Italian museums you can see without coming to Italy

We are living extraordinary times. With increasingly more countries and cities issuing lockdowns due to a situation that is becoming extremely serious, most of us find themselves confined at home, with limited possibilities to go out. Needless to say that non-essential travels are in most countries banned and punished.

In such conditions, it might be easy to get desperate, depressed or simply bored by the lack of activities. Nobody likes to be stuck at home, especially when the weather starts to get better and sunny.

That is why you should try to take your quarantine positively and use the enormous amount of time that is now at your disposal wisely. Indeed, it can get confusing and be slightly overwhelming at first to finally be able to administer our lives as we want and to have enough time to exercise, read or learn a new language. While these are some of the most classic activities to do during a quarantine, there are many other things made available to you due to this exceptional times.

For example, online tours and online classes have made available by many companies and museums. If you were planning a trip to Italy or you are simply curious to visit some of the best museums in the countries, you can now do so from the comfort of your home! Most Italian museums have adapted to the circumstances and are now offering virtual tours to anyone interested in visiting some of the most important museums in the world.

We put together a list of 5 museums you should pay a virtual visit to, hoping that you’ll soon be able to see the gorgeous collections with your own eyes.

Musei Vaticani

Musei Vaticani (or Vatican Museums) is one of the main attractions driving millions of tourists each year to Vatican city. The collection is vast and its beauty and cultural weight simply breathtaking. Here, you can find some of the most important masterpieces of Renaissance art and the most renowned Roman sculptures. One of the most famous section of this immense museum is the Sistine Chapel, decorated by Michelangelo.

But being the 4th most visited museum in the world and one of the largest ones makes Musei Vaticani particularly crowded and difficult to access.

Today, you have the opportunity to admire the beauty of the art pieces of this museums directly from your home. On the official website of Musei Vaticani, you’ll find 7 virtual tours through which you’ll be able to explore Sistine Chapel, Raffaello’s Rooms, the Room of Chiaroscuri and other beautiful collections. The virtual tour will allow you to move around and to focus on every detail that catches your attention, thanks to the high definition and quality of the images. Appreciate the art and the beauty of the Vatican Museum’s masterpieces from your sofa!

Check their website here Musei Vaticani.

Pinacoteca di Brera

Pinacoteca di Brera, in Milan, contains some of the most famous masterpieces of Raphael and Caravaggio, but it also contains numerous pieces by some of the most renowned Italian artists such as Piero Della Francesca and Andrea Mantegna, among others. Considered one of the best art galleries in Milano and Italy, you can now enjoy the collection online. Despite being mostly of a religious character, the paintings are historically and culturally extremely important for Italian history and being able to admire them from the comfort of your home can be a great way to learn more about Italian history and its years of grandeur during the Renaissance. On Pinacoteca di Brera’s official website, you’ll be able to filter collections based on the material, data or era and artists: enjoy your virtual tour!

Galleria Degli Uffizi

If you know something about art and history, then you might know that Gallerie Degli Uffizi is one of the most prominent art museums located in Florence and one of the most visited and best known in the world. The collections are immense and rich in priceless works, mainly from the Renaissance period. It is one of the most popular touristic attractions in Florence and for how good the experience in real life is, the good news is that you can now have access to the museum’s collections with the IperVision project, created in the current exceptional circumstances.

The museum put at the disposal of those interests a vast assortment of virtual tours made of high-definition pictures of some of the most famous and important masterpieces in the collection, accompanied by some descriptions and interpretations by art experts. It is your chance to take your time and discover the famous and stunning collection of Galleria Degli Uffizi.

For a virtual tour of the Uffizi check their website here.

Musei Civici Di Venezia

Joining other museums that are now closed due to the Coronavirus crisis, Musei Civici di Venezia is now collaborating with Google Art Project. Today, everyone in the world is allowed to access the images in high definition and resolution of all of the masterpieces of the vast collection of this Museum. You’ll be able to explore the rooms and focus on the details that catch your attention thanks to the Street View feature. Simply access the official website and start your online tour!

Scuderie del Quirinale

Part of Palazzo del Quirinale, one of the official residences of the President of Italy, this museum is known to be hosting some of the most important art exhibitions in various themes. The good news is that today, you have access to more than 80 exhibitions online. Simply access the official website and select the virtual tour that most attracts you. You’ll be able to enjoy the exhibition through informative and high-quality videos accompanied by explanations and descriptions by some of the most experienced professionals in the art world.

The Bottomline

It is true, the current situation might be hard to take in. The good news is that technology is enabling us to satisfy our cravings for traveling, enjoying art and learn new things. Join the virtual tours and use them as a preparation for your next trip to Italy, where you’ll be able to see the masterpieces in real life!

5 Movies You Should Watch Before Coming To Italy

We are experiencing something that had never happened before. Currently, we are all stuck at home, traveling nor moving for leisure is not permitted during these extraordinary times. While this might be hard for many, we should all try to look at this situation from a positive point of view. We have become owners of our times, the stressful working routine taken away from us and we have more free time to do things we wouldn’t have time to do normally.

But let’s be honest. Even if most of us are trying to use their quarantine time wisely, getting organized, learning new languages, do some exercise at home, it is easy to get caught up by Netflix or watching movies and series.

