Proton International 2017
Italy is well known for its gelato. Gelato is the Italian word for ice cream, so you could think that gelato and ice cream are the same. There is however a difference between them. Gelato is generally lower in fat, higher in sugar and typically contains less air than other types of ice cream. These differences are what gives gelato a dense, milky texture in comparison to other ice creams. Gelato is also served at a slightly higher temperature than ice cream. If you freeze gelato, it will become very hard, which is not desirable.
In Milan and Bologna, there are of course many gelato shops. I never tried the gelato at these shops myself, but according to the internet these shops are worth a try (and many more but then the list would become too long).
Latte Neve, Via Vigevano 27: This gelateria opened in 2014 but since then has impressed with gelato made from organic and locally sourced ingredients wherever possible. The chocolate and pistachio flavours are real standouts.
La Gelateria della Musica, Via Giovanni Enrico Pestalozzi 4: This shop is known for its incredible range of flavours. It is the place to come for original ice cream creations such as Bread Butter & Jam, Chocolate Bacon, and Red Velvet Cake. The shop is very popular, which means you could be waiting in line for a long time.
Il Massimo del gelato, Via Lodovico Castelvetro 18: This is a traditional ice cream parlour offering elegant flavours. Refining the classics is what they do best; they are most famous for offering ten different flavours of chocolate alone.
La Sorbetteria di Castiglione, Via Castiglione 44: The line at this shop is often very long. A recommendation is the “Dolce Emma” which is a creamy golden blend of diced caramelized figs, ricotta, and lemon.
Cremeria Santo Stefano, Via Santo Stefano 70: This shop is really tiny and charming. The "7 churches cream" or "Baraccano's chocolate" flavours are recommendations. They also sell a brioche con gelato, which is an Italian ice-cream sandwich where gelato put into a brioche bread bun.
Galliera 49, Via Galliera 49b: Galliera 49 has Seasonal and organic fruit flavours and great classics such as rum chocolate or mediterrean cream. If you are looking for their best, you must try their granita.
Shopping in Milan
Together with Paris, Milan is the fashion capital. At least twice a year some of the largest and best fashion shows in the world take place here. This is a reason why numerous shops of famous designers and expensive luxury brands can be found here. The most famous streets for those kind of shops are Via Monte Napoleone and Via della Spiga, they are also known as the Quadrilatero della Moda. Literally translated it means quadrangle of fashion. Most tourist walk through the streets without buying anything, because the prices are very high here.
However when you're going to shop at the larger international chains, the prices are comparable to the major European cities. A warning (for the women): be aware that the sizes in Italy are much smaller than in the Netherlands. It can be a difference of 3 or 4 sizes compared to the Netherlands.
Piazza del Duomo is seen as the heart of the shopping center. This is mainly because a few important shopping streets end at the Piazza del Duomo. Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is on the right of the square. This is one of the places you have to visit, only to enjoy the beauty of this place. The prices are probably a little bit over budget because of the expensive stores located there.
On the east side of Piazza del Duomo begins the busiest shopping street of Milan: Corso Vittorio Emanuele II. This is a car free street of only a few hundred meters, but it has by far the largest numbers of shops per square meter. In this street mainly big brand names that are accessible to a broader audience can be found. This street is going through Piazza S. Babila to Corso Venetia and down Corso Buenos Aires. These streets are interesting for people who are looking for a nice mix of well-known chains and local stores.
Southwest of Piazza del Duomo is a shopping street that is more aimed at a younger audience: Via Torino.
At last I want to conclude with a site full of translations that you may need when shopping: http://www.italie.nl/winkelwoordenlijst/2987/default.html
Most people think “Spaghetti alla Bolognese” is a dish from Bologna, unfortunately you will not find this dish on the menu in Bologna. Only fresh pasta (from eggs and flour) like Tagliatelle is being served. The Bolognese crisps found in green packaging in the Netherlands isn’t from Bologna either, it's just an invention of the crisp factory. When you ask for Bologna Sauce in a restaurant in Bologna you will get ragu of carrots, onions, pork, veal and just a bit of tomato. The ragu is served with fresh made Tagliatelle.
The dishes on the menu in Bologna differ from the those in Ferrara or Modena. So what dishes can be found on the menu in Bologna? Here are a couple of examples. Antipasta (starters) consist of Parma Ham, Mortadella (Italian sausage), Balsamic vinegar and Culatello (cured meat). First courses on the menu are Tagliatelle al ragù, Tortellini in brodo (filled ring shaped pasta), lasagna (layers of pasta with layers of suace, made with ragu). Bollito misto is vegetables and various meats, such as chicken, beef, and sausage, simmered together and usually served with an anchovy-garlic sauce. Desserts served apart from Tiramisù are Zuppa Inglese (It is made with liquor, Rosolio or Marsala, soaked in a sponge cake, custard and cocoa powder) and Raviole are typical hoven cooked short crust pastry cakes from Bologna. Try one of these delightful dishes when visiting Bologna!
Music has always been a cultural marker of Italian identity; it holds an important position in society and politics. In the 16th century, an integral part of the Italian musical culture developed: opera. The earliest known composition is , and tells the story of Apollo falling in love with the nymph Dafne.
In 1637, Venice properly started an opera theatre. It was necessary to stage the same show many times to deal with the high costs of the production. Soon it became fashionable to go to the theatre: opera was entertainment by itself and was able to tell a great story. Rossini, Bellini and Verdi are some examples of native Italian composers who created some beautiful pieces of music. They successfully expressed the feelings and anxieties of the current Italian society.
Nowadays, there are still some beautiful opera theatres where this form of art is performed. The world famous Teatro alla Scala in Milan is regarded as one of the leading opera and ballet theatres in the world. Tickets are hard to get hold off, but there are some free shows, so if you want to experience the Italian music scene, a visit to Teatro alla Scala should be definitely on your list!
Did you know...?
...that pizza's were invented in the 19th century in Naples?
...that the thermometer was an Italian invention?
...that the average Italian consumes almost 100 liters of wine a year (compared to 20 liters for an average Dutchman)?
...that the national dish of Italy is pasta?
...that Italy has the most hotelrooms than any other country in Europe?
...that the eldest, still existing university in Europe is located in Bologna?
...that Florence was the capital of Italy from 1865 to 1871?
...that many Italian children keep living with their parents until they are thirty years old?
...that tiramisu, maybe the best known Italian dessert, means literally 'lift me up' that in its turn stands for 'make me happy'?
...that on many buildings in Italy you find the letters 'SPQR'? This stands for the latin 'Senatus Populusque Romanus', the senate and the people of Rome, the phrase which served as the official name of the Roman Empire.