, what else could you ask for?




Summer in Rome, food, music and green: enjoy it like an insider 8
Roman aqueducts have been a milestone in the history of hydric ducts. They were masters and also today most of their structures still work.They are not just an example of engineering, but also of architecture. In Via dell’Appia Antica it is possible to enjoy this fantastic view on foot or rent a bicycle.




Summer in Rome, food, music and green: enjoy it like an insider 2

There are many important musical appointments during summer in Rome, but amongst all, the Eutropia Festival is a very interesting one. Inspired from the fantastic city Eutropia created by Italo Calvino, the idea of a city in the city, located in the Ex Mattatoio in Testaccio, is one of the most iconic examples of post-industrial archaeology in Rome. The 2015’s calendar is full of great artists: from Goran Bregovic to The Kooks passing by Italian famous songwriters like Carmen Consoli, Brunori SAS and many others. Here you can find music, art, food and of course, fun, the good mix for a perfect summer night.




Summer in Rome, food, music and green: enjoy it like an insider 7

Just for summer there are some extraordinary openings of the Colosseum by night. You will breathe the timeless appeal of this incredible monument enjoying the evening breeze. A really fantastic and unique opportunity!




Summer in Rome, food, music and green: enjoy it like an insider 3

You can’t leave Rome, or Italy, without tasting icecreams, especially in summer. Fattori is one of the most interesting and of course appreciated, because of its ample assortment of flavours, basically created with seasonal fruits.




Summer in Rome, food, music and green: enjoy it like an insider 10

In the heart of Testaccio, this restaurant is famous for its incredible structure but also for its Michelin star thanks to the great young chef Marco Martini. High cookery with Italian typical taste, a place you will appreciate for its great staff too.




Summer in Rome, food, music and green: enjoy it like an insider 9

On the 29th of June, Rome celebrates its Saints San Peter e Paul, protectors of the city. In the Vatican City the statue of Saint Peter is dressed like Pontifex while, at sunset, there is a procession for Saint Paul in direction of the Church San Paolo Fuori Le Mura. Behind Castel Sant’Angelo, in the heart of Lungo Tevere, there are fireworks to celebrate the day.




Summer in Rome, food, music and green: enjoy it like an insider 4

Burger bar, street food, beers and many typical Italian dishes with a new concept. This place offers good food at reasonable prices but also a perfect company during happy hour with lovely live music. The best place to go after an all day sightseeing to rest and refresh a bit.



The symbolism of the rose: from death, to life, to love

From antiquity to the great symbols of Christianity, through Middle Eastern culture and fairy tales, here are the stories, myths and legends associated with the most fascinating of flowers.

The rose is a flower unlike any other: it is a symbol full of historical significance and cultural references, encapsulating a host of associations, metaphors and allegorical meanings. It is the flower most linked to the expression of feelings, to the manifestation of emotions, affections and passions. Ambivalent in its form (the purity of its petals contrasts with spines of its stem), it has embodied (and still embodies) conflicting meanings that also depend on its colour. Morphologically linked to the circle, since ancient times it has been linked to themes of birth and rebirth, and the speed of its withering has made it a symbol of death and the fragility of existence. In many cultures it is also a typical symbol of spring, the season that represents eternity in miniature, with the renewal of life blooming after the cold of winter. Typically given as a gift, strictly in odd numbers, between lovers but also to mothers, perhaps for Mother’s Day, it is the most elegant flower and one of the most expensive. Between history and legend, let Swide tell you all you need to know about this emblem of love and many, many other things besides.



