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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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08.06.2018

It was just a matter of time. Hawaiian poké, a dish based on raw marinated fish, was destined to become just another food trend and to turn from traditional and daily food from the Pacific archipelago into an object of desire for foodies worldwide. Let's start from the beginning, though: poké stands for poh-kay, or diced, and it refers to raw fish, which used to be eaten this way long before Westerners landed in Hawaii. The first poké was in fact simple raw fish freshly caught, diced and marinated in sesame oil and shoyu (soy sauce), under the influence of Japanese, Korean and Chinese cuisine, witnessing the constant cultural exchanges on that side of the Pacific. Its next version, ahi shoyu poké, is the perfect expression of the encounter between the Western tradition and the local culture that took place at the end of the 18th century. Thanks to the new naval fleets, Hawaiians were able to catch yellow fin tuna (ahi) in the deepest seas, far from the coast. They mixed it with onions, chillies, seaweeds and toasted inmonawalnuts, rich in mineral salts and oils and originating from the Moluccas archipelago, Philippines. The contemporary evolution of poké arises from the contact with the taste of urban tribes from around the world: from Los Angeles to Paris, from Milan to London, there is no lifestyle capital where poké bowls do not proliferate with their unique mix of taste, freshness and healthiness. The variations are endless, both concerning fish, marinades, and the additional rice and seasonal vegetables which turned poké into a perfect one-course meal.  The trend originated from James King's Sons of Thunderin New York, with its special marinades, and SweetFin Pokéin Los Angeles, where the bowls include additional ingredients from all over the Pacific area. In Milan, poké bowls can be tasted at Pokeiawhere chef Vincenzo Mignuolo offers his own variations coupled mixologist Flavio Angiolillo’s cocktails. AhiPoké Londonhas now spread throughout the city, bringing the Hawaiian bowl from Fitzrovia to Spitafields and Victoria.In Paris, Nativesis a great address in the emerging neighborhood around Canal St. Martin, with five available set menus including freshly pressed juices.  Yet if you were to ask the Hawaiians, they would definitely say that the only place in the world where to taste the authentic poké are their own islands, where it can be found anywhere from  convenience stores to tiny kiosks, as history teaches us: as a matter of fact, its global rise to success started from the Tamashiro supermarket in Honolulu back in the 1970s. 

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08.03.2018

The Clifton is a charming hotel housed inside a complex of 18th century villas set in an old 100 acre estate just a few minutes from Charlottesville, Virginia, where you can breathe the history of the United States, especially that of its third president Thomas Jefferson, philosopher and author of the Declaration of Independence. The Clifton is actually housed inside the villa that was built for the President’s daughter, Martha Jefferson, and her husband Thomas Mann Randolph in 1799, and other 4 villas built between the end of the 18thand the beginning of the 19thcentury. Each of its 20 private room has its own character, but they all share a harmonious combination of antique furniture and modern decorations, punctuated by a careful selection of contemporary works of art. The antique grand chandelier in the foyer welcomes the hotel’s guests to the majestic living room dotted with Chesterfield sofas and Bergéres armchairs, with its retro and relaxed elegance, and to the lounge. The copper cladding of the oak shelves is the distinctive element of the bar area, together with the large mirrors that enhance the light and make the velvet upholsteries vibrate, recalling the atmosphere a 1930s speakeasy. A large patio with glass windows running from the ceiling to the floor allows you to enjoy the nearby Blue Ridge Mountains, part of the Appalachian range that runs from Pennsylvania to Georgia, with its typically sharp peaks. Michelin-starredchef Matthew Bousquet takes care of the ‘1799’ with his creative seasonal cuisine, served in different spaces according to the time of the day, so as to allow guests to enjoy every room with the best light. Bosquet offers his own interpretation of local dishes based on seasonal products mostly sourced from the restaurant’s own vegetable garden, accompanied by an excellent wine list and amazing cocktails. And as you sip on your drink at the large copper-covered oak bar counter, you will feel like you are travelling in time to the most refined and sophisticated soul of the US

