Tuesday, 31 August 2010
In some areas of the south, grapes are ready for harvesting in August, and towards the more Northern regions, it can take up until November for the grapes to be ready – it all comes down to ripening of the grape, it must have the right level of sweetness. In Umbria and Tuscany, the grape harvest happens in September, and it is therefore big on the agenda for regions to which wine is very important.
Grape-picking is just the first step and is one of the most celebrated occasions in Italy, extended families and friends get together, in the early morning hours snipping grapes off the vines and depositing them into large tubs or other containers.
Later, the grapes are crushed and made into wine (sorry, no secret recipes here!). If you visit a winery it's just very fascinating to watch the mixture of old tradition and new technology working hand in hand!
Thursday, 19 August 2010
Monday, 16 August 2010
Wednesday, 11 August 2010
5) Go to any beach in Tuscany or elsewhere. Arrive early and stake your square meter of sand with a tent or other makeshift shelter. Bring a large cooler containing pasta al forno and melanzane (if you’re in the south) or sandwiches (in the north). Now you are living the holiday like a real Italian – congratulations! (I'm a little sarcastic here...)
Actually typical Ferragosto food revolves around fresh, raw vegetables and fruit to ward off the heat. Cold beverages, fruit salads, cold pasta and Pomodori al Riso are almost always on the menu.
Roadside stands selling whole watermelons and/or chilled slices of the fruit are a summer feature throughout Italy. The hand painted signs on country roadside stalls may read the word 'anguria,' but the dialectal term cocomero is watermelon’s name in Rome and its vicinities.
6) The archaeological museums of the province of Bologna are, with only one exception, open this year for Ferragosto.
7) If in Rome, go to the Villa Celimontana Jazz Festival.
I’m running out of ideas… go to church. Churches will be celebrating the Assumption of the Madonna, so around 10am, you can certainly go to a service in the Cathedral of any city or town.