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Porchetta di Ariccia: among the 5 unmissable dishes in the world according to the New York Times – Italian Cuisine


It has very ancient origins and is a typical product of Central Italy. It is made with the meat of female pigs that is massaged with salt, pepper, rosemary and garlic and then stitched. It can be enjoyed alone or accompanied with bread, bread sticks, pizzas


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Many contend for the authorship of porchetta, one of the most popular street foods, which the New York Times has even included among the five typical dishes not to be missed in the world. Beyond the controversies, the village of Ariccia sui Castelli Romani can boast a millenary tradition, apparently dating back to Latins, for the production of this roast of pig spread throughout the center of Italy (Tuscany, Lazio, Umbria and Marche above all, but also Romagna and Abruzzo).

To be enjoyed in fraschette
And it is in the Ariccino territory preparing the Porchetta Igp, to be enjoyed all year round in the typical "fraschette"(ancient taverns) of the Castles, and in September in the historic Sagra, with costumed procession and throwing of stuffed sandwiches from a wagon in front of the Town Hall. To Ariccia many historical porchettari follow the ancient art of craftsmanship. THE pigs, only of female sex because they are leaner and tastier, they are boned and cleaned; then, again by hand, salted, massaged and spiced with a mixture of black pepper, rosemary and garlic. We then move on to tying and sewing around a steel pole and cooking in the oven, until the rind becomes crisp: the wood-fired ovens of the past have been supplanted by those in steel, electric or gas. Finally the cooling down, because the roast loses its moisture and keeps better. There pork, whole or in the smallest logs (7-13 kg), it must have a nice crunchy brown crust, softer in the girth.

The rind? Yes please
The meat, between white and pink, is fragrant and tender, with a taste savory and spicy, with a delightful texture contrast to the well roasted rind. Cut with a knife, the porchetta is tasted in all its fragrance al natural, cold or hot, together with homemade bread from Genzano, with a soft and light crumb, or from Lariano, of semi-integral soft wheat and cooked in a wood oven. Or in a sandwich enriched to taste with salad, grilled peppers or aubergines, cheese (provola, pecorino). It can also be used as an ingredient in cooking, to flavor pasta, pizza and savory pies. OR eat hot as a main course.

January 2022
Marina Cella

Posted on 21/01/2022


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How to enjoy a Venice for the few, among great restaurants and trattorias – Italian Cuisine

How to enjoy a Venice for the few, among great restaurants and trattorias

The jewel city on the water, especially during the week, has never been so peaceful given the lack of foreign tourism. On the other hand, the Italians are rediscovering it. Also from a gastronomic point of view: here's how to find your way among the top restaurants, emerging clubs and traditional places

A premise is absolutely necessary: ​​the rediscovered pleasure of wandering around Venice, almost getting lost, in silence and without encountering shouting crowds does not overshadow the fact that the collapse of foreign tourism is a big trouble for entrepreneurs in the sector and those who work in hotels, restaurants, bars and so on. It is desirable that as soon as possible one of the most beautiful cities on the planet will return to being alive and lively, perhaps with a limited number (a common wish in the calli) and without swede passing in the Grand Canal. Having said that, it is worth taking advantage of the Lagoon and its culinary offerings, which are very different from each other, once more than ever. Maybe taking a whim off.

Very high cuisine

For example, the Quadri restaurant. It is located in Piazza San Marco, on the upper floor of the concept that the Alajmo family took in hand about ten years ago and brought back to its former glory, involving the brilliant Philippe Starck in 2018. At the level of the square there is the Quadrino bistro and the Gran Caffè Quadri with its large outdoor area: it is nice, before dinner, to drink an Alajmo Spritz (Barbaresco Chinato Quintessenza di Punset, Fever Tree tonic water, a slice of orange) while listening to good live music. You go up and enter a place that D'Annunzio would have defined as imaginative: mystery, beauty, poetry. In the precious coatings, in the chandeliers and in the windows. Mise en place essential, perfect. Top class service, led by Stefano Munari and Marco Cicchelli, with the sommelier Giacomo Lorato to manage a cellar of the highest level. And then the kitchen, played on two tastings: Classic and Quadri, 225 euros each in the nine-course version, but you can have a selection of five or draw from the two cards of the individual dishes. It is difficult to find in Italy a cuisine that manages to combine refinement and gluttony like that of Massimiliano Alajmo, here interpreted by the faithful Silvio Giavedoni and Sergio Preziosa. Able to enhance the ingredients of the Lagoon and represent both the Italian tradition and pure creativity. Just to give an example, on one side there is the sumptuous Cappuccino of Laguna and on the other there is the sensational fried turbot with spicy sweet and sour sauce sorbet that would be a jewel even in a large Japanese restaurant.

