Wednesday, September 25, 2013

ELISABETH BARRET BROWNING in Florenz begraben liegt






Nur wenige Menschen wissen, dass auf dem sogenannten „Englische Friedhof“ in Florenz begraben liegt (http://www.inyourtuscany.com/de/itinerari.php?id=44Elizabeth Barrett Browning die Dichterin berühmt für ihre Sonnets from the Portuguese (Sonette aus dem Portugiesischen) mit Liebesgedichten: besonders bekannt ist sie für How do I love thee? Let me count the ways! … (Wie liebe ich dich? Lass mich zählen, auf wie viele Arten und Weisen ich dich liebe …) Sie starb in Florenz  am 29. Juni 1861 in den Armen ihres Mannes

Friday, September 20, 2013

The UCI Road World Championship 2013 takes place in Florence, Tuscany



The unforgettable Marco Pantani

 by Ilaria Gelichi




Starting from tomorrow, September 21st until September 29th Tuscany – and the city of Florence, specifically – are going to host the UCI Road World Championship 2013. This extraordinary international event involves the greatest world champions who will compete in this exciting 9-day marathon exploring the beautiful region of Tuscany, a path designed to exalt the spectacular and fascinating landscape and the rich artistic heritage of the city of Florence.

The event, followed by hundreds of international media, will be also accompanied by a rich calendar of events ranging from culture to sport, to food and wine, in order to make known to cycling fans the excellences of Tuscany. The opening ceremony will take place in Lucca Saturday, September 21st at 4pm; then the race will continue throughout the next week with different categories.

However, such an event will probably create some inconvenience for people visiting, living or working in the Championships’ cities. For this reason, my purpose with this post is trying to help you knowing how to move in Florence during these 9 days.

LIST OF RACE TRACKS (source: www.toscana2013.it , official website):

Saturday, 21st September - Team Time Trial Training - Time: 9.00am– 12.30pm

Sunday, 22nd September – Team Time Trial
Category: Élite Women
Starting place and time: Pistoia, 10am
Arrival: Florence Mandela Forum

Category: Élite Men
Starting place and time: Montecatini Terme, 2pm
Arrival: Florence Mandela Forum

Monday, 23rd September – Individual Time Trial
Category: Junior Women
Starting place and time: Florence Cascine, 10am
Arrival: Florence Mandela Forum

Category: Under 23
Starting place and time: Pistoia, 2pm
Arrival: Florence Mandela Forum

Tuesday, 24th September – Individual Time Trial
Category: Junior Men
Starting place and time: Florence Cascine, 10am
Arrival: Florence Mandela Forum

Category: Élite Women
Starting place and time: Florence Cascine, 2:30pm
Arrival: Florence Mandela Forum

Wednesday, 25th September – Individual Time Trial
Category: Élite Men
Starting place and time: Montecatini Terme, 1:15pm
Arrival: Florence Mandela Forum

Thursday, 26th September – Road Race Training – Time: 10am – 12:30pm

Friday, 27th September – Road Races
Category: Junior Women
Starting place and time: Florence Mandela Forum, 8:30am
Arrival: Florence Mandela Forum

Category: Under 23
Starting place and time: Montecatini Terme, 1pm
Arrival: Florence Mandela Forum

Saturday, 28th September – Road Races
Category: Junior Men
Starting place and time: Montecatini Terme, 8:30am
Arrival: Florence Mandela Forum

Category: Élite Women
Starting place and time: Montecatini Terme, 2:15pm
Arrival: Florence Mandela Forum

Sunday, 29th September – Road Races
Category: Élite Men
Starting place and time: Lucca, 10am
Arrival: Florence Mandela Forum

Here (http://www.toscana2013.it/programma/?lang=en) you can find the maps for each race and here the streets closures in the Province of Florence (http://www.toscana2013.it/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/orario-chiusure_provincia-firenze.pdf).

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Ethics and beauty in Florentine restaurants – Our suggestion today: LO SKIPPER

Mr. Raimondo Sabella, owner of Lo Skipper

by Ilaria Gelichi



We decided to dedicate a new column to the idea of beauty and the sense of ethic in a sector where nobody would think to find this kind of values: restaurants in Florence. We will search for special places where tradition is still alive and strong, but without giving up originality and sometimes innovation.