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08.03.2018

Awa Odori, the Awa Dance Festival, originated approximately 400 years ago. Awa is the former name of Tokushima, in Shikoku.There is no single accepted theory about the origin of the festival, but at least three. Some maintain that the Awa Dance was first performed to celebrate the completion of Tokushima Castle.  Others argue it is a local variation of Bon-odori, the dance performed during O-bon, the Japanese Buddhist festival honouring the spirits of one’s ancestors. Finally, the third theory suggests that Awa Odori has roots in fūryūdance, which is also believed to be the source of Noh theatre. In the Edo period, the Tokushima clan feudal administration issued edicts that prohibited dancing due to public order concerns. Samurai were particularly forbidden to attend public celebrations, in order to prevent them from bringing shame on themselves with drunken skirmishes and misbehaviour. Hachisuka Ichigaku was imprisoned for participating in the Awa Dance Festival. However, prohibition could not kill the enthusiasm of the people of Awa for the festival. Awa Odori was patronised by wealthy merchants who became key players in the cultural exchange between Awa and the rest of the country, contributing to the rhythm of the Awa Dance with songs and dances from elsewhere. There are two styles of Awa Odori: otoko-odori(male dancing), which is dynamic and ludicrous, and onna-odori(female dancing), which is seductive and elegant. The dancers form teams called renand compete against one another. Awa Odori begins in the evening, when men,women and children take to the streets and fill the venue with music, dances and excitement, to the rhythm of the songAwa Yoshikono, played on shamisenand taikodrums.The main spectacle takes place every evening from 6 to 10. Daytime performances will be held in different stage areas around the city centre. On 11th August, the Asty Tokushima Indoor Arena will host a pre-festival show with the most celebrated dancing teams. There is an entrance fee for the performances, with free and reserved seats. Additionally, a dance hall will be set up, where tourists will be offered the opportunity to learn the basics of Awa Odori.A video of the 2017 edition is viewable here.   

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Meditation and Yoga are two very important elements in the world of Alice Manfroni, a Milanese fashion stylist deeply convinced that the wellbeing of the body and that of the mind are inextricably linked to one another. Based on this idea, Alice created HereAfter, a collection of essential oils designed to put the body in touch with the soul through our senses. A synthesis of flowers and herbs grown and harvested following the rhythms of nature, essential oils are the primordial element that Alice perfectioned to trigger emotions and act as a bridge between body and spirit, just as it happens with Yoga and meditation. What link do you see between essential oils and meditation?AM:The bond is very tight. Each oil serves to relax and get into deep contact with oneself, which is also the goal of all meditation practices. Aromatherapy as a bridge between body and spirit: does it make sense to you?AM:Sure: to me, it is crucial to value to the environment in which we live and work, to pay attention to what we breathe every day, to the air and the smells. I mainly use natural incenses like palo santo wood and white sage, which purify the air, renew the environment and are free of chemical additives. You started a collaboration with Casa Nika, a beautiful property on Pantelleria island in Italy: where does the link between the island and the HereAfter world come from?AM:Islands are magic. In the case of Pantelleria, the volcanic nature of the island amplifies this feeling of being closer to the primordial force of the Earth. Its landscapes and sunsets are meditative experiences with open eyes, changing our perception and relationship with what surrounds us. For Casa Nika, I created a special oil using the natural ingredients offered by the islandsuch as lemon and oregano, creating an unmistakable aromatic note linked to the essence of Pantelleria. 

