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01.17.2019

What’s diversity? Any manifestation of the self that moves away from what we could define as ‘perceived normality’. In the digital era, even someone who never leaves home can get in touch with the most different lifestyles and choose the right one for themselves. Yet the chance to get to know all the alternatives hardly coincides with the freedom to truly experience them. So how can we persuade the world to accept differences? By showing it how they could improve our lives and benefit individuals, companies and markets, adding new opportunities to solve a problem or suggesting a new perspective to tell a fact or an idea. It is therefore no coincidence that the UN has long started to promote initiatives in this direction. UNESCO issued the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity documentin 2001, and designated May 21st the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development in 2002 to raise awareness on these issues.Companies are catching up by hiring "diversity managers", whereas universities and foundations offer masters and research workshops focused on diversity. In short, diversity as a resource has become a thing and it is (also) turning into business. Diversity In The MediaObserving how, where, and when we talk about diversity can reveal a lot about how its perception is evolving.Diversity is an Italian association founded in 2013 with the aim of promoting ​​diversity as a value and a resource, which launched among other things the Diversity Media Watch Observatory to follow the evolution of public discourse on these issues. "Italian society is much more sensitive to the issue of inclusion than it might seem”, explains Francesca Vecchioni, founder of Diversity. "In everyday life we ​​are constantly in contact with people who belong to one of the areas of diversity; actually we are all diverse in one respect or another, maybe without even realizing it. Discrimination occurs not only on sexual orientation, but also on gender, age, socio-economic status or disability, ethnicity or religion". The 2018 Diversity Media Report carried out a research on Italian TV news and entertainment shows in collaboration with various Italian universities (diversitylab.it), and the result was somewhat surprising: although politics hardly ever deals with diversity, TV shows depict a varied and diversified society which is very close to reality.That diversity touches the sensitivity of increasingly large sections of the population is also demonstrated by the results of companies that include it in their communication. "Today", continues Francesca Vecchioni, "companies that do not understand the value of inclusion and diversity are destined to fall behind. The data emerging from the Diversity Brand Index (Diversitybrandsummit.it) research are clear: inclusion policies have generated almost 17% more revenues than average for the companies that are perceived as more inclusive. Our aim is to combine the ethical and economic values of diversity". Diversity, it appears, is a resource and a tool for anticipating and shaping the future of brands, companies and organizations. Integrating differences is a great way to address all the audiences they represent, understanding theirs needs and sensitivity. And the side effect, which certainly does not hurt, is a growth of our economic and social well-being. 

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01.14.2019

The glorious Pinacoteca di Brera has long been one of Italy’s most underrated gems. But not anymore. With an art patrimony only second to Florence’s Uffizi, including beautiful works from Bellini, Mantegna, Raphael, Tintoretto and Caravaggio, Milan’s historic institution has finally freed itself from its former somewhat dusty, outdated public image to become a world-class museum.  Behind this epic feat is a British (and Canadian) gentleman who loves to collect rare books and wears beautifully crafted waistcoats. Mr. James Bradburne, a museologist and a cultural manager as well as the former director of Palazzo Strozzi in Florence, was appointed in 2015 by the then culture minister Dario Franceschini as director of the Pinacoteca di Brera and the Biblioteca Braidense. Painting the walls in deep hues, installing new lights, asking curators and authors to write new bilingual labels, commissioning new uniforms by Trussardi and inviting taxi drivers, hotels concierges and tourist guides to visit the museum for free have all been part of a strategy to give back the Pinacoteca to the local community, turning it into a “the coolest place” in town, and to offer foreign visitors an excellent service. We spoke to Mr. Bradburne to learn more about his vision for the Pinacoteca and for the whole city as new and eminent foreign resident. Brera, the Pinacoteca and the Accademia have played a very important role in the history of Italian and International art, and yet they have long remained somewhat below the radar.  Why is that?JB: Brera as a whole - the gallery, the art school, the library, the garden, the observatory and the Istituto Lombardo - have been at the physical, intellectual and cultural heart of Milan for centuries, first as the headquarters of the Jesuits, then as Napoleon’s ‘Royal Palace for the Science and the Arts’. Unfortunately, in the mid-1970s, with the creation of the Ministry of Culture, which centralised the management of Brera in Rome, and the death of the Brera’s visionary director Franco Russoli in 1977, Brera’s autonomy - its ability to connect to the city - was profoundly undermined. It took the reforms of 2014 to give back to Brera the autonomy it once enjoyed, and the current transformation is one of the most obvious results.You embarked on a mission to turn the Pinacoteca into a more accessible, enjoyable, and modern museum, to bring it into the very heart of the city. What’s the outcome so far?JB: We can definitely see an increase in young people, families and children to the museum, and a big increase of visits by the Milanese themselves. For the first time in decades Brera is regularly covered in the international press.It is common knowledge (or maybe just a cliché) that we Italians underestimate our cultural heritage. Would you agree?JB: I think that Italians do tend to take culture for granted - if a Rome aqueduct was standing in Cincinnati I am sure it would attract far more attention. On the other hand I don’t think that means that Italians undervalue culture, on the contrary, Italians are very proud of their heritage and very aware of how much a part of their identity it plays.As a comparatively new resident, what do you think of Milan?JB: I arrived in Milan post-Expo, so I just assumed the city was always dynamic. Every day I discover something new in Milan, another element of the city’s diversity that makes it an exceptional place to live and workWhat’s the city’s main flaw?JB: A lack of instruments to help institutions to create synergies. Can you mention some of your favourite things and/or places in town and describe your typical day in Milan?JB: As you can imagine, my days are mostly spent working in or very close to Brera. They begin with a coffee at the Beverin caffè, and often include a visit to Demetra, the rare book shop and lunch at the Tokyo Grill, just across the street. A rare day may include a walk across the park to the Triennale, or through the Orto Botanico to via Montenapoleone. Give us 3 three reasons why people should absolutely add Milan to their bucket list.JB: One, it is not yet submerged under a tsunami of mass tourism. Two, the mix of art, music, design and fashion is extraordinary. Three, it is international, dynamic and contemporary.Which artists and art periods do you prefer as an art enthusiast and connoisseur and what’s your relationship with art outside of your work?JB:I have very eclectic tastes, and I curated exhibitions on 16th century Mannerist art and American Trompe l’Oeil painting. Outside work I tend to collect rare booksrather than art.Can you recommend three small/minor museums in the world that we should absolutely visit?JB: The Museum of Jurassic Technology in Los Angeles, the Museon Arlaten in Arles, France, and the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, UK. 

