Thursday 10 November 2011

    Como grazing :: {Italy la dolce vita}

     

    The pleasure of food and wine was a part of my time in Como, and here are my gourmet discoveries in the old part of town, within the walled city.

    Caffè Pane e Tulipani {or as locals call it cafè fleur} was my favourite!

    A “coffee of the artists” was born from a flower shop

    and is a delightful place for a coffee or lunch and at night it is a popular bar.

    Softly fragrant with from the flowers, the  french decor features beautifully displayed collections

    of old tin watering cans, glass jars and large wicker baskets.

     My fungi & truffle lasagna was deliciouso.

    Pane & Tulipani Cafe Fleurs :: via Lambertenghi 3, Como Visit website.

     The owner and his daughter in front of Verde Salvia.

    Verde Salvia :: Ristorante Vegetariano

    After a long day in Milano, I returned to Como and stumbled upon the lovely Verde Salvia ristorante with its simple white interior.  The Risotto alla Limone & Prosecco was bellisimo! This simple dish was a sensory sensation. It tasted delicous and the lemon aroma was intoxicating. The uncomplicated dish of Prosecco (a fizzy wine) and lemon was one of those dishes that I would order again despite wanting to try another dish on the menu. A delightful find with delicious food that is very reasonably priced.

     Verde Salvia ::  via Muralto, 11, 22100 Como

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    Wednesday 2 November 2011

    Ognissanti

     

    All Saints Day :: Tutti i Santi or Ognissanti

    This is a day where `two worlds’ meet to celebrate life,

    and a time for families to bring fresh flowers, mostly chrysanthemums,

    to the tombs of their departed loved ones.

    The offerings (ofrendas) are beautifully arranged with flowers often yellow chrysanthemums which are the traditional flower of the dead. Flowers serve as a living memory reminding us that once these people had remained close to us and they, like us, had once been fascinated by the beauty and color of life. A candle is lit for each soul and they are also embellished in the same way. Incense, mementos, photos and other remembrances of the dead are also kept along with the ofrenda.

    I experienced All Saints Day in Como, Aurio and Laglio. This Catholic holiday, commemorating the Saint Martyrs, and tomorrow is All Souls Day, set aside to honor loved ones who are deceased.  Italians celebrate the two holidays together. Taking time to value what our ancestors did for us is a time honoured tradition in Italy.

    Como was alive with music throughout the morning  ~ old men playing the piano accordion and young muscians playing Vivaldi. Italians were out strolling the streets after attending mass.

    I went to Il Duomo di Como to light a candle in honour my mother, and knelt at the alter of the Virgin Mary to pray and give thanks for all she had given me in life. It was a spiritual moment to connect with people you love who have passed away.

    In the afternoon I caught the ferry to Aurio and meet my friend Linda. We walked the winding villa lined road that traces a path along the lake to Laglio. Her local priest Don rode his bicycle speedily off after stopping to say hello as he was in a hurry to get ready for the ceremony.

    We visited the local cemetery where the graves were decorated with flowers mostly chrysanthemums, and offerings. And then the there was a procession of people from the local villages singing with Don their priest at the back, and incense burning.  They entered the walled cemetery and prayers were offered up for all of the deceased.

    Opposite the cemetery at the lakeside edge, an avenue of autumn leafed trees

    had plaques of fallen soldiers with bouquets of flowers.

    To finish the celebrations people sit down for an All Souls’ Feast with family and friends. Foods made of peas or lentils, known as Soul Food, are eaten. Many homes will set empty places and leave the door open for the souls of the deceased. The feast is finished up by indulging in the sweet cookie known as “Ossi di Morto” or “Bones of the Dead.”

    {Images: A White Carousel}

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    Tuesday 1 November 2011

    i nostri giorni

     

    In Italy, All Saints Eve or Day of the Dead is day of remembrance and honoring the dead.

    Armi santi, armi santi, Io sugnu unu e vuatri siti tanti,

    Mentri sugnu ‘ntra stu munnu di guai, Cosi di morti mittitiminni assai.

    {traditional Sicillian saying by children to ask for gifts}

    Holy souls, holy souls, I am one, and you are many. 

    While I am in this world of troubles, bring me lots of presents from dead people.”

    Parents tell their children that if they behave correctly, “i bonarmuzza re muorticieddi” (the good souls of the dead) might bring them presents. Children go to bed in the hope to be remembered by dead members of the family while parents prepare the presents and hide them around the house. In the morning a search will commence prior to visiting the cemetery.

    On the evening of October 31, All Hallow’s Eve, begin by indulging in a traditional harvest feast. The menu includes the new unfermented wine from the year’s harvest, known as Ribolla or Novello. Also eaten are roasted chestnuts, which were being sold from street vendors in Milano yesterday.

    (Images: Emily Senko, Marie Claire Italia March 2011 issue. Photographed by Wendy Bevan via cut y paste}

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    Tuesday 1 November 2011

    my Italian Halloween

     

    I spent Halloween exploring Milano,

    discovering beautiful many old buildings and couture fashion.

    John Galliano Fall 09

    {Images via party tights}

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