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07.26.2018

Yoron Island: YurigahamaYurigahama is a beautiful beach floating lightly about 1.5km off the coast of Ōganeku, in the town of Yoron, Ōshima district, Kagoshima prefecture. Yurigahama has been nicknamed “the ghost beach”, since it is a long, white sandbank only appearing at low tide in spring and summer. It is a mesmerising earthly paradise, with pure white sand and emerald green waters, glittering in the sunlight. Legend has it you will have good luck and happiness for as many years as the star-shaped sand grains you collect. Shikine Island: Tomari BeachTomari Beach can be easily reached by a three-hour speed boat ride from Tokyo. Tomari Beach, which is a five-minute walk from Nobushi port, is a cove where rocks surround the white beach emphasising the blue of the clear, shallow water, where fish are also visible. Shikine Islandis very well known for its hot springs and there are three outdoor baths open 24 hours a day, free of charge. One of the most representative hot springs of the island is Jinata Onsen, which is a highly regarded for internal medicine, due to its efficacy in the treatment of neuralgia and poor circulation. Ashitsuki Onsen has a reputation for its healing efficacy on cuts, scrapes and other wounds. Finally, Matsugashita Miyabiyu makes a nice soak regardless of the tide. Shizuoka: the beaches of ShimodaShimoda is a town located on the Izu Peninsula, Shizuoka prefecture, at a three-hour train ride from Tokyo. Shimoda is famous for its nine beautiful beaches, especially for the beautiful white sand of ShirahamaNagata Beach is a small and quiet beach protected by stone breakwaters, extending in Shirahama Chūō, along the National Route 135 running southwards in the Izu Peninsula from Odawara to Shimoda. On Nagata Beach barbecues are also allowed. If you are looking for clear waters, gentle waves and tranquillity, Sotoura is the place to goKujuppama is a little known beach. Hidden by the hills, which prevent cars from entering the quite area, Kujuppama has a pleasantly private feeling to it. Nabetahama Beachis the closest beach to Shimoda, frequented by locals, especially children, since it lies in the arm of the bay and the waves are consequently calm. Tatado Beach is famous for surfing. Also a popular destination for surfers throughout the year, Iritahama has the appearance of a tropical beach, with sago palm trees lining up along the shore. Other enchanting beaches in Shimoda include Kisami Ohama and Tōji. Kōchi: KatsurahamaKatsurahama is an arch-shaped beach extending between the Ryozu Cape and the Ryuo Cape. It is one of the best scenic spots in Kōchi prefecture, with green pines, deep blue skies and colourful pebbles. It is also a wonderful moon viewing spot. A famous statue of samurai Sakamoto Ryōma stands near the beach. The area around the beach is part of the Katsurahama Park, with the Katsurahama Aquarium and The Sakamoto Ryōma Memorial Museum. Hateruma: NishinohamaNishinohama is located onthe southernmost tip of Japan, at about a one-hour speed boat ride from Ishigaki Island, Okinawa prefecture. Its perfect beauty almost seems computer-generated. It is not hard to believe, therefore, that it Nishinohama has been elected the best beach in the world, with white sand beach stretching for 1 km and emerald green water. On the inside of the reef, the sea is calm and very pleasant to swim in. Outside, you can go snorkelling and enjoy the spectacle of the aquatic life, with corals and fishes of all colours. The beach is covered in soft sand, where you can walk without hurting your feet.If you are not partial to swimming, snorkelling or walking, you can just lie on the sand in total idleness. Nishinohama is ideal for that purpose, too. 

