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I TA L I A

PANORAM

2006

Pane Italiano www.panoramitalia.com


publisher’s note

This is the fifth issue of the magazine that focuses on the multifaceted and emerging Italian dimension of Canadian reality. We are very proud of it and the feedback from our readership makes us happy and eager to continue. It is the best reward for our strenuous efforts and hard work. The PanoramItalia team has once again set the standards very high both in the choice of the images and in the meticulous and thorough research of the content of each article. PanoramItalia is now a trilingual magazine. Besides Italian and English, we decided to incorporate French to pay heed to the many suggestions made to us by our francophone readers. A concerted effort was made to render the magazine appealing to the general public by increasing the number of life-style stories. A new section was added: people in business. Some prominent Montreal lawyers, insurance brokers and businessmen are profiled with a full-page black and white picture that creatively evokes their career. Starting with this issue PanoramItalia will be distributed across Canada. We extend an invitation to our readers to send us suggestions to feature stories and interesting people wherever they may be in this vast country of ours. Three jewels of Italian cuisine are featured: The gastronomic delicacies of Piemonte, Le Cinque Terre (Liguria) and Toscana are highlighted. Torino is the regional capital of Piemonte where the last Winter Olympic Games were held. An article illustrates for the Canadian audience, its rich culture, economy, history and architecture. Golden, crusty and delicious bread, a great Italian contribution to contemporary Canadian diet, appears on the front cover. A special section is devoted to a landmark of Italian Montreal: the Santa Cabrini Hospital with the annexed Casa di Riposo Dante for the elderly as well as an interview with Irene Giannetti, its general director. We hope you will find this issue interesting and stimulating. Our goal is to inform but also provide food for thought. We at PanoramItalia welcome your reactions. So, if you have any, do not hesitate to send them in. If you want to encourage us, the best way is to subscribe to our magazine or to purchase an ad. Enjoy your reading and à la prochaine!

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C’est notre cinquième édition. Notre magazine se veut l’expression de la complexe et émergeante dimension italienne de la réalité canadienne d’ aujourd’hui. Nous en sommes fiers et les réactions enthousiastes de nos lecteurs nous incitent à continuer. A vrai dire, elles constituent la meilleure récompense pour notre travail dur, difficile. Comme d’habitude nous avons donné beaucoup d’importance au choix des images et à la précision du contenu des écrits. A partir de ce numéro, Panoramitalia devient officiellement trilingue. Les articles sont rédigés en anglais, en italien et pour la première fois en français afin de satisfaire les nombreuses requêtes de nos lecteurs francophones.

Questa è la quinta edizione della rivista che sottolinea la complessa ed emergente dimensione italiana della realtà canadese. Ne siamo tanto fieri e le reazioni dei lettori ci colmano di gioia e sono sprone a continuare. Costituiscono anzi la migliore ricompensa per il duro e difficile lavoro da compiere. Come al solito sia la scelta delle immagini che l’ accuratezza del contenuto degli articoli è stata particolarmente curata. Da questo numero Panoramitalia diventa una rivista trilingue. Oltre all’ inglese ed all’ italiano alcuni articoli sono stati redatti in francese per dare adito alle numerose richieste dei nostri lettori francofoni.

Nous nous sommes efforcés de rendre notre magazine intéressant pour le grand public en augmentant le nombre de portraits biographiques dans la section « gens d’affaires » où paraissent les images en blanc et noir d’avocats, d’agents d’assurance ou de gens d’affaires. Les détailles du fond de la photo soulignent métaphoriquement leur activité respective. A partir de ce numéro la distribution de Panoramitalia se fait à travers le Canada. J’en profite pour inviter nos lecteurs, où qu’ils soient dans notre grand pays, à nous faire parvenir des suggestions sur des sujets ou bien sur des personnes intéressantes.

Un tentativo particolare è stato fatto per rendere la rivista interessante per il grande pubblico aumentando il numero di ritratti biografici, in particolare nella sezione, gente d’affari in cui compaiono diverse persone distintesi come avvocati, assicuratori, gente d’affari. Una foto in bianco e nero li ritrae con sullo sfondo dettagli che rimandano metaforicamente alle loro attività.

Dans cette édition nous soulignons l’excellence de trois joyaux de la cuisine italienne : celle du Piemonte, des Cinque Terre en Liguria et de la Toscana. Torino (Turin), le chef-lieu de la région Piemonte - où viennent de se terminer les Jeux Olympiques d’hiver-, est présenté dans sa richesse culturelle, économique, historique et architecturale. La page de couverture est donnée au pain fait à l’italienne, avec sa croûte savoureuse et dorée, une contribution importante à la diète canadienne contemporaine. Une section spéciale est dédiée à l’Hôpital Santa Cabrini, un des fleurons des réalisations italiennes à Montréal, et à sa directrice générale Irene Giannetti. On découvre aussi le rôle que la Casa di Riposo Dante joue pour donner des soins aux vieillards. Le but de Panoramitalia est d’informer mais, en même temps, de faire réfléchir. Nous espérons d’y être parvenu. Nous attachons beaucoup d’importance à vos réactions, chers lecteurs ; n’ayez pas de craintes à nous les envoyer. Un abonnement à Panoramitalia ou bien l’insertion d’une annonce publicitaire sont des moyens tangibles pour nous encourager et nous permettre de continuer dans notre travail. Bonne lecture et à la prochaine.

Da questo numero la distribuzione di Panoramitalia diventa pan-canadese. Colgo l’occasione per invitare i nostri lettori a farci pervenire da ogni angolo del nostro vasto paese suggerimenti su argomenti e persone interessanti da trattare. Particolare rilievo viene dato a tre gioielli della gastronomia italiana: la cucina del Piemonte, delle Cinque Terre in Liguria e della Toscana. Torino, il capoluogo del Piemonte dove si sono conclusi da poco i Giochi Olimpici Invernali, viene presentata al pubblico canadese che scopre la ricchezza della sua cultura, economia, storia ed architettura. La prima pagina è stata data al pane fatto all’italiana, che, con la sua saporita crosta dorata, costituisce un contributo importante alla dieta canadese contemporanea. Particolare attenzione è stata data ad uno dei fiori all’occhiello della Montreal italiana: l’Ospedale Santa Cabrini con l’annessa Casa di Riposo per anziani Dante illustrati dalla loro direttrice generale, Irene Giannetti. Scopo di Panoramitalia è di informare ma anche di far riflettere e crescere; ci auguriamo che questo numero assolva a questo compito con articoli interessanti. Le reazioni di voi lettori sono sempre graditissime; non esitate quindi a farcele pervenire. L’abbonamento alla rivista oppure un inserto pubblicitario sono i modi più tangibili per incoraggiarci e permetterci di continuare il nostro lavoro. Buona lettura!


contributors

Founding Editor / Publisher: Tony Zara Graphic design : CASSI DESIGN (514) 327-4404 www.cassidesign.com Conceptual Photographer Geraldo Pace (514) 915-0150 www.geraldo-pace.com Printer : Accent Impression Inc. (514) 337-7870 www.accentimpression.com

Tony Zara publisher of Panoramitalia, was

stories, and sharing her opinions. She’ll lecture

born in Guglionesi, Campobasso in 1954.

you on fashion, share a killer Portobello

He immigrated to Canada in 1962 along

mushroom recipe, and critique Nanni

with his parents, Adamo and Giulia, and his

Moretti’s latest film in a single breath. When

younger brother, Peter. A graduate of

she’s not running around town trying to find

Concordia University (1977), he worked in

the perfect cappuccino, this freelance journalist

industry for Xerox Canada and Kodak

is busy working for several publications

Canada before starting his own commercial

including The New Canadian Magazine,

printing company in 1989. While being

Flare and of course, Panoramitalia!

president of Accent Impression Inc. is a truly rewarding experience, his true passion is flying the Italian flag as high as possible through

Nicoletta Moncalero è nata il 15 dicembre

PANORAMITALIA.

del 1973 a Fossano, piccolo paese sperduto nella Provincia Granda, ovvero la provincia di

Writer: Filippo Salvatore Cuneo, dove vive e lavora sia per la carta Associate professor of Italian Studies at stampata che per la tv. Ma la sua grande passione Concordia University in Montreal, Filippo è la radio: ama raccontare di tutto, in particolare Salvatore recieved his Ph.D. from Harvard le partite del Cuneo volleyball. University. He is a specialist of Italiam cine-

PANORAMITALIA 9300 Henri-Bourassa West, Suite 100 Ville St. Laurent (Qc) H4S 1L5 Tel.: 514-337-7870 / Fax: 514-337-6180 or by e-mail at : info@panoramitalia.com We look forward to hearing from you!

ma, which he taught for ten years at the Mario Salvini è nato a Parma nel 1969. Ha University of Montreal. He is the author of giocato, con scarsi risultati, a baseball, in many books, four of which are Antichi e compenso ha imparato a leggere su La Moderni in Italia nel 600 (19870, Le Cinéma Gazzetta dello Sport, quotidiano sportivo de Paul Tana (1997) in collaboration with stampato su carta rosa, dove oggi può raccontare Anna Gural-Migdal, Fascism and the Italians

Translation by/par: BG Communications International Inc. 1100, boul. Crémazie Est, bureau 703 Montréal (Qc) H2P 2X2 Tél. : (514) 376-7919 / 1 800 870-7919 www.bgcommunications.ca

di baseball, volleyball, rugby e beach-volley of Montreal (1998), and Ancient Memories, Modern

Identies,

Italian

Roots

in From brand identities to communication

Contemporary Canadian Authors (1999), brochures, web sites to packaging concepts, and editor of the volume1, Protagonisti large projects or small, Cassi Design has

2006

Paper: Chorus Art Silk, Cover & Text Cartiere Burgo Publications Mail Agreement # 40981004 Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to circulation dept. 9300 Henri-Bourassa West, Suite 100 Ville St. Laurent (Qc) H4S 1L5 email: info@panoramaitalia.com

Italiani di Montreal (2000). devoted itself to delivering design excellence. Born in Parma in 1969, Ignazio Blanco,

Founded in 1995 by Julie Siciliano and

holds a Doctorate degree in Economy and a

Flano Castelli, Cassi Design is a full-service

Master’s in Marketing. After having worked

agency with an intimate studio culture. Its

in the industrial sector in Europe, he was

talented staff have made it their goal to provide

transferred to Canada in 1998, to manage

the highest quality of service. Attention to

operations for an Italian-based company.

detail, unique marketing and design experience

Since 2000, he is the General Director of

and highly creative minds are what makes the

Alfagomma Canada.

Cassi team so special. We are thankful to our prestigious clients for their continued support.

Since she first learned to speak, Shauna Hardy has adored talking to people, telling

At Cassi Design, we’re crafting communications!


letters to the publisher Con molto piacere scrivo queste poche righe di congratulazioni per il vostro splendido lavoro che incessantemente diffonde la nostra cultura e fa conoscere le nostre radici italiche. La vostra rivista sqisitamente rilegata ed illustrata fa onore alla nostra comunita'. Leggo la vostra rivista con molto piacere ed aspetto con ansia la prossima pubblicazione. Con l'augurio che il 2006 sia ricolmo di tanto successo! auguri a tutto il personale di "PANORAMITALIA". Un caro saluto particolare al Sig. Tony Zara, Pino Asaro e Filippo Salvatore. con sincera amicizia Aida Ruggiero (Stellato) Hi Tony, I know I expressed my delight with the magazine through our phone conversations, but I want to put in writing my feelings that your last cover was simply delicious and inviting! I have heard so many positive comments from people like myself wishing that there would be more publications per year. Your work and accomplishment is truly exceptional and I am proud to have been associated with such a distinguished and unique publication. Thanks for encouraging us to be proud of our heritage! Isabella Caporicci I enjoyed your issue (fiore di zucchini) immensely. I read all the letters and stories and wanted to read more. I found out a few things about my past from reading your articles. I am also an immigrant and landed in Nova Scotia in 1965, but I do not remember the Corn Flakes affair as I was only 5 then. I am very interested in receiving the 2004 issues, if possible. I'm sure I missed out on something good. Would you please let me know how I can acquire these issues. Thanks and please keep writing. Lucy Longo I have read the last 2 issues of PanoramItalia and want to thank you for the attention you pay to the role of faith and family in our culture. I was impressed with the story of the young man who was a rebelious teenager but then found his calling in religious life. It was a great story of how God works in our lives. I commend PanoramItalia for breaking from convention and taking the step to venture into the topics of faith and religion for it is still a foundational aspect in our Italian culture. The history of the Catholic faith and the Italian culture are intertwined and have shaped one another and this facet of our identity continues to evolove and mature. I encourage PanoramItalia to continue to present such articles to the Italian community and continue the dialogue between our faith, family and culture. David Lombardi Founder of www.famiglia.ca

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Egregio Sig. Zara, Non ancora ho finito di leggere l'edizione 2005 primavera-estate, ma non posso astenermi di più da inviare a voi tutti i miei più fervidi auguri e congratulazioni per un opera ripetuta e da ''capolavoro'', come dicevano i nostri antenati. In pochi minuti ho passato per varie emozioni. Lacrime per la tragedia di Superga...il Grande Torino! Orgoglio italiano per l'eleganza e qualità espressa dalla rivista a tutti i livelli. Soddisfazione intelletuale nel aumentare le mie conoscenze con le informazioni del contenuto. Soddisfazione sensuale e artitisca per la qualità della carta e delle imagini. Soddisfazione tecnica per la precisione dedicata alla produzione della rivista. Una richezza nazionale per il Canada e per l'Italia. Questa qualità viene evidentemente apprezzato da persone provenienti da vari campi di attività. Molte di queste persone apprezzano a un livello intuitivo. Visto il mio campo di pratica che è l'architettura e design, apprezzo anche a un livello più cosciente la sensibilità, e la determinazione senza compromessi, dimostrata in quest'opera. Mi permetto, nonostante tutto, di suggerire un passo in avanti al livello della perspettiva delle esperienze dello spazio e degli manofatti: la grande intimità creata dalle imagini ravicinate in primo piano sono apprezzatissime, ma bisogna anche dare aria alla rivista e presentare articoli su una scala più grande dell'ambiente costruito. Campi dove Italiani dimostrano anche qui grande capacità tecnica ed estetica. Guglielmo (William) D'Onofrio, oaq, raic, cebq Architetto I was fortunate to receive the 2005 issue, and devoured every page. I had Filippo Salvatore as a professor in college back in 1982, what a true Italian genius he is. I also know Pino Asaro, and feel just with those two names PanoramItalia has true Italian blood on their side. I could feel exactly what everybody was describing in the letters to the publisher, and felt so strongly about it, that I had to write these few words. I also have that true proud Italian feeling and feel it is important not to lose our roots. I will subscribe to this true Italian heritage magazine. Keep up the good work. Frank Carnuccio Congratulations on producing a sophisticated, first-class Montreal magazine. I particularly look forward to the up close and personal exposés, most recently, the tomato canning process. Who amongst us did not relive those memories of long ago..... while some are still active in the tradition. Thank you for rekindling those fond memories and I look forward to your next edition. Again, AUGURI !!! Alba D'Amore

I just wanted to congratulate you on another wonderful edition (Spring/Summer 2005)! Although I was born in Montreal (my parents immigrated here from Italy), and have not always opted to go the Italian traditional way, looking at your magazine brings me back to my roots and makes me appreciate my Italian culture that much more. You have succeeded in publishing a magazine that embraces our Italian heritage and lifestyle, and you did with class and flare! I look forward to the next edition. Silvia Spadafora Good morning, The 2004 issue was given to me recently and I enjoyed every bit of it. I would really love to obtain the first two issues. I am probably asking the impossible but I will definitley treasure this one and I have mailed in my subscription for future issues this morning. Hoping to receive a positive answer. Have a nice day and keep up the exceptional work! Rita Pallante Hello Tony, I am sending you an e-mail to congratulate you on your magazine. It is my second issue and I love it. I have been telling everyone that if you want to capture the real essence of being Italian, then you have to get this magazine, it is fabulous. First of all, I would like to inform you that both copies are now out of my hands and I didn't even read all of it. One of them went to my cousin's husband because, when he came to my house he almost ignored the whole family in order to read it, he was totally captivated by it, some cousin!!! (But it is okay, I still like him). Thanks Rosa R.D. Management Dear all, I've just received a copy of Panorama. The article is so poetic that it really touches me. I'm sorry i couldn't be there when Ignazio came to Sicily, but Penny has done everything so perfectly that it is shown in the article. I hope to see you all during my next visit to Montreal and to toast with a glass of chardonnay (or what you prefer) to your success. Ciao Francesca Planeta The magazine is a ocean full of knowlege. I commend the team and wish you continued success! G. Taddio


Conceptual Photographer

TĂŠl.: 514.915.0150

www.geraldo-pace.com


G E R A L D O

P A C E


M A K I N G Many years ago, while attending grade school, I decided to play the wise guy. As kids, we are always trying to impress our schoolmates, and I thought that I would have some fun with a silver tack that I plucked from the classroom bulletin board. Placing the tack between front tooth and incisor, I grimaced menacingly at my classmates. It was a hit. Everyone started laughing - including me. I laughed so hard that when I inhaled, I swallowed the thumbtack. In a panic, I frantically waved my arms at the teacher and informed her of my dilemma. She rushed me into Principal Segatore’s office, in the hopes that he would know what to do. As luck would have it, he happened to have a fresh loaf of Italian bread in his office (it was delivered daily from his brother’s bakery). Wasting no time, he immediately began digging out the centre of the loaf and proceeded to feed it to me. His goal was to get the bread to surround the tack in order to keep my large intestine from being pierced. Two days later, the tack safely worked its way through my body. That loaf not only saved my life, it also began my lifelong appreciation of the importance of bread in our lives. Along with providing nourishment, bread has also been at the heart of some of my most beloved childhood memories. While growing up, I would often visit my grandparents. At the centre of our weekends together was a fragrant loaf of bread from the Corona bakery. Every Saturday, my grandfather would send me out to pick one up. The bakery was small and the lineups would snake outside. Rain or shine, we would all wait patiently for our delectable loaf. Once I’d been handed over my prize, I would rush back to my grandfather’s where the loaf was then broken and dipped in olive oil. There were also the early Sunday mornings, spent picking mushrooms with my father in the lower Laurentians. The car would be parked near a forest of maples, its open

B R E A D trunk proudly displaying a bread board laid out with salami, cheese and sausage. We would rip bread from the loaf, feasting on our meal, basking in our surroundings and enjoying one another’s company. And then there are the memories of those school days when the lure of two slices of thick, crusty Italian bread overflowing with meatballs, provolone and rapini, was so tempting that I would eat my sandwich hidden under the lid of my desk before the school bell struck ten in the morning. Such was my love affair with bread. Today, I buy my bread at the Marguerita Bakery on the corner of Clark and Beaubien. Owner Peter Petrella, quit his days on the financial markets, preferring instead to spend his nights baking those famous Marguerita loaves. Not much has changed since his father was manning the bakery. The recipe is the same, the same ovens are still in use, and the hard work and care that goes into the baking process is still as enthusiastic. Bakers are truly a special breed. They seem to enjoy their nights, kneading the dough, baking the loaves, ensuring that everything is in place when their early morning clients come to call. Every Montreal Italian knows the Marguerita bread. The fact that a small crew of only three people produces bread for an entire community is quite an achievement. I hope that my cover photo conveys this beauty of accomplishment. I have always had a great respect for bread makers – theirs is an art that has existed for thousands of years. I don’t think I know of another staple that is as beautiful as bread. Its colour, texture, smell and taste conjure up so many important moments in my life. For Italians, it is a fundamental part of our diet, it feeds our body and provides nourishment for our souls. Whether we’re making it or earning it bread will always play an important role in our lives.

That loaf not only saved my life, it also began my lifelong appreciation of the importance of bread in our lives.

— Geraldo Pace


Spring/Summer

2006

14

48

Jean-Claude Lussier - Venezia

24 Three jewels in Italy’s Culinary crown

43 In good hands - Santa Cabrini

58 14

48 Centro Dante - Santa Cabrini

52 Lavoriamo, Giannetti, lavoriamo - Irene Giannetti

58 Tender loving care - Dr Silvana Trifiro

62 Life’s little details - Rita de Santis

68

68 Mining for gold - Carlo Paladino

74 A Star is born - Mike Melino

78 A whole lot of shaking going on - Elvis Italiano

119

94

82 Our people “in business”

88 À couper le souffle - Richard Petit

94 Wild for mushrooms

145

104 My father the builder

110 Love in Avellino

116 What’s in a name?

119 Torino

134 Castello di Ama - Out of love and choice

145 Campionato Mondiale di Calcio 2006

134

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Geraldo Pace

R ESTAURANT

=

S ALLE CORPORATIVE

1446, rue Peel, Montréal

T. 514.848.0988

=

T RAITEUR

www.ferreiracafe.com


14 Photos : Jean-Claude Lussier


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For years, Jean-Claude Lussier has wandered down the alleys, docks, campielli and palazzi of Venice during the time of the Carnival. Behind the painted faces and costumes of the Venice Carnival, he searches for the soul of this event, brought to life by those who themselves bring life to this fabled event.

His images, often theatrical and troubling, pose more questions than answers, and bring to mind echoes of Fellini, Casanova and Valmont, the Marquis de Sade and Don Giovanni. The dark waters of the canals add to the mood created by costume, misty light and the omnipresent Venitian architecture.

Lussier’s photographs strive to express the passion, hope and desires that the participants of the Carnival create with their elaborate and often extremely ornate costumes. The characters they create, and which Lussier has exploited with his camera, would befit a poem by Cocteau and evoke the music and voice of the sublime castrato, Farinelli.

These mythical images by Jean-Claude Lussier would appear to have been created to please Dominique Fernandez, the author of Porporino, and would have brought a smile to Roland Barthes, as they too express a love, a love of the Carnival.

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Depuis des années, Jean-Claude Lussier hante les calli, les quais, les campielli et les palazzi vénitiens, aux temps du Carnaval. Derrière les visages blancs de poudre et de fard, sous les somptueuses étoffes de Fortuny, ce qu’il cherche, ce qu’il traque, ce qui le fait vibrer c’est le supplement d’âme que Venise octroit à ses fidèles et le Carnaval à ses officiants.

Toujours inquiétantes, ces images théâtrales évoquent les eaux-troubles de l’inconscient. Les personnages, quoique solitaires, semblent revenir d’étranges assemblées ou sur le point de se rendre à d’ultimes rendez-vous. Leurs liaisons, bien sûr, nous ne pouvons les soupçonner autrement que dangeureuses. Sade, Fellini, Visconti, Casanova et Valmont, la Reine de la Nuit et Don Giovanni tirent, à n’en point douter, les ficelles de leurs vies dissolues. L’eau de la lagune pourrait les engloutir à tout instant.

C’est de cette même eau noire, que Jean-Claude Lussier les a “tirés”. Cocteau aurait, pour eux, éternels enfants terribles, fait un poème… Pour accompagner leur étrange ballet, on n’imagine pas d’autres musiques que celles que Porpora ou Haendel ont écrites pour la voix sublime du castrat Farinelli: fureur vengeresse, désespoir pathétique et éternelle compassion.

Mythologiques à souhait, elles auraient certes fait le bonheur de Roland Barthes, ne sont-elles pas en effet autant de fragments d’un discours amoureux…


JEAN-CLAUDE LUSSIER


Three

Jewels Crown Trois joyaux gastronomie Culinary

in Italy’s

... de la

italienne...

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Piedmont’s

Barolo Wine Country

Cinque Terre and Tuscany’s Brunello Wine Country les régions vinicoles de

Barolo

dans le Piedmont,

CinqueTerre Brunello

de

et de

en Toscane.

by / par Margaret Cowan

As you arrive in Italy, your mouth waters in anticipation of three outstanding cuisines, three regions’ wines like the top Barolo and Brunello, the chefs’ secrets you’ll learn in your five cooking lessons and the three incredibly beautiful landscapes you’ll see in Piedmont, Cinque Terre and southern Tuscany, all in eight days.

Dès que vous mettez les pieds en Italie, vos papilles salivent à imaginer les trois styles de cuisines exceptionnelles, les splendides vins barolo et brunello, et les secrets des chefs à découvrir en cinq cours de cuisine et le paysage enchanteur du Piedmont, de Cinque Terre et de la Toscane méridionale. Tout ça en huit jours merveilleux.

You look forward to meeting an incredible variety of local characters you wouldn’t otherwise meet, in their restaurants, homes, wine cellars and in places other tourists never discover.

Vous prévoyez rencontrer des personnages locaux d’une incroyable diversité, que vous ne rencontreriez pas autrement, soit dans leurs restos, leurs maisons, leurs caves à vin et dans des endroits que d’autres touristes n’ont pas la chance de découvrir.

Your mouth waters as you look forward to your cooking lessons and the delectable meals you will eat at different restaurants every day. You’ve only read about the amazing array of local specialties: delicate tagliatelle with shavings of white truffles and a semi-freddo of hazelnut torrone candy in Piedmont, prawns with basil and mint and linguine with aromatic basil pesto, potatoes and green beans on the Riviera, pici pasta with fresh porcini mushrooms and wild boar with black olives in Tuscany. In Italy what would a meal be without wine? Excellent wine like Barbera in Piedmont or Vino Nobile in Tuscany. Your tour starts in Turin, in Piedmont, where your locally born guide, Massimiliano (Massi for short) will charm you before he whisks you and your small, intimate group of two to seven food and wine lovers, away in a comfortable minivan to the Barolo wine country. Along the country road on route to your hill town hotel, you gaze in awe at the Barolo wine country’s series of stunningly beautiful, gentle hills covered with vineyards, hazelnut, peach and cherry trees, forests and fields, hills crowned with little towns and imposing medieval castles. On a clear day you can see the Alps. An hour’s drive from Turin, you arrive at the Hotel Real Castello in Verduno. 4

L’eau vous vient à la bouche à penser aux cours de cuisine et à imaginer les mets délicieux que vous dégusterez chaque jour dans différents restaurants. Jusqu’à maintenant, vous vous êtes contenté de lire au sujet de la surprenante diversité des spécialités locales : les tagliatelle tendres accompagnées de tranches de truffes blanches et le semifreddo de touron aux noisettes du Piedmont, les crevettes au basilic et à la menthe, et les linguine au pesto aromatique, pommes de terre et fèves vertes sur la Riviera, les pâtes pici servies avec des cèpes frais et en Toscane, le sanglier aux olives noires. En Italie, un repas sans vin, comme l’excellent barbera du Piedmont ou le vino nobile de Toscane, n’est pas digne de ce nom. Votre périple commence à Turin, dans le Piedmont, où est né votre guide Massimiliano (Massi, pour les intimes) qui vous charmera avant de vous conduire, dans sa confortable fourgonnette, au pays du barolo, en compagnie des deux ou sept autres amants de la bonne chère qui font partie de votre groupe. Pendant que vous roulez vers votre hôtel à flanc de montagne, vous admirez les nombreuses collines verdoyantes recouvertes de vignobles, de noisetiers, de pêchers et de cerisiers, les forêts, les champs, puis les coteaux ornés de menus villages chacun arborant son château4

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In this well preserved home and hotel, owned and managed by the three hospitable Burlotto sisters and their daughters, you feel like you’ve stepped back in time. King Carlo Alberto escaped here to find peace during the revolts of the mid 1800’s and to relax in his cool, lush garden where he enjoyed his wines. The hotel has a refreshingly down to earth, old-world feel about it. Your traditional country style room with private bathroom has no phone or TV. On this sunny, clear day, you stand at the window of your top floor room. Your eyes travel over Verduno and across the peaceful, gentle, green hills and valleys stretching all the way to the Alps. You wander outside into the garden and relax with a glass of cool white Arneis wine in your shady, warm refuge, just like King Carlo Alberto would have done.

médiéval. Par beau temps, les Alpes s’élèvent à l’horizon. Enfin! à une heure de Turin, le Real Castello, à Verduno. Les propriétaires et tenancières de cet accueillant hôtel qui a héroïquement passé les épreuves du temps et où on se sent complètement dépaysé sont les trois chaleureuses sœurs Burlotto et leurs filles. En fait, en 1847, le roi Carlo Alberto avait acheté cette propriété, car il voulait s’assurer de ne jamais manquer de vin de qualité, surtout pas de barolo! Aussi, c’est ici qu’il se réfugia durant les soulèvements du milieu du XIXe siècle; il y trouva la paix d’esprit et put savourer ses vins à son aise au sein de ses jardins rafraîchissants et exubérants. L’hôtel est le reflet de cette époque ancienne et s’en dégage la même atmosphère. Au dernier étage, votre chambre : décor campagnard, salle de bains privée, mais aucun téléphone ni téléviseur. Le temps est radieux. Par la fenêtre, passé Verduno, par-delà les vallées et les champs tranquilles et verdoyants, les Alpes. Puis, vous descendez déambuler dans les jardins; ce refuge ombragé et chaud vous permet de relaxer, un verre d’arneis blanc bien frais à la main, comme l’eût certainement fait le roi Carlo Alberto.

King Carlo Alberto bought this property in 1847 to guarantee himself a constant supply of the fine wines, especially Barolo.

En fait, en 1847, le roi Carlo Alberto avait acheté cette propriété, car il voulait s’assurer de ne jamais manquerde vin de qualité, surtout pas de barolo!

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On your first evening Massi picks you up and drives you to the small town of Barolo for your welcome dinner to the Brezza family’s restaurant. Outside the Brezza family’s kitchen, a tantalizing aroma envelops you and entices you inside — Brasato al Barolo: a veal roll simmering slowly in its sauce of strong, heady Barolo wine, onions, celery, yellow pepper, carrots, garlic, nutmeg, cloves and handfuls of rosemary and laurel from shrubs outside. The chef pours in liberal amounts of Barolo now and then. Her secret? Don’t use cheaper red wine. It won’t hold up under all the simmering. Easy for her to say. The Brezza winery just downstairs gives her a constant supply!

Le premier soir, Massi vous prend à l’hôtel et vous emmène au petit village de Barolo. Au restaurant de la famille Brezza, vous dégustez un repas de bienvenue. À l’extérieur des cuisines, un arôme terriblement exquis vous pénètre auquel vous ne pouvez résister. C’est celui du brasato al barolo : une roulade de veau qu’on mijote dans une sauce préparée avec un barolo capiteux et charnu, des oignons, du céleri, des poivrons jaunes, des carottes, de l’ail, de la muscade, des clous de girofle et une poignée de romarin et de feuilles de laurier frais. La chef cuisinière y ajoute une bonne dose de barolo de temps à autre. Son secret? Elle n’utilise jamais un vin rouge de mauvaise qualité. Facile à dire! la cave de vinification est sur place!

Downstairs you visit their wine cellars and sit down at a long wood table with Signor Brezza, the patriarch. As you drink Dolcetto, Barbera and different years of Barolo, you have a long discussion on his philosophy of life touching on opening your heart towards people, trusting people and spending lots of time with family.

Vous faites le tour des caves à vins; vous vous assoyez ensuite à une longue table en bois avec le patriarche, Signor Brezza. Pendant que vous buvez du dolcetto, du barbera et divers millésimes de barolo, une longue discussion s’engage sur sa philosophie de la vie qui consiste à ouvrir son cœur, à faire confiance aux gens et à passer beaucoup de temps en famille.

Later you dine outside on their patio terrace, as you admire the turreted 11th century castle dominating the small town. Vineyards spill down the gentle slopes in front of you and cover green hills unfolding into the distance.

Plus tard, on sert le souper sur la terrasse d’où on admire un château à tourelles du XIe siècle, qui domine le petit village. Les vignobles s’épandent le long des coteaux et s’estompent à l’horizon.

Piedmont is famous for its incredible number of hot and cold appetizers. Massi pours you some young, fruity Dolcetto. You start with two or three appetizers like a delicate spinach flan topped with fonduta cheese sauce or bagna cauda (raw or 4

Le Piedmont est reconnu pour sa quantité incroyable de hors-d’œuvre froids et chauds. Massi vous verse un dolcetto jeune et fruité. S’ensuit une dégustation de deux ou trois hors-d’œuvre comme ce flan délicat aux épinards, servi avec une fondue au fromage ou une4


cooked vegetables dipped in a hot sauce of olive oil, garlic, anchovies), or roasted peppers with tuna stuffing. Your first plate of local thin tagliatelle, tajarin with tomato sauce melts in your mouth. Signor Brezza pours his Barolo to enjoy with the rich, flavourful Brasato al Barolo. A glass of aromatic Moscato accompanies your a decadent dessert, a semi-freddo with torrone, the local hazelnut nougat. Over the next two days in the Barolo and Barbaresco wine country, you meet a long list of interesting local characters and discover places off the tourist track. Around tables with the wine producers or at dining tables you drink robust Barolo, elegant Barbaresco, full bodied Barbera and Nebbiolo, fruity Dolcetto, fresh white wines like Arneis and Favorita and dessert wines like fragrant Moscato or bubbly Spumante. From the hill town of La Morra, 500 metres up, you admire an outstanding panorama of series of gentle hills, covered in vineyards, forests and fields, some topped with little towns and medieval castles. Your guide, the ever friendly, ever thoughtful Massi points out some of the towns: Barolo, Monforte, Serralunga, Alba. For an hour or so, you stroll downhill through vineyards, through little farm hamlets and through a forest. On your way along the gravel roads and trails, Massi tells you about the history of the area, points out which grapes hang on the vines and fills you in on how the wines are made. His family has a small vineyard so he knows a lot about wines. Your destination is the Ratti family's private wine museum in an abbey where monks began making wine in 1162. Full of fascinating 4

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1. Proud pasta cooks with Chef Esther in Barbaresco 2. Group of women friends on Barolo wine country walk in Piedmont 3. Castle in Barolo, Piedmont from Brezza restaurant terrace (Photos by Margaret Cowan)

bagna cauda (légumes crus ou cuits trempés dans une sauce piquante faite d’huile d’olive, d’ail et d’anchois) ou encore des poivrons fourrés au thon. Puis, le premier plat : des tajarin ou tagliatelle minces, servies avec une sauce aux tomates, et qui fondent littéralement dans la bouche. C’est alors que Signor Brezza verse son barolo pour déguster avec son savoureux brasato al barolo. Enfin, voilà le dessert : un semifreddo au touron, un nougat de l’endroit aux noisettes, accompagné d’un moscato aromatique. Pur délice! Au cours des deux jours suivants dans les régions vinicoles de Barolo et de Barbaresco, vous rencontrerez des personnages locaux intéressants et découvrirez des endroits hors des parcours touristiques. Que ce soit assis autour d’une table avec des œnologues ou durant les repas, vous boirez du barolo corsé, de l’élégant barbaresco, du barbera et du nebbiolo qui ont du coffre, un dolcetto fruité, des vins frais comme l’arneis et le favorita ainsi qu’un vin de dessert, soit le parfumé moscato soit le pétillant spumante. Depuis le village de La Morra, perché à 500 mètres en montagne, la vue est époustouflante : des coteaux ondoyants regorgeant de vignes, des forêts et des champs, des petits villages et des châteaux médiévaux. Massi, toujours aussi gentil et avenant, montre du doigt quelques-uns des villages : Barolo, Monforte, Serralunga et Alba. Une heure durant, vous déambulez dans les collines parmi les vignes, à travers des hameaux et une forêt. Le long du chemin de gravier et des sentiers, Massi vous raconte l’histoire de la région, vous informe du nom des raisins qui s’accrochent aux vignes et vous raconte comment on fabrique le vin. En fait, il est fin connaisseur : sa famille possède un petit vignoble. Puis, vous voilà en route vers le musée du vin, propriété de la famille Ratti. C’est là où les moines commencèrent à fabriquer le vin en 1162.4

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facts and humorous anecdotes, one of the owners, Massimo, takes you around beginning with an overview of the area’s main five wines and three kinds of soil. You look at old presses and chestnut wine casks and artifacts like home-made snowshoes.

