Tuesday, August 25, 2009


L'ho comprato al mercato sabato in anticipo del rientro del Nostro Inviato da Messico (lui c'era rimasto un'altra settimana per lavorare).

Un girasole sapeva dargli il benvenuto!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Fioravanti è libero

Non so, forse perché preparavo per il viaggio in Messico, non avevo letto che Valerio Fioravanti ora è totalmente libero.

Ho letto "A Mano Armata" due volte quando vivevo a Firenze, e la vicenda dei latitanti e la strage del 2 agosto mi hanno sempre affascinato.

Lui, comunque, si ritiene innocente, ed infatti vuole indagare un po' per conto suo sui fatti della strage di Bologna.

Incredibile. E' libero.


Sunday, August 23, 2009


Sometimes a backlog builds up at Ciambellina. This is one of those instances.

We drank the bottle you see above quite a while ago, after Il Nostro Inviato was in Milan and visited a wine shop that sold vino sfuso.

Vino sfuso is bulk wine that has not been pasteurized so it does not participate in Italy's wine certification system (DOC and DOCG, for example).

This is not quite what you'd find in your everyday wine shop! And I highly recommend it!

We quite like after dinner drinks, as you may have surmised from my tales of drinking carafes of vin santo in Siena.

But generally what I want is something that's like wine, not a shot of Jagermeister! This bottle of Viognier really hit the spot.

The wine shop in Milan where he bought the vino sfuso -- La Vineria -- is on Via Casale in the Navigli section of Milan, which is a cool, gentrifying area of the city that's centered around an old canal.

The wine shop, which vigorously defends bulk wine and calls pasteurization and other standard wine processes unsafe, has received attention from lots of magazines in Italy. You can visit the shop's Web site here http://www.la-vineria.it

You won't need to buy bulk wine to try Viognier. For example, the Viognier grape shows up in traditional bottled wines in the Northern Rhone region of France.

So get out there and try it!

NYT on Ignazio Silone

There's a book review in today's New York Times of a biography of Italian author Ignazio Silone, who wrote some of my absolute favorite Italian books and some of the top Italian novels of the 20th century, including "Fontamara" and "Vino e Pane."

You may not be interested in reading all of Silone's biography, but I think you'll want to read some of his books when you read a bit about his life.

Read on:


Friday, August 21, 2009

Appena tornata da Messico....

Ciao ragazzi!

Sono appena tornata da Messico e ora con il rientro, ho un sacco di cose da fare ecco perché inserisco pochi argomenti questo mese.

Però brevemente vi vorrei far vedere la foto quassu'.

Almeno nella città dove stavo io (che si chiama Queretaro), i Messicani vanno pazzi per la cucina italiana!

A Queretaro oltre a tacos, potete facilmente trovare la pasta, la pizza e il gelato (si vede una gelateria nella foto).

Io non vi posso dire se ci riescono o meno -- ho mangiato solamente la cucina messicana!

Ma mi ha fatto piacere vedere che la cucina italiana è tanto populare in Messico quanto in USA.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Mierda! Oops I mean merda!

Buongiorno, buongiorno!

Does this ever happen to you? You're reading an article or a book in English and you find an Italian typo? You know, either the word is used incorrectly or there is a misspelling.

Happens to me all the time!

Latest example: "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle," by Barbara Kingsolver.

The book is about eating foods that are grown close to home, and in one chapter, she recounts a visit to Italy.

She says that in the small towns she visited there, many restaurant owners would offer her samples of the town's native olive oil, and would say that the olive oil from nearby towns was "Mierda."

Except that, it's "merda" (shit) in Italian.

(Did they really say that? I would guess more often than not they probably used the phrase "fa schifo," a slightly more gentile way of expressing the same thought).

Admittedly, Kingsolver makes a point of saying she got by in Italy by speaking a mix of French, Spanish and Italian words.

But didn't her publisher, Harper Perennial, think she should get the word right for the book?!

Barbara, next time, just ask me! I will keep you from making that mistake on page 246.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Vespa-with-sidecar Watch

Troppo ganzo!!!

The owner of this tricky scooter lives in my neighborhood, I am proud to say.