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07.25.2018

Tiziana Alamprese's love for Tokyo was born well before she decided to move permanently to the Japanese capital twelve years ago, when she took on the role of Marketing Director at Fiat Auto Japan.Born in Potenza, Italy, and currently the Marketing Director of Fiat Chrysler Japan, Tiziana told us that she has been fascinated by Japanese Zen culture since high school, when she first read Heidegger's dialogue with a Japanese disciple from the collection of philosophical essays On The Way To Language. She later graduated at Naples’ University of Oriental Languages specializing in Japanese history, language, economy and law, earned a master's degree in economics at Kyushu University, in Fukuoka, and decided she would someday go back to Japan. As a European woman manager, how do you feel you are perceived in the Japanese work environment?TA: Just like in Italy, the work environment in Japan can sometimes be hostile to women, especially to a "foreigner”. Emancipation requires creativity, professionalism, a clarity of vision and mission, knowledge of the local culture and language, and ideally a shoulder to cry on, someone as “foreign” as yourself to encourage you. Although I had to face many difficulties and challenges through my 13-year-long path, I think I managed to make my own difference a strong pointat workDo you ever find yourself in trouble juggling with the complex rules of Japanese etiquette either at work or in social contexts?TA: My solid knowledge of the local culture and language makes it easier for me to follow the rules and convivial rituals of Japan, but occasionally I do make mistakes too! Truth be told, the Japanese forgive easilyand they even have fun watching us clumsy Westerners. I actually believe it’s a shame that they pretend they not to notice our shortcomings, because being told would help us learn from mistakes. Anyway, the best strategy is to apologize with a deep bow and to join in the hopefully benevolent laughter that your mistake aroused. In case your Japanese interlocutor looks offended and does not smile, escape is the only option! Why, in your opinion, do the Japanese love Italy so much?TA: I have my own personal theory about it: I believe the Japanese are "inherently Italian". You can see it for yourself by entering any place where friends, colleagues or strangers gather to sing, laugh, hug and dance without inhibitions. Alcohol is only the “conductive medium” of this expansiveness, which the Japanese love to attribute to the Italians but which is actually also inherent in their DNA! In short, the true reason of their love for Italy is not to be found only in their profound appreciation for our food, fashion, style, design, art and beauty (all of which also abound in Japan), nor does it reside solely in the obvious similarities between our territories (the volcanoes, the earthquakes, the four seasons), but it lies mostly in the same "joie de vivre"that we Italians express freely and the Japanese tend to keep more controlled to comply with the local rules of social behavior. What do you particularly like about Japanese culture and the national character?TA: Their curiosity and the ability to be amazedlike little children by any new discovery, even the smallest one, expressing this amazement without shame, at any age and in every context, even in front of complete strangers. Another thing that always strikes me is how they can always tell those little details that reveal true beauty, which sometimes we Italians completely miss. Can you outline your sentimental map of the city?TA: The neighborhood of Hiroo, which is the area where I saw my daughter grow up from six to eighteen. Our walks in Arisugawa park, which is beautiful in every season, and of our beloved sushi restaurant. Sunday mornings in Harajuku along the famous Takeshita street, shopping for clothes or accessories inspired by metropolitan subcultures with my teenage daughter, and always ending up finding something for me too! The outstanding contemporary art exhibits at Mori Museum, on the 52nd floor of the Roppongi Hills complex, combined with a breathtaking view of Tokyo that never fails to amaze. The occasional visits to the beautiful Nezu museum of ancient art in Minami Aoyama, and the contemplation of the changing seasons in its magical garden.Celebrating the new year at the impressive Meiji Shinto templeor at the magnificent Zojo-ji Buddhist temple. Spending gloomy winter Sundays at one of the fantastic city spaswith thermal water pools and restaurants. And finally, my Tokyo nights in Shinjuku, the city’s most exciting neighborhood, vibrating with excesses and contradictions, neon lights, and a unique mix of transgression, kitsch, beauty and ugliness, perfectly bended like its massively consumed cocktails. A perfect evening in Shinjuku always ends with a walk in the Golden Gai, a maze of alleys and tiny clubs where you can drink a sake offered in a small bar by a mama-sanand feel at home in the company of perfect strangers. Which non-touristy places should we absolutely visit when in Tokyo?TA: I love the Yamanote, the legendary 35-kilometer railway line that runs through all the 23 Tokyo districts in a circular path around the untouchable and sacred space of the Imperial Gardens. A proper tour of Tokyo tour should include all of its 23 "cities in the city". In the shade of the glittering skyscrapers that continue to rise and bring the city closer to the sky, every neighborhood has preserved its identityin the alleys, in the old houses and cafes run by old ladies, in the markets and in the temples, in the amazing gardens, in the traditional food and sake culture. Walking from one district to another is also a very pleasant experience. I recommend strolling from Ueno Park to Nippori through the ancient district of Yanaka, which looks very much like Kyoto! To see the city from a different point of view, I suggest boarding the boat that connects Asakusa to Odaiba, the modern district literally built on reclaimed land, and stopping at Hamarikyu gardens, a green oasis on the backdrop of the Shiodome skyscrapers, for a cup of matchain the old tea house. Is the excitement for the 2020 Olympics tangible? Do you think it will be a good opportunity for the city?TA:There has already been a very positive effect on all business areas, but I think it will be even more interesting to see how the event impacts society. This is a great opportunity for Japan, as it could foster the adoption of more advanced policies in terms of equal opportunities and same-sex marriage. After all, diversity is the theme of the 2020 Olympics! Tell us a bit about your relationship with Japanese cuisine.TA:Even after 12 years of living here and intensely exploring the city, Tokyo continues to amaze me and has me caught in a spell of continuous discoveries of every kind, but above all gastronomic ones! I simply love Japanese cuisine, which I consider the best one in the world along with the Italian one. I recommend trying everything - sushi, soba, teppanyaki, tempura, yakitori, robatayaki, kushiaki, and of course the vegetarian cuisine of the Zen temples.  

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In 2016 theSolar Impulse Missionmanaged to turn something previously deemed impossible come true: an ultralight aircraft with a pilot on board traveled around the world without fuel, feeding exclusively on solar energy. The aim was to show what could really be done with clean technologies, promoting their use and research to generate a better quality of life and benefit the environment. It was a 40,000 kilometer flight with 10 stops along the way both to allow the two pilots to take turns and to retrieve all the information on material reaction and technology. The aircraft was developed by a pool of companies and engineers from all over the world and flown by André Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard, to whom we owe this historical undertaking with epic moments like the five-day flight over the Pacific Ocean, from Japan to Hawaii. The departure from Abu Dhabi was planned with the aim of filling up with solar energy: the decisive variable for the success of the company was to be able to store it and release it during the night. Having solved this issue, the plane could fly continuously, while the team of engineers and meteorologists who supervised the route from Munich guaranteed its safety. The other necessity was to achieve maximum lightness and isolation possible for the aircraft: the materials developed by Covestro, an international company that develops innovative plastics, made this possible. The accomplishment of the Solar Impulse mission marked the beginning of a new path based on the information acquired, with an extra challenge: today, the Solar Impulse Foundation founded by Bertrand Piccard aims to show that sustainablity and economy can work in synergy, not just on an ethical plan, but as an opportunity for growth. In May 2018, the Solar Impulse Foundation launched the Efficient Solution Label: a special recognition that will be awarded to 1,000 projects combining sustainability and the ability to stay on the market judged by independent experts. A group of pioneer companies that will make a difference in the world, with the same visionary power of those who put together the best of energetic technologies and materials to fly around the world without fuel.  