Un des propriétaires, Massimo, vous fait visiter les environs en racontant des histoires fascinantes et des anecdotes drôles, tout en mentionnant les cinq vins principaux et les trois genres de sols de la région. Vous visitez les vieilles presses et les fûts de marronniers ainsi que quelques curiosités comme des raquettes à neige artisanales.

Strolling through the barrique cellar, up to the monks’ original kitchen and through well laid-out rooms of tool, glasses and label displays, you discuss the history of the wines and their labels, the short supply of corks and your tastes in wines.

Vous vous frayez un chemin entre les barriques jusqu’à la cuisine originale des moines, en passant par des salles bien rangées où se côtoient outils, verres et étiquettes. Vous discutez de l’historique des vins et de l’origine de leurs étiquettes, de la pénurie du liège et de vos goûts en matière de vins.

In their tasting room, Massimo shares glasses of three wines including their best Barolo with you. You’d never guess Dans la salle de dégustation, Massimo the down to earth, humorous gentlepartage trois verres de vin, y compris son man is an author and wine producer; a meilleur barolo. Vous ne vous doutiez pas celebrity in the Barolo wine region. He que ce jeune homme est à ce point terreanswers all your questions. “How long à-terre, qu’il possède un humour affiné, et should you age your wines?” His answer qu’en plus, il est écrivain et œnologue. a down to earth: “When in doubt, just drink it.” You notice the Latin motto on Brezza family wine makers in their cellar in Barolo, Piedmont (Photo by Margaret Cowan) Une vraie célébrité dans la région! Quand on lui pose la question à savoir combien his wine bottles, translates into “Try me de temps un vin doit vieillir, il répond sans tambour ni trompette : and you’ll know me.” Are you ever willing to do so! « Si vous êtes incertain, buvez-le tout de suite! » On peut lire un dicton latin sur les étiquettes et qu’on peut traduire par : « C’est en me buvant Back in Barolo on another day, you visit a gold mansion, now the que vous me connaîtrez. » Exactement ce que vous comptez faire! Marchesi di Barolo winery, and formerly the summer house of the Marchese di Barolo in the 1850's. The Marchesa of Barolo came Quand vous revenez à Barolo une autre journée, une visite s’impose : from France to marry the local marquis. She brought in a French celle d’un manoir devenu l’établissement vinicole Marchese di Barolo enologist to improve the wines and marketed Barolo to nobility qui servait jadis de maison d’été aux Marchesi di Barolo dans les throughout Europe and became known as “the Mother of Barolo.” années 1850. En fait, la Marchesa di Barolo était venue de France The winery’s motto? “Ex vite vita” — “From wine comes life.” You épouser le marquis de la région. Par la suite, elle avait fait venir un whole-heartedly agree after you taste their wines. œnologue français dont le rôle était d’améliorer la qualité des vins locaux; ce qu’il fit puisqu’on finit par Before you even get close to the Barolo commercialiser le barolo à la noblesse, wine country hill town of Serralunga, partout en Europe; d’ailleurs, on avait you see the castle dominates the landsurnommé la Marchesa « mère du barolo ». scape for miles around. The noble Enfin, vous finissez par connaître la règle Falletti family built this massive, de l’établissement : « Ex vite vita », c’est-àimposing stronghold for defense, and dire : « La vie provient du vin », dicton incorporated some ingenious architecavec lequel vous êtes tout à fait d’accord tural features in walls, floors, towers après vous être délecté! and stairs to make it impregnable. The castle guide takes you on a fascinating tour through five floors and points out the original drawbridge doors where they stood pouring boiling oil on enemies. You stroll through the kitchen where pots and utensils hang at the two big fireplaces, into cramped lookout towers and up to the banquet hall. On one wall you notice some primitive art — “X”s and “I” marks that soldiers scratched to count their days and months guarding the castle. The top floor, where the soldiers slept on straw, has 18 windows with wood covers that open to varying degrees for defense4 Farmhouse window at Giovanni and Francesca's home in Piedmont (Photo by Margaret Cowan)

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Bien avant d’approcher le village de Serralunga situé sur une colline de la région vinicole de Barolo, un château impressionnant s’érige, dominant le paysage des kilomètres à la ronde. Véritable forteresse, il fut construit par la famille Falletti qui intégra dans ses murs, planchers, escaliers et tours, des caractéristiques architecturales ingénieuses le rendant, par le fait même, inexpugnable. Le guide vous fait visiter les cinq étages fascinants. Il prend soin de vous faire remarquer les portes d’origine de son pont-levis d’où l’on versait l’huile bouillante sur l’ennemi. D’abord, vous vous4


purposes and a marvelous 360-degree view looking across the valleys of the wine country. From the castle, you drive to Giovanni and Francesca’s farm on top of a scenic, isolated ridge. About 15 years ago, they escaped the rat race in Switzerland and brought this long abandoned farm back to life. With their six children, now 12 to 22, they produce most of what they eat. They make a wonderful selection of cheeses and salami, grow fruit and vegetables, and raise cows, goats, chickens, geese, rabbits, wild boar, pigs. You join this hospitable couple and some of their kids at a long table in their kitchen for a bountiful country lunch and animated, friendly conversation. Afterwards you admire their cheese room and their barns and visit with all the animals. A cooking lesson at the Hotel Real Castello beckons and sadly you realize your time with them was far too short. At the Real Castello, with Chef Alessandra who trained with an international variety of top chefs in places like British Columbia’s Sooke Harbour House Restaurant near Victoria, you discover how to make some classic Piedmont dishes. You may cook a delicate onion tatra similar to a flan, a wonderful pink risotto with Barolo, guinea hen with rosemary and regional desserts like a light hazelnut cake with zabaglione sauce with Moscato and bunet, a cocoa pudding with egg yolks, milk, sugar and amaretti biscuits cooked in caramelized moulds set in water. Later in the dining room, you admire the red walls bordered with stripes in blues and browns that highlight the white ceil-

faufilez par la cuisine où pendent, au-dessus des deux gigantesques foyers, chaudrons et ustensiles. Ensuite, vers les étroites tours de guet pour aboutir finalement dans la salle de banquets. Un des murs porte des marques grossières, des « X » et des « I », que les soldats « sculptaient », et qui leur servaient à compter les jours et les mois où ils étaient de garde au château. Ils dormaient au dernier étage sur des lits de paille. Le château compte 18 fenêtres dont les battants en bois s’ouvraient à angles différents en guise de défense, et qui offrent une vue panoramique, à couper le souffle, des vallées vinicoles. Vous quittez le château en direction de la ferme de Francesca et Giovanni, située sur une crête pittoresque isolée. Tous deux ont décidé, il y a une quinzaine d’années, de laisser derrière eux la cadence infernale de la Suisse et ont redonné vie à cette ferme longtemps abandonnée. Ils produisent, avec leurs six enfants âgés de 12 à 22 ans, la majorité de ce qu’ils consomment : une grande variété de fromages et de salamis, des fruits et légumes; ils y élèvent des vaches et des chèvres, des poules et des oies, des lapins, des sangliers et des cochons. Vous joignez ce couple accueillant et quelques-uns de leurs enfants à une longue table, dans la cuisine, pour déguster un repas copieux comme on les aime à la campagne, le tout agrémenté d’une conversation animée et amicale à la fois. Après quoi vous passez à la salle des fromages, puis aux étables pour y voir les animaux. Mais, un cours de cuisine vous attend à l’hôtel Real Castello. Subitement, vous réalisez que vous avez passé trop peu de temps avec ces gens si aimables. C’est la chef Alessandra qui vous reçoit au Real Castello; elle a fait ses classes avec plusieurs des chefs de renommée internationale dans des restaurants aussi prestigieux que le Sooke Harbour House près de

You sample olive oils from the Rivier a, Tuscany and Umbria... Il vous fait goûter les huiles d’olive en provenance de la Riviera, de la Toscane et de l’Ombrie... ing painted in fanciful flowers. The green shutters of the open windows frame vistas of the shady garden dotted with yellow daisies and orange and pink geraniums. You dine on your cooking lesson creations complemented by Real Castello wines, including spicy, robust Pelaverga, unique to Verduno. The next morning you reluctantly say “ciao for now” to Piedmont and drive all morning with Massi in your private mini van along the autostrada, through the mountains to the Riviera and along a road by the sea to your next destination, Portovenere. For two days you enjoy the sights in this lively fishing village on the western side of the Gulf of La Spezia, known as the Gulf of Poets, just south of Cinque Terre. Writers and poets including Petrarch, George Sand and Byron were so inspired by the beauty they stayed and stayed. On entering the harbour, you can’t help but exclaim in awe at the clear blue water, and the wall of five storey, narrow Genoese houses, all attached, that create a richly coloured wall of vertical stripes of red, orange, gold, yellow and gray along the waterfront. Your eyes wander to the medieval tower on the right, along the massive, ancient city walls, up the hill to the white, 11th century church tower, and on to the hilltop castle. 4

Victoria en Colombie-Britannique. Elle vous apprend comment concocter quelques plats piémontais classiques. Par exemple, comment préparer une délicate tatra aux oignons (semblable à un flan), ou un superbe risotto rosé au barolo, ou encore une pintade au romarin, et enfin des desserts régionaux : un gâteau léger aux noisettes accompagné d’une sauce sabayon avec un moscato, un bunet, ce pudding au cacao fait de jaunes d’œufs, de lait, de sucre, et enfin des biscuits amaretti que l’on cuit au bain-marie dans des moules caramélisés. Plus tard, dans la salle à manger, les murs rouges bordés de rayures bleues et brunes font ressortir le plafond blanc où sont peintes de magnifiques fleurs. Tout simplement éblouissant! Les contrevents verts des fenêtres ouvertes servent de cadre au jardin ombragé, parsemé de marguerites jaunes et de géraniums orange et roses. Au menu : des plats créés lors de votre cours de cuisine et accompagnés de vins du Real Castello, y compris l’épicé et corsé pelaverga, particulier à Verduno. Le lendemain matin, c’est à regret que vous dites « ciao » au Piedmont. Pour l’instant du moins. Massi, au volant de la minifourgonnette, prend l’autostrada à travers les montagnes jusqu’à la Riviera puis, en longeant la route en bordure de la mer, arrive à Portovenere. Pendant deux jours, ce charmant village de pêche sur le côté ouest du golfe de La Spezia, connu sous nom de « golfe des poètes », tout juste4

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Your room is in the four star Grand Hotel Portovenere right on the waterfront at the harbour. Large windows look over the sea to the Island of Palmaria on the right and across the gulf to the Tuscan coast on the left. Originally a Franciscan monastery built in 1616, it is now a modern, first class hotel with a small spa and restaurant on a terrace with a magnificent sea view. At 1:00 in a private cooking lesson room, the smiling Chef Paolo Monti welcomes you with refreshing white Cinque Terre wine. With a 25-year career in the restaurant business in Europe, America, and the Middle East, he’s an encyclopedia of knowledge on nutrition and Italian cuisine ingredients. Chef Paolo takes you through his tables heavily lain with fresh herbs, grains, cheeses, prosciutto, vegetables, pastas and gives you short, very informative lectures laced with his funny quips. “I had a girlfriend called Rosemary who thought I wasn’t sage.” You sample olive oils from the Riviera, Tuscany and Umbria and balsamic vinegars of different ages and learn to taste the differences. In your cooking lesson are fast, easy-to-make dishes that leave a big impression on your taste buds. You make two appetizers like mussels and clams with white wine and lemon broth and eat them. You prepare two pastas like the best pesto with linguine you've ever had and eat them. You cook two savoury main plates like fish with tomato and herb sauce and eat them. Finally, you make yummy puff pastry nests with zabaglione and raspberries and eat again. By then you’ve indulged in one long, decadent grazing and feel compelled to climb the many steps to the castle at the top of the little medieval town, so you’ll go home weighing the same. In this quaint town, you explore 11th century churches, narrow streets with shops, cafés and seafood restaurants, and watch fishermen mend nets and the yacht set and tourists come and go.

Cooking Lesson with Chef Paolo in Portovenere (Photo by Margaret Cowan)

Next day, all day, you explore Cinque Terre, a dramatically beautiful, rugged coast of five multi coloured villages clinging to the foot of mountains falling steeply to the dark blue and turquoise sea. Along walking paths overlooking the sea, you travel up and down through olive groves, terraces of vineyards, scrub bushes, cactuses, pines, and gardens with lemon trees. Vast panoramas along the coast and out to sea fill you with awe and peace. You explore this coast on foot and by boat. 4

au sud de Cinque Terre vous enchantera. En effet, sa beauté a inspiré nombre de poètes et d’écrivains comme Pétrarque, George Sand et Byron tant et si bien qu’ils y ont habité longtemps. En entrant dans le port, le bleu et la pureté de l’eau sont saisissants. Frappants aussi les murs des maisons génoises étroites, hautes de cinq étages, soudées les unes aux autres; elles créent ainsi une muraille de bandes verticales multicolores, rouges, orange, dorées, jaunes et grises au bord de l’eau. Vos yeux dérivent sur la droite, vers une tour médiévale, le long des anciens murs de la cité, puis en haut de la montée vers le clocher blanc de l’église du XIe siècle, jusqu’au château qui trône au sommet de la colline. Votre chambre au Grand Hotel Portovenere, un quatre étoiles, donne sur le port. De larges fenêtres s’ouvrent sur la mer : l’île de Palmeria sur la droite, et la côte de la Toscane au fond du golfe sur la gauche. À l’origine, un monastère franciscain construit en 1616, c’est aujourd’hui un hôtel moderne de première classe où se trouvent un petit spa et un resto sur la terrasse, avec vue spectaculaire sur la mer. À treize heures, dans une salle privée où se donnent des cours de cuisine, le chef Paolo Monti, tout souriant, vous accueille d’abord en vous offrant un rafraîchissant vin de Cinque Terre. Fort de ses 25 ans de métier en Europe, en Amérique et au Moyen-Orient, chef Paolo est une véritable sommité en matière de nutrition et d’ingrédients utilisés dans la cuisine italienne. Il vous dirige ensuite vers quelques tables où reposent en abondance des herbes fraîches, des grains, des fromages, du prosciutto, des légumes et des pâtes, et vous donne un petit cours qu’il entrelace de quelques-uns de ses mots d’esprit préférés. Il vous fait goûter les huiles d’olive en provenance de la Riviera, de la Toscane et de l’Ombrie ainsi que les vinaigres balsamiques d’âges différents et vous apprend à reconnaître les particularités de chacun. Le cours de cuisine vous permet de créer des mets rapides, faciles à préparer, mais qui stimulent grandement vos papilles! Vous concoctez deux hors-d’œuvre composés d’huîtres et de palourdes avec du vin blanc et du jus de citron. Savoureux. Vous préparez ensuite deux plats de pâtes : des linguine au pesto, les meilleurs que vous ayez jamais mangés. Vous les mangez! Puis, vous apprêtez deux succulents plats de poisson : celui accompagné d’une sauce aux tomates et aux fines herbes, vous le mangez. Pour couronner le tout, vous préparez de délicieuses pâtes feuilletées en forme de nids dans lesquels vous versez des framboises et du sabayon. Et vous 4 Basil fresh from the garden on the Rivieira


In Vernazza where you stop for lunch, the piazza is the image of a Van Gogh painting, awash in yellows, golds, oranges, pale pink, dark red, dark and light blues and greens. Along three edges of the piazza run tall, narrow, concrete houses, all attached, each a different colour. Big orange and yellow umbrellas shade four family restaurants. The ancient gray stone church stands right at the sea's edge, where rocks and sand meet. Green feathery trees border the harbour side of the piazza. Vineyards tumble down to dark gray cliffs meeting the clear blue sea. At Gianni's under yellow umbrellas, you drink cool, light white wine. You dine on your choice of traditional dishes or local specialties such as a casserole with layers of potatoes, tomatoes and little fish seasoned with herbs and my favourite, strawberries and vanilla ice cream with the sweet dessert wine, schiacchetra on top. In the last town, Monterosso, you celebrate the end of your hike or boat journey along the coast in an outdoor café on a piazza filled with kids playing ball or on swings; townspeople, old and young catching up with the news, and a passing parade of locals and tourists on their way to who knows where. As you return along the Cinque Terre coast by public boat, you point out all the towns you visited or walked through. If you walked all the paths from the first town, Riomaggiore to the last one, Monterosso, you feel a well-deserved sense of accomplishment.

savourez! À la fin de cette longue expérience culinaire, le besoin se fait sentir de monter les nombreuses marches qui mènent au château, tout en haut du village médiéval, question de perdre les livres prises plus tôt. Dans ce petit village pittoresque, vous découvrirez des églises du XIe siècle, vous flânerez dans les rues étroites parsemées de boutiques, de cafés et de restaurants de fruits de mer, et vous observerez les pêcheurs s’affairer à leurs filets, les voiliers du jet-set et le va-et-vient des touristes. Le lendemain, arrivée à Cinque Terre, littoral rocheux, formé de cinq villages multicolores accrochés aux montagnes qui, elles, semblent tomber à pic dans une mer à la fois bleu foncé et turquoise. Vous marchez dans les sentiers qui la surplombent, à travers des olivaies, des vignobles, vous frôlez des arbustes, des cactus, des pins et des citronniers. Une vue panoramique de la côte et de la mer vous laisse bouche bée tant leur beauté et leur quiétude vous envahissent. Une côte que vous pouvez longer à pied ou en bateau. Arrêt à Verzanna pour le dîner. La piazza, qu’a reproduite Van Gogh, est inondée des couleurs de sa palette : jaune, or, orange, rose pâle, rouge foncé, bleu pâle, bleu foncé, vert. Voisines de trois côtés de la piazza, s’entassent des maisons élancées en béton, collées les unes aux autres, chacune affichant sa couleur distincte. De gros parasols orange et jaunes jettent de l’ombre sur les quatre restaurants à prix populaires. La vieille église de pierres grises se dresse directement au bord de la mer. Des arbres au feuillu verdoyant se dressent du côté du port. Des vignobles semblent dégringoler le long des falaises grises où éclatent les vagues.

Back at the Grand Hotel you enjoy a dinner specially Sous les parasols jaunes de chez arranged by Paolo Monti with Gianni, vous savourez un verre de plates like spaghetti with blanc frais et léger avant de passer seafood in papillote, a mixed à table. Vous avez le choix : mets traditionnels ou spécialités locales, grill of lobster, prawns, scampi and calamari or angler fish in comme une casserole composée lemon sauce and capers. Your de rangs de pommes de terre, de special dessert is a real treat — tomates et de poisson assaisonné strawberries with black pepper aux herbes. Et pour dessert, mon and aged balsamic vinegar. préféré : fraises et crème glacée à la Gregarious Paolo visits with vanille arrosées de schiacchetra, un Cinque Terre town of Riomaggiore on the Riviera (Photo by Margaret Cowan) all those around the table and vin de dessert doux. may tell you some of his entertaining jokes. He should be a stand-up comedian and cooking instructor on TV! À Monterosso, dernier village, vous célébrez la fin de cette randonnée ou du tour de bateau que vous avez fait le long de la côte, assis dans un The next morning with great reluctance, you hug Chef Paolo café de la piazza où des enfants jouent à la balle ou se balancent, et où goodbye and leave on a morning long journey with Massi for les villageois, jeunes et vieux, se racontent les derniers potins, alors que southern Tuscany and Montalcino, the home of Brunello wine. d’autres, entourés de touristes, défilent en direction d’on ne sait trop où. In your three days in Tuscany you explore pristine, medieval towns of Montalcino, Pienza and Montepulciano, and stroll along peaceful country roads with vast, dramatic vistas of rolling hills — velvety green, gold or brown fields, with olive trees, hay and vineyards. You enjoy beauty and peace at a slower pace and forget your harried world at home. 4

Quand vous revenez en bateau le long de la côte de Cinque Terre, vous voyez les villages que vous avez visités ou à travers lesquels vous avez marché. Mais si vous avez emprunté les sentiers depuis le premier village de Riomaggiore jusqu’au dernier, Monterosso, chapeau! vous pouvez être fier de vous. C’est tout un exploit! 4

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Your Tuscany adventure takes you first to Alberto, an artisan olive oil producer who uses the traditional granite wheel, on his organic farm in the hills south of Montalcino. He’s always adding to his amazing collection of native and exotic plants and trees and has a green, chemical free, healthy swimming pool. Soon you feel his passion for all he does and enjoy this very genuine, down-to-earth man who speaks from his heart. He and his wife retired early from their restaurant business and left the stress for their peaceful, active country life. In his olive oil production room, you relish a country lunch of simple, very tasty Tuscan recipes that he saw disappearing and wanted to bring back. Exuberant Alberto tells you how he makes his olive oil and all you ever wanted to know about olives and olive oils. He gives you tips like “Don’t buy oil that’s green. That means it has too much chlorophyll.” At Alberto’s you hug Massi goodbye as he heads back to his home in Piedmont, and shake hands with your local Tuscan guide. Anna was born in a neighbouring town and loves showing the best of her region to visitors and it shows in her animated speech, bright eyes and big smile. She knows how to give you just the right balance of fascinating history and cultural facts with fun, active visiting. On your way to Chef Roberto’s restaurant and hotel, you stop in an idyllic Tuscan valley at a 1000year-old church and monastery, Sant'Antimo, one of Italy's most beautiful Romanesque buildings. It stands in a valley in a patchwork quilt of olive groves, combed fields in rich brown or gold, rows of vineyards, dark green forests, and country roads with cypresses zigzagging up. If you sit there awhile, you begin to feel you’re in meditation. Anna drives you up the mountain to a small hamlet that is too high up for olive groves. Chestnut trees abound and so do porcini mushrooms in the fall. Charming chef Roberto welcomes you in his snug bar sitting room with coffee or prosecco. You check in to his cozy six room hotel next to his restaurant and come back down for your cooking lesson with him in the kitchen. Roberto’s restaurant specializes in dishes with mushrooms. In the fall a series of mushroom gatherers knock at his back door with bags full of mushrooms fresh from the forests. Food lovers travel for miles to dine way up there. 4

De retour au Grand Hôtel, Paolo Monti vous a concocté un repas remarquable : spaghetti aux fruits de mer en papillote, grillade de homards, de crevettes, de scampi et de calmars ou de baudroie dans une sauce au citron et aux câpres. Et comme dessert, un vrai péché : fraises au poivre noir aspergées de balsamique vieilli. Paolo aime bien se promener de table en table et raconter ses plaisanteries toujours à point. Il devrait être un humoriste ou donner des cours de cuisine à la télé! C’est à grand regret, le lendemain matin, que vous lui faites vos adieux. Et vous entreprenez, avec Massi, le long voyage qui vous mènera au sud de la Toscane et à Montalcino, le royaume du vin barolo. Au cours des trois jours en Toscane, vous explorerez les villages médiévaux impeccables de Montalcino, Pienza et Montepulciano. Vous déambulerez sur des routes paisibles d’où vous admirerez un vaste paysage composé de collines ondoyantes, de champs d’un vert velouté, dorés ou ocres, remplis d’oliviers, de foin et de vignobles. Cette beauté, ce calme, vous les savourerez pleinement, loin du brouhaha de la ville. L’aventure en Toscane commence chez Alberto, producteur artisanal qui utilise une meule en granit traditionnelle pour produire, dans les montagnes au sud de Montalcino, de l’huile d’olive dont l’exploitation est de type biologique. Il accroît constamment sa collection de plantes et d’arbres indigènes et exotiques. En plus, il possède une splendide piscine dont l’eau ne contient aucun produit chimique. Vous avez tôt fait de sentir la passion qui l’anime pour tout ce qu’il entreprend; mais, l’homme est discret et parle du fond du cœur. D’ailleurs, sa femme et lui ont vendu leur restaurant quand ils ont décidé de laisser le stress derrière, et se sont retirés tôt pour vivre paisiblement une vie active à la campagne. Dans sa salle de production d’huile d’olive, vous savourez un dîner de campagne, des plus simples, composé de délicieuses recettes toscanes qu’il voyait disparaître et qu’il a décidé de raviver. Alberto est un exubérant; il vous montre comment il produit son huile d’olive et vous explique tout ce que vous voulez savoir à leur sujet et au sujet des olives. Il vous prodigue ses conseils : « N’achetez pas de l’huile qui est verte, elle contient trop de chlorophylle. » Chez Alberto, vous dites adieu à Massi puisqu’il retourne dans son Piedmont, et saluez votre nouvelle guide toscane, Anna, née non loin d’ici. Elle adore faire visiter son coin de pays. Ça se voit dans ses yeux pétillants et dans son large sourire, et ça s’entend dans sa voix animée. Anna sait comment doser l’histoire fascinante et les traits culturels de son coin de pays tout en s’assurant que votre visite soit amusante. Avant d’arriver au restaurant et à l’hôtel du chef Roberto, un petit arrêt à une abbaye millénaire, Sant’Antimo, un des plus magnifiques édifices de l’architecture romane, dans une vallée idyllique toscane. On la voit qui se dresse au beau milieu d’une mosaïque d’olivaies, de champs dorés ou d’un brun riche, de rangées de vignes, de forêts verdoyantes et de routes de campagne que longent des cyprès zigzaguant en hauteur. Si vous preniez le temps de vous asseoir, vous auriez l’impression d’être en état de méditation. 4

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Tuscan valley at Sant'Antimo church near Montalcino, Tuscany (Photo by Margaret Cowan)

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The very knowledgeable, creative Roberto was born in these mountains and broke his first plate in a restaurant kitchen at age 13. Twenty years later he is still passionate about traditional Tuscan dishes with little modern touches — porcini mushroom soup, carpaccino of beef with dried tomatoes, nuts and endive leaves, a vegetable torte with eggplant, zucchini and peppers, tagliatelle or risotto with porcini, local pici pasta with ragu, Florentine ribollita, slices of grilled beef with arugola, wild boar with chocolate, quail with Brunello, rabbit with lemon, pears stuffed with lemon custard with chocolate sauce on top and chocolate soufflé with molten chocolate inside that comes out like a volcano erupting. Later you feel like one of the restaurant insiders as you savour your creations in the dining room with excellent wines specially selected by Roberto. Next morning you leave your mountain home for the wine country in the hills below to enjoy a cooking lesson on traditional Tuscan dishes with Chef Gianni in a hill town near Montalcino and to explore medieval walled hill towns of Montalcino, Pienza and Montepulciano. You check in to Il Chiostro, a former 15th century convent, now a Relais-Chateau hotel right in Pienza’s historic centre with quiet gardens, a pool and wonderful views across the valley to the mountains. Your room has vaulted ceilings and tasteful period style furniture along with all the modern conveniences you’d expect. Little Pienza sits on a hill with sweeping views over the vast Val d'Orcia with undulating fields dotted with olive groves leading to Monte Amiata. Pope Pius II, born there in 1405, had the perfect Renaissance city designed but work stopped at the elegant piazza with the cathedral, pope's and archbishop's palaces and town hall. On top of the medieval walls, you stroll along a walkway and admire marvellous panoramas of the valley as you pass the Street of Fortune, Street of Kisses, Street of Love. Since Etruscan times Pienza has been famous for its pecorino cheese. Aside from young and aged pecorino, you see pecorino aged in ashes or in grape skins, pecorino with red pepper or with black peppercorns and many more. At a cheese shop, you taste a few and decide which ones you like best. In Pienza you dine at the deservedly popular, down to earth Latte di Luna trattoria on a little piazza just inside the walls. You savour their specialties, a bruschetta heaped with 4 1

1. Chef Roberto in his restaurant kitchen with porcini mushrooms in Tuscany (Photo by Margaret Cowan) 2. Cooking tour members and guide with newly bought aprons in Tuscany (Photo by Eileen Kraabel)

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Puis, Anna vous emmène d’abord dans un hameau si haut en montagne qu’on n’y trouve aucune olivaie. Toutefois, en automne, les noisetiers y abondent de même que les cèpes. Ensuite, c’est un chef Roberto accueillant qui vous reçoit dans son mignon petit bar avec du café ou du prosecco. Puis vous descendez à son hôtel, un douillet six chambres, tout près de son restaurant; pratique, puisque c’est là qu’il donne ses cours de cuisine. Roberto fait des plats aux champignons, sa spécialité. À l’automne, d’ailleurs, plusieurs cueilleurs de champignons frappent à sa porte pour lui offrir des sacs remplis à craquer de champignons tout frais cueillis en forêt. Les fins connaisseurs viennent de loin pour déguster ses plats. Travailleur chevronné et créatif, Roberto est né dans les montagnes. À 13 ans, il fracasse sa première assiette dans les cuisines d’un restaurant. Vingt ans plus tard, sa passion pour des plats concoctés dans la tradition toscane l’anime toujours; il les agrémente cependant à la façon moderne, comme la soupe aux cèpes; le carpaccino de bœuf servi avec des tomates séchées, des noix et des endives; la tourte avec des aubergines, des courgettes et des poivrons; les tagliatelle ou le risotto aux cèpes; les pâtes pici de la région avec sauce tomate à la viande; la ribollita à la florentine; les tranches de bœuf grillé servi avec l’arugola; le sanglier au chocolat; les cailles au brunello; le lapin au citron; les poires farcies avec une crème anglaise arrosée d’une sauce au chocolat, et le soufflé au chocolat si plein de chocolat fondu qu’il en jaillit comme un volcan en irruption. Plus tard, en savourant vos créations, accompagnées d’excellents vins expressément choisis par Roberto, c’est comme si vous faisiez partie de la famille, comme on dit. Le lendemain matin, départ de la maison en montagne vers des vignobles, plus bas; le chef Gianni donnera un cours de cuisine toscane traditionnelle dans un petit village perché en montagne, près de Montalcino. Aussi, vous explorerez Montalcino, Pienza et Montepulcino, des villages protégés par des fortifications datant du Moyen-Âge. Vous voilà donc au Il Chiostro, ancien couvent du XVe siècle, converti en un Relais et Châteaux, au cœur du centre historique de Pienza, avec ses jardins tranquilles, sa piscine et sa vue prenante sur la vallée et les montagnes figées en arrière-plan. Le plafond des chambres est voûté et l’ameublement d’époque se marie bien avec les modernités auxquelles vous vous attendez. 4

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red, fresh tomatoes and basil with excellent olive oil, the moist, savoury roast suckling pig and the decadent semi-freddo with candied orange and Gran Marnier in it and a good drop of Gran Marnier on top. In the medieval hill town of Montalcino, famous for Brunello wine, you stroll the narrow streets stopping at wine, honey and gastronomy stores or outdoor cafes. At the imposing medieval fortress, now a wine showroom and bar, a knowledgeable staff member gives you a short, informative introduction and a tasting of rosso di Montalcino and Brunello wines. You learn how to distinguish the subtle differences in taste between Brunello wines from different micro-climates in the Brunello zone. If you want to climb up to the ramparts to enjoy fabulous 360 degree views of Montalcino, and the hills of vineyards and olive groves and valleys of rolling fields, we suggest you do so before you taste the wines. The wine shop has a wonderful selection

La petite ville de Pienza est située sur une montagne avec une vue magnifique de l’immense vallée de l’Orcia; ses champs ondoyants et ses olivaies mènent au mont Amiata, où est né Pie II, en 1405. Ce dernier avait imaginé une ville digne de la Renaissance, mais les travaux s’arrêtèrent à l’élégante piazza avec la cathédrale, le palais papal et la mairie. Une promenade sur les murs médiévaux vous donne une vue panoramique époustouflante sur la vallée en même temps que vous croisez des rues aux noms évocateurs : rue de la Fortune, rue des Baisers et rue de l’Amour. Depuis la période étrusque, Pienza est reconnue pour son fromage, le pecorino. Non seulement trouve-t-on du pecorino jeune et vieilli, mais aussi vieilli dans des cendres ou de la peau de raisin, du pecorino au poivron ou aux grains de poivre, et de beaucoup d’autres façons. D’ailleurs, vous pouvez en goûter quelques variétés dans une fromagerie et décider lequel vous plaît le plus.

