Month: July 2015

47

Today’s Special

Zuppeta Di Mare and Centine Wine Castello Banfi

This is the most incredible today’s special.  This delicacy is prepared with the utmost dedication, so we can enjoy a little bit of Italian flavor that only La Piccola Fontana can offer.

This wine comes from a family-owned vineyard estate in Tuscany’s Brunello region, Castello Banfi’s dedication to excellence captures honor after prestigious honor.

Reservations: (787) 801-1008.

46

The Pinacoteca Di Brera

The Pinacoteca di Brera, or Brera Art Gallery, is one of the most important museums in Milan, if not Europe.

Located in the beautiful Palazzo Brera, it was created along with the Accademia di Belle Arti, or Academy of Fine Arts, in 1776 to serve as a font of information for the students studying at the University.

The Art Gallery was filled with works from across the territory, thanks to Napoleon taking control of Italy and declaring Milan the capital of the country.

It is one of the few museums in Italy that wasn’t formed from private collections, but by the hand of the Italian state.

45

Italian Pastries and Cakes

Brioche or Cornetto

A type of pastry, the brioche (or cornetto, depending on where you live in Italy) is exclusively eaten for breakfast, usually accompanied by a coffee or cappuccino that you can dip it into.

The dough has more sugar than a French brioche or croissant and a more cake-like texture.

Tiramisù

 

It makes sense — who wouldn’t feel uplifted by a delicious dessert made of coffee-coated soft cookies called Savoiardi (lad fingers), a delicious mascarpone cream and chocolate?

Though many regions claim it as their own, including Friuli-Venezia Giulia and Piedmont, most accounts link the delicious dessert to Treviso, in the Veneto region.

Crostata

The crostata is an pie with a crust made from Italian pastry (hence the name, crostata) and a fruit or jelly filling.

Cassata Siciliana

 

It’s made from a round sponge cake soaked in fruit juices or liqueur and layered with ricotta cheese, candied fruit peels and a cream similar to the smooth ricotta cheese found in cannoli.

Then, it’s covered with a marzipan shell, traditionally a pastel pink or green icing and sugar or candied fruit decorations.

44

The best beaches near Venice, Florence and Rome

Rome, Lazio

The capital of Italy has many beautiful and well-equipped beaches you can easily reach in a day.

To the North of the city you’ll find Santa Marinella but also the beach of Civitavecchia (in the province of Rome), both about 80 km far from the Capital.

Undoubtedly the nearest beach is Ostia Lido, which is also the favorite destination for all the inhabitants of the Capital, since it is reachable in less than an hour by car (it’s 30 km far from Rome).

While if you want to explore the area belonging to the province of Latina to the south of the Capital, you’d better head to the beaches of Sabaudia, San Felice Circeo, Sperlonga, Gaeta but also Scauri.

They are farer than the first ones, but believe us, they definitely worth the journey.

Florence, Tuscany

Also Florence boasts a long list of beautiful beaches you can easily reach in a day, starting from all those located along the Versilia coast (best known for its fashionable riviera resorts and night clubs) where in about an hour and a half, you can sunbathe at the beach of glamorous Forte dei Marmi, Marina di Pietrasanta, Lido di Camaiore, Viareggio and Torre del Lago.

While if you are ready to spend more time traveling to reach the sea from Florence, here are some beaches which are definitely worth the journey: the Etruscan Coast includes the crystalline clear water beaches of Castiglioncello, Rosignano Solvay, Vada, Marina di Bibbona, San Vincenzo, Cecina and Baratti.

Venice, Veneto

Beyond its romantic and charming canals, Venice also boasts a strategic location, which allows its guest to reach in not so much time beautiful and sunny beaches.

The nearest ones (less than an hours of journey by car) are those of Jesolo and Eraclea Mare, well equipped and easily reachable in a day.

43

Gelato vs Ice Cream: What’s the difference?

If it’s undeniable that walking in New York with an ice cream and strolling in Venice with a gelato are two must-do things in life (but also Milan and Rome are great cities to enjoy gelato), have you ever wondered, by doing so, if there is a difference between ice cream and gelato?

In Italy we use the term gelato to indicate all sorts of ice cream, so some may think there isn’t. But there are actually technical distinctions between them. While it is not our intention to determine which one is the best – there are perfectly both enjoyable and tasty – it might be interesting for you to notice that there are many variables involved.

Air is one of them: American-style ice creams are churned fast and hard to whip in plenty of air (called overrun), making it fluffier. Gelato is churned at a much slower speed, which introduces less air into the base making it more dense.

The amount of fats make a big difference: while ice cream legally has a minimum of 10 percent fat, although most brands contain somewhere between 14 and 17 percent, gelato is made with a larger proportion of whole milk to cream, so it contains more like five to seven percent fat. Therefore gelato has less fat than ice cream.

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Temperature is a big factor: while ice cream is typically served frozen, gelato is usually stored and served at a slightly warmer temperature, so it’s not quite completely frozen.

Finally, the recipe itself of both preparations brings its own variables: some use cornstarch, others egg yolks; some use higher amounts of sugar and others use less.

Some say gelato is more tasty as, since there is not much fat in it and it is not served frozen, it doesn’t coat the mouth in the same way ice cream does, leaving a more intense after-taste.

Other say that because of the air in major quantity that is involved in the ice cream process it features a nicer, creamier texture than gelato’s one.

Whether you like one or another, one thing is for sure: summer wouldn’t be the same without both!

 

 

Source: Swide, by:  Elisa della Barba

41

Michelangelo and his terrible fashion sense

Though he grew to be a rich man, the interesting fact about michelangelo was that he lived in near squalor and rarely changed his clothes or even bathed. Also he was harsh on himself and his work. In one of his many letters about his work on the Sistine Chapel he famously wrote, “I am not a painter.”

He was often dissatisfied and known for his critical, volatile moods. In fact, one of his peers in study, Pietro Torrigiano, was so angry with Michelangelo for his talent — or more likely for his smart mouth — that he punched him in the nose, leaving it permanently crooked.

3

Italy and the wonderful spring

It is know the Italian food is seasonal: Certain types of produce grow at only certain times of year, and restaurants that respect the seasons, and the local food culture, will only serve those ingredients then.

On the cultural side, the Dali exhibit, on in Rome this spring Museums in Italy tend to have two major temporary exhibitions per year: one opening in the fall, generally running from September or October until December or January, and one in the spring, running from February or March until May or June.

And on the floral side, across Milan and Florence, Rome and Naples, the trees lining the streets are budding and parks are blooming.

In fact, some gardens in Italy’s major cities only open in the spring.