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01.12.2019

Choosing a yoga resort for a regenerating break means finding quiet, nature, healthy food and exercise - but also embracing specific ethical and existential principles. Because yoga is a veritable lifestyle, including daily practice but also sharing a philosophy. Here are five unique places where to regenerate and discover that another world of well-being is possible. Silver Island Yoga Retreat (Grecia)There is only room for ten guests on this private island in the gulf of Volos, owned for over half a century by the Christie family and later turned into an enchanted and environmentally sustainable resort. The yoga classes take place in the patio overlooking the sea, the restaurant offers zero-mile organic food and the beautiful Greek sea fills the eyes of the guests. The Retreat (Costa Rica)The Retreat was created to "reset the guests’ internal balance" so that they will turn well-being and a healthy and harmonious lifestyle into a daily habit even at home. Among the cozy casitas are some truly nice spaces where to practice different types of yoga with international masters and enjoy massages and spa treatments. Diana Stobo, lifecoach and founder of The Retreat, is a former chef and this makes the resort's cuisine particularly creative and interesting. Borgo Pignano (Italia)Between Volterra and San Gimignano, in the heart of Tuscany, an entire medieval village has been turned into a beautiful resort which was designated "the best hotel for eco-sustainability in Europe and the Mediterranean"by Condé Nast Johansens international in 2019. During the day you can practice yoga among the olive groves and take private or group yoga, relaxation and meditation classes. Vana (India)Vana is the Sanskrit word for "forest". The name was chosen by the founder, Veer Singh, to celebrate the symbiosis between this place of spirituality and hospitality on the slopes of the Himalayas and the lush forest that surrounds it. Yoga, Ayurveda and healthy eating are at the center of the regeneration experience, enriched by art, music and the beauty of the place. Eco Yoga (Scozia, UK)In the Scottish Highlands, on the shores of Lake Awe, the wood and stone lodges of Eco Yoga welcome those who want to immerse themselves in nature and silence and experiment advanced dynamic yoga with group and individual classes. The resort is energetically sustainable and revolves around water as a natural element: the still water of the lake, the rushing water of the waterfalls the warm water in the indoor and outdoor wooden pools.  