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07.20.2018

In 1967 the Beatles published the Magical Mystery Tour, and in Amsterdam the Provo movement dubbed the Dutch city "Magical Center Amsterdam". Where was the magic? Perhaps in the power of imagination, which invented new ways and spaces to say things in a different way, with the aim of changing the world. In the late 1960s, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam began to bring together what was left of the energy brought to the streets by a new category of young artists whose ‘experimental’ lifestyles were themselves veritable works of art. The Magic Center, an exhibition currently on display at the Stedelijk, summarizes the energy of the years between 1967 and 1970, when the city became one of the most fertile and vibant crossroads of that new generation of artists.  Curated by Bart Guldemold, the exhibition collects 250 works and objects and 100 reproductions collected from the museum’s permanent collection, from the Rijksmuseum and from the Institute of Social History, Sound and Vision. The common thread is irony, which brings together the contradictions of that era, expressed through the posters by Daniel Buren, which were among the first examples of street art, the performances of Wim T. Schipper, who put together an improbable Christmas tree in Leidseplain, one of the central squares of the city, in the middle of summer.  Sunny Imploo was yet another invention of that time: a luminous sphere inside which you could stick your head to enjoy a supposedly relaxing effect. According to authors Louis van Gasteren and Fred Wessels, it should have been made available for everyone at every street corner, but it never actually left the museum.  50 years later, these seemingly bizarre works still manage to bring back the emotional clock to a moment in history when cultural revolution was a daily affair and female artists began to play a decisive role. Among the hundreds of works and icons belonging to that time, including many independent magazines, the exhibition presents some original materials from the Bed-in for Peace project by John Lennon and Yoko Onothat happened at the Amsterdam Hilton in 1969. And as Amsterdam rediscovers its central role in the artistic ferment of the late 1960s, on the red brick façade of one of Stedelijk's warehouses the largest mural ever made by Keith Haring in Europe (1986, 12 by 15 meters)comes back to life thanks to the intervention of various artists and foundations. The work depicts  a man riding a sea animal with a dog's head and it can be seen from Willem De Zwijgerlaan Street. 

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07.20.2018

In 2017, for the 15th year running, the Adachi Art Museum was elected the best traditional garden in Japan by The Journal of Japanese Gardening, the American publication devoted to the special world of Japanese gardens and Japanese architecture. The Adachi Museum of Art, centred on modern Japanese paintings, was established in 1970 in the city of Yasugi, Shimane prefecture, It was completed in September and opened to the public in November of the same year. It currently houses 130 works by Yokoyama Taikanand it is also renowned for its gardens. Yasugi was the birthplace of Zenkō Adachi, the founder of the museum. Zenkō began working as a coal haulier between the countryside and Yasugi Harbour. He developed a keen interest in business and after the Second World War he took on several jobs, including textile wholesaler in Osaka and estate agent. At the same time, he began collecting works by Japanese painters, something he had loved since his youth, and eventually became known as an art collector. Throughout his life, Zenkō delighted in designing gardens. Finally, in 1970, at the age of 70, as a sign of gratitude to his hometown and aiming to enhance the cultural development of Shimane prefecture, Adachi established the Adachi Museum of Art. Adachi’s passion for collecting art was well known, but perhaps his greatest accomplishment was his 1979 acquisition of several works by Taikan Yokoyama from the Kitazawa Collection, including Autumn Leaves, Mountains After A Shower, and Summer - Four Seasons Of The Sea. Zenkō Adachi considered the garden as a picture scroll and had horizontal viewing panels installed, through which visitors can enjoy the ever-changing beauty of the garden. After his death at the age of 91 in 1990, the garden, which is divided into six sections totally about 165,000 square metres, was officially designated as one of Japan’s most representative gardens. The six gardens have a different appearance in every season, framed in the beautiful landscape of the surrounding natural mountains. Adachi’s gardens are said to be a living Japanese painting and gained three stars in the Michelin Green Guide Japan. 

