To “blame” were two books—I Segreti della Cucina dell’ Emilia Romagna and I Segreti della Cucina Toscana, which reveal the secrets of their respective regional cuisines. The Italian Cultural Institute San Francisco, under the direction of Paolo Barlera, hosted the unique event designed by the journalist Stefano Andrini, and presented the books to the public. From the beginning of the event’s journey Andrini benefitted from collaboration with Bologna Connect, in particular with the association’s founders, Laura Bizzari and Antonella Orlandi, whose experience organizing and promoting cultural initiatives extends to the United States and elsewhere. The event, which also received sponsorship from the region of Emilia-Romagna, was an extraordinary success. A large audience filled the gallery of the Italian Cultural Institute for the conversation between Mary Tolaro-Noyes, Ambassador of Bologna Connect, and Mr. Andrini.
Surprises were not lacking. Original entertaining videos directed by Federico Formigoni interrupted the discussion, which included English subtitles written by Enrica Nicoli Aldini, a young Bolognese now living in the United States. Audience members were left astonished and amused. The Tagliatelle Band first challenged them with a remake of a famous Hawaiian Christmas song. Next Alessandro Di Leva, performing in the attire of a Roman legionary, shared the ancestry of the Roman piadina in Rimini. The video ended like a classic American film when the actor leaves the screen and pops up in the audience – this time though accompanied by Francesca Pivi dressed as a Roman matron. The room burst into applause with a standing ovation. The hilarious monologue of the highly regarded comedian Paolo Cevoli attempted to explain to Americans why Romagna is devoted to the pig. Then an anecdote told by Claudio Di Bernardo, the chef of the Grand Hotel Rimini, recounted the time when Sharon Stone preferred to eat a plate of spaghetti with olive oil, garlic, and pepperoncino instead of a plate of oysters. Lastly, the the Soda Sisters made a lively splash with their agro-folk and very Tuscan musical finale.
Many themes dominated the evening’s discussion. For instance, does spaghetti Bolognese exist or not, and why it is that every respectable tortellino is destined to end up in broth and not cream? Also the fabled priest’s housekeeper, who from peering out the window of the Sala della Musica of San Petronio, watched as the ceremonies down at the basicalla’s altar progressed. She would then know the perfect moment to toss the pasta in the boiling water and be ready to serve the priest’s lunch. Blogger David Scott Allen’s story in the Tuscan book recounts his interview of Sting and his wife Trudie Styler and their Tuscan farm.
Then on to the food! The guests watched Bianca and Anna of the Hotel Villa Svizzera at home in Vidiciatico, who were followed by a candid camera as they prepared their crescentine fried breads and zuccherini cookies. The chefs, who were present, then offered the visitors a tasting of their stuffed tigelle and zuccherini. Babbi Specialty Desserts and the insurmountable wines from Tre Monti di Imola completed the tasting.
The success of the event means that the troop is ready to take off again in new directions—its goal to familiarize the world with important hidden (and not so hidden) culinary secrets!
“Colpa” di due libri sui segreti delle rispettive cucine regionali presentati il 5 aprile nella prestigiosa sede dell’Istituto di italiano di cultura promotore dell’evento. Al giornalista Stefano Andrini, curatore dei volumi (il secondo insieme al collega Andrea Fagioli), il merito di aver ideato un evento dalle caratteristiche decisamente inusuali. Fin dall’inizio di questo percorso Andrini si è avvalso della preziosa collaborazione di Bologna Connect e in particolare di Laura Bizzari e Antonella Orlandi, che vantano ormai una lunga esperienza nell’organizzazione di iniziative culturali in terra americana (e non solo). L’evento, che ha avuto anche il patrocinio della Regione Emilia Romagna, è stato coronato da un successo straordinario e inaspettato. Un folto pubblico ha riempito la sala incontri dell’Istituto italiano di cultura per assistere al dialogo tra Mary Tolaro-Noyes, ambassador di Bologna Connect e Stefano Andrini. Le sorprese non sono mancate. A cominciare dai video originali (regista