Tuesday 15 December 2015

Nomination charms ... ogni link una storia

My Nomination charm bracelet began as a wedding anniversary gift with charms to represent that occasion. A diamond studded K, a diamond pave, a heart and a green stone representing my birth stone.

Since then I have added to it on many occasions, following three themes. Nomination charm bracelets are made in Italy and I have bought charms in Australia and in Italy. My passion for all things Italian is the basis for my collection and so I have the Italian flag and Italian words Italia, Bella & Ciao.

I have a religious collection - a star, a cross, a chalice & host and a Madonna and child.

The biggest collection are things representative of wonderful experiences and fond recollections we have had during our many visits to Italy:a Vespa, red poppies, gelato, the Trevi Fountain, the Bridge of Sighs in Venice & the Piazza del Campo Siena. 
The hibiscus and the lemon are a reminder of the Amalfi Coast, the chilli and the cocktail (Aperol Spritz) remind us of Sicily. A cyclist for the Giro d'Italia, pears (that link with pecorino & honey), cherries in Umbria and a rose which brings back memories of wonderful gardens we have lived in (for a week or even nine!) throughout Italy.

Next on the wish list is a green heart, for the green heart of Italy - Umbria.

I love my Nomination charm bracelet and every link does indeed have a story.

Sunday 15 November 2015

Panicale 2015 complete - Panicale 2016 in the planning

Our 2015 Panicale experience will never be forgotten but the practicalities of the trip have been completed.

The photo enlargement of Villa Adriana has joined the other ville, case and podere that we have stayed in, on our family room wall.

Our two new Buon Ricordo plates have been hung with the others.

The journals have been completed and financial outlay calculated.

Despite having one camera out of action I still managed to take 1600 photos worth keeping. The best have been made into a Photo Journal of our nine weeks in Panicale.

With all that work completed there is only one thing left to do ... book seats for our 2016 visit to beautiful, friendly Panicale, in Umbria - the Green Heart of Italy.

Monday 26 October 2015

Carlton Italian Festa 2015

Well over 20,000 people attended the Carlton Italian Festa in Piazza Italia, Lygon St, Melbourne yesterday, and none would have gone home disappointed. What a fabulous day of celebration of all things Italo-Australian.

We arrived quite early and the first thing we saw were the wonderful group from the Centre of Italian Studies. Their enthusiasm throughout the day was infectious as they provided activities for children, posted Instagram photos with dress ups and even had gondola races. Here is new teacher Erica with old pupils Eleonora and Rinaldo.

It seemed no area had been forgotten. The displays included the local football teams Carlton Australian Rules, Juventus and Melbourne Victory.

There were new cars, classic & collector cars and Vespas on display.

The best was an absolutely gorgeous 1929 FIAT, beautifully restored and one of only three left in the world. I got so involved that I forgot to take more photos.

Cooking demonstrations ran throughout the day and we learnt how to make Cavatelli with lamb ragu. Alessandro, the visiting chef who is in Australia for the Gusto Italiano Open Week, demonstrated how to make the pasta by machine or by hand, and later we were able to sample his delicious pasta with the lamb ragu.

There were food and drink stalls, entertainment for the children, historic photos, Italian clubs and support groups, language schools and music.

The sound shell entertainment ran from 11 am until 9 pm with a variety of music and comedy that entertained the huge crowd. When we arrived the Voce della Luna group were performing traditional Calabrese music.

Later in the day Tony Pantano sang. He was a big star in Australia in the 1970's and still performs and wins show biz awards. He has lost none of his voice or charm. 

Cosima de Vito rocked the stage in the lead up to Umberto Tozzi.

The crowd suddenly became denser as 6 pm neared and they erupted into cheers and applause as Umberto Tozzi came on stage. He pleased the crowd by singing his most famous songs 'Gloria' and 'Ti Amo' and showed that he still has the talent and charisma that has made him a star for nearly fifty years.

With all this excitement, what did we eat?
First we had some little arancini balls.

Then there was the cooking demonstration lamb ragu pasta

Later we had a Sicilian pastry - mine was full of chocolate custard and very delicious.

A gelato flavour that I didn't find in Italy - salted caramel.

Before we set off for the long trip home we had a pizza at Michelino's Trattoria. I think we have found a new favourite place to eat pizza!

As students of CIS we were rewarded with a sticker for visiting their stall. Thanks Erica for your confidence!!! But you will note that it says Bambino underneath.

Saturday 19 September 2015

The Great Gelati Challenge

I had sixty five days to break my record for gelati flavours eaten (not that I knew what last year's record was!) This was going to need diligent planning and determination, but I was ready for it.

To start with it was easy as Bar Gallo in Panicale sells gelati and so does La Pergola at Colgiordano, and our favourite Bar Alisè at Castiglione del Lago. The bar at Paciano, two more in the old town at C d L, Tavernelle and Città della Pieve were also quite near.

Then the time came when I would enter a gelateria and find no new flavours. Horror!!! Thanks to taking day trips into other areas, more opportunities opened up for me and the list grew.

According to my accountant I had gelato on 33 occasions. Well, I did have to have prosecco, Aperol Spritz or vino rosso sometimes!

Here are the gusti I ate:

Polvere de stelle - star dust (stunning!)
Siciliana cassata
Limone (lemon)
Caffè Viennese (Vienna coffee)
Amarena (sour black cherry)
Zuppa Inglese (trifle)
Le zangare (orange blossom)
Rose (rose petals)
Nocciola (hazelnut)
Cioccolato bianco (white chocolate)
Stracciatella (choc chip)
Melone (rockmelon)
Menthe (mint)
Pinguino (vanilla & choc stripe)
Panna cotta
Blood orange
Zaffarano (saffron)
Torte di mele (apple pie)
Yoghurt and berries
Fragola (strawberry)
Kinder (biscuit)
Ameliè ( fruity girgeous)
Maracuja (passionfruit)
Bitter dark rich chocolate
Mele verde (green apple)
Snowball (vanilla, choc coat & coconut)
Fior de latte (mozzarella!)
Creme (cream custard)
Caffè (coffee)
Ananas (pineapple)
Goiaba (guava)
Biscotino (vanilla & almond biscuits)
Mocchacino (coffee & choc)
Spagnola (black cherry)
Boero (chocolate & cherries)
Cioccarancia (choc orange)
Cannella (cinnamon)
Cremalini (custard & rich chocolate)
Baci bianco (white Baci)
Sottobosco (forest floor / berries)
Pesca arancia (peach & orange)
Baba (rum)
Miele e nocce (honey & nuts)
Pinoli 100% (pine nuts)
Puffo ( blue!!)
Morgan il Pirata (delicious!)
Fig of India (prickly pear)
Carioca (choc & nuts)
Raspberry cheesecake
Vaniglia (vanilla)
Cioccolata fondante (choc fondant)
Torrone (nougat)
Caramello (caramel)
Bisco-Krok (vanilla with biscuits)
Gianduia (choc hazelnut)
Duetto (pistacchio & hazelnut with choc crunch)
Liquirizia (licorice)

Our favourite gelateria - Bar Alisè at Castiglione del Lago

My favourites - polvere de stelle, rose, blood orange, le zangare, mele verde, nocciola ...

So, how many different flavours did I eat?     66.