Adonis and Aphrodite - Rose: history, symbols and meaning of the flower of passion

While in the Egyptian world roses were the sacred flowers of Isis (they represented pure love freed from its carnal aspect), it was only in the Greco-Roman world that the rose began to show its symbolic and evocative potential. It appears in the myth of Adonis and Aphrodite as a symbol of love that conquers death. The myth says that Aphrodite was in love with Adonis, but the young man was fatally wounded by an attack by a wild boar. As she ran to aid him, Aphrodite was pricked by thorns and her blood caused beautiful red roses to blossom. Zeuswas moved by the scene and allowed Adonis to spend a few months a year in the world of the living. Because of this, the rose was cultivated in funerary gardens and was often used as decoration for graves (to ensure the deceased immortality). Moreover, Greeks also associated it with the cult of Dionysus, as it was said that would prevent drunk people from revealing their secrets and help ward off the unpleasant effects of intoxication. As such, wreaths of roses adorned statues of Dionysus and were also worn around the necks of his followers, the wanton Bacchae. The famous poet Sappho also particularly loved this flower, and she used to associate it with the beauty of girls in her poems.


Rose: history, symbols and meaning of the flower of passion  - Roman Empire
In ancient Rome it was customary to throw rose petals onto the path of the emperor and the crown he wore on his head was also made of roses. Prior to the advent of Christianity, the Romans celebrated a feast calledRosalia (or Rosaria), linked to the worship of the dead (in a period between May and July), which was then converted into what is now the Pentecost of Christianity. In these Roman rites roses were offered to the Mani, the souls of the deceased considered protective deities of the home. The link with the flower remained for a long time: in past centuries, during Pentecost it was customary have rose petals rain down upon the faithful with wads of hay lit to commemorate the descent of the Holy Spirit, which came about through flames resembling rose petals. Pentecost is in fact called “Easter of Roses.”


Rose: history, symbols and meaning of the flower of passion  - Madonna
The rose has always been particularly appreciated in Christianity as the symbol of Heaven and celestial bliss, and in particular it is one of the most common emblems of the Virgin Mary (especially the white rose, a symbol of innocence and chastity). Mary is “the rose without thorns” or Rosa Mistica (mystical rose), praised for theImmaculate Conception and her pregnancy without sin. The Rosary, the devotional and contemplative prayer typical of Catholicism, takes its name from the Latin “rosarium” or “rose tree”, associating the repetition of prayers to the image of the crown (or garland) of roses traditionally offered to the Madonna. Because of its beauty, shape and scent, in Christian mysticism the rose is an element that recurs frequently in stories of visions and apparitions, as a manifestation of divine grace. The red rose, conversely, is an ancient symbol of the passion associated with the blood of Christ and his death, wounds and suffering. In this sense, it has been linked to the Holy Grail, the mythical chalice that has been the subject of many legends and stories, and which according to tradition was used by Jesus at the Last Supper.

Saint Agatha  Rose: history, symbols and meaning of the flower of passion
The rose is also an iconographic attribute of many female saints (St. Dorothy, St. Elizabeth of Thuringia and St. Elizabeth of Hungary, St. Rosalia of Palermo, St. Rose of Lima, St. Rita, St. Therese of Lisieux), and also certain male saints: St. Stephen wears a crown of roses in the procession of martyrs in Heaven. In Christianity, moreover, the rose is related to confession and spiritual secrets. In the sixteenth century, Pope Adrian VI carved a five-petal rose into the confessional as a symbol of the sacred bond of secrecy that every priest must keep regarding the penitents’ stories. Indeed, the Latin expression “sub rosa” refers to something revealed in absolute secrecy and confidence.


Middle Age - Rose: history, symbols and meaning of the flower of passion
In popular medieval superstition, the rose was the favourite flower of the witches, as it was considered particularly suitable for causing harm to others (perhaps because of the thorns), but it was also the favourite flower of the fairies, who used them to derive happiness and well being for good people. Medieval architecture also testifies to the centrality and the fascination of the flower: Gothic and Romanesque rose windows link the shape of the flower to evocations related to the symbolism of the astral circle, referring to many ancient models, such as the Mesopotamian and Syrian sun wheels, the circle of virtues and the ring of angels.


Middle Age - Rose: history, symbols and meaning of the flower of passion  - Islam
Just as in Catholicism it represents the blood of Christ, in Islam the rose represents the blood of Mohammed. It is also a symbol of the name of Allah (with circles of petals representing Law, Knowledge and Truth). Even Islamic Middle Eastern poetry and mysticism are full of allusions and symbols connected to the flower. The rose garden is, for example, a very significant image, associated with the highest degree of contemplation, as in the work called, appropriately, The Rose Garden by the poet and mystic Sa’di.


