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posted By Home In Italy on April 2nd, 2014

A large pool of 160 sqm dominates one of the most beautiful coasts of Sardinia. In front of the pool, the island of Tavolara frames the unforgettable landscape which varies in its intense colours by sunrise to sunset.

This is Villa Volpe, a comfortable villa situated only 15 minutes from the airport of Olbia, located in Northern Sardinia at Porto San Paolo, 12km South of Olbia and 40 minutes from the Smerelda coastline.

Villa Volpe is equipped with air conditioning, an outside Jacuzzi with cold water and last but not least the marvellous swimming pool, whose size makes this private villa very special. The nearest beach to the villa is on a 1,5 km distance and in the area there are famous white sandy beaches such as Porto Istana, The Reef, Porto Taverna, Brandichi the Cinta and Budoni, which constitute one of the most marvellous marine Protected Areas in Italy.

Porto San Paolo is an elegant touristic village, includes a small touristic harbour and a small centre which offers all kinds of shops and a dozen restaurants for everyone’s taste.

The 500 sqm villa is totally independent, surrounded by a garden of 6000 sqm shielded by walls and illuminated by 25 external lights. A spacious patio which covers the whole front view of the villa, is furnished on one side with sofas e chairs and on the other side with a table for 10 people, where you can eat by candlelight in front of the charming sea view.

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posted By Home In Italy on March 18th, 2014

Artisan tradition and a manufacture that combines industrial, manual and technological techniques have for centuries characterized and exalted the Italian art of glassmaking. A segment of the luxury sector and synonomous with Italian design, glassmaking on the Peninsula calls the Venetian isle of Murano its epicenter – at least since the 8th Century – Murano being the famous brand name that is known and imported throughout the world.

On Murano, packed with Renaissance-style houses and in part defined by its dominant white lighthouse, glass production stands as the highest expression of refined objets and furnishings. It is an expression realized over time by several dynasties of master glassmakers, passing down this art of transforming sand with air and fire, and maintaining an archive of knowledge that has been kept very hush-hush on this semi-secluded little island.

Some maintain that the glass arts hark back to ancient Egypt, whence the tradition arrived in old Rome for the purpose of adorning noble residences. Yet it was with Eastern and Arab influences that glass design and manufacture was further refined throughout the centuries. More specifically, such took place in Venice, but not in Venice proper – rather, on the outlying island of Murano, where the possibility of large and dangerous fires (as a result of the glassmaking process) destroying the Most Serene Republic was minimized.

The creation of objects in glass is rather complex, both materially and economically, which is why early on glassmakers enjoyed certain immunities and were allowed to possess swords for self-defense; the catch is they could never be permitted to leave the Republic, in the regrettable case that the secrets of the glass arts might be given up by any mode or means.

For this, Murano’s glassmakers held a tight monopoly on both quality and manufacturing techniques, including millefiori, crystal or lead glass, glazed, and milk glass, up until the re-discovery of ancient Roman glass, today’s murrine.

Murano is still the foremost hub of artisan labs for both artistic and mass commercial production. One of the standouts among the most unique, original creations are glass objects imitating precious stones. Of course many of Venice’s historic glass ateliers have become international household names, including Salviati, Barovier & Toso, FerroMurano, and Berengo Studio.

Tourists in Venice seek out the workshops of the grand maestros – that, by the way, assisted Picasso, Fontana and Chagall in creating their own glass sculptures. Here visitors can acquire light fixtures, goblets and chalices, jewelry and vases – thin as paper or thick like marble, white like porcelain or cold-painted.  Before visiting the Museo del Vetro in Palazzo Giustinian, witness the glassmaking of Murano in person to appreciate the expert techniques used to shape and form these works. Viewing the manufacturing process up close truly makes the final product come alive in a brand new way.

posted By Home In Italy on March 5th, 2014

Ingredients

Strawberries:
5 Cups Sliced or Chopped Strawberries
2 Tablespoons Sugar
3 Tablespoons Sweet Marsala Wine

Cream Filling:
2 Cups Heavy Whipping Cream
2 (8 Ounce) Tubs Mascarpone Cream
1/3 Cup Sweet Marsala Wine
10 Ounces White Chocolate, Melted
1/2 Cup Powdered Sugar (Confectioner’s Sugar)

Savoiardi:
2 Packages Ladyfinger Cookies
2/3 Cup Orange Juice
1/4 Cup Sweet Marsala Wine

Garnish:
Sliced Strawberries
Melted Dark Chocolate

Directions

Combine the strawberries with the sugar and wine in a bowl and stir to mix. Let the strawberries sit for at least 30 minutes.

In a small bowl, whip the heavy cream until soft peaks form, then add the powdered sugar. In another bowl, beat the mascarpone with the wine until light, about 4 minutes. Add the chocolate and beat until smooth. Fold in the heavy cream.

Mix the orange juice with the wine in a shallow bowl. Quickly dip each savoiardi cookie into the orange juice mixture just lightly wetting them. Arrange the cookies into a 13 x 9 inch glass dish, break the cookies as needed to fill in corners.

Once you have completely covered the bottom of the pan with cookies, spread half the mascarpone cream mixture over them. Arrange the berries onto this cream mixture evenly. Add another layer of the cookies, then finish with the cream mixture, using a knife to smooth the top.

Refrigerate for at least 5 hours. Cut the tiramisu into squares and arrange on plates. Garnish with sliced strawberries and a drizzle of dark chocolate and… serve!

posted By Home In Italy on February 27th, 2014

Milan is known first and foremost as Italy’s – and an international – fashion capital.

The city hosts innumerable boutiques – selling jewelry, decor, and of course, the most sought-out fashion labels – in its Quadrilatero d’oro della moda or Fashion Quadrilateral. The district is brodered by four main thoroughfares – Via Monte Napoleone, Via Alessandro Manzoni, Via della Spiga and Corso Venezia – hence the Quadrilatero reference.  The shops and showrooms in these streets make a purchase or a mere glance at the window dressings motive the fashion set to arrive in droves from all over the world.

Tourists traipsing through the quarter can experience the true atmosphere of the Lombard Capital, noting the lights, colors and elegance of the various ateliers. One will also note the endless succession of classic, international names as Armani, Versace, Alberta Ferretti, Dolce & Gabbana, Prada, Fendi, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Bottega Veneta, Gucci, Bulgari, Cartier, Valentino and Gianfranco Ferrè.

Via Monte Napoleone is one of most chic and expensive streets in the world – along with New York’s Fifth Avenue and Paris’s Champs-Elysées. Via Manzoni, dedicated to the writer Alessandro Manzoni, was already considered the most elegant street in Mediolanum at the beginning of the 19th Century.

The entirety of the Quadrilatero della Moda consists of refined streets, particularly Via Borgospesso, Via Santo Spirito, Via Gesù, Via Sant’Andrea and Via Bagutta. Not only, but the zone is very alive in cultural terms, with numerous historic palazzi interspersed with the shops and stores. For instance, the Poldi Pezzoli and Bagatti Valsecchi House-Museums are here, as well as Palazzo Morando, which hosts the city’s new fashion museum, and the Grand Hotel et de Milan, where the maestro Verdi is said to have lodged. Not to be left out are the Church of San Francesco di Paola, the 1700s Palazzo Gallarati Scotti, and Palazzo Borromeo d’Adda.