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11.15.2018

Kobe beef has attained the international status of delicacy meat, but what does its fame come from? “Kobe Beef,” “Kōbe-gyū,” are all registered trademarks in Japanfor the meat products obtained from the Tajima cattle breed. For a meat to be acknowledged as such, it must be compliant to stringent guidelines, concerning place of rearing, stock and quality.  Tajima is the name of acattlebreed born and reared in Hyōgo prefecture, whose bloodline has been maintained since the Edo Period(1603-1868). The excellent pedigree and the strictly controlled breeding environment result in an extremely tender meat, which can be easily recognised by its distinctive marbled pattern, given by the white parts of fat interspersed between layers of red meat, known as sashi. Wagyū defines a type of cattle, obtained during and after the Meiji period by crossbreeding Japanese cattle with stocks of foreign origin. However, the Japanese beef enjoying so much popularity worldwide is not necessarily produced in Japan. If you want to taste real Kobe beef, check out the following restaurants. Kobe TanryūThe restaurant uses counter seating, which allows the patrons to observe the chef cooking the meat teppanyakistyle, that is sliced and grilled on an iron plate. The restaurant has won the title of Champion Kobe Beef multiple times at the over 50 Kobe Beef contests held throughout the year, so you know the meat regularly served there is of unexcelled quality. Kobe KikusuiIt is a butcher’s shop and a restaurant, serving steaks and Japanese specialities, like sukiyaki and shabu-shabu, which exalt the fleshy flavour brought out by a skilful ageing of the meat. Kobe Steak Restaurant MōriyaWith a history of 130 years, Mōriya is a restaurant specialising in Kobe beef, obtained from pure-bred Tajima cattle reared on a contract farm located in the city of Yabu. Here you can taste excellent steaks at a reasonable price.  Kobe Beef Ramen YazawaIt is the company shop of Yazawa, which is famous for purchasing whole beefs. The house special is a sumptuous ramen, served in a soup which takes 16 hours to make, using Kobe beef bones and other select ingredients, such as vegetables, grown in the prefecture of Hyōgo, and chāshū (roast pork). Another recommendation that you cannot find anywhere else is Kobe beef tendons and egg over rice. A true delicacy.  

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11.09.2018

Those lucky enough to have visited Sri Lanka before the civil war, which has made this island off the southern tip of India basically unavailable to tourism for almost 30 years, will probably remember its still intact atmospheres, its delicate exotic taste, that feeling of being in a miniature India, more livable and kind, less chaotic. In an era in which intercontinental travels were a niche and the island was still mostly unknown to mass tourism, one was bound to be hosted by locals for very little money, be invited for ginseng tea in the jungle or escorted from beaches to tea plantations, temples and ancient ruins on a battered van, having surreal conversations in broken English. The feared Tamil tigers, which would soon trigger the war, were often evoked with terror or named under one’s breath, yet for a tourist it was still difficult to get an idea of how how serious the situation was getting. In 2009, the former British Ceylon, now the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, reopened its doors to visitors. Almost 10 years later, the landscape has definitely changed compared to the 1980s: Sri Lanka is not a niche tourism destination anymore, it has developed a proper hospitality industry with luxury hotels and spas that allow visitors to discover its charm without giving up the perks and the comforts. Here’s a bunch of good addresses to consider for your next trip to Sri Lanka. KK Beach (Habaraduwa)The minimalist design of this boutique hotel lets the colors and the beauty of the Indian Ocean, whose magic is portrayed in the works of local artists who decorate the suites, steal the scene. The long, champagne-colored beach and the tropical gardencomplete the view from this oasis in the south-western part of the island, which is also reasonably close the colonial city of Galle, a Unesco heritage site famous for its Dutch colonial style villas. Santani Wellness Resort (Kandy)Near Kandy, the town in the mountainous heart of Sri Lanka which is home to the so-called Temple of the Tooth, Santani is a real sanctuary of wellnesssurrounded by nature, where you can practice Ayurvedic detox rituals and Yogato find your balance and peace. Ulpotha Yoga & Ayurveda RetreatUlphota is a mountain village in the north-western part of the island, near Kurunegala. The local economy revolves around rice but for six or seven months a year, from November to March and from June to August,the whole town turns into a Yoga and Ayurveda retreat where you can sleep for a bargain and attend seminars on yoga and traditional Ayurvedic therapies. Legend has it that Ulphota was founded by a group of pilgrims from the Himalayas in search for the traces of Shiva’s son, so this is the perfect place to breathe spirituality. Saman Villas (Bentota Beach)On a promontory stretching out into the Indian Ocean on the west coast of Sri Lanka, between Colombo and Galle, the 27 suites of this resort recall the design of the ancient local temples, each offering an unforgettable view. It is one of the most scenic and romantic places on the island, where privacy is sacred and the service is taken care of in every detail. Sen Wellness Sanctuary (Renawa Turtle Beach)Yoga and Ayurveda rule at this spa hotel designed to collect the energy of the Earth and give it to its guests. Near the long beaches of the lagoon of Renawa, it also offers osteopathic treatments and excellent food, in line with Ayurvedic medicine. Tri HotelSustainable luxury is at the heart of this exclusive resort on the shores of Lake Koggala, in the southern part of the island, between Galle and Madara,  co-owned by popular Yoga guru Lara Baumann. The 11 suites stretch along the promontory that makes its way between the waters of the lake.  

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11.02.2018

Picture twenty bikers on as many Harley Davidson darting on a Californian highway with their tattoos, long hair, bandanas and metal rings to the sound of… well, nothing, because their motorbikes are electric. In 2019, the first electric Harley Davidson, Livewire, will be on the market and the whole world of biking will change its sound without changing its face. This is just one of the examples collected in The Current, a book focusing on alternative mobility as an avant-garde movement aimed at reducing the consumption of fossil fuels. The Currentis published by Gestalten, a Berlin-based publishing house whose name literally means "to give shape" and which has made the form-meets-substance credo one of the cornerstones of its project. Gestalten believes that the future of publishing lies in turning beauty, graphic design and sophisticated aesthetics into the promise of an equally stimulating content. Gestalten mixes architecture, graphic design and visual culture in an incessant multidisciplinary hybridization among creatives and professionals from various fields. Through a permanent scouting action across the five continents, Gestalten manages to intercept trends and avant-garde movementsthat become sources of inspiration and insights for their books. Farm Life. From Farm To Table And New Country Culture, for instance, revolves around an alternative future worth exploring. Created by Cecilie Dawes and the Norwegian collective Food Studio, the book is a collection of portraits of people who have chosen to move to the countryside, learn to breed and grow food without giving up their own creative side. To them, the countryside has been a source of inspiration rather than a reason for isolation: renowned chefs have learnt to make delicious dinners in a kitchen without electricity, abandoned parking lots have become vegetable gardens and every story seems to suggest that being surrounded by nature is something that triggers the ability to imagine new ways of life. Northern Comfort: The Nordic Art of Creative Livingexplores the heart of the Nordic lifestyle to define the perfect balance that runs from the minimal aesthetics of their design down to their vision of the family and the society through images and stories.  Gestalten collects the stories of artists, designers and entrepreneurs to inspire new ways and set new paths for a better future. 

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10.26.2018

Currently on at Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome, Pixar.30 years of animation is a collection of over 400 objects, drawings and models unveiling the production process behind the movies that, starting from the year 1986, revolutionized and shaped the world of animated films. From Toy Storyto Coco, Pixar has marked the last three decades by telling stories that appeal both to children and adults thanks to a unique mix of universal archetypes and specific contexts that explored the five continents and every age. Curated by Elyse Klaidman (in the original MOMA edition) and Maria Grazia Mattei (in the Rome edition), the exhibition reveals the amount of craftsmanship that hides behind computer graphics digital productions, a field in which Pixar has been a pioneer, winning an Oscar in 1988 with the first short film made with this technique.  The narrative ability, the creativity and the innovation that mark out every Pixar production have led critics to speak of a ‘new humanism’ expressed in the form of animated drawings, paintings, watercolors, casts and handmade models. The characters from The Incredibles, Cars and A Bug's Life are all perfect little sculptures that come to life through technology, but in the end they are handmade. The history of Pixar is one of pioneering spirit and entrepreneurial challenges. Born as a branch of George Lucas’ Lucas Film in the early '80s, Pixar was acquired by Steve Jobs in 1986; Jobs entrusted John Lasseter, a creative talent formerly working at Disney, with the task of experimenting on the blending of technology and storytelling. The development of the narrative and creative complexity was crucially influenced by the available technologies, and as a consequence both aspects gradually evolved together from the simple geometric shapes of the first films to the monsters' hairs from Monsters & Co., the result of a big leap in terms of technology (the amount of data that had to be processed to allow them to have a soft and realistic movement was huge). Pixar. 30 years of animationis a journey into technology and imagination, enriched by additional experiences such as children’s workshops, a Pixar film festival and a conference cycle called focusing on the creative and artistic components of digital animation. According to curator Maria Grazia Mattei, the exhibition depicts Pixar as ‘the digital version of Renaissance artist’s workshop’