Federico Formigoni) scelti per intervallare la presentazione e sottotitolati in inglese da Enrica Nicoli Aldini, una ragazza bolognese ormai trapiantata negli Stati Uniti. Sullo schermo della sala le immagini sono scivolate via accolte con stupore e divertimento dal pubblico: la sfida estrema della Tagliatella Band con un remake di un celebre canto natalizio hawaiano; la performance di Alessandro Di Leva che nei panni di un legionario romano racconta gli antenati della piadina; l’esilarante monologo del comico Paolo Cevoli (applauditissimo) che ha provato a spiegare agli americani perché la Romagna è devota al maiale, l’aneddoto raccontato dallo chef del Grand Hotel di Rimini Claudio Di Bernardo a proposito di quella volta che Sharon Stone preferì alle ostriche un piatto di spaghetti aglio olio peperoncino. Fino alla spruzzata finale dell’agrifolk delle toscanissime De’ Soda Sisters. Tantissimi i temi emersi nel dibattito: l’esistenza o meno degli spaghetti alla bolognese; perché il destino di ogni tortellino che si rispetti è il brodo e non la panna, la perpetua che dalla finestra della Sala della Musica di San Petronio controllava il momento giusto per buttare giù la pasta. Terminato il video del legionario romano, come in un classico film americano dove l’attore esce dallo schermo, è spuntato tra il pubblico accompagnato da Francesca Pivi vestita da matrona romana. E qui è scattata la standing ovation. Il blogger David Scott Allen che nel libro ha intervistato Sting e sua moglie sulla loro factory toscana. Infine dalle parole ai … piatti. Precedute dalla candid camera sulla preparazione di crescentine e zuccherini Bianca e Anna dell’Albergo Villa Svizzera di Vidiciatico hanno offerto una degustazione di tigelle con farcitura d’ordinanza. La tasting è proseguita con le specialità dolciarie di Babbi. E gli insuperabili vini dell’azienda Tre Monti di Imola. Squadra che vince non si tocca. Ed è già pronta a ripartire su nuove rotte: per far conoscere anche in altri porti il format sperimentato con successo a San Francisco.
On Sunday, November 26, the wonderful setting of the Grand Majestic Hotel già Baglioni in Bologna hosted the presentation of the book, Sicily: A Journey of Discovery, promoted and organized by Bologna Connect.
The cofounder of the association, Antonella Orlandi, spoke about the commitment of Bologna Connect in the promotion and enhancement of the territory; the translator of the book, Lucia Scigliano, described her emotion in recounting her home region through a foreigner’s eyes; and of course the author Mary Tolaro Noyes, moved the audience with anecdotes and images of her Sicilian family’s origin.
Already the author of books Bologna Reflections and Gathering Chestnuts and ambassadress of Bologna Connect in San Francisco, Mary Tolaro Noyes told of her love and curiosity for the city of Bologna and for Sicily and of the similarities and differences between the two regions.
The journalist and writer Stefano Andrini, who masterfully captured the audience’s attention with humorous and at times stirring anecdotes, coordinated the meeting.
We thank the Director of the Grand Hotel Majestic Tiberio Biondi for providing the lovely venue for our event.
Editing by Kyrene Kagahastian
Sono intervenute la cofondatrice dell’associazione Antonella Orlandi, che ha raccontato l’impegno di Bologna Connect nella promozione e valorizzazione del territorio, la traduttrice del libro Lucia Scigliano, che ha spiegato l’emozione di raccontare la propria terra attraverso occhi stranieri e, naturalmente, l’autriceMary Tolaro Noyes, che ha emozionato il pubblico con aneddoti e immagini della sua famiglia d’origine siciliana.
Già autrice dei libri Bologna Reflections e Gathering Chestnuts e ambasciatrice di Bologna Connect a San Francisco, Mary Tolaro Noyes ha raccontato del suo amore infinito e sempre curioso per la città di Bologna e per la Sicilia e delle similitudini e differenze tra le due terre.
L’incontro è stato coordinato dal giornalista e scrittore Stefano Andrini, che con maestria ha rapito il parterre con note dal sapore divertente, ma soprattutto molto emozionante.
Editing by Lucia Scigliano
26 Kasım Pazar günü, Bologna’da ki Grand Hotel Majestic gia Baglioni’nin görkemli konferans salonu, Bologna Connect tarafından desteklenen ve düzenlenen Sicilya Köklere Doğru Yolculuk kitabının sunumuna ev sahipliği yaptı.