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01.10.2019

In this severely cold season, oden helps warm the body from the inside out and offers a comforting cuddle for the stomach, fatigued by the customary New Year’s heavy meals and drinking parties. There is many a restaurant where one can have a bowl of the typical stewon one’s own, without feeling too awkward.  Oden originates from dengaku, bean curd baked and coated with miso, an ancient recipe of skewered ingredients grilled (yaki-dengaku) or boiled (nikomi-dengaku). Around the 17th century, odencame to designate the boiled type, whereas grilled skewers went on being referred to as dengaku. A street food speciality from Kantō (Tokyo area), it later spread to Kansai (Osaka area). Kansai’s oden differs greatly from Kantō’s oden in terms of ingredients and flavour. For example, the Kansai version is recognisable by its thin broth, whereas in the Kantō version the broth is thicker and darker. Kansai people call the Kantō version of oden Kantō-dakior Kantō-niOden is a highly digestible food, whose base is a soup made with bonito flakes (katsuobushi) and kelp. Stewing in it is a wide array of ingredients, including but not limited to satsuma-age(fried fishcakes), hanpen(surimi triangles), chikuwa(ring-shaped fishcakes), konjac, daikon radish, ganmokudoki(fried tofu mixed with chopped vegetables), hard-boiled eggs and kara-age(deep-fried chicken). As for Tokyo, you will be spoilt for choice. From long-established shops to more stylish options, here are a few recommendations. Azabujūban: FukushimayaThis historic shopsells kamaboko(a type of cured surimi) on the ground floor, whereas the first floor it has an eat-in space offering oden in either a shōyu (soy sauce)-based broth or a miso-based broth, the latter being prepared with Hatcho red miso from Aichi prefecture.  Yotsuya: Oden-yaRecognisableby a sign reading Atsu Atsu Oden (“piping hot oden”),  this exquisitely retro-style place has traditional food carts that can be reserved by groups to benefit from the 4,000 yen all-you-can-eat-and-drink formula. A highlight is dashi-wari, Japanese sake mixed with oden broth. Are you brave enough? Shinbashi: OtakōWhen the working day is done in Shibbashi, you can stop at Otakō foroden and a glass of sake, in an unpretentious settingwhich is ideal for some alone time. Also on the menu are sashimi, grilled meat and fish, deep-fried chicken and other delicacies. Ebisu: Nihonshu HanatareRenowned for its seafood umi oden, this cosy shop has a counter which accommodates up to 10 people. The seafood is sourced daily from Sashima Harbour and Yokohama’s Fish Market. Depending on the season, oden is to be enjoyed with a glass of warm or cold sake, chosen from a selection of twentyDaikan-yama: Ore no OdenSituated in a plush residential areathis place it has a completely different flair compared to any other oden shop, resembling a stylish bar or lounge. Here you can tasteKansai-styled oden until well into the night, paired with one of the 100 types of ume-shu(plum wine) on the list.  

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01.09.2019

A theropod dinosaur, the carnivorous ancestor of ostriches and penguins, left its mark on the still fragile dolomite rocks abouttwo hundred million years ago, while the Cellina stream was probably just beginning to dig canyons and crags into the layers of calcareous rock.  The Friulian Dolomites, a.k.a. the mountains rising between the Piave and Tagliamento rivers, are famous for the amazing colors of the rock they are made of and for their wild and fascinating character, epitomized by the Campanile di Val Montanaia, a steep rocky peak that can only be reached on foot. Ideal for those who love the mountains in their purest spirit, the Friulian Dolomites Natural Parkbetween the provinces of Pordenone and Udine, includes Valcellina, the upper Tagliamento valley and the Tramontina valley. The towns have exotic ancient names such as Andreis, Forni, Cimolais, Claut or, just outside the park and entering the Carnic Alps region, Sauris, Sappada, Tarvisio, Piancavallo.  The local hospitality has a long and rooted tradition, and the area also offers plenty of opportunities in terms of winter sports, from cross-country and downhill skiing to skating, snowshoeing and dog sledding along impressively beautiful routes. Every valley has its own peculiarities: there is room for relaxation as well as for breathtaking skiing challenges, and the wild woods allow for the occasional encounter with Alpine ibexes, experts looking for new descent trajectories and new challenges.  South of the Park, the Cellina Ravine Natural Reserve is a millenary ecosystem that developed around the deep cuts carved into the ground by the stream of the same name. The emerald pools that occasionally appear along the stream of the Meduna river, close to Tramonti di Sopra, are yet another small corner of natural paradise created by the water carving the white rocks – a great opportunity for a refreshing plunge in the summer.  Finally, the food reflects the history of the area, which has long been a crossroads of different peoples and tastes and an open gateway to central Europe.  Among the local delicacies is Sauris ham, named after its hometown, smoked in the fumes from local beech wood. Pitinais the essential Friulian sausage made from minced wild game meat seasoned with salt, pepper and fennel, to be enjoyed with Sauris’s own craft beer, Zahre. Where to stayOverlooking the ski slopes of Sauris, Chalet Rikhelan is a charming 10-room hotel housed inside a historic mansion, which is only accessible from the ski slopes or via a special snowmobile service all through the winter. A fine example of the renowned local hospitality, this cosy place has the perfect mix of traditions, beauty and premium amenities such as a nice fireplace, Finnish saunas and a stunning solarium where guests can enjoy the winter sun. 

