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Archive for the ‘Italians’ Category

Orvieto is a vibrant and lively city, but it also offers a slower, tranquil pace. In the daytime, the city swells with visitors (yah, we like that), but at night, locals come out with their families for a stroll along the ‘Corso’. Maybe they have a gelato – or as we did last evening – stop to enjoy an impromptu string concerto. There’s always something to do and see in Orvieto…and sometimes it’s completely unexpected! Like! Share! Visit! 

‪#‎31daysofOrvieto‬ ‪#‎orvietoorbust‬ ‪#‎Orvieto‬‪#‎iloveorvieto‬ ‪#‎Italytravel‬ ‪#‎Italy‬

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Horse

Examples of the ancient art of woodworking can be found on nearly every street and alleyway (and home) in Orvieto. Bottega Michelangeli has been creating its signature wood furniture and whimsical figurines since 1789. Continuing in full operation today, you can find its most famous creations, the ‘trojan black horses’, on one of the town’s prettiest streets – Via Michelangeli. Climb up onto the horses’ sturdy backs for a photo; these solid wood sculptures bring out the ‘kid’ in everyone! Like! Share! Visit!

Paris-Orvieto 2011 360Paris-Orvieto 2011 362Paris-Orvieto 2011 364

‪#‎31daysofOrvieto‬ ‪#‎iloveorvieto‬ ‪#‎orvietoorbust‬ ‪#‎Orvieto‬‪#‎bottegamichelangeli‬ ‪#‎Italy‬

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MASS-olga

Massimo Chioccia was born in Sugano, a tiny village near Orvieto. He graduated with honors from the Academy of Fine Arts in Viterbo. Olga Tsarkova left Russia to continue her studies at the prestigious Academy of Fine Arts in Rome. The two met in 1996 and started ‘a collaboration’ (that includes two beautiful daughters). Painting with 2 brushes on 1 canvas, they create vibrant images with kinetic energy and movement. Internationally acclaimed for their Jazz subjects, their work can be found in every corner of the globe, including a permanent display at the world famous Birdland: “The Jazz Corner of the World” in New York City. Pop in to say ‘ciao’ and have a glass of wine at their 13th-century Bottega Chioccia Tsarkova (studio) with a well-stocked cantina. Like! Share! Visit! 

 

ape


last supper

cinzia

#‎31daysofOrvieto‬ ‪#‎orvietoorbust‬ ‪#‎iloveorvieto‬ ‪#‎orvieto‬‪#‎italytravel‬ ‪#‎italy‬ ‪#‎bottegachiocciatsarkova‬
http://www.chioccia-tsarkova.it/index.html.

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I came to Orvieto for the first time in 2002, but returned in 2004 to learn Italian by the’ immersion method’. Embarrassingly, 11 years later I’m still struggling (apparently, I suck at mathematics AND languages). Luckily my good friends at I Love IT School, Laura Cardinali and Evelina Santaguida, have taught me some important language skills such as: 1) Make sure you distinctively pronounce the double ‘n’ in ‘penne’, 2) Stay away from the verb ‘scopare’ and the word for ‘figs’ in Italian, and 3) Never, ever give up….Parla Italiano? Boh! Like! Share! Visit!

#‎31daysofOrvieto‬ ‪#‎iloveorvieto‬ ‪#‎orvietoorbust‬ ‪#‎Italytravel‬ ‪#‎Orvieto‬‪#‎iloveitschool‬

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IMG_1292

So, you think you have to forego your workouts when visiting Orvieto? Well, you’d be wrong. On top of lots of strolling, you can take a Zumba class with the great Oxana Voropinova at Persiede dance studio (along with ballet, jazz, etc). There’s also several yoga and pilates studios around town and the ‘the 2 Peppes’ (tennis pros) at Villa Mercede will hone your clay court tennis skills. Not sporty? Then take the ‘walks of all walks’ on the ‘Anello della Rupe”: An hour trek around the rock that will change your life! Read about it here. Orvieto is good for your health! Like! Share! Visit! 

 

#‎31daysofOrvieto‬ ‪#‎orvietoorbust‬ ‪#‎iloveorvieto‬ ‪#‎Orvieto‬ ‪#‎Italytravel‬ ‪#‎Italy‬

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bolsena lake

Lago di Bolsena, that is. Just a 20-minute drive from Orvieto, this oval-shaped crater lake (with a quaint medieval village) was formed from a volcanic eruption 370,000 years ago. Geologist believe that a piece of the volcano was catapulted nearly 30 km and landed at the site that Orvieto was later built (hence the town’s nickname “la Rupe). Etruscans found the volcanic ‘tufo’ perfect for digging wells and caves…and the rest is history! Find out more about Orvieto and its surrounding sites when you visit! Like! Share! Visit!  

bolsena mom, andrew lynn

Bolsena town

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#‎31daysofOrvieto‬‪#‎orvietoorbust‬ ‪#‎Orvieto‬ ‪#‎iloveorvieto‬ ‪#‎Italytravel‬

 

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Close up of Brian

Some people live where they happened to be born, where they got a job or where a spouse is from. But some of us, like my friend Brian, chose our home. Brian is an example that it’s never to late to realize a dream or change your life. I once asked him, “How do I explain to people why I chose to live here in Orvieto? His answer is now mine: “It’s easy, just tell them it’s BECAUSE YOU LIKE IT!” Live, dream and do! That’s my friend, Brian.

Want to know more about Brian? Read a post I wrote about him back in 2012 here.

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‪#‎31daysofOrvieto‬ ‪#‎orvietoorbust‬‪#‎livingthedream‬ ‪#‎Italytravel‬ ‪#‎Orvieto‬ ‪#‎Italy‬

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I love it quadri

Tip #1:    Point and grunt.