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07.16.2018

From the 5th century AD, when the order of Saint Benedict was founded, to today, monasteries have preserved a unique feature that goes beyond every religious tradition: they are still a place where to take refuge, whether to get away from raids and poverty, as it happened in the Middle Ages, or to put a little distance between ourselves and our daily routine, as it often happens today.  Monasteries are almost inevitably secluded and out of time, and their days are punctuated by simple chores and tolling bells. Home to pilgrims, travelers and faithful for centuries, they retain a special energy magnified by the beauty of their ancient architecture and manuscripts. Europe is literally scattered with such places, and some of them can be extraordinary day-trip or holiday destinations. Here are five monasteries that you most likely do not know yet. Reichenau Island Monastery (Germany)Reichenau is an island on Lake Constance, at the foot of the Alps. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the island houses a Benedictine monastery dating back to the 8thcentury with three churches mixing Carolingian, Ottoman and German architecture from the Salian dynasty, which reigned over the Holy Roman Empire between 1024 and 1125. Its peculiarity lies in the huge mural paintings, particularly those inside St. George’s church, which are very well-preserved.  Monastery of the Holy Cross, Fonte Avellana (Italy)In the 21stcanto of Dante’s Paradise from the Divine Comedy, Pier Damiani speaks of a hermitage at the foot of Monte Catria. This place was already a point of reference in the 14thcentury: the first monks had settled here, in this valley on the border between Marche and Umbria, in the 10thcentury, giving birth to what would become one of the most important Camaldolese monastic complexes in Italy. Hospitality and dialogue are the values ​​that have always been carried forward ever since then, with a calendar of events that covers the whole year and the opportunity of retiring for a few days to enjoy the silnce, nature, the woods and the sky. Ostrog Monastery (Montenegro)Set against the rocky mountains of Montenegro, in the Bjelopavlići valley and not far from Podgorica, the Ostrog Monastery is home to wild birds and strong winds. Founded in 1671, it is composed of two structures on an upper and lower level, connected by a long and winding staircase. The monks still celebrate Orthodox rites and sacraments and are happy to share the long history of this place and of the miracles that supposedly happened on its grounds with the visitors. Saint Gall Abbey (Switzerland)The first stones of this great Benedictine monastic complex date back to the 8th century, as well as some of the oldest manuscripts kept here. The library is its main asset, both for the Baroque structure and for the huge quantity of manuscripts dating back to the last twelve centuries, including the first architectural project on parchment. Architecture is the second focusbecause it features all the architectural styles from Charlemagne onwards, making this place one of the most vibrant cultural centers in Europe.Hermitage of Santa Caterina dal Sasso (Italy)Coming from the lake, the first thing you’ll see is the big bell tower, and then the beautiful arcade that runs along the lake. In Leggiuno, on Lake Maggiore, this hermitage has two convent structures, the oldest one dating back to the 13th century, and a church with an original structure, the result of the fusion of three different chapels over time. The frescoes, focusing on everyday life scenes and stories full of mysticism, have preserved their bright colors. When the winter fog rises from the lake, this place is an otherworldly vision. 

