Sunday, October 31, 2010



10012010 The Mastroberardino family, led by the scholarly Antonio Mastroberardino, preserved and propagated the species, which may be the oldest of Campanian vines. Popular opinion declares the grape's name to be a dialect version of the word 'Hellenic', indicating an origin some 2,500 years ago when southern Italy was a Greek colony known as Magna Graecia or Oenotria (Greater Greece or the Land of Wine). 'Aglianico has been grown in Campania for thousands of years. It made wine for the Romans. For centuries it has proliferated but was almost destroyed by phylloxera and was on the verge of extinction until my family acted.' Lesser known grape: Aglianico | Decanter
10022010 To most Romans, civilization was simply untenable without the pleasures of the grape. Inscriptions confirm that wine was quaffed by everyone from the wealthy patrician in his painted villa to soldiers and sailors in the roughest provincial inns. And although overconsumption no doubt took a toll, wine was far safer than water: The acid and alcohol in wine curbed the growth of dangerous pathogens. Epicures took particular delight in a costly white wine known as Falernian, produced from Aminean grapes grown on mountain slopes south of modern-day Naples. Vox Populi | Discover
10032010 Jason Hall-Spencer and colleagues at the University of Plymouth, UK, found a site off the island of Ischia in southern Italy where geologic CO2 naturally seeps through the seafloor. "It is visually stunning, like a 300-meter-long Jacuzzi," says Hall-Spencer, who says diving on the site felt like swimming through champagne. Natural CO2 seeps are usually associated with hot vents. The Ischia site offers an usual opportunity to study cool, acidified ecosystems that are not modified by the toxic effects of sulphur. It also allowed the researchers to study how the Mediterranean ecosystem changed across a pH gradient. Champagne sea | New Scientists
10042010 Joris Dik did his thesis on Naples yellow, a pigment that has existed for thousands of years. Ancient Egyptians used it, but it fell into obscurity until it reappeared in AD 1000. Slowly its use spread to western Europe from the Middle East in the 16th through to the 18th century. The pigment's complex phase composition changed throughout the years, and Dik’s aim was to determine these different compositions. His research could prove useful for dating purposes. "The early type of pigment, in the 16th century, was very pure and contained lead and antimonite. However, as it spread north, it was adulterated." The pigment was commonly called Naples yellow because people believed that it came from a volcanic mineral from Vesuvius, although this was eventually proved to be a misconception. Naples Yellow for Dating |
10052010 Many of Mario Merz works refer to the principles of the Fibonacci series, an exponential mathematical sequence that underlies the growth patterns of natural life. Fibonacci Naples, 1970, consists of ten photographs of factory workers at lunch, gathering from one person to a group numbering fifty-five [55 is equivalent to 10 in the Fibonacci series]. Algorithmic Art | UC Santa Barbara
10062010 In Basel, Tadiello was showing his sculpture LK100A—a construction of metal rods, an electrical motor, and two oversized funnels over three and a half meters high that reminds one of a machine or a bizarre insect. And indeed, Tadiello’s work provides a short, but clearly audible vital sign twice a day—an intimidating sound reminiscent of a siren. Tadiello’s sculptures combine mechanical elements with sound and a keen sense for formal precision. In his 2008 work EPROM, 48 musical boxes, electrical motors, and cables joined to form an ensemble of minimalist elegance on the white wall of his gallery, T293 in Naples. Sound and Silence Alberto Tadiello’s project for Art Basel | ArtMag
10072010 The Mascalzone Latino Sailing School on Monday unveiled its new facilities on the Naples waterfront and announced the patronage of Italy’s Ministry of Youth for outstanding results working with underprivileged children. Founded in 2007 by Vincenzo Onorato, whose Mascalzone Latino Sailing Team represents Club Nautico di Roma, the Challenger of Record for the 34th America’s Cup in 2013, the school offers free sailing lessons to children between the ages of 8 and 16 who otherwise would have no opportunity for education. “I believe the answer to the future of the youth in Naples can come from the sea,” said Onorato. Italy. Mascalzone Latino Sailing School opens new facilities | BYM Sailing & Sports News
10082010 BAA Ltd., the owner of London’s Heathrow airport, will sell its stake in the Naples airport to Italian infrastructure investor F2i SGR SpA for 150 million euros ($204.4 million), a person familiar with the matter said. The transaction is being announced tomorrow, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the details aren’t public. BAA, a unit of Ferrovial SA, owns 65 percent of holding company Gesac SpA, which controls the airport. BAA Said to Sell Naples Airport Stake for $204 Million to Italy's F2i SGR | Bloomberg