After all, if you like to travel or you simply want to learn more about a country, movies can be a great way to “travel with your mind” and possibly practice foreign languages. We have prepared a list of movies to help you get inspired for your next trip to the wonderful and charming country that is Italy. If you are planning a trip to Italy or even just consider the idea of visiting it after the crisis, make sure you watch the following movies. You’ll have the opportunity to learn more about a country that is currently being harshly hit by the Coronavirus but that has a lot to offer to its visitors, much more than you can expect.

Call Me By Your Name

Call Me By Your Name“Call Me By Your Name” by lesmoughscft is licensed under CC0 1.0


Currently available on Netflix, Call me By Your Name is a recent movie directed by Luca Guadagnino based on the novel by the Egyptian-Italian-American author André Aciman. The story takes place in Northern Italy in the pretty town of Crema in the 1980s and it is part of a trilogy created by the director Luca Guadagnino on the theme of “desire”. Later on this list, you’ll find another movie that is part of the trilogy and that is worth watching.

The focus of the movie is the romantic relationship between the 17 years old boy Elio and the 24 years old Oliver, a graduate student’s assistant to Elio’s father who is an archeology professor.

The movie was positively received by critics and earned various awards for direction, acting, and music. If you are looking for a passionate, intimate and deep drama portraying a story of first love, you should consider watching this movie.

Crema

Suburra: Blood On Rome

Rome


This Italian crime drama set on Rome is a great way to get to know this eternal city and learn some Italian along the way. You can find the series on Netflix. This series is meant to be a prequel to the 2015 movie by the same name and it is based on the real-life events of the Mafia Capitale investigation. If you wish to learn more about the corruption and organized crime that involved churchmen as well as politicians in this national scandal that hit Italy in the 2010s, include Suburra in your “to watch” list.

A Bigger Splash

Old style“Old style” by passer8 is licensed under CC BY 2.0


Planning a beach holiday? Watch A Bigger Splash to get to know the charming island of Pantelleria, an island off the coast of Sicily that is geographically closer to Africa than to Italy but still influenced by the typical Italian culture. This drama, directed by Luca Guadagnino (the same director of Call me by your Name), takes place in an isolated villa on the island of Pantelleria and is centered around the rock-star Marianne on holiday with her lover Paul. Everything goes smoothly until Marinanne’s previous lover reaches the island accompanied by his daughter. While the movie is mainly in English, as it stars Tilda Swinton, Ralph Fiennes, and Dakota Johnson, it can help you learn more about the remote but beautiful island of Pantelleria. The movie has received several positive reviews and is a great drama that has a lot more to offer than what you might think.

The Passion Of Christ

Matera


You might have already heard of this biblical drama produced and directed by Mel Gibson. Even if you are not religious, watching this movie, that covers the final 12 hours before Jesus’ death will give you an idea of what the charming city of Matera looks like. The movie itself has made history: it is mostly in Aramaic, Latin, and Hebrew and is the seventh-highest grossing movie of all times. Critics have been polarized: some praising the movie and others criticizing the violence and the antisemitic undertones. No matter what you’ll think in the end. this movie is a must-watch, even just to enrich your film culture and learn more about the popular biblical figure of Jesus.

But let’s go back to how this movie can inspire your trip to Italy. Shot primarily in the old city of Matera, chosen for its untouched looks and the ancient-looking landscapes, you’ll get to discover this Southern Italian city that has recently become a major touristic attraction, mainly because of its unique “Sassi” and its charming historical looks.

Il Postino

Sicily


This timeless classic shot in Procida, a beautiful island off the coast of Naples is another movie that will most probably make you fall in love with the gorgeous island. It tells the fictional story of poet Pablo Neruda creating a relationship with a simple postman from Procida who learns to appreciate poetry. Watching this movie is a great way for you to practice or brush up your Italian, as the language is pretty clear and easy to understand in the movie. It is a classic movie, which might not be of everyb0dy’s taste but that is worth considering for its poetic tone and beauty.

Set in the 1950s, the movie starts some popular Italian actors of the time, such as Massimo Troisi who was unfortunately weakened by his worsening heart condition during the production. Positively acclaimed and well received by the critics, this drama is a must-watch, especially if you are planning to visit Naples and its surroundings.

With these 5 movies to watch you now have no excuse to prepare your next trip to Italy! What are you waiting for? Get inspired and get ready for your next holiday to experience first-hand the beautiful panoramas and to get to know the charming local culture of gorgeous Italy!

Travel restrictions in Italy during covid19 outbreak

It is hard not to open a news channel or some sort of social media platform without hearing or reading something related to the new outbreak that is shaking the world. In Italy, the situation has become surreal, something that was far from anybody’s imagination. While the virus initially seemed very far away, in a matter of weeks, Italy’s inhabitants found themselves confined in their homes, not allowed to leave without a valid (and certified) reason and living a situation that most of us only saw on TV or read in books. Suddenly, the presence of the virus is feeling real. The speed at which it spreads required immediate action, to avoid a catastrophe.

The decree of lockdown declared by the Italian government is asking Italians several sacrifices, all aimed at containing the virus as much as possible. While people are trying to adapt to this new lifestyle, working from home, getting used to not being able to leave their homes for a while, it can be hard for a visitor to get a clear picture of the situation in Italy. Indeed, news and social media tend to aliment citizen’s fear rather than giving clear information about the Coronavirus situation.

