THE AMAZING GARDEN OF NINFA

If you love gardens, you absolutely must not miss the oasi of Ninfa.

Ninfa was a medieval city abandoned by its inhabitants because of malaria and slowly fall into disrepair.IMG_0446

The town was deserted for 600 years until the twentieth century, when three generations of the Caetani family decided to revive the city (that belonged to the family) like a garden. They realized that the crumbling buildings and stone bridges of the town were a dreamlike setting for a garden.

In 1922 the English born Duchess of Sermoneta, planted the roses which still cascade over trees and ruins, scrambling to enormous heights. Her son, Prince Gelasio, planted the ilexes, cypresses, black walnuts and magnolia grandiflora whic, now mature, give the garden its air of timelessness. IMG_0499

After the prince’s death his brother Roffredo and his American wife Marguerite, lived at Ninfa for twenti-five years, adding collections of flowering trees and creating more streams to criss-cross the garden. They were followed by Lelia Caetani, an artist, and her husband Hubert Howard, who added more magnolias, paulonia fargesii and began an arboretum outside the walls.

Since 1976 the garden has been transformed into an oasi managed by the W.W.F.IMG_0451

Ninfa is an authentic paradise where history, art and nature have reached an equilibrium and a truly unique fusion.

 

 

 

Why a three breasted woman?

pupazza frascati
La pupazza frascatana

Most people know Frascati for the good wine, but probably you never heard about the biscuit shaped as a woman with three breasts, colled “la Pupazza Frascatana” which is as much famous.

It is prepared only with flour and honey and to enjoy it you need to wait until it has draw some humidity from the environment because just prepared is too hard to eat.

The story is very fanny. In the past times, when the women were engaged in harvesting, they left their babies to the wet nurses, and there was one of them very very good even with the most capricious babies. For this reason she was very appreciated and the mothers were in competition to obtain her services.

However, after sometimes, an incredible discovery was made: she had three breasts, two with milk and the third, fake, with good Frascati wine. And that was the secret of her success.

Once I was telling this story to a group of Canadian people during a tour, and one of them said: “That’s what every mother should need sometimes.”

Do you think the same?

THE LOCANDA MARTORELLI IN ARICCIA (The fantastic story of a small inn)

When you arrive in Ariccia, you’re immediatly enraptured by the scenography of the square and, probably, you don’t notice the two very normal windows that open into a small terrace just above the chemist. But if you look up, you can see the banner on the railing of the balcony, with the image of Goethe. That is the Locanda Martorelli.

The Locanda Martorelli is a historic building closely linked to the Grand Tour d’Italie. It is located in Piazza di Coorte in Ariccia.

The story begin in 1917 when Antonio Martorelli buy the building and turns it into an inn in 1920. Ever since the Inn osted many famous artists who passed for Ariccia in the context of the Grand Tour.

Started as a simple inn, slowly became a meeting poit for musicians, writers, painters who shared the experience of the Grand Tour, changing in  a real academy of painting.

Among the celebrity who have stayed at the famous Inn we can remember G.M. Guglielmo Turner, Antonio Richter, G. Fedrico Overbeck, Nino Costa, Antonio Ligeti, G. Cristiano Andersen, H. Jorgen Hammer, Massimo D’Azeglio, Goethe, Orazio Vernet, Enrico Ibsen, Longfellow, Byron, and Gogol who during his stay wrote a chapter of the novel “Dead Souls”.

This great artists, who spent periods of study and resort in the Locanda, spread through their poetry and painting, the image of the Castelli Romani in the whole Europe.

The special friendship that was created between Mr Martorelli and the Polish painter Taddeo Kuntze, ispired the artist who wanted to honor his friend by decorating the inn. So, he literally covered with paintings throughout the central all of the locanda with a series of tempera wall created between 1770 and  1771 telling the whole history and mythology of the ancient Latin city of Aricia that once included also the modern towns of Genzano and  Nemi.

 

In 1988 the Locanda Martorelli was purchased by the town of Ariccia, very carefully restored and is now used to host art exibitions.