Pecorino cheese in Pienza in Tuscany. (Photo by Margaret Cowan)

of wines from a wide array of producers and food gifts like packages of “Brutti ma Buoni”—“ugly but good” cookies. The larger hilltown of Montepulciano is renowned for its Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. You climb up and down its narrow streets and beautiful piazzas, which are lined with distinguished Renaissance palazzos. You stop at gastronomy shops, small art galleries, shops with fine linens and housewares and wine stores. From a viewpoint in a piazza, you take in panoramas all around of farms, vineyards, olive groves on hills flowing into the distance. At a local family wine producer’s shop, Roberta welcomes you and takes you down into their 13th century grotto where some of their wines sit aging in large barrels and a perfume of wine permeates everywhere. She tells you about the four grapes that make up Vino Nobile, the history of the wine and how they make Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. Upstairs in their wine shop she guides you through a tasting of their rosso di Montepulciano, some different years of their Vino Nobile, their vin santo and their olive oil. You debate which vintage suits you best. 4

Vous soupez à la charmante et populaire trattoria Latte di Luna, à Pienza, située sur la petite piazza tout juste à l’intérieur des murs. Des spécialités de la maison vous y attendent : des bruchetta ornées de tomates fraîches et de basilic arrosées d’huile d’olive de première qualité; un délicieux cochon de lait et, pour couronner le tout, un spectaculaire semifreddo aux oranges glacées au Grand Marnier, aspergé de quelques gouttes de Grand Marnier. À Montalcino, village médiéval réputé pour son brunello, vous déambulez dans les rues et vous flânez d’une boutique à l’autre où on vend du vin, du miel et des produits de gastronomie, ou vous décidez tout simplement de vous asseoir à une des sympathiques terrasses. L’imposante forteresse a été transformée en bar et en présentoir à vins; là, un membre du personnel, fin connaisseur, vous renseigne sur le rosso di Montalcino et le brunello. Il vous apprend comment différencier les subtilités entre les brunello des différents microclimats qu’on trouve dans la région de Brunello. Si vous comptez escalader les remparts pour profiter de la vue panoramique de Montalcino, de ses vignobles, de ses olivaies et de ses champs ondoyants, un conseil d’ami : allez-y avant de déguster les 4

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In Montepulciano you enjoy a light lunch in a friendly, down to earth osteria with wooden tables and a cave like ceiling, dining on dishes like crostini with delicious black olive or chicken liver spreads, flavourful pici with tomato and garlic sauce, a fresh mixed salad and a glass of vin santo with the famous almond biscuits. If you feel like a country walk, you walk down to the magnificent, Renaissance white marble San Biagio church in the shape of a perfect Greek cross and along to a gravel road winding past farms out to an incredibly scenic ridge. You find yourself in the middle of the valley with Montepulciano on one side and the whole valley of a patchwork quilt of gold, olive, forest and lighter greens, browns like a blanket covering the hills all around you. Food for your soul. On Monday the day you never wanted to see arrives and very reluctantly, you have to leave your new Italian friends and Tuscany’s hills and make your way back to your first home. You’re carrying Barolo and Brunello wines, Tuscan or Riviera olive oil and perhaps some fine linens for your dining table or the pair of Italian shoes you’ve always wanted. You’ve added three jewels to your crown of Italian adventures. With all your experiences, your recipes, with the long list of local characters you’d never have met on your own, in places you’d never have found, you feel you’ve immersed yourself in genuine local life and culture with your new Italian friends. You’ll always treasure your memories of the people, food, wine, beauty and laughter you shared in Piedmont’s Barolo and Barbaresco wine country, Cinque Terre and Portovenere and Tuscany’s Brunello and Vino Nobile wine country. g

On top of the medieval walls, you stroll along a walkway and admire marvellous panoramas Une promenade sur les murs médiévaux vous donne une vue panoramique époustouflante ... vins. En outre, la boutique de vins présente une magnifique sélection provenant de différents producteurs ainsi que des paniers-cadeaux de biscuits dont on dit qu’ils sont « brutti ma buoni », c’est-à-dire « laids, mais délicieux ». Montepulciano, un plus grand village, est reconnu pour son vino nobile. Vous montez et descendez ses rues étroites, allez et venez d’une magnifique piazza à une autre enchanteresse, tout entourée de palais de la Renaissance. Que de choses à visiter! Des boutiques de gastronomie, d’art, de tissus et d’articles de cuisine, sans compter les magasins de vins. Depuis le belvédère d’une piazza, vous admirez, tout autour de vous, des fermes, des vignobles et des olivaies à perte de vue. À la boutique d’un producteur local, Roberta vous accueille et vous amène dans leur grotte du XIIIe siècle où vieillissent quelques-uns de leurs vins dans de gros barils, et dont l’arôme plane partout. Elle vous parle des quatre raisins du nobile, son histoire et comment ils produisent le nobile di Montepulciano. En haut, dans leur boutique de vins, elle vous fait déguster le rosso di Montepulciano, différents millésimes de le nobile, le vino santo et l’huile d’olive. Et puis vous discutez à savoir quel millésime vous plaît le plus. Un léger goûter vous attend à Montepulciano, dans une charmante petite osteria meublée de tables en bois et dont le plafond ressemble à celui d’une cave à vins. On sert des crostini avec de délicieuses olives noires ou du foie de poulet à tartiner, des pici savoureuses avec une sauce aux tomates et à l’ail, une salade mixte fraîche et un verre de vino santo dans lequel on peut tremper des cantucci, fameux biscuits aux amandes. Si vous avez l’intention de vous promener en campagne, dirigez-vous d’abord vers la magnifique église San Biagio, datant de la Renaissance, construite de marbre, à la forme parfaite de croix grecque, puis le long du sentier sinueux, au-delà les fermes, jusqu’à une crête incroyablement panoramique. Vous arrivez au milieu de la vallée : Montepulciano sur un côté et tout autour de vous, cette vallée comme une catalogne brodée de jaune doré, de vert olive au vert pâle, et de brun. Quel plaisir pour les yeux! S’il y a un jour que vous souhaitez ne pas voir venir, c’est bien le lundi, car vous devez quitter à regret vos nouvelles amitiés italiennes, et laisser derrière les collines de la Toscane, pour retourner chez vous. Sans oublier toutefois de rapporter du barolo et du brunello, de l’huile d’olive de la Toscane ou de la Riviera. Peut-être même quelques nappes pour votre table à dîner ou encore cette paire de souliers dont vous avez toujours eu envie. La couronne de vos pérégrinations en Italie est maintenant sertie de trois nouveaux joyaux. En effet, grâce à vos nouvelles expériences qu’ont été vos recettes, grâce aux gens accueillants que vous n’auriez pas rencontrés autrement, grâce enfin à tous ces endroits magnifiques que vous avez visités, vous vous sentez maintenant immergé dans la vie et imprégné de la culture de vos nouveaux amis italiens. En effet, vous chérirez toujours les souvenirs de ces gens, de la nourriture, du vin, de la beauté des régions vinicoles : Barolo et Barbaresco dans le Piedmont, Cinque Terre et Portovenere, Brunello et Nobile en Toscane. g

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Food for your soul. Quel plaisir pour les yeux!

To reserve / Réservations : Contact / Communiquez avec Margaret Cowan at / à : margaret@italycookingschools.com or call / ou téléphonez au 1 800 557-0370 or / ou, in / à Vancouver at / au 604 681-4074.

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Shrimp or

Scampi and White Beans Antipasto Crevettes ou scampi, haricots et arugola

From Paolo Monti of Grand Hotel Portovenere in Portovenere on the Italian Riviera Recette de Paolo Monti du Grand Hotel Portovenere à Portovenere sur la Riviera. 40 small tails fresh shrimp or scampi 60 grams/ 2 oz dry weight canellini beans (white northern beans)

2 spring onions 1 small ripe tomato chopped 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil juice of one lemon

1 tablespoon chopped parsley 1 small bunch arugola salt and pepper to taste

Method : If you can get fresh canellini beans, great, if not, use the dry variety and place in plenty of cold water for 24 hours. Rinse and boil them until soft, taste often. If they split, they are overcooked. Take off the heat when ready, drain and cool. (As a last resort, buy a can of white canellini beans, just heat them and strain.) Squeeze the lemon and place in a bowl with some good extravirgin olive oil, the parsley, salt, pepper and chopped spring onion. On a platter place some chopped arugola. Get the shrimp or scampi, peel them, then blanch them in boiling salted water with 1/2 lemon in it for 1/2 a minute, maximum one minute if it is a larger quantity. Strain the beans and distribute on the platter on top of the arugola, strain the shrimp or scampi, place in the lemon dressing, stir and distribute over the beans, top with chopped tomato. After you have shown your guests what a good job you have done, mix it and serve.

40 petites crevettes fraîches ou scampis frais 60 gr (2 on) de haricots blancs secs (canellini)

2 oignons de printemps 1 petite tomate coupée en morceaux 2 c. à T. d’huile d’olive extra vierge jus d’un citron

1 c. à T. de persil haché 1 petite botte d’arugola sel et poivre au goût

Préparation : L’idéal serait de vous procurer des haricots blancs canellini frais, sinon, utilisez-en des secs et laissez-les tremper 24 heures dans l’eau froide. Rincez. Faites cuire jusqu’à ce qu’ils soient tendres. Goûtez souvent. S’ils se brisent, c’est qu’ils sont trop cuits. Une fois à point, retirez-les du feu, égouttez et laissez refroidir. (En dernier recours, achetez une boîte de haricots blancs (canellini), cuisezles et faites égoutter). Mélangez le jus d’un citron dans un bol avec de l’huile d’olive extra vierge. Ajoutez persil, sel, poivre et un oignon coupé en morceaux. Hachez l’arugola et placez dans une assiette. Décortiquez les crevettes ou les scampi. Blanchir dans de l’eau salée avec la moitié d’un citron durant 30 secondes, une minute au maximum pour une plus grande quantité. Égouttez les haricots et disposez-les dans une assiette sur l’arugola. Égouttez les crevettes ou les scampi et ajoutez la vinaigrette au citron, mélangez et répandez sur les haricots. Ajoutez des tomates coupées en morceaux. Après avoir émerveillé vos invités, mélangez le tout et servez.

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Ph: www.geraldo-pace.com

Beaucoup plus qu’un boucher 4025, Boul. Lite Saint-Vincent-de-Paul • Laval (Québec) H7E 1A3 Tél: (450) 661-9306 • Fax: (450) 661-9362

158, Place Marché du Nord Montréal (Québec) H2S 1A1 Tél: (514) 276-1345 • Fax: (514) 274-0410

80, de Callières Duvernay • Laval (Québec) H7E 3N1 Tél: (450) 661-6800


Découvrez la différence

Architecte : Jean-René Corbeil. Photo : Marc Cramer.

Systèmes architecturaux. Portes & fenêtres aluminium-bois.

3425, boulevard Industriel, Montréal (Québec) H1H 5N9 tél.: 514.955.4135 • tél.: 1.866.955.4135 • fax : 514.955.9131 www.alumilex.com • info@alumilex.com


In Entre goodbonnes handsmains by / par Shauna Hardy

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llness is probably one of the greatest levellers of all mankind. It is capable of wiping out the concepts of social prestige and wealth, leaving the individual to battle with emotions that range from pain and fear to helplessness and anger. No one is immune from physical illness and when we do fall pray to it the only thing that we crave is proper care. But that isn’t just defined by stateof-the-art medical attention. It also means high-quality personal attention, a sympathetic ear, a gentle touch and kind words of encouragement. For the past 46 years, Santa Cabrini Hospital has embraced this holistic approach, shunning the conveyor-belt mentality that is found in so many hospitals and diligently attending to patients’ spirits as well as their physical maladies. 4

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’est probablement dans la maladie que les hommes sont les plus égaux. Elle peut éliminer les concepts de prestige social et de richesse, laissant l’individu à des émotions qui vont de la douleur et la peur, à la vulnérabilité et la colère. Nul n’est à l’abri de la maladie et, lorsque nous en devenons la proie, nous ne désirons qu’une seule chose : obtenir les soins nécessaires. Toutefois, on ne peut simplement définir ceux-ci par un traitement médical de pointe. Ils consistent également en une attention personnelle de qualité supérieure – une oreille bienveillante, de la délicatesse et de bons mots d’encouragement. Au cours des 46 dernières années, l’hôpital Santa Cabrini a embrassé cette approche holistique, repoussant la mentalité du « malade en série » qui caractérise tant d’hôpitaux et traitant avec diligence le moral de ses patients autant que leurs maux physiques. 4


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1. Soeur Ilia X. Peverali

2.Visite de l’Hon. Amintore Fanfani, Septembre 1967

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3. Hospital in construction

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ith language barriers proving very difficult to cross at French and English hospitals, one of the most difficult challenges that Italian immigrants faced upon arriving in Montreal in the 1950’s was the health care system. While the church was doing its best to administer care it was limited by both knowledge and manpower. Hoping to continue their good work, the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart, came to Montreal in 1960 with the aim of building a hospital that would answer the needs of the rapidly expanding Italian community. With hos-

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es barrières linguistiques s’avérant très difficiles à franchir dans les hôpitaux francophones et anglophones, un des plus grands défis que les immigrants italiens eurent à affronter en arrivant à Montréal dans les années 1950 fut le système de santé. Alors que l’Église faisait de son mieux pour administrer des soins, elle était limitée à la fois sur le plan des connaissances et des effectifs. Souhaitant continuer leurs bonnes œuvres, les sœurs missionnaires du Sacré-Cœur arrivèrent à Montréal en 1960 dans le but de construire un hôpital qui répondrait aux

...the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart, came to Montreal in 1960 with the aim of building a hospital that would answer the needs of the rapidly expanding Italian community. ...les sœurs missionnaires du Sacré-Cœur arrivèrent à Montréal en 1960 dans le but de construire un hôpital qui répondrait aux besoins de la communauté italienne alors en pleine expansion. pitals in New York and Chicago as well as in Spain, France and England, the nuns had established a reputation for delivering a high standard of quality of care. The nuns request was granted and soon after, a large field in east end of Montreal was allotted for the construction of the acute care facility. When a person is in need of medical attention, one of the most important components to getting the right care is proper communication. In 1960, diagnostic tests weren’t as thorough as they are today. The only way to understand what the patient was experiencing was through an exchange of information. But picking up the proper cues doesn’t necessarily mean relying completely on verbal communication. There are other signifiers that are equally as important. Not only are the doctors at Santa Cabrini able to share a common linguistic bond with their patients they also have a shared understanding of culture and values. These factors are often equally important when making a diagnosis. “Think about 4

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besoins de la communauté italienne alors en pleine expansion. Grâce à leurs hôpitaux à New York et à Chicago, de même qu’en Espagne, en France et en Angleterre, les sœurs avaient acquis la réputation de prodiguer des soins de haute qualité. Leur demande pour un hôpital fut accordée et, peu après, un grand terrain à l’extrémité est de Montréal fut identifié pour la construction de l’établissement de soins de courte durée. Lorsqu’une personne nécessite une attention médicale, une des conditions les plus importantes pour lui assurer de bons soins est une communication efficace. En 1960, les tests diagnostiques n’étaient pas aussi complets qu’ils le sont aujourd’hui. Le seul moyen alors de comprendre ce que le patient ressentait passait par l’échange d’informations. Cependant, relever les bons signaux ne veut pas nécessairement dire de ne compter que sur la communication verbale. Il y a d’autres signifiants qui sont tout aussi importants. Non seulement les médecins de Santa Cabrini sont capa- 4


Even the hospital’s innovative circular design was laid out with the patient in nimd. Même le design circulaire innovateur de l’hôpital a été élaboré en fonction du patient. how someone might react to pain,” explains Irena Giannetti, Santa Cabrini’s Director General. “Not every culture deals with it in the same manner. The English might want to keep a stiff upper lip and not complain, while people with a more Latin temperament will cry out in pain. If you are not cognisant of the cultural significance, then you risk not providing the proper care.” The role of family in patient care also figures prominently at Santa Cabrini. The noise of relatives is often a soothing balm to patients’ ears, reminding them that they are loved and not alone in what they are facing. As a result, the hospital does not restrict the length of family visits. “The spirit of the patient is very important,” explains Giannetti. “It’s not just simply about following doctor’s order and taking medicine. The psychological state of the patient, what is happening between the ears, certainly counts.” In order to better support family members, the hospital has made cosy waiting rooms available that even feature chairs that can be converted into beds. Even the hospital’s innovative circular design was laid out with the patient in mind. Nurses’ stations and services are placed at the centre of each floor, with patients’ rooms running along the perimeter. Gone are dark, depressing, isolated rooms, replaced by lightfilled locales that always afford a view; allowing patients to feel as if they still have access to the real world rather than being cutoff from the day to day hustle and bustle of every-day-life. 4

Intensive care unit / Departement des soins intensifs

bles de partager un lien linguistique commun avec leurs patients, mais ils ont aussi une compréhension partagée de leur culture et de leurs valeurs. Ces facteurs sont souvent aussi importants au moment d’établir un diagnostic. « Pensez comment une personne réagit à la douleur, explique Irena Giannetti, directrice générale de Santa Cabrini. Toutes les cultures ne traitent pas la douleur de la même manière. L’Anglais va se pincer la lèvre supérieure rigide pour ne pas se plaindre, alors que les gens avec un tempérament plus latin vont crier de douleur. Si vous ne connaissez pas la signification culturelle, alors vous risquez de ne pas offrir les bons soins. » À Santa Cabrini, le rôle de la famille dans les soins du patient tient une place prépondérante. La présence des parents constitue souvent un baume apaisant aux oreilles du patient, lui rappelant qu’il est estimé et qu’il n’est pas seul à vivre son épreuve. En conséquence, l’hôpital ne restreint pas la durée des visites de la famille. « L’état d’esprit du patient est très important, explique Mme Giannetti. Il ne s’agit pas de suivre simplement les ordres du médecin et de prendre des médicaments. L’état psychologique du patient, ce qui se passe entre ses deux oreilles, compte certainement. » De manière à mieux épauler les membres de la famille, l’hôpital a fait construire des salles d’attente confortables dont les chaises peuvent même être converties en lits. Même le design circulaire innovateur de l’hôpital a été élaboré en fonction du patient. Les stations d’infirmières et les services sont situés au centre de chaque étage, avec les chambres des patients courant le long du périmètre. Fini les chambres sombres, déprimantes 4


2

3

1 4

1. Winter scene

2. Opening “Saputo Pavillon”, Lino and Mirella Saputo

3. Group photo

4. Opening of the Intensive Care Unit

Although Santa Cabrini was originally conceived to aid the Italian community, it by no means excludes other communities who live in the area. “Hospital means accueillant in Latin, it must be open to all who are in need,” says Gianetti. “It must benefit each individual and each culture. Sickness is a unifying factor. It crosses all boundaries. We are all vulnerable, and entering these doors you suddenly understand what becomes important and what matters.” Santa Cabrini opened in 1960 with 179 short-term beds which has steadily increased over the years to 457. It is obvious that this institution dwells in the hearts of the community. This past year, donors rallied around this hospital raising over $500,000. The key to Santa Cabrini’s success is to constantly keep elevating the bar for services while continuing to apply the hospital’s compassionate philosophy. Since its inception, Santa Cabrini has made medical breakthroughs on numerous fronts. It was the first facility to institute a coronary care unit in Montreal in 1966. It also created the first clinic that was capable of diagnosing thalassemia (Mediterranean anemia), a genetic problem that afflicts many who hail from that particular geographic region. Its emergency 4

This past year, donors rallied around this hospital raising over $500,000. L’année dernière, les donateurs se sont ralliés à l’hôpital et ont amassé plus de 500 000 $ et isolées; elles sont remplacées par des locaux illuminés qui offrent toujours une vue, permettant aux patients de se sentir comme s’ils avaient accès au vrai monde plutôt que d’être coupés, du jour au lendemain, du train-train quotidien. Bien qu’à l’origine Santa Cabrini ait été conçu pour venir en aide à la communauté italienne, il ne veut en aucun cas exclure les autres communautés qui vivent dans le secteur. « Hôpital vient du latin hospitalis qui signifie hospitalier – il doit donc être ouvert à tous ceux qui sont dans le besoin, note Mme. Giannetti. Aussi, il doit bénéficier à chaque individu et à chaque culture. La maladie est un facteur unifiant. Elle traverse toutes les frontières. Nous sommes tous vulnérables et, en franchissant ses portes, vous comprenez subitement ce qui devient important et ce qui compte. » En 1960, Santa Cabrini ouvrait ses portes et comptait 179 lits pour les soins de courte durée. Ce nombre va continuellement augmenter au fil des années et atteindra 457. Assurément, cette institution a sa place dans les cœurs de la communauté. L’année dernière, les donateurs se sont ralliés à l’hôpital et ont amassé plus de 500 000 $. La clé du succès de Santa Cabrini est de viser toujours plus haut en ce qui a trait aux services, tout en continuant de pratiquer la philosophie de compassion de l’hôpital. Depuis ses 4


I am committed to continuing to move it forward, to better our world and do our part. Je suis déterminée à continuer de le faire progresser, pour améliorer notre monde et faire notre part. room is presently undergoing a multi-million dollar modernization that will increase its bed capacity to 35. In a medical system where so many patients feel lost and overlooked, Santa Cabrini strives to give the personal care that we all crave when we are sick. And while updating technological equipment is always a priority, the administration is also constantly looking at ways of deepening their relationships to patients, most recently hiring a psychologist to help patients deal with the mental stress that can accompany a difficult diagnosis. In order to provide better care, the administration has always strived to keep its staff happy as well, constantly pushing its innovative philosophies to the farthest extreme. An employee daycare service was instituted in 1968 and employees are given the chance to take onsite Italian courses that will help them interact with patients in more meaningful and effective ways.

débuts, Santa Cabrini a réalisé des percées médicales sur plusieurs fronts. En 1966, il fut le premier établissement à implanter un service de cardiologie à Montréal. Il a aussi conçu la première clinique capable de diagnostiquer la thalassémie (anémie méditerranéenne), une maladie génétique qui affecte beaucoup d’individus originaires de la Méditerranée en particulier. Présentement, on modernise la salle d’urgence au coût de plusieurs millions de dollars, dont le nombre de lits augmentera à trente-cinq. Dans un système médical où beaucoup de patients se sentent perdus et ignorés, Santa Cabrini s’efforce d’offrir les soins personnalisés que nous désirons tous lorsque nous sommes malades. Et alors que la mise à jour de ses équipements de pointe reste toujours une priorité, l’administration recherche aussi constamment des moyens pour renforcer ses relations avec les patients, en engageant tout récemment un psychologue pour aider ceux-ci à composer avec le stress mental qui peut accompagner un diagnostic inquiétant.

“I received a precious gift when I was hired as Director General of this hospital,” admits Gianetti. “I am committed to continuing to move it forward, to better our world and do our part. The job is never finished, it never stops. Each person who works at the hospital is part of the total, it is a complete mosaic. Everyone contributes, if we missed one person, one link, the chain would fall apart. Every person is important, every person must be recognized for their contribution because there is always more work to be done.”

Dans le but d’offrir de meilleurs soins, l’administration s’est toujours efforcée de satisfaire son personnel tout en poussant constamment ses philosophies novatrices à l’extrême. En effet, un centre de jour pour les employés a été mis sur pied en 1968; aussi, leur donne-t-on la chance de suivre des cours d’italien sur place afin de les aider à interagir auprès des patients de manière plus significative et efficace.

Two very important links in the Santa Cabrini chain are General Director Irena Gianetti and Dr. Silvana Trifiro, Chief of the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Infectious Diseases. Along with sharing a rich Italian heritage, both women are contributing immensely to their profession and to the future of the hospital. PanoramItalia wanted to recognize the achievements of Santa Cabrini hospital by profiling two dynamic women from its devoted staff. g

« J’ai reçu un précieux cadeau lorsque j’ai été engagée comme directrice générale de cet hôpital, admet Mme Giannetti. Je suis déterminée à continuer de le faire progresser, pour améliorer notre monde et faire notre part. En fait, le travail n’est jamais terminé, il n’arrête jamais. Chaque personne qui travaille à l’hôpital est une partie du tout, c’est une mosaïque complète. Tout le monde contribue; s’il nous manquait une seule personne, un seul maillon, la chaîne se briserait. Chaque personne est importante, chaque personne doit être reconnue pour sa contribution parce qu’il y a toujours plus de travail à accomplir. » Deux maillons très importants de la chaîne de Santa Cabrini : Mme Irena Giannetti, directrice générale, et le médecin Mme Silvana Trifiro, chef du département du laboratoire médical et des maladies infectieuses. En plus de partager un riche héritage italien, ces deux femmes ont immensément contribué non seulement à leur profession, mais aussi à l’avenir de l’hôpital. PanoramItalia a voulu souligner les réalisations de l’hôpital Santa Cabrini en dressant le portrait de deux femmes énergiques de son équipe attentionnée. g

CT Scan

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CentroDante Di Ignazio Blanco

Il Venticinquesimo anniversario del CentroDante e gli Italiani del secolo scorso. I

l Centro Dante nasce nel 1981, primo ed unico centro per anziani di origine italiana nel Quebec. Quest’anno verrà festeggiato il venticinquesimo anniversario dell’istituto; la casa dei residenti non dimostra la sua età, porta con fierezza un’idea nata nel 1981, un’estensione logica dell’idea di conforto culturale che é alla base dell’Ospedale Santa Cabrini di cui ne rappresenta una continuazione in risposta alle esigenze sociali. Al Centro Dante, Italiani di prima generazione hanno ritrovato un ambiente vicino alla terra in cui sono nati, alle tradizioni, alle necessità di chi non può cambiare ma vuole ancora gioire di quello che la vita e questo splendido istituto possono offrire.

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comuni, di vita serena ed il concetto di centro cure assistenziali? Il Centro Dante é un esempio di armonia nella considerazione medica e culturale, mente e corpo, non sono poi concetti tanto originali.

Se pensate che questo sia un luogo per persone anziane, vi sbagliate. Qui la vita ricomincia. Mi sembra di essere in Italia. I commenti in dialetto, I visi, le storie, l’amore. E perché no, il cibo. Pensate che con l’aiuto di alcuni “amici” del centro, viene fatto anche il vino. E poi vi sono feste, incontri con le scuole; mi e’ stato riferito che il problema e’ restringere l’accesso perché l’affluenza é tale che anche I “giovani residenti” a volte si stancano. Giuseppe D’Onofrio (Presidente della Fondazione Santa Cabrini), mi descrive il centro come fonte inesauribile di energia. Passare alcune ore in compagnia degli abitanti il centro Dante rigenera e da coraggio, aiuta a comprendere e mettere in prospettiva I problemi quotidiani. Ho I miei dubbi…

Entrare al Centro Dante é come entrare in tante case allo stesso tempo, con le loro unicità, con la loro storia, sempre con tanta cura e personalità. Perché di personalità al Centro Dante proprio non manca. La casa é fatta da chi ci abita, e noi tutti cerchiamo di fare del nostro meglio. Le foto dei nipotini, le divise militari (la Grande Guerra, le campagne militari italiane), I compagni di una vita piena di ricordi, le foto di tanti anni fa, quando si era giovani... Tanta dignità, tanto rispetto, e tanta voglia di non appartenere solo a chi racconta, ma a chi é ancora capace di creare, vivere nuove storie. Ed ancora tanti amici del Centro Dante che partecipano e creano delle attività, I volontari sono al centro di un sistema che attrae famigliari ma anche estranei che vogliono dare un contributo, una presenza a chi ha dato tanto nella vita ed ancora ha tanto da offrire. Anche se per la realtà medica dei nostri giorni i risultati superlativi della Fondazione Santa Cabrini sono una certezza di continuità di valore e qualità del servizio offerto, il contributo umano ed il volontariato in particolare, e’ sempre e comunque un elemento imprescindibile.

Anziani e vitalità, gioia e casa di riposo non sono dei termini che vanno spesso assieme. La reticenza generale, il naturale respingere l’idea di avere I nostri cari in un’istituzione é decisamente una realtà. Gli addetti ai lavori confermano che spesso I famigliari si rivolgono all’istituzione troppo tardi, la lista d’attesa é lunga e prevede elementi di autosufficienza del paziente. Ma dove si conciliano le storie di attività

Nelle mie visite al Centro Dante ho assistito ad uno spettacolo di un celebre comico/umorista locale, gioco delle carte per uomini ed uncinetto per le donne (sani valori italiani), preparazione di piatti tipici con partecipazione generale, attività sportive di gruppo, partecipazione generale al gioco del Bingo (con emissione di buoni valori, moneta Dante) e celebre gioco delle bocce. Per non parlare di un incantevole orto da fare invidia alle nuove gener- 4


azioni di salutisti. Vi posso assicurare che nella settimana di visite, I residenti hanno avuto una vita sociale molto più intensa della mia… I programmi sono organizzati da un’equipe favolosa, il cui sorriso ed entusiasmo hanno un potere fortemente contagioso. Ed anche se questa e’ l’unica forma di contagio presente, vi sono altri problemi che assillano l’istituto: ad esempio, come riuscire a cucinare meglio della nonna? Come credere al dottore che si, ha studiato, ma avrà forse l’età’ di mio nipote? La risposta al primo problema e’ mai. Non e’ possibile cucinare meglio della nonna, ma I cuochi del “Dante” si fanno onore ed anche loro appartengono al gruppo di chi non si ferma solo ai doveri per accontentare richieste speciali. Credere ai dottori, …questo e’ releMatrimonio di Signora Lanese gato all’entità superiore, alla chiesa, o in modo più specifico al prete. Il conforto di una persona che e’ capace di tradurre, non la lingua italiana, ma I sentimenti, le emozioni, le necessità: la realtà. Le storie sono tante e la religione ha sempre una parte importante nella vita di italiani che sono passati attraverso la fine del secolo, non l’ultimo, quello con ancora l’uno all’inizio. Diciannovesimo secolo ha aria di storia, ma una

splendida signora mi dice che lei ha cancellato gli anni e re-iniziato da 0. Praticamente ha l’età dei miei figli questa ultracentenaria. Devo ammettere, quasi la stessa vivacità. Volete sapere il segreto per vivere oltre i cent’anni in gamba e con ancora tanta voglia di ballare? Non fermarsi mai, mangiare poco, e spesso, e lavorare, essere attivi. Ancora una volta sembra chiaro che non abbiamo bisogno di scienziati per capire le regole auree del buon vivere. Giuseppina Lanese parla correntemente inglese francese ed ovviamente l’italiano. Fino a pochi anni fa, prendeva il treno per andare a trovare la figlia negli Stati Uniti, poi l’assicurazione ha deciso di alzare troppo il premio, …se fosse per lei, ci andrebbe anche domani. Mi racconta di come e’ arrivata in Canada, nel 1917 a bordo del Cretic: aveva 11 anni. A Guglionese in Italia, lei ci stava bene, la famiglia era numerosa, 4 fratelli e 6 sorelle, ma non mancava niente. Si diceva: l’America? Là, ci vuole la pala per I soldi…. Ma che pala e pala. Qui c’era la miseria. Con 1 banana si facevano 3 panini. A 13 anni, 60 ore la settimana per quasi 5 dollari. Altro che scherzi,

Se pensate che questo sia un luogo per persone anziane, vi sbagliate. Qui la vita ricomincia. Mi sembra di essere in Italia. altro che America. Per imparare la lingua, la Signora Lanese mi racconta di come la madre le avesse detto di raccogliere tutte le parole che sentiva e …metterle in tasca. Inizio a pensare che Giuseppe D’Onofrio abbia ragione; il Centro Dante e’ una miniera d’oro per lo spirito e per la nostra vita. All’età di 16 anni Giuseppina incontra il futuro marito, Pietro Piperno di Casalcalenda. Pietro ha 13 anni e porta I pantaloncini corti, ma potrebbe fare parte dei bersaglieri tanto e’ grande e forte. Nel 1930 si sposano e qui nascono I problemi perché loro vogliono fare figli ma le informazioni tecniche sono scarse. Internet ancora non c’é, e nessuno vuole dire niente. Loro pensano che un abbraccio sia sufficiente, e si vede che mi sono perso un pezzo dell’intervista perché ad un certo punto Giuseppina mi dice che la paura più grande l’ha avuta al momento del parto. 4

Signora Lanese e Vincent Casola


Volete sapere il segreto per vivere oltre i cent’anni in gamba e con ancora tanta voglia di ballare? Non fermarsi mai... All’età di 82 anni, torna in Italia, sulla spiaggia, in costume a fare il bagno. Dopo 70 anni, ancora giovane, sempre italiana. Se visitate il Centro Dante e siete capaci di farvi amica la Signora Lanese, vi farà vedere anche a voi quella splendida foto. Altro che psicologi e pillole, a 100 e passa anni non può sopportare di restare seduta a fare niente. E noi ci commiseriamo per I nostri problemi. La soluzione e’ alzarsi e lavorare, mangiare poco. Se fosse così semplice. Ma questo e’ anche il Centro Dante. Ancora una volta, la casa é fatta da chi ci abita, e queste sono storie vere che potete vivere e vedere davanti ai vostri occhi solamente andando ad una delle attività, come volontari o come, …partecipanti. Il Centro ha il dono di essere stato capace nelle persone che l’hanno gestito e lo gestiscono, di una lungimiranza e di una pragmaticità splendidi. Il risultato e’ un luogo dove gli italiani possono ritrovare I valori più cari e tanta dignità. Una casa che offre la possibilità di rappresentare le favolose personalità che la vivono, nelle loro peculiarità nelle loro emozioni. E’ un incontro di tante storie, un ritorno alla patria d’origine dopo un percorso lungo di gioie e difficoltà, ma anche la sicurezza di una continuità e la gioia del viverla. Ho cercato di immaginare il miglior modo per potervi suggerire come celebrare il venticinquesimo del Centro Dante. Vi saranno formali opportunità ed avvenimenti con tanto di presenza politica locale e italiana. Il significato e l’amore dei residenti, vedete, non ha età. Loro di anniversari ne hanno avuti tanti, ma la partecipazione diretta, il fare sentire che sono ancora lì per noi, questo e’ un regalo, questa e’ una celebrazione. Ed alla fine, ci sentiremo tutti un po’ migliori, come dopo la mia chiacchierata con la Signora Lanese.

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Lunga vita al centroDante! 50


Geraldo Pace


our people di Ignazio Blanco

“Lavoriamo, Cabrini, lavoriamo”

Papa Leone XIII a Madre Francesca Cabrini la cui opera ha contribuito alla fondazione dell’Ospedale Santa Cabrini.

“Travaillons, Cabrini, travaillons” Le Pape Léon XIII à Mère Francesca Cabrini, l’oeuvre de laquelle a contribué à la fondation de l'Hôpital Sainte Cabrini.

IreneGiannetti Lavoriamo, Giannetti, lavoriamo.

Travaillons, Giannetti, travaillons.

E la Signora Giannetti lavora con dedizione alla guida del Santa Cabrini, l’ospedale italiano di Montreal, con il supporto ed il prezioso contributo di un’equipe di eccellenti collaboratori e di tanto rispetto dalla comunità e dai clienti, che in questo caso sono molto pazienti.

Et Madame Giannetti travaille avec dévouement à la tête du Santa Cabrini, l’hôpital italien de Montréal, aidée par le support et la précieuse participation d’une équipe de collaborateurs d’exception et entourée du plus grand respect de la part de la communauté et des clients, qui, dans ce cas, se révèlent …très patients.

Ma non e’ sempre stato così.

Mais il n'a pas toujours été ainsi.