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10.26.2018

One cannot really expect to enjoy the autumnal scenery in Kyoto away from the hordes of tourists. Still, the former Imperial capital of Japan is a trove of secluded gardens where the enchanting colours of momiji can be thoroughly appreciated in utter tranquility. Among them is the garden at Daikin-zan Hōgon-in, a subtemple of the Rinzai Zen head temple Tenryū-ji. It was built during the Muromachi period (1336-1573) with the support of the estate of Yoriyuki Hosokawa, a deputy of the Ashikaga shogunate. The true gem of the temple is its landscape garden, first conceived by Sakugen Shūryō, a prominent Zen Buddhist priest who lived in the Muromachi period.  The garden incorporates the scenery of Arashiyama and is famous for its giant rocks, including one that is lion-shaped. It was featured in Miyako Rinsen Meisho Zue(“Illustrated Guide to the Famous Gardens and Sites of the Capital”) that was published during the Edo period (1603-1868). The garden employs the natural beauty of the Arashiyama area, with moss, plants and rocks. Also known as the Lion’s Roar Garden, it contains a dry-stone structure, representing the Dragon Gate Falls on the upper Yellow River in China. A Chinese legend has it that a carp capable of swimming up these falls will transform into a dragon. In Zen Buddhism, the waterfall-climbing carp has come to symbolise a person attaining enlightenment and becoming a Buddha. The train ride to Hōgon Temple on the Keihoku Electric Railroad Arashiyama Line will offer you further views of the spectacular autumn foliage. At the peak of the leaf viewing season, the Lion’s Roar Garden will be open also in the evening, from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm, from November 9 to December 2, offering visitors a most rare opportunity to contemplate the overwhelming scenery of Arashiyama, in utter silence, a precious time away from the hustle and bustle of the city crowds. 

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Some like it hot, but not the Earth. While thousands of scientists are working on climate change and the progressive increase in the average temperature of the planet generated by the accumulation of carbon dioxide in the air, The New York Timeshas created a small online simulatorthat allows anyone to get an idea of the actual heat increase in any city of the world. The idea is to take your hometown as a parameterand to use the simulator to check if the temperatures have truly changed as compared to when you were younger. What did you wear on your first day of school? A sweater or a T-shirt? What do children wear today?All you need to do is fill in your place and date of birth and you will find out the average number of days when the temperature exceeded 32 degrees. The system also provides the current average number of days with temperature above 32 degreesand predicts how many warm days there will be on your 80th birthday, based on a range between the best and the worst chance. For instance, in 1975 the city of Rome had an average of 7 days a year with a temperature above 32 °. Today there are 30, in 2055 there are bound to be 80. This amazing tool byThe New York Timesis a simple and intuitive way to understand how a global phenomenon has tangible consequences. Summer 2018 has been particularly hot throughout Northern Europe, with around 30 degrees in London and 28 degrees in Ireland and Scotland. Spain had 40 degrees even in the northern regions, while the Mediterranean area was affected by particularly intense and frequent meteorological phenomena.  That seems to confirm the report published on September 27 by the IPCC, the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change. The result of 6 years of work by a pool of 209 scientists and 1500 experts, the report stated that it is now basically impossible to avoid the negative consequences of global warmingon the Earth’s climate, despite the numerous (and mostly disregarded) international agreements. This is all because of us, and we have the tools to limit the damage. Until the pre-industrial era, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was around 280 particles per million; less than two centuries later, there are over 400 particles per million with an average annual increase of 2 particles per million, and we run the actual risk of overcoming the critical threshold of 421 particles per million within 10 years. The temperature increase of planet Earth is estimated between 1.7 ° and 4 °, the limit that should not be exceeded is 2 °: today, the pool of scientists working on these issues is no longer required to understand if that threshold will be passed, but when and but how to limit the consequences. For our planet this would not be the first revolution, but this time there are billions of human beings involved. So what should we do? Drastically reduce the use of fossil fuels, stop deforestation, improve energy efficiency, maximize the use of renewable sources, and change our lifestyle by changing our consumption model. Not only can all of this be done -it must be done. Now. 

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10.18.2018

Sugamo: Japanese Soba Noodles TsutaStanding tall in the Tokyo fine dining scene, Tsuta is a Michelin-starred restaurant renowned for the superior quality of its ingredients. In a bowl of shōyu soba you can thoroughly savour thenoodles dipped in a warm, wholesome broth, blending three types of shōyu taresauce, Nagoya’s cochinand shamorokkuchicken, seafood and vegetables. The bowl is finished off by an original topping consisting of pork slices marinated with herbs and red wine flavoured bamboo shoots. Other recommendations include shio sobaand miso soba. Ginza: Kamonka“Abalanced diet leads to a healthy body”: this is the principle behind the restaurant’s wide selection of noodles, prepared with organic vegetables and other healthy ingredients. The restaurant is famous for its soupless tantanramen, topped with mabo-dofu, where you can taste the two most representatives dishes of Sichuan’s spicy cuisine. At lunch time, it comes with white rice or kayurice porridge. Other specialities, which will warm you up with their spiciness, includetantan ramen with steamed chicken and mala sauce or Sangen pork and lettuce. Shinbashi: Taiwan MensenMensen is sōmen (thin noodles) boiled in a thick soup. A staple of the Taiwanese cuisine, usually sold at food stands, whose ingredients vary seasonally and geographically from Taipei to Kaohsiung, becoming middle and milder as one goes southwards. Shinbashi’s Taiwan Mensen was the first restaurant to open in Japan. Since 2014, it has been catering noodles directly shipped from Taiwan and served in a delicious soup, garnished with pork giblets and seasoned with coriander. Ōtemachi: Beimen Shokudo by ComphoBeimen, rice noodles, is the base for a number of recipes, which blend ethnic ingredients with a Japanese-style soup. One of the most popular dishes istom yum, prepared with luscious prawns and seasoned with herbs and spices. In the evenings, you can taste not only the noodles, but also a variety of healthy, vegetable-based dishes. Ōtsuka: NakiryūIn Nakiryū’s tantan ramen, which won the restaurant a Michelin star, the noodles are served in a soup, where the flavours of the minced meat, the onion and the sesameare perfectly balanced.Even people who are not really partial tothe spiciness oftantan ramenwill love this Michelin-starred version of itand will want to return to the restaurant over and over again. 

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10.12.2018

The Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris devotes a major retrospective to Gio Ponti, featuring over 400 pieces some of which are on display for the very first time. From October 19 to February 10, this exhibition will honor one of the most visionary and active designers of the 20th century, who saw industrialization as an opportunity for spreading beauty on a large scale rather than the opposite. Take for instance Richard-Ginori, the legendary Tuscan ceramic ware and porcelain brand where Ponti (1891-1979) worked as an artistic director at the beginning of his career, in 1923. His ability to create objects with perfect proportions and a great taste for neoclassical style led him to the International Exhibition of Decorative Arts in Paris, where his work is celebrated today. Gio Ponti loved crossing boundaries wherever they may be: between industrial production and craftsmanship, architecture and art, writing and design. The Parisian exhibition chooses to describe this path in chronological order, with the six final theme rooms devoted to the six decades of Ponti’s career and focusing on iconic architectural projects: Bouilhet Villa in Garches, near Paris, a.k.a. L'Ange Volant; the Montecatini headquarters between in Milan; the ‘ladder of knowledge’ inside Palazzo del Bo in Padua; Ponti's own home in Milan; Hotel Parco dei Principi in Sorrento and Villa Planchart in Caracas. The exhibition is a journey through time and space that underlines the generosity and passion of Ponti and brings out the signature features of his style, like the rhythm of the architectural elements that generates symmetries and harmonies. Each Ponti project drew inspirations from his partnerships; designing building, designing and objects, making art (Ponti also loved oil painting) or launching newspapers (such as Domusand Stile) were all different ways of expressing the same idea: architecture, art and design surround and inspire our behaviors, and thus they must be handled with care. Whether it is an object of daily use or a church, everything that becomes part of our experience must enrich it with beauty: an idea that managed to survive throughout the 20th century to reach us and be celebrated in Paris, today. 

