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6 Jul

Spain, Lanzarote,A Tribute to César Manrique

Visiting Lanzarote in the Canary Islands, two icons clearly identify the landscape: the natural signs of its volcanic origins and the architectural elements designed by the island's most popular artist, César Manrique.  He was not an architect nor an artist; he was both. Manrique was born in the 20s, but his fame was established only between the 70s and 1992, the year he died in a car accident. Manrique had a major influence on the planning regulations in Lanzarote, when he recognised its tourist potential. He did encourage sympathetic architectural developments, respectfully of the island's nature. Lanzarote and Manrique lived in symbiosis; the island did greatly benefit from the artist creativity and Manrique's artworks were inspired by Lanzarote's unique landscape. I was so fascinated by his...
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1 Jul

Italy, Walking on the Floating Piers by Christo

Christo and Jeanne-Claude, his partner who did pass away in 2009, have created some of the most audacious and breathtaking installations in the last 50 years. They cover bridges, monuments and even islands with bright colored fabric. All their works are temporary and usable by the public.   The Floating Piers is their latest work. It was conceived in 1970, but only 44 years later Christo found in Northern Italian Lake Iseo the inspiring spot for realising it. Lake Iseo is being reimagined with these floating docks covered with a shimmering yellow fabric, just above the surface of water. Visitors are given the opportunity to experience walking on water, surrounded by the marvellous scenario of the lake. The piers connect Sulzano...
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29 Jun

Indonesia, Bali,Woodcarving in Mas

Mas is a village few kilometers from Ubud, best known for the art of wood carving. On the mainstreet to Ubud, just a workshop after the other range on both sides of the street. Amazing table tops carved from one piece of tree, line up on the street together with finely carved portals and huge statues of all divinities. Looking at these art pieces your only desire is to have at least one as show piece in your garden or living once you come back home. The woods proposed are several and the choice depends on the complexity of the object to be carved and on it's use. The two ones that did appeal me the most are tamarind and mahogany. The...
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23 Jun

Great Britain, Rarebit from Wales & Wine

Ihave tasted Welsh Rarebit recently in London, at The Wine Bar@Fortnum&Mason. It is one of those traditional dishes that all Brits know, that rarely you may find on a restaurant menu. Easy to cook, it is simply delicious with a glass of wine. The ingredients needed are grated Cheddar cheese - butter - Worcester sauce - dry mustard - 2 spoons of flour - pepper and beer - toasted bread. As you may read, this dish is suited for all those that love strong flavours and are not on a diet! How do you cook Rarebit? Just put cheese, butter, Worcester sauce, mustard, flour and pepper in a saucepan. Once well mixed, add the beer to moisten, but watch out that...
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21 Jun

Krabi, Rayavadee & The Bay of the Princess

Phra Nang means 'Bay of the Princess' and Rayavadee 'Land of the Princess', respectively name of the peninsula of Krabi and of the resort we visited few years ago. The names come from a Thai legend about two princesses that did sank with a ship during a storm at the Phra Nang Peninsula. Their spirits came to reside in the cave right on one of the three beaches where the Rayavadee resort lies. It took us 24 tiring hours, two planes, one bus and one boat to get there, but I did never find such a spectacular sea resort anywhere in my life. I don't refer to the Rayavadee Resort, that is luxurious and terrific, and still is, but...
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14 Jun

Australia, Outback Devils Marbles

Australia is THE experience. Australia is about flavour-sound-feeling-scent-vision-memories and more. When I did decide to share this exciting adventure with you, I spent an hour or so in order to choose from where to start. Finally, I opted for the Devils Marbles, a very special reserve located in the Northern Territory, in the middle of nowhere. We were driving from Darwin to Uluru, the Aborigenal name of Ayers Rock, in the Outback. There is only one road to follow, miles of sand and small bushes, dingos and kangaroos near and far; sometimes you cross a road train, one of those long trucks travelling from one end to the other of Australia. No soul for 2-300 miles. Suddenly, we see enormous stones...
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7 Jun

Portofino,Best Scampi & Pesto ever

Portofino was originally a fishing village in the province of Genoa. The town's natural harbour supported a fleet of fishing boats, in the past. In late 19th century, British and Northern European aristocrats , started to visit Portofino and elected it as a fashionable location. In the 50s, the once fishing village became an eliterian tourist attraction and still is today. The little harbour features now just few fishing boats and more mega yachts, unfortunately. The 'piazzetta' facing the harbour is crowded with bars and restaurants, but the atmosphere is still pleasant and magic, especially if you walk in the tiny little 'caruggi' behind the 'piazzetta' or up to the castle. Me and Luca know Portofino and the nearby coast very well,...
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2 Jun

Nepal, Phewa Lake Views of Annapurna from Fish Tail Lodge

Some years ago, we were invited to Nepal for a mission organized by the Chamber of Commerce of Milan. The scope of the mission was to promote business relations with Italian companies and Nepalese Fair Trade Associations. Our company, SoFarSoNear, was actively promoting high end design developed according to fair trade principles and during our trip we did found some of the most charming and skilfull people, that could suit our needs.   Artisans dying and weaving fabrics and others mastering the ancient techniques of felt making, that deserve a dedicated post. The whole Nepalese experience was extraordinary. We were lucky enough to get access to everyday life in areas that were not touched by tourists, learning about Nepalese culture, habits...
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31 May

Italy, Milan, Back to the 20s with Style

Giacomo Arengario, named after  the famous restaurant "da Giacomo" , has opened since a couple of years in the historic Arengario building in Milan, with a spectacular view of Piazza del Duomo. The Arengario was built between 1936 and 1956 from a design by the architects Portaluppi, Muzio, Magistretti and Griffini, the facade is decorated with bas-reliefs by Arturo Martini. It’s an iconic building for the art and culture, home to the ‘Museo del Novecento’. The entrance is from the Museo. Do not to use the elevator, but just take the circular ramp up to the restaurant, an example of contemporary architecture that fits beautifully within the monumental architecture of the Arengario Palace and matches with a magnificent glass...
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31 May

Italy, Asolo,Delight for the Senses

Asolo is a small village up the hills in Veneto. It is called ‘The City of 100 Horizons’, because of the spectacular views . Contained within the ancient walls that branch off from the 12th century fortress, in every corner it preserves testimonies of its thousand-year old history. What did strike my senses is the elegance of the village and its inhabitants. No cars are allowed in the old town. We did walk up and down visiting the fortress, the old palaces and a typical food boutique.

All types of fresh ravioli and pasta, cakes and delicatessen were displayed in old counters. We took some special cheese and the ‘pinza’, a typical cake from Asolo.

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