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12.18.2018

The museum of the future found a home in Mestre, the other face of Venice. The name is M9 and it has great ambitions, even if it is brand new. First of all, M9 aims to take visitors on a journey through the 20th century, leveraging digital technologies to allow visitors to experience historical moments, forgotten landscapes, objects that have triggered revolutions and yet we have never seen or used. Secondly, it aspires to trigger the evolution of Mestre, a city which has grown over the decades as Venice’s industrial and productive branch and urgently needs to gain its own cultural identity. Last but not least, M9 is on its way to set a new standard by mixing sustainability and architecture, functionality and experimentation thanks to the solutions implemented by Berlin-based studio Sauerbach Hutton, which earned M9 the Leed Gold certification of the Green Building Council, the largest international sustainable construction organization. M9 is the heart of a new city ‘square’. Its three floors, hiding behind a multicolored façade,  are the hallmark of an urban space that includes seven structures with different ages, styles and uses: a former 16th-century convent, office buildings from the 1970s and three new structures. The common thread lies in a ‘smart’ concept: from the Museum to the Auditorium (over 280 square meters housing music and films), from the square benches to the shops, everything is connected, interactive, multimedia.  Fondazione Venezia, which conceived, financed and promoted the creation of M9, defines it as an ‘urban regeneration format’, a space-modulation concept that stimulates the exchange and sharing of ideas. At M9, the present is rooted in the past and becomes the main point of reference for building the future. The first two floors house the permanent exhibition on the 20th century, with thousands of objects, faces, events and images collected from 150 archives, selected and curated by a team of 47 experts, and rendered in a multimedia and interactive exhibition. Over 60 installations allow you to move within 3D reconstructions of environments or historical events, participating in an event or working in a factory from the beginning of last century. Digital displays and touch screens guide the exploration following each visitor’s specific interests, and at the same time interactive activities such as assembling and disassembling objects and electronic devices from the last decades are available for everyone to get an idea of how they work and how they are built. The museum includes 8 sections exploring the impetuous and contradictory evolution of 20th century Italy, which witnessed two World Wars and the economic boom, the doubling of the population, mass schooling, the transition from an agricultural economy to the advanced tertiary sector. Every aspect is covered, from the demographic and landscape evolution to consumption, customs, science, economy, public life and the progressive growth of a national identity.  The last section challenges visitors to understand what we are talking about today when we talk about being Italian, with a remarkable collection of views and opinions collected from around the world. The third floor houses the museum’s permanent exhibitions. Opening on December 22nd, L'Italia dei Fotografi. 24 Storie d’autorewill feature works by some of the most renowned Italian photographers including Letizia Battaglia, Ferdinando Scianna, Giovanni Chiaromonte, Gabriele Basilico, Maurizio Galimberti and Francesco Jodice.  

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12.17.2018

It is undisputed truth that hot spring baths are exceptionally beneficial to the body, initiating the recovery of organ function and from fatigue, eliminating lactic acid and easing muscle pain and arthritis. By warming the body, they also contribute in activating metabolism and the calorie-burning process. Lastly, sulphur waters are natural cures for acne and blemishes on the skin. If you are in Tokyo, there are a few places that you easily access on a leisurely one-day or weekend trip. Hiratsuru (Atami, Shizuoka)Atami is known as a historical hot spring resort, but in particular, Hiratsuru is a hot spring inn worth of attention, because of its rōtenburofilled with naturally warm water sourced directly from 300m underground. The open-air bath is an infinity pool perfectly integrated in the environment of Sagami Bay, with a scenic view of Yugawara and Atami. After soaking in it, wear a yukataand indulge in the delicious fresh seafood from the bay. Shima Yamaguchikan (Gunma)Shima Onsen is a long-established hot-spring town, where the accumulation of rain water fallen over 60 years ago gushes out in a warm, plentiful stream, rich in minerals which are instrumental in treating gastrointestinal disorder, movement disorder, rheumatism and wounds in general. Shimameans “forty thousands”, referring to the number of ailments the hot spring water is said to heal. Shima Onsen is located in the Shima river valley, where you can enjoy the sound of gushing water and birds in the trees, in a mystical ambience. Yumori Tanakaya (Nasushiobara, Tochigi)Due to its being located in the Nikkō National Park, Shiobara Onsen offers a magnificent view of mountains and valleys It has been one of the most renowned hot spring sanatoriums since as far back in time as 1200, and its mineral-rich baths still enjoys extraordinary popularity. The water contains a great deal of calcium and is drinkable. There is hardly anything more soothing than a long soak with the backdrop of the dales and vales of Nikkō. Hottarakashi Onsen (Yamanashi, Yamanashi)Hottarakashi is a hot spring destination located not too far from Tokyo, which is famous for its open-air baths covered by a “ceiling of starry skies”. There are two outdoor baths, one calledKotchi no yuand overlooking Mount Fuji,and the other called Atchi no yu, which is double the size of the former and offers the remarkable scenery of both Mount Fuji and the Kofu basin. The slightly alkaline hot-spring water is gentle to the skin and provides an effective treatment for neuralgia, muscle pain, joint pain, frozen shoulder, motor paralysis, bruised, sprains, poorblood circulation,fatigue, chronic gastrointestinal disease and so on.With a180°panorama, you can contemplatethe sunrising over Mount Fujiin the morningand setting in the evening, as well as reputedly one of the three greatest night sceneries of Japan.  