10092010 Leave grey England behind as La Regina Isabella’s private speedboat whizzes you across the brilliant azure sea to enchanting Ischia. It’s a dreamy place, which is not to say it isn’t also quite serious. The charmingly old-fashioned hotel is built around a medical spa based on the island’s curative thermal waters and volcanic mud. This healing centre is run with flair by Dr Paolo Magrassi – an Indiana Jones type who has worked in Brazil and the Congo. He oversees all manner of therapies for politicians, A-listers and ordinary folk alike. The glorious mud is dispensed from satisfying Mr Whippy-style canisters and improves everything from your circulation to your skin. After three days you’ll look and feel like you’ve been away for weeks. La Regina Isabella | Tatler
10102010 Procida it’s one of Italy’s best kept secrets: the houses are simple and coloured in soft pastel tones, fishermen’s boats dot the harbours, the people are friendly and either work as fishermen or for the tourist industry. It’s rural Italy at its best, especially in the locations of Corricella and Porto. It’s original, unspoiled, charming. It may be off the beaten path, but, at the same time, it’s been to everyone’s home, or nearly so. Why? Well, it’s all to do with a movie, an Italian movie: oscar-winning il Postino (the postman), with the late great Italian actor Massimo Troisi. Day trip to the Island of Procida | IgoUgo
10112010 Mr. Turturro's movie "Passione" is a bustling documentary about the rich and varied culture of song in Naples, covering music dating back to the 1200s. But rather than a panel of talking heads, Mr. Turturro has captured a series of colorful performances shot throughout the city, sometimes framed with a bit of storytelling (in the manner of the traditional sceneggiata). "[Naples] is a very particular crazy—like New York in the '60s and '70s, but crushed together," he said. "It's a wild place, and you can feel it on the streets. It's rough, but it's beautiful." Turturro Leads the Yankees Into Canada | The Wall Street Journal
10122010 I'm wild about Antichi Sapori, a grocery in the heart of Naples that's evolved into a trattoria. Owner Gennaro Canfora impressed me on my first visit with a taste of spectacular provola cheese that he'd aged himself, and there was a display of artisanal pasta from Setaro and a terrific selection of wines sold at grocery prices (at least a third less than most restaurants). His son, Salvatore, was in the kitchen with his mother, Patrizia, preparing traditional, mostly vegetable dishes, served at tables outside on the sidewalk under wine-colored umbrellas, or to go. In Naples, a Grocery Becomes a Trattoria | The Atlantic
10132010 Standing on the top of Vesuvius taking in the breathtaking view of the Gulf of Naples it struck me that although Iceland and Italy don’t seem much alike, they have one very powerful connection: volcanoes. Iceland and Italy are the only volcanically active countries in Europe and I suppose volcanoes look similar wherever you are in the world. Walking through the streets of Naples, admiring gallant buildings, medieval castles and taking in the atmosphere, Iceland seemed far away.
Locals were people-watching on narrow balconies while hanging their laundry out to dry in the sun—all around colorful items of clothing fluttered in the breeze. Yet Iceland was closer than I thought… While strolling on a narrow street in the city center after having enjoyed a traditional Napolitan pizza, a sign stopped me in my tracks: “Bacalao Islandia” it read. So Icelandic fish made it here too, I thought. Volcanoes and Rossopomodoros | Iceland Review
10142010 A legend begun in the Medieval Ages tells of how Archimedes used mirrors to concentrate sunlight as a defensive weapon during the siege of Syracuse, then a Greek colony on the island of Sicily, from 214 to 212 B.C. No contemporary Roman or Greek accounts tell of such a mirror device, however. Both engineering calculations and historical evidence support use of steam cannons as "much more reasonable than the use of burning mirrors," said Cesare Rossi, a mechanical engineer at the University of Naples "Federico II," in Naples, Italy, who along with colleagues analyzed evidence of both potential weapons. The steam cannons could have fired hollow balls made of clay and filled with something similar to an incendiary chemical mixture known as Greek fire in order to set Roman ships ablaze. Archimedes set Roman ships afire with cannons |
10152010 The sirens who lived off Italy’s Amalfi coast are said to have retrieved shipwrecked cargoes of honey, incense, resin and bergamot and mixed them with the airborne aromas of magnolia, tuberose and musk to seduce passing sailors. This is the inspiration behind Eau d’Italie, the signature fragrance of Positano’s genteel Le Sirenuse hotel, named after the legend. Siren's call | Wallpaper