La piccola bambina nata a Casacalenda in Molise, il rispetto se l’e’ dovuto guadagnare. Il viaggio e’ stato lungo dalle ginocchia di nonno Domenico a raccontare dell’America. Racconti di avventure e di successi che poco avevano a che fare con la realtà dura dell’emigrazione. In quelle parole c’era sempre speranza, e tanto amore, il significato vero di una generazione di italiani partita alla ricerca di un lavoro e che molto spesso aveva invece trovato miseria. Di fronte alle difficoltà avevano lottato, e al ritorno in Italia i ricordi erano sempre belli, di successo. A casa c’erano le mogli, le donne forti che reggevano la famiglia, che non solo aspettavano, ma costruivano e tiravano avanti. Costruivano sogni e coraggio per il momento in cui si sarebbe dovuti partire.

La petite fille, née à Casacalenda, en Molise, a du gagner le respect. Le voyage a été long, ayant commencé sur les genoux de son grandpère Domenico, qui lui parlait de l’Amérique. Ses récits traitaient d’aventures et de victoires qui avaient bien peu à faire avec la réalité de l’émigration, dure et fréquemment tragique. Ses paroles étaient remplies d'espérance et de grand amour, véritables valeurs d’une génération d’italiens qui étaient partis à la recherche d’un travail, mais qui avaient trouvé, bien souvent, au contraire, la misère. Ils avaient lutté vis-à-vis des difficultés et, en retournant en Italie, leurs souvenirs étaient toujours agréables, positifs. Leurs épouses, femmes vigoureuses qui maintenaient le foyer, les attendaient à la maison, en construisant et en essayant à faire vivre la famille. Elles construisaient rêves et courage en vue du moment du départ.

Un giorno anche la famiglia Giannetti parte da Napoli nel ’57 per raggiungere il padre Nicola a Montreal. Irene ha solo 6 anni, sulla nave per il Canada con la madre Maria Vincenza e la sorella Loreta. Il ricordo del nonno che prima di partire le aveva detto di guardare in alto, al cielo per scorgere i gabbiani, il primo segno che il lungo viaggio sarebbe giunto presto alla fine. L’arrivo nella grande città coincide con la prima conferma di un cambiamento drastico, una separazione netta con il passato. In un momento, tutti i riferimenti, il conforto degli amici, dei parenti, vengono a mancare. Sono le parole della Signora Giannetti a farmi vedere le porte aperte, le voci gridate nelle strade di una famiglia grande quanto il paese lasciato, che d’un colpo non parla più la stessa lingua e non ti accoglie, non t’invita in casa; le porte adesso sono chiuse. Le difficoltà iniziano ad emergere e sono difficoltà nuove; la lingua, comunicare, essere diversi in una realtà che ancora non conosce la parola integrazione. Essere emigranti. 4

Un jour, la famille Giannetti laisse Casacalenda, en 1957, pour rejoindre le père Nicola à Montréal. La petite fille se souvient des paroles du grand-père, qui lui avait dit de regarder en haut, sur le navire, de contempler le ciel, à la recherche des mouettes, premier signe indiquant que la fin du voyage était proche. L’arrivée dans la grande ville coïncide avec la première confirmation d’un changement drastique, d’une séparation très nette avec le passé. Aussitôt, tous les poins de repère, le confort des amis et des parents, font défaut. Les mots de Madame Giannetti me permettent de voir les portes ouvertes, les clameurs dans les rues, appartenants à une famille aussi grand que le pais quitté et qui, tout à coup, ne parle plus la même langue, ne t’abrite pas, ne t'exhorte plus à entrer dans la maison ; les portes sont fermées, maintenant. Les difficultés émergent, peu à peu, et il s’agit de difficultés nouvelles ; la langue, la possibilité de communiquer, le fait d’être différents dans une réalité qui ne connaît encore la parole intégration. Être émigrants. 4

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1 2

1. Mamma, papa, Irene, Loreta e cuggino Lucio, prima casa in Canada 2. Genitori, Gennaio 1957 3. Matrimonio dello zio Vincenzo e zia Carmela, Casacalenda, 1956 (Irene, cerchiato)

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Irene Giannetti e’ una di quelle bambine con le chiavi di casa attorno al collo, che torna da scuola in una casa vuota perché i genitori sono a lavorare. La madre riesce attraverso parroco e preghiere a farla iscrivere alla scuola francese. In quel periodo era molto raro poter accedervi senza essere “cattolici e francesi”. Gli emigranti italiani potevano certamente vantare il Santo Padre come ospite illustre in Italia, ma in quanto a lingua e statuto francese lasciavano a desiderare. Normalmente erano le scuole inglesi ad accogliere gli emigranti, diventate per necessità molto più cosmopolite. Irene si trova sola, in una scuola che non parla la sua lingua, in un ambiente dove la differenza non e’ vista come ricchezza culturale ma come problema. I bambini sono molto diretti nelle loro manifestazioni, ed essere al di fuori significa non appartenere al gruppo; fuori dai giochi, fuori dalla felicità. Ma non dai sogni, e tanta determinazione e coraggio per realizzarli, quasi un onere od una missione davanti alle difficoltà. Di gioia ce n’e’ comunque tanta in casa Giannetti, e forza, la stessa che ha aiutato tanti emigranti e che li ha spinti ad 4

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Irene Giannetti est l’une de ces petites qui portent les clés de la maison autour du cou, qui doit rentrer dans une maison vide, puisque ses parents sont au travail. Sa mère arrive, par le biais du curé et des prières, à l’inscrire à l’école française. Il était très rare, dans cette période, pouvoir y accéder sans être “catholiques et français”. Les émigrants italiens pouvaient revendiquer la présence du Saint Père, en tant qu’hôte illustre en Italie, mais, pour ce qui était de la langue et du statut français, ils laissaient à désirer. Normalement, les émigrants trouvaient place dans les écoles anglaises, qui étaient devenues, par nécessité, beaucoup plus cosmopolites. Irene se retrouve toute seule, dans une école où on ne parle pas sa langue, dans un milieu où la différence est vécue comme un problème, plutôt que comme une richesse. Les enfants sont très directs dans leurs manifestations, et être exclue signifie n’appartenir pas au group ; hors des jeux, hors du bonheur. Mais elle possède ses rêves, avec une grande détermination et le courage pour les réaliser, comme s’il s’agissait d’un devoir ou d’une mission à accomplir vis-à-vis des difficultés. 4


Cependant, la joie ne manque pas dans la famille Giannetti, de même que la force, précisément celle-là qui a aidé tant d’émigrants, les encourageant à être meilleurs. Madame Giannetti ne cesse de sourire lorsqu’elle se souvient de la petite fille qui devait se hâter pour rentrer à la maison et préparer le repas. Et, ensuite, les devoirs, pour essayer de comprendre, de parler la langue e de se faire comprendre à son tour.

Irene, mamma e Loreta in Italia 1953

essere migliori. La Signora Giannetti non perde mai il sorriso mentre mi racconta della bambina che deve correre a casa a fare da mangiare. E poi i compiti per cercare di capire, di parlare la lingua e di farsi capire. La vita e’ sempre piena di ricordi ed aneddoti che in un modo particolare hanno modificato il cammino della nostra vita e ci hanno fatto seguire o decidere per altre strade; una in particolare mi e’ rimasta nel cuore ed e’ la storia di un pianoforte e di una melodia che usciva dalle finestre di una scuola di danza vicina a dove Irene abitava. Un giorno tornando da scuola, prende coraggio e si affaccia alla porta. Vede altre bambine che cercano di seguire l’aria romantica, sopratutto vede un gran pianoforte da dove questa musica nasce. Passeranno tanti anni prima che si potrà permettere delle lezioni, ma oggi quella musica nasce dalle sue dita, ed il pianoforte da desiderio e’ diventato una passione che coltiva con lo stesso amore di quella volta quando era solo un sogno. Dalle scuole primarie all’università il salto e’ grande. Per complicare le cose, si cambia lingua. L’inglese a McGill e’ un altro passo importante nella formazione scolastica, un’altra possibilità di capire una nuova cultura ed essere capaci di creare delle opportunità di lavoro e di crescita. Il primo impiego vede la neolaureata adesso capace di parlare 3 lingue (…e mezzo se includiamo il dialetto molisano) con tanta voglia di dimostrare il proprio valore di fronte a 3500 impiegati. Irene Giannetti inizia la carriera lavorativa alla guida delle relazioni patronali/sindacali dell’ospedale Sacro-Cuore. Un inizio alla grande, senza compromessi. Nella gabbia dei leoni tante esperienze difficili, ma anche tante soddisfazioni per essere capace di dare, capire e trasformare i conflitti in soluzioni, …o almeno provare. Una scuola fantastica, un’esperienza che porta tanti elementi importanti e segna una chiara linea di crescita per la futura carriera lavorativa. Dopo 6 anni all’interno dell’ambito ospedaliero, curandosi di un aspetto amministrativo che continua ad allargarsi sempre di più, la nascita del redazionale interno INTERCOM rimane ancor oggi un merito importante, sorge un’opportunità’ quasi per caso. L’Ospedale Santa Cabrini sta cercando personale per il nuovo progetto chiamato “Centro d’accoglienza Dante”, tra cui un responsabile amministrati-4

La vie est toujours pleine de souvenirs et d’anecdotes, qui influencent nos décisions et qui nous font choisir entre directions différentes; l’une d’elles, notamment, m’est restée dans le coeur et il s’agit de l’histoire d’un piano et d’une mélodie, qui provenait des fenêtres d’une école de danse située près de chez Irene. Un jour, en rentrant de l’école, elle se donne du courage et se montre à la porte. Elle voit d’autres filles qui s’efforcent de suivre l’air romantique et, surtout, elle voit un grand piano, celui dont provient la musique. Il faudra attendre plusieurs années avant qu’elle puisse se permettre de prendre des leçons, mais actuellement la musique sorte de ses doigts, et le désir est devenu une passion, qu’elle cultive avec ce même amour qu’elle éprouvait lorsqu’il s’agissait seulement d’un rêve. Des écoles primaires à l’université le pas est grand, et le changement de langue va compliquer les choses. L’anglais à la McGill est une démarche importante dans la formation scolaire, une ultérieure possibilité de comprendre une culture nouvelle et de créer des opportunités de travail et de progrès. Le premier office voit la jeune diplômée, en mesure, maintenant, de parler 3 langues (…et demie, si l’on inclut le dialecte du Molise), désireuse de prouver sa valeur devant 3500 employés. Irene Giannetti entreprend sa carrière à la tête du bureau des relations patronales/syndicales de l’hôpital du Sacré-Coeur. Un exorde important, sans compromis. Nombreuses expériences difficiles se présentent, mais aussi autant de satisfactions, dues à sa capacité de donner, de comprendre et de transformer les conflits en solutions, ... ou, au moins, d’essayer de le faire. Un apprentissage extraordinaire, une expérience chargée d’éléments importants, qui marque une ligne précise pour le développement de la future carrière. Après 6 ans passés à l’intérieur du milieu hospitalier, en s’occupant d’un aspect administratif qui ne cesse d’augmenter - la création de la publication interne INTERCOM demeure, encore aujourd’hui, un résultat important - une nouvelle opportunité se présente, presque par hasard. L’hôpital Santa Cabrini recherche du personnel, parmi lequel un responsable administratif, pour un nouveau projet appelé “Centre d’accueil Dante”. Après une série exténuante de colloques, en 1981 elle peut se vanter d’ouvrir les portes d’une institution qui se révélera de grande importance pour la communauté italienne de Montréal, et qui sera un point d’observation valide et excellent pour interagir avec la réalité de l’hôpital Santa Cabrini. Le Centre Dante surgit à la suite des idées de confort culturel et de respect humain, qui marquent toute cette histoire, en tant que rêves au début et ensuite comme fin constant à atteindre dans le cours de l’existence. La communication, en milieu médical, le rapport patient/médecin, n’est pas exclusivement ou purement technique, mais devient souvent culturel dans la manifestation de la pathologie et critique lorsque la barrière linguistique se transforme en élément insurmontable. 4

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vo. Dopo un’estenuante serie di colloqui, nel 1981 e’ fiera di poter aprire le porte di un’istituzione che si rivelera’ importantissima per la comunità italiana di Montreal ed un valido, eccellente punto da cui osservare ed interagire con la realtà dell’Ospedale Santa Cabrini. Il Centro Dante nasce seguendo le idee di conforto culturale e di rispetto umano che ritroviamo costanti in questa storia, come sogno all’inizio, come meta costante da raggiungere nella vita. La comunicazione nella medicina, il rapporto paziente/medico non e’ solamente o puramente tecnico, molto spesso diventa culturale nella manifestazione della patologia e critico quando la barriera linguistica si trasforma in elemento insormontabile.

Irene Giannetti incarne l’exemple d’un succès dans l’intégration et représente surtout la possibilité, pour une institution hospitalière à vocation ethnique, d’être conduite par une personne qui a démontré sa valeur dans la vie quotidienne, en passant à travers maintes difficultés professionnelles et culturelles, avec une base solide de valeurs partagées par les mêmes patients de l’hôpital. Irene Giannetti devient Directrice Générale de l’Hôpital Santa Cabrini en 1988, en embrassant la grande vision d’un Hôpital qui respecte l’ethnie et la culture, qui soit en mesure de comprendre les patients et qui puisse fournir des services conformes aux attentes médicales et sociales. Il s’agit d’un résultat qui représente un autre défi considérable et

1. Visita con il presidente della Republica Italiana, Oscar Luigi Scalfaro

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un parcours de croissance personnelle, qui ne répond pas exclusivement à l’ambition, mais aussi à l’orgueil d’être italienne, éloignée des parents et des amis, qu’on a laissés il y a beaucoup d’années, mais toujours italienne.

Irene Giannetti rappresenta l’esempio di un successo nell’integrazione, rappresenta soprattutto la possibilità per una istituzione ospedaliera con vocazione etnica, di avere alla guida una persona che ha dimostrato sul campo il proprio valore passando attraverso le difficoltà professionali e culturali, con una solida base di valori condivisi anche dagli stessi pazienti dell’ospedale. Irene Giannetti diventa Direttore Generale dell’Ospedale Santa Cabrini nel 1988 abbraciando la grande visione di un Ospedale che rispetti l’etnia, la cultura, che sappia comprendere i pazienti e che sappia fornire servizi consoni alle aspettative mediche e sociali. Un traguardo che rappresenta un’altra sfida importante ed un cammino di crescita personale che risponde non soltanto all’ambizione, ma anche all’orgoglio di essere italiana, lontana dai parenti ed amici lasciati tanti anni fa, ma sempre italiana.

Les appréciations à l’égard de la vie et de la carrière de Madame Giannetti sont nombreuses, mais l’humilité et la simplicité d’une personne qui préfère les résultats aux éloges sont restées les mêmes. Parmi tous les prix, il y en a un qui porte, en particulier, les couleurs italiennes et qui représente l’attestation d’une haute valeur et d’un grand courage dans la vie et dans la profession ; le titre de “Commandeur de la République Italienne” est conféré à Irene Giannetti en 1997, par initiative du Président de l’époque, Oscar Luigi Scalfaro.

I riconoscimenti alla vita e alla carriera della Signora Giannetti, sono molti, ma niente ha cambiato l’umiltà’ e la semplicità di una persona che preferisce i risultati alle fanfare. Di tutti i premi, uno in particolare porta il tricolore italiano e rappresenta il riconoscimento di un grande valore e di tanto coraggio nella vita e nella professione; il titolo di “Commendatore della 4

Dans l’histoire d’Irene Giannetti que nous connaissons, à la tête d’un hôpital qui présente une qualité et une typologie de services très rares, il est difficile d’apercevoir les difficultés du passé, et il serait presque impossible de les comprendre, si elles ne fussent pas conservées dans la mémoire historique des émigrants de l’après-guerre. L’unicité et la joie qui émergent de cette histoire 4


Repubblica Italiana” viene conferito ad Irene Giannetti nel 1997 sotto iniziativa dell’allora Presidente Oscar Luigi Scalfaro. Nella storia di Irene Giannetti che noi conosciamo, e’ difficile vedere le difficoltà del passato e sarebbe quasi impossibile comprenderle se non fossero nella memoria storica di molti degli emigranti del dopo guerra. L’unicità e la gioia che emergono da questa storia sono legate al desiderio di reagire, di mostrare di essere più forti delle difficoltà e cercare di prendere le cose migliori da tutte le situazioni. E’ come il giorno e la notte, mi dice, non si possono avere allo stesso tempo, ma sono due aspetti complementari ed unici. La storia del nonno e dei gabbiani e’ una storia di distacco dalla terra d’origine, di allontanamento, ma e’ anche una speranza di gioia, della fine di un viaggio e l’inizio di uno migliore. La Signora Giannetti mi ripete che e’ una nostra responsabilità cercare di avere rispetto, di guadagnare rispetto, nel lavoro come nella vita. Voglio aggiungere che e’ anche un dono. Non si parla mai abbastanza delle ingiustizie subite dagli emigranti, degli abusi e degli insulti, di

sont liées au désir de résister, de se montrer plus forts des difficultés et de chercher à tirer le meilleur parti de chaque situation. Il est comme le jour et la nuit, me dit-elle, il n'est pas possible de les avoir dans le même temps, mais il s’agit de deux aspects complémentaires et uniques. L’histoire du grand-père et des mouettes est une histoire d’abandon de la terre d’origine, d’éloignement, mais elle est aussi une espérance de joie, la fin d’un voyage qui devient l’origine d’un voyage meilleur. Madame Giannetti me répète que notre responsabilité est celle d’avoir respect, de gagner le respect, aussi bien dans le travail que dans la vie. Je veux ajouter qu’il s’agit aussi d’un don. On ne parle jamais trop des injustices subies par les émigrants, des abus et des injures, de la difficulté d’aller à l’école avec les brodequins de peau, le panino, la marque d’émigrant. L’institution dirigée par Madame Giannetti est officiellement reconnue par l’Office de la langue française, comme bilingue, italienne et française. D’un certain point de vue, la même émigrante a gagné le respect à travers les règles

Tutti cerchiamo la stessa cosa: la felicità. « Je vais mettre de l’ordre las dans ». « Je cherche la justice, rincorro un utopia » Il rispetto si guadagna ed e’ un dovere cercare di essere rispettati. Je me souviens des couleurs, des odeurs d'Italie. « Je cherche la justice, je poursuive une utopie » Le respect se gagne et il faut essayer de se faire respecter. quanto era difficile andare a scuola con gli scarponcini di pelle, con il panino, con il timbro di emigrante. L’istituzione che vede Mme Giannetti alla guida, e’ ufficialmente riconosciuta dall’Office della langue francaise, come bilingue, italiano e francese. Se letto in altra chiave, la stessa emigrante ha vinto il rispetto attraverso le regole che l’avevano respinta all’inizio e che adesso si vedono cambiate, migliorate, da chi ha vissuto le difficoltà ed e’ riuscita a lasciare un segno positivo, di speranza, di successo. Faccio fatica a confrontare questa storia con la mia realtà di emigrante arrivato via Air France pochi anni or sono. Queste sono storie di coraggio, di forza dove i riferimenti perduti sono diventati un ricordo, ed il dovere di reagire anche per chi non e' capace, non e' abbastanza forte. Il dolore e la malinconia legati alla separazione da una terra, l’Italia, che ormai si ricorda nei colori, negli odori, sempre nel nostro cuore. Il contrasto ed i sentimenti di non appartenere più ad un luogo, ed essere allo stesso tempo cittadini del mondo. Un piccolo aneddoto comune a molti che spiega questo fenomeno e’ di ritrovarsi Italiani in Canada e “Americani” in Italia. Questa splendida conversazione con Irene Giannetti e’ finita. Io resto con tanti sogni e tante immagini. Dare un senso alla storia o agli eventi e’ difficile, spesso impossibile. Si cresce, si impara, e forse l’insegnamento che io ricevo e’ proprio il dovere e l’onere di contribuire a raggiungere l’utopia di una vita piena di gioia, per noi, per le nostre famiglie, per chi vuol credere che si può fare meglio, che si deve andare avanti, ogni giorno, un passo alla volta. g

Lavoriamo, Giannetti, lavoriamo.

qui l’avaient rejetée au début et qui sont maintenant changées et améliorées par qui a vécu les difficultés et a été en mesure de laisser un signe positif, d’espérance et de succès. Il n’est pas facile, pour moi, de confronter cette histoire avec ma réalité d'émigrant, arrivé via Air France il y a quelques années. Il s’agit de contes de courage et de force, dans lesquels les points de repère perdus sont devenus un souvenir et ont engendré le devoir de réagir, même pour qui n’est pas capable de le faire, pour qui n’est pas suffisamment fort. La douleur et la mélancolie liées à la séparation d'une terre, l'Italie, qui existe désormais comme un souvenir dans les couleurs, les odeurs, et qui demeure toujours dans le coeur. Le contraste et les sensations de ne plus appartenir à aucun lieu, et d’être, dans le même temps, citoyens du monde. Un petit anecdote, partagé par beaucoup de monde, et qui explique ce phénomène, est celui d'être considérés Italiens en Canada et “Américains” en Italie. Cette merveilleuse conversation avec Irene Giannetti est terminée. Je demeure avec beaucoup de rêves et d’images. Il est difficile, souvent impossible, d’attribuer un sens à l'histoire et aux événements. On grandit, on apprend, et, peut-être, la leçon que je reçois est précisément celle qui se réfère au devoir et à la tâche de contribuer à atteindre l’utopie d’une vie remplie de joie, pour nous, pour nos familles, pour ceux qui veulent croire que l'on peut toujours s'améliorer, qu’il faut toujours progresser, peu à peu, à petits pas. g

Travaillons, Giannetti, travaillons.

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our people BY SHAUNA HARDY

Dr.SilvanaTrifiro D

Tender loving care

r. Silvana Trifiro’s postage stamp of an office is bustling with activity. Her responsibilities as Santa Cabrini’s Chief of Department of Laboratory Medicine and Infectious Diseases spill over onto her desk. There are stacks of notes and rotational schedules to be planned; a doctor knocks on her door to discuss improvements to patient care protocol so that things can run even more efficiently. But Trifiro’s personal life is also present in this room. Among her shelves are pictures of her family – her two boys Lucas and Mathew as well as her husband Peter. Two worlds fill this tiny space – the devoted doctor energetically delivering quality care at her hospital shares a space alongside the devoted woman who lovingly answers the needs of her own family at home. Although Trifiro is a second-generation born Canadian, it was both sets of grandparents that immigrated to Canada from Sicily shortly after the First World War; she grew up with a strong sense of her Italian heritage. Italian was the first language her mother spoke to her as a child, and it is still a language that she often uses to communicate with her patients. “My patients often speak to me in Italian and I am able to understand very well. I’m also able to speak to them, although I might still stumble a little bit,” she reveals with a smile. As a child, Sundays were precious days reserved for making mischief, her memories are linked to gaggles of relatives playing together and her nonna’s cooking. “I remember her homemade veal bracciola. Can you image my grandmother making that much food for so many people?” she asks incredulously. “I don’t even remember where the parents were. I just remember being all together – that’s what it was all about.” Trifiro admits that her concept of family was coloured by her own experience. “I was so naïve,” she says. “I thought that every family was as close knit as ours. Looking back I realize how lucky we were. You think that this is normal, but it was a gift for us.”

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Silvana Trifiro is a confident woman. When she speaks her voice is filled with a wonderful combination of self-assurance and delight. This can be partially attributed to her upbringing and the values that her parents, Grace Nicola and Guiseppe Trifiro, instilled in her. “My father told me that I could be anything that I wanted,” she explains. “‘You are as good as anyone else, he would tell me.’ We could do anything we wanted as long as we promised to go to University, something that he didn’t have a chance to do. I think every generation wants the road to be a little smoother for the next. The only thing that he wanted for us was to be proud of what we did and to do it well.” While Guiseppe helped his children to believe that the world was their oyster, Grace was the blue-eyed, fair-haired law-setter who made sure that everyone followed through on their dreams. She was also the first person who took her daughter to Italy. “We were going through the little narrow streets in Venice and my mother knew exactly where she was leading me. We turned a corner and suddenly we were standing in Piazza San Marco. Tears immediately sprang to my eyes. The sudden expansiveness, the beauty, the architecture – it was just too beautiful,” she remembers. There are two common threads to almost every story that Trifiro tells me – a family member is almost certainly involved and she always has a smile on her face as she is relating it. It is obvious how much these memories mean to her and how much she cherishes those she holds closest to her heart. What also strikes me is Trifiro’s exuberance and lack of fear. Each story is instead filled with a sense of joy and an eagerness to get as much as she can out of her life. As the only daughter with two brothers she threw herself head long into almost every sport. “I used to play in nets for street hockey, touch football, you name it. Later on in life, I just assumed that everyone loved to fish. When I was a kid and we were going 4


Geraldo Pace


...trying to provide better services for the community, that is my biggest source of pride. on a fishing trip, I used to pray for rain, just so I could go out and dig up the fattest worms.” That sense of closeness and adventure that she experienced with her own parents and siblings is something that she has passed on to her own children as well. The happy foursome has spent many summers camping and even completed a ride to Quebec City on twin two-seater bikes. The torch has been passed and I am sure her children will one day speak about their own memories with the same relish and enthusiasm as Trifiro does. Although Trifiro’s life could hardly be described as sheltered, she did experience a little bit of culture shock when she entered university. After studying at St-Pius X high school, where the student body was overwhelmingly Italian, things were a little bit different at McGill. “My best girlfriend was blonde,” she says. “I always admired her and would think to myself, why can’t I have hair like that, why can’t I have legs like that?” But the grass didn’t prove to be greener on the other side for too long. “Boy was I proud to be Italian after coming back from my trip to Italy. It’s everything that Italian women do, the way they place a scarf, the way they might wear a pin. It was just beautiful.” Trifiro’s love of her culture and heritage also influenced her career path after she graduated from medicine at McGill University. While she continues to receive job offers in numerous cities all over North America, she and her family have always elected to stay closer to home. “The United States is a melting pot which means that you sometimes have to lose certain characteristics of yourself in the process. In Canada, your heritage is accepted and celebrated, the language and the culture is not lost.” And while money might have been an incentive to move, her greatest concern is the quality of life that she can offer her family. “Every time I look at a new place I think to myself ‘Where will my children be able to play?’ That’s the main difference between Canada and the United States. Children are free to play in spaces that aren’t necessarily enclosed, in the States, it seems that almost every community is gated.” In a way, Dr. Silvana Trifiro’s life has come full circle. While as a child she would often visit a second cousin in the East End, now she spends every day in the vicinity, surrounded by her heritage. For the past 13 years she has worked at Santa Cabrini Hospital working tirelessly for the benefit of her community. When I ask her what at typical day is like, she laughs and rolls her eyes heavenward. Trifiro works in two week blocks where she is on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. She attends to patients on all floors of the hospital treating everything from meninghitis and post-operative infections, to cancer patients and diabetics. Other times she is upgrading protocols, overseeing the laboratories, recruiting new staff, and introducing modern new rapid diagnostic techniques. And then of course, there are her administrative duties to attend to. “I could have been a dermatologist,” she says with a laugh. “I did a one month rotation and it seemed interesting, but then my brother commented ‘You really want to spend the rest of your life looking at pimples?’ That decided it. When things get really crazy, I think how different my life would have been if I hadn’t listened to my brother!” But long hours, the rush of adrenaline and excitement seem to suit Trifiro. I can’t picture her working at any other pace than one that makes her pulse race. She speaks with animation and concern when discussing her patients and the role the hospital plays in their lives. “People come here because they feel seen and cared for, they don’t feel like a number,” she explains. “Serving the community – trying to provide better services for the community, that is my biggest source of pride.” And what does she see for the future of the hospital? “I want to deliver the best for our patients,” she says. “I want us to continue to deliver modern medicine combined with a very heavy dose of tender, loving care. There is incredible potential at this hospital. When you aim, always aim here (she waves her hand above her head). That way even if you fall short, you’ve still accomplished a lot. Our vision should be to be to be the very best community hospital on the island of Montreal.” Dr. Trifiro’s goals and her vision for the hospital don’t surprise me in the least. Offering the very best of herself, leading the charge for a cause that is dear to her, pursuing a target with ambition rather than fear are all principles that have been woven into the fabric of her life at a very young age. I have no doubt that she will achieve what she is aiming for, and I am sure that she will do it with kindness, compassion and a whole lot of heart. g

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our people

Rita de Santis

BY SHAUNA HARDY

G

li ttle d eta ils

reat conversations involve a multitude of ingredients. They are an exchange of warmth, at once emotional and intellectual, capable of striking a chord that resonates deeply. A truly exceptional encounter will shadow your thoughts, continuing to inspire long after the discussion has ceased. Montreal lawyer, Rita de Santis’ words have accompanied me ever since our first meeting last August. Well-measured and evenly spoken, they drew me in; reminding me on one hand, of the importance of decency, human kindness and respect. On the other, revealing the gentle but powerful character of the woman that spoke them.

Unlike many families who came to Canada during the immigration wave of the fifties, Rita de Santis’ parents did not site economic reasons as their primary motivation. Although Domenico de Santis, wasn’t necessarily interested in leaving Palmoli, the love for his wife and her desire to remain in close proximity to her sisters eclipsed everything else. “My father still thinks that my mother is the most beautiful woman in the world. There is nothing that he wouldn’t do for her. My mother came from a family of ten children and when her eldest sister, Filomena, got sponsored it was just a matter of time before everyone followed,” she explains. De Santis’ first memories of her new home are both comical and touching. After arriving in Halifax on December 23rd, 1958 her mother was handed a piece of Weston bread. Rita recounts that she immediately rolled it into a little ball; placed it in her fist and solemnly declared that “we are going to starve in this country.” The next step was the infamous two-day train ride from the Maritimes to Montreal. “There was a curfew that prevented trains from entering the city before six o’clock in the morning,” de Santis recounts. “The train sat outside the city and I remember seeing families walking through the fields to pick up their relatives.”

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What I savour most during our interview is de Santis’ dexterity in telling a story. Simply, yet masterfully told, each one paints a crystal clear picture of an event in her life, but even more importantly, her stories allow me to experience the emotion that is attached to each one of them. Gratitude is a prominent theme, beginning with her family and then extending to all those who helped her move forward in her life. There is the story of her younger brother Tony, who possessed with a strong work ethic at a very young age, believed that a man needed to take care of his family. The enterprising eight-year-old got a job at the local bakery, Tony and Bros., sweeping up on weekends, and earning a couple of dollars and a bag of baked goods. “I remember one time,” Rita reminisces, “It was my birthday and he came up to me with a Mae West in his hands with a candle in it.” The memory of the tender moment gives her pause. A smile plays over her face as she sits silently savouring the memory. And then a single comment bursts forth with emotion – “That’s sharing, that’s love!” That affectionate act of caring reminds de Santis of another essential gift she received as a child. “When I was only three and a half years old, my father taught me how to do long division,” she says. I marvel at the arithmetic gymnastics she was able to achieve at such a young age, but I soon realize that I am missing the real power of her father’s present. “When I entered elementary school, I couldn’t speak English or French. There were 33 students in the class and the teacher didn’t have much time to devote to each one,” she explains. “But when the teacher realized that I could speak the international language of mathematics, things changed. She took special notice of me and helped me with my studies.” Both driven and curious, de Santis excelled scholastically, turning a deaf ear to the gender biases that existed during that time, electing instead to pursue the subjects that truly excited and inspired her. She was one of the first six girls to study physics at her high school, she spent a summer travelling through Europe at the tender age of 16 competing in effective speaking contests, and graduated at the top of her class with the highest grade point average. Although the accomplishment netted her one scholarship, she was denied a similar honour by the Canadian Italian Business Professionals Association because it was specifically reserved for a male with the highest grades. In an ironic twist, de Santis later became the first female president to head the association’s fundraising bursary campaign. While de Santis is proud of her educational achievements, she is also keen to name all those teachers who were eager to lend her a helping hand. She reels off a list of her mentors’ names without missing a single beat. 4


Geraldo Pace


“In life,” she explains, “you need to meet people that will encourage you to do the impossible, they will give you a sense of confidence.” Those people include her elementary school principal Dorothy Brady, her Irish principal Mr. McCool and Mr. Joannette: a former teacher who still sends her Christmas cards and sent a congratulatory bouquet of flowers when she became partner at her law firm. When our conversation moves on to new topics, she circles back to name another mentor – Michael Furlong. “He was my high school history teacher and he owned a library of books,” she clarifies. This simple desire to acknowledge all those that have touched her life is a rare virtue. These days the typical lifestyle tends to lean more toward the exclusive and individualistic. Most people maintain an egotistical manner of speaking, they acknowledge their own accomplishments, their own trials and tribulations without necessarily looking beyond the boundaries of themselves. De Santis is the opposite, she has grasped the interconnectivity of life, bringing a sense of community, inclusiveness and gratitude to her conversation.

“I don’t think we can make it alone in this life.We can’t make it alone. We never did and we never will. You have to give back. To your parents, to your children, to your friends. You can’t give to the same people that have given to you, you have to move it forward.” De Santis practices what she preaches in a variety of ways, mentoring young staff members at her office, acting as Concordia’s vice-chair for its board of governors and volunteering with Polyglobe – an organisation that offers 500 high-schools students each year a one week stage that is used to expand their business horizons. Her philosophy is spoken with a quiet assurance that was undoubtedly cultivated by her mother, Maria Casanova. “My mother encouraged me to be who I really was. From her I was able to understand that I didn’t need to follow any one else. She wasn’t pushy, but she encouraged me to develop from all sides. It was okay to stay at home and study so that I could rise to the top but at the same time, she’d tell me that I needed to have a life, to go out on a Saturday night – to raise my skirt just a little bit!” she says with a laugh. Self-acceptance, a sense of humour and a desire to enjoy and explore life are all qualities that radiate from de Santis. She is comfortable in her own skin and it shows. When I mention this, she laughs and relates another story. While growing up, her grandfather loved

to play match-maker, he was always trying to set everybody up. Rita was the only person he refused to play Cupid to, knowing full well that she would only follow her own heart in the end. Instead he bestowed another prediction upon her. “He said that I talked too much and was very opinionated – he used to joke that if I continued along that path I’d grow up to be a lawyer!” De Santis ended up fulfilling her grandfather’s prophecy, graduating from law and initially working as a litigator. She passionately attacked each case, fervently approaching them all from a deeply personal angle. One time, she recounts, she was in court arguing the case for “a very fine Italian gentleman” who had been denied money that was owed to him. “I do not have a poker face,” she confides. “The judge finally called me aside and said ‘My dear, it’s only money!’” But it wasn’t just about money for de Santis – the case was about integrity. It touched upon the humanity of the law and all of its frustrations and difficulties. Wanting to get away from the tension and drama that typically characterizes litigation cases, de Santis switched directions and began practicing corporate commercial law, focusing upon financing, real estate and acquisitions at the Montreal firm of Davies, Ward, Phillips and Vineberg.