The novelty of the year

The idea of ​​the season is also due to the Alajmo: Hostaria in Certosa, pop-up that will remain in operation until October 31 to return in 2021. It is located on the Certosa island – located between the Lido and the Arsenale – a few meters from the vaporetto station. It is included in Wind of Venice, the structure of Alberto Sonino, a former sailing champion who is working on the redevelopment of Certosa, with major projects to make it more enjoyable for tourists, starting from the already active marina. “It's just the fuse. In the next few years the island will explode with all its potential, "he says Raffaele Alajmo. The Hostaria in Certosa is open every day from 9 to midnight, designed to offer everything: from breakfast to evening aperitifs, from sandwiches for lunch to afternoon ice cream, up to dinner or after dinner with drinks from Lucas Kelm, former bar manager of I love which is the Alajmo concept in the Fondaco dei Tedeschi. There is also a take away service managed through a digital platform, designed for those arriving by boat. The structure can accommodate a hundred people outside, mostly on a floating bridge, and about thirty inside, plus various lounges and lounges. The kitchen? Tradition and simplicity, with great ingredients (fish, first of all) and that touch of class that comes naturally to Max Alajmo. Just taste the Peppered mussels or the Spaghetti with clams or the Scartosso to understand it.

The class is on the water

There was talk of whims. Here, one could be having lunch or, better still, candlelit dinner on the Grand Canal: a must in the life of a traveler, especially if a gourmet. The right place is the Club del Doge (nomen omen) ie the terrace at the water level of the The Gritti Palace, open until October: we are talking about a 15th century palace, a private residence of doge Andrea Gritti who called Giorgione to fresco the facade on Campo del Traghetto … Converted into a hotel in 1890 and internally redone in 2013 by Luxury Collection Hotel, it is a concentrate of luxury (ancient and modern) with hundreds of works of art to leave you speechless. If you are looking for the whim of whims, one of the 23 five-star suites in Campo Santa Maria del Giglio, is that of the Redentore, which leads to one of the most beautiful terraces in Venice and therefore in the world: 250 square meters and mini pool …
Daniele Turco's kitchen is precise, direct: it does not forget to have a largely international clientele (and therefore with the need for Italian and other certainties) but at the same time plays on the territory, revisiting it well with dishes such as Selection of almost raw fish with its brodetto, Venetian style pasta and beans or Bone-in turbot on mollusc stew. Not to mention the original and tasty Spaghettone Felicetti with cheese and pepper with raw red shrimp, which will become even more delicious when admiring the beautiful Santa Maria della Salute, in front of you.

Glam is in pole position

Given three examples of how Venice has changed, let's see other places worthy of a stop starting from the starred, which obviously require a adequate budget. You can take the whim of a Michelin star, exceeding at least 100 euros each. In addition to the Quadri are five with a restaurant that repeated the macaron last November: the Glam – inside the elegant Palazzo Venart – which Enrico Bartolini has entrusted to the talented Donato Ascani. Then there are the spectacular Gold of the Belmond Hotel Cipriani on Giudecca, the historic one Osteria Da Fiore (five years he was the only star in Venice …); Reduced (more creative, with only nine tables), the increasingly convincing Venissa on the island of Mazzorbo directed by Chiara Pavan. In medium range of expenditure (50-80 euros), there is no shortage of reliable places like At the Covo, Hostaria by Franz, At the Pass in Campalto. Tradition and modernity go hand in hand in two modern, well-kept taverns such as Santa Marina (five minutes walk from Rialto) and the small To the Headboards, always in Castello.

Fish reigns in the tavern

As for the taverns, symbol of that Venetianness that resists invasion. They focus on fish, in classic recipes or in some slight reinterpretation, but they have civil prices, thanks to family management. The oldest is easily Ca d’Oro-La Vedova in Cannaregio, not far away there is also From Marisa. Pleasant the recent Co.Vino between San Zaccaria and the Arsenale. The only exception to the fish line, La Bitta in Dorsoduro: here you can eat cold cuts and meat dishes. There are also those who face an hour by ferry, with the excuse of a trip to Burano (an evocative island), but actually want to taste the dishes again Black cat, historic and always crowded trattoria. One last place that we really like: the suggestive Local, near San Zaccaria, where the very Venetian Matteo Tagliapietra offers his daily selection of cicheti ancient and very modern, made with products from the Lagoon: history counts indeed, in the Serenissima.

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In Veneto among the Palladian Villas that inspired the White House – Italian Cuisine

In Veneto among the Palladian Villas that inspired the White House

The most famous is La Rotonda, but there are many noble villas that deserve a visit between Padua and Vicenza. Also to be cycled through the vineyards

There are many, one more beautiful than the other and it is really difficult to choose which one to visit. Let's talk about Palladian Villas of the Veneto, Unesco heritage since 1996, and among the treasures more or less of our country. The hand – or better said head – which designed them in most cases is the same (Palladio in fact), the era in which they were also built, yet these homes are very different from each other, and they are each unique and special in its own way.