But what is allowed and what isn’t during the new covid19 outbreak in Italy? What are travel restrictions affecting the country and its visitors and what do they entail? Here’s everything you should know about the 11th March’s decree created to stop the outbreak and to limit the spread of the disease.

Stay At Home


The basic rule of this decree is “Stay at home”. Many Italians are following it, aid by a massive social media campaign incentivizing people to stay at home and organizing alternative activities to deal with this new situation (such as free online courses, for instance). Leaving one’s home is allowed only for health reasons, to go to work (if working from home is not possible) and for other kinds of necessities, which include the purchase of food or medicines.

Self certification.

Those that have a reason to move should compile a document referred to as “self certification” (autocertificazione) that certifies the presence of a good reason to be leaving one’s home, despite the limitations. Such a document’s validity might be checked by the police (and controls are rising), with strict consequences for falsifying such documents. Indeed, the work needs have to be “certified” by a valid proof.

What Is Open In Italy?


While the whole country is in lockdown, some activities are still open to the public. Finding information might be hard, so here you can find what you need to know about shops and other kinds of services and their availability during this situation.

Supermarkets, hypermarkets, discount stores will be open, but some restrictions apply. For example, only a limited amount of people is allowed to enter at the same time, meaning that people usually wait outside and will be called by the staff when the time comes. When entering a store, it is essential to respect the 1-meter distancing rule. Penalties apply to those not complying with the new decree. Local markets, including food markets, are suspended, but the direct selling of fruits and vegetables is still allowed, as long as the safety regulations are followed.

Shops selling personal hygiene items, including perfumes and cosmetics are still open, as well as small stores selling pet food and technology. However, all restaurants, pubs, and bars are closed. To supply the lack of restoration, food deliveries are allowed, as long as the sanitary requirements are followed both concerning the transportation and for the packaging.

Beauty centers and barbershops are closed.

What Is Allowed to Do?


Only necessary movements, defined as the need to shop for food and to go to work are allowed. However, citizens are also allowed to exercise outdoors and to take their pets for a stroll, as long as social distancing rules are respected. They are advised to do so when not many people are around. Parks and public gardens are open, for allowing citizens to take short walks and exercise outdoors. No groups are allowed to train together.

Can I Return to My Home Country During the Lockdown?


It is allowed to return to one’s home country or city. After all, returning home is considered an essential region. However, you should be aware that the majority of countries are restricting entrance from Europe and Italy in particular. Some flights are being canceled and travelers should check flight details with their airlines. Most airlines might offer you a refund or arrange a rebooking.

Keep in mind that you might be required to isolate yourself temporarily when entering another country from Italy. Usually, the isolation needs to last 14 days. You are not advised to travel if you present some symptoms of the coronavirus. Even if you don’t present any symptom, you might be subjected to controls both when leaving Italy and at arrival, so be prepared.

What Airports Are Open In Italy?


In such a weird time, your traveling plans might be disrupted. Today, only 18 airports are open in Italy, including Palermo, Rome, and Milano. However, most services are limited to state flights, emergencies, and transport. Some connection flights are still operating. The open airports have been selected for their geographic location and their capacity and because considered essential. Many airlines have stopped operating flights in Italy. Reducing mobility and transports is one of the main measures taking by the Italian government to stop the spread of covid19 in Italy. In total, 23 airports have been closed in Italy. The open airports will be, after the 13th of March, only dedicated to essential movements.

The Bottomline


In such an unrealistic situation, it is normal to feel scared or uncertain. However, it is important to try to respect the limitations, follow the regulation and limit one’s movements. By working collectively towards the goal of reducing the number of contagions, it will be easier to put a stop to the outbreak and to give the sanitary system enough time to deal with the current situation.

Coronavirus situation in Bologna? March 2020 update

None saw it coming. When the infections started in China, it sounded worrisome, but, still, not a lot of people paid attention to this new virus, as everything was happening “far away”, and it did not seem that severe anyways. But then, all of a sudden, almost out of the blue, Italy found itself being one of the countries most hit by the Coronavirus. Even then, with the first positive cases being uncovered in the country, neither the population or the government made a big deal out of it. Everybody kept repeating “it’s just a cold, nothing to worry about”. And while it is true that the Coronavirus is harshest on the elderly, it soon became clear that the main problem with this virus is the facility and speed at which it spreads.

Italy had to be quick at taking action, which is why the government, decided to lock down the entire country, with the hope that it would help to contain the infections. While the measures the government took to try to reduce the contagion sound strict or exaggerated at first, now many more countries in Europe are following the example. But that doesn’t make it any easier to adapt to this new lifestyle that Italians and inhabitants of this beautiful country are obliged to follow, at least for a couple of weeks. Being confined at home is surely a situation that none would have imagined.

Today, the news make their main focus the “Coronavirus”, but sometimes getting accurate information can be hard, especially when most of the media seem to have decided to spread “terror” over the covid19. But what is the situation in Bologna? How is the capital of Emilia-Romagna dealing with the disease and what is it doing to stop it? Is everything suspended in the city? And for how long? If you are interested to learn more about it, here is some updated information over the Coronavirus situation in Bologna.

How Is Bologna Dealing With Coronavirus?