Middle Age - Rose: history, symbols and meaning of the flower of passion  - Sleeping Beauty
In The Sleeping Beauty by Perrault, the castle with the dormant princess is protected by intricate rose bushes with thorns so sharp that no one can go beyond them, but which open magically, after a hundred years have passed, to allow the prince to enter and awaken the Princess from her deadly slumber. Perrault later inspired the brothers Grimm, who re-wrote the story as Little Briar Rose (“Dornröschen” in the original German).

Middle Age - Rose: history, symbols and meaning of the flower of passion  -The BEauty and the Beast rose
In Beauty and the Beast, the protagonist Belinda humbly asks her father for a rose before he sets off on a long journey (while her two sisters had asked for jewels), and it is to satisfy his youngest daughter’s whim that, on his way back, the father enters the gloomy palace of a monstrous creature who can only be released from the curse afflicting him by the goodness and love of Belinda.


Source: Swide, by: Jonathan Bazzi


Southern Italy and its women shot by Ferdinando Scianna

Palazzo Aragonese in Otranto celebrates the Italian photographer Ferdinando Scianna with a monograph exhibition where the most charming side of Southern Italy and its women is highlighted.

Palazzo Aragonese in Otranto, Puglia, pays homage to charming Southern Italy, its atmosphere and beautiful women with an extraordinary exhibition which shows off some of the most impressive and famous shots by Italian photographer Ferdinando Scianna, best known for being one of the most illustrious and talented interpreters of the Southern Italian soul.

Southern Italy and its women: Ferdinando Scianna on exhibition in Otranto 1

Born in Sicily (Bagheria), Scianna has truly captured the soul of Southern Italy by catching its most hidden and charming sides, portraying its characters with a unique and extraordinary expressiveness.

Southern Italy and its women: Ferdinando Scianna on exhibition in Otranto 2

He collaborated with Henri Cartier-Bresson and André Pieyre de Mandiargues to the realization of Henri Cartier-Bresson: portraits and during the 80s he worked for the most illustrious fashion magazines also realizing some of the most memorable ADV campaigns for Dolce&Gabbana. In 2009 he published the photographic book Baaria Bagheria with fellow citizen and director Giuseppe Tornatore.

Southern Italy and its women: Ferdinando Scianna on exhibition in Otranto 4

Today visitors can admire Scianna’s works by visiting the exhibition “Il sud e le donne” (the South and its women) running from the 23th of June through the 30th September 2015 at Palazzo Aragonese in Otranto.

Southern Italy and its women: Ferdinando Scianna on exhibition in Otranto 5

From Puglia to Sicily, all the 30 photographs on display tell the story of an ancient and timeless Italy, focusing the attention on its characters and especially on the women who are described as beautiful and mysterious, such as Italian actress Monica Bellucci and Maria Grazia Cucinotta.



Soruce: Swide, by: Claudia Baroncelli


Gisselle at San Juan Resort & Casino!

This friday -May 19th- Gisselle will be performing at 9:00pm in San Juan Resort & Casino at the lobby area for the Tropical Festival.

The wonderful Puerto Rican artist Gisselle, will give to the audience an enjoyable evening that cannot be forgotten.

For reservations not forget to call (787) 791-1000 (Extension 1464 or 1861). Tables are limited so pre-booking and minimum consumption is recommended.

It is also recommended of course, arrive early to enjoy the exquisite meals of La Piccola Fontana, Meat Market San Juan, Galeria Trattoria, and others.


Top 10 films about fathers

What would we do without our fathers? The protection and strength that they give us. The life lessons they bestow upon us. The dad dancing that never fails to amuse us. The hero we see him as. In film, the father figure is celebrated and revered in all manner of iconic characters. Here are the top 10.