 

 

A FEW OF HISTORY: THE GRAND TOUR

 

Goethes Italian Journe

The Grand Tour was a long trip in Continental Europe made by the rich young European Aristocrats in the Seventeenth Century and intended to perfect their knowledge. This trip could last from a few months to several years. The main destinations were France, Italy and Greece.

During the Tour, the youngs learned to know the politics, culture, arts and ancient history of the European countries. They spent their time doing sightseeings, studying and purchasing local goods.

Italy, with its heritage from ancient Rome, with its monuments, became one of the most popular destination.

Many politicians and diplomats, poets and writers, but also merchants and businessmen, mainly interested in collecting, and sometimes whole families were protagonists of the Tour.

The idea of a trip as a training tool which, by comparison, develop critical awareness, originated in England and from there spread to Continental  Europe and later to America. The disposition of English culture towards the empiricism, determines the preference for direct experience instead of the dogmatism of the medieval scholastic tradition.

The term “Grand Tour” appeared for the first time in 1670 in the “Voyage of Italy, or a complete journey through Italy” of Richard Lassels.

The eighteenth century saw a boom of the Grand Tour. At the end of 1700 every respectable European man of culture must have completed at least one journey in Italy.

The countryside around Rome, and especially “Castelli Romani” were much appreciated by this host of travelers. Many of great artists who hosted in Castelli Romani stayed in the “Locanda Martorelli” in Ariccia. Among them there were G.M.Guglielmo Turner, A.Richter, G.F.Overbeck, G.C.Andersen, E.Longfellow, Ibsen, Ivanov, Corot, Stendhal, M.D’Azeglio, Taddeo Kuntze………..Until March 25th museums of Alban and Prenestini hills host the exhibition of the Grand Tour………………to be continued

INTERVIEW WITH THE VOLCANO

castelli romani

– Hello! old volcano, how are you?

– old to whom? Be careful becouse the volcanos have got seven lives like cats.

– what do you mean? Are you  not extinct?

– Maybe you’re extinct! I’m only dormient.

– I hope you didn’t fix the alarm clock too much early….

– Do not worry I want to keep sleeping  still for a long time. I worked very hard to model this area, and in all modesty, I made a very good work.

– I agree, you created very magnificent landscapes.

– Thank you, I know.

– Good night Volcano

– Yawn! Good night.

THE MOST FAMOUS

The most popular festival of the Castelli Romani is undoubtedly the “Wine Festival of Marino.

La fontana dei quattro mori addobbata con i grappoli d'uvaIt takes place the first weekend of October. The main phases of the celebration are the solemn procession, the parade, the miracle of the fountains that “give wine”, the distribution of grapes and wine in the streets of the village, the sight of the flag. The procession recalls the historic event took place in Rome on 4 December 1571, when Pope Pius V wanted  to be bestowed to Marcantonio Colonna, Lord of Marino, who  had given command of the papal fleet in the Battle of Lepanto against the Turks, same great honor reserved in ancient Rome to the bravest generals. Marcantonio Colonna was in fact distinguished courage and ability to contribute decisively to the victory of the Holy League against the forces of the Ottoman Empire. By the same historical event gave rise to the religious festival of thanksgiving to the Virgin of Victory – then the SS.Rosario – under whose protection the Pope had placed naval expedition. The procession and the festival are therefore both “historical” as originating from the same event.