Bologna, the capital of the Emilia-Romagna region, that counts 2263 positive cases, has become some kind of ghost city over the past day. Parks, restaurants, museums, and bars are all closed. Supermarkets and pharmacies are open, with people queuing up outside the stores, as only a limited number of people are allowed to enter the building at once. On the streets, police controls’ get stricter and fees higher for those who leave their homes without a valid reason to do so. This is not a joke anymore.

In terms of tourist attractions, all visitors Centers and museums will be closed until the 3rd of April. That includes Bologna Welcome in Piazza Maggiore and the center at the arrivals in the Bologna’s international airport, as well as the eXtraBo in Piazza Nettuno.

Also, all the events that were supposed to take place in the city are suspended, as well as the guided tours by Discover Bologna. As mentioned earlier, restaurants, bars, pubs, and cafes will stay closed, as well as shops selling everything not considered as a necessity.

Events are suspended, both open-air and indoors. That includes religious events (no mass sessions are allowed), sports events (including football matches and training sessions) and cultural events. FICO Eataly World is suspended until the 3rd of April. Furthermore, libraries are also closed to the public.

If you are interested to learn more about the situation in Bologna as a tourist, Bologna Welcome has created a number specifically for foreigners and local tourists looking for information about their stay in Bologna, you can find the number or the email address on their website.

The Bottomline

Italy is tacking the situation by taking harsh decisions, that require some sacrifices by both citizens and tourists. While it is important to follow the right precautions and measures suggested by the government, it is also essential, in moments like that, not to panic. When the news and media spread terror, it is easy to start worrying too much. And while the situation is not as light as most of us would have expected or hope, by tackling the situation, following the guidelines and taking good care of ourselves, we will soon be able to come back to normal.

Coronavirus situation in Emilia Romagna March 2020

Nowadays, the news seems to be overwhelmed with information about the “dreaded” coronavirus. What is most striking, however, is not the speed at which this virus seems to strike, but rather, the vast amount of misinformation surrounding the subject.

Because of that, many have started to panic and are currently taking inappropriate measures for the fear of being infected. And social media, news channels, and online information do not help to put a halt to this wave of fear that is shocking almost the whole world.

Indeed, while precautions are necessary, the WHO is warning against misuse and hoarding of masks and goggles, that are running out but should only be used by those that are infected to avoid spreading the virus further.

But this seems to be only the beginning. As the coronavirus hits Italy, the country’s inhabitants seemed to have panicked at the fear of contracting the disease and have been emptying supermarkets at impressive rates to be prepared to live in quarantine. Of course, all of these measures are extreme as in Italy the situation is getting under control. But what is the reality of coronavirus? What is the situation in the north of Italy and especially in Emilia-Romagna? Is it still safe to visit?

You’ll find all of these answers in the next sections, and don’t worry, the situation is much better than you think.

What Is the Situation In Italy and What Are the Restricted Zones

The Italian government has declared a state emergency for the coronavirus as soon as the first cases had been identified in late January. Online and in the news, however, it is common to hear about Milano being “locked down” and many people living confined in their houses in Northern Italy, but how severe is it?

The truth is that, while the toll of people tested positive to coronavirus in Italy is pretty high (1,577 cases), it is not as bad as many media portray it. And no, neither Bologna nor Modena are locked down or restricted zones. Even in Milano, the capital of one of the most hit regions, everything continues as usual. Of course, some measures have been taken by the government, that has decided to suspend big gatherings involving many people and schools and some offices have decided to make their employees work from home.

For safety reasons, the government has decided to create a so-called red zone for the areas most at risk for the disease, but this area only covers respectively 0,2 % and 0,5% of Veneto and Lombardia’s territory. The Italian population in isolation is less than the 0,1% of the whole country’s population, to keep the cases at minimum.

In terms of cities being locked down, as for today, Codogno is the only city that is entirely in quarantine. Located in Lombardia, it has been identified as the place where the infection started to spread in Italy. This small north Italian town is, in fact, the home of the infamous patient zero. Measures are taken to avoid the virus to spread further into the country, and the Italian medical care is known to be one of the best in Europe, if not in the world.

In total, as for today, there have been almost 1700 cases of coronavirus in the country and 34 deaths. 83 have been successfully recovered.

In Emilia Romagna, the situation is far from being extreme: there have been 285 cases, more than half of which labeled as “mild” and not needing intensive medical care.

What Is the Situation In Emilia-Romagna

Emilia-Romagna is dealing with its toll of coronavirus cases, with the most affected province being Piacenza.

However, the majority of the cases are mild and, just as with normal flu, have been advised to stay at home until recovery.

In the region, all the restaurants and museums are still open and visitors as safety measures have been secured and guaranteed. Indeed, by taking the right precautions, such as washing your hands regularly and avoiding touching your face and mouth, there is virtually no risk of getting infected.

What needs to stop is the irrational wave of fear preventing some tourists or even locals from visiting Italy. Indeed, Italy is a completely safe country to visit and there is no need to panic or to cancel your trips in case you planned any.

Even if it is true that schools have been closed for a week, and manifestations and gatherings have been suspended, there is no need to transform the coronavirus into the deadly outbreak than many media decide to portray. You can still visit museums and enjoy a meal and your favorite drinks at the many delicious Italian restaurants.