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10.09.2018

Everyone should have the opportunity to experience true quality. Chef Nicola Dinato believes this and turns his idea into haute cuisine every time he opens the door of Feva, the restaurant he opened with his wife Elodie Duboisson and which earned a Michelin star in 2014. Feva is located a stone's throw from the walls of Castelfranco Veneto, the birthplace of Dinato in the heart of the Treviso region. This is where he left from at the age of twenty, in 2001, to learn from some of the greatest masters of international cuisine - Ducasse, Roux and Ferran Adrià. Nicola worked at El Bulli, Adrià’s legendary Costa Brava restaurant, for a season; it was the golden era of molecular cuisine, so close to science in terms of techniques and precision and therefore extremely influenced by the peculiarities of each ingredient. Nicola managed to make this conceptual haute cuisine more understandablewithout giving up precision and research. The prices are deliberately affordable, the open kitchen allows guests to see what’s happening and the tastes respect the character of each ingredient. This is what he calls ​​"mother cuisine", a concept that is based on respecting the essence of each ingredient and returning it in the form of an experience in terms of taste and emotion. Feva is like a family, a community of people who share the same space - the fertile land of the upper Veneto with its raw materials and its traditions - and the same goals. The name itself, Feva, evokes the concept of “family” in the local idiom. Dynamism and creativity are the means by which the past lives again in the kitchen of Feva: without indulging in nostalgia and with the freedom and the expertise to create variations of traditional local dishes. The result is a sensory experience that often plays with appearances, offering presentations that mimick ingredients of a completely different nature than the actual ones. "Like Peppered Mussels", for instance, is a dish of ravioli looking exactly like mussel shells. Apparently, nothing is what it seems in this remote corner of the Venetian province that surprisingly manages to offer a cutting-edge gastronomic experience by transforming simple ingredients into complex and refined dishes. 

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10.05.2018

To tell about a new time, new spaces are needed. Milan has recently earned three of them: three museums whose architecture and concept are shaped to suit the fluidity of contemporary arts and culture. Experience is the key: contemporary museums are places where things happen, where people are involved in experiences revolving around art, fashion, cinema and everyday life within spaces that are inherently iconic. Here's where to find them. Fondazione PradaIn a former south Milan distilleryoriginally built in 1910, Prada established its permanent Foundation. The renovation of the building, signed by Rem Koolhaas, Chris Van Duijn and Federico Pompignoli (Studio OMA), mixes pre-existing elements and futuristic inspirations, honoring the memory of Milan while enriching it with contemporary additions such as the Tower, the Podium and the film theater. The space houses the permanent collection including works from 20th and 21st century artists, temporary exhibitions, events and meetings. Bar Luceis an immersive aesthetic experience designed by Wes Anderson, a time machine that takes patrons to old time Milan in a slightly surreal and Andersonian version.   MUDECThe indoor central square of the Museum of Cultures in Milan is over 17,000 square meters, a gem of repurposed industrial archaeology that brings the former Ansaldo industrial plants back to life. It has been designed to host permanent and temporary exhibitions conveying the complexity of the world’s ancient and contemporary cultures. Alongside the extraordinary ethno-anthropological heritage of the City of Milan (over 7,000 items including everyday objects, textiles and musical instruments from around the world), MUDEC hosts temporary international exhibitions focusing on artists and social phenomena that changed the collective imagination. This fall, two exhibitions rrespectively dedicated to Paul Klee and Bansky will present two different ways of conceving art and museums. Armani SilosAccording to Giorgio Armani, creativity and art are essential for nourishing the soul and the mind as much as food is essential for life. This fancy building in Via Bergognone, next to the Navigli district, epitomizes the vision of Armani: essentiality, purity, clear geometries. Founded in 2015 to host the celebrations for the 40-year career of the designer, Armani Silos hosts a permanent exhibition of the clothes that have made the history of the brandand temporary performances such as From one season to another by Sarah Moon, scheduled until January 6, 2019. 

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Christian Moullec has always been a birdwatcher. Today, at 58, he is also a birdman, i.e. a man who flies with birds. Literally. Almost every day, from March to October, Christian takes off with his ultralight aircraft from Saint Flour, in central France’s Cantal department on the slopes of the Massif Central, for a truly out-of-the-ordinary experience: flying with a flock of birds. Moullec says that it’s a bit like ‘touching eternity’ - and no doubt taking part in a ritual that, despite being as old as the Earth, has always been inaccessible to humankind, must be somewhat magical. Christin’s purpose is to spread love and respect for animals in general and for birds in particular, raising awareness on the risks connected with our impact on the life of wild bird species in Europe, whose population has suffered a dramatic reduction over the last 30 years due to pollution and the disappearance of their natural habitats. The experience of Voler aver les oiseaux(“flying with the birds”)was born in the mid-1990s. In his studies, Christian Moullec had focused on the migratory routes of lesser white-fronted geesethrough central France bound for Lapland. Because of human activity, the migration was becoming increasingly difficult and the destination did not always offer the protection and food that the birds needed in order to survive. It was necessary to help these animals, but that could only be done by flying with them and thus by earning their trust. Thanks to his knowledge of Konrad Lorenz, Moullec used the imprinting technique to establish a relationship with the geeseand persuade them to follow him. He learned to drive an ultralight aircraft and within three years he was ready for his first flight to Sweden. Today, Voler avec les oiseauxis a unique travel experience available for anyone wishing to try it. Clients may fly by ultralight aircraft or on a balloon and choose among different flight durations. The flight is usually individual, but couple flights are available on request. The route allows you to fly over a wild and beautiful mountain area that laps the Plomb du Cantal, the second highest mountain in the French Central Massif. All profits are invested in Christian Moullec’s research and educational activities, all aimed at spreading the idea of respect of the natural world in the hope that such beauty will persuade more and more people to embrace a new lifestyle in harmony with nature and the animals. 

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09.27.2018

History shows us that status symbols have taken unpredictable forms thorough time. For instance, back when the Medici family thrived in Florence (between the 15th and the 18th century), large gardens and exotic plants were an undisputed sign of the vastness and wealth of a kingdom. Garden design was serious matter back then, and there was always room to accommodate exotic and rare specimens brought from research and exploration around the known world.  Villa Castellowas the favorite residence of Cosimo I de Medici. In the year 1538, as soon as he came to power, he set out to turn the garden of this large villa in the countryside north of Florence into the emblem of his kingdom. Thus was born the Italian garden, with hedges and trees arranged in perfect geometries, fountains, sculptures and artificial caves evoking a fantastic and dreamlike world. Yet beyond the obvious beauty of nature, there was something that could only be grasped by a careful observer: the incredible variety of plants, especially lemons, which can still be fount today at Villa Castello thanks to the work of Paolo Galeotti, Director of Tuscany’s museum parks and gardens, who has been reviving the botanical wealth of the garden with its over 600 plant species ever since 1978. The first stage of the enhancement and conservation work carried out by Galeotti was to recognize and catalog the plants: Villa Castello has the largest existing collection of potted lemon trees, many of which are very rare and hybrid. To raise awareness on the value of this botanical heritage, Paolo Galeotti dived into the ancient illustrated tables from the National Library and the National Archive in Florence identifying the shapes of the leaves and of the fruits one by one, the habits of lemon trees that are literally unique in the worldlike the Citrus Bizzarria, a type of citrus that was widespread at the time of the Medici and was believed to be extinct until Galeotti found it and brought it back to life. Walking in the garden of Villa Castello is like entering a time machine for plants, flowers and fruits. Its value is priceless as much as the pleasure of recognizing the diversity and creativity of nature, the intelligence of these plants that, stuck in their vases, have brought us fruits and seeds from the past and will hopefully continue to do so, provided that there will be someone as passionate and meticulous as Paolo Galeotti, someone who will tend to this garden celebrated by Botticelli’s popular painting Primaverawith the same dedication of the Medici family.   

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09.27.2018

Since the highball boom, whisky consumption in Japan has skyrocketed from75 millionin 2008 to 135 million in 2015. Similarly, in 2017 the sales of Japanese whisky abroad hit a record high of 5.49 million liters, more than five times the amount of ten years ago. At the same time, the shortage ofmalt whiskybecame a problem. Of course, other cereals can be malted, such as maize, wheat or rye, and the resulting product is known as grain whisky. However, what is popular today is single malt whisky, obtained from malted barley. Due todifferencesin the manufacturing method, distilleriestends to fall short of single malt whisky, compared to grain whiskywhichcan be mass producedinstead. A recipient of numerous prizes at the International Spirits Challenge, with its brandsYamazaki, Hibiki, and Hakushu,Suntory’s single malt whiskyhas risen to international fame.Suntory Yamasaki Distillery isJapans oldest malt whisky distillery,located in the southwest of Kyoto, at the foot of Tennozan. The history of Japanese whisky making beganin Yamazaki in 1923. The neighbourhood of Yamazaki Distillery is known for theRikyūno Mizu(“water of the imperial villa), a natural spring wellhead mentioned in the Song of Man’yōand selected by the Ministry of the Environment as one of the 100 Exquisite and Well-Conserved Waters.This water serves as the preparation water for whisky. In addition to the spring water, the area is blessed with the tree intersecting waters of the Katsura, Uji and Kizu rivers and the perfect degree of humidity for the ageing of whisky. Suntory Yamazaki Distillery offers guided tours of the production plants and the Yamazaki Whisky Museum, with explanations and exhibits about the history of Single Malt Yamazaki whisky, from the foundation of the companyto the present day, a tasting counter and a shop. Also, the Whisky Library on the first floor iswonderful collection gatheringthousands of whiskies. Last but not least, at Yamazaki Distillery visitors can experience the different flavors and fragrances of the rarest vintage whiskies. Since tours are generally full, early reservation is necessary. 