We could not open this column in a better way than with Lo Skipper, situated in Via degli Alfani 78/r, in the heart of the historical center of Florence. We met Mr. Raimondo Sabella, owner and main chef at Lo Skipper, who very kindly accepted to answer to our questions. 

- Since when does Lo Skipper exist in Florence?
Lo Skipper was born 17 years ago on the ashes of a sailing club, but I have been working in the restaurant sector for 40 years. In Florence the most part of restaurants and trattorias offer regional (Tuscan) cuisine or pizza, but I decided to swim against the tide and offer another kind of cuisine: typical dishes from other regions and from abroad. 



Appetizer: Cornetti di mare (tuna rolls filled with goat cheese and shrimps)
- Who is the chef and where does he come from?
The chef is me, and my daughter – who is cook too – helps me in the kitchen; she is specialized in  pastry making. I live in Florence since 50 years but I was born in Sicily, and I brought with me the love for the sea and sailing – that’s why I created a restaurant with a marine atmosphere. For some time I worked with Gualtiero Marchesi, (great Italian chef, famous all over the world, founder of the “new Italian cuisine” – ed.) but I also traveled all over the world to learn more about foreign cuisine - achieving the qualification of international chef.

- What kind of cuisine we can find at Lo Skipper?
We mainly offer seafood, but also international cuisine. The basis are traditional Sicilian dishes, with specialties from other regions and international dishes. Anyway, not only tradition: some recipes are revised to bring originality, others are our creations. Our menu changes each month: at the moment we offer Turkish, Moroccan and Greek specialties (for example, the couscous both Sicilian and Moroccan style), beside traditional Sicilian dishes such as spaghetti with breadcrumbs and pasta alla Norma (with tomato, eggplant and ricotta cheese), but also specialties from Piemonte and Puglia.
We are proud to say that each ingredient is selected and comes directly from the home region or country of the recipe. We prepare the dish at the moment, nothing is precooked; sauces are made at the moment with pasta and the same is for main courses with fish or meat. So if you’ll have to wait a little for your dish, that’s the reason!


First course: Caserecce with mussels, eggplant, tomatoes, olives and cheese
- What kind of customers do you have at Lo Skipper?
Lo Skipper has 45 seats and our opening time is 12-3 PM for lunch and 8 PM – 12 AM for dinner. At dinner we accept customers only with reservation, and not later than 9 PM. For lunch, we mainly have university professors, professionals of the area and shopkeepers who come here for their lunch break. In effect at lunch the restaurant turns itself in a trattoria of the past, where you can eat a quality lunch at a good price. So normally we have Italians, loyal customer who have been coming here for years and tourists in little part.

- Which is the average price for a dish at Lo Skipper?
The price for appetizers and first courses (pasta, risotto, etc.) goes between 7 and 13 Euro; for main courses with fish or meat between 15 and 17 Euro. I want to specify that – unlike other restaurants – at Lo Skipper you won’t pay for cover charge, bread and coffee, because you are our guests. Moreover, first courses include drinks (water and wine) and some main courses include both a side dish and drinks (water and wine). With every dessert (except ice creams) comes a typical wine or liquor paired with it, of course included in the price.

Dessert: famous Sicilian cannolo with a glass of Malvasia
- How customers have changed in the years?
Beside the loyal customers, during the last years I have noticed that the number of young people has increased. More young people prefer now restaurants to pizzerias or fast-foods; there is much more attention to quality than to price. They now search for more quality and appreciate eating well but they have to be educated to wine (they drink much more Coke, Fanta, etc. than wine) – and here you can find only water and wine, not Coke! I graduated as sommelier and our wine list is “ragionata”: this means that for each wine technical features and suggestions are given about how to pair it with dishes.

- What does it mean to own a restaurant, specifically in Florence?
It is not easy to own a restaurant in Florence. You need to rise from the ranks and create yourself a loyal clientele: Florentines are quite fussy and very attached to tradition. To achieve good results you need great professionalism, respect for the customer and an excellent value for money. I prefer to offer a restaurant with less decorations but a higher quality of the food. And also, you have to keep yourself up to date.