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Although the subject matter might have been slightly less emotional, de Santis still managed to make an impression. Shortly after she joined the firm in the early ‘90’s, Justice Gold (who had become a partner after he retired from the bench), requested a lunch date with the young lawyer. He had noted that de Santis’ opinions about most things in life set her apart from most of her contemporaries. The elder lawyer wanted to know if her often solitary stance made her uncomfortable. “I don’t mind being alone,” she explains, “I have to feel within myself that I’m doing the right thing, even if no one else is going to take the same position.” When I mention that it takes a person with strong character to take such a stand, de Santis fine tunes my observation. “I’m not a martyr, I’m not hurt by the decisions I take. If I were being persecuted for my beliefs, I might indeed change them – I have no idea how I would react,” she admits with unapologetic philosophic flair. Even this admission is an attestation to her temperament. Most people do not wish to admit their frailties, to acknowledge that under certain circumstances their tried and true values might change. But de Santis doesn’t fall into this category – she happily

4


embraces her entire character, its strengths and its possible frailties, simply grateful that she is able to experience her life in all of its gloriously colourful detail. When I ask her about her favourite moment, thus far, she pauses for a moment. “My first reaction is to say that I was born!” she admits gaily. “I am a very lucky person. I have worked hard, and have been at the right place at the right time. But I also realized that I only have one life and I have to enjoy it. I never expected anything, I feel like I’ve started on a train and I have no idea where it is leading me, but wherever I have stopped it has always brought me good people.” I can picture de Santis’ train – there are compartments filled with family and friends, others for mentors and acquaintances that have urged her forward. There is also a compartment specially reserved for those who by their very existence, made an impression. “When I was young, the two things that I yearned for most were comfortable shoes and the Encyclopedia Britannica. I loved visiting the library because it was such a world of adventure. Every time I went, I would have to walk by the Seagrams’ building in LaSalle. I always used to stop and wonder, who are the people that work in this place, what is going on in their lives?” In an ironic twist of fate, de Santis got to meet those very people when she took on one of her first cases at the law firm – handling the final settlement of expropriation of the Seagrams’ land. While the buildling was being torn down, she happened to be in the area. “We stopped the car and I got out to get a couple of bricks which are now proudly displayed in my living room. It just tore my heart out to see the building disappear.” It is the simple humanity that de Santis is able to imbue in a couple bricks that is so touching. For most people they would signify nothing more than cement, and yet for her they are infused with meaning. They represent the passage of time, life’s ever-changing character, and the first files of her career. They are the figurative crossroads where romantic, idealistic childhood musings meet the more practical and harder realities of the adult world.

“I am a very lucky person. I have worked hard, and have been at the right place at the right time. But I also realized that I only have one life and I have to enjoy it. I never expected anything, I feel like I’ve started on a train and I have no idea where it is leading me, but wherever I have stopped it has always brought me good people.”

When speaking regarding the greatest pleasures in her life, de Santis relates a private moment that she shares each night with her husband. “I work very late at the office. Whatever time I finish my husband picks me up. We go home, the table is set and we eat - whether its midnight or 4 o’clock in the morning. It’s calm, it’s peaceful and we are simply together. We really need to take the moment alone and enjoy it each day.” I am touched by the beauty of that moment, in all of its quiet intimacy. My heart fills and suddenly all I want to do is follow de Santis’ example. Her words are a thoughtful reminder of the simple contributions that each person makes in their day to day life, contributions that are often forgotten or taken for granted. De Santis has reminded me that loving life isn’t just about passionately pursuing one’s dreams and goals. It is also about opening up our hearts, reaching for those we hold dear and ultimately, most importantly, appreciating them. g

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CRAFTED FOR LIFE M A R B L E

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www.ciot.com


our people BY SHAUNA HARDY

Carlo Paladino

This is the story of a love affair. A love that has crossed oceans and demanded sacrifice and courage in its name. But while part of this story does involve a man, a woman and their profound commitment to each other, it is also a tale that illustrates just what can happen to your life when you open up your heart and follow your dreams. Questa è la storia di un amore. Un amore che ha attraversato oceani e domandato sacrificio e coraggio. Ma, se da una parte è la storia di un uomo e una donna, e della loro assoluta, reciproca dedizione, è anche il racconto di cosa può accadere alla propria vita quando si apre il cuore e si sceglie di seguire i propri sogni. Love brought Carlo Paladino to Canada on June 20th, 1963. He had grown up in Santa Croce di Magliano, Campobasso with a lovely girl by the name of Maria Carnevale. They had lived on the same street, played together as children, and then magically as teenagers the friendship transformed into something far deeper. When Maria’s family immigrated to Canada in 1961, Carlo knew that eventually he would have to follow. Two years of military service and countless letters later, Carlo was ready to pledge his heart. Only a few short months after arriving upon Canadian soil, they were married. “We didn’t have any money at the beginning,” he admits. “But we were young and happy - that certainly helped.” 4

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Fu l’amore a portare in Canada Carlo Paladino, il 20 giugno 1963. Nel suo paese natale, Santa Croce di Magliano, in provincia di Campobasso, era cresciuto insieme ad una bella ragazza, Maria Carnevale. Abitando nella stessa strada, da bambini avevano giocato insieme, e poi, da adolescenti, l’amicizia si era magicamente trasformata in qualcosa di assai più profondo. Era il 1961 quando la famiglia di Maria emigrò in Canada, e Carlo sapeva già che anche lui sarebbe andato. Due anni di servizio militare e innumerevoli lettere più tardi, Carlo era pronto ad impegnare il suo cuore. A pochi mesi dal momento in cui aveva messo piede sul suolo canadese, si sposarono. “All’inizio – ricorda – non avevamo soldi. Ma eravamo giovani e felici... e questo ci bastava”. 4


Geraldo Pace


The years floated by, but while love might have painted a rosy tint over his personal life, reality was also knocking sharply at the door in the form of two sons and a daughter. Anxious to provide for his growing family, Paladino searched out work, but times were tough. Although he had been certified as a mechanic in Italy since the age of ten, he couldn’t get proper accreditation in Canada. Prospects were further blocked by the fact that Paladino’s mastery of English and French, at the time, was shaky at best. But still he persevered. He took on odd jobs, working as a dishwasher, a construction worker, and then finally landing a job as janitor for Louis Quilicot, a company that imported Vespas. Paladino worked day and night, washing floors, mastering languages. His drive and ambition were rewarded. He moved up the rungs of the corporate ladder, eventually becoming the company’s general manager. Now for some people, the story could end here. Paladino attained success, he had money, he had a wife and a beautiful family. What more could he possibly ask for? The answer to that question is where this story gets interesting. Our hero harboured a secret dream that had taken hold in his heart from the time he was very young. “I always dreamt of owning my own business. I never gave up on that dream. But times change, and you get comfortable,” he explains. “The company was good, the pay was steady, it’s hard to walk away from all that into uncertainty, but I also knew that I really wanted to be my own boss.” In 1978, fate handed him the push he needed. When the company changed hands and was passed to the president’s son, Paladino knew it was his time to make a move. “Doctors go to school for 15 years,” he rationalizes. “This was my schooling. But announcing my decision wasn’t easy, no matter how much I wanted it, my hands were shaking!” Paladino gave six months notice, announcing that he would leave on June 20th of that year. As soon as he mentions the date, something twigs for me. I flip back furiously through my notes, knowing that I had already written it down before. “But that was the same date that you arrived in Canada!” I exclaim. “Exactly,” he says. “I always pay attention to these details, they are important. That was the date that I started a new life in this country and that was going to be the date that I started my next new life with my own business.” It is this attention to detail that I really appreciate in Paladino. I get the sense the he is enormously 4

Gli anni scorrevano, e mentre l’amore tingeva di rosa la sua vita, la dura realtà s’imponeva sotto forma di tre figli, due maschi e una femmina. Paladino si dava da fare per mantenere la sua famiglia in espansione, cercava lavoro, ma i tempi erano difficili. Sebbene in Italia avesse avuto la qualifica di meccanico fin da quando aveva solo 10 anni, non gli era possibile ottenere il corrispondente riconoscimento in Canada. Le sue prospettive erano inoltre ostacolate dal fatto che, a quel tempo, la sua padronanza dell’inglese e del francese era a dir poco precaria. Eppure lui perseverava. Fece i lavori più diversi, dal lavapiatti all’operaio edile, e alla fine riuscì ad ottenere un posto di usciere alla Louis Quilicot, un’azienda che importava la Vespa. Paladino lavorava notte e giorno, lavava pavimenti e imparava le lingue. E determinazione e ambizione finalmente furono ricompensate. Salendo uno ad uno tutti i gradini della scala, alla fine divenne direttore generale dell’azienda. Per molti, questa storia potrebbe finire qui. Paladino ha avuto successo, ha i soldi, una moglie e una bella famiglia. Che cosa potrebbe desiderare di più? È proprio con la risposta a questa domanda che la storia si fa interessante. Il nostro eroe serbava un sogno segreto, impadronitosi del suo cuore quando era molto giovane. “Ho sempre sognato di avere un’azienda tutta mia. A questo sogno io non avevo mai rinunciato. Ma i tempi cambiano, e ti ritrovi benestante – racconta -. La società per la quale lavoravo era buona, lo stipendio sicuro, è difficile lasciarsi alle spalle tutto questo per entrare nell’incertezza. D’altra parte sapevo anche che volevo essere il padrone di me stesso”. Nel 1978 il destino gli fornì la spinta di cui aveva bisogno. Quando la gestione dell’azienda cambiò, passando nelle mani del figlio del presidente, Paladino seppe che era giunto il momento di cambiare. “I dottori vanno a scuola per 15 anni – riflette -, per me quella era stata la scuola. Ma non fu certo facile parlare della mia decisione, per quanto intensamente lo volessi le mani mi tremavano!” Paladino dette un preavviso di sei mesi, annunciando che sarebbe andato via il 20 giugno di quell’anno. Al sentir nominare questa data, qualcosa mi scatta: sfoglio in fretta i miei appunti, sapendo che mi è già capitato di scriverla. “Ma è la stessa data del suo arrivo in Canada”, esclamo. E lui: “Proprio così. Io sto sempre molto attento a questi dettagli, sono importanti. Quella era la data in cui avevo iniziato una nuova vita in questo paese, e ora nella stessa data stavo per cominciare un’altra nuova vita con la mia azienda”. Quello che davvero mi piace di Paladino è proprio questa sua attenzione ai dettagli. Si capisce che è estremamente presente alla sua stessa vita - non è che i momenti scorrano via, in lui ci sono profonda coscienza e apprezzamento di quanto sta accadendo. E a dimostrazione del suo amore per i dettagli, mi fa un altro esempio. Il nome della sua azienda gli venne in mente mentre sedeva nella sala d’attesa dell’aeroporto Rapidair. Aveva 4


present in his own life – moments don’t just flit by, he is resoundingly aware and appreciative of what is happening. In order to illustrate his love of details, he brings up another example. He came up with the name of his company while sitting in a Rapidair airport lounge. He had always dreamt of having offices in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver: Motovan. While people often questioned what the name had to do with selling clothing and accessories for the recreational motor sport industry, Paladino is willing to look beneath the surface, understanding that the company name is a strong reflection of his own dream. The first years of Paladino’s venture weren’t easy. He had to offer his home as a guarantee to the bank and then worked tirelessly from his basement to get the company off and running. “I barely slept,” he remembers. “But more than anything, I just wanted to be independent.” His wish came true and business flourished at an astonishing rate. The first move was from the basement into a 1,000 square foot rented warehouse. From there he graduated to buying a 4,000 square foot space. And, then he went on to build a 20,000 square foot space. The company is presently working from a 50,000 square foot space based in Boucherville with warehouses in Vancouver and sales offices in London, Ontario. Paladino’s dream is larger than life. He is presently enjoying himself as the head of research and development, while his two sons James and Michael, are now touting the titles of company president and director of marketing, respectively. Success is indeed sweet, but I cannot help but wonder if he was ever struck by a massive case of nerves when he exchanged security, certainty and all guarantees for independence.

“Everybody gets nervous,” he says with a knowing smile. “But, you don’t have to be. The problem is for most people, tomorrow is too far away. Everybody wants everything today. You have to keep your feet on the floor, you have to have a lot of patience and you never have to give up.” Paladino then shares with me, probably one of the most memorable anecdotes that I have ever heard. “I think often of my grandfather. He immigrated to Kansas with an investment partner, bought a piece of land and began to dig for gold. They dug and they dug but nothing happened. Finally, they ran out of money and couldn’t go any further. They sold the property and the new owner dug for about one foot – and guess what happened? They struck gold! The mine and the gold are always in4

sempre pensato che avrebbe avuto uffici a Montreal, a Toronto e a Vancouver: Motovan. La gente spesso si domanda cosa questo nome abbia a che fare con la vendita di abbigliamento ed accessori per il settore degli sport motociclistici, ma Paladino è uno che guarda al di là della superficie, uno che pensa che il nome della società debba riflettere efficacemente il suo sogno. I primi anni da imprenditore di Paladino non furono affatto facili. Dovette dare alla banca la sua casa in garanzia, e lavorò instancabilmente nel seminterrato per far partire e avanzare l’azienda. “Dormivo pochissimo – ricorda -. Più di ogni altra cosa, volevo essere autosufficiente”. Il suo desiderio si avverò e gli affari cominciarono a prosperare ad una velocità sbalorditiva. Il primo trasloco fu quello dal seminterrato in un magazzino di 90 mq, in affitto. Da lì riuscì a passare all’acquisto di uno spazio da 350 mq, continuò costruendone uno da 18.000 mq. Oggi l’attività aziendale si svolge su un’area di 45.000 mq a Boucherville, con magazzini a Vancouver e uffici commerciali a London, Ontario. Il sogno di Paladino è di quelli fuori dal comune. Attualmente, lui si diverte a fare il capo del reparto ricerca e sviluppo, mentre i due figli James e Michael si fanno carico dei ruoli, rispettivamente, di presidente della società e di direttore del marketing. Il successo è senza dubbio gratificante, ma non posso fare a meno di chiedergli se non abbia attraversato una vera e propria crisi al momento di scambiare sicurezza, tranquillità e tutte le garanzie che aveva con l’indipendenza.

“Tutti sono nervosi – dice con un sorriso smaliziato – ma non bisogna esserlo. Il problema, per la maggior parte della gente, è che il domani è troppo lontano. Tutti vogliono tutto subito. Invece bisogna tenere i piedi ben saldi a terra, bisogna avere moltissima pazienza e non mollare mai”. Poi Paladino mi racconta uno degli episodi più memorabili che mi sia mai capitato di sentire. “Spesso penso a mio nonno. Emigrò in Kansas con un socio, comprarono un pezzo di terra e cominciarono a cercare l’oro. Scavarono e scavarono, ma non succedeva nulla. Alla fine, i soldi finirono, e loro non potevano più continuare a cercare. Così, vendettero la proprietà; i nuovi proprietari scavarono solo altri 50 centimetri, e.... indovina? Trovarono l’oro! Quella miniera e quell’oro mi sono sempre rimasti in mente. Anche quando le cose si mettevano male, sono sempre stato convinto che c’è una luce alla fine del tunnel. Bisogna ricordarsi che l’oro non è mai troppo lontano, bisogna solo continuare a cercare. Certe volte ci arrendiamo troppo4

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my mind. Even when things got dark, I always knew that there was a light at the end of the tunnel. You have to remember that the gold is never too far away, you just have to keep reaching for it. Sometimes, we give up too early; sometimes we don’t always find the gold that we expect. But in the end, you will always get something back; you will always learn something from your efforts.” It is obvious that Paladino is proud of everything that he has accomplished. But his pride is neither loud nor ostentatious. What he has achieved materially has brought him pleasure, but there is something much deeper that accompanies his success. He appears so calm, so content, so happy. “It doesn’t matter if you are rich, or poor. At the end of the day, you simply have to be yourself. You have to feel good inside your skin. I am happy every day. When I was in my thirties, I had money, I had a wife, I had a family. But I kept asking myself ‘What do I do to make myself happy?’ I went to see doctors and they kept giving me different kinds of medication for a stomach ulcer, but it wasn’t helping. Finally one day, I went to see a Polish doctor – he was the father of one of my son’s friends. I brought all my pills to him and he threw them all out. I couldn’t believe what he was doing! But he looked at me and said ‘Carlo, you don’t appreciate your own person. Every morning you have to wake up and look at your self and realize that you have two hands, you have two feet, you have a beautiful face, what more do you want?’ That helped me. It doesn’t cost too much to be happy!”

presto; certe volte non arriviamo a trovare l’oro che stiamo cercando. Ma alla fine qualcosa arriva, sempre; s’impara sempre qualcosa dai propri sforzi”. È evidente che Paladino è molto orgoglioso di tutto ciò che ha realizzato, ma il suo orgoglio non viene gridato né ostentato. Certo, è grande il piacere che gli viene da quello che materialmente ha realizzato, ma ad accompagnare il suo successo c’è anche qualcosa di molto più profondo. Ha un’aria molto calma, soddisfatta, felice. “Non importa se sei ricco o povero. Alla fine della giornata, devi poter sentire di essere te stesso. Devi sentirti bene nella tua pelle. Io sono felice tutti i giorni. A trent’anni avevo i soldi, avevo una moglie e una famiglia. Ma continuavo a domandarmi: ‘Che cosa devo fare per essere davvero felice?’ Andai anche da vari medici, continuavano a darmi diversi tipi di medicinali per l’ulcera allo stomaco, ma non serviva a niente. Alla fine, un giorno, andai da un medico polacco, il padre di un amico di mio figlio. Gli avevo portato tutte le mie pillole, lui le prese e le gettò nel cestino. Non riuscivo a credere a quello che stava facendo! Ma mi guardò e disse: ‘Carlo, tu non ti apprezzi abbastanza. Ogni mattina, quando ti alzi, guardati allo specchio, considera che hai due mani, due piedi, una bella faccia, e che altro vorresti?’ Questo mi ha dato un grande aiuto. Essere felici non costa poi molto!”

A large part of Paladino’s happiness is thanks to the love he receives from his family. Gran parte della felicità di Paladino deriva dall’amore che riceve dalla sua famiglia. When I ask about his wife, he pauses, not sure what to say. “I don’t know if I could have done all of this without her,” he admits. “She has supported me; she has been a good wife, a good mother. She has been wonderful in every step of my life.” Providing an education to his three children was of the utmost importance to Paladino. “I didn’t have a chance to go to school and I wanted to make sure that it was something that they had a chance to do. There exists really strong communication between us and I gave them lots of freedom when they were growing up, but I always insisted that they had to go to University. It didn’t matter if I didn’t even eat – my children had to go to school.”

Quando gli chiedo della moglie, fa una pausa, un po’ incerto su cosa dire. “Non so se avrei potuto fare tutto questo senza di lei – ammette -. Lei mi ha sostenuto; è stata una buona moglie e una buona madre. È stata meravigliosa in ogni singolo momento della mia vita”. Di fondamentale importanza, per Paladino, era dare un’educazione ai suoi tre figli. “Io non avevo avuto la possibilità di andare a scuola, e volevo essere sicuro che loro invece avessero questa opportunità. Ancora oggi c’è una gran comunicazione tra di noi; ho dato loro molta libertà quando erano ragazzi, ma sempre ho insistito perché andassero all’università. Non importava che magari non avessero da mangiare, purché potessero andare a scuola”.

At 66-years-old, Paladino’s voracious curiosity and appreciation don’t show any signs of peaking; he is constantly seeking out A 66 anni, la curiosità avida e la capacità d’apprezzamento di ways to expand his vision of humanity. “I realized that at my4 Paladino non sembrano aver ancora raggiunto il picco massi-4

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age I still don’t know anything,” he reveals philosophically. “I read as many different types of books as possible, just to get a big picture of life. I travel. The more you do it, the more you learn, the more you open your mind. You learn with your eyes, you learn through food, you learn with everything. Every year, I go back to Italy, sometimes for business, sometimes for pleasure. The architecture, the sculpture, the paintings. It touches both your heart and your mind. You have to appreciate everything – it’s amazing to think what was accomplished in these fields without the tools that we have today.” Picking up from their father’s example, Paladino’s children also seem to approach their lives with inquisitiveness and delight. Having graduated with an MBA and working as company president, his eldest son James also spending his spare moments studying to be a pilot. “I told my children that they could do anything. It’s so important to follow your dreams and do what you really want to do. Every time I see a motorcycle on the street with one of my products, I just want to shout ‘Thank you, thank you thank you!’”

Carlo Paladino’s love for life and for all those around him absolutely radiates from him. It is a contagious feeling that you automatically are eager to share. I think that is the power of a true love story. Not only is it capable of transforming the individual, it becomes a shining beacon for all those who encounter it. The story and the individual become symbols of hope. Learn their lessons and, you too, will be able to share in their happiness. A few days after my conversation with Carlo, I wake up to a very grey day, in a mood that is easily as grey – if not a few shades darker. My first instinct is to sink into my funk and let it rule, but then I hear a voice inside my head. “You have two hands, you have two feet, you have a beautiful face, what more do you want?” Suddenly, I began to feel brighter. Suddenly despite, the weather and my foul temperament, I knew that I had to appreciate - really appreciate - everything that I had been given. Suddenly, all that negativity seemed to vanish. g Thank you, Mr. Paladino.

mo; lui continua a cercare costantemente nuovi modi per espandere la sua visione dell’umanità. “Ho capito che alla mia età ancora non sapevo proprio niente - ammette filosoficamente -. Leggo tutti i diversi tipi di libri che posso, proprio per avere un’immagine ampia della vita. Viaggio. Più lo fai, più impari, più apri la tua mente. S’impara con gli occhi, s’impara per mezzo del cibo, s’impara con tutto. Ogni anno torno in Italia, a volte per lavoro, a volte solo per piacere. L’architettura, la scultura, i quadri, tutto mi tocca il cuore e la mente. Bisogna apprezzare tutto – è sorprendente come in questi campi sia stato fatto tanto anche senza gli strumenti che abbiamo a disposizione oggi”. Sull’esempio del padre, anche i figli di Paladino sembra che affrontino la vita con curiosità e gioia. Laureato e già impegnato come presidente della società, il maggiore James passa il tempo libero studiando per diventare pilota. “Ho sempre detto ai miei figli che potevano fare qualunque cosa. È molto importante seguire i propri sogni e fare quello che veramente si desidera. Ogni volta che vedo passare una moto con uno dei miei prodotti, mi viene voglia di gridare: grazie, grazie, grazie!”

L’amore di Carlo Paladino per la vita e per coloro che gli sono vicini s’irradia dalla sua persona in modo quasi tangibile. È una sensazione contagiosa che quasi automaticamente si è portati a condividere. Credi si tratti del potere di una storia d’amore. Non soltanto è capace di trasformare l’individuo, diventa anche un faro che fa luce a tutti quelli che lo incrociano. Così, la storia e l’individuo diventano un simbolo di speranza. Se impari quello che hanno da insegnare, potrai arrivare a condividere la loro felicità. Qualche giorno dopo la mia conversazione con Carlo, in un mattino assai grigio mi sono svegliata con un umore altrettanto grigio, se non addirittura più cupo. Il mio primo istinto è stato quello di immergermi nella mia depressione, lasciando che mi sopraffacesse, ma poi ho sentito una voce nella testa. “Hai due mani, hai due piedi, hai una bella faccia, che altro vorresti?” Tutto a un tratto ho cominciato a sentirmi meno al buio. Tutto a un tratto, malgrado il tempo e la mia orribile disposizione d’animo, mi è diventato chiaro che dovevo apprezzare – apprezzare sul serio – tutte le cose che mi sono state date. Tutto a un tratto, tutta quella negatività si era dissolta. g Grazie, signor Paladino.

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our people BY SHAUNA HARDY

The choir director told me that I would never make it, that s what gave me the drive to keep going.

Ask a young child what they want to become when they grow up and some might reply “I want to be a singer!” Ask how they will achieve that dream and they will excitedly tell you about their aspirations to become exactly like their favourite pop stars, basking in the glow of fame, fortune and adoration. But that bright, ephemeral young dream only scratches the surface of what the entertainment industry can offer. Dig a little deeper and they might encounter its uglier characteristics. It can be corrupt, it can be superficial, it can display a heartbreaking fickleness that can shatter the confidence of even the stoutest soul. Mike Melino certainly has encountered many challenges while trying to crack the industry, but thanks to his passion and his unflagging courage, the talented 27-year-old singer refuses to turn away from his dream. “When I was a kid, I always used to sing,” says the soft-spoken Melino when we meet over coffee. “At weddings, I used to just stand and stare at the band. I’d stand in front of mirrors and sing into a hair brush. Even when I was in my walker as a baby, I was always close to the stereo, touching the buttons. I couldn’t give you the exact date as to when this all started – I think you just know instinctively that when this is one of your passions, it’s going to be a big part of your life.” I am astonished when I hear the next part of Melino’s story. I have already charted out his path, willing this to be a typical ascent to fame: young child with natural ability rises to the top of the ladder thanks to plenty of hard work and courage. But Melino lacked one major ingredient – talent. When he joined the Our Lady of Pompeii youth choir, the choir director used to complain about his voice. “I was told that my voice was too loud, that it lacked training, had no refinement and was just noise. Sometimes I was told to lip-sync!” he says with a laugh. “The choir director told me that I would never make it, that’s what gave me the drive to keep going.” 4


Geraldo Pace


Melino did forge ahead, at one point even requesting to perform a solo. Predictably, the choir master refused, but 10-year-old Melino ignored the snub. He teamed up with the church organist, rehearsing unflaggingly until he got it just right. The final result was absolutely stunning. “These days, when I perform, people cannot believe that I didn’t have this voice as a child. I love surprising people who knew me from my younger days. People who used to tell me to shut my mouth are now asking me to sing!” Melino continued to expand his horizons, amassing his musical knowledge gradually, covering the basics with piano, honing his skills with the choir and also joining a wedding band to provide a different perspective. By the time he was 17, Melino was in charge of the very same choir that had stood so firmly in his way. His passion broke open boundaries; he proposed new songs and provided a vision that excited members. Under his youthful directorship, choir membership rose from ten to twenty-five attendants. While Melino might initially have lacked raw talent, he never lacked support. His mother’s own dreams of becoming a singer had been cut short when her father disapproved of her career choice. Seeing the passion for singing flame in her own son, Lina Trozzi has thrown herself behind him wholeheartedly. Both mother and son have noted that things have changed tremendously since the days when she was singing. While the main attention used to be focused upon beautiful voices and personality, things have slowly shifted. Image now drives the vehicle while talent has to content itself with being strapped into the passenger seat. Sex sells, beauty sells and if you want to get a piece of the action you better look as good as you sing. Melino admits that the attention given to these superficial traits can be extraordinarily daunting. “It’s so disappointing,” he admits. “Look at the main singers who are topping the charts these days. People like Britney Spears and Jennifer Lopez are no more than dancers that can sing. It’s such a shame.”

For me, success is about sharing my love of music with other people. It s being able to touch other people with my voice. When I m on stage, I feel it. It s a wheel that keeps on turning, the more energy you put into it, the more you get back. Nor is Melino entirely impressed by reality shows like Canadian Idol and Star Académie. Fame might be the ultimate prize they’re selling, but it seems to fade into a whisper before spring turns to summer. Melino understands that in order to satisfy the dream you have to define exactly what it is that you are striving for. Is it fame? Is it wealth? Or, perhaps, is it something else entirely? “You don’t have to be a star to make it, there are so many different way to succeed,” he explains. “It might be show business one day, but I will definitely make it on a certain level. For me, success is about sharing my love of music with other people. It’s being able to touch other people with my voice. When I’m on stage, I feel it. It’s a wheel that keeps on turning, the more energy you put into it, the more you get back.” And while today, his desire to pursue his dreams is unshakeable, there was a time when his disappointments proved to be almost too much for the young singer. When he was 16, Melino was given the opportunity of a lifetime – he gained admission to the workshop level at the celebrated San Remo Festival. Filled with expectation, he was sure that this was to be a meeting place for talent and creativity. Instead he ran headlong into the ugly underbelly of the festival. Organizers contacted one of his representatives demanding money in exchange for Melino continuing to the next level (Editor’s note – the corrupt officials were since fired from the festival). Melino was crushed and so disillusioned that he decided to turn his back on the industry for good. But while Melino wanted nothing more to do with music, his passion wasn’t about to let him go so easily. A friend was directing a high school production of Grease and needed a skilled voice

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to perform Beauty School Dropout - a complicated gospel arrangement. Melino acquiesced and delivered an 8-minute virtuoso performance. The next year, he was back again delivering another solo performance in Starmania and providing coaching tips on harmonies. For the following two years he returned to become part of the production team for Hairspray (he also performed) and Once on this Island where he acted as vocal coach. The experience proved to be immensely rewarding and slightly terrifying. “It was difficult watching my students perform – I was constantly wondering if things were going to work out. They are teenagers and they love to push your buttons. But when it came to the performance, they always manage to surprise you – it was amazing! I was a nervous wreck I was so attached.” Melino’s biggest watershed moment, occurred on September 11th, 2001, following the collapse of the World Trade Centre towers. “I was profoundly impacted by the disaster and really began questioning myself,” he explains. “I thought it was the end of the world. I kept thinking to myself, I could have died today and I’m not doing what I love.” Soon after, he took up the thread of his career again, taking music courses at Vanier College. “As long as there is music, I’m willing to do anything - I just want to be part of the creative process.” The desire to immerse himself completely in his dream allowed him to achieve another important milestone. Melino entered the 10th edition of Montreal’s Superfantastico contest and walked away as the winner in his age category as well as the overall winner, distinguishing himself among contestants who ranged in age from twelve to thirty. 4


Last year’s Superfantastico contest • overall winner

Created by Silvana Di Flavio and Nick De Vincenzo from CFMB radio, Superfantastico has been designed to promote culture and language to second and third generation Italians. “Music, fashion, sports are the best vehicles to have the younger generations interested in their culture,” says Di Flavio. “Some contestants might not speak a word of the language, but they’ll look singers up on the internet and find songs that they can connect to and sing.” During the primary audition process, contestants don’t necessarily need to perform in Italian. But if they make it to the semi-finals which are held in the auditorium of the Leonardo di Vinci Centre, they must choose an Italian song. Twenty finalists are then chosen for a performance given in Theatre Maisonneuve at Place des Arts. For Melino, the most the most satisfying part of winning the contest (his first) was to be able to do so in front of his beloved support system. “To hear my family scream when my name was called twice, to see the expression in my father’s eyes – it made me feel really proud,” Melino admits quietly.

As the overall winner of the contest, Melino was given the privilege of performing a song specially composed for him by two professional Italian songwriters - Paola Palma and Massimo Luca. True to form, Melino approached the experience from a completely professional perspective, requesting to meet with the writers. When in Italy last summer, he was given the opportunity to spend a day with them. The session allowed him to peek into a new area of the industry, providing collaborative insight and adding a level of personal depth to the whole experience. Although he appreciates everything from Madonna and Celine Dion to sixties classics, Italian songs hold a special place in Melino’s heart. “When I sing in Italian, I feel at home, I am at home,” he explains. “It is part of who I am, I would be proud to break into that business, I sing as if it’s in my blood – the way the words flow, the construction of the phrases; it just feels completely natural to me.”

When I sing in Italian, I feel at home, I am at home, he explains. It is part of who I am, I would be proud to break into that business, I sing as if it s in my blood — the way the words flow, the construction of the phrases; it just feels completely natural to me. It is obvious that Mike Melino has talent, ambition and the drive to make things happen. But what struck me the most, what touched me the most was his thoughtfulness and conscientiousness toward the industry. Melino treats his love of music the way that a person might treat a loved one. He is not simply seduced by its glamorous exterior. He is investing the time and the energy that one uses to build a strong and lasting relationship. While fame and fortune might be fleeting, Melino is digging deeper – building his success on the lasting principles of respect, hard work and a deep love for music. He is willing to embrace it in its entirety, despite its shortcomings, despite the disappointments that it might deliver. His commitment is unflagging and it is this final quality that will assure him happiness no matter where his musical career might lead him. This summer Melino will be performing in a series of musical reviews, travelling all over the province, flexing his musical muscles in A Tribute to Grease, L’air du Rock ‘n Roll and Quebec Je me Souviens. It has also been announced that Paola Palma and Massimo Luca have signed up Mike Melino for the prestigious 2007 San Remo International Festival. If he makes the cut, Melino will have to fly to Rome to perform his song as well as a new specially written original to gain admittance to the festival. g For more information about the Superfantastico contest, visit www.cfmb.ca and click on Programming, followed by Italian.

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our people BY SHAUNA HARDY

E

lvis impersonators are a dime a dozen, it seems. They come in every creed and every colour, representing every facet of The King’s life – from his explosion onto the scene as a velvet-voiced hip-shaking rebel to the bloated years of excess and decline. In my mind’s eye, I picture an army of Elvises strutting through the streets of Las Vegas, clad in rainbow-hued sequined suits with slick jet-black pompadours and oversized sunglasses. I cannot claim to understand why they do it. Truth be told, they never really held any special interest for me, until I met Guiseppe ‘Joe’ Rondisi. Originally born in Sicily, Rondisi arrived in Montreal in 1946, at the age of nine to join his two older sisters Maria and Fillipa. Even at such an early age, it was obvious that music was in his blood. While attending Holy Family School he couldn’t keep himself from constantly breaking into song. “My teacher used to say to me all the time ‘You are here to learn, this is not a nightclub’,” he recalls with a laugh. But Rondisi’s desire to sing could not be contained. ���Rock ‘n Roll is in my blood,” he explains. “Whenever I hear Elvis sing, it just gives me shivers.” Others reacted to Rondisi’s singing in a similar manner. While working at a fur factory, the plucky seventeen-year-old crooner would serenade fellow co-workers with his favourite Elvis songs. The reaction was so positive that he decided to pursue his passion full-time.