Is It Safe To Visit Emilia-Romagna?

As said before, bars, restaurants, and pubs are open to the public, as well as museums. The fear of coronavirus should not stop you from appreciating the beauty of Italy and its arts, culture, and food. Indeed, the country is giving a good example of the exceptional levels of healthcare offered by the government and there is no need to worry too much about it.

It is important to remember that the use of masks or goggles should be restricted to nurses, doctors, infected individuals and those suffering from severe immuno-deficiencies, which are more at risk of contracting the virus and suffering negative consequences from it. Because there is currently a shortage of masks, you should not deprive those who need them.

Instead, take the right precautions, as advised by the government and the World Health Organization: wash your hands, don’t touch your eyes, mouth, and face and if you show the symptoms of coronavirus, try to recover at home or call medical authorities for help.

With an adequately informed population and tourists, this outbreak can easily be contained without causing too much damage.

Italy is a beautiful country, still safe to visit despite the coronavirus outbreak. Remember that, take the right precautions and keep enjoying the country and especially the wonderful region of Emilia-Romagna and its numerous attractions and rich culture.

Hard Times Booking Osteria Francescana? You Can Try Gucci Osteria in Florence

Osteria Francescana is a renowned restaurant by Michelin’s star chef Massimo Bottura. The restaurant offers high-quality Italian food and is located in Modena. Finding a table at this amazing Osteria can be quite a challenge. You have to book with months in advance, this is how popular and how requested Massimo Bottura’s restaurant is. Not for anything, it has been awarded not with one, but with three Michelin’s Stars. The chef made it into the World’s 50 Best restaurants with his Osteria Francescana, making having a meal at one of his restaurants is a must if you want to taste high-cuisine made in Italy.

For all those who have struggled to find a spot but still do not want to miss what it means to eat Massimo Bottura’s cuisine, there is some good news.

Gucci Osteria Florence

The talented and renowned chef has recently opened another osteria, this time at a new location. In the beautiful, culturally and historically rich city of Florence, there is a new landmark that you don’t want to miss, especially if you are a foodie. Massimo Bottura opened Gucci Osteria, on the ground floor of “Palazzo Della Mercanzia” . The building hosts the famous Gucci Garden, which contains the archives of the Maison, the museum and a beautiful boutique of this magnificent luxury brand. To make the whole experience a lot more intriguing, Gucci has partnered with Massimo Bottura to delight the brand’s customers with his high-quality cuisine, all in a wonderful setting where design meets fine dining.

The restaurant, called Gucci Osteria is rather small and can seat 35 people at a time, which makes having a meal a rather cozy and enjoyable experience. For the restaurant, Massimo Bottura has ideated a menu which he named “Vieni Nel Mondo Con Noi” (meaning “Come In The World With Us” in Italian), which is inspired by the chef’s numerous trips and experiences abroad, all adapted to the Italian cuisine. Massimo Bottura is well known for his creation of dishes that have roots in the Italian traditional cuisine which also refer to history, art, and philosophy, making the dish a sort of Bottura’s adaptation of the story of his beautiful country. The menu includes main dishes, sides, and delicious desserts. Bottura is assisted in the Florentine location by the chef Karime Lopez, specialized in patisserie and who worked side by side with Bottura at Osteria Francescana. Karime Lopez helps Bottura creating and ideating the dishes, with the result being a special mix of Italian, Mexican and Peruvian cuisine, which will make your mind and your tasting buds blow!

The menu includes iconic dishes of the Italian culture but also some variations of the most traditional dishes, in a sort of “innovative” tradition where customers can explore the world by sitting at the table and having delicious food. In the words of the chef, Massimo Bottura, the idea of the restaurant is to remember that once, just like today, during the Renaissance, Florence was at the center of culture, and it was a melting pot of different traditions.

The Menu.

The menu is a la carte and includes fish, meat, pasta, risotto, and several side dishes. The prices are similar to those of Osteria Francescana. The culinary experience is uncomparable and the dishes are wonderfully presented, with the best combination of flavors and colors that are a delight both to the eyes and to the mouth. If you are unsure about what to pick on the menu, you can always go for a tasting menu, which might seem a bit expensive but it is all worth the money. It includes 7 courses and it is the best way to try a little bit of everything from the chef and getting an overview of his style.

The atmosphere

The atmosphere of the restaurant is particularly good, thanks to its special setting in a beautiful historical palace. You enter the restaurant through the Gucci Shop, which sets the bar high for the service and set up an idea of quality and luxury. However, the ambiance is not too stiff and you can have an amazing experience at this beautifully designed restaurant. The atmosphere is mostly casual, dressing up does come up to you. The service is sublime and the staff does everything they can to ensure you have a good time at the restaurant. They will explain the dishes to you and a sommelier will suggest you the best wine for your meal.

The chef ensures that every detail is under control. The combinations of the flavors and the presentation of the dishes are all studied to the minimum detail which makes every dish unique and particularly beautiful, not only tasty.

Booking Process.

Please be aware that even this restaurant needs to be booked in advance. You can do so through the Gucci Garden website. The restaurant is open every day from 12:30 to 3 PM and from 7 PM to 10 PM for both lunch and dinner. As said before, the location is perfect and you can easily reach the restaurant from the center of Florence, being less than 200 meters from the famous Palazzo Vecchio. The piazza of the Palace, which is full of tourists during the day, gets quiet at night and creates a wonderful atmosphere where to have a delicious meal at a high-quality restaurant.