They frustrate us, tease us, love us, protect us (sometimes too much) and teach us important life lessons, particularly the embarrassing ones that our mothers can’t seem to. Though fathers come in all shapes and sizes, their influence over us is something that shapes us regardless, and the idea of The Father is something that has been explored through film time and time again. Here are the top 20 films about fathers.


Finding Nemo – 2003

The top 20 best films about fathers

The story of Marlin the clownfish and his quest to find his missing son Nemo is one of the most moving tale of a father’s love to have screened. Having won the 2004 Oscar for Best Animated Feature, ‘Finding Nemo’ is a tale of family, innocence, adventure, bravery and a lesson that you’re never too old to experience something new. It stars the voice of Albert Brooks, Alexander Gould, William Dafoe, and Ellen DeGeneres as the unforgettable Dory.


To Kill a Mockingbird – 1962

The top 20 best films about fathers

Robert Mulligan’s adaptation of Harper Lee’s acclaimed book ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ outshone all competition at the 1963 Oscars, picking up 3 awards, including Best Actor for Gregory Peck. It tells the story of Atticus Finch, a lawyer in Depression-era South, who is living two worlds; one in which he is defending a black man against undeserved rape charges and another in which he is a father trying to protect his children against prejudice. One of the finest films ever made.


The Tree of Life – 2011

The top 20 best films about fathers

A story about a family in 1956 Texas that sees their eldest son struggling with his parent’s conflicting teachings. We follow the life journey of Jack from the innocence of childhood to his confusing adult years as he tries to reconcile a complicated relationship with his father played by Brad Pitt. Visually stunning as it is moving Terrence Malick’s film was nominated for 3 Oscars.


Kramer vs. Kramer – 1979

The top 20 best films about fathers

Ted Kramer has just divorced from his wife and is learning how to raise his son by himself. As things start to make sense he then finds himself in a court battle to keep custody of his son. Starring the incredible Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep, this film picked up 5 Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Actress in a Supporting Role. Tissues at the ready.


The Lion King – 1994

The top 20 best films about fathers

Learning children scarred for life all over the world, Disney’s masterpiece ‘The Lion King’ tells the story of Simba, a young lion who has been tricked into thinking he caused his father’s death, a burden which has stopped him from reaching his potential and his destiny to become king. With the help of his friends, who finds himself once more and returns home only to discover that his former pride needs him. Never has a father and son film broken so many hearts.


Meet the Parents – 2000

The top 20 best films about fathers

Ever been worried about your overly protective father and how he might react to new lovers? Well, ‘Meet the Parents’ made your worst nightmares come true and we see Ben Stiller’s character Greg Focker terrorised by his future wife’s father Jack Byrnes, a former CIA agent with a lie detector in the basement, played by Robert De Niro. A classic comedy.


Bicycle Thieves – 1948

The top 20 best films about fathers

Vittorio De Sica’s beautifully devastating tale of a man and his son searching for a stolen bicycle vital for his job is as groundbreaking as it is heartbreaking. The sense of helplessness is overwhelming at times, but the few moments of joy break the tension, a scene in a pizzeria for example. Its main actors Lamberto Maggiorani and his son, played by Enzo Staiola, will leave you breathless of emotions. An incredible film.


Big Fish – 2003

The top 20 best films about fathers

How tall are your father’s tales? Something that is faced by a son as he tries to learn more about his dying father, reliving his stories of fantastical proportions with him. This heartwarming film teaches us that sometimes the most bumbling of stories are actually sown with truth, and that is exactly what Ed Bloom’s son Will discovers. Finding it hard to separate the man from the myth, Will soon realises that all is exactly what it seems.


He’s Got Game – 1998

The top 20 best films about fathers

Spike Lee’s tale of a father’s knowledge failing to hit home with his son is a powerful one. It’s about Jesus Shuttlesworth, the most sought after high school basketball prospect in the nation whose father, Jake, is in jail convicted with the killing of Jesus’ mother. However, if Jake can convince his son to play basketball at a certain college, his sentence will be shortened. It stars Denzel Washington, Milla Jovovich and Ray Allen.