Soon he had signed on with a slew of different bookers and was working six days a week. He was everywhere: buffets, the night club circuit, weddings and the local Italian television shows. Tinted-window Cadillacs chauffeured him from one gig to the next, bodyguards ferried him to and from the stage, protecting him from the hysterical women who were busy tearing out their hair and screaming. His shows were always sold out, regardless of the day of the week. Everybody knew him and everybody loved him. Elvis-mania had arrived in Montreal, Italian-style. But his talent goes way beyond simple impersonation. Though he’d never had any musical training, Rondisi is a complete natural. When he walked into a recording studio to cut a single featuring “Baby, I Don’t Care” and “I Need Your Love Tonite”, he nailed each song in a single take. His pitch, timing and delivery were absolutely perfect. The sound engineers were amazed – few professionals are capable of such a feat. But for all his success, Rondisi has had to face his fair share of setbacks. Mental illness struck early in life, it is something that he has dealt with since his teenage years. But the affliction has never stopped him from following his dreams. If anything, the condition has added a layer of vulnerability and sweet sincerity to his character that has made him even more endearing toward his fans. 4


Geraldo Pace


I am amazed by the love and tenderness that his friends exhibit toward him. The bonds are so strong, forged of a kind of loyalty that is rare by society’s narcissistic, navel-gazing standards. Today, Rondisi is sporting jeans and a t-shirt, a baseball cap covers his greying hair. But Elvis is still there. You can see it in the heavy silver chains, including a diamondencrusted cross, that hang around his neck. In the chunky over-sized rings that adorn his fingers and in the darkened sunglasses that shade his eyes. “What is it that you love so much about Elvis?” I ask him. “He was a nice man,” he replies simply. “He was very generous, he helped a lot of people, he bought them pocket watches and motorcycles and houses – he had a good heart.” The same can be said about Rondisi. He has spent 35 years of his life impersonating an icon, so immersed in another person’s skin that very few people even know his real name. And yet, despite the façade, there is nothing fake or forced about Rondisi. The only thing that he desires is to make people happy. “I might not have that much money, but I am very proud of what I’ve accomplished in my life – there is only one Elvis Italiano.” Just under a year ago, Rondisi played a show at Club Soda, a popular Montreal downtown venue. “There were huge letters on the billboard: ELVIS ITALIANO: SOLD OUT,” he says with great satisfaction. At that moment, I understand. For Rondisi, the accomplishment lies in the love that he is able to transmit through his music and the acceptance and adoration that he feels in turn from his fans. That is what fuels him – the simple fact that he is able to spread a little bit of joy and entertainment. We have talked for a while, yet I still have not asked him to sing; ridiculous considering the subject of our interview. But the question is still stuck in my throat, it seems imposing and presumptuous – what if he isn’t feeling up to it? Finally, I scrape up the courage to ask for a few bars of a tune.

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He grins and starts into his favourite song – the same one as The King’s – “Jail House Rock”. He sits very still, head bobbing and fingers snapping to the beat. His voice is strong – not quite as strong as it used to be – but deep and compelling nonetheless. When I try to ask another question after the first verse, he raises a finger, motioning me not to interrupt. He is in full command and loving every second of it – as am I. When the singing ends, I congratulate him immediately. He bows his head shyly to the side. “Thank you very much.” It is a dead ringer for Elvis’ signature remark but there is no bravado, no hint of irony. It is completely genuine. I have to smile. And suddenly, I can’t help but think that if Elvis Presley were alive, he would smile too. g

I MIGHT NOT H AV E T H AT M U C H M O N E Y, BUT I AM VERY PROUD OF W H AT I VE ACCOMPLISHED IN MY LIFE — T H E R E I S O N LY O N E E LV I S


Le son et l’image peuvent se planifier dans le plus grand respect de l’architecture et du design. consultation, planification et installation systèmes audio-vidéo multipièces • cinéma maison personnalisé • support aux architectes et aux décorateurs • •

T : 514 270-7900


our people “in business”

The

contributions

that

PanoramItalia is pleased to introduce a new section, People in Business that will profile

Italians have made to

various well-respected people of Italiandescent, who are involved in the business and

Canadian business are a

professional sectors.

great source of community

This section symbolizes our community’s

pride. In the beginning, we

the highest of standards. It not only gives us a

worked hard to overcome stereotypes and language barriers in order to make our

commitment to hard work, ethical practices and

chance to look back in celebration of everything that we have achieved, but to look forward as well, to all that we can possibly accomplish.

PanoramItalia’s national distribution also allows this section to become an important networking tool. Whether it’s a dentist, a lawyer or an accountant, people from coast to coast will be

voices heard. Nowadays,

able to get in touch with each other thanks to the information contained within its pages.

our involvement is sung We look forward to getting to know many of the

loudly with joyous hearts.

faces that will grace the pages of this new section.


Photo: Geraldo Pace

R O B E R T O

T .

D E

M I N I C O

our people “in business”

Roberto T. De Minico, attorney at law, was called to the Bar Association of Quebec on the 14th of March, 1983. During his 23 years of practice, he has been the founder of several law firms as well as a partner at SEAL SHAPOSNICK acting as lead counsel in the litigation department. Perfecting his skills as a tenacious litigator, on the 10th of July 1994, he was awarded the certificate of “LES TECHNIQUES DE PLAIDOIRIE” by the Quebec Bar Association. Founder of his present firm, ROBERTO T. DE MINICO, AVOCAT, ATTORNEY AT LAW, since May 1st, 1997, he and his collaborators have been providing counsel in the areas of corporate and commercial law, mergers and acquisitions, municipal law, criminal and statutory law, civil and commercial litigation and family law. A proud Italian-Canadian, he has always played an active role within the Italian community and has recently been nominated and named as a Governor of the Italian-Canadian Community Foundation. T. 514.398.0505


Photo: Geraldo Pace

D ’ O N O F R I O

I N S U R A N C E

our people “in business�

Joseph D'Onofrio - Marco D'Onofrio Since 1976, Group D'Onofrio continues to take pride in distributing financial as well as insurance solutions best suited to your needs. Whether for individuals or businesses, our solid experience and wide range of insurance products ensures that we will provide you with tailored solutions. The evolving family operation assures a seamless continuity of traditional valued service for years ahead. For two generations, various ethnic communities have trustingly turned to us. Over the years, this has helped us develop enduring relationships and the capacity to cater to the mosaic of Montreal communities. The team at Group D'Onofrio takes this opportunity to extend to all past, current and future clients our sincerest gratitude for the confidence you've entrusted to our agency. T. 514.744-0300


Gidal Construction was founded in 1968 by Giovanni D’Alessio. Over the years he has built a solid reputation based upon integrity and quality construction of custom homes. Today, he runs the company with his son Ottavio. GIDAL CONSTRUCTION INC. T. 514-386-9050

G I D A L

Photo: Geraldo Pace

C O N S T R U C T I O N

our people “in business”


Photo: Geraldo Pace

B

R

U

N

O

&

N

I

C

K

our people “in business�

Bruno & Nick Inc. was founded in 1978. It is a company that is devoted to its customers and strives for quality service. Bruno Cestra and his son Giancarlo, take great pride in giving excellent service through dedication, hard work and great employees. With over 3000 products, their customer base varies from restaurants to reception halls, cafeterias to pizzerias, etc. Due to their broad distribution network throughout Quebec and parts of Ontario, they hold a strong position in the food distribution industry. T. 514.272.8998


D I S T R I B U T E U R S

E N

6766 RUE MARCONI, MONTRÉAL (QC) H2S 3J7

A L I M E N T A T I O N

514.272.8998

1.800.309.8998


essere

[to be]

BY SHAUNA HARDY

D

ès l’instant où Richard Petit m’a mentionné qu’il se passionnait pour les automobiles, j’aurais dû prêter une oreille plus attentive. En fait, confortablement installée dans un fauteuil de son studio, Kébecson, rue Saint-Denis, je me rends compte que je me suis complètement méprise sur cet enthousiasme. « Superficiel », pensai-je. Je me disais que cette passion ne pouvait être que synonyme d’intérêt, qu’un passe-temps quelconque. Au mieux, elle pouvait démontrer une connaissance approfondie des automobiles. Erreur. Car j’ai vite réalisé, au fil de notre conversation, que la passion de Richard Petit l’habitait inexorablement, qu’elle faisait sans doute partie de son ADN. Exactement le genre de passion dans laquelle il est sans doute tombé quand il était petit, le genre de passion qui fait qu’on perçoit le monde d’un œil différent. Détrompez-vous cependant, elle ne se limite pas qu’aux automobiles; elle déteint, en fait, sur tout ce à quoi Richard Petit tient mordicus : son entreprise, son amour indéfectible pour sa fille de cinq ans, Marie-Ève, et pour la culture italienne qu’il tient en haute estime. On m’a raconté que Richard Petit crie sur les toits, à la blague, qu’il est « plus Italien que certains Italiens eux-mêmes ». Quand je porte cette boutade à son attention, il répond d’abord avec un sourire amusé, puis il s’esclaffe et finit par louanger, dans le même souffle et à profusion, la culture italienne. « J’aime énormément la culture italienne, avance-t-il. Les Italiens disent ce qu’ils pensent. Qu’ils vous aiment ou non. Ils sont directs, leurs émotions sont à fleur de peau. En outre, leur éthique de travail est excellente et ils jouissent de la vie. Quand je visite l’Italie, je suis comme un poisson dans l’eau, je me sens vraiment chez moi. Et même si je ne parle pas très bien l’italien, je trouve qu’il m’est plus facile de communiquer là-bas qu’à Toronto, par exemple. En réalité, je suis très à l’aise en Italie. D’ailleurs, je rêve d’y retourner vivre en famille quelques mois , et découvrir ainsi son vrai visage. » En attendant de réaliser son rêve, ses amis s’assurent de l’éduquer à l’italienne. « Chaque fois que nous sortons, c’est comme prendre un cours de cuisine, et c’est ce que j’aime : on passe de vrais bons moments ensemble. Oui, nous travaillons tous très fort, mais nous prenons tous le temps de dîner. C’est une belle occasion de lâcher son fou, comme on dit, et de prendre part à des discussions mouvementées. D’ailleurs, il existe toujours un différend, à savoir quelle région produit la meilleure huile d’olive! J’adore cette fierté italienne, car elle est fondée sur la passion. » 4

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hen Richard Petit mentioned that he had a passion for cars, I should have paid better attention. Comfortably ensconced on a couch in Petit’s Kebecson offices on St-Denis street, I mistook Petit’s enthusiasm for something more superficial. I equated it with an interest, a hobby. Perhaps at the most, it was a deep appreciation for vehicles. But as our conversation progressed, I realized that Petit’s passion extends to almost every cell in his body, it probably even registers in his DNA. It is the type of up-to-yourelbows, roll-around-in-the-dirt type of passion that makes you view the world just a little bit differently. But this enthusiasm is not just limited to cars, it touches everything that Petit holds dear: it is found in his love for his business, in his relationship with his five-year-old daughter, Marie-Eve, and in his very special regard for the Italian culture. I have been told that Petit jokingly considers himself “more Italian than some Italians.” When I ask him about his tongue-in-cheek statement, he replies with a characteristic laugh and then launches into lively praise of the Italian culture at machine-gun rattling speed. “I really appreciate the culture,” Petit says. “Italians say what they think regardless if they like you or not. They are straightforward and emotional; they have a good work ethic and have a love of life. Going to Italy, for me, is like a fish returning to water – I’m that comfortable. Even though I can’t speak the language completely, I find it much easier to communicate over there than I do in Toronto, for example. I just feel so much more at home in Italy. My dream would be to return to Italy and live like an Italian for a couple of months. To live with an Italian family and really discover the country.” And while that dream has yet to be realized, Petit is getting plenty of Italian education from his good friends. “It’s like a cooking class every time we go out. But this is what I love – the time that we spend together is real quality time. Everyone works really hard, but then there is a proper break for lunch. It’s a time for enjoyment, for laughter and boisterous discussion. There’s always a bit of good natured competition - arguments over whose region has the best olive oil! I adore the Italian pride because it is real pride based upon passion.”4


Geraldo Pace


Ce qui plaît à Richard Petit, c’est que cette passion italienne est sans bornes, qu’elle n’est pas une sensation superficielle emmitouflée dans l’ego, non. Elle est plutôt comme un volcan d’émotions fortes qui explose au plus profond de chaque individu; c’est le genre de passion à laquelle il s’identifie parce qu’elle est une partie intrinsèque de sa personnalité. « Je suis un mordu d’automobiles depuis que je suis tout jeune, explique-t-il. À l’époque, il n’y avait ni boisson, ni drogues, alors ma seule et unique dépendance, c’était les autos. J’étais le dernier de quatre garçons; les trois plus vieux adoraient les automobiles; c’était donc naturel que ma curiosité ait été piquée. » Adolescent, Richard Petit rêvait d’être pilote d’essai. Il est entré au CÉGEP avec plein d’objectifs, mais qui se sont rapidement évanouis. Selon lui, l’un des principaux problèmes des CÉGEP, c’est qu’on tente de vous compartimenter, sans tenir compte de votre personnalité ni de ce que vous avez à offrir à la société. On ne cherche qu’à vous intégrer au système, point; c’est la façon la plus facile de détruire des rêves. Or, les gens ont besoin de vraies passions, et c’est là tout le problème des écoles. On ne vous y apprend pas que le travail, ça devrait être quelque chose de plaisant, de satisfaisant et d’agréable. Richard Petit a décroché dès le premier jour, bien déterminé à chercher d’autre chose qui alimenterait davantage son esprit plutôt que remplir simplement son portefeuille. Et voilà que trente ans plus tard, ce quelque chose d’autre, c’est sa florissante entreprise Kébecson. « Dès l’instant où je ne trouverai plus de plaisir à faire ce que je fais, je rentre chez moi, admet-il en esquivant un sourire du coin des lèvres. Mais ça va prendre du temps, beaucoup de temps. » Kébecson offre des services spécialisés en électronique : des téléviseurs à écran plat et des chaînes stéréo de qualité supérieure. Mais plutôt que d’exposer ses produits dans un environnement impersonnel et froid, il a choisi d’y ajouter sa touche personnelle. En effet, ses bureaux sont situés dans une vieille maison en pierres rue Saint-Denis, un endroit qui lui est familier puisque, dans son enfance, il habitait directement en face et pelletait des marches pour amasser quelques sous pour plus tard. Quand on mit l’immeuble en vente, il l’a acheté pour y installer ses bureaux. « Il y a énormément de concurrence dans mon domaine, affirme-t-il. J’ai décidé de travailler dans un environnement familial dans lequel les gens qui viennent ici puissent vraiment sentir l’ambiance qu’ils peuvent créer chez eux. De cette façon, ils savent exactement pourquoi ils achètent tel produit plutôt qu’un autre. » 4

What Petit loves about the Italian passion is that it is without limits, it is not a superficial feeling wrapped in ego – it is a strong encompassing emotion that erupts from the very core of the individual. Petit identifies strongly with this type of passion because it forms an integral part of his character. “I am a car fanatic,” he explains. “When I was younger there was no booze, no drugs - cars were my one and only addiction. I was the youngest of four brothers; they were all involved in cars, so the curiosity just naturally filtered down to me.” As a teenager, Petit dreamt of becoming a test car driver. He arrived for his first day of CEGEP with an armful of goals but which were quickly quashed. “One of the biggest problems with these schools, is they try to fit you into an acceptable slot. It’s not about your personality or what you can offer; it’s just about fitting you in the system. It’s the easiest way to kill your dreams. People need to have real passion. But that’s the problem with school, they don’t teach you that work should be fun, that it should be something satisfying and enjoying.” Petit left after his first day, determined to pursue an interest that would feed his soul rather than just simply line his pocketbook. Thirty years later, that same business, Kebecson, is thriving. “The minute I’m not having fun, I’ll never come back,” admits Petit with a grin. But I have a sneaking suspicion that day will be a long time in coming. Kebecson specializes in selling electronics – flat screen televisions and stereo systems that are at the height of entertainment quality. But rather than display his products in a sterile, cardboard environment, Petit has elected to make the process much more personable. His offices are located in a beautiful old stone home on St-Denis street. It is a location he is very familiar with – as a child he lived just across the street from it, and used to shovel the snow-filled stairs for money when he was growing up. When it came up for sale, he bought the property and installed his business. “There’s lots of competition in the industry,” he explains. “I wanted to sell in a home-styled environment where people can really get a sense of the ambiance that you can create. This way you understand exactly why you are buying a product.”4


Et puis, il y a eu la coccinelle blanche dont Richard s’est servi pour emmener Marie-Ève à la maison après sa naissance. Il me raconte que chaque année, pour souligner l’anniversaire de sa fille, il sort la coccinelle! Qui aurait dit que les voitures pouvaient symboliser des moments aussi précieux et touchants? There is also the white VW bug that Petit used to chauffeur his daughter home from the hospital just after she was born. He tells me that each year he takes the car out on her birthday to mark the special occasion. Who ever knew that cars were capable of symbolizing such a poignant and important moment?

Et la brochette de prix est grande. Mais ici, qu’il achète une chaîne audio de 500 $ ou de 200 000 $, le client est assuré d’être toujours servi de la même façon par un personnel compétent et attentionné. En effet, un cappuccino à la main et beaucoup d’espace pour passer d’une salle à l’autre comme bon leur semble, le personnel est toujours prêt à prêter une oreille attentive à la clientèle. Aussi, Richard Petit n’est pas du tout contre l’idée de visiter les clients chez eux : il est alors très bien placé pour suggérer la chaîne audio qui correspond le mieux à leurs goûts et qui convient parfaitement à leur mode de vie. Au fur et à mesure que Richard Petit nous raconte sa vie, il y glisse constamment des anecdotes reliées aux automobiles. Il me parle, par exemple, de la Mustang 1967, sa première voiture. « À l’époque, on s’assurait d’abord, on achetait ensuite avec l’argent qui restait », raconte-t-il en riant. Richard avait gagné 1200 $ en travaillant dans un lave-auto automatique. « Je trouvais ça difficile de voir toutes ces belles voitures se faire laver avec aussi peu d’attention, admet-il. J’avais envie de dire au propriétaire d’aller ailleurs. » Après avoir déboursé 900 $ pour les assurances, il met finalement la main sur la fameuse Mustang pour 300 $. Et malgré la rouille qui était en train de la ronger sérieusement, il la restaura, tant et si bien, qu’elle redevint la glorieuse Mustang d’antan. Et puis, il y a eu la coccinelle blanche dont Richard s’est servi pour emmener Marie-Ève à la maison après sa naissance. Il me raconte que chaque année, pour souligner l’anniversaire de sa fille, il sort la coccinelle! Qui aurait dit que les voitures pouvaient symboliser des moments aussi précieux et touchants? Richard Petit utilise les voitures en exemple pour illustrer certaines de ses croyances. Pendant qu’il m’explique sa stratégie de vente, il utilise une analogie afin que je saisisse bien les raisons pour lesquelles il met tellement l’accent sur la qualité des équipements qu’il offre dans son magasin. « Acheter une chaîne audio, c’est comme acheter une voiture : tu peux en acheter une qui te mènera tout bonnement du point A au point B, ou bien en acheter une qui te coupera le souffle en t’emmenant du même point A au même point B. »4

The price range of products might be immense, but whether it’s for a $500 system or a $200,000 one, customers can expect to be treated in exactly the same highly personable way. Along with a cappuccino and plenty of breathing space to wander the rooms at their leisure, staff members are always on hand to lend a helpful ear to clients. Petit is not averse to visiting customers homes so that he can better match sounds systems to their tastes and lifestyle. As Petit talks about his life, anecdotes about cars are continuously rolling through the story line. He tells me about his first car – a Mustang ’67. “At that time you bought the insurance first and then used the leftover money to buy the car,” he remembers with a laugh. Petit had pocketed $1,200 while working at an automatic car wash. “It was difficult to watch good cars being washed so harshly,” he confesses. “I almost felt like telling them to go somewhere else.” After plunking down $900 in insurance, Petit managed to find his Mustang for a paltry $300. And while it was rusted to within an inch of its life, he managed to restore it to its former glory. There is also the white VW bug that Petit used to chauffeur his daughter home from the hospital just after she was born. He tells me that each year he takes the car out on her birthday to mark the special occasion. Who ever knew that cars were capable of symbolizing such a poignant and important moment? Petit also uses cars as examples to illustrate certain beliefs. As he explains his sales strategy to me, he slips in a four-wheeled analogy in order for me to understand why he insists on such high-quality in his store. “Buying a piece of sound equipment is a lot like buying a car. You can select a product that is simply going to take you from point A to point B or you can select a product that is going to take you on a ride of a lifetime while you are getting there.” 4

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« On ne peut faire autrement que d’admirer le design des voitures italiennes, s’extasie-t-il. Ce sont de véritables chefs-d’œuvre d’architecture tandis que les nord-américaines sont trop aseptisées. Et puis, quand vous apercevez une Fiat, ne pensez-vous pas aussitôt à l’Italie? C’est inévitable, il me semble. » “You can’t help but appreciate the design of Italian cars,” he rhapsodises. “They are truly like a piece of architecture. North American designs are way to antiseptic. But as soon as you see a Fiat on the street, it immediately brings you back to Italy.”

Il devient évident que les voitures font partie intégrante de l’idée que Richard Petit se fait de l’Italien. Pour ce collectionneur d’automobiles, un Italien, un vrai, se doit de posséder une Vespa et une Fiat. « On ne peut faire autrement que d’admirer le design des voitures italiennes, s’extasie-t-il. Ce sont de véritables chefs-d’œuvre d’architecture tandis que les nord-américaines sont trop aseptisées. Et puis, quand vous apercevez une Fiat, ne pensez-vous pas aussitôt à l’Italie? C’est inévitable, il me semble. » Pause au milieu de la conversation : Richard se lève, traverse les salles de montre et se dirige vers l’arrière-boutique. Je le suis, croyant qu’il va tout droit à son bureau, mais non, il entre plutôt dans un garage. Je le suis toujours, un peu confuse. Jusqu’à ce qu’il ouvre la porte. À ce moment, je vois quelque chose d’époustouflant. Étonnée, je ne peux que regarder, figée. Là, droit devant moi, salle d’exposition bondée de véhicules étincelants, splendides, rutilants, restaurés avec soin. Ici, une Mini-Cooper, là-bas, une Fiat, une coccinelle et un mini-bus Fiat Multipla 1958. Tout à coup, je me sens comme une enfant dans une bonbonnière. Les couleurs vives des voitures, me rappellent celles des boules de gomme à mâcher, et me rendent discrètement frivole. Soudainement, je sens que le fou rire s’empare de moi. Mais, paraît-il, je ne suis pas la seule à réagir de la sorte. « Parfois j’emmène ma fille à l’école en mini-bus Multipla, m’avoue-t-il. Ses amies en sont complètement folles. Il est si mignon et coquet, c’est un véritable bonbon sur roues. Ses sièges sont larges, on peut donc y asseoir bon nombre de jeunes – pouvez-vous imaginer ce que c’est que de trimbaler des filles! » Bien sûr je le peux, ce n’est pas difficile à imaginer : une bande d’enfants de cinq ans criant à tue-tête, de la joie à profusion, des rires communicatifs. Et puis, je réalise soudain que posséder une voiture n’a pas uniquement son côté pratique. Bien sûr, il a une valeur utilitaire, mais il a aussi un côté affectif, émotionnel. À bien y penser, une voiture peut apporter de la joie dans la journée de quelqu’un, l’emmener à des événements particuliers, ou tout simplement le faire sourire. Il y a des gens qui investissent dans les valeurs mobilières, d’autres dans l’immobilier. Richard Petit, lui, investit dans les automobiles. Et bien que cet investissement lui ait été profitable, j’ai le pressentiment qu’il est beaucoup plus intéressé par le côté émotif qu’il en retire.4

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Cars even figure prominently into Petit’s definition of being Italian. For this car collector, true Italians must own both a Vespa and a Fiat. “You can’t help but appreciate the design of Italian cars,” he rhapsodises. “They are truly like a piece of architecture. North American designs are way to antiseptic. But as soon as you see a Fiat on the street, it immediately brings you back to Italy.” There is a pause in the conversation. Petit gets up and I follow him through the showrooms to the back of the house. I think that we are going to his office, but instead he leads me outside to a garage. I am momentarily confused, until he opens the garage door and then I am greeted with a sight that truly takes my breath away. I am staring at a showroom-quality space that is filled with sparkly, fun, colorful, lovingly restored four-wheeled vehicles. There is a mini-Cooper, a Fiat, a VW bug and 1958 Fiat Multipla. Suddenly, I feel as though I’m a child in a candy-store. The bright colours and bubble gum angles of the cars are beginning to make me giddy with delight. Suddenly, I can feel laughter bubbling up in my throat. Apparently I’m not the only one to react this way. “Sometimes I take my daughter to school in the Multiplat bus,” he tells me. “Her classmates just go crazy over it. It’s so cute and sweet, it’s just like a piece of candy on wheels. With its large benches I can fit a whole bunch of kids on the seats – can you imagine what it’s like driving them around?” Of course I can - it’s not that hard to picture. I see a passel of five-year-old squealing with delight, I see fun, I feel laughter. I suddenly realize that owning a car isn’t just about using it for practical purposes. Aside from its utilitarian value, it also carries emotional currency. It can brighten up a person’s day, take them back to a special event, and even just make them smile.4


Il me parle de la Vespa qu’il a soigneusement restaurée pour sa fille et peinturée de douze couches de bleu poudre, s’assurant ainsi que la teinte serait la bonne. Toujours attentif aux détails, le bleu ira bien avec les chaussures de sa fille. « Je crois que j’aime trop les voitures », avoue-t-il. Toutefois, je me permets de ne pas partager son avis. Chaque achat cache une raison émotive. Il fera cadeau de la Vespa 1954 à sa Marie-Ève le jour où celle-ci recevra son diplôme du secondaire. La Vespa représente aussi le symbole de l’amour profond qu’il voue à sa fille; elle est un objet tangible que gardera Marie-Ève, longtemps après que son père aura quitté cette terre. He tells me about the Vespa that he has lovingly restored for his daughter. He had it painted with twelve coats of baby blue paint to make sure that the shade was just right. Ever the stickler for detail, he had the colour matched exactly to his daughter’s baby booties. “I probably love cars too much,” he confesses. But I beg to differ. There is an emotional reason behind each of his purchases. The 1954 Vespa will be a present to Marie-Eve when she graduates from high-school. It is also a symbol of a father’s deep love for his daughter, a tangible object that can stay with her long after he has passed from this earth. C’est à cet instant que l’univers de Richard Petit s’ouvre tout grand devant moi. Je comprends maintenant ce que signifie être un vrai passionné, peu importe que cette passion se transpose en amour pour les voitures, pour la cuisine ou les voyages. La passion, ce n’est pas l’objet en soi, et dont on est passionné justement; il s’agit plutôt de l’émotion que cet objet procure, de l’expression totale de soi, de la joie de vivre pleinement le moment présent. Percevoir la vie à travers les yeux d’un individu passionné, c’est de la voir dans toute sa splendeur éblouissante. Enfin, la passion, c’est bien sûr comprendre qu’il est important de penser à l’avenir, mais qu’il est tout aussi primordial de profiter des joies quotidiennes qu’elle nous procure. Et c’est exactement ce que fait Richard Petit. g

Some people play the stock market; some people invest in real estate. Richard Petit invests in cars. And while some of those investments have paid high dividends, I also get the feeling that he is much more interested in the emotional return. It is at this moment that Petit’s universe opens wide for me and I understand what it means to be truly passionate. It doesn’t matter whether that passion is directed at a love of cars, a love of cooking or a love of traveling. Passion isn’t about the object it’s directed at; it’s about the emotion itself. It’s about expressing oneself fully, about enjoying life completely, about being fully present in the moment. To view life through the eyes of a passionate person means to view it in all of its technicoloured magnificence. It is understanding that while looking toward the future is important, it is equally important to enjoy the day-to-day ride. And that is precisely what Richard Petit is doing. g

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FOR MUSHROOMS Porcini mushroom


BY SHAUNA HARDY n invitation over to the Caruso family home is like being asked into a food-lovers Garden of Eden. It is an absolute paradise. The backyard is filled with plump vegetables and delectable fruit, the cellar stocked with delicious ruby red canned tomatoes, cured meats and Frank’s addictive homemade wine. For the Carusos, food isn’t a matter of sustenance, it is a superbly pleasurable activity regardless of whether you are cooking it, talking about it, eating it or photographing it. And though the family’s culinary interests might be vast and varied – there is one particular fungus of which they are particularly fond... the mushroom! Frank Caruso’s love for this delectable treat began on a farm, while he was growing up in Confleti, Calabria. “I remember after it would rain, we would run through the fields looking for mushrooms,” he reminisces. “It was like hunting for a meal!” When Caruso immigrated to Canada on February 21st, 1954, he brought his passion with him. Now, his entire family takes pleasure from his childhood pastime. The Caruso’s mushroom hunting territory extends wide, it is a three hundred kilometre radius, extending from LaColle to the Eastern Townships, from Mount Tremblant to the U.S. border. And while Caruso admits to going out on a fairly regular basis during prime hunting season, he maintains that building a network of friends is also essential for the task. “Mushrooms tend to grow on other people’s land, rather than trespass we let people know what we are doing,” Caruso explains. Of course, a present of homemade wine and fine sausages are also excellent ways to add a little bit of padding to the welcome mat. But tramping through the forest blindly hacking away at anything that you find appetizing is not the way to appreciate this pastime. “There are mushrooms out there, like the amanita virosa, that will kill you in 15 seconds flat,” Frank explains. “Only twenty percent of mushrooms are truly edible, smells and looks can be deceiving. It is very important to go with someone who knows what they are doing.”

“The problem is that many people don’t know how to pick mushrooms and end up killing the plant,” continues Frank. “You must never pull out every single mushroom of the bunch. You must always leave one in the group – this will allow them to multiply faster than rabbits.” Portobello mushrooms The thing that always amazes me is the secrecy that surrounds the hobby. It would seem that coveted mushroom picking locations are tightly guarded secrets on a par with issues of national security. I always assumed it was because

Caruso with whole pleurot mushrooms

the fabulous fungi were rare and difficult to find. But the Carusos quickly disabuse me of my notions. Mushrooms sometimes seem rare because, “People don’t know how to pick them,” they inform me in a sing-song voice. A sharp knife is all you need to pluck mushrooms, but the manner in which you do it is of utmost importance.

One of the main advantages of mushroom picking is that it allows you to commune with Nature. There is the fresh air, the exercise and the possibility of running into wild life. As Frank so wisely points out, “You don’t find mushrooms on the street – you have to go deep into the bush.” This means always staying within listening distance of your group, and having a signal that indicates whether you’ve run into trouble. “We don’t use cell phones,” he jokes. “But we find that whistles and loud voices will do nicely.” Generally, they strike out early, pack a picnic and have plenty of treasures to show at the end of the day’s activity. Their finds have always been legendary. There was the single pleurot that weighed a pound and a half, the gigantic puffball mushroom that produced 85 cutlets and the time that Frank discovered 50 pounds of morels under a maple tree. With the market price for morels skyrocketing as high as $111 per kilogram, one can guess that many restaurants wish that Frank Caruso was on their payroll. Honey mushrooms are another family favourite. During a prime season, which occurs once every seven to nine years,4

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... the discovery of new territory, the challenge of locating tasty prizes, the dexterity of actually picking them and then the pleasure of enjoying the fruits of your labour... 200 to 300 pounds of this tasty treat can be picked in the space of a few days. Frank tells me that early one morning he went prospecting to find mushrooms that were not more than the size of a dime. Upon his return to the same spot, two days later, their size and quantity had ballooned. He picked eleven bushels in what felt like a blink of an eye. Storing his beautiful prizes was a bit more of a logistical problem. “There were mushrooms everywhere,” he remembers with a chuckle. “They filled every single available space in my limegreen Cadillac. Can you imagine what a sight it was?!” Frank generously gave away over 20 pounds of his treasure and still had plenty to spare to enjoy served over linguini. Over the years, each family member has perfected their hunting skills. Daughter Carolina focuses upon the ground. Thanks to incredibly sensitive feet and flexible sandals, she is able to feel when the soil changes and knows when she’s close to locating a mushroom. But down low isn’t the only place to hunt. Some species, like the honey variety, tend to grow in clusters high up in elm and oak trees. This is where wife Giovanna’s hawk-like eyes come into play. The family knows that when she utters, “Stop the car!” during a leisurely Sunday drive, it’s time to brace themselves for a terrific find. While mushroom picking might seem

Oyster mushrooms

like a back-breaking task involving lots of bending and squatting, Frank Caruso spends a lot of his time with his eyes fixed firmly in the air. Tree mushrooms mean that you have to reach up …. in some cases, way up. In order to capture

Together they hand pick the beautiful porcini mushrooms

his prize, Frank uses a custom-made extendible 60-foot aluminum pole with a cutter to slice the mushrooms from their locations. The trick is threading the pole through a branch for balance. It takes strong arms, and steadiness, especially when you are dealing with high winds and electrical poles. But the hard work isn’t simply reserved for picking mushroom, lots of elbow grease goes into the cleaning as well. Each mushroom must first be inspected, if it’s been infested with worms or shows signs of overall decay, it is immediately rejected. Then they must all be washed in cool to warm water to remove the dirt. In order to give each one a proper cleaning, it’s advisable to only take four to five mushrooms at a time. Ground mushrooms should be cared for with ground mushrooms, while the tree-varieties should be cleaned separately.