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09.21.2018

Who would have thought that Miami would become one of the most remarkable and avant-gardist artistic and cultural destinations in the world? When you have the Florida sky, the dazzling light of the Ocean and the lush green of the palm trees, what else can you ask for? Yet the third millennium has seen a new Miami being (re)born beyond Biscayne Bay, where the city already stretched for miles in every direction with houses, factories, and warehouses, and where the cosmopolitan, multicultural and creative soul of the city already existed, only under the radar. The turning point was the year 2005, when Craig Robins, an estate developer and a philanthropist, turned a huge area of ​​eighteen blocks on the edge of the historic Buena Vista neighborhood and just south of Little Haiti into an open space for galleries, artists and designer. His project definitely worked, and that area eventually became the Miami Design Districtone of the most glamorous neighborhoods in the world, attracting major names of the contemporary art market and design world. Yet it was when Art Basel, one of the major art fairs worldwide, landed in South Beach that Miami became a proper art capital: today, Art Basel Miamiis the fulcrum of theMiami Art Week which takes place every year in December and boasts an average of over 200 galleries and 4,000 artists. Behind this phenomenon is the innate explosive creative charge that Miami has in its DNA,  a result of the great diversity of cultural and aesthetic influences that have left their mark on the city ever since the beginning of the 20th century.  South Beach, a.k.a. SoBe, is a succession of Art Deco buildings rising towards the sky with their unmistakable features: pastel colors, rounded shapes, and huge windows chasing the light. Ocean Driveis home to the beautiful architecture of historic buildings such as the Essex House, a 70-room hotel which originally opened its doors in the 1930, or The Carlyle, that can definitely give you an idea of how Miami has a long history of being a worldly retreat whose aesthetics has its roots well back in time. In the neighborhood of Buena Vista, on the continental side of Biscayne Bay, you can definitely breathe the Caribbean spirit of the city: the area between 38th and 54th Streets is an uninterrupted succession of one-story houses surrounded by greenery and small restaurants and shops camouflaged among palm trees, flowers and hedges. South of Buena Vista and the Miami Design District is Winwood, a former huge industrial neighborhood that has become one of the largest open-air street art museums thanks to a local NGO, Primary Flight, and yet another philanthropist businessman, Tony Goldman.Starting off from different stories and goals, both contributed to turning the walls of the old warehouses into canvases where artists had the chance to give free rein to their creativity. Today, there are guided stret art walks every second Saturday of the month around the entire area between 36th and 20th Streets.  

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09.19.2018

Tsukimi is the name of the celebration of the full moon, also known aschūshū no meigetsu, literally meaning “magnificent mid-autumn moon”, traditionally taking place on the 15th day of the eighth month of the traditional lunar calendar, which this year will be Monday, September 24.  In addition to tsukimi, the month of September is packed with events that will allow you to experience the rich traditions of the old Edo period in modern Tokyo. Tokyo Tower Otsukimi Diamond VeilThe ever-glistening Tokyo Tower will switch off its lights in the upper and lower part, providing no obstacles to the spectacle of meigetsu. The 600 steps to the main deck, which are usually accessible from 11 am to 4 pm, will stay open until 10 pm only on 24th September. A special gift of a dango rice dumpling and a Japanese susuki grass decoration will be offered to build up the festive mood.September 24 Sankei’en Moon-Viewing GatheringDesignated a Place of Scenic Beauty by Japan in 2007, Sankei’en is a Japanese-style garden with a retro flavour of the Edo and Shōwa Eras to it. It was inaugurated in 1906 by Hara Sankei, a successful Yokohama businessman who built a fortune through the trading of silk and raw silk. From September 21st to 25th, the grounds of Sankei’en will be hosting music and dance performances against the breathtaking backdrop of the illuminated three-storey pagoda and the Rinshunkaku villa (formerly property of the Kii House of Tokugawa).September 21-25 Ikebukuro’s Fukuro Matsuri and Tokyo YosakoiCelebrating its 50th anniversary, Fukuro Matsuri started out as a promotional event for four local shopping districts on the west side of Ikebukuro Station, during the Japanese economic miracle in the post-war years. The festival will be held on September 22 and 23, with dances and mikoshi(portable shrine) processions. On October 7, more than 100 dancing teams from all over the country will gather in the Tokyo Yosakoi dance festival. September 22-23 (Fukuro Matsuri and mikoshi procession)October 6-7:Tokyo Yosakoi Chūshū Kangen-sai at Hie ShrineAt Hie Shrine in Chiyoda-ku, the mid-autumn full moon is celebrated with gagaku, the traditional Japanese court music,bugaku(ancient court dance) and kagura dancesperformed by miko, the shrine maidens.October 4  Shinagawa Shukuba MatsuriThe Shinagawa Shukuba Matsuri is a festival celebrating Shinagawa’s history as the first post townin the 53 Stations of the Tōkaidō road, Japan’s main east-west route linking Edo (present-day Tokyo) with Kyoto during the Edo period. The two-day event sees about 100,000 people gathering and parading down the route in the costumes of Edo, between two lines of over 150 food carts and stands.September 29-30  

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09.17.2018

There is a reason if Milan is the world’s undisputed capital of design, celebrated every year by the unmissable Design Week. The 20thcentury has left plenty of marks that reveal the city’s unique taste for architecture, a mixture of courage, aesthetic research and experimentation triggered by cultured and farsighted clients, often belonging to the high industrial bourgeoisie. In the year 1924, architect Cleopatro Cobianchi designed the first "day hotel" in Milan, which was accessed through an elegant wrought iron staircase leading to the underground space under Via Silvio Pellico, next to Piazza Duomo, housing briarwood counters and decorations, a reading room, a safe to store valuables, meeting rooms and the first travel agency in the city. Two years later, architect Piero Portaluppi designed another underground ‘day hotel’ in the Porta Venezia district with majestic colonnades and Art Deco decorations, a sort of day spa offering businessmen personal care facilities including showers and a barber shop. Giò Ponti, one of Milan’s most beloved architects, took care of the restoration of the beautiful Art Nouveau building currently housing the Columbus private clinicdesigned by Giuseppe Sommaruga at the beginning of the 20th century, which was the home of Nicola Romeo, owner of the Alfa Romeo car company. The villa had more than 30 rooms on two floors, a garden and some truly beautiful sculptures of female nudes by Ernesto Bazzaro, brought here from their original location on the façade of Palazzo Castiglioni where they had raised eyebrows to the point that the building was dubbed Cà di Ciap("buttock house").  Ponti restored the villa in the 1940s while Milan was being transfigured by the Second World War, which obviously left its marks all over the city, some of which have recently been rediscovered after decades of oblivion. Platform 21at the Central Railway Station, where the trains to concentration camps left between 1943 and 1945 carrying hundreds of Jews and political refugees, has been transformed into the Holocaust Memorial. Four freight train wagons sit under the infamous track and a timeline describes the period between 1922 and 1945, when politics gradually degenerated into a death machine. A tall concrete structure, called Matitone(“big pencil”) due to its shape, is reminder of the bombings that the city underwent during the war and that destroyed one third of its buildings. It is in fact a former anti-aircraft shelter which was later enclosed within a huge factory and only became visible again in the 1990s.  Under the current Giacomo Leopardi primary school in Viale Bodio, in the historic industrial district of Bovisa now home to the Politecnico di Milano and numerous start-ups, is yet another shelter called Rifugio 87where locals rushed to in case of bombings. Despite wounded by the war, Milan soon regained its role as an open and vibrant city. House 770in via Poerio, 35 is an example of this rebirth: a building in Gothic Dutch style of which there are identical replicas in 16 cities of the world, each housing the activities of the Jewish group Chabad-Lubavitch. The original House 770, which belonged to the group’s founder, is located at 770 Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn. Milan’s House 770 was born from the transformation of a traditional Milanese villa curated by architect Stefano Valabrega. 

