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Issue 153 August 2017 £4.60 NEW WEBSITE!


Issue 153 August 2017



Discover the delights of Cefalù and the 21 pag

natural beauty of Madonie Regional Park travel, of expert
propert legal &
y advic

Insider’s Rome Looking for Lodi

See the Eternal City Lombardy’s hidden gem
in an entirely new light STIRRING STUFF
Cooking in the Veneto hills


The artist revealed through his letters PERFECT PICI

Our six top summer wines

August 2017
Issue 153



9 771744 796061

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W E L C O M E T O I TA L I A !

Welcome! Summer temperatures have climbed

here recently and, at one point,
London was matching Sardinia for
searing sunshine and dazzling blue
skies. It didn’t last long, of course, and
certainly wasn’t as pleasant – standing
on the Northern line in the rush hour
or lazing on the white sands of the
Maddalena archipelago? No contest,
but the temperature was the same and we could dream…
Making the most of the summer is what it’s all about in
this issue, whether you’re getting away to Italy or bringing
Italy closer to your home. Planning your next getaway? Self-
catering in sunny Sicily proved a hit with Lorenza Bacino and
her family, while a visit to the pretty Lombardy town of Lodi
was Rachael Martin’s destination of choice this month.
If you love Italian food as much as I do, see how I got on
when I travelled to Veneto for a week-long cookery course.
I was inspired by everything I learned, and I hope you will
be too. It was an enjoyable exercise to revisit the memories
of that week and write a feature about the experience, so this
seems a good moment to remind you that there is still time to
enter our writing competition and win a holiday! See page 42
for details if you are interested; the closing date isn’t until the
31st of October, so there is still plenty of time for you to get
writing and send in your entry.
Talking of food and drink, our Eat Italia! section is
packed with delicious summery recipes to cook at home
as well as six favourite Italian wines to try. And if you’ve
ever wanted to make Tuscan pici… Well, now you can, with
our easy, step-by-step guide.
I do hope you enjoy the issue.
Cover: Image © Jan Wlodarczyk, Alamy Stock Photo

Until next time, have a great month, COVER
This page: Image by Rachael Martin

Amanda Robinson Editor


Get 3 issues for £3 and then save 25 per cent on the shop price*, just

DD orders only
An altogether quieter pace of life £10.35 every three issues by Direct Debit when the trial ends! Each
in Lodi, Lombardy, on page 28 issue is delivered straight to your door! For details, see page 34.


FACEBOOK, Michelangelo’s While Venice will In search of family
search for Italia! reputation as one always be the ties, Rachael travels to
magazine of the world’s finest region’s international Lodi in the Po Valley.
artists is well- showstopper, Veneto It’s a favourite day
known. He was also has plenty more to trip for the milanesi
Follow us
a prolific letter offer the homebuyer and we’d do well to
writer and his private or investor, with a follow their lead.
at @ItaliaMag
correspondence varied landscape from A peaceful town with
reveals a man as passionate about family Lake Garda to the Dolomites. Fleur takes a a beautiful porticoed central piazza and
Find us on matters as he was about art. Joe Gartman view on the current situation in the region good local restaurants, it really is one of
INSTAGRAM takes a look at some of these fascinating and discovers the possibilities for any those hidden Italian gems that is worth a
at @italia_magazine conversations on page 45. potential buyer. Turn to page 74 for more. visit. Find out more on page 28.

August 2017 ITALIA! 3

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20 74
ISSUE201 7
Lorenza Bacino and her family enjoyed the
Make pici pasta, plus three dishes for a
April sunshine exploring this delightful town summer lunch party, with Tim Siadatan.
and the nearby Madonie Regional Park.
28 LOOKING FOR LODI Early summer vegetables are joined this
Rachael Martin descends from Milan into month by a variety of fruits and fish.
the Po Valley to discover the home town of
her mother-in-law.
Jarred pesto on test.

Amanda Robinson discovers authentic
Laura Santtini reveals the secret to
Italian flavours and new friends at a hands-
mantecare – how to create sauce for pasta.
on cookery course in the Veneto hills.
Our pick of six wines to enjoy this summer.

We talk a lot about what a painting is of, but
not about what is made of… Freya Middleton
tells the history of the painting medium. Buyers should take a closer look at this
northeastern region, says Fleur Kinson.
We talk to novelist Emylia Hall about 84 PROPERTY SHOWCASE
inspiration and Italian food. House-buying opportunities in Italy.
Joe Gartman goes on the trail of Lionardo What to see and do in Le Marche.
Buonarroti, and the family palace he
renovated in Florence. 93 PROPERTY SPOTLIGHT
Homes to buy in Le Marche.

4 ITALIA! August 2017

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p28 LODI


p98 ROME




More of your fascinating stories Tours of the Amalfi Coast, healthy
from and about Italy. recipes and a splendid novel.
COMPETITION The Villa Rufolo looks over
Send us your snaps and win a the resort of Ravello.
bottle of premium Villa Sandi 34 SUBSCRIBE TO ITALIA! p20
prosecco. Never miss an issue – and save p73
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Catch up with the biggest and 42 BE A TRAVEL WRITER!
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best stories from Italy. There is still time to enter our p48
14 TOP PICKS writing competition and win a
Our choice of the best prosecco weekend in Veneto!
new Italian products. 94 QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
16 EVENTS IN AUGUST Expert advice.
p45 p54
What’s on for travellers to 97 NEW! FLIGHT GUIDE
Italy this month. Your guide to Italy’s airports.
Tom Alberto Bull on the new Our new series shines a light on what p69
controversy facing Italian museums. you didn’t know about the Eternal City.

August 2017 ITALIA! 5

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Share your Italian experiences with us, and tell us what you would
like to see in the magazine, by sending your photographs and letters
to marked ‘Letters to Italia!’ Isola Bella, Ta


I did watch Rick Stein’s Weekend in Palermo,
➤ Every issue where he was invited to a family’s evening
our Letter of meal where they cooked anelletti pasta
the Month wins
pie! I was delighted to see it in July’s
a 12-month
issue because I wanted the recipe! Well,
to Italia! today I was able to make it to serve to
friends from New Zealand! Another friend,
who resides for part of the year in Sicily,
NEW WHITE LET E brought me back a packet of anelletti

because this pasta is not readily available


I was lucky enough to spend

2017 here. I have sufficient for another meal for

some time in Venice in

March, which was heavenly,
M four! My friends have asked for the recipe of Italia! brought back fond memories of
as the tourist season wasn’t to take back with them to New Zealand. Taormina. However, I think your picture
really in full swing and we were able The recipe’s only drawback is its lengthy might show the Taormina shoreline, not
discover the sights in a leisurely manner. cooking time. But it’s Isola Bella itself, which would be to the
Both sides of the Grand Canal are teeming worth it in the end right of your photographer. I attach a
with restaurants and as the weather was quite when it lands on the picture I took of Isola Bella in 2015 and
mild, the outdoor tables were packed. The
taste buds! another of perhaps the most superfluous
friend I was with had other ideas for dinner,
however. She had heard of a restaurant, Antiche
Catherine Crehan, by email ‘wet floor’ sign I have ever seen: near the
Carampane, that was down a maze of tiny end of the jetty leading into the sea!
alleyways in the San Polo quarter. The anelletti pasta pie David Miller, Tunbridge Wells
Well, we got there eventually and despite it You might be right about Isola Bella and Taormina.
only being a Tuesday it was packed. Whatever To be honest, it’s hard to tell without actually being
Image © Helen Bailey

was available from Rialto fish market that day able to see any of the various rare birds and lizards
was on the menu – Venetian favourites like that live on the island. But your second picture is one
sardines in saor, cuttlefish and spider crabs – the of the funniest we’ve seen for a long time! True story:
menu was a dream come true for a fish lover like your sub-editor once slipped up on a ‘Caution, Slippery
me. We also drank ribolla gialla (orange wine)
Floor’ sign that had fallen over outside Waitrose. He nearly
with our meal – and what a discovery! These
did himself an injury. And so did the people who were
white grapes from Friuli are fermented in the
same way as red, often in traditional clay jars or laughing at him afterwards.
amphorae. The colour is darker (nearly orange)
and the wine has more depth and power than
lighter whites. A perfect complement to our YOU TELL US!
unforgettable Venetian fish supper! We love receiving your letters, photos,
Iris Hunter, West Sussex ISOLA BELLA questions and recommendations!
Well, doesn’t that just make you want to go to Venice The recent G7 meeting and the lovely Write to us today...
for dinner tonight? Your wine choice sounds perfect too. two-page photo in the June 2017 issue TEXT Text us your thoughts about Italy and Italia!
magazine. Text the word ITALIA plus your message
to 87474. (Texts cost 25p plus your standard
Seafood antipasti at
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Antiche Carampane
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FACEBOOK Keep up with Italia! on Facebook.
Go to then search for
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TWITTER Follow our Twitter feed @ItaliaMag
for the very latest developments at the
Ribolla Gialla Fritto misto
magazine and in Italy

August 2017 ITALIA! 7

IT153.Letters.sg5.indd 7 29/06/2017 14:24pm

Y O U R I TA L I A !

READERS’ PHOTO Send us your favourite Italian travel

photos, and each month the best will win
a bottle of Villa Sandi Il Fresco Prosecco
and exclusive bottle stopper!*


Andy Hall, Stonehaven
“San Giorgio Maggiore, from St Mark’s
Square, Venice, pre-dawn in January. I
wanted to capture the decisive moment
when the lights were still on but there was
natural light from the emerging sunrise.
I was also keen to portray the bobbing
movement of the gondolas in the lagoon.”

Natalie Cummock, Darfield

“This was our view of Lake Como from our balcony
YOUR PHOTOS ON in Perledo, near Varenna. Amazing place.”

8 ITALIA! August 2017

IT153.ReaderPics.sg4.indd 8 29/06/2017 11:59am


Kevin & Sue Gray,

“View from
the Church of
San Giorgio
overlooking the
bay of Portofino
while trekking
Francesca Barone, by email upwards to
“Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella, Firenze – the Castello
inner courtyard with frescoes, September, 2016.” Brown and the
Shirley Tagg, Burgess Hill
“We found this sculpture along the busy Amalfi Coast
road in Praiano. It is called The Conversation, which we
thought was very in keeping with the Italian culture.”

*Prosecco and bottle stopper delivered to mainland UK addresses only. To find out more about Villa Sandi and Bellavita, see May issue
Stephen Fryers, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
“My wife and I spent a wonderful 15th wedding anniversary last October in
northern Italy. One of our favorite stops was at Antica Corte Pallavicina in
Polesine Parmense. This photo was taken from our room window early one
morning. The sun was just rising and the colours were amazing. We will
definitely be returning.”

HOW TO SEND YOUR PHOTOS Please email high-resolution (300dpi) jpegs of your
photos of Italy to or send prints to ‘Reader Photo
Competition’ at the address given on page 6. Please include a brief photo description,
plus your name, delivery address and a phone number (for our couriers). You must be
over 18 to enter. If you don’t wish to receive details of future offers and promotions
from Anthem Publishing, Villa Sandi or Bellavita, please state ‘NO INFO’ on your entry.

READER OFFER London-based Bellavita specialises in premium-quality Italian food and

wines, delivered from Italy right to your door. Italia! readers get a 10 per cent discount
off Villa Sandi wines and all other products online at until
1 December 2017 by entering the code ‘italia10’ at the checkout.
Please note: Any photos you submit must be your own work and you must have the right
to send them for inclusion on this page. By sending your entry, you are confirming
that Italia!’s use of your photo(s) will not constitute infringement of any rights, and
confirming that you are over 18.

August 2017 ITALIA! 9

IT153.ReaderPics.sg4.indd 9 29/06/2017 11:59am


August 201 7
In Italian news this month, how to buy
a castle, how to swim to Sicily, and how
to get from 0-60 in under three seconds…

Blera, Lazio

You’ll need to show

evidence that you have
at Blera
the means and know-how
to do that property up
The castle
Image by giovanni bidi, CC BY 3.0, https://commons


Image by pizzodisevo - Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons

Ever dreamed of living in a castle? Well, now’s your chance – the Italian government is
giving away 103 abandoned historic properties, including castles, towers and monasteries,
absolutely free of charge. But before you get the party poppers out, we should point out

Image © John Stillwell/PA Archive/PA Images

that there’s one small caveat: you’ll need to show evidence that you have the means and
know-how to do that property up and turn it into a prosperous tourist site. The initiative
is part of Italy’s Strategic Tourism Plan, which has been designed to prevent overcrowding
in the more obvious hotspots, such as Venice and Florence, by diverting sightseers
elsewhere. Among the properties up for grabs are the 11th-century Castello di Blera near
Rome, and the 13th-century Castello di Montefiore in the Marche region. “The goal is for
private and public buildings that are no longer used to be transformed into facilities for
Montefiore dell’Aso,
pilgrims, hikers, tourists and cyclists,” said a spokesman for the State Property Agency.
Le Marche Successful entrepreneurs will initially be given a nine-year lease of their chosen property,
with the option to renew for a further nine years.

Venice has become the latest Italian city to clamp down Italian courts have temporarily lifted a ban on
on fast-food restaurants. A new law prevents new kebab Uber taxis operating in the country, while an
shops and similar outlets opening, and also limits appeal is heard. In April, the US-based firm –
Images © iStock unless otherwise stated

the number of businesses selling pizza by which enables people to hail cabs via an app, and
the slice. “We want to put the brakes on often at cheaper prices – was given ten days to
activities that are not compatible with terminate its service in Italy after traditional taxi
the preservation and development of drivers complained that Uber workers were getting
our cultural heritage,” said tourism chief an unfair advantage. Said a spokesman for the
Paola Mar. Last year, Verona banned new company: “We are very happy to be able to tell all
kebab shops, while Florence said any new restaurants Uber drivers and users in Italy that they’ll be able
and food shops in its historic centre would have to to continue to use the application pending the
ensure that 70 per cent of their produce was local. court’s ruling on our appeal.”

10 ITALIA! August 2017

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The excursion was part of the Strive Challenge, an
annual fundraising initiative organised by Virgin
As one of Britain’s richest men, Richard Branson must’ve been to some pretty amazing
places in his lifetime. But he recently revealed that his favourite ever trip was an ambitious
journey he took last year from the south of Switzerland to the toe of Italy. The expedition
saw the Virgin boss and his two grown-up kids, Holly and Sam, start with a ten-day hike
across the Swiss Alps, before embarking on a mammoth 2,500-kilometre bike ride down
through Italy. As if that wasn’t gruelling enough, they then ditched their bikes and swam
the two miles across the choppy Strait of Messina to Sicily, before finishing the trip
by climbing to the top of Mount Etna! The month-long excursion was part of the Strive
Challenge, an annual fundraising initiative organised by Virgin. Summing up the amazing
adventure, Branson told Bloomberg Pursuits, “As a family, we’re gluttons for punishment.”


Sun, sea and sand… Nothing beats spending a day on the beach. And we
humans aren’t the only ones who love it – dogs do, too! To make sure our
canine friends enjoy the best possible seaside experience, travel website
Wanderlust has published its pick of the seven best pup-friendly beaches in
Europe. Number one on the list is Le Touquet in France (to be fair, it is seven
kilometres long), but coming in at number three is the fortuitously named Lido
de Fido, in Grado, Italy; a resort that Wanderlust describes as “Italy’s premier
canine spiaggia”. It has pretty impressive credentials – along with the usual sun
loungers and parasols, dog lovers are provided with a range of practical extras,
including leash holders, water bowls and waste bags. The blurb concludes by
saying, “Make sure your pooch is wearing his or her best Dolce & Gabbana
accessories.” And they’re probably not joking.

One of Italy’s best-loved fashion designers, Laura A population of about 50 brown bears eking out a
Biagiotti, has died of a heart attack aged 73. precarious living in the Abruzzo National Park may
Biagiotti’s knits earned her the nickname ‘The have found the means to survive and increase its
Queen of Cashmere’, and she notched up a number number. Recently, six reproductive females have been
of milestones during her career – in 1988, she identified and it is estimated that ten pups were
became the first Italian to put on a fashion show produced last year. The Marsican brown bear, the
in China, and in 1995 she was the first to hold a symbol of the Abruzzo National Park, is a critically
show inside the Kremlin. Laura’s daughter Lavinia endangered species, and though every effort is made by
announced her death on Twitter with a quote the authorities to protect the population, conflict with
from the Bible: “In my Father’s house are many humans also trying to eke out a living in the region still
mansions. If it were not so, I would have told you. occasionally occurs, particularly, it would seem, with
I am going to prepare a place for you.” honey farmers. Read more in our feature next issue.

August 2017 ITALIA! 11

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Just when you think Italian sports cars can’t get any more
powerful, along comes another to leave its rivals in the shade.
Meet the brilliantly named Ferrari 812 Superfast, an ultra-slick
£240,000 sports car that the legendary Maranello firm is touting
as its most powerful car ever – and that’s saying something!
Packing a 6.5-litre 800bhp V12 engine, this successor to the
popular F12 Berlinetta boasts a top speed of 211mph and will
get you from 0-60mph in a blistering 2.9 seconds. What’s more,
the 812 Superfast holds its own in terms of its eco-friendliness
– OK, so 340g CO2/km doesn’t measure up well against your
average hatchback, but it makes the Ferrari a damn sight greener
than a lot of modern sports cars. Said the Ferrari website: “The
Image by Norbert Aepli, Swit-
zerland, CC BY 4.0, https://

812 Superfast is designed to offer its drivers both benchmark

performance across the board, and the most riveting and rewarding
driving experience possible.”

Good news, ladies of
Italy – we could be
Image by Christopher William Adach from London, UK - WP - random_-12, CC BY-SA

seeing a lot more

of Colin Firth in the
country! The Pride
and Prejudice hunk A LITTLE BLACK MAGIC

is applying for If you’re in an Italian restaurant and thinking of

Italian citizenship complaining that your pizza’s burnt, hang on a second – it
so that he can might be deliberate. Serving up the traditional Italian
spend more time staple with a blackened crust is all the rage at eateries
living la bella right now, with many chefs adding something called
vita with his wife, film producer Livia activated charcoal – that’s the kind found in water-filtration
Giuggioli, and their two sons, Luca and Matteo. The family already systems, not grills – to the pizza dough before it goes in
owns a holiday home in Umbria, and Colin reportedly speaks fluent Italian, but if he’s the oven. Think that sounds a bit grim? Well, you might
successful he’ll be given an Italian passport to go with his British one (something be surprised – after trying the dish at Masseria, a pizzeria
that could come in handy when Brexit finally goes ahead). The actor, 56, has openly in Toronto, one diner wrote on review website Yelp that
criticised the decision to leave the European Union, calling it “a disaster of unexpected “the black carbon pizza dough tastes amazing”. And others
proportions”, but his agent declined to say whether this was a factor in his application. have described the taste as being pleasantly smoky. Still not
“Colin has applied for dual citizenship (British and Italian) in order to have the same tempted? Well, the darkened pizza is meant to be good for
passports as his wife and children,” he said. your health, too, as it absorbs toxins and can help reduce
cholesterol and gas. Try some – you might just like it!


A row erupted at a court in Genoa recently… over the Barack and Michelle Obama made a grand entrance
ownership of a cat. The kitty, named Fiocco, belonged as they flew into Tuscany for a six-day holiday
to a lady in the Struppa district but began to stray in May – they were escorted by no fewer than
and eventually found its way into a neighbour’s six fighter jets! Taking time out from a gruelling
home. When it looked like she was going nowhere, international tour, the former US President and his
the neighbour renamed the cat Tequila and, two years First Lady stayed in a luxurious country estate near
later, even took the pet with her when she moved Siena, owned by former American ambassador to
house. But the original owner found out and filed a Italy John Phillips, where they were presented on
complaint, hence the court case. After much legal their arrival with truffles and a book written and
wrangling, it was deemed that the feline should illustrated by local schoolkids. There was just one
remain with owner number two, who declared that stipulation during their stay – wild-boar hunting was
she was “very happy and thankful”. banned, in case Mr Obama accidentally got shot!

12 ITALIA! August 2017

IT153.News.sg4.indd 12 29/06/2017 13:31pm

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Top picks
This month’s selection includes ideas for
al fresco feasts, home décor, organic wines,
a creative holiday in Umbria and much more


Scent your home with this
hand-poured candle, £32,

Cin cin! New organic and
biodynamic Italian wines,

Limited edition Vespa
Scooter Chair, £820

Make easy work of chopping
herbs with this mezzaluna
blade and board, £10.99,

Five flavours of tasty
crostini snacks new
from Filippo Berio
£1.99 each, www.