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We share journeys and homes. We buy things from all over the world without leaving our house. We share passions with people from every latitude. We don’t need to buy a car, a bicycle or a motorbike: we have hundreds available without ever owning any. And quite obviously, this is just the beginning. Have you ever found yourself in a foreign country in need of help to solve a problem that would have been trivial at home and yet seems impossible there? Have you ever thought about asking for a ride on a private plane? The sharing economy has a peer-to-peer platform for just about everything. Just ask and it will be given to you! WinglyIf you should ever find yourself longing for a ride on a private plane in the UK, try Wingly, the platform that connects pilots and passengers organizing flights on private airplanes for 2 to 6 passengers BookMochWhile it is hard to part from a book that you loved, it is also virtually impossible to have enough space to store all the books of your life. BookMoch solves the problem by giving everyone the opportunity to exchange books by only paying for the shipping costs.  MeetngreetmeRussian-born Elena Shrakubo, from Denver (Colorado, USA), launched an app that works as a social concierge service putting locals in touch with visitors and newcomers in need for tips on what to visit, how to settle, or simply have fun and discover the best of the city. CourtsoftheworldBasketball has no borders. Whether you want to train or socialize during a trip, this platform offers an almost global overview of the outdoor basketball courts available around the world. Get there and see who's playing or contact online registered local players to organize a match. MealsharingExoticism is a relative concept, and what’s new and exciting to us may be someone’s grandma's old recipe. Mealsharing is a worldwide food lover community offering everyone the opportunity to experiment with the dishes they grew up with. Pick a type of cuisine, find the closest expert, choose the formula and take part in a meal that is a way to experience food "in the family", immersing yourself into history and tradition.  

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The judges of RIBA Prize probably did not imagine that, to take a look one of the projects in their final shortlist, they would have had to go as far as to the edge of the Amazon Rainforest, in northern Brazil, a few hundred kilometers north of Brasilia. And yet, right here in this remote part of the world with such an extreme climate condition, they saw the greatest ambition of architecture materialize: becoming a tool for social change. The Children Village is a building complex designed to accommodate over 500 children between 13 and 18 years during the school week. Each of them gets there via long and difficult routes, and along streets often made impracticable by the weather, the heavy rains and an average temperature above 40 Celsius degrees.  But once they get there, they’ll find is a "home away from home" where they can study and be together, sleep in comfortable rooms and share recreational spaces. Acknowledging of the value of education as a driving force for the human and professional growth of young people, the Bradesco Foundation, which commissioned the project, has accompanied and assisted over 100,000 children in their path of education since 1956, bringing schools and accommodation to the most remote areas of Brazil. Architecture studios Aleph Zero and Rosenbaum have given form to this ambition and chosen a precise path, using materials, shapes and structures that are typical of traditional Brazilian architecture, and chenged them to meet the specific needs of the place. The two main buildings that make up the Children Village, identical and specular, are made with local raw materials processed using local techniques. Blocks of soil have been turned into walls with natural thermoregulating properties and local wood has been used for the frame in order to make the buildings look familiar to the community and blend with the surrounding landscape. With "humble heroism", as the award jury pointed out, the designers integrated local materials and building techniques into contemporary aesthetics, putting themselves in the shoes of the boys and girls who will experience this place on an everyday basis to allow them to feel comfortable and at ease. 

