Don Quixote might mistake the windmill called Mulino a Vento as a “giant,” standing on top of the ridge, with arms outstretched over the valley below, ready to do battle with any approaching foe. It surely must be a giant, right, because there aren’t any windmills in Tuscany? Everybody knows that! Right? Well, “everybody” is mistaken. (more…)
Bicycles have clearly been a major mode of transportation in cities around the world for decades—especially in Europe. Nothing new about that. But with each great idea comes a few new problems to solve. For example: theft, maintenance, safety, storage, and more. But those problems are becoming a thing of the past with the latest version of Bike Sharing. The third generation systems are successfully in use around the world. And, the fourth generation is arriving soon! (more…)
Italy has an impressive system of roads that range from the strada bianca, white road (gravel), to the autostrada—which is the equivalent of the interstate in the US. You pay your way in Italy (in more ways than one). Actually, it’s not a bad idea. Those who use the autostrada the most, pay the most. It’s sort of like the state-owned and operated toll bridges in the Bay Area. Both systems provide quite a few permanent jobs, so in these economically challenging times, there’s nothing wrong with that! And by the way, every autostrada comes fully equipped with more than a few autogrills! (more…)
In the Ligurian town of Rapallo, along the northern coast of Italy, three brothers are making a name for themselves and their restaurant.. They attract a diverse crowd at their popular place called K2—but that’s only the beginning. More than a mere meal, what really happens behind the driving beat, the flashing big screens, the delicious food and great conversation is a real Italian experience—Sicilian style!
While visiting the famous and beautiful coastal towns of Portofino, Rapallo and Santa Margherita, we discovered that the main attraction for us was the restaurant, K2 (Rocco e i Suoi Fratelli, Rocco and his brothers). Here the brothers Costanzo charm your socks off, and give you a first-class lesson in following dreams and values. Our first dinner was a magical evening that made the visit not only fun, but memorable—perhaps even life-changing. (more…)
We went to the Teatro Odeon the other night to catch the new movie called A Dangerous Method starring Keira Knightley, Vigo Mortensen and Michael Fassbender. We were excited to see their depiction of the two pioneers of psychotherapy, Freud and Jung because we’ve always been fascinated with their incredible contributions to the field of psychology. In fact, many of the concepts, therapies and ideas we take for granted today were products of their fertile early 20th century minds. (more…)
Did you know that air-conditioning has been around for centuries in Europe, long before the invention of electricity?
It’s true. Well, sort of. Europeans are experts at using exterior shutters to control the flow of air and the intensity of the sun, thereby conditioning, cooling the inside spaces. It costs nothing to run their state-of-the-art air-conditioning system. (more…)
We have a new friend.
Well, not really, because we rarely see her and haven’t ever talked much at all, but . . . we have been in communication for years now. I know this doesn’t make sense yet, but give me a chance to explain. (more…)
As you know from an earlier post, I’ve had my share of problems with Italian flyswatters. If you didn’t already read it, you might want to check out the April story called “Fly Me to the Moon—Please,” as a suggested prerequisite to this follow-up story. Since many of you felt my pain in trying to use the wimpy traditional Italian swatters, I thought it was only fair to share some good news as well. Our luck in the domain of flies took a turn for the better on Tuesday morning when we went to Molin del Piano. Let me explain. (more…)