All in all, eating at Massimo Bottura’s restaurant is an unforgettable experience that you must-have, especially if you are into fine dining. If you happen to be in Florence or if you simply did not find a spot at the Osteria Francescana in Modena, you should try getting to Gucci Osteria. As mentioned before, the prices are a bit high, but the quality of the food, the experience, the atmosphere, and the exemplary service will be all worth it. Again, if you are passing by Florence, you might want to consider spending a night or having a wonderful lunch at this amazing restaurant, you will not regret it.

So, are you up to have a meal at one of the world’s best restaurants?

You Have Tried Osteria Francescana Now You Should Try Tokuyoshi

When a restaurant is good, and it is worth to visit, the atmosphere, the ambiance all play a role but what makes the difference is the menu and the chef. And when a great chef decides to open a restaurant, why not try it out?

We have already talked about Osteria Francescana and its Michelin’s Star Award Winner chef Massimo Bottura. We did not mention the great sous chef of that restaurant. Of Japanese origins, Yojii Tokuyoshi, after working for years side by side by the great Bottura, decided to move to Milano and open his restaurant. If you Osteria Francescana in Modena, then you should not miss out Tokuyoshi in Milan. The main chef of this newly restored restaurant with a Japanese sounding name, but with Italy and its cuisine still at the center of attention, was sous chef of Osteria Francescana, meaning that he must have learned a great deal about high-quality cuisine. However different in styles and menus, Tokuyoshi must have gotten some inspiration from the talented Massimo Bottura. We can easily say that the bar of expectations for Tokuyoshi is quite high. The restaurant has already gained its own Michelin Star, but is visiting it worth it?

Should you visit the restaurant and enjoy a delicious meal at Tokuyoshi? Give yourself an idea by reading this review and then make up your mind.

The restaurant is very well located in the historical center of Milan, less than 500 meters (or 0,3 miles) from the famous Basilica di Sant’ Ambrogio. That’s already a plus.

Let’s continue with the ambiance. Please be aware that the restaurant will re-open in February 2020 after some refurbishments and reconstructions so, some of the details of this review might be different.

The Tokuyoshi restaurant is, without doubt, stylish, but classic and not excessively formal in its design and setting. The tables are blacks and not covered by the “classical” cloth, which gives the room a more minimalistic look. But what is special about it is the presence of some individual tables, all centered around a bigger so-called “social table”, allowing for better interactions and a “better sharing” of the restaurant experience. The lights are soft and there is a sense of relaxation and intimacy at the same time which goes against the classical stereotype of “high-cuisine” restaurants.

What about the menu? The entire menu is strictly Italian, characterized by the presence of some of the most traditional classic dishes such as the amazing cannolo or the rich and creamy risotto, only to mention two of them. On the other hand, the Japanese influence is discrete and not invasive, silent on the menu but that can make a big difference to some of the most traditional flavors thanks to many accompanying sauces or the dish composition. As it mentions on the restaurant’s website the idea of the restaurant is to propose an “Italian cuisine seen through the eyes of a Japanese”.

The restaurant was offering three different “fixed” degustations before which have now been replaced by a single one called “Omakase”, which in Japanese means “I will leave it up to you”. It is a fixed price experience directed by the chef who will choose the menu and the dishes for your degustation case by case and depending on the ingredients available for the season. The restaurant also offers its clients the choice to opt for the a la carte menu and there is a different degustation for sake.

To give you a sense of how could be a degustation at this restaurant, here is an example of one degustation called “Italy means Japan” and it is supposed to present a Japanese-Italian fusion version of some classical dishes. It starts with some entrees, including a revisited version of fish&chips, delicious home-made bread with butter, anchovies, and olives and a vegetable broth. There is then a cannolo filled with stockfish. But the real king is the Mackarel filet Gyotaku, which is supposed to be the most representative dish of the restaurant. The presentation is simple and beautiful at the same time and it is a delight both to the eye but especially in terms of flavors. There is then a strong version of eel, followed by a classic traditional broth and a tasting of a special oyster- risotto. It follows a beautiful dish of pork meat and some pigeon. All the dishes are studied in all of their details which makes you feel attended and cared at this restaurant. It is then the time for the dessert, really contemporary and modern, but delicious as everything else.

As you can read, the degustation includes quite a lot of dishes and the portions are quite big and filling.

The degustation costs around 135 euros per person and if you are a lover of high-cuisine or just want to have a different experience at a great, superior restaurant, it is money well spent. You will have to book in advance, but you can easily do so by calling or by visiting the restaurant’s website.

All in all, if you loved Osteria Francescana, you should visit Takuyoshi in Milan too. The two restaurants are different in style but the quality is excellent in both. Not only that, if you want to taste classic Italian recipes with a slight Japanese taste and great attention to details, Takuyoshi is the place for you.

In Takuyoshi the food is not only delicious, but also beautifully presented. The staff at the restaurant is kind and cordial, they describe and explain the dish with details with professionalism but it also knows when to leave you in peace enjoying your meal without being too intrusive. If you are a wine lover, the sommelier does a great job suggesting you the best wine for your good

Are you still not convinced? What are you waiting for? The restaurant re-open soon, consider going there for a sublime food experience that will not pass unnoticed or forgotten! Many people claim that Takuyoshi is a must-go restaurant when in Milan, why would you want to miss it?