16 ITALIA! August
14 December

IT153.TopPicks.sg5.indd 14 29/06/2017 11:50am

Murano glass pen
SHEET CHIC and ink set from
Papiro, £20,
Frette’s luxury linens, bedspreads and more. CHILL OUT
See their new summer ranges at www.something-
Alessi ‘Circus’ wine cooler, £180,
and thermal bottle stand, £130,
Veggie or meat feasts Italian-style, order from
your local Carluccios, £45,

Heart-shaped wicker
hamper, kitted out for
PAINTING HOLIDAYS IN ITALY two, £45, www.marks
For painters of all ages and stages, join Alan Reed
Art’s painting holiday to Chiesa del Carmine in Umbria,
from 7-14 October. 7-night, full board, 5-star stay with
specialist art tuition.

December 2013ITALIA!
August 2017 ITALIA! 15

IT153.TopPicks.sg5.indd 15 29/06/2017 11:48am



The Blessed Virgin Mary makes three appearances in Italy this month,
first in Rome, where she once caused it to snow in August, then in Sassari,
a city she rid of the plague, and then again on the day she rose to Heaven…

5 August 6 August
7 Rome La Spezia
It’s high summer, If you think the Oxford-
8 so why is it snowing Cambridge boat race
around Rome’s can get a bit testy,
9 Basilica di Santa wait till you witness CATANIA TANGO
Maria Maggiore? the Palio del Golfo. FESTIVAL
10 Don’t fret – it’s fake No fewer than 13 boat 9-16 August FEAST OF SAN
snow and is part of a crews, representing Catania LORENZO
11 yearly tradition that the villages around Come on, be honest 10 August
commemorates how this the Bay of La Spezia, – you’re hooked on Florence
12 majestic church came to lock proverbial horns Strictly Come Dancing When the Roman PALIO DEI
be. Legend has it that in a thrilling battle of and would love to Emperor Valerian NORMANNI
13 one night in August a strength and stamina. perform some of those persecuted the 12-14 August PALIO DI SIENA
In the old days, the moves yourself. Well, Christian church in the Piazza Armerina 13-16 August
rich man was visited in
14 his dreams by the Virgin race was contested by this annual festival on 3rd century AD, Saint Norman nobleman Count Siena
fishing boats, and the Sicily’s east coast gives Lawrence was sentenced Roger I is a folk hero If you missed Siena’s
Mary, who instructed
15 him to build a church winning vessel got to you the opportunity to death. Yet even as among Sicilians, having legendary horse race in
sell their catch first. to master your tango he roasted on a spit, he freed the island from July, don’t worry as it
in the place where he
16 found fresh snow the These days, it’s more under the tutelage of refused to share church Arabic rule. In one of runs twice a year – and
about the pride – and world-class instructors. secrets, instead inviting the towns he conquered, this second outing is
following morning. Thus
17 the site of the Basilica having a good old party Once you’ve built up his executioners Piazza Armerina, every bit as dramatic
afterwards. some confidence, try out to “turn me over”. they celebrate his as the first. Once again,
was chosen.
18 your new skills at one of Accordingly, he’s now achievement on a yearly there’s plenty of pomp
the dance events – or, if celebrated annually by basis. The Palio dei and pageantry in the
19 you’ve used up all your comedians and chefs. Normanni begins with run-up, but it’s the main
energy, you could just In Florence, revellers a costumed parade event (on 16 August)
20 sit back and marvel at gather around the and re-enactment of that hundreds come to
some of the maestros in Basilica of San Lorenzo Roger’s brave feats, the Tuscan city to see.
21 action. www.catania for dancing, pasta and and then the action The ten-horse bareback watermelon. And the is ramped up a notch race around the Piazza
22 heavens will provide a with a breathtaking del Campo lasts just 75
free firework display – joust contested by seconds, but is so full of
23 with a meteor storm. horseriders from pride and passion you
the town’s different too will feel exhausted
24 districts. by the end of it.

16 ITALIA! August 2017

IT153.Events.sg4.indd 16 29/06/2017 11:24am

Tango travels to Catania

Image© iStock
14 August FERRAGOSTO Venice 27 August
Sassari 15 August Don’t worry, it’s not Montepulciano
If you happen to be in Nationwide as dangerous as it Blood, sweat, tears – this
Sardinia today, take This national holiday to sounds – all the drama gruelling annual race in
a trip to Sassari, the celebrate the Assumption at Beach On Fire takes Montepulciano, Tuscany,
island’s second largest of the Blessed Virgin place in the air. It’s has the lot. First held in
city, for its annual Mary just so happens to one of the world’s most 1974, the Bravio delle
Festa dei Candelieri. coincide with the start of spectacular fireworks Botti sees teams of
It happens on 14 the school holidays – so, THE DUKE’S displays, stretching two men each pushing VENICE FILM
August every year in as you might expect, FESTIVAL along 13 kilometres of an 80kg wine barrel FESTIVAL
19 & 20 August the Venetian coast from along an 1,800-metre 30 August – 9 September
commemoration of the most people in Italy
Urbino Punta Sabbioni to the uphill course through Venice
time, back in the 16th drive to the mountains or
No, nothing to do with Cavallino lighthouse, and the streets of the town, The oldest film festival
century, when the Virgin the coast for some family
John Wayne – this has even made it into the the first over the finish in the world has come a
Mary answered the locals’ downtime. If sitting
yearly extravaganza sees Guinness Book of World line getting a coveted long way since opening
prayers and rid the city in traffic jams in the
the people of Urbino, Records. Thousands gawp cloth banner. With its curtains with a
of three deadly plagues. midsummer heat doesn’t
Marche, take a trip back from land and sea as geographical pride screening of Rouben
Thousands crowd the sound like your idea of
in time to the medieval rockets and bangers are at stake (the teams Mamoulian’s Dr Jekyll
streets to witness huge fun, you could always
period, to commemorate propelled simultaneously represent different and Mr Hyde way back
colourful stanchions stay at home and enjoy
the 15th-century death across the night sky – districts), it’s a tense in 1932. These days, it’s
being paraded, and the some peace and quiet –
of Duke Federico da you’ll be hard-pushed and thrilling affair – and regarded as one of the
air is filled with music just be aware that most
Montefeltro, lord of the to find a better photo collisions are common. top three events in the
and merriment. of the shops and cafés
city. There’s plenty to opportunity! Medieval costumes, food industry, and some of
will be closed.
see and do: crossbow and and revelry add to the the silver screen’s top
drumming competitions, general atmosphere. stars descend on the
a medieval craft fair, Venice Lido to attend
a costumed party in prestigious premieres
the main square, and a and pick up gongs in a
magnificent fireworks range of categories. Last
display to finish it all year, La La Land’s Emma
off. We’re sure the Duke Stone was among the
would be touched. glamorous guests.

While we always try our best to present the correct details, please note that dates are subject to change. If you plan to go, check details before you travel.

August 2017 ITALIA! 17

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S P E A K I TA L I A !

An Italian court has ruled that some managerial appointments involving foreign directors should
never have occurred. Tom Alberto Bull on the new controversy facing Italian museums…

Venti di cambiamento Winds of change

Nonostante il fatto che i musei italiani possiedano Despite having some of the most treasured
alcuni reperti tra i più preziosi del mondo, spesso non historical artefacts in the world, successive years of
sono all’altezza delle aspettative a causa della cattiva poor management, under-investment and lack of
gestione, una mancanza di investimenti e un’incapacità di promotion have led to Italian museums falling short
promuoverli in maniera adeguata. Attualmente è in corso of expectations. Now a battle has ensued between the
una battaglia tra il governo italiano e le autorità giuridiche Italian government and its courts over a controversial
per una decisione controversa che potrebbe avere un effetto ruling which could have a direct impact on a
diretto sugli sforzi volti a rianimare il settore. concerted effort to inject new life into the sector.
Dopo una serie di nomine di direttori stranieri, che Following a series of foreign managerial
hanno contribuito ad un enorme aumento del numero appointments, who have contributed to a huge
di visitatori nel 2016, un tribunale locale ha emesso increase in the number of visitors in 2016, a local
una sentenza per la quale alcune nomine non sono court has ruled that some of the appointments are
ritenute valide per una mancanza di trasparenza durante invalid due to a lack of transparency in the selection
il processo di selezione. Il ricorso è stato avviato da due process. The case was brought by two Italian
curatori italiani che sostenevano di avere presentato delle curators who claimed that they each put in strong
ottime domande per tutti e cinque i posti messi al bando applications for all five advertised job vacancies
nei diversi luoghi dove si cercava una persona, ma senza in different locations, to no avail. Following an
successo. A seguito di un’indagine sulla gestione delle investigation into how the applications were
nomine, il tribunale ha deciso che i colloqui condotti su handled, the court found that the interviews were
Skype erano stati carenti. unsatisfactorily conducted over Skype.
La decisione ha lasciato perplesso il ministro italiano The Italian Culture Minister, Dario Franceschini,
della Cultura, Dario Franceschini, il quale intende presentare was left incensed by the decision and has vowed
subito un ricorso. Ha respinto ogni critica sul processo delle to appeal the case immediately. In response to the
nomine, affermando che la commissione internazionale criticism of the hiring process he has claimed that
di esperti era stata selezionata accuratamente proprio per the international panel of directors was carefully
assicurare l’imparzialità. Ora teme che la sentenza possa selected to ensure impartiality. Now he fears the
danneggiare il lavoro compiuto negli ultimi due anni per ruling could undermine the efforts of the past two
dare una scossa al settore dei musei – un intervento promesso years to shake up the museum sector – a pledge
da Matteo Renzi mentre era primo ministro. launched by Matteo Renzi during his time in office.
Questa disputa sgradevole coincide con la scoperta di This unsavoury dispute happens to coincide with
sei importantissimi reperti che erano andati perduti ma che a major find of previously lost Italian artefacts which
apparivano in una lista di oggetti in vendita in una galleria has been listed for sale by a gallery in New York. The
di New York. I sei reperti che erano stati derubati circa six items, which were looted some twenty years ago
vent’anni fa e portati clandestinamente negli Stati Uniti and smuggled to the US, have a total value of almost
hanno un valore complessivo di circa $100,000. Tra i reperti $100,000 and include a 2,800-year-old miniature
c’è un guerriero di bronzo della Sardegna di 2,800 anni. Ora Sardinian bronze warrior. Now that the items are being
che i reperti sono stati rimpatriati, l’Italia deve decidere dove returned, Italy needs to decide where best to display
metterli in mostra e a chi affidarne la responsabilità. them and who is to be put in charge of the process.
Una risoluzione rapida per il ricorso sarebbe It would be beneficial to all parties for the appeal
opportuna per tutte le parti. Ma forse si tratta di to be swiftly resolved. This may be wishful thinking
un’illusione dal momento che il processo legale in Italia è as the Italian legal process is renowned for being
notorio per la sua lentezza. Anzi, il direttore tedesco delle particularly slow. Indeed the German head of the
Gallerie degli Uffizi a Firenze (che nel 2016 per la prima Uffizi Galleries in Florence, which for the first time
volta ha superato i due milioni di visitatori) ha dichiarato in 2016 attracted over two million visitors in one
al giornale Repubblica che la sentenza potrebbe paralizzare year, has told La Repubblica that the ruling threatens
i progressi compiuti recentemente. to paralyse the recent momentum.
Altri paesi guardano al patrimonio culturale dell’Italia Other countries look at Italy’s cultural heritage
con invidia, ma finché non esiste una strategia chiara di with envy but until there is a clear strategy to bring
innovazione il settore sarà destinato a rimanere indietro the sector up to speed it is destined to lag behind its
rispetto alle sue controparti europee. European counterparts.

18 ITALIA! August 2017

IT153.Gazzetta.sg4.indd 18 28/06/2017 17:41pm

R E A D I TA L I A !

This month, take a tour (or two) around the
Amalfi Coast, cook healthy, quick recipes at home
and enjoy a summer read set on the island of Elba


Emylia Hall, Headline Books, £8.99 (paperback)
With three novels already under her belt, Emylia Hall has chosen
to set her fourth, The Thousand Lights Hotel, on the island of
Elba. And we’re really glad she did, as it provides a wonderfully
evocative backdrop to the extraordinary narrative that unfurls
before us. The tale begins in Bristol where Kit, a freelance travel
writer, is coping with the passing of her beloved mother, whose
unexpected death-bed confession challenges everything Kit has
known about her life to this point and compels her to look further
for answers. But no spoilers here, never fear: there actually isn’t
be enough space to catalogue the extraordinary twists and turns
the narrative takes once Kit sets off on her voyage of discovery.
This is a story about family ties and that grey area between
truth and lies where secrets are hidden from the people you
love the most. Places and people not being what they seem is a
common theme running right through the novel and will keep you
guessing until the very end. (We said no spoilers!)
Emylia has such a deft writer’s touch and eye for detail that
you are drawn into Kit’s world from the start: take the journey
with her as she travels from the monochrome sadness of her
hometown to the gloriously sun-soaked colour palette of Elba
and watch as the riveting story unfolds. If you would like to know
more about Emylia’s new novel and her love for this beautiful
corner of Italy, you can read our interview with her on page 38.


TRAVEL NAPLES & THE Louise Pickford, Ryland Peters
AMALFI COAST & Small, £14.99 (hardback)
Various, DK, £13.99 (paperback) There’s no doubting the
For the independent traveller, the health benefits of fresh food
planning stages of a new journey cooked from scratch, but
are just as much part of the process in the reality of our busy
as the actuality of being in situ. lives, it’s not always easy
So here is where this excellent to achieve. Even the most
guide (and others in the series) practised cooks need a bit
come in. Packed with more than of inspiration from time to
500 photos, 50 illustrations and time, don’t they? And here
a pull-out city map of Naples, you go: Fast and Fresh is
this handy guide will take you to packed with more than 80
the Amalfi Coast without leaving quick and easy recipes for
your armchair. With tailor-made every occasion. A lot of the
itineraries and two walking tours dishes can be prepared in
as your starting point, there is minutes – how about Chicken & Lemon Skewers, or Frittata with Fresh
plenty to help you get the most Herbs? And while others take a bit more time to rustle up – Parma-
from your stay, whether it’s a few wrapped Pork with Spinach or Roast Five-Spice Chicken – it’s really no
days or a longer stretch. It is designed so you can dip in and out to longer than it would take to order that takeaway and get it delivered.
create your own routes or follow the guide. How about a three-day tour Wonderful close-up photography and simple step-by-steps mean success
around Naples, or an eight-day exploration of the Amalfi Coast, taking on a plate every time and, with the benefits of less fat, less salt and fresh,
in the archaeology of Pompeii and Paestum and Capri along the way? affordable ingredients, you’ll be tempted to give these recipes a try.

August 2017 ITALIA! 19

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D I S C O V E R I TA L I A !

A few hardy northern

European visitors
braved the calm, clear
waters, but most locals
preferred to keep their
clothes on despite the
mild weather

20 ITALIA! August 2017

IT153.FamilyCefalu.sg4.indd 20 28/06/2017 15:25pm

D I S C O V E R I TA L I A !

to Cefalù
Spring is an ideal time for visiting Sicily. The town of Cefalù on the northern coast is particularly
charming before the temperature soars and the hoards descend. Lorenza Bacino and her family
enjoyed the April sunshine exploring this delightful town and the nearby Madonie Regional Park

pon reaching our destination of Lascari,
a village on the edge of the Madonie
Regional Park, a short drive from
Cefalù, the grumpy mood in the car
began to lift. Our flight from London to
Palermo had been ridiculously early. Yet upon entering
our modern, light, spacious villa gasps of delight from
the children reassured me that all was forgiven. The
views from the two enormous corner windows – the
shimmering sea in the distance on one side
and the rugged Madonie
cliffs on the other, were
sensational. The patio

Image © iStock
and swimming pool area
provided a perfect spot
for enjoying an aperitif
at sunset and the very
decent wi-fi was much
appreciated, especially
by the two youngsters.
Enticing them away from
our temporary home wasn’t
easy, but here are some of
Images by Lorenza Bacino, Francis Rolt and Max Rolt Bacino unless otherwise stated

the things we found to see

and do during our week-
long stay…

Images, left to right:

View over Cefalù;
posing for a family
photo; the calm waters
of the bay; the locals
would consider the
water not yet warm
enough to step into

August 2017 ITALIA! 21

IT153.FamilyCefalu.sg4.indd 21 28/06/2017 15:47pm

D I S C O V E R I TA L I A !

Cefalù and its Rock (La Rocca)

THE WINDING COBBLED on the piazza at the foot of the Portrait of an Unknown Man (1465).
STREETS, impressive Norman Duomo and enjoyed her first The portrait is very small and very
Duomo and layers of history make arancino on the steps. It was a beautiful, tucked away at the far end
Cefalù a fascinating little town. slippery slope from here on as we behind a screen. The smile reminded
Intersperse the cultural exploits with were forced to seek out these tasty me of Leonardo’s Mona Lisa. Baron
traditional Sicilian delicacies such morsels on a daily basis. Mandralisca amassed his collection
as arancini (rice balls stuffed with Exploring the little alleyways, of archaeological treasures, stuffed
meat and mozzarella), sweet ricotta we learned to dodge the odd crazy animals, paintings and furniture in
pastries and the famed pistacchio Vespa hurtling by and the archway the 19th century and the tiled floor
ice-cream, and you’ll surely find it leading through to Cefalù’s beach and the library are gorgeous. It’s an
a real winner as a family-friendly gave us a new perspective on the intimate family collection and we
destination. town. We discovered the Lavatoio really enjoyed our visit, especially
The town as it stands today was Medievale at the foot of a winding as children are invited to draw a
built at the behest of the Norman staircase where small pools of fresh picture which is then added to the
king Roger II and construction of water fill up and where women used other exhibits.
the unique Sicilian Romanesque to come and wash their family’s A hike up ‘La Rocca’ to the
cathedral began in 1131. Nestled clothes all those centuries ago. It’s ruins of the 4th-century Temple of
in the apse is a beautiful golden a curious and unexpected landmark Diana and the ancient remains of
Byzantine mosaic of Christ called carved out of a smooth local stone the Saracen fortification is a must. Images, this
Christ Pantocrator, or Almighty. known as lumachella. It’s quite a challenging 40-minute page, clockwise
Two massive Norman towers on The centrally located climb but the views from the top of from far left:
either side of the façade stand four Museo Mandralisca (www. this granite mound are spectacular. Cefalù Cathedral;
uncrowded beach;
storeys high and dominate the is a small The children bounded up like goats Cefalù back street;
rooftops of the old town. privately owned museum where and disappeared among the ruins, view from on high;
My 11-year-old was far more you can see Renaissance painter scrambling up ancient walls eagerly enjoying the local
interested in the café life unfolding Antonello da Messina’s famed seeking out the best vantage points. delicacies

is Rolt
Image © Franc

22 ITALIA! August 2017

IT153.FamilyCefalu.sg4.indd 22 28/06/2017 15:26pm

Belvedere di Sant’Ambrogio, 2
☎ +39 320 144 9452
In the small nearby village of
Sant’Ambrogio, Bacchus (or Da Ciccio to the
locals) makes for a fantastic experience.
The restaurant is tiny but clearly its
reputation spreads far and wide as there
were a number of Americans enjoying a
hearty meal they had prepared at cookery
school (ask Ciccio about these). Ciccio
cooks seasonal, local produce so the menu
changes daily and in our case consisted of
artichokes prepared in a variety of tasty
ways and giant prawns.
Via Carlo Ortolani di Bordonaro, 66
☎ +39 0921 921981
The décor is lovely and they treated me to
a glass of prosecco at the start of my meal.
Images, this page,
clockwise from top MANINPASTA
left: Our teacher, Via Matteotti, 45
Nino Quartana; the ☎ +39 0921 421197
kids get involved; Quick service in a family-friendly
tending to the fruit; environment and very good food.
the just rewards of
Via Umberto I, 23 – Castelbuono
☎ +39 0921 676289
Castelbuono lies inland just to the
Cooking from the heart southeast of Cefalù, on the borders of the
Parco delle Madonie. The Palazzaccio’s chic
interior and stone vaulted ceiling make it
MASSIMOVILLAS ORGANISED cracking and crumbling. She also worth the journey alone, but the food is
very good too.
A COOKING MORNING with learned how to make her own pastry
Nino Quartana, artist and chef, from scratch. NANGALARRUNI
especially for my daughter, who Whilst the upside-down apple Via delle Confraternite, 7, Castelbuono
loves to bake. Nino’s modern villa is cake was in the oven, she prepared ☎ +39 0921 671228
set in the hills above Cefalù and we a simple pasta dish, spaghetti with
whiled away a wonderful few hours aglio, olio e peperoncino (garlic, oil and Named after the famous musical instrument
learning about the herbs and spices chilli) and all of the above was eaten that accompanies so many Sicilian songs
(Scacciapensieri in Italian; mouth harp,
in his ‘synergetic’ organic garden, sitting on Nino’s patio listening to
or Jew’s harp in English) Nangalarruni
picking green apples and edible colourful local stories in the gentle specialises in wild mushrooms and local
flowers for an upsidedown apple breeze on the hillside. It was, in cheeses, and serves 600 different wines.
cake and picking up lots of useful all, a thoroughly enjoyable and
cooking tips along the way. informative experience. LE LAMPARE
The atmosphere chez Nino is a Via Cesare Battisti, 41/43 – Castel di Tusa
fusion of Eastern and Mediterranean ☎ +39 0921 334294
CHEF NINO Serves excellent fresh seafood and pizzas
influences combining art, design and
➤ Nino Quartana will come to your on a terrace overlooking the beach a few
cookery. “Non si butta niente,” he says miles to the east of Cefalù.
villa as personal chef and cook for
– nothing is wasted. My daughter
you and your friends, or you can learn
learned to caramelise apples using LA BRACE
to cook with him. It’s a wonderful
Nino’s organic orange marmalade; Via Monsignor Oscar Romero, 16 – Isnello
experience as Nino cooks from the
she learned that dampening the heart and has been doing so since the ☎ +39 0921 662810
greaseproof paper and screwing it up age of eight. See www.ninoquartana Serves good local food, especially pasta
.com for more on art and his Facebook dishes with wild mushrooms, in the
before smoothing it onto the surface
page, Chef Nino, for details on cookery. hinterland to the south of Cefalù. It’s a
of the pastry lends it a marble-like good place to while away the time until the
☎ +39 347 023 9223 or email him at
appearance, and that rolling it out observatory opens at 4pm!
under greaseproof paper prevents it

August 2017 ITALIA! 23

IT153.FamilyCefalu.sg4.indd 23 28/06/2017 15:50pm

D I S C O V E R I TA L I A !

