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A TRIP TO THE UNEXPLORED GEMS OF ITALY
THE ROMAGNA REGION
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My name is Giovanni Labadessa I’m an Italian living in Los Angeles since 2005. I’m a writer, a passionate foodie. Despite being born in the South of Italy the place I choose to talk about is an area in Italy that made me fall in love again with my country: the Romagna region and a city that I love very much: Santarcangelo di Romagna.
The Romagna region is situated by the Adriatic Sea and can be a great place to stop by in your way from Florence and Venice.
This area has both the mountains and sea offering its visitors breathtaking views, in addition to beauty for both the eyes and spirit, with a mixture of the earthy colors, the aromas and the fresh sea air. Not to mention that the Romagna is a hotbed for music, cinema and art appreciated nationally and internationally.
Traditional of the Romagna region are Passatelli, Piadina, Pasta Fresca like Tagliatelle, Cappelletti, Ravioli, Nidi Di Rondine, Strozzapreti.
My favorite of the many great beautiful towns in this region is Santarcangelo di Romagna which is a beautiful italian post card.
This small medieval village is recognised internationally as a City of Art and an extremely popular destination, thanks to the extravagant art and talents of its more celebrated citizens, the warmth of the Romagnolo welcome, the good food and conviviality but also because of the town’s fairs and festivals, which invariably attract thousands of visitors.
The most famous among the many cultural events that happen though out the year is the International Theatre Festival – Festival del Teatro in Piazza.
The festival is a major international exhibition of avant-garde theatre, which has welcomed, amongst others, the famous Mutoid Waste Company, an international group of performers and sculptors of recycled materials, which today live in a small quarter of the town by the river renamed Mutonia. This city passion for the arts has attracted several artists from all over the world making this city one of the most innovative cultural hub in Europe. The city is also home to the international film festival Nót Film Fest , several food fairs and literary events.
The old town of Santarcangelo is worth a visit by itself, all walkable with its narrow streets that climb up on top of the hill called “Monte Giove” where you can enjoy both a beautiful view over the city and the poems written on the corners of the houses.
One of the peculiarity of the old Town are the “Grotte Tufacee”, enchanting caves dug out of tufa: these mysterious caves, whose origin is still unknown, form a labyrinth underneath the towns historic center.
Santarcangelo is also home to several celebrated taste makers, amazing restaurant and Osterie.
Besides Santarcangelo the Romagna Region is rich of gorgeous cities like the city of Federico Fellini Rimini, the historic Republic of San Marino, the medieval castes of San Leo, and Ravenna with its Byzantine mosaics.
Where to EAT in SANTARCANGELO
Via Pio Massani 16 – Santarcangelo di Romagna
Via Felici 38 – Santarcangelo di Romagna
Piazza Ganganelli, 19/20 – Santarcangelo di Romagna
Piazza Gramsci 14 – Santarcangelo di Romagna
Via Molari 13/15 – Santarcangelo di Romagna
Osteria Ristorante La Sangiovesa
Piazza Beato Simone Balacchi, 14 – Santarcangelo di Romagna
Trattoria del Passatore
Via Cavour 1 – Santarcangelo di Romagna
Where to STAY in SANTARCANGELO
BB Agriturismo Locanda Antiche Macine
Via Provinciale Sogliano, 1540 – SANTARCANGELO
La Foresteria del Convento
Via dei Signori, 2 – Santarcangelo di Romagna
Hotel Della Porta
Via Andrea Costa 85 – Santarcangelo di Romagna
Hotel Il Villino
Via C.Ruggeri 48 – Santarcangelo di romagna
Residenza i Platani
Via Contrada dei Fabbri 8 (Centro storico) – Santarcangelo di Romagna
B&B Le Contrade
Via Dei Nobili, 38 – Santarcangelo di Romagna
Via San Vito 434 – Santarcangelo di Romagna
via Giulio Faini, 9 – Santarcangelo di Romagna
Amy is my younger sister who lived in Paris for a year. She learned French and immersed herself into the Parisian lifestyle. Amy used to have a blog called The Moveable Feast, where she highlighted this adventure. She was kind enough to share some additional details below. Please enjoy!
To access this episode please access it on my web host, Buzzsprout
This week’s episode is a favorite from the archives. Come explore the french, coastal lifestyle with our guest Alex! She shares her experiences and recommendations about the riviera and ways to make the most of your exploration down the coast!