Food Tours From Bologna

Italy is well-known around the world for its delicious food. But maybe you didn’t know that for food lovers, Bologna is a must Italian destination! For something the city has three popular nicknames: “la dotta” (which means the educated), “la rossa” (meaning the red, referring to the color of its roofs) and “la grassa” (as the fat one, because of the delicious culinary tradition that this city offers).

Bologna is home to several traditional foods such as the beloved tortellini or mortadella as well as lasagne. When in Bologna, taking a food tour is the best way to explore the regional and local cuisine of Bologna. Their several food tours you can take around the city. This article will introduce three food tours where you’ll be able to visit food factories and not only taste the food but also see with your own eyes the entire production process until it arrives on the table of consumers.

Let’s dive in!

Visiting a Parmesan Cheese Production Factory

Ok, Parmesan (or Parmigiano in Italian) seems to be pretty much in every traditional meal in Bologna. Let’s be honest who doesn’t love Parmesan? (Or cheese in general, but this is another story…)

The home of Parmigiano Reggiano, however, is not Bologna but, as the name suggests, it is Parma. You can easily join a food tour to Parma from Bologna and you’ll be able to add a unique experience to your trip.

You’ll arrive at a factory where the cheese is made from raw milk and then molded into the characteristic “wheels”. Learning how the delicious Parmigiano arrives on our table is fascinating and you’ll be able to taste different types of aged Parmesan cheese and try to identify the difference during the tour. The tour will also make you appreciate the value of the “original” Parmigiano Reggiano against the many imitators around the world.

Discovering How Balsamic Vinegar is Traditionally Produced

balsamic vinegar

Balsamic Vinegar (or Aceto Balsamico in Italian) is native of Modena, a city that can be easily reached from Bologna. The “real” and traditional DOP balsamic vinegar (DOP stands for “of protected origin) can only be produced in private houses in Modena. During the food tour, you’ll learn and recognize the big difference between traditional balsamic vinegar and the industrial version of it. The vinegar itself is made from grape juice but it is a lengthy process that takes at least 12 years to age. The food tour is a fantastic exploration in the details of this traditional method of production. Tastings are included, and if you’re interested in purchasing some products, you’ll be able to receive bargain prices for most of the traditional balsamic vinegar qualities.

Learning How Mortadella, Parma Ham and San Daniele’s Ham are Produced

covering ham with sugna – a protective layer of Fat

Bologna is famous and proud of its Mortadella. But once you’re there why not learn about how the famous Prosciutto di Parma (Parma Ham) and Prosciutto San Daniele are produced? They all come from the same region and by joining a food tour, you’ll be able to discover the secrets of the production of all three types of ham. During the tour, you’ll visit the “MUSA”, the first charcuterie museum in Italy. The museum is located in Modena, but the price of the tour includes transportation from Bologna to the museum. You’ll not only discover the long history of cured meat, the tools, and techniques used to produce them and the traditional uses but also will be able to taste a variety of them. The visit offers a very complete understanding of the production of different types of cured meats and the various steps needed to come to the final process.

You’ll learn how technique and precision are essential even in the food industry and what makes Italian cured meats so special and unique.

So here you are, three types of food tours you can join as a day-tour from the city of Bologna. Could you ask for more? Learn about regional products, their taste, their production methods and appreciate their taste even more thanks to amazing tastings that are designed to enhance the flavors of some of the regional foods that make Italy so important in the food industry. What are you waiting for? Get your taste buds ready, it will be a fantastic experience!

Some of the Most Delicious Italian Christmas Desserts

December means, for many, that Christmas is coming. It means family get-togethers, delicious food, and (sometimes) overeating. Now, we all know that Italy is famous for its delicacies, but maybe you might not be aware that Italian traditions for Christmas time are also very interesting, and yummy! The most amazing thing is that despite being such a small country, Italy’s regional differences in terms of traditional food are apparent even for these kinds of traditional meals.

Every region, sometimes even every specific city has something traditional that is different from other parts of the country when it comes to setting the Christmas menu. This article is about three of the traditional Christmas cakes in Italy, if those sounds delicious to you, they are just the beginning!

Emilia-Romagna: Il Certosino Di Bologna

Certosino

The typical Christmas dessert of the city of Bologna is called “Certosino”. It is part of those types of desserts that in Italy are known as “panforte”, literally “strong bread” because they can be enjoyed only after a long preparation time and some “resting periods”. Those resting periods are essential for the dessert, that needs to be prepared before the middle of November to be eaten at Christmas.

This dessert is a long tradition, dating back to Medieval times. The Certosino is a dessert that is made out of flour, honey, raisins, and almonds. Despite the ingredients sound quite simple, the preparation is quite difficult. However, you can buy Certosino in Bologna in almost every bakery in the city, do not forget to try it out!

Tuscany: Ricciarelli Di Siena

Ricciarelli from Siena-2

Tuscany, or better, the city of Siena has a different dessert that cannot be missing on local Christmas dinners. This dessert is called “ricciarelli”, a sort of biscuits (but calling them like that is rather diminishing) made or almond flour, eggs, and sugar. They are eaten at the end of the meal, usually accompanies by some vin santo (sweet wine) or amaretto.