Fiumara d’Arte and the Atelier sul Mare

IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN view, or you’ll walk down a bronze hill, and the bright blue concrete
MODERN ART, you’ll find the Art gangplank into the unknown and wave, or Energia Mediterranea, on a
Hotel and Fiumara Sculpture Park marvel at how each space has been grass verge at the end of a narrow
in Castel di Tusa – a 40-minute transformed into a work of art. road. You can climb on them, touch
drive along the coast towards Antonio Presti is the artist and them, feel them or just gaze up at
Messina – a magical experience. the brain behind the Art Hotel them. Again, created by different
Contemporary international which began after the death of his contemporary artists, it has taken
artists have transformed 24 of the father back in 1982. Presti wanted Presti more than two decades to
rooms at the Atelier sul Mare into to create a monument to his father’s achieve recognition for his open-air
living artworks each revealing an memory, but he was also a passionate museum and he’s had to overcome
intriguing back story. believer in art for the people. more than a few political obstacles
The guided tour is a journey in After the room tour, pick up a along the way. By refusing to Images, this page,
itself where the ideas behind the map from reception and see how succumb to regional pressures and clockwise from
design of each room slowly unravel. many sculptures you can find within threats, Presti has shown how art top left: Sea view
They are all fascinating. Don’t a 50km radius in the Fiumara Park, can triumph over politics and his over Castel di
Tusa; exploring
imagine you’ll be entering through Europe’s largest open-air museum. creation at Fiumara di Tusa is a art, quite literally;
a standard door: maybe you’ll be There are ten in total, and they’re remarkable treasure trove of great the Pyramid; three
feeling your way down a darkened absolutely huge. international significance. rooms at the Art
corridor which suddenly opens into We found the steel Pyramid built Find out more on this amazing Hotel Atelier Sul
a light-filled room with a sea- on the 38th Parallel at the top of a story at Mare
Image © Atelier sul Mare

Image © Atelier sul Mare

Image © Atelier sul Mare

24 ITALIA! August 2017

IT153.FamilyCefalu.sg4.indd 24 28/06/2017 15:26pm

The Centro Internazionale
per le Scienze Astronomiche
OF ISNELLO sits the Centro
Internazionale per le Scienze
Astronomiche – or Gal Hassin
International Astronomy Centre
– like a mini-Greenwich. There’s
a 10-metre diameter planetarium
replete with 12 telescopes on
the observation terrace and an
interactive multimedia exhibition
space. We were astounded to find
an international astronomy research
station in the middle of nowhere
and couldn’t resist a visit.
My son (aged 14) and I enjoyed
learning about time and how it is
calculated on a guided tour of the Images, this page,
surrounding park with its sundials clockwise from
of varying shapes and sizes. Do book top left: On the
observation terrace;
ahead as the Astronomy Centre is the village of Isnello;
not open to visitors all the time. a veritable mini-
See to make a Greenwich; taking
reservation to visit. the guided tour

Castelbuono and Gratteri GETTING THERE

OTHER VILLAGES WITHIN brand had become international and easyJet flies direct to Palermo and it’s best to hire a car from
THE MADONIE PARK include continues to grow to this day. See there to get around.
Castelbuono, a quaint medieval for more on the
village where you’ll eat the best Fiasconara family story.
panettone ever. It’s light, fluffy Gratteri derives its name from ACCOMMODATION
and utterly divine. Varieties are the Greek word for basin, or crater. ➤ We stayed in Villa Vittoria
distributed to visitors in the It used to be a fortress town for (
main square and you can choose the Byzantines and the Moors; the commodity/villa-vittoria) in
Image of Gratteri by Carlo Columba - http://www.galleriafotograficasiciliana.

a favourite to buy and take home present town is built on the site Lascari, a short distance from
eu/wp/v/natura/madonie/madonie_5_0034-2.jpg.html, CC BY-SA 2.5 it,

from the nearby Fiasconara shop. of a river, indicating its transition Cefalù. This spacious, light and
modern villa comfortably sleeps
The family has been making their from a military to a commercial
two families of four and has a
delicious recipes since the 1950s centre. It was developed by the

pool and barbecue area with

when Mario Fiasconara opened Lords Ventimiglia, whose graves you magnificent views. There is a
a small ice-cream parlour in the can visit. Also worth seeing is the large, well-equipped kitchen area,
village. By the 1990s the Fiasconara Church of Santa Maria del Gesù. two substantial verandas and
two decent-sized bathrooms. The
showers are powerful and there is
ample hot water.
Gratteri Castelbuono
Image © iStock

➤ Whatever your needs, Massimo and his team have selected

number of villas based around location, style and facilities,
ranging from small and simple to extremely luxurious, in town,
in the hills or on the coast.
➤ His team can help you tailor your holiday activities,
organise cookery lessons, cycling and hiking in the Madonie
Regional Park, cultural and beach activities.
➤ Visit for more.

August 2017 ITALIA! 25

IT153.FamilyCefalu.sg4.indd 25 28/06/2017 15:26pm

D I S C O V E R I TA L I A !

VIEWPOINT The Villa Rufolo looks over the resort of Ravello from its centro storico…
In the Middle Ages, the Villa Rufolo was one of the grandest houses on the
Amalfi coast. Kings stayed here; great poets wrote of it. Today it is famed for its
gardens, the legacy of one Sir Francis Nevile Reid, a Scottish botanist who came
here as a young man in the mid-19th century, saw the ‘potential’ of the old pile
(which had become a bit of a ruin) and put in an offer. Reid, who had always
suffered from chest complaints, lived out his days in this gentle climate.
Image © iStock

26 ITALIA! August 2017

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August 2017 ITALIA! 27

IT153.Viewpoint.sg6.indd 27 28/06/2017 16:51pm

D I S C O V E R I TA L I A !

Looking for Lodi

28 ITALIA! August 2017

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odi, one of those quiet
Lombardy towns so easily
reached from Milan by
car or by train, is often
quoted in the Milan
newspapers as the perfect day
trip for the Milanese. It’s south of
Milan in the Po Valley, that flat,
agricultural land famous for the
production of cereals, rice and corn,
the latter also used for polenta to
accompany heart-warming game
and beef stews. The Po Valley can
be foggy in winter and blisteringly four sides. There’s the Romanesque-
hot in summer, yet it has beautiful style cathedral complete with rose
towns with perfect squares, jewels window, and the typical narrow,
of the Renaissance period. tall, coloured buildings around the
I remember eating in the square. You need time to take it
Lodigiana, as the area around Lodi is all in, and definitely a coffee or an
known, in an unassuming restaurant aperitivo in one of the cafés that line
Rachael Martin descends from Milan during the famous food festival that the square. It’s a square that’s seen
takes place between October and the passing of history: Medieval
into the Po Valley to discover the home December every year. It was one of executions and the welcoming of
town of her mother-in-law those Sundays were you all pile into bishops; and visits by Garibaldi,
cars and drive for an hour or two Mussolini and Pope John Paul II.
for lunch, an Italian custom that The pace is provincial and calmer
I remember thinking strange when than in Milan. Lodi is a town to
I first arrived in Italy until I realised be savoured slowly.
Images by Rachael Martin

how important food is to the Italian The cathedral isn’t the only
way of life. If it’s good food, it’s church that Lodi has to offer. The
worth the drive. But I’d never Tempio Civico di Santa Maria
actually been to Lodi, and when Incoronata is one of the masterpieces
I saw that it was being promoted by of the Lombardy Renaissance with
the Lombardy tourist board as part its breathtaking decorations and
of the Cult Cities project, it seemed octagonal structure designed by
like a good time to go. Battaggio. There’s also the church
This time I’m piling into the car of San Lorenzo, Lodi’s second oldest
with my husband and my kids, and church and another beautiful
we’re off not just looking for Lodi, example of the Romanesque style.
but for a small village near it called
Graffignana. It’s where my mother-
in-law was born, over seventy years
ago, and where she grew up within
an agricultural world until she came
to Milan when she got married.
I can half imagine it, a small village
Images, in the Po Valley with not very much
clockwise from happening and possibly a few very
top left: The good trattorias where you can eat the
Piazza della food of once upon a time.
Vittoria; the
main door of
the Duomo;
looking across We arrive in Lodi on a warm
the River Adda spring Saturday that already hints
from Lodi; under of summer and the people are out
the porticoes for breakfast, shopping or simply
on the Piazza a morning passeggiata, or walk.
della Vittoria;
a conversation
The star of the show, Lodi’s central
outside the square, the Piazza della Vittoria,
Duomo; inside really is as beautiful as they say and
the church a rarity with its porticoes along all

August 2017 ITALIA! 29

IT153.LookingForLodi.sg4.indd 29 28/06/2017 16:42pm

D I S C O V E R I TA L I A !

Via Giuseppina Strepponi, 3
% +39 0371 190 5279
In some towns a restaurant in this location
(right next to the Duomo) would be a
tourist trap – not so in Lodi. Everything
in this family-run establishment is honest
and home made, including the bread.
Corso Vittorio Emmanuele II, 60
% +39 0371 421 914
Also in the centre, offering quality local
produce and takeaway deli food that can
also be eaten on the premises. Try the
cono di Raspadüra, shavings of Tipico
Lodigiano or Grana Padano cheese served
to you in a paper cone.
Piazza della Vittoria, 38
Great if you’re looking for something
slightly more special, especially when it
comes to the ambience and the views over
the square (an example of which you can
see in the image below).
Piazza della Vittoria, 35
% +39 0371 190 1185
The bar next door to the Caffè Vistriani is
another popular hangout that offers more
than sixty types of beer and some great
sandwiches to go with them. This isn’t one
of these craft beer bars, by the way – they
just have lots of different bottled beers.

30 ITALIA! August 2017

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Via Lungo Adda Buonaparte,
Parco Lavandaie
% +39 345 593 5414
Facebook: lacasotaadreada
Walk a little way out of town, along the
River Adda, and stop at La Casóta a drè
Ada for typical local food.
Via Ricetto, San Colombano al Lambro
It’s worth the drive out of town (head
south on the SP23) to taste the wine at the
Yet one of the natural highlights Enoteca del Castello in San Colombano di
of Lodi is the Cattedrale Vegetale Lambro. You could also follow the signs for
(natural cathedral) just over the Parco della Collina di San Colombano and
river. An amazing work of land art drive further out into the countryside to
made up of 108 young oak trees, it’s discover more wine!
Giuliano Mauri’s gift to his city and CASTELLO BOLOGNINI
a living work in progress. Piazza Bolognini, 2
Sant’Angelo Lodigiano
ROMAN MUNICIPIUM % +39 0371 211140/41
Laus, as it was called, was originally
founded by the Celts around 1000
BC, and then became a Roman Visit the 13th-century Castello Bolognini
municipium in 49 BC. During the at Sant’Angelo Lodigiano. The museum is
Medieval period it was considered only open (without pre-booking) on one
a threat to Milan because of its Sunday a month, so do check the website
position and the resourcefulness before you plan your trip. You can even get
married there, if you like.
of its inhabitants, and so, on 11th
May 1111, the Milanese army PARCO REGIONALE ADDA SUD
destroyed the town now known Office: Viale Dalmazia, 10
as Lodi Vecchio (or Old Lodi). % +39 0371 411129
Federico Barbarossa, the Holy
Roman Emperor, built the new
town in 1158 where Lodi is today. Explore the Parco Regionale Adda Sud, a
natural park that follows the course of the
It then fell to the powerful Milanese
River Adda, and visit the pretty town of
Visconti dynasty in 1335 and Crema north of the park.
between the end of the 16th and
19th centuries, it fell under the
Spanish kings, as did the Duchy of
Milan. The nearby Bolognini castle
at Sant’Angelo Lodigiano became
Images, the summer residence of Beatrice
clockwise from Regina della Scala, wife of Barnabò
top left: La
Visconti. Beatrice was a Veronese
Vegetale; noblewoman who married Barnabò
lunchtime at Visconti and an astute politician
La Casóta a drè who often accompanied her husband
Ada, along the on his military campaigns.
river from Lodi;
the town has
several Liberty-
style buildings;
Outside Lodi, you come into
the courtyard the countryside and agricultural
of the Castello land. There are the familiar cascine
Bolognini, lombarde, or typical Lombardy
Sant’Angelo farmhouses – the more isolated ones
Lodigiano; almost resembling fortresses – that
aperitivo at the
Caffè Vistarini
punctuate the flat landscape and are
on Piazza della so characteristic of the area. They are
Vittoria typically built around a middle

August 2017 ITALIA! 31

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D I S C O V E R I TA L I A !

Via Vignati, 7
A small, family-run hotel handily situated
in front of public gardens right near Lodi’s
historical centre. Single, double and triple
rooms available. Perfect if you want to
make the most of the sights the town itself
has to offer.
Via dei Tresseni Flora, 1
% +39 339 675 9557
Serviceable hotel offering free wi-fi and
private parking on the southeastern side
of the city centre. Lodi is very manageable
on foot, so not being right in the heart of
things is certainly no disadvantage.
Via Agello, 6
% +39 339 885 8637
Friendly bed & breakfast accommodation
handily close to the railway station. Choose
from three charming rooms in the villa.
Loc. Cascina Cavrigo, civ. 35
% +39 0371 432463
% +39 342 869 1606
Enjoy the bucolic delights of a typical
Lombardy farmhouse just a couple of miles
outside Lodi with lovely rooms (including
family rooms) and a restaurant, Osteria
Perbacco, next door. From here you can
venture out into the countryside and enjoy
walks in the Parco Adda Sud.

32 ITALIA! August 2017

IT153.LookingForLodi.sg4.indd 32 28/06/2017 16:43pm

➤ Festival of Ethical Photography,
Lodi, October 2017 www.
➤ Rassegna Gastronomica del Lodigiano
(food festival), Lodi and surrounding
area, October to December. Many
osterias, trattorias and restaurants take
part. Website is in Italian only. http://
➤ Festa dell’Uva (wine festival), San
Colombano Al Lambro, September

courtyard, the largest of which “Everything is homemade, including

contained several courtyards and the bread,” Ettore tells me. The
included a windmill, osteria, church house antipasto, antipast del usteria,
and sometimes even a school. is everything you could wish for
We have a quick stop in and more. It includes local salamis
Sant’Angelo Lodigiano to see the and other cold meats (including
Bolognini castle and then it’s off to donkey salami), cooked salami with
Graffignana to see where nonna (or vegetables, the familiar giardiniera
grandma) was born. The village is – cooked vegetables preserved in
pretty much as I expected: small, vinegar, beans cooked with onion,
quiet, tucked in amidst the fields sausage omelette, and nervetti salad,
and farmhouses, with a pretty, literally cartilages of the veal shin
timeless feel. My husband recognises and knee. Nothing was wasted in
it vaguely from the funeral of a the farmhouses and peasant houses of
cousin that he went to, and tells us the Po Valley. It’s food I’m familiar
about the family vines that belonged with, and it’s a place I know we’ll
to his great grandfather. “Everyone return to again.
worked the land,” my mother-in-law
tells me. “That was all there was:
corn, cereals, and a few vineyards.” GETTING THERE
We then go to San Colombano ➤ BY PLANE
al Lambro, an enclave of the The nearest airport is Linate, 40km away
Metropolitan City of Milan and ➤ BY TRAIN
its only place that produces wine. Lodi is on the Milan-Bologna line
Federico Barbarossa undertook the ➤ BY CAR
building of the castle in 1158, and From Milan, take the A1/E35 to Piacenza
the Visconti family completed it.
It was given to the Belgioso family
under the Spanish in 1529, with
whom it remained until 1951.
Diego Bassi is the President of the
Consorzio of San Colombano DOC
Images, wines, which you can find at the
clockwise from enoteca inside the castle. “We use
top left: Gateway the Verdea grape,” he tells me,
of a cascina “People in Milan are used to eating
lombarda; it during the Christmas lunch, but
Saturday is
not necessarily used to drinking the
market day in
the Piazza del
wine.” His policy is less quantity,
Mercato; taking more quality, and people appreciate
it slowly in Lodi; it, he tells me.
local produce
at Gaudenzi; We finish off our day at Osteria del
two views of a
Mercato, a family-run eatery right
typical cascina in the centre of Lodi, where Ettore
lombarda; Lodi’s and Alessandra provide honest
castle home cooking at a reasonable price.

August 2017 ITALIA! 33

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The Painting Medium

We talk a lot about what a painting is of, and what it means, but
not so much about what is made of, and how it was painted

ften when we are talking about paintings, the surface for these liquid preparatory films. On top of this, up to
materials used to actually make the painting rarely 15 layers of gesso (chalk mixed with glue) were added; the final
get a mention. However, just like the ingredients layer had to be as smooth as ivory. This white ground was what
of a great pizza or melt-in-your mouth cannoli, the painters used as the base surface for the colour medium, which
the materials are very important for the painting’s was first the tempera paint medium and then, by the late 15th
longevity and brilliance. The painter, like the chef, needs great century, also oil paint.
ingredients from the beginning in order to properly produce his
masterpiece and bring forth his talent. EGG TEMPERA PAINTING
In the Medieval and early Renaissance period, paintings had a Egg tempera painting was the technique used in the Medieval
wooden support. Seasoned poplar wood was most commonly used period. The word tempera originates from the Latin word temperare,
in Italy; sometimes also willow or linden wood. Most of the wood meaning ‘to mix’. The colour pigment is mixed with an emulsion,
panel supports were constructed by fastening together numerous with egg yolk as the principal ingredient (sometimes the whole
panels, which were then sanded and planed. The wooden support egg was used). The colour was mixed, or ‘tempered’, with the egg.
was then coated with ‘size’, which is a mixture of gelatin or glue The tempera medium dries rapidly and it cannot be applied
made from animal skins. Often there would have been a piece of too thickly, so it never achieved the saturation of colour that would
linen cloth laid on the surface, which created a greater adhesive be possible with the oil medium in later years. However, tempera
paintings are long lasting and their colours don’t deteriorate over
Cimabue’s Maestà (tempera time as much as those mixed with oil. In the Medieval period,
on panel) uses gold to when painting was symbolic and not realistic, the thick opaque
symbolise Heaven effect from the tempera paint was ideal. The blue of the Madonna’s
mantle in the large and imposing Maestà-type paintings of the
Medieval period depicting the Virgin Mary on her throne as
Queen of Heaven was a solid mass of colour, strong and dense.
This technique works well for these paintings, which are to be
seen from afar in dark, large churches.
Medieval painting characteristically has a gold background
(a symbol of heaven) with painted images of the Holy Family
and saints, and so the tempera medium worked well in making
the distinct colours of the saints’ clothes compete with the
intense background. Narrative and volume took a back seat in
the Medieval period to conveying the greatness of Heaven and
the eternal presence of the holy characters. Domestic painting
was in the form of devotional images too, but was only for the
very wealthy and so quite rare. Most painting was made for a
religious space and was on a large scale. Tempera painting was
well suited to this environment.
With the advent of Humanism and the Renaissance in Italy
the painting market changed significantly. The rise of a new
class of wealthy merchants increased the pool of artistic patrons
and there developed a new desire to decorate the domestic
environment, not just the civic and religious domains. The
demand to show the natural world in all its complexity and detail
reflected the renewed value given to the natural world.
The development of mathematical perspective is directly
linked to this new valued perspective given to the everyday on
Earth, as had once been the case in Antiquity. Painters were now
required to understand mathematics for the rendering of space
on the flat surface and had to concentrate on depicting details
of the flora, fauna, physiognomy and architecture. Tempera
was superseded by oil painting because it provided many more
possibilities in satisfying the new needs for pictorial depiction.

