Two women leaving soft footprints through city streets, country roads, and green mountain paths. Two friends with backgrounds in Fine Art Restoration and Art History who share an appreciation for simple pleasures and a passion for introducing others to Florence and beyond.
Angelica Turi - Tuscan, Licensed Environmental Guide. Elizabeth Namack - American, Licensed Tour Guide for Florence and Province
Sunday, December 26, 2010
Monday, December 20, 2010
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
After selling her ownership in the company she became part of the Duchy Originals project under Prince Charles, which encourages organic farming and sustainable goods. After moving to Italy, however, it was sun soaked Sicily - the light, the Mediterranean sea, the stone and marble buildings and the quality local products - which inspired her to go back into the soap business again. The company’s name Ortigia comes from one of the oldest sections of Syracuse, a town located in the south eastern part of Sicily. Ortigia was the greatest city in the Greek empire. This area of town was where Sue sat in an outdoor caffè pondering what to name her company when she decided, “Why not name it where I am sitting?”.
This Florentine company of Sicilian inspiration creates soaps, oils, salts and creams along with home products such as sachets, candles, and scents based on the natural and traditional essences found on the island. The products are made using only high quality primary ingredients such as lanolin, glycerin and olive oil. Sicilian lime, pomegranate, almond and neroli honey are just some of their fragrances. I think Zagara, or orange blossom, is my favorite. The packaging of the soaps is a work of art in itself – essential and modern styling but traditional at the same time, using colors which carry us off to southern shores.
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Christmas is getting closer and closer, as the coldest time of the year, even in Florence… grey damp winter weekends are great opportunity to stay home cooking and baking bread, trying new recipes and preparing cakes. Last week I followed step by step suggestions on how to bake bread, by watching the popular TV show, “La Prova del cuoco”. I said to myself… It looks a game for kids, so lets try it…
…And SURPRISE…the bread was so good that even my nephew Giovanni said, “Zia, why aren’t you a professional cook?!”
Here is the recipe for my homemade bread:
500 grams flour 00 (grano tenero)
500 grams semola
80 grams walnuts (optional)
3 table spoon Olive oil
600 grams water
yeast 20 grams melt in warm water.
- Stir flour and water in the bowl with a spoon. Add yeast with water & olive oil. Work a bit with your hands. Rest it for about 3 hours, by rolling and covering it in a dish towel (sprinkle with a little flour to avoid it sticking!). Place the dough in a bread pan lined with flour so it maintains its form. Then take the dough out and put it on a cutting board and simply fold it in four parts, outside in, like a handkerchief. Put the dough back in the bread pan and rest 1 more hour.
Bake the bread in a very hot oven for about 40 minutes at 180° C or .
PS: you could change this recipe by adding 600 grams of olives to replace olive oil.