Interstellar – 2014

The top 20 best films about fathers

Not only one of the biggest films of our time but also one of the most tender and fraught father and daughter stories ever told. A team of explorers travel through a wormhole in space hoping to secure humanity’s survival but in reality, this huge film is the tale of a daughter who needs her father. The relationship between Matthew McConaughey and Makenzie Foy is electric and so touching. A must see. It won the 2015 Oscar for Best Achievement in Special Effects.



Source: Swide: by Ben Taylor


A perfect day in Tuscany form Rome

This experience takes you on an all-inclusive day trip to Tuscany from Rome, taking care of all the details. Heritage Site, boasting quintessential Tuscan panoramas, picturesque towns, and renowned wines.

The lovely scenery you see as you make your way to Monticchiello gives you an idea of the stunning views you will be treated to when you arrive at this medieval hilltop town. Home to less than 250 residents, the sweeping views from Monticchiello, the gentle rolling hills, cypress-lined roads and verdant countryside, will have you in region. Monticchiello which, though small, is bursting with charm. Step into the Chiesa dei Santi Leonardo and Cristoforo where you will find well preserved frescoes dating back to the 14th and 15th centuries.

Pienza is worth a trip to Tuscany all by itself. The main attractions here are find the cathedral dedicated to Santa Maria Assunta, the town hall, Piccolomini Palace, and Borgia Palace. Also, Pienza without tasting a variety of its Renowned for its celebrated red wine, Montalcino, situated on top of a hill boast splendid views of the countryside. Here we will visit La Fortezza and climb up to the walls and lookout towers. One of the highlights of our day trip from Tuscany to Rome is a hidden gem, an organic farmhouse tucked away from the main road and completely immersed in the Tuscan countryside. You may even be lucky to see peacocks during their courtship ritual with their dazzling patterned plumage all fanned out. All the dishes served are based on seasonal ingredients from the farm, a also be sipping on wines from their vineyard, all this set within a backdrop of breathtaking views.

The joys of life under the Tuscan sun! Of course no visit to Tuscany would be complete without sampling some of its cellar and have a behind-the-scenes look at the procedures involved in producing the prestigious Brunello di Montalcino. Of course, you will also taste the variety of wines produced at this vineyard, including their award-winning Brunello di Montalcino.


Source: Walks of Italy


The first pizza made with seawater is in Naples!

Have you ever heard about a pizza made with…seawater? In Naples, the homeland of the popular Italian dish, there’s a pizza maker who has had the idea of substituting salt with seawater. What’s the result? Let’s discover more with Swide.

Hands up who doesn’t like pizza, the heavenly Italian dish born in Naples and soon become one of the most popular and appreciated foods all over the world belonging to the Italian culinary tradition. If choosing amongst the large choice of pizzas was not already difficult (not only the classic Margherita but also that with peppers, mushrooms, spicy salami and so forth) from today things are getting even harder (how much we love this kind of problems!) since in Naples, its homeland, you can now eat pizza made with seawater in place of salt.

The first Pizza made with seawater is in Naples 2

Pizza maker Guglielmo Vuolo is the one who firstly had the idea of preparing pizza without using salt, but seawater in order to exalt the favor of each ingredient and create something healthier. In this way, the process of making pizza basically takes more time and a leavening of about 20 hours is needed, but don’t worry, for the seawater used to prepare the dough is not the same water you can find on the beach, but a microbiologically pure foodstuff produced by Steralmar Company in Bisceglie.

The first Pizza made with seawater is in Naples 1

But what the difference with the same pizza made with salt? In its creator’s words this kind of seawater made dough is “lighter, softer, and more digestible, focusing on the health and palate pleasure, allowing the discover of authentic flavor of each ingredient.”

The first Pizza made with seawater is in Naples 3

So if you are traveling to Naples, don’t miss out on heading to pizzeria Eccellenze Campane where the place to try pizza made with seawater, passion and the most high quality ingredients. No doubt this is an admirable and innovative initiative, trying to offer guests a healthier product without opting out of the quality and flavor of one of the most iconic and delicious Italian dishes, one more reason (if you needed one) to love and enjoy pizza.