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07.13.2018

She is one of the world’s most famous and appreciated mezzo sopranos, a Baroque music enthusiast, a generous artist and a proud mother. Swedish singer Ann Hallenberg has been successfully singing opera for 25 years in the world’s most prestigious theatres. In the meantime, she has constantly enriched her repertoire with the rediscovery of amazing arias from unknown Baroque composers, supported in this passionate and incessant research by her husband, the German musicologist Holger Schmitt-Hallenberg. We discussed her career, her life and her passions over a Spritz in Venice. How did you, Ann, become Ann Hallenberg the famous mezzo soprano?AH:I am actually the proof that the media do have the power to shape a child. I grew up in a house with music. My father was a church singer, so I had music around me but it was mostly church hymns, never opera. And then when I was six I was left alone in front of the TV one day, and there was a televised production of the Bettlerstudent, an operetta by Millöcker. It just got me. I remember crying because it seemed like there would be a tragic finale, and jumping on the sofa when I found out there would actually be a happy ending. The day after, I asked my dad to buy me the record, and my mum to make me a dress just like the prima donna. There and then, I decided: this is what I want to do. I want to become an opera singer! So, basically you are living you childhood dream?AH:Yes, my whole life I have been doing what I wanted to do. I am extremely lucky, and I am aware of this luxury. Although as I was studying music, I said to myself “This is ridiculous, you can’t be an opera singer just like that”. Since I had a huge interest in history and I also wanted to be an archaeologist, I gave myself five years after attending the opera school to see if this dream would work. “If it does not”, I thought, “then I will have all my papers ready to become an archeologist”. It was my plan B. Which was the first moment in which you realized you could make it?AH:I think it was when I auditioned with very short notice in Oslo for L’Italiana in Algeri. Basically, from day 1 to day 2 they threw me in: I auditioned, said thank you, and I was on my way out of the stage door to catch my plane back to Stockholm when the opera management came running after me and told me I'd got the job! During that opera production I began to realize that it would work. I was four years out of opera school. From then on, my mantra has been “slow growth, quality music”Which specific moments in your career did you cherish the most?AH:There have been many fulfilling professional moments, of course, but personally the most remarkable one was coming home after an audition with Luca Targetti from La Scala one night and telling my parents “I am going to sing at La Scala!”. The joy of my father in his pajamas in the middle of the night is something I will always cherish. What triggered your passion for Baroque and 17thand 18thcentury composers?AH:First of all, I discovered Baroque through Swedish mezzo soprano Anne Sophie von Otter and truly liked it. Secondly, I realized that to sing Verdi, Puccini and Mozart I would have to stand one step behind the sopranoand reach for handkerchiefs, and chairs, and be supportive as they sing their arias. By singing Baroque, on the contrary, I would get to sing several arias. And then of course I also realized that it was perfect for my voiceIn your Carnevale 1729album you sang a collection of 14 unknown Baroque hits from the 1729 Venetian Carnival. How did you come up with the idea and why this specific selection? AH:The inspiration came from those cheap CDs you can buy at any gas-station: “Greatest Hits 1985”, “Summer Hits 2010” etc. I began to imagine what an album from the 18th century would have been like, what the “hits” of an exciting season in 18thcentury Venice could have been. We ended up picking the year 1729 because the Venice Carnival of that year had so many incredible arias written for the occasion that had miraculously survived. 1729 was a special year also becauseall the big stars of Italian opera had come back home after disagreements with their impresario, Händel,in England. This connection with such a well-known composer was also crucial to help us sell the record. On that note, how do you cope with the fact that these composers, such as Orlandini or Giacomelli, while being amazing are very little known? Wouldn’t it just have been easier and more profitable to record something by Händel?AH:I am absolutely aware of this. And I obviously love Händel. In the case of Carnevale 1729, I thought that “using” his name to make people discover the other composerswould be a good idea. The same thing happens when you set up the program for a recital: sometimes it can be annoying, but you always feel that you should add a Händel aria so that people are happy. But recently things are changing, and both record companies and fans are starting to appreciate unknown composersIs there a composer in particular work that you think would deserve more attention from musicians and the public? AH:Well, there are several. I would say Pietro Torri, Giovanni Porta, and of course Geminiano Giacomelli. Yet it is not easy to popularize work. They are basically unknown, and there is not a single famous piece from them that the public can connect with to get an idea of who they are. Also, you need to do a lot of research because scores and editions are scarce. Finally, there is a negative bias towards unknown composers, the idea that if they had been so good they would not have been forgotten. If it is not about quality, why is that are some composers more known than others? Why Händel and Vivaldi and not Torri and Giacomelli?AH:It is about quality, but only to a certain extent. There is no denying that Händel, for instance, was unique. He truly had a God-given gift. But there are other aspects we should take into account: some composers were only present in their time, they wrote music for a living, maybe they didn’t travel much. In other words, they did not think of music “for eternity”(this is something that only became relevant later, with the “genius” culture). They had one commission after another, and they were extremely good at their own craft. So, yes: Händel was a genius, and maybe Torri was a genius too, only he did not manage to have his work performed in theatres for as long as Händel’s Messiah, and thus to become equally popular. Sometimes it’s just that people love to listen to what they already know: and in that sense, everything that is familiar has a great advantage over the unknownWhat’s your favorite genre when it comes to performing?AH:Opera was my first loveand I have been doing it for 25 years. It is magic indeed, both onstage and behind the scenes. I love the behind-the-scene dance, with people perfectly coordinating to make everything perfect! But it also very hard work, and a lot of time away from home. Besides, singing operas can sometimes be frustrating these days, because the power of the directors has become so overwhelming that it occasionally takes over the idea of the music. So, at this point in my career it has to be something really special. Nobody can believe a singer who sings everything. In this industry you must be capable of saying no. It is brave and refreshing at the same time. How do you feel about curtain calls? What goes through an artist’s mind in that moment?AH:After so many years I am still terrified. I think the fear of not receiving an applause is every artist’s worst nightmare. It luckily never happened to me. When the applause comes, it is like the ultimate proof that you did your job well, and that the public is in a way giving back what you have tried to give them. It’s a sort of chemistry. How do you cope with being an artist as well as a wife and a mother?AH:I am travelling about 200 days every year, so the real hero is my husband. It definitely is a teamwork, because if he didn’t take care of everything at home and with our daughter I would not be able to travel. I’m the one onstage, the one who gets the applause, but behind the scenes there is someone taking care of all the rest. As for meI remain a normal persondespite my staging career. I still love going out without makeup to buy milk in my hometown. Your husband, Holger Schmitt-Hallenberg, is in the music field too. Does that help?AH:Holger is a musicologist, andmy living encyclopedia! This means that we can collaborate and that is just perfect. He has been working in theatres and he knows how my profession works. I never have to explain. But in general, I think that for instance two singers would have a hard time coping with a career and a family, because one of the two would have to step back.   What do you like to do to relax once the hard work is over?AH:Knitting! I need to work with my hands. My work is gone the moment I do it. I sing, and it’s air. I need to do something more physical. 