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12.06.2018

Thisis the time of the year in which the new brew of sake is ready for consumption.When one thinks of a sake brewery, the first image that comes to mind is a place buried deep in the countryside. However, there is a number of historic saka-gurawhich can be easily accessed from Tokyo, where one can taste new sake accompanying a delicious meal. Sake breweriesare generally signalled by a sugidama, aball made from sprigs of Japanese cedar, traditionally hung in the eaves. Sake brewers used to be affluent families, thus considered as royalty in the different areas. Production of sake is carried out during October and November, using the rice harvested in the autumnThe new sake will be ready by December and a green sugidamawill be hung to announce it. The “Brewing Year” (acronym: BY), encompasses a twelve-month periodfrom 1st July to 30th Juneof the following year.The sake sold in December and January is called shiboritate, “freshly pressed”OzawaSake Brewery (Ōme, Tokyo)Ozawa Sake Brewery is located in Okutama, in the Western part of the Tokyo Metropolis, and it is renowned for its Sawanoi branded sake and tōfu. Sawanoicomes from Sawai-mura, the former name of the Okutama area, known for its clear area, lush greenery and excellent rice. In the restaurant “Mamagoto-ya”Mama”,directly managed by Sawanoi, you can enjoy the sake paired withflavourful tofu and yuba(tofu skin)dishes. IshikawaSake Brewery (Fussa, Tokyo)Ishikawa Sake Brewery isa historic sake brewery composedof six buildings designated asTangible Cultural Properties of Japan. Historical materials of sake brewingare displayed in the historical centre ofthe sake brewery.In addition to the famous labels Yaezakuraand Tamajiman, the company has brewed beer under the name Japanese Beer since 1888. Amongst the many premises, there is also a restaurant called Fussa no Beer Koya, where you can savour wood-fired pizza and seasonal dishes, while enjoying the dignified view of the brewery from your outdoor terrace seat or next-to-the-window table. Kumazawa Sake Brewery (Chigasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture)Kumasawa Sake Brewery is considered the last remaining sake brewery in the Shōnan area. Established in 1872, the company continues to produce craft sake on a small scale, in accordance with Shonan’s climate. Brands include Tensei, Shokō, Kumazawa, Shōnan and Kamakura Shiori, as well as unfiltered beer made with water sourced from an aquifer that comes from the Tanzawa mountains. Refurbished in the style of the Taishō Era (1912-1926), Kuramoto Ryōri Tensei is a restaurant where you can enjoy a glass of newly-brewed sake with dishes based on a few core ingredients, namely rice, water, fish and vegetables. Yamanashi Meijo (Hokuto, Yamanashi Prefecture)Known for its supreme quality sake Shichiken, which has been made with the pure water of Hakushūsince 1750, the brewery is located in the Southern Alps, which were added to the UNESCO biosphere reserve list in 2014. Its restaurant Daiminserves seasonal menus with rice, vegetables and fruits of the Hakushu area. Popular dishes include salmon pickled in malted rice and wasabi pickled in soy sauce.  

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12.05.2018

Travelling from Ferrara towards the Adriatic Sea, you may stumble into a mirage: in the middle of the plain, not far from the delta of river Po, the imposing architecture of Tresigallo appears out of nowhere, with its perfect geometries, evanescent colors and unexpectedly tall towers. Also known as "The Metaphysical City", Tresigallo actually looks  like the three-dimensional version of a work by the famous Italian Metaphysical painter Giorgio De Chirico, or the life-size planning model of an ideal city. Truth be told, Tresigallo is a mix of both elements. It has the driving force of Futurism and the architectural rigor of Rationalism, blended to build a utopian city from scratch with the aim of creating a place where entrepreneurs and peasants would live side by side, where the land and its fruits would coexist with the factories needed both to process them and to manufacture farm machinery, eventually reviving an area otherwise destined to be abandoned. Everything started between 1933 and 1939, when Edmondo Rossoni, a native of the village, became the Minister of Agriculture and gathered the resources needed to carry out an ideal emancipation of this farmlands, previously exploited as extensive agricultural estates. As a consequence, the small rural community expanded to reach 12,000 inhabitants, an impressive growth abruptly interrupted by the beginning of the Second World War, which caused the local population to decrease. Ad of today, Tresigallo has barely 4,000 inhabitants, a sparse population which makes the majesty of its architecture appear even more surreal. To visit Tresigallo means to walk inside the idea of ​​a city, an idea guided by the principles of Rationalism and the undisputed primacy of function over form, of the utilitarian function  of buildings and objects: to quote Louis Henry Sullivan, architect and founder of American Modernism, "form ever follows function". The orderly appearance and the cleanliness of the elements is a direct consequence of this principle: design must be comprehensible, and every form of decoration is an element of potential confusion. The overall balance must produce a sense of quiet, the result of the harmony between aesthetics and engineering. Finally, the most debated point: the Rationalists’ belief that prioritizing function would automatically generate beauty. Today, the story of this forgotten city is safeguarded and passed on by the localTorri di Marmoassociation, which invites architecture students to enter this village suspended in time to actually experience what they have been studying in books, feeling with every sense how architectural thinking can transform space and shape our everyday life and perceptions. Visiting Tresigallo is a literally unique experience, a veritable journey into beauty, history and architecture.  