IT153.FastArt.sg5.indd 36 29/06/2017 14:33pm

OIL PAINTING Tintoretto’s portrait of Doge Girolamo Priuli, oil on canvas
There were three main ingredients in oil painting: colour; the
binder, which in this case is oil (usually linseed oil was used); and
the thinner, turpentine, which made the paint easier to apply with
a brush. The oil medium enabled painters to spend longer on the
painting’s execution and to achieve greater shades of the same
colour through the glazing or layering of the colour applied.
Furthermore, oil painting gave painters the opportunity to
use long brush-strokes, something not possible in tempera
painting, and this changed painting entirely, providing an
unprecedented freedom of expression. Colour, more than ever
before, became the true protagonist. Titian (1488?-1576) was the
undisputed master of oil painting in the 1500s. He explored the
possibilities of colour like no other, both in terms of the saturation
of colour and tonal properties that could be explored as well as in
the very material substance, playing with the build of paint, or
‘impasto’, to create depth of expression on the canvas.
Venice had the most important market for the pigments
used in the Renaissance. Many of these pigments came from the
East and arrived in Venice before being sold on to the European
market. The first book ever written listing and describing the
colours used in dying and painting was printed in Venice, which
also happened to be the largest and most productive printing
centre in Europe in the 1500s.
The most expensive colour was lapis lazuli blue, otherwise
known as ultramarine, because the blue stone only came from
Afghanistan and was rare even there. It cost more than gold.
Azurite, a copper mineral, was also used for the colour blue as it
was widely found in Europe. Cinnabar is a natural ore and was
a popular source for a red-orange; the colour was called either
cinnabar or vermilion. Malachite was a very common source for
green in the Renaissance, and had been used in Antiquity. The Titian’s Pietà, oil on canvas
painters made up their colours themselves in their workshops.
Images © iStock

From left to right: lapis lazuli, azurite, cinnabar and malachite


Canvas support supersedes wood panel more or less at the same
time as tempera bows out to the oil medium. The material was
stretched over a wooden frame and, like wood panel, was prepared
with layers of gesso. Canvas was easier to transport – it could be
rolled up – and it was much lighter, an important consideration
for a city like Venice which, through necessity, had to source
lighter materials due to her urban lagoon foundations. Again, it
is not surprising that the Venetians specialised in the production
of large canvases as they could draw on their expertise in sail
manufacture for shipping.
Canvas provides a different painting effect. Due to the nature
of the woven material it doesn’t have as smooth and shiny a surface
as a panel painting could have. Colour is never entirely applied
evenly on the weave, which produces different paint thicknesses,
which changes the painterly effect. The breadth of knowledge in ABOUT THE WRITER
FREYA MIDDLETON is a private tour guide and
painting production that was transferred from maestro to student writer who lives in Florence, Tuscany. You can
in the workshop is simply astounding. These bottegas were the read her blog online or learn more about her
most innovative places in the city. It is no wonder that we are tours at
lining up to admire them centuries later.

August 2017 ITALIA! 37

IT153.FastArt.sg5.indd 37 29/06/2017 14:34pm

D I S C O V E R I TA L I A !

Image © iStock
Elba is a popular holiday
destination with Italians

A SHINING LIGHT Emylia Hall is the author of The Thousand Lights Hotel, with the island of Elba
as its dramatic backdrop. We talked to her about inspiration and Italian food…

Tell us a little about yourself lot of writers do. I’m drawn to writing about people
I grew up in the wilds of Devon. escaping to new climes, and the freedom of travel.
After university I lived in London
for five years, working in an What made you decide to set The
advertising agency. Seeking a freer Thousand Lights Hotel in Italy, and why
existence, my husband and I spent on Elba particularly?
two winters living in the French Alps, snowboarding I visited Elba for the first time in 2003, and it felt
every day. It was there – between chalet chef and like we’d stumbled upon a true gem. If people are
shop-girl jobs – that I really began to write. We familiar with the island it’s often because of
moved to Bristol in 2007, and I began working on Napoleon (he was exiled there in 1814), and for
what would be my first novel, The Book of Summers. the novel I was interested in the idea of self-exile.
Images by Emilya Hall unless otherwise stated

It was a Richard and Judy Book Club pick, which was I have a memory of standing on a terrace, nothing
a dream start, really. before me except wooded hillside and wide water,
and it feeling like a good place in which to hide
Tell us about your novels and be happy.
All my novels are strongly influenced by place. The
Book of Summers is set in rural Hungary. A Heart Is it based on an actual hotel?
Bent Out of Shape takes place in the Swiss city of The Mille Luci isn’t based on a specific hotel; it’s a
Lausanne. For The Sea Between Us I went to dream of a good hotel, really, but it’s partly inspired
Cornwall’s rugged far west, and The Thousand by places I’ve stayed, on Elba and elsewhere. The
Read our review of Lights Hotel is set on the island of Elba. I’ve come to Gallo Nero in Sant’Andrea is a beautiful spot; every
Emylia’s new novel on page 19 realise that I have certain preoccupations. I think a morning we enjoyed breakfast under the shade of a

38 ITALIA! August 2017

IT153.EmyliaHallInterview.sg4.indd 38 29/06/2017 11:19am

Emylia on location View of Elba from the ferry

Elba holds a special place in my heart because the first time we went
we didn’t know anybody else who’d been; it felt like our discovery
giant palm tree (that made it into the book!). And Do you have any particular favourite Emylia’s office
for my research trip I stayed at La Primula, a dishes from Elba?
welcoming hotel in the Marciana Marina. I like schiaccia briaca, a dense, rich cake made from
local Aleatico dessert wine and dried fruit. I brought
The book is all about the ties that bind, one home with me and eked it out over my writing
known and unknown. Family is afternoons, accompanied by strong coffee. I’ve tried
fundamental to Italian life. Is this why to recreate the traditional gurguglione, a simple
you decided to set the book in Italy? ratatouille-style dish, but without vegetables kissed
I was conscious of the emotional currency of family, by Tuscan sunshine mine was a poor imitation.
and how my main characters are all outsiders in that
respect. Valentino, the Mille Luci proprietor, has Could you tell us what you love most about
always welcomed his guests as if they were family – the island of Elba? And where else have
in the uncomplicated sense of the word. When Kit, you visited in Italy?
a British travel writer, arrives, she’s forced to Elba holds a special place in my heart because the
confront some difficult truths. first time we went we didn’t know anybody else
who’d been; it felt like our discovery. For me it’s a
What form did your research take? picture-book island escape. As a student I studied in
I took a solo research trip and spent five blissful Switzerland and one Easter we roadtripped to
days scribbling in notebooks. I’m always responsive Tuscany, the Stealing Beauty soundtrack playing as
to new places, but when I’m somewhere specifically we drove over the hills to Siena, and Montepulciano;
for inspiration I’m in this wonderful, meditative state the landscape made a lasting impression. I love
where I absorb my surroundings and think only of my Rome, and could sit inside the cool of the Pantheon
novel from dawn to dusk. for hours. I was similarly transfixed by the work of
Caravaggio in the Galleria Borghese and at the
Food is quite significant in the narrative. Vatican Museums.
Did you do a lot of research in this aspect
for the novel? Do you any have plans for another trip to
I love cooking, and have a stack of Italian recipe Italy coming up?
books, so I spent time researching dishes as part of I don’t have a trip planned at the moment, which I
my process. While on Elba I had a mindblowing torta need to rectify! In the novel I imagine what autumn
della nonna, and I’m always in search of the perfect on Elba might look like – ‘the crackle and mist’ – and A lunch with a view
spaghetti ai frutti di mare. It’s a quest for life. I’d love to see it for myself.

August 2017 ITALIA! 39

IT153.EmyliaHallInterview.sg4.indd 39 29/06/2017 11:20am


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Untitled-1 51 25/05/2017 10:17am
C O M P E T I T I O N I TA L I A !

Travel Writing
The restau
rant serves
seasonal, lo
cal fare

To celebrate our 150th issue we launched our 2017 Travel Writing Competition
in association with Villa Sandi – there’s still time to enter with great prizes to
win, including the chance to have your work published in Italia! magazine

ur travel writing TO ENTER
competition needs Send entries to: Writing Competition, Italia! magazine,
you! Italy has long Anthem Publishing, Suite 6, Piccadilly House,
been a source of London Road, Bath BA1 6PL or email italia@anthem-
inspiration for (subject: ‘Writing Competition’).
writers, which is why we are Include your full name and contact details.
looking for your travel tales for Each restful bedroom
our new competition. Send us an RULES has a unique character
article about any aspect of travel in ➤ Closing date is 31 October 2017.
Italy, whether it’s your latest trip or ➤ Entrants must be over 18 years old.
a specific attraction or event. From ➤ Entries may be submitted by post or by email.
themed holidays to days out, new ➤ Only one piece of writing to be submitted per entrant.
angles on well-known destinations ➤ Entrants must be amateurs (ie, not professionally
to explorations of places off the published writers online or in print). tta
i’s La Rive
Villa Sand H ill
beaten track: the subject is up to ➤ Articles must be no longer than 1,000 words
estate on
you, as long as its inspiration is your and must be original – all your own work and not
Italian travels! Make sure you read published elsewhere, in print or online.
the rules (right) before you send in ➤ It is the responsibility of each entrant to ensure
your entry. Good luck everyone! that no element of their entry infringes the copyright
of any third party or any other laws.
➤ Copyright in all submissions to the competition
remains with the respective entrants. However, in
providing their work to the competition, each entrant
grants a licence to Italia! magazine to feature any or
all of the submissions in its publications, its website,
digital media and/or in any promotional material
connected to this competition.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS be taken by May 30, 2018. Flights, transfers and other travel costs
Competition available only for readers of Italia! magazine (over (including insurance) are not included. Hire car is not included but
Images © Villa Sandi unless otherwise stated

18 years old). Judging will take place after the closing date of 31 recommended. No other costs will be covered by Villa Sandi or Italia!
October 2017 and the winner will be notified in November 2017. magazine.
The prize includes two nights in a double room (accommodation The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be
based on two people sharing) at the Locanda Sandi, including a entered into. The prize must be accepted as offered. Entry implies
welcome gift box, breakfast each day, one night’s set menu dinner acceptance of these rules. Only one article will be accepted per
Image by Amanda Robinson

with a bottle of Villa Sandi Prosecco, (please note the restaurant entrant. Employees of Anthem Publishing, Villa Sandi and Bellavita
is closed Weds and Thurs and no alternative venue is offered) and are not eligible for entry. No cash alternative will be offered.
a guided visit of Villa Sandi. All other meals and sightseeing are at Data captured from this writing competition will be shared with
the winners’ expense. Check-in time at Locanda Sandi is 12 noon. Villa Sandi, Italia! magazine and Bellavita. Entry to this competition
Nearest airports are Venice, Treviso and Verona. grants permission unless specified by the entrant. Please state ‘NO
The dates are subject to room availability and exclude UK and OFFERS’ on entry if you do not wish to receive further information
Italian holiday periods and other blackout dates. The holiday must from Villa Sandi, Italia! magazine and Bellavita.

42 ITALIA! August 2017

IT153.WritingComp.sg4.indd 42 29/06/2017 10:49am

2nd PR AND E
editor, Amanda
Robinson, offers her top
Locanda Sandi is at the
heart of Prosecco country five travel-writing tips


As well as having your winning article published in
THE RUNNER-UP will win a
magnum of Villa Sandi Il Fresco*
1 Remember you have
five senses – it’s not
just about describing what
Italia! magazine, the first prize is an exclusive visit to plus a stopper and gift from
Villa Sandi, iconic premium prosecco producers in the London-based Bellavita, you see. When writing a
Veneto. This amazing package includes a two-night – personal account, try to
stay for the winner and a guest at Villa Sandi’s very own the online Italian food and wine write about a destination
hotel, Locanda Sandi, in Valdobbiadene, tucked away in specialists. The runner-up will
the vineyards of Prosecco Valdobbiadene DOCG. also have their work published from the point of view of
Locanda Sandi offers guests a warm welcome in an in Italia! magazine. every aspect of experience.
elegant and comfortable setting with traditional local
dishes and Villa Sandi wines on the menu. Set within a
typical Veneto-style country house, the Locanda Sandi
has been restored using materials reclaimed from ancient
2 Think about the
structure of your piece,
and give it a well-
buildings, adding a refined allure to the Locanda’s rustic
character. Each of the six rooms tells its own story with a
considered beginning,
unique colour palette and restful interiors furnished with middle and end.

locally-sourced vintage furniture.
Villa Sandi enjoys a worldwide reputation as a
If there are other
producer of fine wines and especially for its award- travel writers
winning proseccos. The beautiful 17th-century Palladian you admire, read their
villa is now company headquarters and offers tours of its articles for inspiration
fascinating underground cellars. For more about Villa
Sandi and Locanda Sandi,; for Villa and to see how they
Sandi wines in the UK, approach a feature, but
The wine ce
remember: finding your
beneath Vi
Owned by the Moretti Polegato lla Sandi own style and voice is
family, this elegant Palladian-style
villa is Villa Sandi’s headquarters essential!

4 Think about what

will be relevant and
interesting for a reader
*Prosecco and bottle stopper delivered to mainland UK addresses only

– what would you want

to read about in a travel
piece? Aim to inspire,
surprise and inform with
your article.

5 Remember to be
concise and keep to
the competition’s word
limit of 1,000 words.

August 2017 ITALIA! 43

IT153.WritingComp.sg4.indd 43 29/06/2017 10:50am


Subscribe to Italia! and get the first 3 issues for just $10

Ordering  ONLINE ☎ DIAL

is easy! 800 428 3003

OFFER ENDS 30 SEPTEMBER 2017. Italia!’s subscriptions are handled in North America by IMS News.
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After the 3 issue trial, the price will increase to $28.10 (saving 25% off the store price) every 3 issues, unless you cancel.

IT153.USsubsWhiteMargin.sg1.indd 44 29/06/2017 10:40am


On the trail of Lionardo Buonarroti, and the family
palace he renovated in Florence

Sculpture of Medici lions and

replica of Michelangelo’s David in
Piazza della Signoria, Florence

August 2017 ITALIA! 45

IT153.FastCulture.sg4.indd 45 28/06/2017 16:35pm


“ ionardo, I have received thy letter and with
it the three shirts. I am very much surprised
that ye should have sent them … they are so
coarse that there is not a farm labourer here
who would not be ashamed to wear them.”
So wrote Michelangelo from Rome in 1540 to his
favourite nephew back in Florence. Lionardo was
probably not particularly offended; he was used to
his uncle’s irascibility. He knew that Michelangelo
was engaged in an uncongenial task – painting The
Last Judgement above the Sistine Chapel’s altar for
Pope Paul III. So Lionardo continued to send small
Tuscan comforts Michelangelo’s way – cheeses, wine,
pears, and better shirts, along with family news
and an occasional request for investment advice.
Michelangelo’s responses, over time, betray not only
affection and occasional exasperation, but his hopes
that Lionardo would eventually help him enhance the
dignity of the Buonarroti name in Florence.
Michelangelo Buonarroti, sculptor, painter, poet
Palazzo Medici-Riccardi, where the teenage
– and family man. It’s true he never married, never Michelangelo lived and studied
had children, and spent much of his time apart from
his relatives; but his letters reveal a man as passionate
about family matters as about art. His intense interest Michelangelo presenting Faun sculpture to Lorenzo
in restoring his family’s fortunes and status may the Magnificent – fresco from the Pitti Palace
stem from the circumstances of his early life. You
know the stories, no doubt: born into an old but
impoverished Florentine clan; apprenticed at thirteen
to Ghirlandaio, the painter; discovered by Lorenzo
de’ Medici and educated in the Palazzo Medici,
where he studied with Neo-Platonists and created
his early sculptures The Madonna of the Stairs and
The Battle of the Centaurs.
Throughout most of his life, Michelangelo
maintained a prolific correspondence with many
people, family or otherwise. Nearly five hundred of
his letters survive. He also was one of the best poets
of his age, leaving around three hundred poems,
mostly sonnets. One of them, in its final lines, helps
explain his frequent use of the nude in his art:
Nor hath God deigned to show himself elsewhere
More clearly than in human forms sublime,
Which, since they image Him, alone I love.
Letters and poetry alike express his emotions and
preoccupations during a long and eventful career.
The early triumphs of the Pietà and the David Tomb of Julius II with Moses Statue by
made him so famous and sought-after, that forever Michelangelo in San Pietro in Vincoli, Rome
after he was torn by competing demands from
powerful patrons, frequently being pulled from
one project to another – most famously by Pope
Julius II, who abandoned his own tomb project and
set Michelangelo painting the Sistine ceiling. He
often thought people were conspiring against him,
particularly competing artists. Sometimes, no doubt,
he was right. Even paranoiacs have enemies.
Images by Patricia Gartman

But he had other concerns besides immortal

works, unreliable patrons and scheming competitors.
“Lionardo, I have received the sixteen marzolino cheeses
… as to buying the house, try to get one of honourable
condition … because an honourable house standing within
the city will be a great credit to us … for after all, we are

46 ITALIA! August 2017

IT153.FastCulture.sg4.indd 46 28/06/2017 16:35pm

San Lorenzo without
Michelangelo’s façade

Michelangelo’s model for the citizens, descended from very noble ancestors.” And, later:
façade of San Lorenzo “Lionardo, I have received the Trebbiano, forty-four flasks,
for which I thank thee. The Bishop [of Arezzo] … said
he had a good wife to give thee … once more I repeat that
I wish thee to marry, so that our family may not finish
with this generation…”
There are frequent discussions about purchasing
property, and exhortations to find a good, suitable
wife are the subject of at least a dozen more letters
to Lionardo. “As to beauty, as thou art not thyself the
most handsome youth in Florence, it skills not for thee to
trouble overmuch about it…” Nevertheless, Lionardo
held out until he found just the right young woman,
Cassandra Ridolfi; and, when he wrote to tell his
uncle how happy they were together, Michelangelo
replied: “We thank God for it, and all the more so because
such happiness is a rare thing”. And, at last, in April
1554: “Lionardo, I learn from thy letter that Cassandra
has given birth to a fine boy, and that she is going on well
… all this has afforded me the greatest happiness. May
God be praised for it!”
Over time, after his uncle died, Lionardo
renovated several family houses on Via Ghibellina
into a small palace, and Lionardo’s son, Michelangelo
Buonarroti the Younger, enlarged and completed it.
It contains many haunting mementos of the great
artist, including the Madonna of the Stairs, the Battle
of the Centaurs, and Michelangelo’s wooden model for
the façade of San Lorenzo (which was never installed).
You can visit it today at Via Ghibellina, 70. It is the
Casa Buonarroti, an honourable house in Florence.


JOE GARTMAN writes about travel,
history and culture, and divides his time
Bust of Michelangelo by Daniele Casa Buonarroti, renovated between the southwest US and Europe.
da Volterra in Casa Buonarroti by Lionardo Buonarroti Learn more at

August 2017 ITALIA! 47

IT153.FastCulture.sg4.indd 47 28/06/2017 16:35pm

D I S C O V E R I TA L I A !