10162010 Amalfi is one of the most beautiful places on this earth, and by far my favorite. You'll be there in the peak of tourist season so it will be crowded - and very hot! There's a great trail out there called Sentiero degli Dei (Path of the Gods) that's similar to the popular Cinque Terre to the north in that it hugs coastal ridgelines to connect seaside villages, but won't have nearly the amount of foot traffic or unfortunate Americanization. The route varies depending on which source you look at, but no matter which you choose it will have spectacular vistas and roman ruins littering the mountaintops. Be prepared for extremely long sets of ancient stairs along the way. Forums > Amalfi Coast | Backpacker
10172010 This year, the memorial to the slain ex-Beatle and peace activist John Lennon includes a mosaic donated by the city of Naples, Italy. A plaque lists 121 countries that endorse Strawberry Fields as a Garden of Peace. The 2.5-acre (1-hectare) site was created by Yoko Ono and named after the Lennon song, which also observes that "living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see. Fans Celebrate John Lennon's 70th Birthday in Central Park | Fox News
10182010 Antonio Pappano's career started within an extraordinary home in which music was the family business. His father Pasquale and mother Maria came from Castelfranco in Miscano, a small town of 1,000 inhabitants in the farming province of Benevento, an hour and 20 minutes inland from Naples. Music was his father's love and a career he was prepared to fight to pursue. Pappano says: "My father was a tenor. He realised he had a voice as a boy, singing the 'Ave Maria' in church, and when he came out of the army, he had a dream to study music." He began to realise his dream by joining the Milan conservatory. By that time he had had a bust-up with his childhood sweetheart Maria; she left their village to join her sister in London. He followed her there, they married and decided to stay. Force of nature | The Guardian
10192010 Personnel from Soprintendenza Speciale per i beni Archeologici di Napoli e Pompei and the National Museum of Singapore erect a mosaic water fountain recovered from Pompeii as they prepare for an exhibition, entitled Pompeii Life in a Roman Town 79CE, in Singapore. The first exhibition of its kind in South East Asia will focus on what life was like in ancient Pompeii before its destruction by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. The exibition runs at the National Museum of Singapore from 16 October 2010 to 25 January 2011. Daily Life in a City Steeped in Mystery |
10202010 The underwater Archaeological Park of Baiae is a National Marine Reserve which is managed by the consortium Assodiving Flegreum on behalf of the Archaeological Authority of Caserta and Naples. Within the park, there are numerous Roman remains of various villas, the port of the Miseno fleet and the protective barrier/breakwater - depending on the location it's possible to see the various building techniques used by the Romans, floor mosaics and, of course, geysers from which the Burning Fields’ name is given. As this is a marine park, it is obviously of interest to scuba divers but, given the depths, it is also possible to visit it as a snorkeller or in a glass bottom boat; all this can be arranged by the members of the Assodiving Flegreum. Dive Sites > Italy | Sport Diver
10212010 Migration and its consequences forms the theme of the Million Donkey Hotel, a project by feld72, a collective of Italian, French and Austrian architects based in Vienna. In August 2005, a group of artists was invited to address questions of identity, territory, social space and landscape in Prata Sannita, a village in the Matese regional park near Naples, by means of art projects involving the participation of the local population. The response is to view Prata Sannita as a large, scattered hotel that has rooms available in the abandoned buildings. These are refurbished and brought back into use. At the same time, the Million Donkey Hotel becomes an extension of public space, since in the low-season, the hotel rooms can also be used by the Pratesi locals. Million Donkey Hotel by feld72, Prata Sannita, Italy | The Architectural Review
10222010 Just-married Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer finally got away from it all. Over two weeks after tying the knot at a low-key Malibu bash, True Blood's real-life couple was spotted Monday on a honeymoon in Ravello, Italy -- where they graciously posed for a pic with two fans. A popular tourist destination, Ravello is located above the stunning Amalfi coast in southern Italy. First Pic: Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer Honeymoon in Italy! | US Weekly