Tip #2:    Always have Google Translate open on your phone and a copy of the “Alfabeto Fonetico” in your wallet. My name spelled out this way is Torino-Otranto-Napoli-Imola. Domodossola-Empoli-Bologna-Empoli-Livorno-Livorno-Ancona.

Tip #3:    Never make eye contact on public transportation – it invites people to speak to you.

Tip #4   Don’t engage in conversations with Italians under the age of 5…it’s just soo00 humiliating.

Tip #5:    Avoid initiating phone calls – send emails or text messages because you’re less likely to sound stupid in writing.

Tip #6:    If you must answer the phone, pretend you’ve got a bad connection. “Pronto? Mi senti? Mi senti? Boh” and then hang up.

Tip #7:    Respond to questions (even if you don’t understand them) with phrases such as “Certo” (sure), “Si, Si” (yes, yes), “Va bene” (okay) and “Ho capito” (understood) as you start to walk away. People won’t think you’re rude – just late for an appointment.

Tip #8:    When all else fails…talk with your hands.

 

And speaking of speaking Italian..I recently participated in a podcast with Cher Hale, the brains behind the “Iceberg Project.

http://cherhale.com/2014/07/what-would-it-be-like-to-live-in-orvieto-italy-an-interview-with-toni-debella/

What’s the Iceberg Project,?

The Iceberg Project is based on the theory that most of what you learn about culture when visiting a new country without speaking the language is just the tip of the iceberg. To learn more about The Iceberg Project go to click here

by Toni DeBella

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Finding Rome on the Map of LoveShortly after arriving in Italy, I accepted an invitation to a book signing and reading event in Rome.  When I learned of the book’s subject matter (a thirty-something woman who finds love with an Italian and moves to Rome) I thought, Oh no, not another fairy tale about coming to Italy, having an affair with Marcello Mastroianni and living happily ever after!  Needless to say I was skeptical.  Seriously, is there anyone out there who could bring freshness to this tired and overly saturated genre of storybook fantasies alla Three Coins in a Fountain, Under the Tuscan Sun and Eat, Pray, Love?  I know I sound jaded, but my expectations are low.

IMG_1262After a brief introduction author Estelle Jobson sat down on a cushion in the courtyard of The Beehive Hotel, opened her book, Finding Rome on the Map of Love, and began to read.  As I listened to her recount the stories, I noticed the corners of my mouth began to spontaneously turn upward.  Her elegant and proper South African accent was in sharp contrast to the wry, sardonic and sassy repartee.  Hey, this girl gets it!  When she finished I was a bit sad, but fortunately I’d purchased my very own autographed copy of the book and immediately cracked it open on the train back to Orvieto.

During the first couple of chapters, I was gulping down Estelle’s pages the way a typical American might eat their dinner: swallowing without taking time to taste.  Perhaps I’ve been in Italy long enough that a voice inside my head warned, “Don’t be in a hurry. Savor each flavor and texture.”  This book was just like a good Italian meal; I never wanted the literary feast to end. And when it did end, I felt warm and utterly satisfied.

IMG_1263Estelle Jobson is a talented writer who has a true gift for observation. She describes things that, as an expatriate, I’d experienced but was never able to fully articulate.  What appreciate most about Estelle’s storytelling is the way she doesn’t laugh at Italians, she laughs with them. Her book is filled with intelligent humor, compassion, and edgy insight. She’s sarcastic without being mean; clever without being pretentious; and emotional without being overly sentimental.  Estelle sees Italians the way they really are and reconfirms, at least for me, why I love living among them.

I’ll stay with the food analogy just a little bit longer. I really enjoyed chewing slowly on every single delicious “bite” of Finding Rome on the Map of Love. Her words were proprio buonissime! 

Enjoying my copy...

Enjoying my copy…

...in front of the...

…in front of the…

...Duomo di Orvieto.

…Duomo di Orvieto.

by Toni DeBella

You can contact the author at findingrome@gmail.com

Find her and her book on Facebook

ebook on amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Finding-Rome-Map-Love-ebook/dp/B009HBLYYO/ 

Online extract here: http://italianintrigues.blogspot.ch/2012/10/the-socialization-of-italian-man.html

 

 

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It’s already bad enough that I have to be so far away from Italy right now, but on top of that, I’m completely tortured by the separation from the food in her restaurants!

San Francisco is a big, big foodie city known for its fine, cutting-edge dining, exquisite winemaking, and a strong, Italian-American heritage.  Whenever possible, I eat in Italian restaurants but honestly, lately there seems to be something missing.  The Olive Garden just isn’t cutting it for me any more.

Dining in Italy is the sum of its parts; a package deal where food and wine don’t tell the whole story – relationship, personal connection and graciousness are also part of the equation.  When I am in San Francisco it’s not so surprising then, that the places I feel the most comfortable and want to frequent are those owned, operated and staffed by native Italians. Ristorante Ideale in North Beach is one of my favorites. (Read 7 Tastes of Italy).  Owner and Chef Maurizio Bruschi creates a scene that makes the walk through his door, a walk into Rome. 

…and then there was dinner last evening at Ristobar in the Marina District.  The food was amazing in taste and presentation, but the icing on the cake was a personal visit to the table from the new Chef de Cuisine, Michele Belotti from Bergamo – young, talented and an artist with food.  I was transported again…this time just a little farther to the north.

Ristorante Ideale: http://www.idealerestaurant.com/; 1315 Grant Ave, SF 94133 (415)391-4129

Ristobar: http://www.ristobarsf.com/; 300 Chestnut Street, SF 94123; (415) 923-6464 

by Toni DeBella 

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