- Which are your plans for the future?
I intend to keep following tradition: we have to understand that times are changing but we should not adapt to them. Tradition is still very important: it’s our roots and thanks to tradition we can create new recipes. If I were to give advice to young people who want to start this business, I would say that the most important thing is to understand if he/she really loves doing this business. Professionalism is built step by step and day after day, with experience (both in Italy and abroad) and patience. If you offer professionalism and quality to customers, they will repay you with satisfaction and loyalty.

Lo Skipper
CONTACTS:
Lo Skipper - Club Nautico
Via Alfani, 78/r
50122 Florence - Italy
Tel. (+39) 055 28 40 19
Fax (+39) 055 238 12 32
www.loskipperclub.com
ristoranteloskipper@yahoo.it
CLOSED ON SUNDAYS AND SATURDAY MORNINGS

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Florence Vogue Fashion’s Night Out 2013



 by Ilaria Gelichi



After the great success achieved in 2012, the city of Florence and Vogue Italia present the second edition of Vogue Fashion’s Night Out, on September 12, 2013.
Born in 2009, this international event is dedicated to shopping and fashion and its target is celebrating fashion and boosting the sector’s economy. Vogue Fashion’s Night Out 5th edition in Milan will take place on September, 17th, the day before the beginning of the Fashion Week.
Vogue Fashion’s Night Out is aimed to bring the world of fashion – which is often perceived as distant and exclusive – to the general public or simply to curious.
Every year Vogue Fashion’s Night Out involves an increasing number of countries and people, more than 300,000 only in Italy, in the three cities that host the event – Milan, Florence and Rome.
The event also offers the opportunity to participate at charity projects - proceeds from the sales of some items limited edition of the 2012 Edition was dedicated to numerous charitable projects. Thanks to the Florentine 2013 Edition will be restored a playground for children and built a soccer field.
Vogue Fashion’s Night Out 2013 will involve more than 300 shops in the centre of Florence (Via Calzaiuoli, Via Roma, Via Tornabuoni, Via della Vigna Nuova, etc.). Shops will be open until 11:30 PM and will offer a special setting, cocktail parties and host vips. A sticker on the shop windows indicates that it participates to the event.

Not only shopping: Ferragamo Museum will open from 7 PM to 11:30 PM with free entrance. Palazzo Strozzi will offer the possibility to relax until late evening and will be open until 11 PM: you can taste a drink at Café Giocosa or snoop in the bookshop. The Florentine Association of Antique Dealers repeats the event “Arte in Vetrina” (art in the shop window): each antique dealer will show in his shop window a painting of a subject in costume, or a dressed sculpture or something else keeping with the theme chosen this year, 'Fashion and Costume in art'.
Campari will offer its new aperitif Campari Orange Passion during the opening cocktail in Palazzo Vecchio and in other selected shops. Lavazza will offer a tasting of the authentic Italian coffee a Modo Mio and will sell some limited edition cans signed by artists: proceeds from the sales will be dedicated to Fashion 4 Development.
The Shopping Bag VFNO 2013 will be on sale only during the event’s evening in selected newsstands in Florence and online on www.qvc.it

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Mundial de ciclismo en Florencia 2013



Está apunto de comenzar el Gran Mundial de ciclismo en Florencia, una carrera dura tecnicamente pero que será recibida con mucho entusiasmo por la ciudad del Renacimiento y por los pueblos que atravesará en estos días.
El duelo de bicicletas pasará por pleno centro de Florencia, incluyendo el gran Duomo, además, también saludará a los ciudadanos de las ciudades de Pistoia, Lucca, Montecatini Terme y Fiesole entre el 22 y el 29 de septiembre y hará disfrutar a los ciclistas de grandes paisajes toscanos que forman parte del patrimonio artístico.
La Unión Ciclista Internacional (UCI) ha decidido el logotipo del mundial sea Pinocho, puesto que es uno de los símbolos de la Toscana. Los organizadores han decidido vestirlo con un el jersey arco iris que luce el campeón del mundo,con una actitud optimista, además, bajo el brazo izquierdo lleva un casco para comunicar, tanto a adultos como a niños, que la seguridad es un requisito indispensable cuando uno monta en bicicleta. 
El campeonato ha llegado a Toscana gracias al esfuerzo del ex ciclista Alfredo Martini, y hace honor recordando a Franco Ballerini, el ciclista italiano muerto en un accidente de rally en 2010.
Los billetes para asistir a la carrera desde las tribunas especiales preparadas en puntos estrategicos ya están a la venta en el sitio oficial de los Mundiales www.toscana2013.it
El recorrido de las carreras en la ciudad, causa interrupciones en los desplazamientos tanto de los coches como de los autobuse o de las personas, en las zonas del centro y periferia por donde pasan los ciclistas de las 9.30 hasta una hora después de acabar las carreras. Habrá 34 zonas peatonales para acceder al interior de la ciudad y solo 3 para hacerlo con el coche (el piazzale Vittorio Veneto, por plaza Alberti o por el lungarno Diaz)