Amanda Robinson discovers authentic Italian flavours and
new friends at a hands-on cookery course in the Veneto hills

Image © Stirred Tra

Handmade pasta
Image © Stirred Travel

ready for the pot

48 ITALIA! August 2017

IT153.CookingInVeneto.sg5.indd 48 28/06/2017 16:24pm

D I S C O V E R I TA L I A !

otal immersion: it’s the best
Griddled local radicchio way to learn, right? Speak a
second language like a native,
pass your driving test, swim
like a fish, become a chef…

Image © iStock
It’s a tried-and-tested route to success. So,
how about an intensive, week-long culinary
course in the Veneto hills that promises
two cookery classes a day, every day, in the
company of professional chefs?
Like many Italia! readers, I adore
the food culture in Italy and I also love to
cook Italian food at home. I have enjoyed
a number of Italian culinary ‘experiences’
(yes, I do have a pasta maker and yes,
I have used it). These have been inspiring,
Apri but all-too-brief day courses, or maybe an town of Cison di Valmarino. Lovely Sarah
bay hour or so with a patient hotel chef. I’d Roberts and her co-founder Patrick Obert
never been on a week-long course before, have years of experience in organising
so this was right up my street – and gourmet holidays, and it shows. The
slightly daunting in equal measure. As an week-long courses combine the laid-back
enthusiastic home cook, could I keep up ambiance of a sojourn in, let’s face it, a
or would I be out of my depth? rather spectacular palazzo, and the practical
focus of hands-on cookery classes with
A GOURMET EXPERIENCE professional chefs like Sophie Braimbridge

Images by Amanda Robinson unless otherwise stated

Well, in the time it took me to knot the (River Café, Chez Panisse) and Jake
ties on my crisp new apron, doubt was Simpson (Bocca di Lupo). During our stay,
cast aside. Stirred Travel run these weeks award-winning food writer Rachel Roddy
throughout the year at Villa Casagrande, (that Roman batter…) and the unstoppable
Tutor and
chef Sophie the elegant Renaissance home of Conti Jeremy Lee from Quo Vadis in Soho came
Brandolini d’Adda in the tiny Veneto to share their expertise with us too.

How about an intensive, week-long culinary course

in the Veneto hills… with professional chefs?
it, eat 15th-century Villa Gasagrande
, cook
Make it

Image © Stirred Travel

August 2017 ITALIA! 49

IT153.CookingInVeneto.sg5.indd 49 28/06/2017 16:24pm

D I S C O V E R I TA L I A !

Cleaning the Rialto Mar
ket clams

Just an hour’s drive from Venice and a
mere 35 miles from Treviso, Venice’s
sophisticated little sister, the small but
perfectly formed village of Cison di
Valmarino is one of the most beautiful
villages in Italy (I Borghi più belli d’Italia), PALAZZO LIVING
and only one of six in Veneto. Villa Speeding along the broad-laned motorway
Casagrande sits at its heart in the prettiest from Venice’s Marco Polo airport, it’s a
of village squares with the steeply wooded remarkably short time before we are out of
foothills of Dolomites their dramatic the flat low-lying hinterland around the
backdrop. The imposing CastelBrando Venetian Lagoon and into the foothills of
(once a fortress, now a hotel, museum and the Veneto Dolomites. The road climbs
theatre) stands sentry in the hills above more sharply as we pull into the tidy town
the village. Guided tours of the castle are square of Cison di Valmarino, sweeping
available: take the funicular railway from up to the steps of Villa Casagrande. The
the village, or just follow the road. Hike red-shuttered palazzo that stands before
the trails to the old water mills just us is our home for the week: graciously
outside the village, where you can see the proportioned ensuite rooms filled with
signs of the village’s industrial past, or an elegant mix of contemporary art, Ling
cycle along dedicated paths through the frescoes and antique furniture, as well alle
peaceful local countryside. You can find as landscaped lawns outside, complete ole
more information at with a very tempting 30-foot swimming
Cison di Valmarino is in the Prosecco pool. So far, so heavenly… But the serious
region, and Italy’s very first ‘Wine Road’ culinary action takes place in an impressive
the Strada del prosecco e vini dei colli, is state-of-the-art kitchen, all stainless steel
nearby, between Valdobbiadene and and batterie de cuisine, overlooking the
Conegliano. Tours run throughout the year, spectacular rose garden.
with visits to ancient towns like
Refrontolo with its water mill and Follina KITCHEN CREW
and its 13th-century abbey, as well as Two couples (one mother and daughter,
the opportunity to visit local wineries. one husband and wife) and four solo guests made up our numbers, but we were a team
after the first morning’s practical pasta

Local chee
se at Perenzin

Cison di Valmarino is
cradled in the Dolomites

Rabbit saltimb
50 ITALIA! August 2017

IT153.CookingInVeneto.sg5.indd 50 28/06/2017 16:24pm

Jeremy runs through
Thursday’s lunch menu
prep with the class

August 2017 ITALIA! 51

IT153.CookingInVeneto.sg5.indd 51 28/06/2017 16:25pm

D I S C O V E R I TA L I A !

View through to You couldn’t fail to be inspired by the enthusiasm

and downright passion of our talented chefs
the dining room

making class. Talk about total immersion! matching and hands-on experience,
By the time we sat down at the long the only additional expenses are flights
dining table in the sun-filled portico to eat and local goodies like peppery olive oil
our way through fresh lemon and thyme and white polenta – if you have enough
tagliatelle, pumpkin ravioli heady with baggage allowance that is. You’ll come
nutmeg, and spinach and ricotta rotolo (a away with a neat file of all the recipes
giant steamed pasta roll, so delicious) that and an enlightened understanding of
we made ourselves, the ice was well and the practicalities and ethos of authentic
truly broken and we were friends. regional Italian cucina.
And that set the tone for our busy I’d go again, that’s for sure – in fact,
coed week: whatever we did, from visiting for one of our kitchen brigade, this was her
wall Rialto Market in Venice for supper second visit – she visited last autumn, and
ingredients and a private boat out to coming back this spring she was hoping
the island of Mazzorbo in the lagoon, to for a different experience. With seasonality
leisurely strolls round the town, cocktails at the heart of everything Stirred Travel
on the terrace (anyone for a sgroppino?) delivers, she wasn’t disappointed.
or simply peeling mountains of onions
around the large table, it felt like a relaxed
houseparty, with cooking and eating at its INFORMATION
very heart. We covered so much culinary
➤ Stirred Travel cookery courses run from March
ground: from preparing spiky artichokes to to June and then through September and October
deep frying battered sage leaves (thank you, (see their website for precise details). The
A hearty br Rachel), to removing ink sacs from fresh six-night stay costs £2,695, which covers your
eakfast se
for a long
day in the
ts you up squid (messy), making panna cotta (boozy), accommodation, tuition, food, wine, trips, tours
kitchen! quenelling gnudi and so much more. and tastings (unless otherwise stated), lunch in
You couldn’t fail to be inspired by Venice, dinner at a local restaurant, transfers to
and from Venice airport at recommended pick-up
the enthusiasm and downright passion of and departure times. Private transfers can be
our talented chefs and their willingness arranged at an additional cost. The price does not
to share knowledge (including the ins include flights.
and outs of whist – who knew, Jeremy?). For more information,
With so much good food, perfect wine

The comfortable sitting

room at Villa Casagrande

ol after
A dip in the po
of the kitchen
the heat
d Travel
Image © Stirre

52 ITALIA! August 2017

IT153.CookingInVeneto.sg5.indd 52 28/06/2017 16:25pm

This month, enjoy summer with a delicious trattoria-style
menu, seasonal recipes and perfect pasta sauces, plus
jarred pesto and our favourite summer wines

Trullo Delicious
How to make Tuscan pici, plus
18 pages a lunch party menu
of fabulouds
Italian foo
and drink In Season
What to eat and cook in August,
plus four dishes to make at home

Pasta Secrets
The secret to perfect pasta sauce
with Laura Santtini


A selection of jarred pesto


Six of the best wines for summer

p 69
Image © iStock

August 2017 ITALIA! 53

IT153.FoodSectionOpener.sg4.indd 53 29/06/2017 15:10pm

C O O K I TA L I A !

Found all over

Tuscany, this
wonderful, dense
pasta is as frugal as it gets
and really easy to make

Make pici pasta from Tuscany, plus three delicious dishes for an elegant
summer lunch party from Trullo: The Cookbook by Tim Siadatan

How to make pici

Come fare i pici

• 375g white bread flour 3 With a rolling pin, shape it into a both palms of your hands, applying
• 180ml water rectangle about 2cm thick, wrap in cling pressure evenly and pushing out, until
• 1 tbsp olive oil film and leave to rest for at least 30 you have a noodle the same thickness as
• a pinch of fine sea salt minutes somewhere cool. a biro. Basically, you’re making wriggly
4 To make the pici, cut the dough into 15g worms. Repeat the process until all the
1 Add the flour to a bowl and make a well. strips (weigh one and use as a guide) and dough is used up.
Mix the water, oil and salt and pour into keep covered with a damp tea towel. 6 Cook straight away, or, if making in
the well. Start incorporating the flour into 5 On a dry, clean work surface – stainless advance, store lengthways on a heavily
the water until a dough starts to form. steel or wood, you don’t want something floured tray (they stick together
2 Take the dough out, transfer to a table too smooth as a little bit of friction helps otherwise) covered with cling film and
and knead it until it becomes smooth. – start rolling the strip outwards, with refrigerate for no more than 24 hours.

54 ITALIA! August 2017

IT153.TrulloDelicious.sg4.indd 54 29/06/2017 13:36pm

Pici with cheese Roseval potato, red pepper, anchovy, olive,
and pepper chilli and rosemary al forno
Pici cacio e pepe Patate roseval, peperoni rossi, acciughe, olive,
➤ SERVES 4 peperoncini e rosmarino al forno
➤ PREPARATION 5 minutes
➤ COOKING 10 minutes ➤ SERVES 4 ➤ PREPARATION 15 minutes ➤ COOKING 1 hour

• 1 batch of pici dough (see recipe) See image over the page a wire rack or using metal tongs – keep rolling
• 160g unsalted butter • 2 red peppers them around until they’re blackened all over. Put
• 4 tbsp freshly ground black pepper • extra-virgin olive oil in a bowl and cover tightly with cling film: it
• 100g parmesan, finely grated • 6 Roseval red-skinned potatoes, skin on and will inflate like a hot-air balloon. Wait until it
• 1 tsp lemon juice sliced, 2cm thick deflates, then peel the peppers while they’re
• 3 whole salted anchovies, washed and still warm (this makes it much easier). Discard
1 In a large saucepan, bring water up to the boil deboned (or use 6 good quality fillets) the seeds and thinly slice. Put a glug of olive oil
and season with salt to resemble mild sea water. • 24 green or purple olives, de-stoned in a small saucepan and cook the peppers for 20
Drop the pici in water and cook for 5-6 minutes. • ½ red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced minutes on a low to medium heat.
Meanwhile, add the butter, black pepper and a • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed 2 Line a large, high-sided roasting tray with a thin
splash of pici water to a saucepan on a medium • 3 sprigs of rosemary, leaves picked layer of olive oil, then with parchment paper
heat and then turn down to a low heat until they • 200ml chicken or vegetable stock (the olive oil makes it stick down). Add all the
emulsify (melt into each other). • 2 tbsp Cabernet Sauvignon vinegar ingredients (including the peppers), except the
2 When the pici are cooked, remove from the water • 40g unsalted butter, cubed butter. Season with a big glug of olive oil, salt
and add to the saucepan with the butter and • salt and pepper and a good smack of pepper, mix together and
pepper. Keep the pasta water. Add the parmesan roast in the oven for 35 minutes, stirring from
– but do not stir. Leave the parmesan to sit and 1 Preheat the oven to 190˚C/Gas Mark 5. Blister time to time.
melt from the residual heat of the pan – this the peppers, ideally on a charcoal grill to get a 3 Add the butter and roast for a further 5 minutes.
prevents it from becoming chewy little cheesy smoky flavour, but if not, over a naked flame on The potatoes should have absorbed most of the
balls. Once the parmesan has melted, stir the pici liquid but have a shimmering viscous sauce.
and sauce together to incorporate. Season with
salt and serve immediately.

Romans use pecorino but we

prefer high-quality, aged
parmesan because it gives the
dish more depth of flavour
Images © Square Peg

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C O O K I TA L I A !

The potatoes won’t get crispy

because they absorb all the
flavours they’re hanging
out with, but they do get
wonderfully gooey and sticky.
Roseval potato, red pepper, anchovy, olive, chilli and rosemary al forno.
See recipe on previous page

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Summer almond tart
Torta estiva alle mandorle
➤ PREPARATION 1 hour, including chilling time
➤ BAKING 1 hour 15 minutes


• 140g plain flour, sifted

• 40g icing sugar, sifted

• 75g unsalted butter, very cold and cubed

• 2 medium free-range or organic egg yolks


• 250g blanched almonds

• 250g caster sugar

• 250g unsalted butter, softened

• 3 medium free-range or organic eggs

• crème fraîche, to serve

1 To make the pastry, put the flour and icing sugar

in a bowl or a food processor and mix. Add the
butter and mix until you have the texture of fine
breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolks one at a time,
continuously mixing to form a dough. Wrap in
cling film and chill until firm.
2 To make the frangipane, grind or pound the
almonds; I like different textures of almond so do
it in three stages (coarse, medium and medium
fine) taking a third out each time. Cream the
caster sugar and butter until light and fluffy; add
the eggs one at a time while continuously
mixing. Add the ground or pounded almonds and
chill in the fridge.
3 Preheat the oven to 170˚C/Gas Mark 3, and take
the frangipane out of the fridge to become
4 Get a 26cm loose based, non-stick tart shell and
coarsely grate the pastry in the middle. Start
pushing the pastry up the sides of the case with
your thumbs and then form the base. Bake in the
oven for 14 minutes, then fill the tart shell with
frangipane and return to bake for 1 hour. Leave to
cool before serving with crème fraîche.

These recipes are

taken from Trullo:
The Cookbook This rarely
by Tim Siadatan leaves the Trullo
and published by menu, because
Square Peg, RRP
it possesses the
ability to wear
many faces with
different moods
and always

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C O O K I TA L I A !

Early summer vegetables such as beans and courgettes
are joined this month by a variety of fruits and fish as
the year’s main harvest really begins come in…
Images and recipes © Mario Matassa

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Discover what fresh ingredients are in
season this month, then see over the page
to turn them into delicious dishes…

Grown all over Italy, the courgette boasts culinary versatility and can be used
in a variety of delicious dishes; grated and eaten raw in salads, or fried, grilled
and served as a side vegetable sprinkled with melted butter, salt, extra-virgin
olive oil or lemon juice. Most distinctively, the courgette also develops edible
flowers, which are popular stuffed with mixtures of spinach, ricotta and
parmesan cheese.

The aubergine, with its distinctive purple exterior, is a cherished vegetable
in Italian cuisine. Grown in southern Italy during the summer, aubergines
particularly appear in Sicilian recipes such as parmigiana di melanzane, or are
dipped in flour and egg, then fried. Perhaps the most unusual recipe originates
from the Amalfi coast – an ‘aubergine sandwich’, which sees aubergine slices
coated with nuts and candied peel, then dipped in chocolate.


Claimed to have been used in cooking for thousands of years, today scallops
are a popular variety of shellfish that are considered to be of particularly good
quality when found in the waters surrounding the UK. One of the best Italian
varieties, known as canestrello, is commonly found in the sandy sea beds of
the Venice lagoon, and is frequently used in popular recipes of the region,
such as seafood salad and risotto ai canestrelli, an Italian version of Spanish
paella, ideal for a light summer lunch.


Named after the patron saint of fishermen, samphire is an edible plant that
grows wild along coastal rocks and cliffs. In season from now until September,
the plant comes in two varieties: marsh and rock, the latter offering a
distinctively spicy taste. Traditionally, the stems, leaves and seeds are pickled
in vinegar but the succulent stalks are delicious lightly steamed and eaten
fresh with garlic and lemon butter, and also make a perfect partner for fish.


Available from the end of June, the runner bean and willowy green bean can
be treated in the same way. Highly popular in the UK and Italy, both varieties
of bean are valued for their high protein levels and edible pods, and once
cooked these small vegetables are bursting with flavour. It can be argued
that there are few better ways of serving runner or green beans than as a
APRICOTS ALBICOCCHE side vegetable alongside roast lamb, potatoes and gravy, but they also lend
In the peak of its season during the summer, the apricot, themselves perfectly to summer soups and light salads.
with its peach-like tang and pale orange skin, is a
flavoursome, colourful ingredient to add to your cooking.
Though it originates in China, Italy is now one of the
world’s largest producers of this luscious summer fruit,
harvesting around 200,000 tonnes per year from sunny
regions such as Campania and Emilia-Romagna. There are
many different ways to enjoy the apricot; it can be eaten Also in season…
raw, preserved in alcohol or syrup, or even used to make
a deliciously refreshing juice beverage called nectar, ‘the ARTICHOKES CARCIOFI FENNEL FINOCCHIO
drink of the gods’. It is also an ideal ingredient in sweet BEETROOT BARBABIETOLE NECTARINES NETTARINE
cocktails and makes a rich sugary jam, perfect as a glaze CHERRIES CILIEGIE PEAS PISELLI
for patisseries and to cover fruit tarts such as the Italian CUCUMBER CETRIOLO POTATOES PATATE

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C O O K I TA L I A !


Green beans with potatoes and onion

Fagiolini con patate e cipollotti
➤ SERVES 4 • 300g green beans, tops trimmed 2 While the potatoes are cooking, roughly slice the spring
➤ PREPARATION • 250g potatoes, peeled, roughly cubed onions. Add the olive oil to a large frying pan and gently
10 minutes • 2 large spring onions sauté the spring onions until soft. When the beans and
➤ COOKING • 2-3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil potatoes are cooked, drain, then add to the pan with the
25 minutes • 1 tbsp red-wine vinegar onion. Stir everything together gently and finally add
• salt and freshly ground black pepper the vinegar. Remove the pan from the heat and season
according to taste. This dish can be served either warm
1 Bring a saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil, then or cold.
add the potatoes. Cook for about 15 minutes, then add
the green beans and cook alongside the potatoes for a TIP Although the ends of the green beans are edible, if
further 5 minutes, until the potatoes are cooked through you like you can remove them as well as the tops for
and the green beans are just tender but still retaining neater presentation.
some bite.

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Courgettes with tomato and mozzarella
Zucchini alla parmigiana
➤ SERVES 4 • 2-3 medium courgettes, sliced lengthways into dish as you would a lasagna. Begin by spreading a few
➤ PREPARATION 5mm slices tablespoons of tomato passata over the bottom of an
10 minutes • 200g fresh mozzarella cheese, finely chopped ovenproof dish, then arrange a layer of courgette on top.
➤ COOKING or grated Next, add a few more tablespoons of passata and a
20 minutes • 30g parmesan, grated sprinkling of mozzarella. Season, then add a few basil
• 250ml tomato passata leaves. Repeat with another layer of courgettes, passata
• a handful of fresh basil leaves and cheese, until all the ingredients are used up.
• a few tbsp good olive oil 3 Finally, sprinkle the parmesan cheese over the top and
• salt and freshly ground black pepper place in the oven for 20 minutes, or until bubbling and
the cheese has browned.
1 In a heavy-based frying pan heat a little olive oil and
fry the courgette slices for a few minutes, until they have TIP This is a variation on the classic melanzane alla
browned slightly. Set aside. parmigiana. So, of course, you can substitute courgettes
2 Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4. Construct the for aubergines or even use a combination of the two.

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C O O K I TA L I A !

Aubergine with ricotta and mint

Melanzane con ricotta e menta
➤ SERVES 4 • 6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil everything together gently. Serve the aubergine with
➤ PREPARATION • 2 medium aubergines, diced into 1cm cubes some crusty bread.
5 minutes • salt and freshly ground black pepper
➤ COOKING • a handful of fresh mint leaves, chopped TIP It is commonly held that you need to salt and press
10 minutes • 200g fresh ricotta cheese aubergines before you cook them, to remove bitterness,
but this is really only true if the aubergine is old. Fresh,
1 Heat the oil in a frying pan until hot, then add the young aubergines (which you can tell by the texture of the
aubergine (make sure the oil is fairly hot or the skin) do not have to be treated in this way.
aubergine will absorb too much). Fry the aubergine,
stirring frequently, until soft and golden brown.
2 Once cooked, remove the aubergine from the heat, place
in a bowl and set aside until it cools. Once cool, season
well with salt and pepper, then add the chopped mint.
Finally, crumble the ricotta, add to the aubergine and stir

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Apricot and cream tart
Crostata alla crema pasticcera e albicocche
➤ MAKES 1 • 600g sweet pastry 2 Preheat the oven to 180ºC/Gas Mark 4. Roll out the
24cm tart • 350ml whole milk pastry to fit a 24cm round tart tin and line the tin with
➤ PREPARATION • 3 medium free-range egg yolks pastry. Cover the pastry with greaseproof paper and fill
20 minutes • 100g caster sugar with baking beans. Bake blind for 20 minutes. Remove
plus resting • 50g plain flour from the oven, discard the paper and beans, then leave
➤ COOKING • 8 firm but ripe apricots, sliced to cool.
25 minutes • 4 tbsp apricot jam 3 Once cooled, spoon the cream into the tart case and
cover with the sliced apricots. To make the glaze, gently
1 To make the cream, heat the milk in a pan and whisk the heat the apricot jam in a pan, and once runny spoon
egg yolks with the sugar and flour in a large bowl. Once over the top of the apricots.
the milk is hot, take it off the heat and slowly add to the
beaten yolks, whisking all the time. Pour the mixture TIP This recipe can be used for any soft summer fruit, such
back into the pan, place over the heat and stir until the as nectarines or peaches. Just treat the fruit in exactly the
cream has thickened. Leave to cool. same way as you would the apricots.

