Showing posts from November, 2018

Holiday shopping, Italian Style!

So it's that time of year again when you need gifts for friends and family and guess what?  Some of those folks are hard to buy for!  How many years can you give a dude a tie?  Or your mother yet another bathrobe? Let's talk Italian gifts and get you out of the gift giving slump you've been in (whether you know it or not)!

If you were in Italy, you could hit one of the many outdoor Christmas markets where in addition to hand crafted goods, you could sample local cuisines with a glass of mulled wine while listening to live music or watching various performers.  The 2 minute video below from Siim V gives you a lovely glimpse into the Milano market.

Sounds delightful, yes?  Agreed, but if that's not a possibility for you this year (it's not for us!), let's get you hooked up with Italian gifts minus the plane trip.

Before I get into the options, just remember that you'll get free shipping on all orders over $50 (as always) so don't throw away money on shipp…

Trieste, Italy (la città del caffè) - Things to do

So my week in Trieste was mostly taken up with the 3 day Trieste Espresso Expo (which fyi, only happens once every two years so the next one will be in 2020 in case you're interested).  BTW, the Expo, while a trade show, had people there who were not in the business...students, families with strollers, etc.  The reduced entry 3 day ticket was 21 euro so a day pass without the reduced price couldn't have been more than 10 euro. 

When I wasn't at the show, I managed to squeeze in a couple of the sights below but there was so much more I wanted to do but didn't have time for.  Drop me a comment if you've been to any of these sites or have other ones I need to hit next time!

Castello di Miramare

 This was totally worth the trek outside of the city.  You had to catch the number 6 bus (there's a stop at the train station, Trieste Centrale) although I caught it closer to my B&B (you can read my review of this amazing place on TripAdvisor).  It was about a 30 minut…

Alessi La Cupola

Alessi – History Redux
My last post  provided a brief history of Alessi that I culled from their site. Additionally:
Alessi was founded in 1921 as a “Workshop for the processing of brass and nickel silver sheet metal, with foundry”, Alessi has always stood out for the high quality of its products. In almost a century of history, the company has gradually evolved to become one of the leading “Factories of Italian design”, capable of applying its expertise and excellence in design management to many different product types.
Alessi’s mission is now one of translating its quest for the most advanced cultural, aesthetic, design and functional quality into mass production. Alessi has been described as a “Dream Factory”, which uses its products to make people’s dreams come true, providing them with the Art and Poetry that they seek.

My Next Stove-top Espresso Machine
For my “Dream Factory”, once I’m given permission to purchase a new stove-top espresso machine (caffettiera), it will be La Cup…

Alessi Pulcina

Alessi – History
Before I get going on this post about Alessi and one of their products, I think it’s important to be transparent that much of the information I’m sharing is from their website. I’m posting it here only because I found their site to be a bit busy and cluttered, despite my love of their products.
I was thinking about this quote from founder Albert Alessi:
“A true design work must move people, convey emotions, bring back memories, surprise, and go against common thinking.”

I appreciate this thought because in a surprising way, using Alessi’s coffee makers CAN bring out emotions and memories in me and I love that feeling! Alessi has a strong bond with the traditions and cultural background of its area and continues to be synonymous with handcrafted objects produced with the help of machines. The northern Italian aesthetic is timeless and even though my family originates from the mezzogiorno, it’s still one Italy to me.
Alessi was founded in 1921, and the majority of Aless…

Trieste, Italy (la Città del Caffè) - Arrival and Lodging

Thanks to the 2018 Trieste Espresso Expo, I now know a few things about the lovely city of coffee, Trieste, Italy.  Let me break it down for you fellas...


The airport in Trieste is TINY.  Like one small terminal, about 6 check-in counters and one place to grab a bite to eat.  Because of that, it's super easy to navigate! 

I arrived, headed downstairs, bought my ticket for the train into Trieste at a machine (4,05 euro) and headed to the train station. This was the only trek to be made.  Once you exit the the terminal following the signs to the train station, you'll have about a 10-15 minute walk, complete with people movers.  There are also ticket machines on the tracks in case you missed the one in the terminal.  A reminder to validate that ticket in the machines on the platform before boarding the train.  There's generally one stop (Monfalcone) before you reach Trieste Centrale and the journey is about 30 minutes total.

I contemplated flying into Venice and then…

Hacking Italian Business

The Bialetti Moka
Yes, this blog title is a bit of click-bait, and let me tell you why. I recently read an article on Grub Street and I was drawn to the title and how alarmist it sounded: "The Maker Of The Moka Pot Could Go Out Of Business". This was the page title, but the article title was only slightly less panicky: "Italy’s Beloved Moka Pots Are in Danger of Going Extinct".
While it certainly is POSSIBLE that Bialetti could go out of business, that statement is a bit of a tautology, because couldn't ANY company go out of business? But let's not be too measured or reasonable and assume any bankruptcy is the beginning of the end. You know, kinda like Alitalia: "Global Carriers Line Up to Replace This Famous Dying Airline". If you're interested in a more sober assessment, the Grub Street article references a more detailed description of the situation on The Telegraph.

It reminds me of that line from The Godfather, when Michael said: "Hy…