10-Jan-12 11:42. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (6)

Shedding a few pounds after Christmas

The Christmas holidays are over, everything is back to its normal routine, but hang on a second! My trousers don’t fit me anymore! Even though it happens every year, we usually welcome the few more pounds of weight we gained from the Christmas holidays’ meals as a shocking surprise. Well, yes, the stereotype is true, Italians spend usually their winter holidays eating all the time! A lunch can literary last 5 hours or easily slide into dinner without ever leaving the chair you were sitting on. Of course many other things have happened in the meanwhile, for example board games, cards, family arguments and lovely chats might have been the reasons of this reluctance to leave the table. The one million dollar question is now, “ Is it possible to lose weight eating Italian food, the accused architect of your holiday fat?”.


05-Jan-12 15:20. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (0)

Driving in Italy

Some big cities have a big problem with parking spaces. Some people leave home to go to work and they don’t really know when they’ll be back because it might take hours to find a parking place. Leaving a message for the rest of the family has become a habit in Italy so as not to waste time searching for where the car has been left. There are times when it is possible to forget and start panicking thinking that the car has been stolen or the police have taken it away. “Sotto casa” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHGigSBHrGA an awarded short movie by Alessio Lauria plays with this stereotype


03-Jan-12 17:58. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (0)

Restoration of the Colosseum

The Colosseum is close to being 2,000 years old and feels its age. Begun in 72 AD, the Colosseum or Flavian Amphitheatre, is considered to be one of the greatest works of Roman architecture and engineering. Capable of seating 50,000 spectators, it was used for gladiatorial contests, mock sea battles, executions and re-enactments of mythological dramas. The need for a restoration of the symbol of the city of Rome and the Roman era has been debated for the last 30 years but because of economical problems it never started. The mayor of Rome, Gianni Alemanno found it impossible to make use of public resources to preserve the Colosseum so he opened the door to private investors.


19-Dec-11 18:01. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (2)

The Italian Nativity Scene

The main focus of Christmas decorations in Italy is usually the Presepe or Presepio, the Nativity scene. Il Presepe is traditionally set up on December the 8th, the Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception, together with the Christmas tree, the decorations remain until Epiphany, the 6th of January. Every year Saint Peter’s Church in London hosts a Presepe. Peter Bertoncini has been making it every year for the last 40 years. The presepe (5mX10m) is placed at the right side of the altar. Peter Bertoncini, Alessandra Tondelli, Anna Giacon, Francesco e Domenico Giacon have been working at it for about 60 hours spread over three weeks. This year’s presepio edition is slightly different from the previous one, for example the background is light blue because it is set at dawn while last year it was dark blue because it was night.


09-Dec-11 14:41. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (0)

The Immaculate Conception Feast

The Catholic Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary on the 8th of December. The Immaculate Catholic devotion is connected with the apparitions of Lourdes (1858) and ichnographically with previous appearances in the Rue du Bac in Paris (1830). December 8th is a holy day and a national holiday in Italy. There are celebrations throughout Italy and churches hold special masses to honour Mary. The Immaculate Conception is a Catholic dogma, proclaimed by Pope Pius IX on December the 8th, 1854 with the papal bull “Ineffabilis Deus”, which explains how the Virgin Mary was preserved free from original sin from the first instant of her conception.


05-Dec-11 18:07. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (0)

Who eats what at Christmas

Giulia Lombardo looks at the vast range of different typical Christmas menus across the regions - big variations of ingredients and styles including 13 courses, all based on fish, in Basilicata


28-Nov-11 11:50. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (522)

Christmas Markets in London

Christmas is the most important festivity in the UK. As any other big event it needs to be prepared and of course, as in children’s games, the setting up: shopping cooking and attending Christmas carol representations is a huge part of the fun. From the end of November there will be many Christmas markets, all over London. The institution of Christmas Markets in the UK was very popular until Oliver Cromwell banned the traditional celebration of Christmas. Much later, during the Victorian era there were many markets selling Christmas related products but they were not known as Christmas Markets. They gradually became popular again and now they are flourishing everywhere in London. Belgravia, Hyde Park, Old Spitalfields,Barbican, Southbank, Greenwich and Chelsea Physic Garden host some of the most interesting markets in the capital.


21-Nov-11 18:11. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (23)

Gallo Nero Delicatessen in Stoke Newington

Families are like trees: they have branches, and sometimes they grow together, close to each other and create a forest. Other times the tree’s seeds, blown by fortune or the wind, settle in unexpected places. In the same way my restaurants’ interviews are taking me to different parts of London, from one place to another, making my through a family’s branches. This time, I came across Michele Mori.


11-Nov-11 12:50. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (0)

Focus on Casciana in Garfagnana

Casciana is a small medieval village in the Garfagnana area, in the province of Lucca. The villages of Garfagnana are typical of northern Tuscany: characterised by castles, rocks, old churches and untouched nature. Historically, the region was conquered by the Malaspina family, then the Estensi family, and it was then part of the republic of Lucca and Florence. The oldest part of the town is made up of a few houses grouped around San Tommaso Apostolo church, which is the central point of the village as it was in the medieval era. The Garfagnana region is now home of many products:


10-Nov-11 14:18. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (2)

Pellicci’s café-restaurant in Bethnal Green

A real genuine family business, Pellicci’s café-restaurant is a slice of East-End history. Giulia Lombardo met Nevio Pellicci in his restaurant. The cosy restaurant’s hall with its formica tables was full of British costumers, having their English breakfast. On the wall there is a statement for a golden medal awarded to Nevio’s father, also called Nevio, from the council of Lucca, for his merits abroad. “My grandma, Elide was born here in London but then, her parents took her back to Tuscany, where they came from. Once married, Elide came back and established the restaurant with my grandpa, Priamo”, Nevio tells me.


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