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09.14.2018

The summer heat and the air conditioning can be very taxing to your physical and emotional health, and you really need to recover before tackling all your autumn projects. What you can do is take a relaxing bath at a spa and have a healthy meal there. If you are in Tokyo, you will just be spoilt for choice. Odaiba: Hilton HotelAt An Spa Tokyo, you can relax while enjoying the view of the Tokyo Tower and the Rainbow Bridge. In addition to the indoor pools, whirlpools and facilities incorporating elements of nature, it also offers a variety of treatments and fitness activities.  Shinjuku: Thermae YuIdeal for body recovery after a hard day’s work or a night out drinking, this spa includes anopen-air bath named Jindai no Yu, with natural hot spring waterwhich is carried every day from Izu and has soothing effects on neuralgia, muscle pain, bruises, sprains, cold and fatigue. There is also an indoor bath, with high-concentration carbon dioxide, where you can soak and relieve your fatigue. Ryōgoku: EdoyuEdoyu is a Japanese-style modern spa where you can enjoy the atmosphere of Edo, with a mural featuring two of Hokusai’s ukiyo-e paintings, Fine Wind, Clear Morningand Red Fuji both part of the Thirty-six Views of Mount Fujiseries. The facility features artificial hot springs, a a high-temperature Finnish sauna, a medium-temperature Loess soil sauna, cold baths, mist shower, massages and strigil treatments.  Sugamo: Tokyo Somei Onsen SakuraThe moment you cross the threshold, the Japanese-style garden will make you forget the hustle and bustle of Tokyo. Here you will find luxurious facilities of eleven types of baths and three types of saunas, including natural hot springs rich in natural minerals, cypress indoor baths and open-air baths. Furthermore, in the bedrock bath, with natural stone the far infrared rays and negative ions enhance metabolism and have a soothing, relaxing and detoxifying effect.  Ogikubo: Nagomi no YuOnly a minute walk from Ogikubo Station, at Nagomi no yu, you can enjoy different types of natural hot springs seasonally along with the popular and rich in natural sodium chloride hot spring water sourced directly from Musashino, a rare occurrence within the city limits. There is also a healing spa with Finnish-style bedrock and hot-air saunas, a carbonated bath and a mist and minus ion sauna. 

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09.13.2018

In Spain, among the century-old oak forests of Navarre, there is a tree hotel where you can sleep among the branches in maximum comfort and literally immersed in nature. This is what the guys at Basoa Suitescall "barefoot luxury", something that is very easy to achieve at this tree boutique hotel featuring six hand-crafted wooden suites designed to preserve the beauty of the ecosystem that surrounds them, a veritable source of well-being for each guest. The Basoa Suites are located in Lizaso, between Pamplona and San Sebastian, in the heart of the Amati Oak Forest(Ultzama valley, Spain), a protected natural gem. The suites are all different and accurately designed in every single technical and aesthetic detail to minimize the impact and maximize the creation of a virtuous circle of beauty and well-being between man and nature.  The wood is processed with traditional, strictly artisan techniques: each wooden element at Basoa Suites, from the structures to the objects, is handmade. The Japanese shou sugi bantechnique, for instance, closes the pores of the wood through a careful burning of the surface that prevents water from penetrating and gives the wood a particular burnished color and an exceptional resistance to time and rain. The Italian shingle technique is a special cutting method turning the wood into thin slats.  Everything has been conceived combine refinement, comfort and sustainability: a dry toilet system to avoid the installation of pipes and drains into the forest, and there are elevated wooden walkways to prevent soil compaction, direct the traffic of people to the paths and ensure that the soil and plants do not suffer the impact of our presence. As for breakfast and dinner, they are delivered to your suite in a basket that you can pull up with a rope.  What's even more interesting, the goal of the founders is to bring the Basoa Suites experience to Italy. The project is called Tree Suitesand has been developed by Mikel Leyun Perez, a technician and craftsman in construction and woodworking, Claudia Marchesotti, an architect of Milan’s Polytechnic, Inaki Iroz Zalba, current manager of Basoa Suites, and geologist Leire Iribarren. Like Basoa, Tree Suites was born from the desire to offer the pleasure of being immersed in nature through the use of innovative design and natural materials. Home automation will also come into the picture to minimize energy consumption through a specially developed open source system. Everything will be built in collaboration with local artisans and companies sharing the same values ​​and goals of the project.  

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09.10.2018

Milan knows well how to play hide and seek only to occasionally unveil its hidden beauty. The Italian capital of fashion, communication and design has learnt the art of telling a story long before branding and storytelling were even a thing. Well-educated and bourgeois, Milan opens up in its own way: if you wish to get to know the city, you need to take a look behind the scenes. So, let us start off from a very remote time and from the heart of the city, close to the fancy and central Corso Magenta. Here sits the Ansperto Tower, an imposing building dating back to the 3rd century AD when Milan became the capital of the Western Roman Empireand its urban structure was strengthened with new city walls. The name comes from Ansperto da Biassono, the archbishop of Milan who had it restored. An imaginary bridge between Roman and medieval Milan, the so-called "Devil’s Pillar" sits next to the beautiful Sant'Ambrogio cathedral. The pillar has two holes and legend has it that they are the marks of the Devil’s horns, which got stuck in the marble during the devil’s fight with St. Ambrosius. Some even go as far as to say that you can still smell sulfur around the pillar. Dating back to the 13th century, the ancient ossuary, which is currently housed inside the Baroque church of San Bernardino, in Via Verziere, makes for quite a gruesome view. It collects the remains of leprosy patients from nearby Ospedale del Brolo, which got destroyed. In the 15thcentury, Milan was ruled by the Sforza family and it was one of the most glorious times for the city. The huge Sforzesco Castle and Leonardo da Vinci’s works collected in the city’s are part of the heritage of that era (Da Vinci was the same age as Ludovico il Moro, as well as his protegé). Lesser known but absolutely unique, Leonardo’s vineyard, donated to him by Lodovico il Moro himself, has been recently restored and relaunched thanks to a philological rediscovery of these ancient vines in collaboration with the University of Milan. In Lodovico’s mind, the surrounding area was supposed to become a new district where the duke’s most faithful men would live. The French invasion in 1500 stopped the project but the garden of Casa degli Atellani, the only dwelling left and carefully restored in the 20th century by architect Pietro Portaluppi, brings back the atmosphere of that time. In the same years, one of Italy’s most celebrated architects off all time, Bramante, came to town. The Church of Santa Maria presso San Satiro houses one of his masterpieces: a painted perspective which is one of the first trompe l’oeil in art history.  The church of San Cristoforo al Naviglio, which can be reached by crossing the Naviglio Grande on an ancient footbridge, is yet another of Milan’s hidden gems. Inside this small Gothic and late Romanesque church overlooking one of the most important waterways of the city, history often left its marks: on this premises, the defeat of Federico Barbarossa was announced in 1176, Ludovico il Moro first met his future bride Beatrice d'Este three centuries later and the acts of the Cisalpine Republic were burned 1813, causing the revolt that would cause its collapse. the plague of the '600 described by Alessandro Manzoni in I Promessi Sposi: Behind the church’s sacristy is the so-called "Chapel of the Dead", which used to be connected to the leper hospital in the time of the great 17thcentury plague, famously described by Milanese writer Alessandro Manzoni in The Betrothed. 

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09.07.2018

According to Elliott Erwitt himself, almost all the choices that turned him into one of the most celebrated photographers of the 20th century were completely random. Shooting (almost) exclusively in black and white throughout his career, the stolen portraits of Andy Warhol, Nixon, Che Guevara or Marilyn Monroe, the images putting objects in relation to animals (who could imagine that a heron and a fountain would pose to show they had the same silhouette?) and other strokes of genius. Even the choice to photograph dogs of all breeds was, according to Erwitt, very casual. Well aware that the success of a photo project largely lies in the image selection, one day Erwitt realized he had a large amount of dog photos and decided to make a book out of them. Today, those images are the core of an exhibition held at the beautiful Casa dei Carraresi in Treviso, Italy: Elliott Erwitt. Dogs are like humans with hair. The title fairly suggests that any quote and photograph from Eliott Erwitt should be filtered through the lens of irony, the muse of this unique photographer who was born in France in 1928 in a family of Russian emigrants, spent his childhood in Italy (his real name was Elio Romano Erwitz) and escaped to New York City because of the Racial Laws in 1938, later working with legendary photographers like Robert Capa and Edward Steichen and becoming part of the prestigious Magnum agency in the 1950s. The exhibition, organized by Suazes in collaboration with Fondazione Cassamarca and Magnum Photos, is curated by Marco Minuz and presents over 80 photographs, videos and documents through which visitors will plunge into Erwitt's work, always unexpected, often seen from a dog’s point of view. When asked what he found so special about dogs, Erwitt once famously answered that “they don’t ask for prints”, and his irony is certainly revealing: by choosing dogs as his subjects, he reveals the flaws and virtues of humans. As much as humans are composed and concentrated, dogs are dynamic and unpredictable: Erwitt worked precisely on this difference, often blowing on a trumpet upon shooting to capture the natural, instinctive reaction of the dogs. Those are the perfect and unrepeatable moments captured in some of Erwitt’s most famous photographs – although the artist himself often reminds his fans that it took thousands of shoots to seize them. From September 22 to February 3, Erwitt's beautiful dog photos will be on display to remind about the revolutionary potential of irony and the powerful empathy expressed by “humans with hair”. 