The wonderful thing about wild mushrooms is the variety in which they can be prepared. They can be stored in brine or seasoned with oil and vinegar for a flavourful addition to pizza and pasta. They can also be dried, dehydrated and ground to make a mushroom powder that can be sprinkled over almost anything. The Carusos recommend cutting puffball mushroom into cultlets and dipping them in a mixture of egg, milk, cheese and break crumbs before deepfrying them or broiling them in the oven. The size and pungent taste of Portobellos make them perfect for a meat-filled main course. The Carusos make sure to use every last morsel that they pick, even the skin from the puff ball mushroom can be used for tasty fritter treats. When I ask Frank Caruso a question about a certain type of mushroom. He pauses and then goes looking for a reference book to double check his information. There are at least 15 different books in the house. It’s obvious that he really loves his mushrooms. But I’m guessing that Frank is not just interested in the taste. Picking wild mushrooms is truly an adventure into the unknown. There is the discovery of new territory, the challenge of locating tasty prizes, the dexterity of actually picking them and then the pleasure of enjoying the fruits of your labour. I’m guessing that 74year-old Frank Caruso adores the thrill of the hunt and I have a funny feeling that it’s going to keep his heart pumping with excitement for years to come. g 1 Honey mushrooms being picked by Giovanna Caruso 2 Mushroom fritters to sell at local church Bazaar, our annual donation 3 Tricholoma Flavovirens 4 Portobello & cremini 5 What a sight all on one tree 6 Giant puffball mushroom 7 What a catch… Mrs. Caruso with her pride & joy, a huge porcini mushroom about 11/4lbs. 8 Puffball mushrooms, to the left Giovanna Caruso & to the right Carolina Caruso (daughter) 9 Puffball cutlets alla Caruso 10 Fresh off the trees 11 Carolina holding assorted mushrooms 12 Country side mushrooms 13 Mr. Caruso with Porcini 14 Pleurot mushrooms to be picked from tree with Frank’s hand-crafted tool 15 Carusos with portobellos.


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Pleurotus Ostreatus

Ricilla alla Caruso Oyster Mushrooms alla Caruso 3kg di funghi gelone (Pleurotus ostreatus) (in dialetto nostro calabrese si chiamano “ricilla”)

3kg oyster mushrooms

8 lt di acqua

3-5 cloves garlic

4lt di aceto (di vino)

Salt to taste

3-5 spicchi d’aglio fresco

Olive oil

Sale (a piacere)

Fresh or dry mint

Olio d’oliva extravergine

Oregano

Menta Fresca (o conservata)

Hot chili peppers

Origano Fresco (o conservato)

Sterilized glass jars

8 lt water 4lt wine vinegar

Peperoncino Forte Barattolo di Vetro STERILIZZATO

Metodo : Mettete i funghi ben puliti in una pentola capace di contenere le parti d’acqua e d’aceto, aggiungete sale ed aglio. Lasciate bollire per 15, 20 minuti, a seconda della dimensione dei funghi e del loro grado di maturazione. Scolare i funghi e lasciare asciugare. Preparare i contenitori di vetro sterilizzati ed iniziate a riempire con funghi ed aromi, sempre facendo attenzione che tutto sia estrememente pulito. Durante il processo, aggiungete olio extravergine di oliva, qualche spicchio d’aglio tagliato non troppo fino, menta, origano, peperoncino forte (potete utilizzare anche il peperoncino d’Ungheria) e sale a piacere.

Pressate bene i funghi nel contenitore di vetro fino a raggiungere il livello massimo. Aggiungere olio per coprire interamente i funghi ed assicurarsi di lasciare spazio libero tra il coperchio e la superficie dell’olio. Chiudere il barattolo e lasciare riposare in un luogo buio. Dopo 24 ore, controllare il livello d’olio e se necessario aggiungere fino alla copertura dei funghi. Pulire bene il contenitore e sigillare. Non esporre alla luce e conservare in un luogo fresco.

NB : Una volta aperto, il contenitore deve essere conservato in frigorifero.

Regola Generale: I funghi devono essere coperti interamente dall’olio e tutti gli elementi del processo devono essere puliti accuratamente per avere degli ottimi risultati di conservazione. Viva i Funghi, e Buon Appetito !

Method : In a large pot, combine thickly sliced mushrooms, garlic with the water and vinegar. Let boil for 15-20 minutes.

Drain the mushrooms, let cool in a large bowl. The remaining liquid should be discarded. Coat mushrooms with oil combined with all seasonings. Pack firmly in sterilized glass jars then cover with enough olive oil. Enough to completely cover mushrooms, but not touch the jar ’s lid. Cover and seal. Let rest 24 hrs.Verify if enough oil is still on top of the mushrooms, add if necessary. Seal, wipe and store in cold room until ready to use.

General rule: For safety purposes, mushrooms must be covered entirely with oil for the entire period they are stored. Eating improperly stored mushrooms can cause serious potential health problems and is strictly not advisable. Jars must be refrigerated once opened. Enjoy ! Ricetta / Recipe: Francesco & Giovanna Caruso, LaSalle, Quebec Disclaimer: Sterilization of all components, and the use of a pressure cooker, reduces the risk of food contamination. Panoramitalia, its editors, publishers, authors and contributors, disclaim all liability for illnesses, injuries or damages resulting from the recipes or cooking methods.


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MARCHAND PORTES ET FENETRES


My

FATHER

the builder


BY LORE T TA DI VITA

As a youngster, I used to cringe at the question: What does your father do? It’s not that I was ashamed of my father’s trade; it’s just that it was hard to describe how he made his living, especially to other children. “My father builds houses”, I would tell my curious peers. “He builds houses, all by himself, with his own hands?” they’d ask in astonishment. Village of Pietracatella, Italy

I preferred to dodge the question because the notion of a contractor hiring subcontractors to build houses for customers was simply too conceptual for a child to communicate, and for other children to comprehend. Unlike most other dads, my father’s office was situated in our home. I knew he worked there, but I had trouble identifying with my friends whose fathers always left the house to go to work. I know he spent a lot of time in his office, because so did I. I’d enter his ufficio, adjacent to our family room, and, through a haze of cigarette smoke, see impossibly large sheets of inky paper sprawled across his desk. I couldn’t help but notice the mound of cigarette butts, accumulated in the desktop ashtray, attesting to long hours of solitary work and creativity. I watched as he lifted sheet after sheet, revealing complex webs of criss-crossing lines forming square and rectangular shapes – plans for bedrooms, living rooms, and kitchens. Alongside him, I enjoyed drawing pretty houses on thick pads of graph paper with pencils that bore the names and phone numbers of building material suppliers. I didn’t need a ruler, because the small squares helped me draw perfectly straight lines and tidy corners. The houses I sketched always had trademark pointed roofs, shuttered windows and picket fences. Unlike my father’s drawings, mine showed only the front of a house and not the framework; I didn’t have to worry about the underpinnings since my houses would never be real. There wasn’t much construction in the Italian village of Pietracatella, tucked away in the hills of Molise, where my

father, Ferdinando, lived his childhood in the 1920’s. The small concentration of homes was enough to accommodate the miniscule population, and the building of new houses was rarely contemplated, since natural attrition gave new generations the opportunity to occupy houses inherited from previous generations. Young Ferdinando could never have My fath er as a imagined that one day young m an in h is home he would be developing areas so village far away from the cluster of stone houses which he knew as his paese. My father became a self-taught contractor and an architect with a small “a”. While not an accredited architect, his designs always drew approval and respect from professional architects. Like many of his fellowmen, my father’s time serving in the Italian army took away any opportunity to attend university. After the war, fuelled by boundless determination, he emigrated from Italy to Canada where he set out to learn everything he could about business management, design, and construction. With a young family limiting his time and resources, he turned to correspondence schools to build his knowledge. His filing 4

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my wrists. With a little imagination, every left over piece of material had the potential to become something novel. There, I learned the life lesson that seeing discarded material as waste, instead of resource, was like seeing a glass half empty instead of half full. The best memories of that heyday are of my father taking me, along with my mother and brother, to a construction site for a picnic. The spread was simple and kid-friendly with mortadella panini and triangles of my mother’s homemade pizza, but still it seemed like a menu fit for a special occasion. Languishing on grassy terrain that bulldozers hadn’t yet gotten to, my brother and I, still too young to entertain our own ambitions, envisioned my father’s description of what the finished project would look like. His dreams were our dreams. e his home offic My father in

cabinets housed self-study manuals with titles like: Business Accounting, Drafting, and Construction Techniques. He studied chapter after chapter, and sent worksheets to the correspondence teachers to be graded. They were always returned to him bearing only red check marks, and never any red X’s, I proudly recall. Dad wasn’t always working in his home office, though. I know because I often accompanied him to his construction sites. As we drove up to large lots illuminated by strings of bright lights, I was amused to see our family name on colorful boards advertising houses for sale! The sites were entertaining places, where I climbed steps that looked more like ladders than staircases, and imagined the paint colors and floor coverings that would turn empty spaces into finished rooms for people to live in. My budding entrepreneurial spirit grew as I collected empty soda bottles that carpenters, plumbers and other tradesmen left behind, and diligently put them in big bags to exchange for handfuls of pennies at the variety store. The only thing that could interrupt my determined search for more empties was the arrival of the mobile cantine. Its telltale ring was music to my ears. In near-Pavlovian response, I would rush to get in line with the workers to buy two bottles of my preferred beverage: Orange Crush – one for me, and one for my father. Clutching the icy bottles, I would run back to the site and find my father with a pencil over his ear, and a level in his hands, ensuring freshly-erected walls were as straight as possible. When construction stopped for the workers’ break time, my father and I often sat together on rickety, makeshift benches that the carpenters assembled from scrap wood. Sometimes, Dad wove bracelets out of the colorful, electrical wire trimmings that electricians tossed aside, and fastened them around

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My brother and I had our share of adventures and misadventures in the fields where construction was slated to occur. With gnarled twigs in hand, we scoured the territory looking for berries, unusual rocks, and anything else. Often, we took our friends along. In natural pecking order: The younger, tinier kids trailed behind the taller ones, and boys always went first. Nestled under a tree was an enormous, cardboard box that became our after-school clubhouse. While its architecture was considerably more modest than that of the houses my father was building on nearby land, its four-sided structure made it a naturally inviting place to inhabit. One memorable afternoon, my contentment in our special abode turned to terror, when my brother stood up and pierced its roof, and a pack of baby field mice tumbled onto our heads. I ran shrieking with fear, while he dangled the squirmy, pink-eyed creatures by their thin, little tails. Way back when my father was in business, builders held a privileged place in the Italian-Canadian community. After all, they gave new immigrants something to strive for: a house of their own.

Unshakeable Italian pride wouldn’t allow our paesani to settle for renting a home, and so they were motivated to work-and-earn-and-save to give their offspring comfortable and time-enduring homes. 4


In a way, Italian-Canadian builders were the interpreters of their dreams. Being of like cultural origin, they designed homes that embodied the expectations of their customers. Gradually, entire neighborhoods were fashioned upon the same building criteria, and an unmistakable, recognizable style was born: One that was acutely different from that seen in other neighborhoods where citizens of other origins lived. Deluxe adornments like long mirrored and marbled hallways and elaborate, wrought iron railings became leitmotifs that Italian-born builders used, from house to house, to delight Italian-born customers. Admittedly, who else built houses that looked that way? Could anyone else appreciate the value of a dwelling featuring a cantina and two kitchens, one large and fancy and rarely-used, the other smaller and purely utilitarian? I remember some of my father’s customers and how they approached him with a certain reverence. Dad’s business dealings led him to speak and write fluent English and French before many of his compatriots, and, in those days, competency in both native languages meant power - power that most of his Italian-Canadian customers did not yet have. His immigrant peers saw him as a pioneer and a leader, someone who had the ability to assimilate more quickly than they, so they entrusted him not only with constructing their homes, but also with enrolling their kids in schools; choosing pediatricians for their children; and offering suggestions on what to buy as the first family car. Perhaps they saw him as a facilitator for their future. With their destiny so intrinsically wrapped up in their house, the builder represented a symbolic link to all things related to security, comfort, and success. I also recall some of the people that worked for my father. They all seemed to have Italian names: Giuseppe, Pasquale, and Matteo, among others. At the time, their skills were not fully developed, and I recall my father explaining instructions and formulas over and over until they got things just right. No one could afford to make a mistake when working with him. The workers didn’t know it then, but his high expectations and insistence instilled in them the formula for the success that many went on to earn. Most are grateful to him, and speak fondly of those days when he was the boss, but human pride sometimes has a selective memory, and some would prefer to forget where their first break came from.

Even though retirement, age, and frailty have removed my father from any construction site, he still has an opinion on the way houses should be built. He shakes his head in disbelief and indignation when hearing of some modern builders’ lack of integrity, and arrogance in the face of the customer. Things have changed significantly from my father’s days, when such indifference would have ruined a builder’s reputation. The difference is that my father built communities. His construction companies gave rise to neighborhoods where once only wild weeds grew, and, in so doing, he gave many the opportunity to put bread on their tables, and the chance to realize their own dreams. He treated his employees as countrymen needing guidance and the invaluable first job, and not just as hired help. To his customers, he delivered homes, not merely houses. From the pouring of the foundation to the installation of the last window, his steadfast presence on the construction site reassured nervous first-time buyers that their houses were rock solid. Transplanted far from their original roots, fellow Italian immigrants knew that my father would build for them a safe haven where their future as Canadians could flourish: A new home. g


Stories from Two Italian War Brides B Y C A R R I E -A N N E S M I T H

An anonymous poem called “To a War Bride” begins with the lines: We left our homeland just after the war Everything so strange and new, We were welcomed, laughed at, looked down upon, But some stood their ground...quite a few.

During and after the Second World The war-torn town of Avellino, Italy War 48,000 war brides and their was the unlikely setting in which 22,000 children arrived at Pier 21. Luisa (Manzullo) LaRosa and Anna These brave and adventurous ladies (Perugini) Lavigne met and fell in left everything familiar behind and love with Canadian servicemen; one came to cities and rural areas across courtship growing out of a young Some found it hard, to change their ways, man’s unexpectedly fluent Italian and Canada. Though some later returned to their homelands, most adapted and And returned before they gave it a chance, the other springing from a charming grew to love Canada, displaying a But most of us stayed...a challenge...a dare, young lady’s ability to speak schoolgirl English. pioneering spirit and resilience that They called the tune...and we danced. had developed during the long war The Germans had occupied Avellino years. All of the girls faced challenges, but the twenty-six Italian war brides were dancing to an so neither of the girls were surprised when allied planes filled the sky over their hometown in September of 1943. In her entirely more complicated tune. memoir, Moving Heaven and Earth: The First Canadian-Italian In a year when Canadians headed to Italy to compete, in the War Bride, Luisa (Perugini) LaRosa describes how life changed spirit of international friendship and understanding at the 20th for her. She writes that when the allies started to bomb Avellino Winter Olympics it is difficult to remember a time when it was morning; her mother and cousin had gone out leaving her Canadians and Italians were staring at each other through gun alone in the house. Her two sisters were nearby at their landlady’s sights rather than across a blue line or speed skating oval. house making pasta. All of a sudden everyone heard airplanes 4

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My sisters, Rose and Rita, were intrigued on that September Day by this Soldier who spoke Italian like a true Italian. “Are you an Italian?”, the girls asked. Jack said, “I’m Sicilian” overhead. Luisa went outside and saw her sisters on a balcony counting the airplanes out loud as they roared by. As her sisters counted, the bombs began to drop, drowning their voices. Luisa’s mother and cousin hurried back and told the girls that they had to find a safe place to stay during the bombing. No one knew where to go, but they knew that their landlady had a farm in a safer area and she and her family were going to flee there. Luisa’s mother begged her to take them; after much pleading their landlady decided to let Luisa’s family join her own, but they would all have to sleep on the floor in one room. That seemed a small price to pay for relative safety. In her article, Anna Lavigne of Bathurst - One of 26 Italian War Brides, writer Melynda Jarrett describes how Anna (Perugini) Lavigne and her family survived the bombing. “Anna’s mother could see the writing on the wall, and in August, she left for the mountain farm. The first week of September Mrs. Perugini sent a message demanding that the children come join her in the safety of the mountains. Anna remembers that time very well. Her mother was terrified, and she ordered the children out of Avellino: “I’ll buy you a suitcase,” her mother pleaded, “You pack what you want. I want you to move to the country!” Living on the farm provided a certain measure of safety: there was food and in a sense they were better off than people in the cities, but it did not mean that the children were totally out of danger. German soldiers lived close by in military barracks, and the villagers had to put up with Germans coming around to their homes, sometimes twice a day, looking for anything valuable.” Once the Americans had moved into Avellino both families were able to return to town, though the memories of seeing bloody soldiers, bombed-out buildings, and their homes in total disarray would stay with each girl forever. Luisa’s family had to move into a large shed-like building. It had been used for farm equipment, but was modestly renovated and rented to them by their original landlord. Luisa explains, “As fate would have it, it was right across the street from the large house that Mussolini had built to feed the poor. The occupying forces used this house.” Anna’s family would also have to move, taking an apartment in Mercogliano, just outside of Avellino. The scene was bleak, and romance must have seemed like the least likely event in the world as each girl tried to salvage a few possessions and make the best of her new surroundings. All the while the Canadians were marching towards Avellino to relieve the American troops. The best war bride stories include a description of the first time that the would-be brides meet their future husbands. Luckily, Luisa and Anna have shared their first impressions, allowing us to go back in time and peer through their eyes. Luisa wrote,

“About three days after the Canadians had arrived my sisters had gotten brave enough to hang on the chain link fence outside the occupied building and they were laughing and saying a few dirty words. Coincidentally, at this very time a young Canadian soldier, Giacomo Jack LaRosa, who was of Italian decent, happened to be passing by and heard the girls talking. He said in Italian “you better watch what you are saying because some of us understand Italian.” My sisters, Rose and Rita, were intrigued on that September day by this soldier who spoke Italian like a true Italian. “Are you an Italian?”, the girls asked. Jack said, “I’m Sicilian” So the girls said “Why don’t you come to our house, my parents would enjoy talking to a soldier who can speak Italian. You can also help us by being an interpreter for us when we take in wash from the other soldiers.” “So Giacomo came to our house and he brought his clothes to be washed. We became friends and my family invited him to dinner almost nightly. My whole family loved him and I too had fallen in love with him.” Ms. Jarrett’s interview with Anna includes a description of how Anna came to meet her Canadian. “Few Canadians spoke Italian, so a call went out for English/Italian interpreters. Even though Anna had been taking English at the University of Naples before the war, she wasn’t functionally bilingual, but her sister Teresa was. Teresa was an English teacher and soon she was approached to be an interpreter at the Canadian headquarters in Avellino.4

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church.” This type of ceremony was reserved for more-or-less ‘wrongdoers’ and Giacomo said, “I will not get married in the back of the church. There is no reason for that and in addition I want music played at the ceremony.” The ‘three powers that be’ met and all the red tape was taken care of and the wedding would take place. The Major, however, knew that they would be shipping out and without revealing this to Jack this only said, “You must hurry.”

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Teresa refused: “She was scared”, Anna says, not of the Canadians per say, but at the thought of being around so many foreigners. Anna explains: “At that time, it was a different way of looking at things. We were brought up in a close family.” It was through Teresa’s contact with Canadian Army personnel, who were trying to persuade her to take on a job as interpreter, that Anna met Staff Sergeant Aurele Lavigne, of Bathurst, New Brunswick. “I remember the first time I met him, he was singing the song “Jealousy”. It was love at first sight,”. From Romance to Reality is a popular work on the subject of the war brides; it is a particularly appropriate title when considering what came next in Luisa and Giacomo’s courtship. Canadians marrying British subjects was one thing, but citizens of Italy, so recently an enemy country, were another matter entirely. It would take a sympathetic Major, a reluctant Monsignor, and a very determined young man in love to set the precedent that would allow twenty-five more Italian women to marry. Luisa explains how one day Giacomo’s superior officer, knowing that their unit would be shipping out from Avellino, decided to tell Giacomo that he could get married. To get married he would have to gain formal permission from the Canadian Army, the Catholic Church and the Italian Government. Giacomo knew that this would be an impossible task so he went to see the Monsignor, pleading with him in Italian. “Why don’t you wait until after the war?” Giacomo said, “There is no need to wait until the end of the war. I want to get married now.” Then the Monsignor hearing the determination in this young man who spoke in his same tongue finally compassionately gave in. “Bring your Major and Senior Padre here and we’ll work something out.” Then he said, “If all goes well you can get married, but you must be married in the back of the

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Hurry, Jack did, and on Monday, March 5, 1945 Luisa was married in a borrowed dress and a rented veil. In addition to volunteering to be best man, a Canadian army cook provided the food and drinks and made the happy couple a huge wedding cake. Fifteen months after the LaRosa wedding and with Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany behind him, Aurele returned to Italy to marry Anna. It would be thieves, not politics, that Aurele would have to overcome. Ms. Jarrett writes, “On the day he arrived in Italy, thieves struck and Aurele lost his luggage, his identification papers, all his money and his wedding suit. Undaunted, he borrowed a suit from Anna’s brother and using bands sent from Bathurst, the couple were married by a British Chaplain in a small Naples church…” For all of the war brides love and marriage, was followed by waiting and worrying. Luisa went to the Canadian Consulate almost every day to see if she could join her husband in Canada. Finally she was told to go to Naples because the orders had come and she would finally be going to Canada. She recalls, “They put me up in a hotel for one month in preparation... which included delousing every day or so and also arranging for my passport. Then suddenly they told me I’d be leaving the next day. I did not even go home and say good-bye to my family for fear that they would leave without me. During the past month I had only gone home twice and was met by name calling from the village women. I told my mother I would not come again to see her to avoid this hurtful scene. Therefore, my family would come on weekends to the hotel to see me. The next weekend they came and I was gone without a word of good-bye. I have always regretted this for I never again saw my mother and father. I had only one thing on my mind and that was to be with Giacomo.” 4


Anna was expecting their first child when Aurele was repatriated, therefore she was especially eager to join him. Anna’s brother offered to pay her way to London so that she could join the British brides leaving for Canada. She told Ms. Jarrett, “I was pregnant and then we were talking it all over and my brother said, “Never mind. It would be too long. If you want to go I’ll pay (for) your trip to London. When you get to London, you go to the Red Cross and then (join) all the war brides in London.” So with a ticket paid for by her brother, Anna said her goodbyes and set off for London.

War Br ides at Pier 21

It was the Aquitania that brought Luisa to Pier 21 and the Lady Rodney that conveyed Anna. Luisa would board a train to Toronto and reunite with Giacomo on a smoky platform in September of 1946. Anna’s memorable reunion would come in November of 1946, when she walked into Aurele’s arms at Pier 21. For each girl there would be in-laws to meet, a language to master, strange food to contend with, and hundreds of large and small obstacles to overcome, but they were with their husbands, and would not face these challenges alone. Together the couples raised their families and shared their lives. g

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Two countries that started out at war produced true love, proving that there is hope for all of us, or, at least, those of us willing to dance no matter how foreign tune. Special thanks to Melynda Jarrett who recorded Anna’s story and Rose Marie James who recorded Luisa’s memoir. Please visit www.canadianwarbrides.com to read Melynda’s article about Anna Lavigne and www.pier21.ca to read the full text of Luisa’s story. If you know any of the other Italian war brides please encourage them to write to us at library@pier21.ca so that we can share their stories and more fully understand this fascinating and romantic chapter in Italian and Canadian history. The Italian war brides that we can confirm to date are Ida Colborne, Yole Darnell, Carmellina Argia LaBerge, Louisa LaRosa, Maria Christina Law, Giuseppa Millard, Maria Carrea Perras, Lina Angela Whitehouse, Carmen Black, Antonia Caluori, Mrs. Cosgwell, Oda Rinaldoni Cormier, Carmela Denis, Delia Ethridge, Rosaalba Delia Franks, Maria Grandchamp, Eupmia S. McLeod, Ada McCillo, Maria Maisonneuve, Emilia Menard, Rivella Perreault, Yolanda Pigeau, Graziella Margaret Walters, Gemma Zumprelle, Maria Louisa Hamilton, and Anna Lavigne.

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his past summer, my family and I attended une fête de quartier, a neighbourhood party, in Val-des-Brise located on the north shore of Montreal in the city of Laval. This neighbourhood is quickly becoming the place of choice for many young Italian couples wanting to leave the hustle and bustle of Montreal. We could say it is equivalent to Woodbridge in Ontario. The neighbourhood party could have easily passed for an Italian festa since there was an Italian wedding band playing, porchetta and salsiccia being served and Frank Cavallaro was the MC for the event. If you were not aware that this neighborhood was Italian, you were sure of it now. Making your way through the crowd, you saw young ItaloCanadian parents chasing their kids around, Nonna’s sitting on the park benches resting their aching legs, Nonno’s huddled together critiquing the new housing developments while sizing up their construction knowledge with one another, teenagers sporting the latest Puma and Kappa clothing and little children screaming at the top of their lungs sliding down the huge inflatable slides. As mothers were trying to contain their children’s excitement, you would expect them to be calling them by the usual standard Americanized Italian names like, “Joey get over here”, “Mary don’t get dirty” or “Tony you’re sweating, you’re going to catch a cold.” Instead what you were hearing this sunny Sunday afternoon was, “Antonio, get down” or “Alessandro, let’s go home” or “Abbastanza Luca.” Italo-Canadian couples are increasingly choosing authentic Italian names for their children and are amazingly keeping them Italian. Boy names like Antonio are resisting the urge to become Tony, Alessandro is avoiding the slide to Alex, Matteo is sticking to its guns and Joshua is becoming a nice substitute for Joe. Girl names like Mary, Pina and Sandra seem to have all disappeared and have been replaced with names like Julia, Leana,

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Alessia and Chiara. Taking a glance at my yearbook from Laurier McDonald High School in St. Leonard, which had a largely Italian student body, these were the leading names at the time: For boys, Joe and Tony were by far in first place followed by Frank, Johnny, and Mike with Mario, Sergio, Marco, Pat, Angelo, Carmen, Gino and Domenic sprinkled here and there. For girls, Mary, Sandra and Joanne lead the pack followed by Rosie, Angie, Anna, and Patty with Tina, Marisa, and Pina here and there. I think that is a good random sample of common names first and second generation Italians went by throughout the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. Now most of these Joe’s and Mary’s and Johnny’s and Anna’s are married with their own children and naming them quite differently than the way they were named. My wife Rosy and I, for our first-born son, chose a name that always seems to be in style - Anthony. We chose that name for that was the day we met, at la festa di Sant’Antonio in front of Madonna di Pompei Parish. For our daughter, we resurrected an older Italian name both for its beauty and religious significance - Immacolata, but call her Imma for everyday use. So what is the cause of this trend within our Italian community? Your guess would be just as good as mine, but after some deep thinking and a glass of red wine to help release the philosopher in me, I have formulated four social theories behind our new naming conventions and would like to put them on the table for consideration. My first theory has a paradoxical dimension to it as it is based both on a desire to break with old conventions, but yet a longing for an attachment to the past. As a new generation of ItaloCanadians, we seem to be set free of old naming conventions and the pressure to name our children after our parents or grandparents is not as strong as it was in the past. This has allowed today’s parents the freedom to explore other names and


break the chain of multi-generations having the same first name. On the flip side, perhaps the desire to rediscover or maintain our Italian roots might also be a reason to choosing authentic Italian names. As our parents and grandparents or those who immigrated from the old country pass away, along with them fades our bridge to Italy and giving our children Italian names acts as a new bridge to our Italian heritage. A second theory is based on the changing nature of Canada and North America as a whole. Whereas at one time having a typical Italian name may have been a hindrance, it is no longer the case today. Society has changed and so has the Italian community within Canada. We are no longer strangers to this land and the pressures felt by our forefathers to blend into the wider English/French culture are not as prevalent for today’s generation. Furthermore, Latin based names have become fashionable today in North America for a variety of reasons. There is the influence of South America on North America and the spread of the Spanish language throughout the US and Canada. Big name actors like Leonardo Di Caprio and Antonio Banderas also help make these first names more popular and common place. Where in the past entertainers like Dean Martin and Tony Bennett had to conceal their Italian names in order to make it big, having an Italian name today is attractive, interesting and marketable.

Theory number three is based on the experience that people need change and it might simply be a cycle we go through as human beings. Maybe we are just tired of Joe, Gino, Anna and Sandra and in 20 years we will also be tired of Luca, Massimo and Chiara and will grab on to new naming conventions. Perhaps in an effort to rediscover early Americanized Italian names, a future generation of parents will begin to rename their children Frank, Johnny and Patty or they may even rediscover names that have fallen by the way side like Annunziatta, Pasquale, Concetta and Calogero.

... giving our children Italian names acts as a new bridge to our Italian heritage.

My forth and last theory is based on my biased opinion that Italian names are simply beautiful!

So what is the true reason? It might be a combination of all the factors given above and probably much more, but besides that, it is a great way to honour our immigrant forefathers who came from Italy. It is also a sign of the times that having an Italian name is no longer a hindrance, but an asset in our global village called Canada. Our Italian names stand as a testament to all who worked to establish the Italian communities of Canada and break down the walls of misunderstanding during the last century and to them, we say grazie.

David Lombardi

David Lombardi is a Software Analyst and is the creator of www.famiglia.ca, a family, faith and culture website for Italian Canadian families. He resides with his wife Rosy and two children in Laval, Quebec.

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Torino BY NICOLE T TA

M O N C A L E R O & M A R I O S A LV I N I

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sk any Italian information about Turin and you will probably be dismissed with a quick answer -perhaps a vague one, too. Sure it is an important city, the Italian Motown, the city of automobiles, headquarters of Fiat and Lancia. But many will add, "It's a gray city." This is an ungenerous, surely undeserved, fame, which people from Turin have finally dispelled through the extraordinary success of the 2006 Winter Olympics, which was not only a great economic and social opportunity, but also a definitive launching of a city determined to restore its status of ancient capital. There is more to it than grayness, then: in reality, Turin is exactly the same as its inhabitants. It's reserved, gentle, and mysterious. And aristocratic, too. Not many people abroad are likely to know, for instance, that Turin was the first capital of united Italy, starting in 1861, when Rome was still independent. Not many know that all its vicissitudes are tied to the Savoy family, the Italian royal family (what turned Italy into a republic in 1946 was a referendum). And not everyone knows that its streets, its immensely large squares, and its monuments are part of an ancient and fascinating history.

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e chiedete a qualsiasi italiano qualche notizia su Torino, molto probabilmente verrete liquidati con una rapida risposta, magari evasiva. Certo è una città importante, è la Motown italiana, la città delle auto, sede della Fiat e della Lancia. Ma, aggiungeranno molti: “E’ una città grigia”. Fama ingenerosa, certamente immeritata che i torinesi hanno finalmente sfatato con lo straordinario successo dell’ Olimpiade invernale 2006, vissuta non solo come una grande occasione economica e sociale, ma anche come definitivo rilancio di una città che vuole riprendersi il suo blasone di antica capitale. Altro che grigiore, dunque: in realtà Torino è esattamente come i suoi abitanti. Riservata, gentile, e misteriosa. E nobile, anche. Forse all’estero non molti sanno che, per esempio, è stata la prima capitale dell’Italia unita, a partire dal 1861, quando Roma era ancora indipendente. Che tutte le vicende sono legate alla famiglia Savoia, quella dei re d’Italia (fu un referendum a trasformare lo stato italiano in repubblica nel 1946). E che le sue strade, le sue amplissime piazze e i suoi monumenti sono l’itinerario di una storia antica e affascinante.

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Founded in 29 BC under the name Julia Augusta Taurinorum, Turin is primarily an elegant and well-rounded city. Tangible evidence of this is the wide 19th-century avenues, the lounge squares, the 18 kilometer-long arcades built by order of Vittorio Emanuele I in order to allow the queen to stroll downtown even on rainy days. In order to appreciate the true spirit of this city, one must see it as a whole rather than in reference to its individual monuments. The mandatory starting point is then Castle Square, where even if one stands still, one is likely to <lose himself> in a journey through several centuries. Castle Square is Turin's symbolic center, as well as a synthesis of its history. Every age of the city is represented in this square. The first piece of history is Madame Palace (13th century), first owned by Wilhelm VII, Marquis of Montferrat, and then transferred to the Savoy family. This Palace still retains traces of its past owners, though the facade is the one designed by Filippo Juvarra between 1718 and 1721.

Fondata nel 29 a.c. col nome di Julia Augusta Taurinorum, Torino è soprattutto una città elegante e di grande respiro. Ne sono un’immediata prova gli ampi corsi ottocenteschi, le piazze salotto e i 18 chilometri di portici, costruiti su ordine di Vittorio Emanuele I per permettere alla regina di passeggiare in centro anche nelle giornate di pioggia. Per apprezzare il vero spirito della città occorre vederla nel suo insieme piuttosto che nei suoi singoli monumenti. Punto di partenza inequivocabile diventa allora piazza Castello dove restando con i piedi fermi ci si può <perdere> in un viaggio lungo diversi secoli. Piazza Castello è il centro simbolico di Torino ed è una sintesi della sua storia. Tutte le epoche della città vi sono rappresentate. A cominciare da Palazo Madama (XIII secolo), appartenuto prima a Guglielmo VII Marchese di Monferrato e poi passato ai Savoia. Oggi riporta traccia dei diversi passaggi, ma facciata è quella progettata da Filippo Juvarra fra il 1718 e il 1721.