Alex was born and raised in Monaco and now lives in the United States.
During the podcast she’ll be talking about the city of Monaco and the Riviera (with a focus on the French Riviera). Specific landmarks, restaurants, and activities she recommends includes:
- St Paul de Vence
- Eze (and it’s chateau!)
- vista palace for cocktails
- and….more in the podcast. 🙂
To access Episode 21, please access it on my web host, Buzzsprout
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This week’s episode is a favorite from the archives: Norway with Ole.
Wow! Norway has 30 medals and counting from the 2018 Winter Olympics!
With all this exposure, you may be wondering about this amazing country that churns Olympic athletes. Look no further! You now have an inside scoop into this great country by my husband, Ole.
Ole is Norwegian. While I convinced him to reside in Los Angeles with me, he has spent most of his life in Norway, and he has been returning twice a year to reconnect with immediate family.
We always root for the Norwegian team at the Winter Olympics, there is always a supply of aquavit and brunost in our home (even in LA), and skiing is in our blood.
Ole’s Recommendations of Oslo
Our capital is a really great city and has a lot to offer, like award winning restaurants (like 2* Michelin Guide restaurant Maaemo) and coffee shops (like Ristretto), an ocean-front boardwalk, a castle, the Palace, cool museums and much more. However, plenty of other cities can offer similar things. If you’re visiting Norway, I recommend limiting your stay in Oslo to just one day.
Here’s your must see list:
Vigelandsparken: A sculpture park with some amazing statues. The most famous ones are Monolitten (tall column of a single piece of granite depicting 121 naked people) and Sinnataggen (a little angry kid), but my favorite one is a piece of “abstract art” featuring an adult man fighting off a horde of babies.
Aker Brygge and Tjuvholmen: Oceanfront boardwalk with several nice restaurants and bars. One of my favorite places is a burger shop called Døgnvill which translates to Jetlagged and it won’t break the bank either.
Karl Johan’s gate: The main street which stretches from Oslo Central Station to the royal Palace (which is conveniently close to Aker Brygge) features lots of cafes and shops.
The Opera house: You can walk on top of this architectural masterpiece which features great views of Oslo and the new development called Barcode – a series of skyscrapers shaped like bars in a barcode.
This week’s episode comes straight from the wide open grasslands of Mongolia, where Ariunaa takes us on a journey through her homeland. From experiencing the warmth of Mongolian hospitality to exploring the regional cuisine, you’ll be inspired to pack your bags for the land of endless green plains, nomadic herders, and two-humped camels. Please enjoy!
To access Episode 19, please access it at our web host, Buzzsprout.
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Mongolia is the least populated country in the world. Known for its vast open grasslands and the Gobi desert, the country is home to 3 million people. Nearly half of the country’s population carry on a 3-thousand year old lifestyle as nomadic herders.
The capital city of Ulaanbaatar hustles and bustles, not unlike many other Asian cities in this part of the world. However, the desire to see Ulaanbaatar is hardly the real reason that brings seasoned travelers to Mongolia. The countryside and the nomadic culture are what attract adventure seekers to Mongolia.
Where to Visit
Central Mongolia (aka the Khangai Region) — Endless green plains, rolling hills, pristine forests, wildlife that is unique to only this part of the world, and Karakorum, ruins of the ancient capital of the Mongol Empire.
Northern Mongolia — The world’s second largest freshwater lake named Khuvsgul Lake and the surrounding natural beauty, the Tsaatan people (nomadic reindeer herders)
Southern Mongolia (aka the Gobi Region)– The gobi desert, vast steppes that go as far as your eyes can see, beautiful sand dunes, two-humped Mongolian camels
Western Mongolia — The snow-capped peaks of Altai mountains, Kazakh eagle hunters
Eat & Drink
Khorkhog – authentic Mongolian barbeque, prepared by pressure cooking meat and vegetables inside an airtight container using hot stones
Khuushuur – deep fried dumplings with meat filling
Aaruul – type of dairy product made from dried milk curd
Mongolian vodka – vodka distilled from yogurt
Airag – fermented horse milk
Stay in a ger
Go horseback riding
Go camel riding
Visit a nomadic herder family
Stay in nature
See the Naadam festival
Ethically made clothes, accessories and blankets from natural textiles obtained from nomadic animal husbandry:
Further reading (as mentioned in the podcast)