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B U Y I TA L I A !

Stirred into pasta or spread on crostini, we just can’t
get enough of this Italian store cupboard staple

ne of Italy’s most popular sauces, originating in Genoa,
a traditional pesto genovese consists of crushed garlic, olive
oil, pine nuts, fresh basil leaves, and a mix of Parmigiano
Reggiano and pecorino cheeses, blended together with a
pestle and mortar. We have two traditional recipes, plus one from Sicily
which uses fresh pistachios instead of pine nuts, and a vegan option. 2

1 3

From Bellavita
Price £3.50 for 130g
A wonderfully fresh green in colour, this was the team’s
favourite. With a rustic ‘homemade’ appearance, it was
packed with Genovese basil DOP which added to the
authentic pungency of a traditional pesto. It had a light
texture, and melted into hot pasta like a dream, without
losing any of its flavour. The best quality ingredients come
together to create a beautiful little pot of flavour.





ALLA GENOVESE From Sous Chef From Abel and Cole
From NifeisLife Price £7.95 for 110g Price £3.90 for 130g
Price £4.90 for 130g Made from Sicilian pistachios Packing all the punch and
Made to an old family recipe instead of pine nuts, we texture of a traditional pesto,
by a Ligurian producer, this relished the unusual flavour fragrant with basil and pine
pesto is chunky with pine of this pesto. The vibrant nuts and tofu instead of the
nuts and rich with Parmesan. colour comes entirely from the cheese, ‘not just for vegans’
A bit on the salty side for pistachios as there is no basil was the unanimous verdict of
some but others liked the in the mix. Very different, but the panel for this excellent
super-savoury hit. a deliciously creamy pesto. plant-based offering.


With no additives, this This pesto melts Ticking all the flavour
VERDICT ★★★★★ Ligurian pesto sings with effortlessly into hot pasta boxes and 100% organic,
Cook your pasta with green beans and potato for a fresh basil. Traditional and – just add fresh, ripe stir it into your favourite
truly authentic dish packed with flavour and freshness tasty, keep it fresh in the tomatoes for a plateful pasta and your taste buds
fridge under a layer of oil of Sicilian sunshine will thank you

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C O O K I TA L I A !

Image © iStock
Laura’s Pasta Secrets
Laura Santtini reveals the secret to mantecare – how Italians create the authentic sauce for pasta

he act of skilfully combining Unlike the method for making a There are two ways Italians combine pasta
cooked pasta with a sauce is risotto, where only cold, unsalted butter with sauce:
something we Italians call and parmigiano are used for the mantecatura,
mantecare or the mantecatura. in pasta, olive oil can also be used instead HOT PASTA INTO HOT SAUCE
This literally means to of butter. The use of olive oil is paramount Scratch-cook a quick olive oil or butter
emulsify the starch from the pasta with for recipes like spaghetti vongole, where the based sauce in a sauté pan and tip in the
the oil or butter in the sauce to make olive oil and starchy water mixed with the hot, drained pasta. Add a splash of retained
that creamy loose pasta finish that is so garlic, clam juice and white wine helps cooking water, if necessary extra butter,
compelling. It is not an easy thing to do, to create that compelling and super-tasty and toss with gusto and serve. Try Laura’s
but once you have it cracked you will slippery sauce. spaghetti vongole recipe over the page.
never look back. That is why in almost
every recipe method I repeat the same WHAT YOU WILL NEED HOT PASTA INTO COLD SAUCE
words, in the hope that they will become Place the ingredients in a serving bowl,
a new mantra in your kitchen: ‘Drain the ➤ 1 large sauté pan – wide, deep, heavy- using raw, crushed garlic, a good glug
bottomed, long-handled and preferably non-
pasta, but keep a cup of the cooking water. of olive oil and other ingredients of your
Tip the hot drained pasta into the pan choice, and tip the hot, drained pasta
containing the sauce, adding a splash of the ➤ a cup of salty, starchy pasta cooking water directly into the bowl to unlock the
(though you might not need all of this)
retained cooking water (about 60ml) and aromatics. Toss with gusto and serve. Try
toss with gusto over a high heat until the ➤ a glug of olive oil or a good knob of fridge- Laura’s Lemon, Mint and Caper recipe on
cold unsalted butter
pasta looks creamy and well coated.’ the facing page.

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Lemon, mint and caper pasta
Pasta al limone, menta e capperi
➤ SERVES 2 ➤ PREPARATION 10 minutes ➤ COOKING 10 minutes
Images by Christopher Scoley © Ryland Peters & Small unless otherwise stated

• 200g dried pasta or 160g fresh pasta 2 When the salted water is at a rolling boil, add the
• 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra if needed pasta and cook according to the instructions on
• a handful of mint leaves, roughly chopped the packet.
• the grated zest and freshly squeezed juice 3 Drain the pasta but keep a cup of the cooking
of ½ lemon water. Tip the hot, drained pasta into the lemon
• 1 tbsp capers, drained and rinsed caper mixture, and toss with gusto until the pasta
• 2 tbsp pine nuts, preferably toasted looks creamy and well coated. If the pasta looks
• 2 tbsp finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano too dry, you can add a little more olive oil or a tiny
• salt and freshly ground black pepper splash of the retained pasta water and mix well.
• toasted, flaked almonds, to serve 4 Season to taste and serve immediately with the
grated Parmigiano Reggiano and freshly ground
1 Put a large pan of salted water on to boil for the black pepper. Top with toasted, flaked almonds if
pasta (use about 10g sea salt per litre of water). you like.
Meanwhile, place the olive oil, chopped mint,
lemon zest and juice, capers and pine nuts in the
bottom of your serving bowl.

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C O O K I TA L I A !

Spaghetti vongole has to be high in the

top 10 pasta dishes of all time – served
with a chilled Pinot Grigio, it literally
tastes like a holiday in a bowl

Spaghetti with clams

Spaghetti alle vongole These recipes are
from Pasta Secrets
➤ SERVES 2 ➤ PREPARATION a few hours ➤ COOKING 10 minutes by Laura Santtini,
photography by
• 700g ‘vongole’ (fresh, live baby 2 When everything is ready, start to cook 5 Drain the pasta, but keep a cup of the Christopher Scoley,
clams)* the pasta in plenty of boiling salted cooking water. Tip the hot drained pasta published by
• 200g dried pasta or 160g fresh pasta water (about 10g sea salt per litre of into the vongole, add a splash of Ryland Peters &
• extra-virgin olive oil water) according to the packet retained cooking water and toss with Small. RRP £16.99.
• 2 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly instructions. Meanwhile, heat a good gusto over a high heat until the pasta Italia! readers can
buy this book for
sliced glug of olive oil (enough to cover the looks creamy and well coated. Serve
the special price
• 1 fresh red chilli, deseeded and thinly whole base) in a large pan that has a lid. immediately with plenty of extra freshly
of £11.99 incl.
sliced Add the sliced garlic. ground black pepper.
P&P (UK only).
• a large handful of flat leaf parsley, 3 When the garlic begins to colour, turn up Call Macmillan
finely chopped the heat and add the clams, chilli and *NOTE Fresh clams should be cleaned well Direct on 01256
• 125ml white wine half the parsley. Cover with the lid. Cook before cooking. Rinse them in several 302 699 and quote
• sea salt and freshly ground black for 5-7 minutes, shaking frequently to changes of cold water until the water is reference KC2.
pepper help the clams open up. Discard any clear. Then add a handful of sea salt and
clams that are still closed and splash the leave to ‘purge’ in cold salted water for a
1 Prepare your vongole for cooking (see others with the white wine. few hours. Drain and rinse before using.
note*). Ensure that you have everything 4 When the wine has evaporated, add the Discard any shells that are open and do not
prepped to cook the vongole before you rest of the chopped parsley and plenty of snap shut when tapped, as they are
begin to cook the pasta. The pasta freshly ground black pepper. As clams potentially dangerous.
cooking time should be timed carefully are salty by nature, taste the sauce
to coincide with the sauce being ready. before seasoning further.

68 ITALIA! August 2017

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D R I N K I TA L I A !

Image © iStock

From crisply chilled whites and a blushing rosato for al fresco
feasts to raucous reds to quaff at your barbecue – here’s our
pick of Italian wines to enjoy this summer

S ummer’s here! So get out the barbecue, dust off the picnic hamper,
unfurl that parasol and let the good times roll… Maybe the reality of
this is not quite as we imagined it in our heads (in the UK at least), but
there’s no doubt that warmer temperatures and long, mellow evenings lend
themselves to impromptu get-togethers and lazy lunches – whether ultimately
outside or round the dining room table. And with the food comes the wine,
so we asked a few of our favourite Italian wine experts to recommend their

Warm temperatures and long, mellow evenings

lend themselves to impromptu get-togethers
favourites; not the cheapest, but that kind of delicious mid-range quality
you want to crack open with the ones you cherish.
It’s a sterling line-up and while you might be surprised that the white
wines hail from cooler northern climes rather than the sun-soaked south,
believe us when we say they chill down so well, summer is their middle name.
You’ll also need to make fridge room for a rather sophisticated prosecco hailing
from the hills around Asolo, just outside Venice. And if like us, you feel that
blue skies call for something refreshingly pink, the Trediberri rosé from
Piedmont is dry and fruity. The reds (one north, one south) are light enough
for the heat, but will match whatever your barbecue rustles up. So whatever
the weather’s doing outside (we hope it’s the best summer ever), cin cin!

August 2017 ITALIA! 69

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D R I N K I TA L I A !


From Majestic Wines SUPERIORE DOCG
2015 VENA ROSSA, GUTTURNIO, COLLI Price £12.99 (£10.99 if you From Bellavita Shop
From Berry Bros & Rudd The Gavi zone in Piedmont Price £14.99 produces deliciously You’ll find Villa Sandi’s
Price £14.50 restrained wines from the premium prosecco vineyards
The artistic owner of Castello di Luzzano, Giovanna Cortese grape and this is a scattered all over Veneto, but
Fugazza, designs the labels for her delightful wines. With delightful example. Chilled only in the most favourable
vineyards on both sides of the border between Lombardy right down on a summer’s locations. This new addition
and Emilia-Romagna, ‘Red Vein’ is (of course) a blood-red day, you will still taste juicy to the range is from the
wine with sharper notes of blackcurrant and liquorice peaches, apricots and even DOCG hills of Asolo and says
underlying the lighter fruitiness of strawberry and cherry. honey in this wine. Not summer as soon as you pop
A light and refreshing red wine that you should definitely cloying in the least though, that cork. It’s a sophisticated
add to the soundtrack of your summer. as this is tempered by a sparkler with a very fine
citrus tang and a fresh, steely mousse, brimful of fruit on
minerality. Well-balanced, the nose and flavours of crisp
with a fresh acidity and fruity apple and pear in the glass.
ISC VE finish, it is 13% ABV – could The slightly mineral note adds
be deceptive in the heat! a delicious freshness.



Grilled lamb cutlets, polpettine (meat, fish or A sharing platter of The perfect aperitivo,
vegetable), monkfish skewers and cured meats seafood would love this, as naturally, but try it with
would pasta alle vongole antipasti and grilled fish

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VITTORIA 2014 From Noel Young Wines TREDIBERRI,
From Great Western Wine PIEDMONT Price £14.99 From Berry Bros & Rudd
Price £15.50 Soave Classico from Pieropan
From Planeta, the wonderfully is celebrating its 50th Price £10.95
consistent Sicilian producer,
comes Cerasuolo di Vittoria,
the only DOCG in Sicily.
anniversary and, grown in the
cool conditions of Veneto,
there is nothing cloying or
The Trediberri cantina in La
Morra, deep in Le Langhe, the
heart of Barolo country, only
Nero d’Avola and Frappato sticky about this white wine. started production in 2012.
grapes combine to produce It has a flinty minerality and Deep salmon pink in colour, The Mediterranean
a gem of a summer red.
Light ruby tones in the
a restrained character that
makes it so perfect for a
this is summer in a glass. A
gorgeous strawberry aroma Table
glass are complemented by summer party. 85% Garganega leads to more of the same A feast of autumn flavours
a fruity bouquet. Think ripe 15% Trebbiano di Soave (also on the palate, enlivened by
strawberries, slightly tart known as Verdicchio in Le the tang of pink grapefruit.
Too Good to Waste

Image © Too Good To Waste by Victoria Glass © Victoria Glass / Nourish Books 2017, commissioned photography by Danielle Wood. Contents may be subject to change
raspberries with cherry notes, Marche), fragrant with ripe Fresh and red-fruit laden, the
sweet and sour. Light tannins orchard fruit, zingy citrus and acidity comes up to meet you Italian dishes to make the most
and a good finish to round a hint of bitter almond, it is along with soft tannins to
it off make this a very easy- balanced by a fresh, clean add some body. Get some in of your delicious ingredients
drinking summer party wine. acidity and a finish that lasts. for the rest of the summer.
In season for September
What’s best to eat this month,
plus seasonal recipes

Speedy and tasty filled pasta

A hint of pink: Italian rosé wines


How about seared tuna Cheeses, spatchcock Caponata or a Tuscan
with salsa verde and chicken on the barbecue panzanella, tangy cheeses,
grilled aubergines? and, of course, scallops cured meats and olives

August 2017 ITALIA! 71

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Living ITALIA!
Look no further for expert property advice, essential travel
and legal know-how, plus your handy Flight Guide to Italy

21 pages
of expert Homes ITALIA!
advice and Homes in Veneto
guidance This elegant northern region has
a lot to offer the property buyer

Property Showcase
Our round-up of hot properties

p 84
Welcome to Le Marche
An expert guide to this
beautiful region of Italy

p 85
Property Spotlight
Homes to buy in Le Marche

p 93

Our experts answer your
burning questions

Image © iStock

August 2017 ITALIA! 73

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L I V I N G I TA L I A !

Homes in
It’s famous for Venice and other captivating cities, but this prosperous northern
region has rural delights aplenty. Buyers seeking good investment or great
value for money should take a closer look, says Fleur Kinson

ophisticated, romantic and beautiful – these The region’s cities, meanwhile, are small and gem-
words might or might not describe your like. Famous places like Padua, Vicenza, Verona and
partner, but they certainly describe Veneto, Treviso are packed with history and charm, but so are
a lovely, affluent region tucked into Italy’s Veneto’s many small towns and hamlets. Culturally,
northeastern corner. Pronounced ‘VE-ne-to,’ Veneto is a well-run and orderly sort of place, with an
with stress on the first syllable, the name might not evident taste for the fine things in life and a flair for
be terribly well-known to you, but you’re sure to be good living. The region’s five million inhabitants are
familiar with some of the region’s contents: Venice, a creative and hard-working bunch, but like Italians
Verona, eastern Lake Garda, the villas of architect everywhere they enjoy a very healthy work-life balance
Andrea Palladio and the glitzy Dolomite ski resort of and take time to stop and smell the roses. What’s the
Cortina d’Ampezzo. Spaced in between these famous point of affluence if you have no leisure to enjoy time
assets, Veneto also offers countless with friends, slowly savour fine
charming small towns and glorious Venice is one of the meals, attend the opera or sit at cafés
rural spaces to discover – places that world’s most important and watch the world go by?
arguably should be better known. tourist destinations Tourism is a significant part
Visually, Veneto is often of Veneto’s economy, as you might
characterised by elegant drama imagine. Verona, Lake Garda and
and dreamy enchantment. The the Dolomites are perennially
architecture is highly decorated, the popular destinations, while Venice
countryside is soft and pretty, and alone receives a whopping 13 million
there’s shimmery water everywhere visitors every year. This is a popular –
– except in the far north where the and populous – section of Italy, with
fantastical golden needles of the much for the visitor and resident
Dolomites pierce the sky. Like many to see and do. Historically situated
Images © iStock unless otherwise stated

Italian regions, Veneto offers an at a meeting point of the Eastern

impressive diversity of landscapes. Its and Western worlds, welcoming
long, sandy coastline fractures into international trade for centuries,
warm lagoons, the great Po Valley and today welcoming holidaymakers
unfurls fertile fields, dome-shaped from across the globe, Veneto is
hills rise unexpectedly from flat a cosmopolitan-minded and very
surrounds, and pleasant countryside outward-looking place where
climbs swiftly toward the eerie you’ll quickly find yourself warmly
majesty of the Dolomites. embraced into the fold.

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This is a beautiful
region of Italy and a
land full of contrasts

August 2017 ITALIA! 75

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L I V I N G I TA L I A !


Type of property Apartment
Number of bedrooms 2
Price €620,000
Location Campo Santa Marina
Contact Properties in Italy Soave is known to wine
☎ +39 349 452 0481 buffs the world over
WHY BUY HERE? Andrea Redivo Zaglia of
Charming 2-bedroom apartment with stunning and unique
Ease of access is one of Veneto’s Veneto-specialist agency Properties
canal view, set in the sought-after district of Castello,
between Rialto Bridge and Campo Santa Maria Formosa.
many strong points, especially in Italy rightly says that, “Veneto
The apartment is set on the second floor of a beautiful for travellers coming from northern offers property within the reach
listed building and has been recently renovated. It is European countries such as Britain, of any pocket.” He continues, “Of
composed of: spacious entrance hall and balcony with for whom journey times are very course the most expensive places
canal view, sitting room, kitchen, 2 bedrooms and a short. There are several international are Venice and posh locations like
bathroom. The views enjoyable from the apartment are airports in Veneto, and once you’re Cortina d’Ampezzo, but property
simply charming and unique. The building enjoys a shared on the ground the network of rail in the countryside can be extremely
roof terrace with views over the whole city of Venice. connections are great. cheap. Thinking of Venice, one-
Ref 80/c Another good reason for buying bedroomed apartments might start
a home here is that Veneto shows at €200,000 and two-bedroomed
no sign of waning in fascination or ones at €250/300,000, but if you
appeal. Thus property values are look on the nearby island of Burano,
quite robust and tend not to suffer a small townhouse with a colourful

Veneto hides historic hamlets where you can

own a piece of history at a bargain price
dramatic tumbles; meanwhile, façade can be bought for only
holiday rental prospects only ever €100,000. Meanwhile, Veneto hides
climb. People are always interested hundreds of historic hamlets where
in spending time in Veneto, and you can own a piece of history at a
they’re not going to stop in the bargain price – walled towns such as
foreseeable future – because there’s Montagnana, Cittadella, Este, Soave
too much beauty and history here, and others. In Montagnana you can
too many exquisite buildings and buy a converted medieval tower for
lovely landscapes, too much good just €110,000!”
food and fine weather. As Andrea suggests, small-
Veneto certainly isn’t one of town and rural property represents
Italy’s cheapest regions, but it offers especially good value for money
Image by Iain Reed

very good value for money and you in Veneto. You might pay as little
might be surprised by what small as €120,000 for a fully restored
prices you can find if you look farmhouse in the hills less than
Castello, in the heart of Venice
around and away from the very an hour from one of the region’s
best-known locales. many handsome little cities.

76 ITALIA! August 2017

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IT153.Adp77.sg1.indd 77 28/06/2017 17:56pm

L I V I N G I TA L I A !


