Shilpa, a co-worker from Delhi came to visit our Italian offices and brought me this box of Indian tea. I have to say this tea is excellent: strong and balanced. It blends very well with milk bit it’s also good alone. Along with the box, she also brought me a small bag of green dry seeds. She told me the name but I can’t remember. You put one seed in the tea cup, together with tea, and it adds a good and even stronger flavor. In Italy you can’t buy anything like this, so thanks Shilpa!
This is a huge box, half a kilogram. Despite me being a tea lover (for Italian standards) it’s going to take me one year to drink all of it. I was puzzled then when I found this on wikipedia:
India is also the world’s largest tea-drinking nation. However, the per capita consumption of tea in India remains a modest 750 grams per person every year.
Last weekend I went to PyCon Due, the 2nd Italian conference on the Python programming language. It was in Firenze, a few minutes walk from where I live, so it’s been very handy. This year the conference was much bigger than last year’s. Read the rest of this entry »
This weekend I went with Fabio and Michele hiking on the mountains. I love hiking but it was quite some time I didn’t go, so I was a bit excited. Our target was Scaffaiolo lake (1775m), a place on the Appennini mountains between Modena and Pistoia, in the Frignano Natural Park area. The plan was to drive to hut Capanno Tassoni (1317m) and then walk up hill from there. Read the rest of this entry »
The Hermitage Museum of St. Petersburg owns so many pieces of artwork that they cannot handle them all in one place. For this reason they routinely organize exhibitions abroad and opened a few branches around the world. They have one in Las Vegas, one in Amsterdam and recently opened a third one in Ferrara. To celebrate its birth, Italian Hermitage organized an exhibition dedicated to Benvenuto Tisi, also known as Il Garofalo, at the Estense Castle.
Benvenuto Tisi was born in Ferrara in 1481 and is one of the most prominent painters of the School of Ferrara. He began gravitating around Domenico Panetti, Lorenzo Costa, Dosso Dossi and then refining his style under with Boccaccio Boccaccino. He already had a distinctive style, with bright colors and strong use of light as it was common in the Venetian school, when he eventually visited Rome and met Raffaello. That was a breakthrough and his style dramatically improved, so much that out of Italy his paintings sometimes are mistakenly attributed to Raffaello, even if Garofalo kept a distinctive mannerism.
What strikes me the most in Garofalo’s paintings is the use of light/dark and bright colors to highlight the subject and yet the obsessive presence of background stuff, as if he were shy of wasting the corners of the canvas. Also very interesting the ethereal mood his characters can express.
The exhibition also features a few paintings by Garofalo’s contemporary artists and the ticket includes a visit to the Castle. This alone would be worth the money. Several inner rooms were recently restored and feature astonishing ceiling frescoes and the atmosphere of renaissance lifestyle and parties. Just looking at the kitchen you get an idea of the huge banquets the Este family used to throw in their golden period, to say nothing of the Giardino degli Aranci or the underground Jail.