Posts Tagged ‘Italy’

Mar 29

Celebrating & Helping

Posted by Leslie in Italy

Milan, Italy On March 17th Italy celebrated 150 years of unification.

Milan, ItalyThe date was declared a national holiday but in typical Italian fashion controversy set in and not everyone agreed to celebrate.

Milan, ItalyBut while some Italians celebrated and will continue to do so throughout the year our friends in Japan are in need of help and support.

If you haven’t already, please consider making a donation to the tsunami and earthquake relief efforts. The loss and trauma of this disaster is staggering.  To help, click the Japanese flag to be linked to The American Red Cross website.

Thank you.


Mar 21


Posted by Leslie in Italy, Travel

Carnivale - Milano, Italy Last week Milano celebrated carnivale.

Carnivale - Milano, ItalyMaschere (Masks), costumes and festival sweets, chiacchierare and tortelli, were everywhere.

Carnivale Chiacchiere, Milano, ItalyWhat I didn’t expect was the silly string spray fights and a piazza covered in confetti.

Carnivale - Milano, ItalyAn unexpected site in front of Milano’s imposing Duomo…

Carnivale - Milano, ItalyAnd this was just the beginning of the party.

Carnivale - Milano, ItalyTwo hours later this piazza was a battle field of silly spray, that unfortunately forced me to keep my camera in it’s case.

Carnivale - Milano, ItalyBut hopefully these photos convey some of the day’s atmosphere.


Mar 20

Traveling Light

Posted by Leslie in Italy

Milan, ItalyI traveled light last week…

Milan, ItalyIn terms of cameras…

Bologna, ItalyI packed my iPhone and Point and Shoot and left my DSLR at home.

Milan, ItalyThat wasn’t easy but given the weather and the limited time I’m glad I left the heavy SLR at home.

Milan, ItalyThese were a few of my favorites.  I hope you like them too.



Sep 01

Vacationing Like An Italian

Posted by Leslie in Escapes, Italy

FigA recent article in Condé Nast Traveler cited the benefits of vacation and how little vacation Americans take.

“According to experts, almost any type of holiday can be a health benefit to some degree because people tend to be happier and less stressed when they anticipate them and while they’re away.”*

Thomas Valeria & Stefy

A clear indicator to me why Italians appear to be happy, they take their vacations.

And although they may venture abroad to exotic destinations as Paris or New York, most Italian vacations are a pilgrimage to the sea and priorities include working on their tan, mangiare bene (eating well), and maybe some physical activity (what good is a tan if it’s not on a nice physique).

Corriere Della SeraThe Beach

A typical vacation day may include, a coffee and cookie breakfast (or maybe cornetto if you head to the local bar), time at the beach or pool relaxing in the sun, reading the paper, un bel pranzo (a nice lunch), un pisolino (a nap), a wake up coffee, a few errands, gelato, a nice dinner and repeat for 10 days.  And remember, no connecting to the office because your boss and colleagues are also on vacation.

Taralli Lunch Sauce Burrata Dinner Caffe

As Americans, especially New Yorkers, it may be hard to imagine disconnecting and simply doing nothing, but like a serving of fresh fruit it’s very healthy.


So if you haven’t had an escape this summer or are already in need of another, take a few minutes to relax and enjoy this visually healthy escape – calorie free and sunscreen optional.



*Conde Nast Traveler September 2009

Aug 25

Eating in Italy

Posted by Leslie in Eating & Drinking, Italy

ProsciuttoMost Italians I know cook, even if they say they don’t they can always whip up something tasty, it’s in the genes.

My friend Stefy is no exception, she says she never learned to cook but meals at her table are not only delicious they are beautiful.

Stefy's Creation Pane

In Italy eating well could be qualified as a sport.  It is a constant topic of conversation and everything from pasta to gelato is consistently rated and compared.  Erbuono (it was good), era buonissimo (it was really good), era troppo buono (it was too good – I often use this when speaking about gelato), quello era meglio (that one was better).

Fiselle e Pomodoro

When times are tough in Italy, a negative economy, a corrupt government, a labyrinth of bureaucracy , the one certainty for Italians is mangiare (to eat) and of course mangiare bene (to eat well).  When you can slow down and enjoy a freshly prepared meal of simple ingredients it is medication for the soul.

Stefy at Work in the CucinaStefy is an expert, her shopping list is simple and always includes fresh fruit, vegetables, cheese, bread and meat.  Her time in the kitchen seems effortless. Steaming spinaci (spinach) in the morning before starting her day or soaking ceci (chick peas) in the evening to be sautéed the next day.

Whether serving one or a group she is always ready to pull something together… fiselle topped with diced tomato and herbs, sautéed bell peppers, slightly bitter arugula seasoned with olive oil, salt and balsamic vinegar, a plate of buttery prosciutto and bread fresh from the bakery (not a plastic bag).  Whether breakfast, lunch or dinner food is always enjoyed on a table setting of colorful placemats and napkins with a change of plates between every course to not mix flavors.

Ceci Arugula, Tonno e Maize

I think she needs to open her kitchen to share her secrets of her buona cucina (good cooking).  I will let you know when the courses start.

Fiselle e PomodoroBut until then take a few minutes to enjoy a few images of Stefy’s cooking and think about how you can slow down your next meal, bringing a few fresh Italian staples to the table or colorful placemats and maybe enjoying it just a little bit more.