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11.26.2018

Among the Art Deco buildings of the Porta Venezia district in Milan, hiding in a quiet courtyard, Stamberga is a special place that contains multitudes. Part tea room, part bookshop and part art gallery, Stamberga houses design, art, fashion and travel magazines and books and a permanent black & white photo exhibition called Spiritus featuring the work of Marco Beretta, a traveller and the founder of Stamberga, focusing on Tibetan monasteries. We met Marco to learn more about the journey that led him to create Stamberga. SJ: How do you choose the objects and books for Stamberga? MB: Every single title, object or detail is chosen, desired and conceived following a thin thread that links everything. Choice is a process, emotional at first and then rational. The search, instinctive and continuous, is always followed by a pause that makes the sensations settle. At Stamberga, form and meaning are are inseparable: the aesthetics anticipates the content, the content confirms the aesthetics. SJ: Stamberga is a space with an urban DNA whose definition goes beyond the classic genre boundaries, yet the idea of travel seems to be at the core of it. MB: When I look at Stamberga, I get the real meaning of the term ‘contamination’: a harmonious fusion of elements of different origins. And I guess this is rooted in travel: for 30 years, I have been travelling extensively and meeting the most diverse people, going from a Tibetan monastery to a concept store in New York, sleeping in a tent on the Himalayan plateau and in the Burj Khalifa skyscraper in Dubai, travelling by train from Beijing to Ulanbataar and then on a Royal Enfield motorbike in India, visiting a museum in Santiago de Chile and an artisan shop in Burma or a gallery in Berlin, eating sashimi in Tokyo and snake soup in Hong Kong. And finally, one of my greatest passions: drinking tea, be it a cup of green tea in Shanghai or a mint black tea in Riyadh. SJ: Which cities or countries contributed the most to shaping your taste?MB: Burma and India. Paris and Tokyo. These are the places where I always want to go back. SJ: Auberge Thé Bleu, the tea served at Stambrga, is your creation: tell us about the orifin of this project.MB: I have learnt the pleasure and the art of tea in over 25 years spent traveling to Chinaas an international fashion manager. Once I ran out of the supplies accumulated throughout that period, I looked for small shops in Europe that could bring back that flavor and above all that spirit, so slow and far from mass consumption. Only in Paris did I find something similar, so I decided to make a dream of mine come true and become a tea merchantmyself. I contacted pure tea importers, became a tea sommelier, came up with a flavor list, made a selection of 25 types of tea and finally created a brand and a concept that reflected my ideas and experience. The Auberge Thé Bleu imagery is inspired by the colonial period, the atmospheres of French Indochina, the vessels of the East India Company and to out-of-time quiet of Tibetan monasteries SJ: Are tea rituals and aesthetics part of Auberge Thé Bleu's identity?MB: They are an essential and indispensable part of it. In the Far East, the gestures and the rituals are the essence of care and attention. Like Stamberga itself, Auberge Thé Bleuaims to evoke perceptions and to express ideas and intuitions.  

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11.22.2018

When architect Albert Baert designed La Piscine in Roubaix at the beginning of the 20th century, he certainly could not imagine that a gallery of modern art sculptures would have found room in the large 40-meter-long central pool. Yet this is exactly what happened: a century later, La Piscine – André Diligent Museum of Art and Industry in Roubaix repurposed this huge Art Deco architectural complex transforming it from a spa into a museum attracting over 200,000 visitors a year to this corner of France set in the so-called French Flanders. One thing has not changed, tough: La Piscine has always been and still is at the heart of Roubaix, a place where the many different souls of this city meet. Roubaix is ​​an industrial city, the capital of the French textile industry from the late 19th century to the mid-20th century, until the country’s productive geography began to change. As a beacon of industrial mechanics and a source of great fortune (the famous La Redoutemail order company was born here), Roubaix increasingly lost its historical and social identity and its role. La Piscine recovers and transfigures the historical, material and evolution heritage of the city and transforms it into experience by distributing it in chronological and thematic order in the spaces of its most iconic public building, where all the notable families of the city once spent their free time. The Roubaix Industry Museum, founded in 1835, offers its heritage in the fields of science and the applied - arts, fashion, design and ceramics. The works of fine art, sculptures and paintings that bear the signatures of Giacometti, Rodin, Claudel and Picasso among others, celebrate beauty and creativity and complete the collection that earned La Piscine the title of National Museum of Industry and the Arts. The transformation from pool into museum took place in two stages under the guidance of architect Jean-Paul Philippon. After the closure of the swimming pools in 1985, the year 2001 marked a new beginning and the opening of the museum, which can be reached by following the long red brick wall of the old adjacent cotton mill.  The first renovation brought back to its original splendor of the Art Deco mosaics that surrounded the central pool and the thermal baths with their surrounding public spaces, where the over 70,000 artifacts and works of art from the museum’s collection are now exhibited: the sculptures are on display in the central pool, the paintings in the rooms of the side spa baths and the selection of ancient textile artifacts, from Ancient Egypt to today, in the spaces that once housed the showers, turned into display cases.  The natural light from the large colored windows adds further charm to the layout, accounting for its definition given by the prestigious Journal des Artsas “the most beautiful French museum outside of Paris”. On October 20, 2018, after two years of works, the new renovation of the museum was inaugurated with the addition of three new areas created by Jean Paul Philippon, in perfect harmony with the style of the existing buildings. These new spaces, covering over 2,000 square meters, will house additional services for the visitors (particularly for children) and exhibition areas devoted to the history of Roubaix and to emerging local artists. In addition to the permanent collection, until the beginning of 2019 La Piscine-Roubaix will present three main exhibitions focusing respectively on Hervé di Rosa, a contemporary French painter, and to works by Pablo Picasso and Alberto Giacometti: the sculpture Man With Sheepand the Portrait of Rol-Tanguy, a hero of the French resistance. In both cases, the works are the perfect excuse to tell about the historical and biographical context that produced them, interweaving history and art as it is in the nature of this literally unique museum. 

