Posts made in October, 2011

A Wine Tour of Tuscany

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Tuscany! Oh, how I’ve always wanted to come here. I know it’s a cliché but I don’t care. After flying into Amerigo Vespucci Airport in Florence, I was picked up by my host and driven to his agriturismo, a great, old, tile-roofed house that’s part of a working farm. He and his family invite boarders for some extra income. My host doesn’t make wine - he has olive groves as far as the eye can see - but he does know something about the Tuscan vineyards. So after a great meal with his family and a good night’s sleep, the next morning we hopped on his Vespa and start our tour. The wine Tuscany is known for is Chianti, a red wine, though central Italy, where Tuscany is located, makes mostly whites. The rules, regulations and traditions that...

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Lunigiana Pasta with Pumpkin and Mushrooms

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During these days the territory of Lunigiana, altogether with ts neighboring Cinque Terre is living hard times due to the flash flood that covered large portion of land destoying all it encountered. This recipe is a way of celebrating Lunigiana through a typical dish of that area. Testaroli are made of a soft and thin bread prepared without yeast (unleavened), typical of the Lunigiana. Testaroli are probably the most famous dish of Lunigiana and are traditionally cooked in special pots of cast iron or clay also called “Testi” which give the name to the pasta. This is an easy recipe, provided you have your Testaroli ready from the shop! These ingredients are sufficient for 4 people Ingredients: 3 Testaroli, 1kilo of pumpkin, 30 grams of frozen sliced...

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A Corner of Morocco in Florence

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Do you know what Shisha is? Is the water pipe that was invented in Turkey (some say in India using a coconut) and called Narghile. I am sure you have seen these tall, beautiful looking pipes puffing scented smoke on hexagonal tables full of delicious pastries and hot mint tea. This is the traditional way of enjoying a moment of relax in Morocco, and I just yesterday discovered that you can also enjoy it in the heart of Florence at Derb, at Via Faenza 21r. Derb is a Moroccan restaurant and cultural center where you can find books to read, artisan work to admire and buy, art exhibits, cultural events and a delicious restaurant serving French-Maghrebian recipes at lunch and dinner. The ambient is small and intimate, with modern furniture serving the purpose of making...

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The Perfect Tuscan Dinner

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Tuscany is known as much for its fantastic food as it is for its rich history. Tuscan cuisine emphasizes simple yet fresh ingredients and the result is some of the most fantastic and flavorful foods in the world. Here is one rendition of the perfect Tuscan meal: Antipasto – Tuscan Bruschetta A traditional Tuscan Bruschetta, or Fettunta, begins with thick slices of handmade bread grilled over a wood fire. Placed atop the bread is a delightful combination of chopped tomatoes, garlic, basil, and salt, made from the freshest Tuscan ingredients. However, no perfect Tuscan bruschetta would be complete without the region’s most famous product – olive oil. Tuscan olive growers take great pride and care in producing olive oil and their hard work is reflected in...

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Bringing Your iPhone to Italy and Tuscany

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With last generation smart phones you can do lots of things, but it sure gets quite complicated when you need to bring them along while traveling overseas. When it was just a matter of calling, the issue was easily solved purchasing a local low-end cell phone and getting a cheap pre-paid SIM card to work over the GSM network, or just getting a new card if your device was GSM ready. Unfortunately in recent years, and especially with iPhones becoming so popular, the issue of bringing your iPhone to Italy when traveling to Tuscany has changed into a small nightmare. You have to be careful if you do not want to be charged outrageous roaming fees. The issue is doubled as with iPhones and other smart phones, you get roaming for both voice calls and data exchange (when...

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