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09.05.2018

The legendary Reinassance Casino & Ballroom, a.k.a. "The Aristocrat of Harlem", a jazz mecca where Duke Ellington performed, no longer exists. It was demolished in 2015. The Childs Memorial Temple, Church of God in Christ, which hosted the funeral of Malcolm X in 1965, soon encountered the same fate. Whatever happened to the Harlem that the world used to know?Something has certainly changed. The New York neighborhood which has long been the symbol of Afro-American culture has been undergoing a slow but implacable metamorphosis ever since the 1990s, whose most evident sign is the rise of luxury condos with glass facades among the beautiful Victorian terraced houses dating back to the late nineteenth century, the new resident families of white Americans and hordes tourists from all over the world.Some call it gentrification, and it is undoubtedly a controversial phenomenon: on the one hand, it causes rents to rise and threatens the authenticity and cultural identity of the neighborhood; on the other hand, it brings along new services and makes the neighborhood more livable for those who keep living there – provided that they can afford it.  So, if upon setting foot in this large area in the north of Manhattan just above Central Park you expect to find music in every corner or to experience the Eighties Harlem maybe, chances are you'll be a little disappointed. On the bright side, the neighborhood has become safer and has seen a proliferation of cafes, shops and restaurants, and some of them are contributing to the preservation of Harlem’s identity and heritage through art, music, craftsmanship and food along with local cultural institutions.The best thing you can do to truly grasp the spirit of today’s Harlem, suspended between a sometimes overwhelmingly advancing future and the desire to preserve its own memory, is venturing among these places and along these streets in search of tastes and experiences. ExperienceAmateur Night at the Apollo TheaterOn the legendary stage the hosted James Brown, Aretha Franklin and Ella Fitzgerald, Wednesdays are devoted to the stars of tomorrow, who perform in front of a  “tough” audience, gleefully deciding who will “be good or be gone”. African American art at the Studio MuseumFounded in 1968, the Studio Museum in Harlem is the nexus for artists of African descent locally, nationally and internationally and for work that has been inspired and influenced by black culture. It hosts exhibitions, lectures, seminars and conferences and supports emerging artists. Twice a year, visitors get the chance to preview the works created by "resident" artists temporarily hosted in the museum’s ateliers. A walk in Marcus Garvey ParkDedicated to one of the founders of the early twentieth century black nationalist movement, this park has been at the center of the public and social life of the neighborhood for 150 years, albeit under a different name, and is the ideal place to immerse yourself in the authentic feel of Harlem, among nature, playgrounds, swimming pools and baseball fields. The Gospel MassAlthough they are often crowded with tourists, gospel masses (usually on Sunday mornings around 11.00 am) in the Baptist churches of Harlem are proper functions, with long and often remarkable sermons. For this reason, it is advisable to stay for the whole service, restraining from sneaking away as soon as the music’s over. Among the most popular churches for gospel choirs is the Abyssinian Baptist Church(132 W 138th St), so overcrowded that it has an area reserved for tourists. If you are looking for something less touristy, try the Salem United Methodist Church (2190 Adam Clayton Powell Jr Blvd). Eat & DrinkRed RoosterThis restaurant in the heart of the neighborhood, although comparatively recent (it opened in the year 2010), this place is a genuine declaration of love towards Harlem, its history and its culture. Beginning with the name, inspired by a famous twentieth-century Harlem speakeasy. Marcus Samuelsson's comfort food, music and warm atmosphere will inevitably win you over.Sylvia’sHere is yet another Harlem icon: the legendary restaurant opened in 1962 by Sylvia Woods, the "queen of soul food". Still owned by the Woods family, it still serves traditional African-American dishes, including its glorious fried chicken and buttered corn. Levain BakeryIn 2011, two girls from Manhattan who, despite coming from the world of fashion and investment banks, according to many cook the best biscuits in the city, opened a branch of their legendary Upper West Side bakery in Harlem. It was an instant success, which continues thanks to their huge and delicious chocolate cookiesHarlem TavernOn the same street as Levain Bakery, Frederick Douglass Boulevard, which is gradually filling up with new cafes, bars and restaurants, the Harlem Tavern has a large beer garden housed in a former auto parts store. Big parties come here to sit outdoors and drink craft beer

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09.03.2018

In the Vinazze vineyard at Tenuta San Michele, a few kilometers from Syracuse, Sicily, sits a milestone reminiscent of a date and a fact that have changed history: the armistice between the Kingdom of Italy and the Allied army on 3 September 1943, following the landing of the Allies in Sicily. On that date, Sicily once again turned into the heart of the Mediterranean and of Italian history, and it all happened in the mansion of the Grande family, where aristocracy, taste and openness to the world have come together for generations. This summer buen retiro for intellectuals, nobility and notables from nearby Syracuse, Noto, and Modica had a special hostess: Coraly Grande Sinatra, a brilliant woman who lived through the twentieth century travelling and devoting herself to art and women’s rights.Her name and her story, imbued with style, elegance and intelligence are all reflected in the Donna Coraly resort, brought back to its rustic and aristocratic splendour by the niece of Coraly Grande Sinatra, Lucia Pascarelli. The five suites, enriched by majolica tiles, lava stone, antique furniture and modern and contemporary art, are all housed in the villa set in an ancient farmhouse dating back to the fifteenth century, protected by a moat and walls as was once typical of the local rural architecture. Each room has direct access to the bio-pond, the swimming pool and the botanical garden.In perfect harmony with the surrounding nature, the huge garden houses a large variety of Mediterranean plants dotted with exotic and tropical species. A large carob tree indicates the road to the Hortus Conclusus where aromatic plants, vegetables and fruits grow.The surroundings offer endless opportunities to discover some of the island’s most unique places, from the marine protected areas of Cavagrande, Plemmirio and Vindicari to the beaches of Fontane Bianche and San Lorenzo. The baroque gems of Noto, Ortigia and Syracuse with its art and the magnificence of the Greek Theater are just some of the possible destinations just over 15 minutes from the resort that will allow you to experience the many nuances of Sicily through its rich history, warm hospitality, and powerful nature. 

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08.31.2018

Chianti is a landscape of graceful villages and rolling hills sloping from Florence to Siena, as well as the homeland of the notorious red wine of the same name, a place cherished by artists and intellectuals all over the worldfor its peace and its beauty. These seventy thousand hectares of land were given their name by Cosimo III de' Medici in the year 1716 and have recently celebrated their 300thanniversary; it was on that occasion, in 2016, that The Art of the Treasure Huntwas first held in the form of a very special treasure hunt showcasing contemporary works of art on the backdrop of Chiantishire’s beautiful villages and wineries.Curated by Kasia Redzisz, senior curator at Tate Liverpool, the hunt returns for the third time this summer making room for 14 artists from 11 countriesin six prestigious wineries located in Castello di Brolio, Colle Bereto, Felsina, Borgo San Felice, Castello di Volpaia and Villa di Geggiano. The theme of the 2018 edition is Time is the Game of Man. The invited artists have been entrusted with the task of depicting their own idea of ​​time, bringing their personal experience into it regardless of their age, from Magdalena Abakanowicz, born in 1930, to Angélique Stehli, born in 1993.  The contrast between the absolute modernity of the works and the ancient beauty of the villages and hillsis truly amazing. Sylvie Fleurycreated three large iridescent mushrooms inspired by Alice in Wonderland against the backdrop of the Castle of Brolio. In the lemon grove of the same castle, Poupées Pascales by Pascale Marthine Tayouis an installation with ten crystal dolls decorated with ribbons, feathers, plastic flowers and wooden beams inspired by African female statues. Kevin Francis Grayused Carrara marble for his Soho Girlsculpture in Colle Bereto, sitting next to the neon installation Eden is a Lieby Ciryl de Commarqueand the Flower Fountainby Kiki Smith. The colorful plexiglass spheres by Alfredo Pitti, coming straight from his retrospective at MACRO in Rome, are hosted in Borgo San Felice along with works by Raul de Nieves, Alin Bozbiciu, Henrik Hakansson, and Stefan Bruggemann.  

