In vino veritas: two wine recipes and one confession

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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


Before the rain, an intimate dinner in the Venetian Lagoon

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.
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Two Autumnal recipes with Amedeo Modigliani’s grapes & a nostalgic glimpse of the old Academy of Fine Arts of Venice

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.

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Venetian aperitif | Tiziano, a cocktail inspired by the Master of color & some roasted grape cicchetti

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

Summer, Travel

About looking, an eulogy to slowness and a Dutch apple cake inspired by Flemish paintings

Dutch apple cake inspired by Flemish paintings. The Freaky Table by ©ZairaZarotti

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


Little summer delirium about color & ravioli with red turnips, to contrast green

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


Glimpses from an ancient world | Crostatine with homemade rose petal jam with Miranda’s roses

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.

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Spring, Travel

Nordic Spring – A silent awakening in Northern Norway

It just fades when the waves breaking at the foot of the snow-capped mountains break a silence that is now rare to hear. I’m in Norway and I’ve never been further north than that, and the cold air burning my lungs reminds me of it as I open the window of my room.
I breathe deeply the smell of the North Sea, and I look at how the landscape is finally letting new colors emerge from that almost perennial white mantle. Spring has lazily arrived here too, without haste. It’s such a different Spring from the one we know in Italy, but even here it coincides with the lengthening of daylight and the awakening of nature. It’s still very cold and there’s a bit of snow, but that’s nothing compared to the usual winter temperatures! Continue Reading