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11.15.2018

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

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11.09.2018

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

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11.07.2018

This autumn, visit a museum. Revel in the art on display, then linger in the café. Just sit and spend some time away from the hustle and bustle of the city in a design setting, with a titbit and a spectacular garden laid out before you. Mitsubishi Ichigōkan Museum: Café 1894Inaugurated in 1894,not long after the commencement of Japan’s diplomatic relations with the foreign world, the original building, faithfully recreated in 1968, was designed by British architect Josiah Conder in the Queen Anne style, which was revived and was all the rage at the turn of the twentieth century. The permanent collection revolves around works by Western artists of the late nineteenth century, such as Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Odilon Redon and Félix Vallotton. After seeing the collection, you can relax in the classic ambience of the café. Open from 11am to 11pm, it is perfect for lunch, tea or dinner. Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum: Café TeienBuilt in 1933as the residence of the Paris-educated Prince and Princess Asaka, it was opened to the public as an art museum in 1983. The interiors, from the wall decorations to the furniture and the lighting fittings, are some of the finest examples of Art Deco. The entrance, the grand drawing room, the great hall and the study room boast decorations by master artists such as René Lalique and Henri Rapin. Art Deco aside, the palace is also famous for its lush garden - teienin Japanese - with a quiet café overlooking the greenery, which will make it hard for you to believe you are in the city centre. The National Art Centre: Salon de Thé “Rond”The centre was inaugurated in 2007, with a design by Kishō Kurokawa, one of Japan’s most representative and prolific architects. Notwithstanding its lack of a permanent collection, it is a lively art centre and the country’s largest exhibition space. There are one restaurant and three cafés, each with a different style but a common characteristic, that is providing a relaxing space in a magnificent setting. Le Salon de The Rond is a tearoom sitting atop a gigantic inverted cone, named after the round shape of its elegant location, where visitors can enjoy the delicacies on the menu in an art-drenched atmosphere. Nezu Museum: Nezu CaféRight at the heart of the fashion district, at a short walk from Omotesandō, is Nezu Museum,which accommodatesthe private collection of pre-modern Japanese and East Asian art of Kaichirō Nezu, a businessman who served as the president of Tōbu Railway. The lush garden makes full use of the natural undulation of the soil, creating a scenic landscape of hills and denes. There are four tea houses in the park, which are also used for tea ceremonies.  The newly-built Nezu Café provides a magnificent shelter from the madding crowd, with blend coffee, meat pies, matcha and sweets, both traditional and Western-fashioned.  Hara Museum: Café d’ArtStyled as a 1930s Western mansionby Jin Watanabe, also known for his design of the Tokyo National Museum in Ueno Park and Ginza Wakō Building, Hara Museum opened in 1979, when it was one of the few institutions in Japan focusing on modern art. It is regarded as one of the symbols of modernism in Japan, with a garden delineated by smoothly curving lines and the relaxing Café d’Art within. 

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11.02.2018

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

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10.26.2018

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

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10.26.2018

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

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

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10.18.2018

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

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10.12.2018

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

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10.09.2018

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

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10.05.2018

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

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

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09.27.2018

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

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09.27.2018

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

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09.21.2018

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

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09.19.2018

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

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09.17.2018

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