Sunday, September 15, 2013
Friday, August 23, 2013
Nowadays, the United States Bocce Federation (USBF) promotes it as a sport and has been sending the best American players to world championships since 1979. They are part of a movement that is trying to get Bocce into the Olympics.
Thanks to Italian immigrants, Bocce has come to flourish in the United States although we find signs of the game before the 1800s: one early playing field was Bowling Green at the southern tip of Manhattan and we know that George Washington built a Bocce court at Mount Vernon.
Nine thousand years ago people played games similar to Bocce. Polished round stone balls with evident signs of having been rolled on the ground were found in Çatalhöyük, modern Turkey, and in an Egyptian tomb dated 3500 b.C. The Greeks played Bocce andHippocrates, the father of western medicine, considered it a healthy activity for the young and old. But it was the Romans that made it famous throughout the Empire. They invented wooden Bocce, cheaper and easier to make and to carry around. Emperor Augustus had a personal set made out of fine olive tree roots.
All this happiness bothered some aristocrats who did their best to ban it. Among them, French kings Charles IV in 1319 and Charles V in 1369, followed by the English kings Richard II in 1388, Henry IV in 1401, and Henry VIII, the king who had six wives, divorced two and had two beheaded.
Strangely enough, more somber people like Martin Luther (1483–1546), the German monk credited with initiating the Protestant Reformation, and John Calvin (1509-1564), the founder of Calvinism, found Bocce a fantastic game. According to legend, Sir Francis Drake refused to set out to defend England against the Spanish Armada until he finished a Bocce game, and we find Bocce in Rabelais’ novels, in Shakespeare's Richard II, in Peter Bruegel the Elder's paintings.
You can find courts almost everywhere but you can also play it on lawns, on the beach, wherever you find a leveled field. All you need is 8 colored balls, in two different colors or four different colors, and a pallino (smaller ball).
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
INGREDIENTI: 1 spicchio di aglio, 500 g di cozze, olio extravergine di oliva, pepe nero qb, prezzemolo tritato, vino vermentino di Gallura, 200 g pomodori
PREPARAZIONE Pulite le cozze eliminando il bisso. Cuocetele in un tegame con il vino bianco e fatele aprire a fuoco vivo. Tritate l’aglio e rosolatelo nell’olio; aggiungete i pomodorini tagliati a cubetti, unite le cozze e il loro sughetto e fate saltare il tutto. Aggiungete per ultimo il prezzemolo e il pepe macinato al momento. Disponete il letto di pane carasau e aiutandovi con un cucchiaio versate le cozze con i pomodori.
Sunday, January 13, 2013
Thursday, January 10, 2013
Old Neapolitan gestures, from left to right: money, past times, affirmation, stupid, good, wait a moment, to walk backward, to steal, horns, to ask for.
From: "Speak Italian: The Fine Art of the Gesture" by Bruno Munari (originally published in 1958)
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Want to know how to make a real Italian pizza? The most important part is getting the Italian pizza dough right! More than just the base of the pizza, the dough is what gives the pizza its texture, holds together the flavors, and—if done right—can make you feel like you’ve been transported right back to Italy.
Just a bit about pizza in Italy…
A traditional pizza margherita of Naples, complete with the thick crust
Even though it’s become the most popular Italian food abroad, pizza and Italy didn’t always go together like, well, pizza and Italy. In fact, pizza wasn’t even invented until the 19th century, when it started out as a fast food on the streets of Naples. In the beginning (and, we’d argue, even today), the simpler the pizza, the better: The classic pizza napoletana was just dough with a tomato sauce of Marzano tomatoes, oregano or basil, a little garlic, salt, and olive oil.
What you need to make an Italian pizza
How to make your pizza:
Saturday, January 5, 2013
The Spanish Steps (Italian: Scalinata della Trinità dei Monti) are a set of steps in Rome, Italy, climbing a steep slope between the Piazza di Spagna at the base and Piazza Trinità dei Monti, dominated by the Trinità dei Monti church at the top. The Scalinata is the widest staircase in Europe. The monumental stairway of 138 steps was built with French diplomat Étienne Gueffier’s bequeathed funds of 20,000 scudi, in 1723–1725, linking the Bourbon Spanish Embassy, and the Trinità dei Monti church that was under the patronage of the Bourbon kings of France, both located above — to the Holy See in Palazzo Monaldeschi located below. The stairway was designed by architects Francesco de Sanctis and Alessandro Specchi.