Source: Swide, by: Claudia Baroncelli


The top 10 Instagrams of ‘La Bella Italia’ you need to follow

Discover the inner beauty of Italia with our selection of the top 10 Instagram accounts by locals and foreigners who capture the essence of Italy, sharing their discoveries from personal perspectives and eccentric angles. Here at the 10 Instagram accounts of Italy you need to follow.

A picture speaks a thousand words. That’s what they say, isn’t it? But it can often feel that photo-sharing apps have diluted the power that photography once held over us, particularly thanks to the blizzard of filters, tweaks and twerks that we have at our fingertips. But urban and travel photography has never looked so good thanks to these apps, and Instagram is the perfect portal from which we can experience the finds of others from all over the world. We recently explored the joys of Milan through Instagrammers, which you can see here. 

Today, we take a look at 10 of the top Instagram feeds by users based in Italy, both local and foreign, that put a whole new twist on La Bella Italia and what it is that makes this country one of the world’s most desirable holiday destinations. From southern coastal towns to the landlocked medieval marvels, discover the secrets of Italy through the lens of others (we at Swide learned a thing or two too).

And if you love Italy’s culinary tradition and soul, its mesmerizing spots and atmosphere and theDolce&Gabbana’s style, don’t forget to follow Swide on Instagram by clicking HERE.


Archaeologist and history Ambassador, Darius Arya is our first port of call, cropping up on all sorts of ‘best of’ lists. Based in Rome, this guy with a keen eye takes us on trip around ancient sites, forgotten treasures and areas of interest. One thing you’ll notice is that Rome truly is the apple of his eye.


One of my personal favourites, from  the icy caps of Trentino to the warm glow of Naples, Gianpiero Riva’s feed is bursting with colour, stimulating images and imagination. Blue is the most striking shade within his feed, with green and the occasional burst of orange breaking through. Mesmerising.


Once in Rome but now in Sicily, Rachel is a published author and food is her passion. With Rachel you’ll discover the delights of local markets, her favourite foods, and even preparation tips for her must-try eats.


A collective, this incredible feed will have you feeling the highs and lows of Italy as if it were novel. From magnetic shots of coastal towns to modern urban architecture, you’ll discover interesting perspectives of the cities as well as the beauty of overlooked towns.


The most popular Instagram feed on this list, we are given a romanticised, ideal look at la dolce vita and boy it’s amazing. From picture perfect compositions of buildings to much-loved landmarks seen in a new light, Nicolee Drake’s feed will have you packing your bags in an instant.


Milan based food stylist, Laura La Monaca, brings the likes of food, the lakes, locals and lunch together in one lovingly curated feed. From the green waters of the north to the clear blues of the south, Laura takes on an enticing tour of Italy, letting the beauty speak for itself.


How this Instagram user has less than 1000 followers confounds me. The sense of detail, love and romance within his images is worthy of hundreds of thousands of followers and I am happy that Swide can show this guy’s feed to you all. From all manner of perspectives, subject matter and filters, Marco Badiani’s images will leave a colourful yet composed impression on you.


Jessica Stewart is based in Rome and offers us her point of view on urban life, architecture and street art, using a sharp yet simple eye to show off what it is that makes Italy, in particular Rome, so great.


Another much follow is by Venice based architect Marco, who takes us on the road with his friends as well as playing on our feelings of jealously with the beautiful shots of Venice that he posts. With an overriding colour scheme of blues, whites and dark greens, we are occasionally surprised by warm interiors of ancient buildings and wooden tables. Lovely stuff.


The self proclaimed Tuscan Texan Georgette Jupe tells us that she is one part foodie, wino and world explorer. Sounds like my kind of gal. Based in Florence, we are given a key to Tuscan life through her eyes, from street food stalls to hidden artisanal shops, and from cityscapes to coastal views to raise the greyest of heart. A world through the lens of @girlinflorence is a beautiful one.


Source: Swide, by: Ben Taylor