Tuesday, August 21, 2007

World's 50 Best Restaurants 2007

First published by Restaurant magazine in 2002 and now in its sixth year, The S.Pellegrino World's 50 Best Restaurants is recognised around the world as the most credible indicator of the best places to eat on EARTH!!

Unfortunately Italy has some work to do!! It is tied for fourth place on the list along with Spain - each having 6 restaurants on the list.

The 50 best by nation are as follows :
France 12
UK 7
Spain 6
Italy 6
Australia 2

How Italy is outperformed by the UK is beyond me!!

For the complete list including descriptions and reviews of each restaurant go to:

Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Boys of Summer 2006

2006 World Cup Champions!
It was a joy to watch the boys play last summer. The number of fans watching matches in the bars and restaurants around NYC was amazing!

Sambuca Con Mosca

Sambuca...one of my favorite liquers!!

In Sambuca con mosca (literally, "Sambuca with flies") coffee beans are added as an ornament but they can also be chewed to exalt the taste of anise.

The Italian tradition is to put three coffee beans representing health, wealth and happiness (or luck).

Sambuca is also great added to a strong cup of espresso OR served on the rocks. The ice exalts the flavors and changes the color of the drink from transparent to dense white.


Scopa is an Italian card game that I learned growing up. I didn't learn gin rummy or bridge...but scopa!!

The link below contains some nice pictures of the classic deck and the standard rules. It is a fun, easy game ideally enjoyed with a nice glass of brunello! You will see men playing scopa outside little cafes and taverns all over Italy.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Che La Fenice Risorga Delle Ceneri

Teatro La Fenice ("The Phoenix") is an opera house in Venice. It is one of the most famous theatres in Europe, the site of many famous operatic premieres. Its name reflects its role in permitting an opera company to "rise from the ashes" despite losing the use of two theatres (to fire and legal problems respectively). Since opening and being named La Fenice, it has twice burned and been rebuilt.
(from Wikipedia)

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Who's The Most Famous Resident of Laglio, Italy?

Laglio is is a small municipality at the south western end of the Lake Como. It has about 900 residents.

Laglio was put on the map in 2002, when George Clooney settled down there, purchasing the Villa Oleandra from the Heinz family.

The Villa Oleandra is an 18th century home with 15 bedrooms. Parts of Ocean's Twelve were filmed there.

More on Lago di Como in future posts!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Opera Nella Citta Del Romeo e Juliet

If you're an opera lover, this is a must. Even if you're not an opera lover, this is a must!!

Verona is a city in the Veneto in Northern Italy. The city itself is a UNESCO World Heritage site and well worth visiting. It is also the setting for Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet :

There is no world without Verona walls,
But purgatory, torture, hell itself.
Hence-banished is banish'd from the world,

(following from jetsetreport.com):
One of Europe's premiere summer festivals, the Verona Opera runs from late-June thru August within the city's historic Roman amphitheater. Built in the 1st century, the structure is remarkably well preserved and centrally located within the main piazza of Verona. The amphitheater is one of the most intact pieces of the Roman era, aside from its missing decorative marble facade and outer wall that's sitting in the middle of piazza. Despite it's name it's hardly a ruin at all, but actually a working opera house that functions essentially the same as one built within the last 20-years. It's an incredible venue, offering a seating capacity of 22,000, with elaborate large-scale sets that are wheeled through town and into the arena for extravagant productions of Aida, Carmen and Turnadot.

There are a wide variety of ticket prices to suit every pocketbook and tickets can now be purchased online.

I was fortunate to see Franco Zeffirelli's staging of Carmen here back in the mid 90s. Fabulous experience!!