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Take a few canvas scraps, enough to create a layer a few centimeters thick. Compress them well and secure them to each other with the most resistant string you have. Shape it following the outline of a foot and sew it to a piece of embroidered canvas or velvet, chosen among the best ones you have at home: this is what the women of Friuli, in north-eastern Italy, have been doing for centuries to create an ancient type of footwear called scarpet, a tradition jealously preserved and handed downfor generations. Although the first written records of this tradition date back to the nineteenth century, it certainly has its roots in the previous centuries, when it started in the Friuli region only to reach the Belluno Dolomites and the Treviso pre-Alps. Venetian gondoliers, who needed practical and flexible footwear to protect them from the summer heat and the winter cold, were also great fans of the scarpets. Each family had its own scarpet tradition with special symbols for the embroidery on the toe. In a time when reuse was a daily necessity and waste an inconceivable luxuryfor most people, scarpets were the shoes worn by the whole family on special occasion, made in different variations of fabric for the upper part, from canvas to velvet, to suit the season, padded and embellished with jute from grain sacks – somebody even went as far as adding a rubber sole made from recycled bicycle tires. Among the market stalls of Udine and in the mountain artisan workshops, scarpets are still sold both as pieces of local craftsmanship and daily commodities. Whether they maintain their vocation as poor footwear or are embellished with embroideries and sophisticated fabrics, scarpets tell the authentic story of the people who invented them. 

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07.10.2018

Edamame is the Japanese name for soybeans harvested when they are still young and soft, from May to late October, now a popular snack all around the world. Gunma prefecture accounts for approximately 28% of the domestic production, followed by Akita (24%) and Yamagata (12%). Some varieties of soybeans need to mature before they can be harvested, whereas others are suitable to be picked before maturation. New types were created in order to increase the size, quantity and quality of the beans. Edamame were presumably eaten already during the Nara period (710-794)or the Heian period (794-1185). There also exist written references of their being presented as gifts during the Kamakura period(1185-1333). Duringthe Edo period (1603-1868),in the summertime,street vendors would peddle soybeans still attached to the twig, then boiled and soldto people who would snack on them while walking. Originally, they were called edazuki mame, literally “beans on a twig”, which was later shortened into the present day form edamame. The colour of the pod is important, and bright-green is most desirableshade. Ripeness induces a reduction in the content ofsugar (responsible for the distinctive flavour and sweetness of edamame), amino acids and ascorbic acid. The most popular way of preparing edamame is to boil and salt them. They are a popular snack in bars, especially paired with beer and drinks. The high protein content of soybeans will reduce the toxic effects of alcohol. In Miyagi and Yamagata prefectures, edamame are boiled and reduced to a jam, which is used to make the famous zunda-mochi, edamame-flavoured rice cakes. What is unexpectedly unknown is the great nutritional value of boiled edamame. Boiling is the tastiest fashion of preparing edamame and it is incredibly easy, too.  All you have to do is rinse the edamame cut both ends of the pods and rub them in salt. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil, add the edamame and boil for about three minutes. When they are cooked,you shouldstrain and sprinkle them with salt to coat. Do not try to cool them by spraying them with cold water. That would only make them soggy. Grab a nice, cold beer and you are settled. Enjoy! 
 
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