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08.27.2018

L’Altro Spazio (“The Other Space”) is the title of a documentary film by Marcello Pastonesi and Carlo Furgeri Gilbert in collaboration with Mario Cucinella, architect and curator of the Italian Pavilion at the 2018 Architecture Biennale in Venice. This year’s edition of the Biennale, "Freespace", focuses on the public dimension of architecture as an element of the landscape delving into the relationship between architecture and territory, a theme which is particularly relevant in Italy, with such a variety of different landscapes where spaces and human stories have been interwining for centuries. Cucinella chose to get off the beaten path which connects Italy’s major cities and explore the country’s most remote places high above the mountains or on the islands. The architect’s point of view is expressed through the moving images of the documentary shot by Pastonesi and Furgeri Gilbert, produced by Someone in collaboration with Rai Cinema and screened daily at the Biennale. We met them to learn more about the project. L’Altro Spazio is a journey through Italy far from the spotlight. It is in some way also a journey through time?MP: In part yes, because it is a journey in search of traditions, customs and different ways of doing things and managing the relationship with land and nature.CFG: It is indeed a journey through time but not one indulging in memories. It is a journey which raises questions, as any journey should do. We have crossed territories and met people who only apparently live in another time. They are very connected to the world, they know what happens outside. These territories have an enormous potential. They are in fact the cradle of the DNA of Italian culture. It is a matter of understanding how to create the conditions for developing and re-launching them, avoiding depopulation and degradation. How do people connect with the places where they live? Through nature, architecture, smells, colours?MP: The people we met in these remote inland areas have a very clear idea of ​​what a big city or a suburb looks like, many of them have actually lived and worked there. Their attachment to the place where they live is not triggered by fear of what’s outside, but rather by the idea of a ​​community, which acts as a social safety net, as a source of education, care, memory, knowledge and contacts. And they wish to preserve all of this. In Orgosolo, Sardinia, people told us with pride how they managed to oppose the construction of an American military base. People's mistrust also arises from having seen their land suffer damage from industrialization, with broken promises of economic recovery and jobsbeing replaced by abandonment, environmental damage and sometimes even damage to people's health.CFG: I would say mainly human relationships. Through this journey we discovered that the relationships weaved by the community are the true lifeblood of these places. Not all these places are "beautiful"; some face very difficult situations, they are badly damaged but still have great human potential. And in spite of everything, many people want to stay, because this is their home. As Marcello says, the community works as a social safety net. Which role does architecture play in designing the way places are experienced?CFG: The role of architecture is essential. Unfortunately, today the word ‘architect’ is associated with a sometimes negative meaning – as in speculation and uncontrolled overbuilding - but architecture actually played a fundamental role in the construction of this country. Without the architects, we would not have the beautiful cities that the whole world envies us. We need to start restoring the positive value of architecture, to recover what over a thousand years of history have taught us, to promote projects that spring from the real needs of people and places. There is actually a lot of talking about participated architecture: designing means first of all understanding and listening, which is why local communities often take part in developing projects, defining a ‘mission’ for their own territory. Music is an element of your story: is there a link do you see between music and architecture?MP: We tried to choose music that was in harmony with the places and their architecture. As we traveled, I often searched for local radio stations to hear voices, accents, current topics, and even music. Some ideas came from there, some from street artists, some from the people we interviewed. In the editing process, we chose music based on the feel of the footage and the topic. So yes, there is certainly a link between music and landscapes. For me, it works by mental association.  What would you like the inhabitants of the "other spaces" to discover though your documentary?MP: I'd like them to find it useful. The film could be an opportunity to trigger a public debate or something practical and useful for their local communty. Also, it would be great to have a few screenings and let them watch themselves. CFG: I totally agree with Marcello, I would like the film to be useful, a reason for them to raise questions about themselves and their role as citizens. It would be great to have public screenings in the towns’ squares, those free spaces that used to be the major gathering space for democracy.   

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08.24.2018

This is not a restaurant.It takes Magritte's surrealism to describe Vespertine, the new idea of ​​Jordan Kahn, “best new chef of 2017” according to Food & Wine. A dinner at Vespertine overcomes the trite definition of “experience” and verges towards that of an event which takes place in a space and a time that are utterly unforgettable.  As for the space, Vespertine is housed inside a building without walls, a corrugated glass enclosure covered with a steel grid that earned it the nickname of “The Waffle”. It was designed by Eric Owen Moss, the architect behind the most innovative and futuristic buildings of Culver City, the LA suburb where Vespertine is located. Moss first came to Culver City when it was a ghost towndue to the relocation of the film studios, including Metro Goldwin Mayers which had had  its main production center here since the 1920s, in the 1970s and 1980s.  Starting from the 1990s, the city began to attract a new pioneering population of artists, creative professionals and start-uppers, including Moss himself, who created a series of hot spots. Following this wave, Jordan Kahn launched Destroyer, a unique bistro with a sci-fi aesthetics designed by Kahn, and later Vespertine (2014), a space which is a veritable swirl of inspirations and references: from the sculptures hanging in the large foyer to the elevator and the steel tables with a transparent acrylic top in the 22-seat dining room.Music is also a crucial element in Jordan Kahn's staging: it marks time and changes according to the space. For instance, strange and disharmonic sounds accompany patrons accessing the foyer, so that once inside they will have an immediate feeling of relief, landing in a pleasant elsewhere. The elevator is the only silent place, being the transit space that leads first to the roof, where guests are invited to enjoy snacks, and then to the restaurant hall.  Dinner is a very structured 18-course ritual, with dishes that are hard to identify at first glance, with unpredictable but sharp flavors. Everything contributes to taking guests to another dimension, where everything feels alien, including the waiters dressed in uniforms designed by Brooklyn, NY based designer, Jona Sees. Because choosing Vespertine means losing one’s bearings and getting away from the usual trendsto indulge in a sequence of gestures that activate all five senses. In the world of Jordan Kahn, food becomes the leitmotif of a story experienced individually in another world: could there be anything more appropriate for a restaurant in the city of Angels and cinema? 

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Tokyo-basedstart-up company ALE is preparing to take science and entertainment to a new level and paint the night sky with manufactured shooting stars: this is the Sky Canvas Project. ALE creates artificial shooting stars by sending micro-satellitesinto space. These artificial satellites will release pelletsmade with a special material which burns entering the atmosphere, creating the effect of shooting stars visible to the naked eyeover an area 200 kilometresin diameter. Dr Lena Okajima is the founder and CEO of ALE. A Tottori-native, after completing a Ph.D. in astronomy at he University of Tokyo, she worked in bond investment and private equity at Goldman Sachs Japanand, in 2009, she founded two companies, an online gaming company and a business consulting company. During her time at the online gaming company, Dr Okajima was selected as a member of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA) open lab. In 2011, she founded the world’s firstspace entertainment company, ALE Co.,Ltd, whose operations are scheduled to begin by the end of 2018, with the cooperation of four Japanese institutes. Others members of the ALE team include space engineers involved in research on space robots. ALE stands for “Astro Live Experiences”. The mission of the Sky Canvas Project is to contribute to the development of science and knowledge about the universe, bymeans of an unprecedented,shared experience of entertainment, featuring the world’s fist artificial meteor shower. Scientists at ALE hope to reach a better understanding of the mechanics of naturally occurring shooting stars and meteorites,by studying the path of artificial shooting stars where the angle of incidence, velocity and materials are known.Furthermore, by studying the path and mechanics of their artificial shooting star particles passing through the upper atmosphere, Dr Okajima and her team intend to contribute to scientific understanding of the upper atmosphere,which so far has few means of observation and remains one of the least understood portions of the atmosphere. Two launches are being prepared.The first satellite is scheduled tobe launched into space by JAXA by March 2019.The second will be launched in mid-2019 on a privately sponsoredrocket

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08.20.2018

The Lafayette Anticipationsfoundation already declares its pioneering and avant-garde vocationthrough its own name. In this historic Marais building, art is not just  exhibited, selected and collected, but also created, by rediscovering the crucial role of art patrons and granting artists the freedom to imagine, giving them space and time exactly for this purpose. “This is a place born to constantly support artists and their own projects”, says President Guillaume Hauzé, “with the idea that only creation can grasp the sense of an era and its uniqueness, and therefore bring us daily towards new horizona”. Lafayette Anticipations opened on March 10, 2018 and is set to be the new Parisian landmark for lovers of contemporary art, design and fashion. The collective character of the project involves artists, patrons, curators and the public in a constant exchange where ideas meet to understand and drive the evolution of art. The space is crucial because this 1891 building in 9, Rue du Plâtre, formerly a warehouse and a school, is also meant to become the place where most of the exhibited works of art are created:  the renovation and regeneration project has been entrusted to Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas and OMA design studio. The Foundation is house inside the U-shaped structure of the ancient building, renovated strictly respecting volumes and aesthetics, with the addition of an exhibition tower. The result is an exhibition space of 875 square meters out of a total of 2,200, including workshops, cafés and shops. Until September 9th, Lafayette Anticipations will host the collective exhibition The centre cannot hold, featuring previously unseen works by a selected group of artists mostly created inside the Foundation's headquarters. Curated by François Quintin, the exhibition owes its name to English poet W.B. Yeats and it tackles the current reinforcement of cultural, social, and political categorizations, hinting at the necessity of producing more subtle and less dichotomous methods to address them.  

