Posts Tagged ‘Italy’

Guido e Luisa;

UPDATE: To see the meal we enjoyed while watching 8 1/2, click here.

As I mentioned last week, on Saturday we decided to base our meal around the movie we were to watch that evening, 8 1/2. For anyone struggling in the creative process, it’s a fantastic film to indulge in, as the lines between Guido Anselmi’s memories, fantasies and reality were so thoroughly smudged as to make a very strange narrative that anyone who appreciates A Christmas Story would instantly love.  While not as immediately comedic for anyone not fluent in Italian, the frustration of its main character are immediately apparent to anyone of an artistic disposition.  To write with authority on this topic requires more than one viewing of the film–one of the reasons why it’s now on my media shelf as well as why I am not trying to expound on its deeper themes.

The visual style of the film struck a more primal aesthetic reaction from me, both in how Fellini filmed his surroundings as well as how he dressed his actors–it’s immediately stylish in a haute way, but it is inspiring in embodying an impossibly cool mid-20th century European “look”.

You look at these screenshots and say you don’t want to recreate them in your mind (or in your wardrobe):













I’d like to mull more over this film and its more cereberal aspects–but that is another day and another viewing (which will be soon).

As for the food we enjoyed, well that will be revealed in good time.


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Since we decided to go to a party on Valentine’s Day to mix things up a bit, Saturday will be our designated night of staying in and making dinner, our normal way of marking the holiday.

I proposed to add a twist to the festivities, however–using a rewards certificate from Amazon.com, I managed to get a copy of Fellini’s 8 1/2 after seeing how much we both enjoyed watching La Dolce Vita a few months ago.  Given that it was filmed in and around Rome, we’re going to try some Roman dishes and sip on some Montepulciano d’Abruzzo (which, by the by, is becoming more prevalent here in the States and is an extremely well-priced Italian red compared to others, but that’s another post).

Here’s the original film trailer to set the mood:

Some initial thoughts for meal ideas include Roman-style lamb, bucatini alla’amatricana, and stracciatella alla Romana, but other suggestions are  more than welcome in the comments.

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Acqui Terme, Italy.  October 11, 2008, 2:24 PM.

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I apertivi;

One small part of Piemontese life that we didn’t experience extensively was the bar culture–specifically, the before-dinner-drinks, or apertivi.  Most of our time spent in town (or in Torino) was in the afternoon and we were content to sip on either a beer or a glass of wine with a slab of pizza to tide us over before the dinner hour, and having some amazing wines completely at our disposal meant that cocktails weren’t given much consideration.

In the months since we’ve returned, though, I’ve taken to flipping through the completely gorgeous book Autumn in Piemonte, a shower gift from a dear friend, and I recently caught a section that described aperitivi and some of the traditional libations that accompany this oh-so-elegant alternative to American happy hours:



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Acqui Terme, Italy, October 11 2008, 2:16 PM.

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It’s miserable out–grey, wet, icy and shitty–and I’m here listening to two plumbers rip out my toilet to fix a giant crack that’s leaking…something into the basement section underneath the pharmacy below us, and therefore we will be without a toilet until at least tomorrow.  Add to that a sizable 1/5th of our bedroom celing that collapsed while we were away for the holidays due to the roof leaking (water was literally pouring into one corner of our bedroom the morning we left that is still not fixed, and you can see that I am far from being a happy camper.

So here’s a pretty picture taken on the Regione Valloria:


UPDATE: Right after I posted this, the plumber told us that we would be losing our shower as well.  Fuck.

UPDATE #2: Yep, not allowed to run any water now.

UPDATE #3: We’re in a hotel room–and had to drive out in the less-than-stellar weather to do so–because our landlord insisted on us staying here.  Please hope along with us that this is the only night we have to do this…blerg!

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Arial is not Helvetica;


Torino, Italy, October 10 2008, 4:10 PM.

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