El Ayuntamiento de Florencia ha dedicado un sitio para todas las actualizaciones: http://www.comune.fi.it/opencms/opencms/comune_firenze/Mondiali_ciclismo_2013.html

Monday, September 9, 2013

A guide to free wi-fi spots in Florence



by Ilaria Gelichi



One of the first questions asked by foreign students and tourists visiting Florence is “where can I find free Wi-Fi?”. Well, good news is coming: starting from September, 5 2013, Florence is the first city in Italy to have free Wi-Fi connection – without asking for registration or password.
To be honest, Florence has had Wi-Fi spots since 2009 but it was necessary to register and wait for the password via text message. Now, you just need to turn on your device and join “FirenzeWiFi”: the only limit is 2 hours (even divided) or 300MB per day. The best spots are the main squares of the city centre, Cascine park and the tramway line – on board and at the stops, from Santa Maria Novella train station to Scandicci. Other spots are historic palaces (museums, villas), libraries, main parks, universities (Viale Morgagni, Via Alfani, Arcetri Observatory, etc.), parking (Santa Maria Novella, etc.). Please notice that the connection may not work or be slow because of the huge amount of people using it.
Good to know: owners of the Firenze Card (http://www.firenzecard.it/index.php?lang=en) can use the connection for 72 hours – the duration of the card.

In the last few years, many cafes and restaurants has started offering free Wi-Fi connection for their customers; sometimes the spot is open, but most of the times you have to ask for the password. A “Wi-Fi” sticker on the door means that the café or restaurant offers this service.
 Some examples:

- Caffè Strozzi (open hotspot)
Palazzo Strozzi, Firenze
- Caffè Florian (ask for the password)
Via del Parione, Firenze
- Caffetteria delle Oblate (open hotspot)
Via dell’Oriuolo 26, Firenze
- Hard Rock Cafè (open hotspot)
Via Dè Brunelleschi 1, Firenze

Friday, September 6, 2013

Traditional Florentine festivals: the Rificolona



 by Ilaria Gelichi



As every September, this year comes again the festival of the Rificolona, a typical Florentine feast. This traditional event takes place every September, 7th in Florence and its origins are rooted in the traditions of the nearby countryside. On the eve of the anniversary of the Nativity of Our Lady, farmers headed to Piazza S.S. Annunziata waiting for the festivity and bringing their goods for the market, which usually takes place on this day. The young girls where called with the nickname “fierucolone” (fierucola: little fiera = fair), so from this comes the word rificolona. Later this word began to be used for paper lanterns which were used to light up the streets in the countryside, completely dark at that time.

Tomorrow, Saturday 7th, the procession of rificolone will leave from piazza della Signoria and will join a group of almost 500 pilgrims coming on foot from Impruneta, following the old countryside streets (11 km). They will arrive around 7.45pm to piazza Santa Felicita, then leave again and cross Ponte Vecchio, walking on via Por Santa Maria to piazza della Signoria again, around 8.40pm. The procession will leave again, cross piazza S. Giovanni around 9.15pm and lead to piazza S.S. Annunziata, where the feast will start at 9:45pm.
Make sure to bring your own rificolona, and enjoy!