THE FRUITS OF THE GOLDEN LAND

During the months of September and October, is celebrated a bit all over Italy, the grape and  wine. The Castelli Romani  are famous for the wine, they honor this great gift of land with festivals and events in almost every town. Next weekend let us go in Velletri for the Festival of Grapes and Wines. Rich program that start  with the decoration of  the streets, squares and fountains. Opening of  “Living Wine” tasting points. At the city park “Checkers and Chess while drinking,” Giant Chess Game, Tastings, Music and Games until 20:30 when the historical parade will take place at night. The festival continues Sunday with a parade of flag-wavers, and at 16:00 with the historical procession along the city center. 17:00 hours Joust of the Quintana, 18:00,  Race of running barrels and  “Crushing Grapes”. Music, dances, wine and local specialties until late at night. In these two days the museums will be open to visitors entrance at reduced rates. The Tourist Information Point in Piazza Garibaldi will remain open to provide guidance and information about the event. Sunday 25th,  local shops will remain open 10/00 – 13/00 and 16/00 – 21/00. In the 2-day event, all over the streets you can find places with stand tasting of agricultural products, fancy goods and curiosities, music and entertainment of various kinds. Some restaurants offer special menus at special prices. Special event this year becouse the group of historical re-enactment of Marino  will honor’ the celebration bringing in the event the triumph of Marcantonio Colonna, who has been successfull in the famous battle of Lepanto. A great gesture of peace and mutual recognition between the two cities.

BREAD AND ARTISTS

BREAD AND ARTISTS

Next weekend Albano and Genzano will give you a warm welcom with two events:

IN ALBANO, THE FESTIVAL OF STREET ARTISTS NAMED "BAIOCCO"

The name of the Festival in Albano "Baiocco or Bajocco" came from an ancient italian currency denomination largely used in Central Italy, especially in Latium. The origin of the name is uncertain. Its value was originally equivalent to a shilling; disappeared after  the unification of Italy (Wikipedia).

 

IN GENZANO, THE FESTIVAL OF THE BREAD

The traditional Festival of the homade bread of Genzano take place every year in September. The purpose of the Festival it's to promote a product more representative of its rich heritage of manufacturing and quality not only locally but also nationally.

The town of Genzano di Roma is in fact part of the National City Bread, and homade bread of Genzano was the first in Italy to be awarded the I.G.P. (Protected Geographical Indication) by the European Union.

During the Festival, visitors can enjoy the local products and guided tours of the Sforza-Cesarini Park, the Village, the ovens and the historical museum of "Infiorata".

At 5 p.m. on Sunday is planned the realization of "The longest Bruschetta in the world".

Enjoy!!

 

PANE E ARTISTI

Il prossimo fine settimana Albano e Genzano vi danno un caldo benvenuto con due eventi:

AD ALBANO IL FESTIVAL DEGLI ARTISTI DI STRADA "BAIOCCO"

Baiocco o Bajocco proviene da una antica moneta in uso specialmente nel centro Italia e soprattutto nel Lazio. L'origine del nome è incerto, valeva circa un soldo d'argento. Nel tempo ha assunto il significato di un soldo di poco valore (che di solito è quello che si offre agli artisti di strada o a chi chiede l'elemosina).

Viene ancora oggi spesso usato per affermare "Non ho un soldo".

 

A GENZANO LA FESTA DEL PANE CASARECCIO

La festa del pane casareccio di Genzano, che ha luogo ogni anno in settembre, si propone di promuovere uno dei prodotti tipici più buoni dei Castelli Romani.

La città di Genzano di Roma, infatti, fa parte dell'Associazione Nazionale Città del Pane e il suo pane casareccio è stato il primo in Italia ad essere insignito del marchio I.G.P, (Indicazione Geografica Protetta) dalla Comunità Europea.

Durante la festa, oltre a gustare i prodotti tipici locali come appunto il pane e la porchetta, potete godere di visite guidate al bellissimo Parco Sforza-Cesarini, al borgo medievale, ai forni e allo storico museo dell'Infiorata.

Alle 5 del pomeriggio di domenica è prevista la Bruschetta Più Lunga del Mondo.

Buon divertimento||

THE ALBANO MUSEUM

If you are on holiday in the Castelli Romani area, don't lost the opportunity to visit the Albano Museum.

The Museum is housed in the charming neoclassical Villa Ferrajoli, set in the midst of a park of giant magnolias. The main feature of the façade is a tetrastile portico topped by a pediment containing a fine terracotta relief that illustrates the myth about Ceres teaching Triptolemus the art of agriculture.

The delicate paintings that decorate the interiors are the work of Giovanbattista Caretti and are inspired by Classical and Renaissance art.

Visiting the rich collection of the Museum you will retrace the amazing story of Albano, the born of whic is lost in the legend.