Saturday, February 20, 2010

Italian music awards (Sanremo)

Every year, always on time as a Swiss train, here it comes Sanremo's Festival. It's a competition among italian singers, not exactly the best ones, just the ones who need to appear on tv or on newspapers. Usually they are too young or too old.
Just to excape to this all italian tradition I decided to sew instead of watching tv with the rest of the family. I found a pretty bag pattern, the Phoebe bag on artsy-crafty babe: it is very clear and easy to follow. So I grab some Ikea fabric I purchased last summer and here you are. I spent a nice evening and ended with a nice bag.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Orange-throwing battle, Ivrea 2010

Here in Ivrea there's a particular kind of Historical Carnival: they throw no confetti but oranges!

Orange throwers on foot wear different uniforms representing their team but no protection at all. Others are throwing oranges from horse-drawn carts, who wear protective masks. You can find the complete history of this carnival here.

So last week I find myself sewing a green and red uniform, for my little "tuchino", a friend lent us another and D2 told she wanted to join the battle but no uniform. Here we are, ready to go.

Before the battle there is an historical course, recalling the city’s liberation from tyranny dating back to Medieval times: a baron who starved the city was driven away thanks to a miller’s daughter who rebelled and roused the people to revolt

Many people a red stocking-like hat (Phrygian cap) as during the French Revolution, it says "I just want watch, please do not throw oranges to me". Tuesday everyone wore a team uniform or a red hat, even old ladies and toddlers, because this carnival is really part of the city and everyone wants to join.
No one blames the mess, just protect houses with heavy plastic or wood.

There are 9 throwing teams on foot and each one has a battle ground. We are Tuchini

There's a special place for the children, where they can throw oranges to the carts quite safely, that is people on the carts let the oranges fall without throwing.

In this video a bit of the battle among grown up.
It's the same in every battle ground: here's piazza Palazzo di Città (Town Hall Square), the field for Morte (death) and Picche (spade)

At the end there is a big party and the award of the winner team, chosen for courage, fairplay and better field decoration.

If next year you'll join us at the Orange Battle, wear trekking shoes: it can be slippery...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Sunday afternoon

It's sunday afternoon, all homeworks done, outside it's raining, siblings are playing something childish and mum is sewing: what can a 9 yo ask for? Hot chocolate, of course!

So here you are: the REAL hot chocolate, made by D

HOT CHOCOLATE (serves 4)

2 cups of milk

200 g dark chocolate (very important: choose good quality)

50 g sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

half teaspoon cinnamon

Mix everything, bring to boil on low heat and whisk for about 4 minutes or until it looks enough thick.


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Sweet valentine's day!

"To the world you may be one person,
but to one person you may be the world. "

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Gorgeous Sicily

Last week H and S went to Catania, in Sicily, to enjoy Sant'Agata celebrations. It's a very ancient tradition and it's still very popular among everyone.

Here you can see people offering beeswax candles, some of the candles are as big as a small tree!
The men with a white tunic and a black hat are not priests, but "devoti", a kind of Agatha's fan.

The "fercolo" is in silver and is on wheels; 2 ropes (each one 200 m long!) are secured to it and are pulled by hundreds "devoti".

To have an idea look at this video I found in YouTube

This year the weather was really good and so H took S to the sea.

These 2 pictures were taken at San Giovanni li Cuti. The rocks are black because they are made of lava from mount Etna, an active volcano close to Catania that is the largest active volcano in Europe.

No need to say that here in Piedmont the weather was slightly different...