As every September, this year comes again the festival of the Rificolona, a typical Florentine feast. This traditional event takes place every September, 7th in Florence and its origins are rooted in the traditions of the nearby countryside. On the eve of the anniversary of the Nativity of Our Lady, farmers headed to Piazza S.S. Annunziata waiting for the festivity and bringing their goods for the market, which usually takes place on this day. The young girls where called with the nickname “fierucolone” (fierucola: little fiera = fair), so from this comes the word rificolona. Later this word began to be used for paper lanterns which were used to light up the streets in the countryside, completely dark at that time.

Tomorrow, Saturday 7th, the procession of rificolone will leave from piazza della Signoria and will join a group of almost 500 pilgrims coming on foot from Impruneta, following the old countryside streets (11 km). They will arrive around 7.45pm to piazza Santa Felicita, then leave again and cross Ponte Vecchio, walking on via Por Santa Maria to piazza della Signoria again, around 8.40pm. The procession will leave again, cross piazza S. Giovanni around 9.15pm and lead to piazza S.S. Annunziata, where the feast will start at 9:45pm.

Make sure to bring your own rificolona, and enjoy!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Novelas: Cuando Florencia se viste de amarillo, los mejores libros policiacos


Si los nombres de Magdalen Nabb, Alana White e Beatrice Boeker no os dicen nada, continuar leyendo: hemos encontrado un mundo de delitos – imaginarios – sobre el escenario florentino. Aquí tres libros policiacos para no perderse.

En la playa o en el sofá, los libros policiacos son una compañia ideal puesto que te distraen y te pueden llegar a atrapar, sobre todo cuando son ambientados en una gran ciudad. Buscando en librerias y en interner hemos descubieto que no solo Marco Vinchi vive el amarillo en Florencia.

“El mariscal Guarnaccia” de Magdalen Nabb.

Entre tantos “anglobeceri” nacidos en Inglaterra, transferidos a Florencia y desde el momento transformados en florentinos, se bautizada en el Batisterio Magdalen Nabb, la autora. Se había transferido a Toscana en 1975 para aprender el arte de la cerámica, cuando, gracias a largas conversaciones con la policia local, decide optar por la escritura de romances del genero amarillo, hasta 2007, año en el que muere.
Por lo tanto, se convirtió así en la creadora del mariscal Guarnaccia, también él florentino de adopción como Nabb, pero de origenes sicilianos. Sus casos de ambientan en Oltrarno y tienen como escenario las calles estrechas típicas cerca de la Piazza Pitti y ambiente un poco pasado de moda de la zona.

“Misterios de la Florencia de los Médicos.”

Yendo atrás en el tiempo hasta llegar al Renacimiento, se descubre un romance que transforma Florencia en la ciudad ideal para un misterio. Escrito por Alana White– pero no traducido en italiano todavía - se llama The Sign of the Weeping Virgin. La trama ideal para quien ama adentrarse en la Florencia de los Medicos, cuenta de una Virgen que llora en la Iglesia de Ognissanti.
Sólo se necesita atravesar el Arno para pasar de la Florencia contemporanea de Magdalen Nabb a la Florencia del 1480, dominada por la Familia de los Médicos y animada de eventos muy particulares como el raptuta de una joven mujer noble probablemente una ópera de los Turcos, y el descubrimiento de un mensaje escondido depinto de Botticelli sobre la pared de una iglesia. Ideal para amantes de novelas policiacas y de la historia.

De Santa Croce a via Tornabuoni con el muerto.

Dealyed Death, con subtítulo “Temptation in Florence”, es el título del romance de la alemana Beatrice Boeker. El entretenido misterio, como lo define Amazon, se desenvuelve en el corazón de Florencia: el hecho gira alrededor de la plaza Santa Cruz y la calle con más glamour de la ciudad, Tornabuoni, donde se encuentra la tienda de ropa interior de Carlina, la protagonista.
La novela cuenta la muerte “retardada” del abuelo de la protagonista, que coincide con el matrimonio del primo. Mala suerte que no se trata de muerte natural sino de enveneniamento y la idea de Carlina de esconder la muerte del abuelo empieza a ser sospechosa para la policia, y comienzan a investigar. El resto no os lo cuento, para no descubrir el final.