Type of property Townhouse
Number of bedrooms 2
Price €98,000
Location Venice, Burano island
Contact Properties in Italy ☎ +39 349 452 0481 The Dolomites offer skiing in winter and hiking in summer

Burano, the most colourful and picturesque island in the

Venetian Lagoon, famous for its ancient lace production Meanwhile, well-situated two- rental returns would come as an
and its brightly painted houses. Beautiful townhouse with
bedroom apartments in one of these additional bonus, then obviously a
bright blue façade set on three levels and composed of
kitchen/sitting room, bathroom, 2 master bedrooms and
little cities – places such as Padua, city apartment is also a good idea.
loft. Recently renovated. Ref 58/c Vicenza, Verona and Treviso – start Because you can often fly straight to
at about €150,000/€200,000, the city you’ve chosen, or can at least
depending on the city. Note that get a swift connection there from
holiday rental prospects in these another nearby city with an airport,
small cities are good – especially urban homes are very convenient for
in popular Verona. Queen of the making lots of short visits.
rentals, of course, is still Venice, If you’re seeking lots of
where the weekly rental rate can be traditional waterside holidays for
anything from €600 to €6,000 and yourself plus good holiday rentals
you can fill your rentals calendar for when you’re not there, think about
perhaps ten months of the year. the shores of Lake Garda, or a home
in one of Veneto’s many beach
WHERE TO BUY? resorts. And if you mainly want a
Chances are you know already country getaway to enjoy yourself,
whether you’re after a city bolthole but with the option of moderate
or a rural retreat. But if you haven’t
yet thought that far, you’ll obviously
Verona attracts Shakespeare
EUGANEAN HILLS, VENETO want to start by considering how
fans and opera buffs
Type of property Country house much quiet or busyness you want,
Number of bedrooms 3 how far you want to have to go to
Price €200,000 get food and regular supplies, how
Location Cornoleda many people you want to mingle
Contact Properties in Italy ☎ +39 349 4520481 amongst every day, and so on. You should also ask yourself what you
Charming house in the village of Cornoleda on the mostly want the property for.
southern side of the Euganean Hills, near Padua. The If you’re looking for an
property has a beautiful garden and is set on 2 floors, investment and want holiday rental
composed of: ground floor – entrance into sitting room returns to be a big feature of what
with fireplace, large kitchen, bathroom with shower and
you get out of your property, then
bathtub, garage; first floor – 3 bedrooms and a study
which could be converted in a second bathroom. The
you should consider a well-situated
Euganean Hills are located in the heart of the Veneto apartment in one of Veneto’s
region, near Padua and Vicenza. This stunningly beautiful cities. (Venice if you can afford it,
area, studded with picturesque hill towns, beautiful villas elsewhere if you cannot.)
and terraced vineyards is about 55km from Venice. Venice If you like to take lots of short
and Treviso airports are 40 minutes. Ref 10 city-breaks and having great

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holiday rental prospects too if you’d Linda at home in Venice
like them, then you’d do well to
consider a rural area such as the
Euganean Hills, the Lessini Hills,
the Berici Hills or somewhere in the
Dolomite foothills in the north.
Let’s look at each of these
potential locations in a little more
depth, going from the urban to the
rural. We’ve established that unique,
enchanting Venice is expensive
but that it also offers fantastic

Image courtesy of Linda Little

holiday rental prospects. It also
makes a good investment because
it offers strong property re-sale
values – people are not going to
stop wanting to have a home here,
and as new property can’t easily
be added to the city, demand is
always going to outstrip supply. As
mentioned earlier, a cheaper way
to get a foothold in this magical MY LIFE IN VENICE

watery city is to buy on one of its
smaller satellite islands – places such inda Little from Sydney, Australia, bought a two-bedroom
as Burano, where property is much apartment in the San Polo district of Venice in early 2016. It sits
more affordable. three floors up in a canalside townhouse, in a quiet area close to all
the city’s major sights, and Linda gets to enjoy watching gondolas
ALTERNATIVES TO VENICE passing beneath her balcony. She and her partner spend at least a month in
If the costliness of Venice puts the property every year, and offer holiday rentals the rest of the time.
you off, but you still like the What drew her to Venice? “It’s like nowhere else in the world,” Linda
idea of a city apartment with safe says. “It’s unique and full of soul. The city’s age and wear are, to me, like
re-sale value and strong holiday smile-lines and wisdom-wrinkles on a beautiful, knowing matriarch. Every
rental prospects, consider Verona piece of broken plaster, every leaning door and tilting floor reminds me
– a magnet for Shakespeare fans, how much I love her soul!” Finding the right property in the city, however,
romantics and opera lovers. wasn’t easy. “It took a good three years looking at dozens of properties each
Apartments in Verona are almost time we went to Venice before finding the right one. Eventually, it was
half the price of similar properties Andrea Redivo Zaglia of Properties in Italy who found the perfect place for
in Venice, and rentals prospects are us. He guided us through the whole purchasing process, had great contacts
very good for about seven months a in the real estate industry, and helped us out in numerous ways.”
year. Or you could try under-rated The apartment, Ca’ Fortuna, needed a bit of a makeover. “We re-
Padua, which is within easy rail painted, re-arranged the kitchen, bought all new beds and furniture as well
as antiques from a wonderful local craftsman, Bruno Barbon. He and his
elderly friends even carried a glass-topped dining table up three floors to
the apartment! The décor is quite glamorous with a mixture of antiques
and sleek modern furniture. I was excited to find a beautiful Swarovski
chandelier for the dining area, and love the sparkle it adds. One of the
biggest issues in Venice, especially on upper storeys, is the lack of water
pressure, so we installed a new pump, water tank and water heater. It’s
illegal to install a pump without also installing a tank as otherwise your
pump sucks all the water from other apartments. Venice has its own set
of issues when it comes to the practical side of anything. Everything has
to arrive by boat, for example. And gardening on the balcony is quite an
experience in itself!”
The city’s strong holiday rentals market was a factor in Linda’s decision
to buy, and she’s been very pleased to discover that she can fill as much of
her annual rental calendar as she likes. “It would have been much cheaper
to buy in a small town or city elsewhere in Italy,” she says, “but the returns
would not be anywhere near as good as they are in thriving Venice. Rental
returns had to cover the holding costs in every way to make this viable. It’s
been a pleasant surprise that a property so newly on the rental market has
proven so popular.”

August 2017 ITALIA! 79

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L I V I N G I TA L I A !



The famed Prosecco town of INTRODUCTION LAKE GARDA

Veneto, tucked away in the northeast 1 The eastern shore of Lake Garda
of Italy, is romantic and prosperous belongs to Veneto. There are pretty
in equal measure. Home to 5 million towns up and down the coast, with
inhabitants, it stretches up to Austria the terrain getting progressively
in the north and to the flats of the Po steeper and more dramatic the further
Valley in the south, encompassing a north you head. Much of this side of
variety of terrains along the way. The the lake is very touristy, but there are
region’s capital is Venice – obviously. pockets of peace and tranquility, for
This iconic city, one of the country’s example Malcesine or Torri del Benaco.
biggest draws for tourists, is unique Homes in all areas are popular with
in its geography and atmosphere, foreign buyers and Italians alike – and
boasting peerless architecture and a offer good holiday rental prospects
rich historic legacy. The wider Veneto from Easter through to October. The
region lays claim to more historically lake is ideal for watersports, with
resonant and pretty towns and cities clean, wide expanses of water and
too – not to mention wide swathes of reliable breezes. Bardolino is one of
rural peace and beauty. It is truly an the priciest spots, but prices reduce as
area that can claim to offer something you move away from the water. Lazise
for everyone. offers very good value for money.

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Lake Garda lies at the western
border with Lombardy


2 Incomparable Venice lures visitors 3 Lovely though it is, there is so 4 The northern spur of Veneto
by their million to its watery shores much more to Veneto than Venice. sees rolling hills climb gradually
every year. It may be crowded, Vicenza, Verona, Treviso and Padua towards the exhilarating drama of
flood-prone and pricey, and very are all delightful, prosperous cities the Dolomites – one of Europe’s
slowly sinking, but any drawbacks filled with history and exquisite most spectacular mountain ranges.
are dwarfed by its myriad selling buildings. Prices are cheaper here Attractive towns up here include
points – an unrivalled array of art and than in Venice, though the quality Conegliano, Vittorio Veneto, Feltre
architecture to set the heart racing, of life is still high. Vicenza is and Belluno – variously featuring
romance in spades and amazing food sophisticated, chic and wealthy, while steep cobbled streets, lovely old
(if you know where to go). Many neighbouring Verona is a romantic townhouses and magnificent views.
non-locals who have fallen for such city of pretty piazzas and charming This is a less costly area of Veneto for
charms have snapped up homes churches, steeped in history and with buying a home and has a good range
here in the past few years, fuelling an impressive Roman amphitheatre, of affordable property. However, you’ll
concerns that the city could become which is home to an annual summer find an exception to this rule in chic
simply an outpost of second homes opera festival. Often overlooked, Cortina d’Ampezzo, a pricey ski resort
– all owned by wealthy northern Treviso is a charming town that’s just close to the Austrian border. Winter
Italians and foreigners. Over the half an hour from Venice and is home rental returns here are high, but do
past 60 years the permanent local to picturesque canals and stylish keep in mind that the nearby resort of
population has shrunk to nearly townhouses. Padua has plenty going Alleghe is quieter and cheaper.
two-thirds of what it was, and it’s on, with ample cultural attractions
the young who are most likely to and a lively entertainment scene – in THE SOUTH
leave. Property prices in Venice part thanks to its role as an ancient
may be high, but rental returns are university city. 5 The southern Veneto’s terrain is
excellent – some of the best in the generally flat, except for the beautiful
country. The most expensive areas Euganean Hills near Padua. This
are the Grand Canal, St Mark’s and is a great place to buy property –
San Polo, as you might expect, while with spas, a tranquil atmosphere,
you’ll find areas like Cannaregio and vineyards, good walks and picturesque
Castello less pricey, though no less hill-towns. Prices are rising, but
atmospheric. Holiday rentals in the remain reasonable. The flat landscape
city are popular throughout the whole of the south features pretty cropfields
year and property on the islands of and the reedy marshes of the Po river
the Lagoon, where purchase prices delta. The Brenta Canal also lopes
Treviso, Venice without
can be considerably lower, will always the crowds, or prices
through these parts, its banks dotted
attract sun and water lovers. with grand Palladian villas.

August 2017 ITALIA! 81

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L I V I N G I TA L I A !

Type of property Townhouse derived from medieval tower
Number of bedrooms Flexible
Price €110,000
Location Montagnana, Province of Padua
Contact Properties in Italy ☎ +39 349 4520481 Lido di Jesolo has a beach 15km long

A once in a lifetime opportunity! Just an hour’s drive

from Venice and Padua lies the lovely fortified town of day tripping distance of Venice. Or in the lake’s northern stretches than
Montagnana. Built in the 13th century, and crowned with
handsome Treviso with its canals, or along its more southerly shores.
one of Italy’s best-preserved towered walls, this lovely
hamlet draws visitors all year round for its architecture,
charming Vicenza with its wealth Holiday rental prospects are good
history, art, and incredible beauty. Twenty-four medieval of Palladian architecture. Each has everywhere on the lake.
towers surround the town centre, and now you can make good-value property and pretty good When it comes to lovely rural
one of these amazing towers your own holiday hideaway. holiday rental prospects. hills, Veneto really ought to be a
Comprised of three floors, this charming house offers bit better known. In particular it
an ancient cellar (recently uncovered) off the ground BEACHES AND HILLS has three beautiful ranges handily
floor sitting room and bathroom. Stairs lead you to a But maybe you’re not a city person positioned not far from some of
first floor kitchen, with a master suite on the top floor, and much prefer instead the delights its charming small cities which
featuring beautiful gothic-arched windows that look out of watersides and open landscapes. each make excellent – and very
from your tower onto the surrounding countryside. This
Veneto’s coastline is wide, flat and reasonably-priced – places to buy a
is a prime investment opportunity for a holiday home in
this enchanting village, which is highlighted by its own a
full of strands and lagoons. There country home. Investigate the Berici
medieval castle and cathedral, as well as a 16th-century are plenty of nice beach resorts, and Hills south of Vicenza, the vineyard-
Palladian villa all within walking distance. Each year the
village celebrates its famous Festa del Prosciutto Veneto,
featuring the local ham which has been revered for
Veneto’s coastline is wide, flat and full of
centuries. Coupled with easy access to the nearby towns of
Verona, Vicenza, Padova and Venice, the location couldn’t
be more desirable. Ref 37
strands, lagoons and nice beach resorts
you should note that prices generally striped Lessini Hills northwest of
drop as you get further from Venice. Verona, and the wonderful domed
Freshwater-lovers, meanwhile, Euganean Hills south of Padua –
should know that Lake Garda, Italy’s famous for their spas and restful
largest and most-visited lake, lies atmosphere. Quite a few British
half in Veneto and half in Lombardy. buyers have found their dream
Its wide, clean water and reliable retreat in these leafy hill ranges and
breezes are much loved by sailors their charming villages over the last
and windsurfers. Extremely pretty 15 years or so, and you could easily
little towns dot the lakeside, the join them for a surprisingly small
terrain of which grows steeper and sum. €110,000 or so for a farmhouse
more dramatic the further north you obviously represents very good value
go. Much of the lake’s eastern shore, for money!
which lies entirely in Veneto, is
heavily touristed, but there are still
serene and lovely settlements such USEFUL CONTACT
The walled town of Montagnana
as Malcesine and Torri del Benaco.
Property prices tend to be higher

82 ITALIA! August 2017

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Italy’s top 10 wild animals and the best places
in the country to see them in their natural habitat…


Literary lives Tuscan getaway for two
in Florence
Explore Sicily’s second city
Italy’s love for baccalà
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PLUS What’s in season for September, rosé wines, fresh filled pasta on test,
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IT153.Nextmonth.sg5.indd 83 28/06/2017 17:45pm

Property Showcase

¤250,000-¤500,000 ¤250,000-¤500,000
The say the Marche landscape is unique as it enjoys the Mare e Monti, San Ginesio, Macerata. It’s easy to see yourself enjoying la dolce vita at
meaning the sea and the mountains. Casa Maremonti is the rare house Casa Godetevi – it’s spacious, open, sunny, with terrific views, a welcoming
that has that view! Already structurally restored, the house awaits your pool and a pool house. The house has an open plan ground floor and 3 big
ideas on how to finish it. Great size, open plan architecture, 4 bedrooms, bedrooms upstairs. This is a 215 sqm house in terrific shape, just 2km to
and amazing views. It’s a beautifully positioned, well-built house with sea prized town, with easy access and an easily managed plot – all for a hard-
views and mountain views, just 5 minutes from the town of Montecosaro, to-believe price of €399,000.
just 8 minutes to the beach and 10 minutes to the city of Civitanova Price €399,000
Marche and the A14 autostrada. Contact Kevin Gibney
Price €269,000 Contact Kevin Gibney % +39 347 538 6668 % +39 347 538 6668

¤250,000-¤500,000 ¤100,000-¤150,000
In the heart of the Marche, at Porto Potenza Picena, a few kilometres Residential complex in the Marche hills near sandy beaches and
from Ancona/Falconara airport, is this beautiful 3-bedroom penthouse, Campofilone. Complex still under development with a few units finished
open on three sides, with a very spacious living room and open kitchen, and lived in. The aim is to offer ample opportunities for personalised
master bedroom with bathroom and wardrobe, 2 single bedrooms, choices; detached or semi-detached, with or without a pool, garden etc.
bathroom, hallway, utility room, balcony and roof garden. A prestigious The apartments are built according to modern ideas on energy output and
apartment, steps from the sea, with private garden. Cutting-edge energy- comfort. All houses have a view over the Adriatic Sea. Nearby services
saving technologies and respect for nature makes the entire project, and facilities: recreational park, aquatic park, shopping centre etc. The
of which this penthouse is a part, a masterpiece of Marche real estate, Autostrada A14 is 1km away. For €135,000, a 53 sqm apartment with 45
offering quality of life in one of the most beautiful regions of Italy. sqm terrace; €150,000 adds a 42 sqm basement garage.
Price €355,000 Contact % +39 339 101 9042 Price €135,000 Contact % +39 339 101 9042

84 ITALIA! August 2017

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Welcome to
Le Marche
A wealth of glorious sights, sounds and splendid landscapes
awaits the traveller the length and breadth of Le Marche…
Image © iStock

August 2017 ITALIA! 85

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Balcony of Le Marche
Named as one of the most annual international mountain
beautiful villages in Italy, Cingoli bike challenge on 25/26th April.
is known as the Balcony of Le
Marche due to its spectacular Alternatively enjoy the excellent
views across the rolling food and wine from our region
countryside to the Adriatic or just sit and relax in one of
and even as far as Croatia. ‘An our many bars and restaurants
open air museum’ of historical, and watch the world go by at a
cultural and artistic importance, leisurely pace.
Cingoli offers visitors an all
year round place to visit, with
sporting events, concerts, fashion Unsurprisingly given all the
shows and food festivals. above attractions and the natural
Visit our numerous historic beauty of the area, Cingoli has
churches, many home to become a ‘go to’ location for
prestigious works of art, walk weddings and honeymoons. Why
or cycle in the 12000 acres of not have your special day in this
woodland, (why not join in the very special location?

w w w. c o m u n e . c i n g o l i . m c . i t

Pagina ITALIA.indd 1
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28/06/2017 12:39

Loggia dei Mercanti on the central

Piazza della Libertà.
Travelling north, up the coast
from Ancona, Pesaro is the next
major city, the birthplace of the
composer Gioachino Rossini and
site of his annual opera festival.
This is a popular beach resort, but
culture vultures will find museums
and churches aplenty, including the
Images © iStock

15th-century Palazzo Ducale. The

Urbino is one of Italy’s most
beautiful hilltop towns
ancient town of Fano lies just south
of Pesaro, its most significant site

being the Arco d’Augusto, a 1st-
e Marche is as steeped The region was then to suffer a century Roman arch.
in history as any other prolonged period of relentless
region of Italy, but with warfare as the power struggles of the RENAISSANCE TREASURES
the inhabitants enjoying Papacy, the Holy Roman Emperors Travelling west away from the
a relaxed attitude and and the ruling families, such as the coast you will find the fairytale
way of life, the region’s tourist trail Borgias, marked the landscape. city of Urbino, one of the most
is less stressful than the usual routes These conflicts continued until beautiful hilltop towns in Italy. Its
through Italy’s thronging museums, the 19th century when, in 1860, heyday was from the 12th century
churches and castles. after a decisive battle against the and through the golden age of the
There is evidence of settlers Papacy, Le Marche was absorbed by a Renaissance under the Montefeltro
here from as far back as 6000 BC, newly unified Italy. The result of all family. Many splendid art treasures
while the Piceni, one of Italy’s these centuries of discord and diverse can be found in the city’s churches
earliest tribes, are the first recorded occupations is a land that reveals a and museums. Among its most
rich vein of remains, festivals and impressive buildings is the Palazzo
The sights and marvels of traditions, and some of the greatest
treasures of the Renaissance.
Ducale, with its towering turrets,
a perfect example of an early
Le Marche are an experience A VOYAGE OF DISCOVERY The stunning Sibillini

for the traveller to cherish The sights and marvels of Le Marche

are an experience for the traveller
Mountains in all their glory

to cherish and look forward to

inhabitants. The Greeks were to pass revisiting time and time again. The
through and leave their influences highlights of your itinerary should
too, while the Gauls were a less include the following…
welcome presence in this fertile Ancona is the regional capital
stretch of land between the Adriatic and for centuries has been the
Coast and the Apennines, using hub of the region for travellers
ports like Ancona as their gateway. – and invaders – and it remains
The might of Rome absorbed the as important today as it was
kingdom in the 3rd century BC, many centuries ago when it was a Renaissance palace. It is home to the
but after the Empire’s powers settlement for the Piceni. Among its Galleria Nazionale delle Marche, one
waned, Le Marche was occupied by many attractions is the Basilica of of the most important collections
Lombard and Byzantine settlements. San Ciriaco, a Romanesque church of Renaissance paintings in the
with Byzantine and Gothic features, world. The birthplace of Raphael,
and the Museo Archeologico the painter’s 15th-century house also
Nazionale delle Marche, home to a remains as a shrine to his life.
Sirolo, one of many
collection of ancient Greek pottery. Moving south again, the Santa
beach resorts
An annual jazz festival also takes Casa di Loreto is a well-known
place here (, Catholic place of pilgrimage as
one of several events in a region it is said to be the house where
known for its musical connections. the Virgin Mary was born. The
Moving inland, Macerata is mountains dominate the area and,
renowned for its international open- moving inland, a journey into
air opera festival every summer, the National Park of the Sibillini
while the town’s most striking piece Mountains will bring rich rewards,
of architecture is the imposing, two- with its stunning scenery and
tiered Renaissance arcades of the colourful wildlife.

August 2017 ITALIA! 87

12:39 IT153.WelcomeToLeMarche.sg6.indd 87 29/06/2017 10:06am


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This luxurious property, situated 10 minutes outside the historic
walled town of Cingoli, has been renovated to an exceptionally
high standard to include anti seismic requirements.
Situated in a small friendly village,
with stunning views, both towards the
lago di Castreccioni and the Appenine
mountains, this pretty stone property
is ready for you to complete with your
choice of tiles and paving.
The house is on 2 floors, with a
large kitchen/diner, 3/4 bedrooms
and a large garden.