Derneğin kurucu ortaklarından Antonella Orlandi, Bologna Connect’in bölge adına verdiği iyileştirme ve geliştirme konusundaki çabalarından bahsetti. Kitabın çevirmeni Lucia Scigliano, kendi memleketini yabancıların gözleri önüne sererken ki duygularını aktardı. Ardından kitabın yazarı Mary Tolaro Noyes seyircilere, Sicilya kökenli ailesinden fotoğraflar sergiledi ve anektodlar anlattı.
Daha önce Bologna Reflections ve Gathering Chestnuts kitaplarını da yazmış olan ve BolognaConnect’in San Francisco temsilciliğini yapan Mary Tolaro Noyes, Bologna’ya ve Sicilya’ya olan sonsuz gönül bağını, bitmek bilmeyen merakını; bu iki şehrin benzerliklerini ve farklılıklarını anlattı.
Gazeteci ve yazar Stefano Andrini, kitaptan bir takım anektodlar anlatırken, yaptığı espirilerle dinleyicileri gülmekten kırıp geçirdi, heyecanlı uslubuyla dinliyicilerin dikkatini ustalıkla çekmeyi başardı.
Grand Hotel Majestic’in direktörü Tiberio Biondi’ye, bu muhteşem salonu etkinliğimiz adına sağladığı için çok teşekkür ediyoruz.
Editing by Elif Okyay
If you ask an Italian passionate what his biggest dream is, he would probably say “living like an Italian”. Well, with Love Italian, a personal teaching Italian experience, last week this dream came true for a Japanese woman who spent 7 days living, speaking and eating like an Italian, exploring the beautiful area in and around Bologna and making wonderful experiences with local people.
Izumi Kato is a 52 year old hairdresser from Japan with a big passion for the Italian language and culture. In the past, this love for Italy led her to visit several cities such as Venice, Florence, Rome and Naples, but this time Izumi wanted a different, less touristy experience. In fact, her purpose was coming to Italy again not only to travel and explore as a tourist, but first of all to study the Italian language, to sink into the Italian culture and live the country like a local. It can seem impossible, especially if you don’t have any Italian friend and if your Italian knowledge is basic, , but actually, thanks to Love Italian and its professional and well-connected teachers, it was possible for Izumi to enjoy this experience.
Love Italian provides intensive tailor-made individual Italian courses with personal Italian native speaker tutors who live with you for the whole period of your stay, showing you the Italian life-style and travelling with you. Izumi had the luck of joining this project and live for one week with her tutors and teachers, the careful Laura Bizzari and Antonella Orlandi. They were also supported by other helpful collaborators who assisted them in the project and helped them to drove Izumi into the Italian life style.
Together they explored the beautiful city of Bologna, tasting the real traditional food and making real experiences. Going around with Laura and Antonella, Izumi had the opportunity of seeing Bologna from the perspective of a local, enjoying the Italian habits and discovering the beautiful atmosphere you can breathe drinking a glass of good wine in company of new friends.
They also showed Izumi the amazing area around Bologna, taking her out of the bitten tracks that tourists are used to following when in Italy. Under the advice of her teachers, Izumi made up a personal travel plan visiting Modena, Ferrara and Ravenna. They also spent one day in the thermal baths of Salsomaggiore. This way she could always understand the beauties that surrounded her. In fact, travelling through a country with locals always gives you a more complete view over the things you see and the reality you’re facing. She also attended cooking classes, visited a really famous traditional balsamic vinegar farm, and had dinner with locals, having the opportunity of socializing. When visited the Trattoria Annamaria, she met the staff there, she talked to the famous Annamaria, discovering the secrets of the handmade fresh pasta and tasted all the delicious typical dishes you can find there. She also met an Italian hair-dresser and they talked a lot sharing their professional experience.
Now she doesn’t only have a strong a passion for Italian culture, but she also has memories, friends, people who are glad to keep in touch with her and would love to see her again. Meeting locals gave her a really different approach to the Italian language: she had to push herself to improve her speaking and listening skills in order to communicate with other Italian people.
Laura and Antonella where always careful and present to help her to understand, but also really strict as they always spoke with her in Italian. Despite the difficulties, she learned a lot. She did something really different from a normal Italian course: she had a rare experience meeting people, discovering the beauties of Italy and living like an Italian while learning the language. She won’t easily forget all the people she met and all the things she saw.
