Dreaming of more Rome strolling in the spirit of Audrey Hepburn

I visited Rome two days in pre-spring, vivid, charming and fresh as ever, embracing the rinascimento season with its timeless flavors & perfumes, its warm gazes full of profoundly rooted  joie de vivre and gestures loaded with centuries of savoir faire. I put on the timeless and comfortable ballerina shoes of Audrey Hepburn (the style of shoes she loved to wear), ideal for tippling quietly yet elegantly through one of the city’s most characteristic neighborhoods, Trastevere, tasting, observing and odouring its magic, its genuineness, its passion for life and the beauty that lies in the little things. Accompanied as before by beautiful Berta. Let’s dream together of Rome and try to imagine the sensations produced by its numerous flavors, perfumes and colors. Rome is resting now like all Italy, resting and fighting like all Italy in order to make this beautiful spring continue, more vivid and colorful than ever before.

 

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To Rome & Audrey with Love + slow travel tips

There are few things more romantic that I can think of than Rome in spring, or should I say breathlessly charming? Observing Flora’s season exploding with its million colors and perfumes into the timelessness of the city is somewhat unique.
When I think of Rome, and when I go there, my spirit automatically travels back at least to the mid fifties and sixties when Audrey Hepburn had already left her inimitable footprints in the eternal city, first with Vacanze Romane (1955),
and later living there for many years. Celebrating International Women’s Day by getting into her beloved ballerina shoes and tap through her most dear Trastevere neighborhood in the company of the border collie Berta and photographer Danilo Mecozzi.

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Apple fritters from Tyrol

There’s something about fried food that is so comforting and satisfying for the tastebuds. The aroma of the fried ingredients, the crunchiness of the dough that surrounds it…. Heavenly indulgent.
I particularly love fried apple slices in batter, and they are the main reason why sometimes I go skiing. It’s really worth while (independently from the breathtaking view), to take the funivia up to a couple of thousands of meters altitude, and savor these Tyrol Apple Fritters in their perfect surroundings.
The dessert is originally from the Trentino Alto Adige region, which is by the way Italy’s most important apple cultivation area. Then the ski ride down the mountain serves to burn the calories and admire the spectacular view.
When I make them, the sweet, fresh and comforting smell brings out the the imagine of a sunny skiing day in the Alps.

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Getting to Varenna

 

Como Lake is really a world of its own, and discovering it bit by bit is an extremely rewarding experience. It’s also a great lesson in learning how many treasures and endless beautiful surprises you can discover, without covering too many kilometers. The lake’s spectacular three-armed shape, mountainy surroundings and history unite in making the lake a really adventurous place, a timeless place, a natural paradise, where the atmosphere could be described as a mixture of an eternal “Belle Epoque”.

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Niçoise Salad

Niçoise salad is one of those whole meal salads that speak of summer. As can be understood from the name, its origin is the city Nice. There exist quite a few variants of the recipe. This is a “light” version I like very much. Light because I omit both boiled potatoes and green beans often present in the salad. Sometimes for extra indulgence I throw in a couple of mozzarella “bocconcini”, that aren’t exactly what comes to mind thinking of “light”, in matter of calories, but I love the white, soft texture and freshness they add to the whole. This salad is extremely rich and colorful, the perfect summer dish, with a glass of Provençale rosé, reflecting the warm and generous flavors of the South of France.

 

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Refreshing taziki dip

This refreshing originally Greek Taziki dip associated with Greek food, is to be found served in various places across the Mediterranean and Middle east with slight variations. F.ex. the Egyptian version doesn’t include cucumbers. This is a quite classic version. In summer it is an absolute MUST in my diet, and I even have it for breakfast….without the garlic in that case.

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EVOO Extra virgin olive oil – the real taste of Life

Extra virgin olive oil, Evo oil, is a worthy of consideration. I have nurtured love for this precious condiment for a long time, that has been growing gradually over the many years living in Italy.
This spring I decided that I wanted to get to know it more deeply. When there is a person or a place that you are particularly fond of,  you would like to get to know it more closely, and understand who that person or place is, all its peculiarities and characteristics.
I chose a course on the Italian Levante Riviera, at Recco, organized by L‘Associazione Italiana Sommelier dell’Olio

 

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Zesty ciambella with extra virgin olive oil inside & out

Ciambella is such a beautiful word and comforting in a way. The second part of the word “bella” means “beautiful” in Italian, so there’s one reason for the word’s expression for something good. Pronouncing “Ciam“, adds gladness and saliva to your palate in advance. It reminds of the sound of “yum“, meaning something that tastes or looks delicious. This bundt cake, ciambella, or better ciambellone, because of the size of it, is very light (despite the size of it), and extremely fragrant and zesty. An important factor for its lightness is given to the presence of extra virgin olive oil and zest in the dough. Then we exalt the zestiness, almonds as well as the mild olive oil in the dough with a second oil, a fruity Sicilian one.

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I Love Paris

I love Paris in the Springtime
I love Paris in the Fall
I love Paris in the Winter when it drizzles
I love Paris in the Summer when it sizzles

And so goes the first part of the lyrics of Cole Porter’s love song for Paris, I Love Paris of which he wrote the music as well as the lyrics. Who doesn’t fall in love with Paris? I couldn’t agree more with Cole Porter, as well as Audrey Hepburn’s classic line from Billy Wilder’s film “Sabrina” (1954), when she says: “Paris is always a good idea”.

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Monet and the colors of the riviera

Claude Monet, the grand French Impressionist, master of color, light and shadow, could not omit the magical Flower Riviera in his Life Work. Until 31th of July an intimate and very special exhibition, Monet in Riviera, pays tribute to the great honor given by the Monet to the territory of Dolceacqua, Bordighera and its surroundings. Three paintings from Monet’s Riviera spring in 1884 are now gathered for the first time where they were painted 135 years ago: Two at the Dolceacqua’s Doria Castle and the third at the Villa Regina Margherita in Bordighera. Before embarking on his Riviera Journey, Monet said: “I have the impression I will do wonderful things”. And he surely did.

 

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