10232010 Blu Mediterraneo Fico di Amalfi smells of beach joy!
Although it's a sweet fragrance, it's very manly and self-assertive. The opening is very soothing and elegant, and you soon realize what you have before your nose. Its dry down is highly cozy, but longevity doesn't seem to be FdA's forte. I would recommend it especially for day wear or during summer time, but FdA wouldn't play a bad role in the evening. By the way, this is the only Blu Mediterraneo scent that doesn't make me seasick indeed. Reviews of Blu Mediterraneo Fico di Amalfi |
10242010 A weekday morning in October. An Indian summer. The perfect morning for a visit to Pallagrello country. An ideal opportunity to walk Casavecchia vineyards. And an excellent chance to spend the day with Giovanni Ascione-Nanni Copè’s one man show. Here Pallagrello hangs from the sky. Walking through the rows, we ducked, reached up, touched, picked, and tasted the grapes. The same grapes enjoyed by the Bourbons so many years ago. Aglianico is content here as well. Here on this hill, with a northwestern sun exposure. The perfect exposure for those in Southern Italy who want to make an elegant wine. And that is why he has chosen this small corner of Campania… to produce a wine that could only be produced here. With grapes from a vineyard with a penthouse view of the surrounding mountains, sandy soil, cool breezes. With grapes from 140 year old vines standing 1 ½ meters high…Sabbie di Sopra il Bosco. Simple… Vineyard Hopping – Vitulazio (Ce) – Nanni Copè | AIS Napoli
10252010 According to Professor Attilio Scienza, Italy (which was known as enotria tellus, or "land of trained vines," to the Greeks) gained such a rich genetic patrimony because of its auspicious location at the crossroads of the Mediterranean. The country essentially became a giant nursery and wine import/export hub with material used by the Etruscans or brought in by the Phoenicians and Greeks. (indeed, the term "indigenous" is misleading as many grapes were carried over from Greece or elsewhere millennia ago. The proof is often in the semantics: Greco, Greco di Tufo, Grechetto, Grecanico and Garganega are clearly Greek imports. Thanks to the Italian peninsula's harbors (Naples, Pompeii and the mighty port towns of Magna Grecia) the constant flux of grape material sparked a healthy trade business. 10 Italian Varieties You Should Know | Wine Enthusiast
10262010 For those looking to smooth cellulite, reduce the appearance of spider veins or give their legs an overall firmer look, Juliet Kinsman, editor-in-chief of Mr. and Mrs. Smithtravel guides, recommends Capri Palace's Beauty Farm, in Capri, Italy, for its Leg School - a set of treatments focused entirely on leg beauty and health. "This spa is not only super-chic but fantastically clinical in its results," says Kinsman. "This is the place to tackle cellulite, and celebrities flock to this exclusive Italian retreat to prepare for high-profile, red-carpet moments." Europe's 10 Top Spas | Forbes
10272010 A dazzling white villa on the cliffs above Marina Grande, ultra-chic J. Place Capri is set in manicured gardens with astounding views over the Bay of Naples. The sleek interior, large infinity-edged pool, delightful cuisine and an intimate spa combine to make the perfect Mediterranean island retreat. The view from the unbleached teak terrace makes it easy to see why Capri is so seductive; emerald-green waters lap rocky bays and Mount Vesuvius shimmers in the distance. Inside is stylish yet fun with columns and shining lacquered floors contrasting with fur-trimmed curtains, zebra print stools and nautical blue and white decor. JK Place Capri | Islands
10282010 At almost every turn, Naples made me think of the old courtesan Madame Hortense in "Zorba the Greek," at once so charming and so pathetic that she constricts the heart. Throughout most of the city's long history, the port of Naples sang a siren song to visitors, beginning with the Greeks and Romans, who built vacation villas in the lush, sunny countryside around it. Now many of these are archeological digs, but Naples endures in its unmatched setting, with perfectly proportioned Vesuvius, Europe's only active volcano, on the horizon, the Sorrento peninsula to the south and the fabled island of Capri out in the Tyrrhenian Sea. And then there's that mesmerizing azure bay, which kept me looking seaward. Loving Naples, flaws and all | Chicago Tribune
10292010 Q: What's the best place you've ever visited and why? A: New Zealand is my favorite because it's where my family is from. I go there every year for Christmas when it's summer there. It's a good way to get a tan while everyone in Europe is still in winter. I also love places like Italy. I went to an island called Ischia once (which) was so stunning with vivid blue ocean. Traveling with the Stars: Natasha Bedingfield | USA Today
10302010 An early 18th-Century Villa with panoramic ocean views of the Amalfi Coast - 6 Million Euros ($8.1 Million) - This six-bedroom four-bath villa, sold furnished, is perched above the town of Positano on the Amalfi Coast. The exterior is pink-and-white stucco. On the main floor, a terrace runs the width of the house. Arched doorways lead into the foyer, the formal dining room and the living room. Original frescoes adorn the bedroom ceilings. In addition to the 3,600 square feet of living space, the property has 5,000 square feet of terraces and gardens, including mature fruit and nut trees. House Hunting in ... Italy | The New York Times
10312010 Aret' a' Palm is Neapolitan for "behind the palm tree," and that's exactly where you'll find this agreeably dark bar on Piazza Santa Maria La Nova. Its long marble bar and mirrored walls suggest Paris more than Naples. Aret' a' Palm | USA Today