The preparation of this dessert is quite long and tedious, but the final result is so yummy, you will never get enough of this wonderful dessert! The origin of this dessert can be found in the 15th century, where almond paste in the form of marzipan was very popular. If you are in Tuscany around Christmas time, you’ll easily find ricciarelli in every bakery or food-related shop. Just give them a try and you’ll quickly fall in love with this delicacy!

Veneto: Il Pandoro Di Verona

Wikimedia images

This is the king of Italian desserts when it comes to Christmas. I know we said that each region has its specialty, but Pandoro is just so yummy that it is the dessert that really will be present in every Italian house for Christmas dinners and family meals. Soft and simple, it is loved by everyone. The secret of its delicious taste lies behind the apparent simplicity of this dessert. Its dough is very soft and golden-colored because of the eggs, and biting on it, not only you’ll love the texture, but also, you’ll discover a wonderful flavor of vanilla.

The shape of Pandoro is traditionally conical, with edges that resemble a star, usually with eight points.

It is really hard to make a good Pandoro at home, but the good news is that Pandoro is so popular you will be able to find it everywhere! Traditional brands are making them industrially, such as “Bauli” or “Melegatti”, or you can also find artisanal pandoro in many bakeries. No matter what you choose to buy, trust me, you’ll love it!

The origins of this Italian traditional Christmas dessert do not come from the country, In reality, it seems that Pandoro was first originated in Austria, where it was called “Vienna’s Bread”. Today, the name Pandoro means “Golden Bread”, and it will probably be one of the tastiest desserts you’ll ever try for Christmas.

Here was a brief list of some of the most popular Italian desserts for Christmas time. As we’ve already mentioned, Italy is a very interesting country, not only for its amazing and strong culture but also for its diversity. With that, it means that wherever you are in Italy, you might find some different traditions. In any case, you should try everything you can, as Italian food is rarely not satisfying!

Where to Buy Parma Ham in Parma?

In the Northern Italian countryside, you will find the city of Parma, it may be famous for a variety of things including its University and cheese, but what it is most famous for is its Prosciutto di Parma otherwise known as Parma ham.

Prosciutto di Parma is a delicious dry-cured ham that follows an intricate process that can take up to several years, in order to obtain the perfect final taste that everyone knows an loves. While there are other regions in Italy that have their own version, Prosciutto di Parma is the most famous and sought after of them all, even earning certain degrees of protected status.

If you are ever lucky enough to visit or live in the city of Parma and want to experience the most authentic and appetizing Prosciutto di Parma in the country, then we have found the ultimate places for you to go and have just that.

1) La Prosciutteria

The moment you walk into La Prosciutteria all of your senses will be overwhelmed by the sheer number of hanging hams on offer. There is a massive selection for you to choose from, and it is clear to see why this place is famous among locals as well as tourists. The shop provides an assortment of wonderful smells and wonderful sights, and as a bonus, they specialize in other local meats and cheeses, and have fresh bread daily. La Prosciutteria is quintessentially Italian, a place that is a prime example of where you should buy or try Parma ham, it is a delightful shop and you will most certainly leave with a smile.

Situated right in the heart of Parma, the shop is easy to access and easy to find.

The address for La Prosciutteria: Via Farini, 9/c – Parma

Their opening times vary depending on the day/season, so in order to never miss your chance to visit, check out their website for the complete list of opening times: https://www.silvanoromaniparma.it/

2) Casa del Formaggio

For more than thirty years Casa del Formaggio has been serving up some of the best traditional Italian food available, from their fresh plates of pasta, a vast selection of cheeses, and of course, different meats. Their choice of cured meats includes some of the best Parma ham you can buy in the region; you will find only the highest quality of ham at Casa del Formaggio, a ham that has been cured slowly and traditionally with the end result being a perfect and mouthwatering example of why Parma ham is held in such a high regard in Italy.

Casa del Formaggio is located right in the center of Parma and is easily accessible by car or on foot.

The address for Casa del Formaggio: Str. Nino Bixio 106 / C Parma

The shop is open Monday- Saturday

Morning 8:30-13:30 / Afternoon 16:30-19:45

3) Salumeria Garibaldi

Salumeria Garibaldi is another excellent choice for those wanting to find the best Parma ham that the city has to offer. For nearly seventy years this shop has severed the area with its finest hams and cheeses, earning itself as a reputation for providing its customers with a gastronomic delight. Their succulent selection of Prosciutto di Parma has been mastered over the years to be some of the best and famous in the country, with theirs being recognized on a national level. The passion and enthusiasm that the owners of Salumeria Garibaldi have for their work come through in the rich and full flavors of the products, and they truly serve some of the best Parma ham in the whole of Italy.

Conveniently located near the city’s main railway station, you will have no problems with finding it.

The address for Salumeria Garibaldi: Strada Garibaldi 42 43121 Parma

The shop is open Monday – Saturday

08:00-20:00

You will never look at Parma ham in the same way again after you have had the experience of tasting some of the most authentic Parma ham not only in the region but also in the country. Once you have visited the area you will fully understand why the province has earned itself the nickname of the food valley of the world.