Smells accompany us throughout the course of our life, often linking us to very specific memories.
There is the incomparable, unique and special smell of home, welcoming us as an embrace every time we cross the threshold.
There are indissoluble and powerful smells which are linked to our childhood and take us on journeys outside space and time.
We try to keep them in our memory, often with the feeling of having irremediably forgotten them, but if we are lucky enough to smell them once again, we suddenly become certain that actually they’re unforgettable, recorded in our olfactory memory as a safe place to come back to.
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The two desserts I propose in this post (red wine poached pears I also used for some frangipane cream tartlets, get the recipe below!) can be nicely paired with a fruited rosé such as this one, I discovered on www.millesima.it where the variety of fine wines available is exceptional. They offer wines from the best properties in the Rhone, Burgundy, Alsace, and other leading French regions, as well as top producers from Italy that were recently added to the selection. Continue Reading
Do you know when something incredible happens to you, that you even don’t know where to start to tell about it? Well, that’s exactly what happened with this story that dates back to May 2018, when Francesco and I were invited by NBTC Holland to take part in a “Cheese Valley” press trip in Holland, and more precisely in that small but fascinating so called region, that covers four towns and cities, each with its own history and traditions. Continue Reading
I could tell you about a romantic dinner, among the violet flowers that tint the Lagoon at the beginning of Autumn.
I could tell you how the last golden rays of sun at sunset have slashed a leaden sky, reflecting themselves on the surface of placid waters between the emerged shoals which are called barene.
I could also describe the salty, unmistakable, sometimes pungent smell of dried seaweed and dark mud. The smell of the Venetian Lagoon, the one I perceive getting off the train at the railway station, returning from a distant journey.
I could stuff this post with little and poetic visions about what is still an untouched and wild spot, my own escape, the place where I feel an authentic bond with the earth and the sea, while the city implodes in the bustle chaos. Continue Reading
In the 1750s the Venetian Senate granted young people a room – a space – in the palace where the Magistrate of Flours was located, so that, under the guidance of the Masters, they could become familiar with the art of drawing. The Church and the School of Santa Maria della Carità, which were next to it, later became the Academy of Fine Arts of Venice.
Many were the illustrious artists who crossed the great gate, which is now closed and visible from the homonymous Campo. In this long list we can also find a young Amedeo Modigliani. It was the year 1903.
The large, heavy wooden doors at the entrance of the Basilica creak a little.
I have to push them hard to enter into the typical darkness of many Italian churches. My eyes – dazzled by external light – need a few seconds to adapt to that new condition.
The pungent smell of liturgical incense, a mixture of natural resin and myrrh, overwhelms me immediately, as soon as the doors close with a slight blow behind me. Continue Reading
Recently I found myself giving some thought to data accumulation, in my case photos, ideas, recipes, notes of all kinds.
The more my life becomes exciting and animated by new travels, adventures and opportunities, the more my hard disk (and not only that) gets filled with things.
Things I cannot forget to tell, things that can be useful to me later.
I recognize my own hoarding nature also from the shelves which are loaded with props and stacks of vintage clothes that make my home everything except a Zen or minimal kind of place.
The idea of the essential has not yet reached myself, although the Bauhaus motto “less is more” contains a great truth in a small sentence that I have always liked very much. Continue Reading
The correspondence that Claude Monet kept for many years with his friends of the time, today known to us thanks to the numerous published collections, and which I read as a teenager with a certain romantic feeling, has forever influenced my way of thinking about colors around me.
I don’t think the color of the atmosphere is something most people wonder about, yet the idea Monet couldn’t get out of his mind – the idea that would then become a real obsession, which he experienced with some kind of manic frustration – was born from a genuine desire to understand. Monet wanted to understand the light, the color of the air, the fleeting and changeable first impression of what is around us, in order to tell it and interpret it in the most honest way possible. Continue Reading
In my olfactory memory, the intense scent of some ancient varieties of roses is associated with secret Venice, that of the hidden gardens, those that you spy through the cracks of the old doors of noble palaces.
Behind those gates there is a whole world, which is made of often uncultivated green areas, where forgotten species of plants and flowers have been preserved to this day in the stillness of courtyards. Continue Reading
In a moment everything has changed. Spring is gone, like Grandma.
While the garden was at its best, giving clouds of white flowers and miles of new grass to be cut, I sat down under the pear tree, in a sea of newly fallen white petals, with the phone ringing in my hand.
I already knew, I didn’t need to answer. That night my Grandma had stopped by to say hello and she had made a big mess.