SCARPA, Zanotti, Superga. For aficionados of Italian style sneakers these are part of the pantheon of fashionable athletic foot gear. Casual shoes that have transitioned from hard core sports to become haute shoe couture. One of our favorites is SCARPA sneakers inspired by the climbing culture of Italy’s Montebelluna region in the Northern Veneto. A shoe lovers paradise (Geox and Trezeta are also based here), SCARPA, which by the way means shoe in Italian, is also an acronym for the Società Calzaturiera Asolana Riunita Pedemontana Anonima, which means Associated Shoe Manufacturing Company of the Asolo Mountain Area, a part of Italy well-known for handcrafted footwear. The cult classic SCARPA Mojito Suede Sneaker would be a prize addition to anyone’s kick collection. Made from Italian leather it traces its lineage to the traditions of hiking, trekking and mountaineering shoes for which the company is known for.
Revered worldwide for their style, materials and an unrelenting attention to quality and craftsmanship, Italian shoes are part of a unique tradition that makes them on my shopping radar when traveling in Italy or back in the States.
If Italy in 30 seconds has whet your appetite for more, may we recommend our sister blog Seeing and Savoring Italy for unconventional travelers who want to experience Italy on more than a “show and tell tour”. We write about travels in Italy with our Italian family and friends that focus on the culinary and cultural traditions of regional Italian food. Seeing many of the iconic sites of Italy a little differently, outside the tourist flow to places Italians enjoy when traveling in their own country. We want to inspire you discover the “fatal charm of Italy that can be found nowhere else”.
I guarantee you’ll never think of Italy the same afterwards and never think about having a cappuccino after 12:00 noon.
Some of our favorite posts
Truffles and Termes in Tuscany
The Pope Slept Here
21 Undeniable Signs You’ve Traveled in Italy (on more than a “show and tell tour”)
My Italian Ghost
If you’re like us you like T-shirts. They’re comfortable, fairly cheap and go with almost anything. We especially like them if they have some connection to Italy. Not the ones that say Italian Stallion or Keep Calm and Eat Pasta but those made with Italian sprezzatura, a well-practiced naturalness, an almost effortless sense of style that belies considered thought and effort.
That’s why we like these T-shirts by Sangue who uses the natural environment of his hometown in southern Italy as inspiration for a unique set of silk screened designs.
Masterful mixology on a stick. Sweet summer cantaloupe and the bitter Italian aperitivo Campari. A delicious contrast that turns a childhood favorite into an adult popsicle treat. Crisp, tart and refreshing. A great way to beat the heat and enjoy the last call for Summer.
You’ve opened a bottle of your favorite wine, enjoyed a few glasses and now it’s time to go. There are several ways to preserve the remains of the day but if you’re looking for an easy, light-weight, collapsible container to pack and enjoy your wine wherever you go the PlatyPreserve made by Cascade offers a portable system that promises to keep your vino enjoyable for weeks.
The Seattle-based, outdoor gear company designs hydration and water filtration systems for backcountry hikers, bikers and campers and repurposed the technology to preserve wine. The PlatyPreserve stores the remains of each bottle in a sealable pouch safe from oxygen exposure. If not properly preserved wine can go bad in as little as 2 to 8 hours so protecting the taste of an opened bottle of wine by completely eliminating the presence of oxygen means that it can live a little longer and you have the flexibility to enjoy another glass at your leisure.
Straight or curved? Which frothing pitcher do you prefer? Many baristas choose one with a curved body. They feel that the curved shape helps the milk to swirl better when frothing from the steam wand of an espresso and cappuccino maker. Those who like a low belly, curved frothing pitcher say that it induces the milk to swirl into a frenzy of froth.
Others are committed to going straight. Espresso pros prefer the straight sided pitcher to create contest winning latte art. A quick web search noted that size not shape is what matters most (12 oz) and pouring performance – meaning a long, narrow, pointy spout.
When all is said in done, although the bell-shaped pitchers accommodate more space for circulating in the milk, most found the straight-sided vessels to produce more reliable microfoam throughout the milk, plus they can be much easier to pour from.
Which do you prefer?
*a guide to frothing milk
According to the Business Insider for only $333,057 (that’s 245,000 euros) you can buy an Italian village on Ebay. The northwestern borgo of Calsazio located in the Comune della Valle Orco is FOR SALE. Near the Gran Paradiso National Park just 50 miles from the city of Turin, in an area that was once part of a royal hunting reserve for King Vittorio Emanuele II, a quaint, if slightly run down town with 14 timber and stone houses need some TLC. The townspeople are hoping to find a buyer to renovate and breathe new life into their Alpine village that has experienced a decline in the population as young people head for the cities in search of work.
Described as a “real fixer upper”(meaning that it is in need of significant renovation work in order to meet certain architectural and historical standards), the appeal and romanticism of an abandoned Italian house in need of some tender loving care is the stuff of Frances Mayes’ 1996 memoir Under the Tuscan Sun. The idea of renovating and repurposing old and abandoned things has become popular these days. Depressed economic times lend themselves to innovative solutions. Repurposed suitcases, truck springs, bicycle tires, car parts and coffins are featured on this bloggers FIXR site. But tackling a whole village takes a village and although the property has been described as a bargain to buy, fixing it up may require the likes of a Brunello Cucinelli.
*in 1985 Cucinelli began buying up and restoring the almost in ruins town of Solomeo, near Perugia in Umbria as a home for his cashmere business