We are located a few kilometers from Venice, in a lucky (tri) corner of the Po countryside between Vicenza, Padua and Treviso, where vineyards and land make love to give the world their best wine. Here, in a period of peace and great wealth (for some), the Renaissance noblemen from Veneto had representative homes built, to supervise summer work in the fields. The one who first had the flicker was Andrea Palladio (Padua, 1508 – Maser, 1580), official architect of the Serenissima Republic, to whom the invention of the open villa as we know it today. "In the sixteenth century there were no more wars that had characterized the previous time, the castle was no longer needed to defend itself and the villa gave the idea of ​​a structure open to the world and perfectly integrated into the surrounding naturalistic and landscape context", explains Tiziana Spinelli, secretary of the La Rotonda Foundation, which heads one of the most famous villas.

Villa La Rotonda

It was erected between 1560 and 1565 and in reality it is not called that, but rather Villa Almerico Capra, like the surname of its first owners: Paolo Almerico, the founder, and the Capra marquises, to whom Almerico's son sold everything after having squandered the entire family patrimony. The most famous appellation owes it to the circular shape of the dome (and not only that), which clearly recalls the Pantheon in Rome, of which also imitates the hole at the top, but also the hill of San Sebastiano overlooking it. For Palladio, everything had to be harmonious and in accordance with the rules and geometry, just as it had been for the Greeks and Romans, from which he also columns and gables of the ancient temples. In turn, however, Palladio was also taken over, even exported: the White House with the long colonnade it is inspired precisely by its villas, as well as the Capitol, seat of the American Congress, which evokes the lines of La Rotonda. He was the third president of the United States Thomas Jefferson to take inspiration from Palladio to give (also) an artistic connotation to his nation, beautiful and cultural.

Today Villa La Rotonda belongs to the Valmarana counts, who every now and then – blessed! – weekends are spent at the palace. Curiosity: just like in the Renaissance when the villa was only a representative home, in La Rotonda the furniture is discovered in mid-March, "and in mid-November it is covered", says Tiziana Spinelli. Between March and November, the structure is open to the public every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10 to 12 and from 15 to 18, and only guided tours are to be booked.

Villa Valmarana "ai Nani"

It is very close to La Rotonda, you can get there by crossing the road in a few meters. As the name already suggests, this also belongs to the Vismara accounts and takes the name to the Dwarves because of the dwarf statues placed on its surrounding wall. It dates back to the seventeenth century and is the work of the architect Francesco Muttoni. It is said that the daughter of the ancient owners, Layana, was born small and they, in order not to make her feel inferior, decided to build her around an equally small world, made up of servants of limited height, barchesse mignon (that is, the service areas typical of these villas) and, precisely, stone dwarfs. The story so far is very tender, then changes register and turns into tragedy: the little girl falls in love with a boy tall, she discovers that the world is not as small as her and takes her own life. Sigh.

The Villa consists of three buildings – building (1669), guesthouse and stable (1720) – located in a large park with Italian garden and built perfectly symmetrically. Here, the element of greatest interest is given by the frescoes of Giambattista and Giandomenico Tiepolo, called in 1757 by the owner Giustino Valmarana to decorate the building and the guesthouse. Villa Valmarana can be visited every Sunday at 10:30 and 11:30 and, in this case, it is advisable to book.

La Malcontenta

Let's go back to Palladio, who designed it in 1559, and we are in Mira, in the province of Venice. What makes this villa special, owned by the Foscari family of Venice (who are still the custodians of it today), is above all the natural context in which it is located, right on the banks of the Naviglio del Brenta, which by Palladio was perfectly incorporated into its architecture. Before entering, you have to leave your car in the parking lot of the village because here you get strictly on foot.

A legend says that the villa owes the nickname of Malcontenta to one mysterious lady of the Foscari house, who lived here alone for thirty long years, but was never seen going out or looking out of the windows. More prosaically, it is possible that the name derives from the expression Brenta poorly contained, since the river often overflowed.

The villa is open every weekend from 9.30 to 12.30 and from 14.30 to 17.30.

E-bike tour

If in addition to visiting these wonderful villas you want miss – so to speak – between narrow streets and rows, mostly cycle and flat, book an e-bike at thePalladian Routes agency: each bike – there are 120 available – is equipped with an integrated GPS that will guide you along the main stages of your Palladian tour. All you have to do is pedal.

To sleep

It may not have been designed by Palladio, but it is still a villa full of charm and history. Surrounded by greenery, it is close to the Vicenza Est and Vicenza Ovest motorway exits and is an excellent base for Palladian, cycle and food and wine tours: The Locanda degli Ulivi, historic residence of the eighteenth century, it has only 10 rooms, and offers authentic hospitality. In addition to a beautiful view of the lake of Fimon.

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