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08.16.2018

Salad, avocado, eggs, coffee and Vegemite, not necessarily in this order: if this is what you’re about to eat, then you can be sure that this is an Aussie breakfast, basically ‘the new brunch’, a combo of healthy, tasty and beautifulfood that is delicious as well as perfectly instagrammable. After all, breakfast is essential for an authentic Australian lifestyle: in the land of kangaroos people get up early and eat light and nutritious food that will help them do some physical exercise. Nature is the context, the source, the inspiration of a cuisine that betrays the complex and hybridized character of its own roots: eggs from the British breakfast, local fish, veggies and avocados and flavors and spices from Asia and the Pacific Ocean and of Asia, with the occasional Mediterranean influence. Avocado is king: served in the form of a sauce, sliced, diced, in a salad or on toasted bread, it is ubiquitous. Eggs are also a must, mostly poached or scrambled. Seasonal fruits and vegetables(ideally fresh and locally-sourced) are the ingredients of colorful, luxurious salads mixed with quinoa or cereals. Corn pancakesare the quintessential Australian dish, a homely taste that often accompanies Aussie breakfast even in New York and London, to intrigue newbies and feed the nostalgia of the expats. Vegemite, a salt-based spreadable yeast cream whose taste is hardly describable, serves the same purpose. Finally, coffee is preferably 'flat white', i.e. black with milk foam. Australian bistros and cafés around the world often recreate the warm relaxed feel of Ocean beach life, offering breakfast at any time of the day. 

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08.13.2018

Legend has it that summer in the city is not an option, especially when the sea is just too far away to allow for a day trip to escape the heat and the boredom of an empty town. But is it really like that? Since smart working has become a thing, summer in the city in more a trend than a taboo, and above all an occasion to experience another face of the city, a milder, quieter one, enjoying new spaces such as urban beaches on lake and riverbanks. Here is a tentative list of some of the most intriguing European urban beaches. Paris Plages, ParisFrom 2002, every summer for a whole month a real beach appears along the Seine.On the Rive Droite, between the Louvre and Pont de Sully, between July and August Parisians can walk barefoot on the sand, catch a tan, relax, enjoy a drink or an ice-cream and plenty of summer night events. AFK Canary Wharf, LondonWith such a harsh weather all year long, the British definitely know how to take advantage of every single ray of sunshine. In East London, in the shade of the skyscrapers that have changed the skyline of the British capital at the turn of the millennium, a sandy beach with volleyball fields appears every summer to offer kids and adults the opportunity to play summer sports. Nearby Kerb Food Market is yet another perk: drop by at lunch break or for street food snacks at any time. HamburgEurope’ second major port has some truly remarkable beaches along river Elbe. With the first sunny days of spring, tons of sand are carried to the banks to create an artificial sandy shore dotted with deck chairs where you can relax and have a drink. There is a beach for every taste: from the laid-back Strand Paulito the sophisticated Hamburg City Beach Club. WarsawThere are almost 300 kilometers between Warsaw and the sea, but luckily river Vistula, which crosses the heart of the city, has plenty of natural bays that have gradually been turned into beaches. Here, the nights are all about music and DJ sets, whereas daytime it is for sunbathing (when sunny) in the company of deer, elks and wild boarsliving in the woods that border the beach and the river. Vienna Part of the river flood control system, the Donauinselis a 21-kilometer artificial island created on the urban stretch of the Danube that has become the ideal destination for those who want to escape from the city and relax in nature. Pebble and sandy beaches, long cycle paths and barbecue areasare available to citizens only a few minutes ride from their offices. PragueThere are three artificial beaches in Prague. Vltava Beachis the closest to the center: famous for hosting swans and ducks, it is a great place for swimming or going for a boat ride along the river with a view of St. Charles Bridge, one of the symbols of the city. Smìchov Beachis located on the Vltava river: 700 tons of sand provide ample space to relax and enjoy every single ray of sunshine, taking advantage of the volleyball, basketball and badminton courts during the day and of the many events scheduled for the evening. Artificiallake Lhotais an oasis of nature and quiet just a few kilometers away from the city. Blijburg Aan Zee, AmsterdamBIiijburg, in the south-east of the city, is one of the latest neighborhoods created in Amsterdam, where the houses sit on artificial islands. The young and bohemian feel of this place is the same that you can breathe on the sandy beach created to offer its inhabitants a vibrant summery place of leisure, open to everyone. Vicenza (Italy)In this small gem of a city designed in the 16th century by notorious architect Andrea Palladio, Bacchiglione river makes its way between ancient palaces and bridges with a Venetian flavour. One of its larger bends houses a small sandy beach equipped with deckchairs, a bar and a children’s playground, for a unique cocktail of seaside relaxation and urban beauty. Arena Badeschiff, BerlinEvery summer, a large platform of over 1,400 square meters moored on the Spree becomes Berlin's favorite beach, with heated swimming pools, a solarium, bars and small restaurants. The view includes the Oberbaum bridge (1724), once the longest bridge in Berlin, which connects Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain, and the famous television tower. Geneva (Switzerland)Even the most informal space in Geneva has an elegant allure. This is the case of the famous Bains de Paquis, on the banks of the lake: a historic urban bathing establishment created in 1872 and renovated in Art Deco style in the 1930s, which now houses a leisure and refreshment area at affordable prices.  

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08.09.2018

David Robert Jones was only one year old when 492 immigrants called by the British government landed on the British coast. They would soon be his new neighbors. It was 1948, and the ship that carried them from the Caribbean archipelagos to the London fog was a former German cruise ship recovered as war booty, the Empire Windrush. These new Londoners settled in the south of the city, first in Clapham and then in Brixton. David grew up surrounded by their music, and those sounds and culture helped him create David Bowie, one of Brixton's most beloved sons, depicted on a famous mural in Turnstall Roadunder which fresh flowers are brought every day. A multi-ethnic neighborhood by definition, the cradle of Caribbean culture in Europe has also been the scene of riots between locals and the police back in the 1980s and 1990s, yet today Brixton is one of the places to keep an eye on to get an idea of the contemporary British cultural avant-garde. Music, art and food are the focus and the driving forces behind the vibrancy you breathe as soon as you get out of the tube at the Brixton station. The heart of the neighborhood isWindrush Place, named after the ship that changed the destiny of this district. Here are two veritable institutions: Ritzy cinema, founded in 1911 and still proudly independent today, and the Black Cultural Archives, the first and only British center dedicated to the conservation and spreading of African and Caribbean culture in the UK. A venue for meetings, exhibitions, studies and comparisons, the Black Cultural Archives also won the New London Architect Award in 2015.  On Brixton Road sits Brixton Market, open seven days a week, selling exotic and bizarre goods and food from all over the world. Featuring both outdoors and indoors areas, it is the kingdom of ethnic street food. This maze of stalls, kiosks and restaurants has long been a place of nostalgia, yet today it is not only a destination for fans and enthusiasts but also for the locals, especially since the 2000s, thanks to a new injection of of artists, musicians and designers from Asia, continental Europe or simply from other areas of London, attracted by the liveliness of the area and by the unique character of Brixton. Some call it gentrification, for others it may be just the natural evolution of an ever-changing place, as shown by Pop Brixton, an installation of containers at 53 Brixton Station Road that host start-ups, small shops, kiosks, restaurants, and spaces dedicated to design, innovation and social initiatives. Pop Brixton should stay until fall, but given its success it might stay longer: it is an example of how an abandoned area can be quickly revived and become an authentic cultural hub. Art and creativity have always been everywhere in the streets of Brixton and today this been somewhat institutionalized: Electric Avenueis dotted with small contemporary/experimental art galleries, and the clubs offer all music genres from hip hop to electro, reggae and rock starting from 11 pm try Electricand 02 Academy
 
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