Sale price

For information please contact Alberto at: or

Taxi Inglese
Available to hire with driver
in the Macerata region of Le Marche
For weddings, birthdays,
anniversaries & parties

Add a hint
of England to
your romantic
For information please contact Manuele Paolucci
Facebook: Taxi inglese cingoli
Italian wedding

IT153.WelcomeToLeMarche.sg6.indd 90 28/06/2017 17:25pm

Moments Le Marche has rich musical heritage, and the
annual festival celebrating its most famous
Pesaro, birthplace of Rossini
composer attracts visitors fom far and wide…

njoying music is an Born into a musical family in

Image of Pesaro by Florian Prischl - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,
important pastime in Le Pesaro on 29 February 1792, by the MUSIC DATES FOR 2017
Marche, and one of the time he made his full debut at the ➤ ROSSINI OPERA FESTIVAL
region’s most famous age of eighteen it was clear that the Pesaro, 10-22 August
sons is undoubtedly composer was destined for greatness. Established in 1980 to promote
Gioachino Antonio Rossini. The many works he left us include understanding of the composer’s oeuvre.
no fewer than 39 operas – his most

Gioachino celebrated being The Barber of Seville ➤ SFERISTERIO

Rossini and William Tell – and countless 53rd OPEN-AIR OPERA FESTIVAL
Macerata, 21 July-14 August
examples of cantatas, piano pieces
This year’s performances will be Turandot,
and chamber music. Madama Butterfly and Aida.
The annual opera festival in
his hometown is a highlight of the ➤ JAZZ BY THE SEA
Portrait of Rossini by Félix Nadar (1820-1910)

region’s the cultural calendar. An Fano, 14/22-30 July

open-air opera festival at Macerata, Fano and jazz: a deep love, like the sea…
hosted in a stunning outdoor arena,
is also well-attended by opera buffs ➤ 17TH PERGOLESI SPONTINI FESTIVAL
from all over Europe and beyond. Jesi, 7 August-17 September
Le Marche’s music schedule also Promotes the works of the composers
Pergolesi and Spontini.
includes a series of jazz festivals,
with highlights being those at Fano
and Ancona, both hugely anticipated ➤ JAZZ FESTIVAL ANCONA
Early November. ☎+39 071 217 4239
events where artists from around the
world appear.

Art and architecture in Ascoli Piceno DON’T MISS

Ascoli Piceno, on the southernmost reaches of the region, is one of Le Marche’s most
Ascoli Piceno, 7 August
important towns. It lies on the confluence of two rivers and is surrounded on three sides by
Held on the first Sunday in August,
mountains. Founded by the Piceni, it came under the influence of the Roman Republic, and a theatrical event with the city as a
later the Ostrogoths and the Lombards. At the centre of the medieval town, which is largely stage. Features jousting and other
built from the grey travertino marble mined in the surrounding mountains, lies events with a medieval theme.
the Piazza del Popolo with its 13th-century
Palazzo dei Capitani del Popolo e Area
Archeologica. The Pinacoteca Civica, on Piazza
Ascoli Piceno’s Matelica, July
Piazza del Popolo Arringo, houses treasures from artists Yes, your translation is correct – it’s
including Titian and Van Dyck, while the the Matelica Frog Festival!
15th-century Cathedral is home to Carlo
Crivelli’s best work. Try also not to miss the
Sassoferrato, August
Quintana in August, a medieval pageant
While cinghiale are wild boar…
featuring jousting (see details, right).
Image © iStock

Le Marche’s heritage presents a shining array Urbino, 21 August

The lively festival in honour of Duke
of opportunities for the visitor. Take off your
Federico da Montefeltro is traditionally
sunglasses and prepare to be dazzled.
held on the third Sunday in August.

August 2017 ITALIA! 91

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Baia di Popeye Chalet bar Baia di

Popeye is situated
a shor t distance
from the hill town
of Cingoli, Marche
Samuele and Cristina invite you
to enjoy their hospitality:
Enjoy delicious local cuisine bot
at lunchtime and in the evenin
Come for happy hour and
sample their cocktails
Rent a pedalo or rowing
boat and explore the Lago di
Castreccioni or just relax on
a sunbed and watch the more
energetic members of the fam
playing beach volley

For information contact Samuele Check out their Facebook

or Cristina on 0039 347 5656722 page for events, including
live music and dancing
Follow us on Facebook: Baia di Popeye

10% OFF
Enter “Italia!”
at the


Lovingly designed and created by local
artisan producers and specially sourced
for you by From Marche Ltd
For more information please go to our website:
or email us at

IT153.WelcomeToLeMarche.sg6.indd 92 28/06/2017 17:26pm


Spotlight on...
Sponsored by

I love Le Marche. In 2007, I moved my family here from
New York, including two small children, and we’ve enjoyed
a terrific lifestyle ever since. I started after a
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capital and 12 years as CEO of a sports marketing firm I founded and ran, Located in Regnano (MC). Well-built, classic country house with
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than the typical agent. Our site is focused on QUALITY, not quantity. We Private. Structural engineer’s survey completed. Olive grove and
have vast experience finding clients the right vineyard, producing ample olive oil and wine. Easy access, ideal
home, and if that doesn’t happen we have the location. All paperwork in order, ready to go. You can’t beat Casa
BEST team in Le Marche for custom restorations. Azzurra for its price and value.
Profit from our personal and professional Price €269,000 Contact Kevin Gibney ☎ +39 347 538 6668
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La Tenuta is composed of three private residences, each with its own Located in Amandola (FM). Historic, 2-bedroom cottage-sized house
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the restorations have been done with attention to rustic authenticity. century ago. Old stone floors, remnants of an original fresco, original
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Sant’Angelo and Gualdo. All shared maintenance details and It’s the ideal place for someone “on the hunt” for a simple, unique and
responsibilities are clearly stated in an owner’s agreement. inexpensive property in Le Marche.
Price €199,000-€210,000 depending on which property Price €159,000
Contact Kevin Gibney ☎ +39 347 538 6668 Contact Kevin Gibney ☎ +39 347 538 6668

¤200,000 ¤159,000

August 2017 ITALIA! 93

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A S K I TA L I A !

Our experts are here to help with all your questions about Italy.
This month, alternative Sorrento, travelling around the south, Long Travel invite
you to Canne Bianche
fractional ownership in Le Marche, and EU driving licences…

ALTERNATIVE SORRENTO Naples, Capri and the Amalfi Coast, but in case you want something to flick through

Q I’d love to visit Sorrento, but still want to

have that ‘authentic Italy’ feel. Are there
any smaller hotels that might fit the bill?
once you’re back at the villa, it feels a
million miles away from all the hustle and
bustle. Ask for an orange juice after a day’s
down by the pool.
Lisian Gianni, Italy Expert for Citalia

Gilly Lightfoot, by email sightseeing and the staff will pick the fruit TRAVELLING IN THE SOUTH

A We have a great little hotel that I think

would be perfect. Villa Don Camillo is
straight from the orchard, squeeze it, and
bring it to you out in the garden – you can’t
get fresher than that!
Q We are wanting to plan a trip to southern
Italy with our family – it will probably be
the last one we all go on together before the kids
a family-run place with just seven bedrooms, The Villa Don Camillo is exclusive to go their separate ways to university and out to
so it’s got that feel of staying with friends or Citalia, so we’ve been able to sort out lots of work. So we want to make it really special. We’d
family – you can ask the chef for a cooking little extras that we hope will make guests’ love to visit with them the key sites of this region
lesson in the kitchen or get the owners to experiences there even more special. You’ll of Italy, including Pompeii, Lecce, and the trulli
show you how to make limoncello with have a complimentary bottle of local wine houses. We’ve heard that the beaches are lovely
lemons from the garden. waiting to toast the start of your holiday, our too, so hopefully we can combine day trips with a
It’s in Sant’Agnello, a quiet, mostly concierges will drop by with a copy of their spot of lazing on the beach! What order would you
residential area just outside of Sorrento. personalised guide to the area (they’ve all suggest we visit these areas in, and are there any
The centre is a five-minute train ride or a lived out there for years, so they know the important areas I’ve missed?
45-minute walk away, and there’s also a free best trattorias and enotecas) – we’ll even pop Chris Morgan, by email
shuttle bus. You can easily get to Pompeii, a copy of our travel magazine in the room

You must see Sorrento, but how

you see it is up to you
A A holiday to southern Italy is
guaranteed to create lots of memories
as a family! A tailor-made holiday, created to
be as special and individual as your family,
is what we would recommend. Flying to
Naples and staying on the Amalfi Coast for a
few nights would allow you all to experience
the famous views of Positano and Amalfi,
in addition to exploring the pretty towns
of Ravello and Sorrento. A scenic drive
south takes you to the little know region of
Basilicata, a stunningly beautiful place well
worth adding to your list! Local points of
Image © iStock

interest here include Maratea and the Pollino

National Park, which offer incredible hikes
with never-ending views (don’t forget to pack
a picnic!). After a couple of days exploring,


Lisian Gianni is an Italy Paul Bright has been the
Expert for Citalia, and has Italian Travel Expert at Long
visited the country more than Travel for 16 years. Long
50 times. Citalia is the six- Travel is an award-winning tour operator to Italy that has
time British Travel Award winner and leading Italian specialist specialised for 30 years in tailor-making holiday experiences
with more than 85 years’ experience in organising Italian to regions including Puglia, Sicily, Sardinia and Tuscany.
holidays. ☎ 01694 722193

94 ITALIA! August 2017

IT153.QandA.sg4.indd 94 29/06/2017 11:11am

Q I am relocating from
the UK to Italy with my
family and I wanted to ask about

Image © Long Travel

driving licences. I have a UK driving licence,
but do I need an Italian one, as I will be
living in the country permanently?
Matthew Harvey, by email

make your way east to Puglia, home to some advice you could share with us from your wide
A Driving licences issued by EU
member countries can be used
in Italy. A licence issued by an EU
of Italy’s best food and wine, historic towns experience in this area, we would be grateful. country is valid in Italy as long as it
such as Lecce, Ostuni and Gallipoli, and Jennie Dobson, Winchester is still valid in the country in which
the longest coastline on mainland Italy. It’s it was originally issued, the holder is
from here that you can visit the famous Itria
Valley, home to the unique and beautiful
trulli houses, as well as traditional towns like
A Thank you for your question regarding
fractional ownership. Appassionata is a
family business created in 2007, for people
over the driving age for the type of
vehicle, and it has not been suspended
or revoked in the country of issue.
Alberobello, Cisternino and Martina Franca. who want a holiday home in Italy, but don’t However, if you plan to reside in
Continuing your stay in Puglia, treat yourself want the expense, worry and hassle of owning Italy for long periods you are advised
to a few nights at a beautiful beach hotel a home outright. We have created a business to convert your driving licence into an
such as Canne Bianche, and unwind in the where owners can buy a five-week share Italian one as this greatly simplifies the
ambience of local coastal towns like Monopoli in a luxury property. We do all the work, renewal procedures and replacement
and Polignano. including wading through the red tape! The formalities if it is lost or stolen. If your
Paul Bright, Italian Travel Expert at Long Travel buying process is very straightforward, just driving licence does not have an expiry
like buying a share in a company. date, the conversion should be arranged
FRACTIONAL OWNERSHIP The property deeds are owned by a within two years after taking residency.

Q We are interested in buying into a fractional

ownership property in Le Marche. Could you
explain how the process works, and if there is any
UK-based company. The owners own the
company, the company owns the property.
There are no additional fees when purchasing
Non-EU driving licences must
be converted into Italian licences one
year after registration at the town
the share. Appassionata charges an annual residence office. A sworn translation of
Appassionata make impossible maintenance fee which is equally split the driving licence should be obtained
dreams come true between the owners to cover the running for the whole period the foreign licence
costs of the property. is to be used in Italy before being
We offer people the chance to come and converted. The penalty for driving
visit us here in Le Marche and stay in our with a foreign licence one year after
15th-century apartment. We take them on registration at the town residence office
a tour of the local area, visit the property is the same as that for driving with an
and then meet up for dinner to answer any expired Italian licence: a revocation of
questions they may have. There is never any the licence and a fine.
pressure. If they then wish to go ahead with Not all foreign licences can
Image © Appassionata

the purchase, they fill in the necessary forms. be converted. This depends EMAIL
Fourteen days later they are the very proud on bilateral agreements US WITH YOUR
owners of their new Italian home. between Italy and the italia@anthem-
For more information or to book your country in question.,
or write to us at our
discovery trip Laura Protti, LEP Law usual address on
Dawn Cavanagh-Hobbs, Appassionata page 7.

Dawn Cavanagh-Hobbs is co- Laura Protti is the founder of

founder of the successful fractional LEP Law. She is dual-qualified
ownership company Appassionata SHARE OUR PROPERTIES
as an Italian avvocato and
Ltd, a UK-based development English solicitor, and specialises
business that specialises in the restoration and creation in assisting British and Italian clients with matters relating
of unique properties in the stunning region of Le Marche. to Italian law. Visit her website at for more information.

August 2017 ITALIA! 95

IT153.QandA.sg4.indd 95 29/06/2017 11:11am


Pretty, three bedroom, €220 OW
stone built cottage with pool ,000
Overlooking the Umbrian village of Morra
Lovely location – set on a hill, overlooking the valley from
most rooms, in Città di Castello
Garden, terrace, bedroom terrace, exposed beams, open fireplace, 2,500

square metres of fenced surrounding land with private, gated access
Train station 30 mins drive – Castiglion Fiorentino
Telephone +39 0758553502 /+39 3351215263 •
Australian Agency:
Lloyd Robinson of RT Edgar •

Find us on Instagram at @italia_magazine


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Your holiday starts here

Unspoilt Umbria
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when time is precious



and distinctive

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apartments in spectacular
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Prices from €65,00 / night Follow us on Twitter
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IT153.Classified.sg1.indd 96 28/06/2017 18:01pm



Our indispensable guide to Italy’s main international AIRPORT TIPS:
● italia@anthem-
airports: where they are and, most importantly, how 2

or write to us at our
to get from them to where you are really going… ●
usual address on
page 7

to Porta Nuova; in the summer, they go up to Lake Garda. There is a fourth

Rome-Fiumicino, aka Leonardo international airport at Trieste.
da Vinci, is Italy’s busiest airport ●

by far, though with facilities like 4 TUSCANY & UMBRIA

touchscreen information terminals
it’s all negotiable. It is linked to the
central railway station, Termini, by ●
the ‘Leonardo Express’. Returns depart Pisa’s ‘Galileo Galilei’ Airport is the
from track 24 (buy tickets before main point of arrival for visitors not ●

you get to the platform or they’re only to Pisa but also to Florence.

more expensive). Terminal B is for There’s a shuttle train into Pisa, from
international flights; Terminal C for where you can get a train to Florence ● 9

transatlantic. The Terravision shuttle after you’ve seen the Leaning Tower.
bus is cheaper but takes twice as long. But, if you’re dead intent on heading
Ciampino, which in the days of straight for the Renaissance City, why ●

Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn was not just jump on a bus? Buy tickets
the city’s main airport, also has regular at the Information Desk (leave the
flights to the UK and is closer to town, arrivals hall and turn right).
though there is no rail link. There is Alternatively, you can (for a price)
talk of a third airport. fly straight into Florence from London ●

City. Further south, San Francesco

2 MILAN d’Assisi Airport lands you smack in the centre of Umbria, Italy’s ‘Green Heart’. 5 PIEDMONT & LIGURIA and Alibus as ways of getting into 10 PUGLIA
Milan already has three airports, if you town – though the taxi ride along the
count Orio al Serio, which is actually Tangenziale is much more fun. Your Bari and Brindisi are both largely
just outside Bergamo, about 45km from A train will take you from Turin-Caselle driver will offer a fixed rate for any domestic airports, though there are
Milan. But even Bergamo has frequent Airport to Dora Railway Station in 20 main destination. regular connections with the UK. These
coach services into Milan; these take minutes. There are buses too, but the can, however, be in high demand,
about an hour and cost only around €5 train is cheaper and faster. Buy tickets 8 SICILY especially in season, so plan ahead.
per person each way. After Fiumicino, from the Ricevitoria in the arrival hall. Public transport to and from both
these are Italy’s next three busiest Genoa ‘Cristoforo Colombo’ Airport airports can be a bit patchy in places,
airports, and there are year-round is built on an artificial peninsula just so plan for that too.
direct links to cities all over Europe to the west of the city centre. Take the Catania-Fontanarossa, aka Vincenzo
and, from Malpensa, to the USA. bus or a taxi into town – or, if you’re Bellini, is Sicily’s busiest airport. A 11 LE MARCHE, ABRUZZO & MOLISE
feeling fit, walk. It’s that close! shuttle bus takes foot passengers into
3 VENICE & THE VENETO Catania, while most hire cars head for 6 EMILIA-ROMAGNA the nearby A19 autostrada, which links Italy’s scenic east coast is still not very Catania with Palermo. well served by international airlines. Falcone-Borsellino is a capital city There are several routes across the The Marconi Express monorail (a airport with a provincial feel an hour Adriatic – and you can get to Sweden
Venice Marco Polo connects to cities project entrusted to a Swiss company by shuttle bus from Palermo’s Quattro readily enough from here – but if you’re
across Europe and, seasonally, to the specializing in amusement rides) is Canti. Meanwhile, Comiso has recently flying from the UK, your only option,
USA. From the airport, ATVO (www. still under construction. Meanwhile, been converted from military use to for Ancona or Pescara, is (sigh!) flying runs non-stop shuttles to the Aerobus-BLQ shuttle bus (www. serve travellers to Sicily’s southeast. with Ryanair from Stansted.
Piazzale Roma. The ACTV bus (www. takes 20 minutes to and the Alilaguna boat (www. reach Bologna’s central railway station. 9 SARDINIA 12 CALABRIA & BASILICATA stop along the way. For Emilia-Romagna’s second airport
water taxis, see the airport website. is at Parma. Your shuttle bus service If you thought the people of Le
Venice’s second airport is at Treviso. here is provided by Andromeda (www. Marche were poorly catered for with
An ATVO from here takes 70 minutes. Sardinia is served by three international air connections, spare
Verona Villafranca, aka Valerio international airports, at Alghero, a thought for Calabria – or, for that
Catullo, is two hours by train from 7 NAPLES Cagliari and Olbia. What they all have matter, Basilicata. Again, to get to
Venice, but is really for people with in common is that there are a lot more Lamezia Terme, we must first head
more Shakespearean pursuits… ATV‘s The publicly-run Azienda Napoletana flights in summer than there are in for lovely Stansted, probably at silly
Aerobus 199 ( runs Mobilità ( offers bus 3S winter. In high season, book ahead. o’clock in the morning.

August 2017 ITALIA! 97

IT153.FlightGuide.sg5.indd 97 29/06/2017 12:03pm


Insider’s STOP 01


Rome wasn’t built in a day, and

you won’t see it all in a lifetime,
but our new series will guide you
through what you mustn’t miss…

T here will be queues, however early

you get up, and (frankly) it’s more
aesthetically impressive from the
outside than it is within, but you do still
have to go inside the Colosseum: it’s one
of the rites of passage of a trip to Rome.
You can’t say, “Yes, of course we went to
the Colosseum – but we didn’t actually go
inside, the queues were too long…” That
isn’t going to Rome. It just isn’t.
Back in the day, they could get 60,000
people in and seated in minutes – there
were so many entrances and so many
staircases – but the invention of the
turnstile put paid to that and now you
have to stand in a snaking line for longer
than you will probably spend inside. It’s
a bit like going to a football match that’s
been postponed but nobody knows yet…
Once within, however, it is easy to
imagine what it would have been like to
sit among your fellow citizens cheering on
the Lions against the Christians (actually,
that didn’t happen much) while listening
to your grandparents wittering on about
the terrible days of Nero, when there was
a stupidly large statue here (hence the
name: ‘Colosseum’ comes from the Greek
for ‘statue’) to the honour of the now
dishonoured former Emperor. We will
be visiting Nero’s nefarious netherworld
in due course, but next we’re going to St
Peter’s, which is where some of the stone
that’s missing from here ended up.

➤ Open every day from 08:30 except 25
December and 1 January. Closing times vary
between 16:30 and 19:15 according to the time
of year. Last entry 1 hour before closing. €12
Image © iStock

Perhaps the most iconic of all the full price, €7.50 EU citizens aged 18-25 years,
tourist destinations in Rome, the free for EU minors. Free for everybody on the
Colosseum looms large at the heart first Sunday of the month.
of what was once the city centre

98 ITALIA! August 2017

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