• #SINEQUANON

    SINE QUA NON VERONA

    The city of Romeo and Juliet can become a love story, and not necessarily a tragic one.  Of all the things to love here, the house of Giulietta and the famed balcony are the least lovable, while the tons of heart and Cupid and flashy red souvenirs are maybe the only real tragedy  that happened to this place.  So forget about that story, and bear in mind that Shakespeare wrote two more Verona-related plays: Two Gentlemen of Verona and the wonderful Taming of the Shrew.  I very much  wanted to see the house where Katherina was tamed, but no reference to that, I’m afraid. There is still the house of…

  • everydaymagic,  THE TREASURE MAP

    Opera itineraries for thehappyfew

    If you’re a classical music enthusiast or an opera lover, you must have been to the Covent Garden or Scala once or twice. But I discovered something that beats even the gilded interiors of Opera Garnier: the exterior. Dream big: ancient theatre with view of the volcano, a huge lake stage or a musical terrace where you can see the sun rising 315 m over the sea. Set in breathtaking outdoor locations, here are my favorite concert halls: 1 .Teatro Greco di Taormina. Classical music but also rock concerts are taking place in the ancient theatre of Taormina, Sicily. A large crack in the original arena wall offers a magnificent…

  • everydaymagic,  Uncategorized

    What to do once in a blue moon

    The blue moon is rare, that’s a fact. But the expression <once in a blue moon> stays with us to remind us of things rare, mysterious, out-of-ordinary and – well, blue. What to do once in a blue moon? 1. Go for your prreciouss: put a finger on a thing that you covet and go for it. An expensive treat, a collectible or even a person; whatever makes you feel you hold the keys to the universe’s secret. Something like seeing Tosca in the Teatro Antico di Taormina, with a view of the sea and of Etna in the backdrop (possibly with incandescent lava on top). 2. Venture into the mystery:…

  • everydaymagic,  THE TREASURE MAP

    Supernatural

      Rich, old and full of charm. Toscana is where legends are at a standstill. Time is slow, it simply flows right into history. The most perfect landscape rolls into the richest vineyards and the noblest cities of art in the whole wide world. Honestly now: if you were a supernatural being, where would you live? Father of Chianti Classico, reveal your presence! Ricasoli is the oldest winery in Italy. Winemakers since 1141 when the family acquired the magnificent Brolio Castle and the surrounding vineyards, the Ricasolis had the nose and the palate for creating good wines.  Talent and erudition run in the family, culminating with the one and only…

  • everydaymagic,  fantastic journeys,  THE TREASURE MAP

    Val d’Orcia and the ideal city

    One fine day, the Architect looked out of the window to see the future; he saw a utopian landscape of pale green fields and pure skies, rolling into forever. Then he took a brush and four colors and started painting: pale yellowish green for the fields, dark green for the cypresses, blue azzuro for the skies and warm brown for the roads and the farms. You think I’m being rather corny, poetic with a touch of mysticism. I can be all that, but today I’m merely factual. The Val d’Orcia, another world favorite of the happy few, is a region of perfect landscape south of Siena, included in the UNESCO…