When leaving she was so sad and touched, she said she will come back next year to improve her Italian skills and meet again all the people that make her experience unforgettable. Looking forward to seeing you again dear Izumi!
Editing by Raffaella Rossi
Review by Ariana Meyers
For another few weeks, until March 26, Palazzo Albergati is holding an exhibit displaying the works of renowned Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. The exhibit is part of the Gelman collection: Arte Messicana del XX Secolo.
Frida is known for her self-portraits, and has been recognized as a spokesperson for feminism and Mexican culture.
In some museums, it is possible to enjoy the art without reading the descriptions that accompany them. However, in this exhibit, I definitely recommend reading all of the descriptions and timelines that accompany the paintings, which are written in both English and Italian. The descriptions transformed the experience into much more than just an art exhibit, it was an opportunity to learn more about Frida Kahlo’s life, and the context in which she lived and worked. What was most fascinating for me, however, were the timelines of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo’s lives. The timelines allow viewers to contextualize the artworks, and provided a deeper understanding of the artists themselves.
The first floor displayed the artworks of Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo’s husband and fellow artist, in the context of the 1930s and 40s. Diego Rivera and many of his contemporaries were very involved in politics and activism, and their art represented that. The exhibit gave an insight into the political climate of the time, and the ways in which art can influence and criticize that climate.
The first floor also touched on the tumultuous relationship between Frida and Diego, including many images and videos of the couple. Frida and Diego’s relationship impacted both of their lives as artists, and their legacies are intertwined. One of her most famous quotes that she wrote in her diary is: “There have been two great accidents in my life. One was the train [that injured her], and the other was Diego. Diego was by far the worst.”
The main event, however, is upstairs, where the walls are lined with Frida Kahlo’s famous self-portraits. It is curated to follow the evolution of her life, as outlined by a timeline at the beginning of the exhibit. Frida was plagued with many health problems throughout her life, including polio as a child, and a terrible accident when she was 18 years old that would affect her life and her art. Her illnesses and injuries isolated her, which is perhaps why many of her paintings are self-portraits. What was most striking about her work was her frankness in discussing her various health problems in her art. One of her most famous paintings Viva la Vida, is considered to be a reflection of Frida’s personal frustrations with her infertility.
Along with the art, throughout the exhibit are images of Frida and Diego and their families. It was very striking to see an image of the real person in their natural setting, exhibited next to their work.
Coming from California, Frida Kahlo was a prominent figure that we learned about in art class in elementary school. For us students, there was a certain pride because she lived and worked in California for so long. Even more exciting, was that some of her work was displayed in San Francisco, not far from my house. When I was young, and wanting to be an artist, she was an inspiration for me, as she is for many female artists. Seeing this exhibit in Italy was another moment of pride for me. It shows how widespread her influence is, and how, although her art was very personal, it was able to cross borders and touch people from all different backgrounds.
There are only a few weeks left of this exhibit, so I recommend checking it out!
Tickets and information can be found at: http://www.palazzoalbergati.com/mostra-arte-messicana-frida-kahlo-diego-rivera-bologna/
Review by Ariana Meyers
In collaboration with the association Bologna Connect, Mary Tolaro Noyes will be presenting her book: Bologna Reflections: an uncommon guide, Sunday February 12th at 2:00pm, at the Italian Cultural Society of Sacramento. American by birth but with Sicilian roots, Mary Tolaro Noyes visited Bologna for the first time in 1994 to learn Italian. From that moment on she became immediately fascinated by the medieval city that would continue to attract her in the following years, despite her return to America.
A long standing love, consequently, that still lasts till this day is what brought her to write Bologna Reflection, an out of the ordinary guide as noted in the subheading and subsequently Gathering Chestnuts. Infact, in her books Mary tells the story of her Bologna, the one that intrigued and enchanted her so much that till this day she still returns often for long periods.
Mary Tolaro Noyes guides us on an imaginary journey to the discovery of stories, traditions, and particularities that all make the capital Emiliano so special. Lifelong friendships are not the only way to creates bridges in the world, because through her writing Mary is able to engage her readers and continues to cultivate her experiences during her visits in a place that she considers her second home.
Today Mary lives in San Francisco where she is a Bologna Connect ambassador. Through the Bolognese association she is commited to promoting Bologna and Emilia Romagna in America and throughout the world.
( Translated by Isabella Brown)