Piazza Castello

Three other imposing buildings look over Castle Square: the Armory (opened in 1837), the Royal Library (1831), and the Royal Theater (1738), whose facade was redesigned in 1973. Walking away from Rome Street, one arrives at Royal Palace (1646), once residence of the Kings of Sardinia and later of Vittorio Emanuele II, King of Italy (until 1865). Beyond the courtyard, one encounters the gorgeous Royal Gardens, a true green oasis in the heart of the city (together with Valentine Park, built opposite the homonymous French-style castle by order of Maria Cristina of France). Still on Castle Square is St. Lawrence's Church, erected in 1634 following a vow made by Emanuele Filiberto on the eve of St. Quentin's battle. On Dome Square, not too far away, tourists can see the only example of renaissance architecture in Turin: the cathedral dedicated to Saint John the Baptist, patron saint of the city, with the Holy Shroud Chapel, designed by Guarino Guarini (1668-1694). The precious relic is preserved here in a silver casket. 4 Palazzo Reale - Dioscuro

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Sulla piazza si affacciano anche l’Armeria (aperta nel 1837), la Biblioteca Reale (1831) e il Teatro Regio (1738) con la facciata riprogettata nel 1973. Lasciando alle spalle via Roma, si giunge a Palazzo Reale (1646) a suo tempo residenza dei Re di Sardegna e poi di Vittorio Emanuele II, Re d’Italia (fino al 1865). Oltrepassato il cortile spuntano in tutta la loro bellezza i Giardini Reali, vera e propria oasi del verde nel cuore della città (insieme al parco del Valentino costruito di fronte all’omonimo castello alla moda francese su volere di Maria Cristina di Francia). Sempre su piazza Castello si affaccia anche la chiesa di san Lorenzo, eretta nel 1634 per un voto fatto da Emanuele Filiberto alla vigilia della battaglia di San Quintino. Nella vicina piazza Duomo, l’unico esempio di architettura rinascimentale torinese: la cattedrale dedicata a San Giovanni Battista, patrono della città, con la cappella della Sacra Sindone, opera del Guarino Guarini (16681694). Qui in una teca d’argento è racchiusa la preziosa reliquia. 4


The Holy Shroud

La sacra Sindone

The Shroud is a sheet measuring 4.36 meters by 1.11 meters and bears the image of a man traditionally attributed to Jesus Christ. According to some people, after Jesus dies, his body was wrapped in this linen cloth. The sheet has been preserved in the Turin Dome since 1578, and is perhaps the most studied object in the whole world. The radiocarbon datation performed on the cloth by three world-renown laboratories in 1988 determined that the sheet dates back to the 14th century; as a consequence, it can only be an artifact. The Turin Shroud is first attested in Europe in the Middle Ages, which is in tune with the results of the radiocarbon datation, and one of the first documents referring to it dates back to 1389. The Shroud Museum is in the crypt of the church of the Holy Shroud in Turin. The new premises were inaugurated on April 15, 1998, as a consequence of the fire that endangered the Shroud in 1997. Now virtual frescoes of the Passion of Christ are projected onto the vault and niches by 15 projectors, and the images slowly but constantly change as the visitors proceed. The Museum first opened in 1936, in order to trace the various stages of the history of the Shroud and the scientific studies done on its image, bringing together the remnants preserved by the Confraternity of the Holy Shroud. The Museum provides visitors with thorough information on the Shroud since the 16th century, highlighting historical, scientific, devotional, and artistic aspects. 4

La Sindone è un lenzuolo di 4 metri e 36 per 1 metro e 11 che reca impressa un'impronta umana dalla tradizione attribuita a Gesù Cristo. Secondo alcuni il telo avrebbe avvolto il corpo di Gesù dopo la sua morte. Custodito nel Duomo di Torino fin dal 1578, si tratta forse dell'oggetto più studiato al mondo. La datazione al radiocarbonio eseguita sul tessuto in tre laboratori di fama internazionale nel 1988 ha determinato che il lenzuolo risale al XIV secolo e, di conseguenza, non può che essere un artefatto. La Sindone di Torino compare in Europa per la prima volta nel medioevo, in sintonia con i risultati della radiodatazione, e uno dei primi documenti che ne parla risale al 1389. Il Museo della Sindone si trova nella cripta della chiesa del SS. Sudario di Torino. La nuova sede, a seguito dell’incendio che nell’aprile del 1997 mise in pericolo la Sindone, è stata inaugurata il 15 aprile 1998. Ora la cripta si anima di affreschi virtuali sul tema della Passione di Gesù, proiettati da 15 macchine sulla volta e nelle nicchie, che lentamente ma continuamente mutano accompagnando il visitatore. Il Museo nasce nel 1936, per ripercorre le tappe della storia del Lenzuolo e delle ricerche scientifiche che hanno indagato sulla sua immagine, raccogliendo i reperti conservati dalla Confraternita del SS. Sudario. Il Museo propone al visitatore un’informazione completa sulle ricerche sindonologiche dal ‘500 ad oggi, cogliendo gli aspetti storici, scientifici, devozionali ed artistici. 4

Holy Shroud - Full front

Holy Shroud - Full back

Holy Shroud - the tomb

Sacra Sindone - dettaglio

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Turin and its mysteries

Torino e i suoi misteri

According to esoteric tradition, there exist two distinct triangles: one relating to white magic, the other to black magic. Well, Turin is an apex for both these triangles: with Lyon and Prague, it forms the white or benign magic triangle; with London and San Francisco, it forms the black magic one. In any event, all over the world, Turin is regarded as a magic city due to various reasons, among which are the many symbolic sculptures (rosettes, dragons, big masks, dogs, lions) placed in various city spots; these sculptures carry a dual valence, like two souls that fight bitterly in order to assert themselves. Both Ovidius and Pontius Pilate are said to have stayed in the Turin Palatine Towers on their way to exile; other famous people who stayed in Turin are Paracelso, Cagliostro, and Casanova. And even Nostradamus (1503 - 1566), French doctor and astrologer, stayed there; in his prophecies, he predicted that the Shroud would one day be transferred to Turin, which esoterics regarded as a magic symbol. There are some other places in Turin considered to be magic. One is the Pantheon-style church dedicated not to Madonna but to God's Great Mother. This is regarded as the climax in terms of positive esotericism, that is in terms of white magic; in this respect, especially remarkable are the two statues placed alongside the grand staircase representing Faith and Religion respectively: the one on the left, in particular, Faith, holds a cup in her hand, while with her gaze, she seems to be indicating the direction where the mythical and immaterial Graal is said to be kept in Turin. Another positive Museo Egizio - Ramsete II climax is considered to be the area around Castle Square - Royal Square and Gardens with Triton and Nereid Fountains. The two statues placed at the entrance to Royal Square represent two Greek deities on horses: Dioscuri Castor and Pollux, symbolically represent light and darkness, the two opposite poles that allow the world to exist and that allow life in virtue of the very fact that death exists. On the other hand, Statuto Square, in the center of which are a monument to those who died during the Frejus tunneling operations and a small obelisk dedicated to G.B. Beccaria with an astrolabe on its top, is thought to be a negative climax point. Among other things, this is due to the fact that Statuto Square was once Val Occisorum, that is, the place for capital executions; indeed, excavations done while building the city railroad brought to light an ancient necropolis. Nor should one fail to mention that, according to popular imagination, ghosts of renowned personages are said to hover in some of the downtown historical palaces -in particular Royal Palace, Barolo Palace, and the Egyptian Museum. 4

Secondo la tradizione esoterica esistono due triangoli, quello della magia bianca e quello della magia nera. Ebbene, Torino fa da vertice a entrambi quei triangoli: con Lione e Praga forma quello della magia bianca o benefica; con Londra e San Francisco quello della magia nera. In ogni caso è considerata in tutto il mondo città magica in virtù di vari fattori tra cui molte sculture simboliche (rosoni, draghi, mascheroni, cani, leoni) collocate in vari punti della città che avrebbero valenza duplice, come due anime che si combattono aspramente per affermare se stesse. Nelle Torri Palatine di Torino avrebbero soggiornato sulla strada dell'esilio Ovidio e Ponzio Pilato; sempre a Torino soggiornarono: Paracelso, Cagliostro, Casanova… Anche Nostradamus (1503 - 1566) medico e astrologo francese vi soggiornò e nelle sue profezie predisse il trasferimento della Sindone a Torino, ritenuta dagli esoterici anche un simbolo magico. Alcuni punti considerati magici in Torino: sullo stile del Pantheon la chiesa dedicata non alla Madonna ma alla Gran Madre di Dio. Questo è considerato punto di massimo interesse esoterico positivo della città ovvero di magia bianca; degno di notevole interesse esoterico sono le due statue collocate a lato della grande scalinata che rappresentano rispettivamente la Fede e la Religione: quella di sinistra in particolare, la Fede, tiene in mano un calice e con lo sguardo pare indichi la direzione dove il mitico e immateriale Graal dovrebbe essere custodito in Torino. Altro punto di massima positività sarebbe la zona di Piazza Castello - Piazza e Giardini Reali con la fontana dei Tritoni e delle Nereidi. Le due statue poste all'ingresso della Piazza Reale rappresentano due divinità greche a cavallo: i Dioscuri Castore e Polluce, simbolicamente rappresenterebbero la luce e le tenebre, i poli opposti che permetterebbero al mondo di esistere e che fanno sì che ci sia la vita perché c'è la morte. Invece la Piazza Statuto con al centro il monumento ai caduti per il traforo del Frejus e un piccolo obelisco dedicato a G. B. Beccaria con alla sommità l'astrolabio, sarebbe punto di massima negatività dovuto anche al fatto che qui anticamente era la Val Occisorum, cioè il luogo delle esecuzioni capitali, e infatti in questa zona durante lo scavo per la costruzione della ferrovia venne ritrovata una antica necropoli. Non si può Museo Egizio - Stele Lignea (particolare) poi dimenticare che in alcuni palazzi storici del centro città, aleggerebbero tuttora secondo la fantasia popolare fantasmi di celebri personaggi, particolarmente in Palazzo Reale, Palazzo Barolo e al Museo Egizio. 4


For a complete visit The Antonellian Mole The Mole, as is familiarly called by the people of Turin, began its history in1862, when the Jewish community of Turin decided to have a Synagogue built in order to celebrate their emancipation, granted by Carlo Alberto. The project came to life through the work of architect Alessandro Antonelli, and is adorned with a 47-meter-high cupola. The Turin Synagogue would one day become the biggest in Italy and the tallest in Europe! After various vicissitudes, in 1869, the Jewish community realized that they were going well beyond the budget and thus quit financing it. The work was suspended and a temporary roof built to cover the Mole. Antonelli, however, was determined to complete his exciting work and managed in 1873 to convince the City of Turin to purchase the building site and dedicate the building to King Vittorio Emanuele II. After various ups and downs and proposals, in 1889 the spire finally reached the end of its acrobatic life and in April of 1899 the golden winged genius was finally heaved onto its top. The construction of the Mole had lasted 26 years so far; however, it was not completed, and Antonelli's son, Costanzo, worked at it for several more years. Then, between 1905 and 1908, architect Annibale Rigotti decorated the inside. Atmospheric events also did their part: the earthquake that occurred on February 23, 1887, the violent downpour of August 11, 1904, which knocked down the winged genius (replaced later with a star). The exceptionally violent downpour of May 23, 1953, caused the top 47 meters of the spire to collapse. Turin was in dismay, but still decided to rebuild it immediately. The work was completed in 1987, after which the Mole became again a vital center for exhibitions and cultural events. Today it houses the National Museum of Cinema. 4

The Mole Antonelliana

Per una visita completa La Mole Antonelliana La Mole, come viene chiamata famigliarmente dai torinesi, comincia la sua storia nel 1862 quando la comunità ebraica di Torino decide di fare edificare una Sinagoga per celebrare l'emancipazione concessa loro da Carlo Alberto. Il progetto nasce ad opera dell'architetto Alessandro Antonelli con una costruzione a cupola alta 47 metri. La Sinagoga torinese sarebbe diventata la più grande d'Italia e la più alta d'Europa! Dopo varie vicissitudini nel 1869, la Comunità ebraica accorgendosi che si andava troppo oltre il preventivo abbandonava il finanziamento. I lavori furono sospesi e fu applicato alla Mole un tetto provvisorio. L'Antonelli era però deciso a terminare la sua esaltante opera e riuscì a convincere nel 1873 la città di Torino a rilevare il cantiere dedicando l'edificio al Re Vittorio Emanuele II. Dopo varie peripezie e proposte, nel 1889 la guglia è arrivata alla fine del suo acrobatico percorso e nell'aprile del 1899 viene issato sulla punta il genio alato dorato. La costruzione della Mole era durata 26 anni. Ma il suo completamento si protrasse ancora per parecchi anni sotto la guida del figlio dell'Antonelli, Costanzo; poi, fra il 1905 e il 1908 l'architetto Annibale Rigotti eseguì le decorazioni all'interno.Anche le vicende atmosferiche fecero la loro parte: il terremoto del 23 febbraio 1887, il violento nubifragio dell'11 agosto 1904 che abbattè il genio alato (sostituito con la stella). Il nubifragio di eccezionale violenza del 23 maggio 1953: fece precipitare 47 metri di guglia. Torino rimase sbigottita ma decise subito la ricostruzione. I lavori sono terminati nel 1987 e con questi la Mole ha riacquistato vitalità come sede di mostre e avvenimenti culturali. Oggi ospita il Museo Nazionale del Cinema. 4


The Superga Basilica

La Basilica di Superga

Superga Hill is 670 meters high, that is, the second highest hill in Turin, after Faro of Maddalena (715meters high). The Superga Basilica is a tourist must-see. Its history. On September 2, 1706, Prince Vittorio Amedeo II of Savoy and the Viennese Prince Eugenio of Savoy, climbed this high hill to observe the position of the Franco-Spanish army that had been besieging the city for about 4 months; here they made a vow to Madonna of Graces asking that Turin be liberated and the French defeated; in exchange, they promised to build a grandiose temple on the hill. This episode is recorded in both a fresco and a painting in Saint Cristina Church on Saint Charles Square in Turin. This basilica, with a circular plan and a height of over 75 meters from ground level to the tip of the cross, was designed by Filippo Juvarra. The basilica's crypts contain an historical and artistic mausoleum with the tombs of the Sabaudi Rulers from Vittorio Amedeo II to Carlo Alberto as well as of 50 more people -all princes and princesses- that is, all those who passed away after 1732. The Savoy House unified Italy, and Vittorio Emanuele II, Italy's first king, inaugurated the tradition of burying the kings in the Roman Pantheon.

Il colle di Superga è alto 670 metri, secondo colle per altezza della collina torinese dopo quello del Faro della Maddalena (alt. mt 715). La Basilica di Superga è una meta turistica d'obbligo. La sua storia. I principi Vittorio Amedeo II di Savoia ed il viennese Eugenio di Savoia, saliti sull'alto colle il 2 settembre 1706, per osservare le posizioni dell'esercito franco-spagnolo che da 4 mesi circa assediava la città, fecero, da questo luogo, voto alla Madonna delle Grazie per la liberazione di Torino, promettendo di fare costruire, sullo stesso colle, un grandioso tempio in caso di vittoria sui francesi. L'episodio è ricordato anche in un affresco e un quadro nella chiesa di S. Cristina in Piazza S. Carlo a Torino. Progettata dall’architetto Filippo Juvarra, la pianta della basilica è circolare, l'altezza dal suolo alla punta della croce è di 75 metri. I sotterranei della basilica custodiscono uno storico e artistico mausoleo nel quale sono raccolte le tombe dei Sovrani Sabaudi da Vittorio Amedeo II a Carlo Alberto e di altri 50 fra principi e principesse, cioè tutti quelli deceduti dopo il 1732. La casa dei Savoia unificò l’Italia e dunque Vittorio Emanuele II, primo Re d'Italia, inaugurò la tradizione per la quale i re venivano sepolti nel Pantheon di Roma.

Unfortunately, the Superga Basilica is also famous for a sad event related to an Italian sports legend: that of the “Great Turin", an almost invincible team during the years of World War Two. This team was the victim of a dreadful air disaster on May 4, 1949, as the soccer players were flying back home after having won a game in Lisbon. Probably due to adverse weather conditions, the plane crashed against the base of the retaining rear wall of the Basilica complex. Thirty-one people died: all the regular and reserve team members, the six people accompanying them, and the air crew. A large plaque now at the site commemorates the tragedy and has become a must-visit spot for fans and tourists alike.

Tuttavia la basilica di Superga è (tristemente) famosa anche per una vicenda legata ad un mito dello sport italiano. Quello del “Grande Torino”. Una squadra pressoché imbattibile negli anni a cavallo della Seconda Guerra Mondiale. Una squadra che fu vittima di una sciagura aerea immane. Il 4 maggio 1949, di ritorno da una partita vittoriosa a Lisbona, l'aereo che riportava i calciatori in patria, causa forse principale le avverse condizioni atmosferiche, si schiantò contro la base del muraglione posteriore del complesso della Basilica. Morirono nella sciagura 31 persone: tutta la grande squadra granata (titolari e riserve) i sei accompagnatori e l'equipaggio. Una grande lapide ricorda la tragedia della leggendaria squadra ed è meta di pellegrinaggi di tifosi e turisti.

Basilica di Superga

Reggia di Venaria Reale - Galleria di Diana

Great Sabaude residences in Piedmont

Le grandi residenze Sabaude in Piemonte

Royal Venaria Palace

Reggia di Venaria Reale

Construction of this monumental complex just outside Turin, once referred to as little Versailles of the Savoy dukes, began in 1658 by order of Duke Carlo Emanuele II. The palace was a symbol of the magnificence of the Savoy family, and represents the work of important Piedmontese baroque architects such as Amedeo di Castellamonte, Michelangelo Garove, and Filippo Juvarra. The most remarkable masterpieces are Diana Gallery and Saint Hubert's Church as well as the Garovanian Pavillion and the tower designed by Benedetto Alfieri. In the past, all of this was encircled by a 30-kilometer perimeter with gardens, paths, groves, and statues, bordering on the large Mandria royal estate (some of which is now open to visitors).4

Il monumentale complesso alle porte di Torino, già definito la piccola Versailles dei duchi di Savoia, fu edificato a partire dal 1658 per volontà del duca Carlo Emanuele II. Fu un simbolo dello sfarzo dei Savoia; reca le importanti firme del barocco piemontese degli architetti Amedeo di Castellamonte, Michelangelo Garove e Filippo Juvarra. I capolavori più notevoli sono la galleria di Diana e la chiesa di Sant'Uberto nonché il padiglione Garovaniano e il torrione progettato da Benedetto Alfieri. Il tutto, anticamente, era compreso in un perimetro di circa 30 km con giardini, viali, boschetti, statue, confinante con la grande tenuta reale della Mandria (ora in parte visitabile).4


Castello di Rivoli

Castello di Rivoli - Cragg

Castello di Rivoli by night

Castello di Rivoli - Gilbert & George

Castello di Rivoli - Manica Lunga

Castello di Rivoli - Catelan 900

Castello di Rivoli

Moncalieri Castle

Castello di Moncalieri

An impressive outpost with a panoramic view situated to the south of Turin, the castle was built before 1200 and served as a stronghold for the city of Moncalieri, then for the Acaia family, and finally for the Savoy family. At the end of the 18th century, under the reign of Vittorio Amedeo III, architect Francesco Martinez gave the castle its present appearance; painters Michele A. Rapous and Angelo A. Cignaroli (son of Vittorio), as well as distinguished furniture-makers such as Giuseppe Bonzanigo and Pietro Piffetti, contributed to its magnificence. The royal apartments, with memorials from Vittorio Emanuele II, Maria Clotilde, and Maria Letizia di Savoia also deserve to be visited. Presently, the castle serves as the headquarters of the 1st Battalion of the Carabinieri police force.

Imponente avamposto in posizione panoramica a Sud di Torino, costruito prima del 1200, fu roccaforte del comune di Moncalieri, poi degli Acaia e infine dei Savoia. Alla fine del Settecento, sotto il regno di Vittorio Amedeo III con l'architetto Francesco Martinez assunse le caratteristiche attuali; alla sua regale sontuosità contribuirono i pittori Michele A. Rapous e Angelo A. Cignaroli (figlio di Vittorio) nonché mobilieri insigni come Giuseppe Bonzanigo e Pietro Piffetti. Meritevoli di visita sono gli appartamenti reali, con i ricordi di Vittorio Emanuele II, di Maria Clotilde e di Maria Letizia di Savoia. Attualmente è anche sede del I° Battaglione dell'Arma dei Carabinieri.

Rivoli Castle

E' situato su un colle morenico e ha origini antichissime, risalenti al medioevo; nel '400 è fortezza con un Savoia, il Conte Verde. Emanuele Filiberto vi soggiorna nel 1562, poi il figlio Carlo Emanuele la trasforma in "delizia" con un progetto di Carlo di Castellamonte; semidistrutto nel 1693 dalle armate Francesi, Vittorio Amedeo II affida la ricostruzione all'architetto Michelangelo Garove che muore prima di completarla. Tocca a Filippo Juvarra continuare l'opera con l'incarico di creare un simbolo della magnificenza reale dei Savoia poi interrotta per difficoltà economiche. Parecchie sale conservano ancora gli affreschi di Isidoro Bianchi, l'appartamento del Re ha decorazioni di Filippo Juvarra e quello del Principe di Piemonte gli affreschi di Giovan Battista Van Loo e gli stucchi del Luganese Piero Somasso. Attualmente è adibito a Museo d'Arte contemporanea ed esposizioni temporanee.4

The castle is situated on a morainic hill and has very ancient origins, going back to the Middle Ages; in the 15th century, it served as a fortress under Count Verde from the Savoy family. Emanuele Filiberto stayed there in 1562, after which his son, Carlo Emanuele, turned it into a "delight" with a design by Carlo di Castellamonte; after it was nearly destroyed by the French army in 1693, Vittorio Amedeo II hired architect Michelangelo Garove to rebuild it, but Garove died before reconstruction was completed. The task of bringing the work to completion while creating a symbol of the Savoy royal magnificence was assigned to Filippo Juvarra, but his work was interrupted due to financial difficulties. Many a chamber still preserve the frescoes by Isidoro Bianchi, the king's apartment decorations by Filippo Juvarra, and the Prince of Piedmont's apartment the frescoes by Giovan Battista Van Loo and the stuccoes by Piero Somasso from Lugano The castle is presently being used as a contemporary art museum as well as temporary exhibition hall.4

Castello di Rivoli

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Racconigi Castle

Castello di Racconigi

In the 17th century, this castle was a fortress surrounded by a moat with four towers and a keep. First the Saluzzo Marquises, then the Acaia Princes, and finally the Racconigi Counts lived there. In 1675, Guarino Guarini turned it into a residence at the order of Emanuele Filiberto of Savoy-Carignano. Noteworthy are its interiors, in particular Diana's Hall, designed by Giovanni Battista Bona and decorated with stuccoes by Giuseppe Boliva. The castle can be visited by appointment by calling tel. 0172/84005. In back of it is a large park.

Nel '600 era una fortezza circondata da un fossato con quattro torrioni e un mastio. Fu abitato dai marchesi di Saluzzo, dai principi d'Acaia e poi dai conti di Racconigi. Nel 1675 Guarino Guarini lo trasformò in residenza su incarico di Emanuele Filiberto di Savoia Carignano. Notevoli sono i suoi interni, particolarmente il salone di Diana disegnato da Giovanni Battista Bona e adornati con stucchi di Giuseppe Boliva.E' visitabile previo appuntamento telefonico al numero 0172/84005. Nella parte retrostante ha un grande parco.

Agliè Castle

Castello di Agliè

Once a medieval stronghold, it is now known as the set of the TV series <Elisa of Rivombrosa>. Carlo Emanuele III purchased it in 1764 in order to give it to his son Benedetto Maurizio, who had Ignazio Birago from Borgaro design an enlargement. The magnificent park surrounding it is often mentioned by poet Guido Gozzano. Subsequently, the castle was inherited by Carlo Felice, but it was Queen Maria Cristina the one who gave it its most characteristic look with the archaeological collection of Tuscolana Hall, the furniture, and the historical paintings. Both the castle and the magnificent park can be visited. (Telephone # 0124/330102).

Fu roccaforte medievale, oggi è noto al pubblico per avere ospitato la fiction televisiva <Elisa di Rivombrosa>. Carlo Emanuele III lo acquistò nel 1764 per donarlo al figlio Benedetto Maurizio che lo fece ampliare su progetto di Ignazio Birago da Borgaro. Il magnifico parco che lo circonda è ricordato spesso dal poeta Guido Gozzano. Successivamente il castello passò in eredità a Carlo Felice, ma fu la regina Maria Cristina a lasciare la sua impronta con la raccolta archeologica della Sala Tuscolana, gli arredi e i dipinti di ispirazione storica. Il castello è visitabile unitamente al magnifico parco. (telefono n. 0124/330102).

Stupinigi Castle, or Hunting Palace Castello o Palazzina This castle was built by order of Vittorio Amedeo II in 1729 di caccia di Stupinigi by Filippo Juvarra. It is the most pleasant and best preserved Sabauda residence. Juvarra devised the unusual star-shaped plan with an elliptical hall in the middle and four X-shaped wings; subsequently, architects Prinotto Birago from Borgaro and Antonio Bo enlarged the complex by extending both the park and the wings in the direction of Turin. The decorative bronze deer on top of the palace was made by Turinese sculptor Francesco Ladatte. The palace houses the Museum of Interior Decoration and Artistic Furnishing.4

Palazzina di caccia Stupinigi - Salone

Palazzina di caccia Stupinigi

Venne edificato su incarico di Vittorio Amedeo II nel 1729 da Filippo Juvarra. E' la dimora Sabauda più gradevole e meglio conservata. Lo Juvarra escogitò l'inconsueta pianta stellare con un salone ellittico al centro e quattro bracci a croce di Sant'Andrea; i successivi ampliamenti con prolungamento del parco e dei bracci in direzione di Torino furono opera degli architetti Prinotto Birago di Borgaro e Antonio Bo. Il cervo di bronzo che adorna il culmine della palazzina è opera dello Scultore torinese Francesco Ladatte. La palazzina ospita il Museo dell'Arredamento e dell'Ammobiliamento artistico. 4


Gianduiotti

Torino cioccolato

Praline

Gianduiotti

Piedmontese sweet delicacies • Golosità piemontesi CHOCOLATE

IL CIOCCOLATO

Piedmontese sweet delicacies have always been on everyone's mouth. In his stories about usages and customs of Taurini, Plinius (1st century) had already celebrated the virtues of aquicelus, a dessert made with pignoli nuts and honey which can very well be thought of as the ancestor of nougat. But the real protagonist of piedmontese sweet history is cocoa. Cocoa is extracted from the seeds of Theobroma cacao, a plant indigenous to tropical America. Emanuele Filiberto of Savoy brought it to Turin, and a new industry began. It was Doret, from Turin, who devised a machine to process and refine cocoa paste. Unlike what many people think, in the early years of the 19th century, the Swiss Cailler came to Turin to learn the secrets of the art. He then returned to Switzerland and began producing the renown Swiss milk chocolate. Turin is also the city that gave birth to Gianduja chocolate, that is cocoa, sugar, and hazelnuts (originally used only in the famous Gentile delle Langhe); it was easy, then, to go from this chocolate to Giandujotto, which originally had various names now forgotten. In 1867, Gianduja officially introduced Giandujotto chocolates at the Turin Wine Fair.

Le golosità piemontesi sono sulla bocca di tutti fin dal passato. Già Plinio (I secolo) nel raccontare usi e costumi dei Taurini celebrava le virtù dell’aquicelus un dolce fatto di pinoli e miele che si può considerare oggi come l’antenato del torrone. Ma è il cacao il protagonista della storia dolciaria piemontese. Ricavato dai semi della Theobroma cacao, pianta originaria dell'America tropicale fu introdotto a Torino da Emanuele Filiberto di Savoia e diede spunto per una nuova industria. Fu il torinese Doret, a ideare una macchina per lavorare e raffinare la pasta di cacao. Nei primi anni dell'ottocento, venne a Torino per imparare i segreti dell'arte (diversamente da quanto generalmente si pensa) lo svizzero Cailler che ritornato in Svizzera diede origine alla produzione del loro rinomato cioccolato al latte. È a Torino poi che è stato inventato quello che tutto il mondo oggi chiama cioccolato Gianduja, ossia cacao, zucchero e nocciola (che in origine erano solo della famosa qualità Gentile delle Langhe); da questo cioccolato al Giandujotto il passo fu breve; il cioccolatino giandujotto in origine ebbbe diversi nomi poi dimenticati. Nel 1867 Gianduja presentava ufficialmente alla Fiera enologica di Torino i cioccolatini Giandujotti.

THE ART OF PASTRY With more than 400 bakeshops, Turin is famous for its fresh and dry pastries (among the better known names are Stratta, Baratti, Platti, Falchero, Giordano, Avvignano, Dezzutto, Sida, Rampini, Della Ferrera, and Pfatisch-Peyrano). There are many Turinese specialties -it is sufficient to mention Bignola (bignè) cream puffs: the smaller ones, filled with sweet-smelling cream and covered with colored icing, are also the most famous; very well-known is also the cake typical of the city, <Giandujada>, (made with hazelnuts and almonds, with Gianduiotto cream filling, and praline decorations). Speaking of pastries, besides zabaione, deserving mentioning are nougat, the Galup low panettone with nuts and almonds, the biscotti di Novara, Amaretti, torcetti and marrons glacés. Though ice cream is not a typical Turinese product, Turin has also contributed with its ice creams to the world's gourmandise: Pepino Ice Cream Parlour, established on Carignano Square in 1884, created in 1937 the first chocolate covered take-away ice cream on sticks, the so-called "Pinguino." 4

L'ARTE PASTICCERA Torino con oltre 400 laboratori è famosa anche per la sua pasticceria fresca e secca (tra le <firme> più note: Stratta, Baratti, Platti, Falchero, Giordano, Avvignano, Dezzutto, Sida, Rampini, Della Ferrera e Pfatisch-Peyrano). Molte le specialità di bottega torinesi, valga per tutte la Bignola (bignè): molto celebrate sono soprattutto quelle piccolissime, ripiene di creme profumate e ricoperte di glassa colorata e la torta cittadina la <Giandujada>, (fatta con nocciole e mandorle con colata di pasta Gianduiotto, decorazioni pralinate). Parlando di pasticceria, oltre allo zabaione, non possono essere dimenticati il torrone, il panettone basso nocciolato e mandorlato (tipo Galup), i biscotti di Novara, gli Amaretti, i torcetti e i marrons glacés. Anche nei gelati (che pur non sono un prodotto tipico torinese), Torino ha dato qualcosa alla golosità del mondo: dalla gelateria Pepino fondata in Piazza Carignano nel 1884, sono usciti nel 1937 i primi gelati da passeggio ricoperti, vale a dire i pinguini. 4

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Homemade: ZABAIONE

Fatto in casa: LO ZABAIONE

One of the old specialties of Piedmontese cuisine is zabaione ('L Sanbajon). Brother Pasquale de Baylon (1540-1592), of the Third Franciscan Order, once in Turin for his apostolate at the Parish of St. Thomas, advised his repentants (especially those who complained about the scant energy of their husbands) that zabaione would give their men vigor and strength. He was sanctified in 1680 by Pope Alexander VIII and became immediately a legend, so much so that women in Turin would give each other this special recipe so that everyone could benefit from the miracle of this saint, whose name, in the local variety, was abbreviated to San Bajon (o=u). This is how 'L Sanbajon came to life in Turin; later it was italianized and became Zabaione or Zabaglione. Since 1722, St. Pasquale de Baylon has been the Saint Protector of all cooks in the world; his feast is observed on May 17, and he is worshipped in St. Thomas's Church on Pietro Micca Street in Turin. A picture of him hangs in the choir vestry of the Capuchins' Mount Church in Turin.

Tra le vecchie specialità della cucina piemontese vi è lo zabaione ('L Sanbajon). Fra' Pasquale de Baylon (1540-1592), del Terzo Ordine dei Francescani, approdato a Torino per il suo apostolato presso la Parrocchia di San Tommaso, consigliava alle sue penitenti (specialmente a quelle che si lamentavano della poca vivacità del consorte) avrebbe dato vigore e forza al soggetto. Santificato nel 1680 da Papa Alessandro VIII entrò rapidamente nella leggenda, tanto che le donne torinesi tra di loro si scambiavano e consigliavano la sua ricetta per beneficiare del miracolo del Santo Pasquale de Baylon, il cui nome, in dialetto torinese, fu subito abbreviato in San Bajon (o=u). Nacque così a Torino 'L Sanbajon, in seguito italianizzato in Zabaione o Zabaglione. San Pasquale de Baylon è, dal 1722, il Santo Protettore di tutti i Cuochi del mondo; la sua festa è il 17 maggio ed è venerato in Torino nella chiesa di San Tommaso in Via Pietro Micca. Un suo ritratto è collocato nel coro della Chiesa del Monte dei Cappuccini a Torino.

The Recipe...

La Ricetta...

Ingredients and preparation: Take an egg yolk, two teaspoons of sugar and whip the whole thing until the yolk is almost white. Add two generous egg shells of marsala wine (not egg marsala, though) and one egg shell of water. Place it on a low flame (or in a bain-marie) and keep stirring it with a teaspoon until it starts boiling Take it off the fire and continue stirring. Now you can either serve it as is or use it as cream to prepare other desserts.

Ingredienti e preparazione: Prendere un tuorlo d'uovo, due cucchiaini di zucchero e sbattere fino a quando il tuorlo diventa quasi bianco. Aggiungere: due gusci d'uovo abbondanti di marsala (non all'uovo) e un guscio d'acqua. Mettere sul fuoco con fiamma limitata (o a bagnomaria) sempre rimescolando con un cucchiaino sino al primo cenno di bollore. Togliere dal fuoco e continuare a rimescolare. Servire oppure usare come crema per confezionare altri dolci.

The idea

L’idea

Would you like to taste unique chocolate specialties? Put Chocopass in your pocket and taste the best chocolate production of Turin: giandujotti, pralines, cakes, ice creams...a feast for your mouth! Chocopass offers you 10 mouth-watering tastes in 24 hours or 15 in 48 hours. You can find it at Turin Tourism Information Points for only 10.00 (24 hours) or 15.00 (48 hours).

Vuoi provare uniche specialità al cioccolato? Metti in tasca il Chocopass e assaggia la migliore produzione cioccolatiera di Torino: gianduiotti, praline, torte e gelati...una festa per il palato! Il carnet Chocopass, ti offre 10 squisite degustazioni in 24 ore o 15 in 48 ore. Lo trovi presso i Punti Informativi di Turismo Torino a soli 10,00 (24 ore) o 15,00 (48 ore).

Where to find the chocolate?

Dove trovare il cioccolato?

People in Turin not only eat chocolate, but they also produce or invent it daily in many different forms and combinations. The whole city is filled with historical places, restaurants, pastry shops, and craft workshops.

A Torino il ciccolato non solo si consuma, ma si produce, si inventa ogni giorno in mille forme e combinazioni. Tutto il territorio è ricco di locali storici, ristoranti, pasticcerie e laboratori artigianali.

Turin’s historical cafes • I Caffè storici di Torino St. Charles Cafe

Caffè San Carlo

It is located under the arcades of the magnificent homonymous square and was inaugurated in 1822. It was the first Italian cafe to install electricity and gas (1832). This was a meeting place for intellectuals driven by patriotic ideals -one of the strongholds of the Italian Risorgimento (or Rebirth). With its precious marbles, statues, and gilt, it is considered to be the most prestigious lounge in Turin; it was severely damaged during World War Two, but then entirely restored in 1979.

Situato sotto i portici della magnifica piazza omonima, fu inaugurato nel 1822; è stato il primo caffè d'Italia ad adottare (era il 1832) la luce a gas. Fu salotto intellettuale percorso da forti di patriottismo, una delle roccaforti del Risorgimento. Con i suoi preziosi marmi, statue e dorature è considerato il più prestigioso salotto di Torino, fu molto danneggiato nel secondo conflitto mondiale e restaurato completamente nel 1979.

Platti Cafe

In Corso Vittorio Emanuele, fu aperto nel 1870. Il caffè, vicino al prestigioso liceo d'Azeglio, ebbe tra i suoi clienti affezionati anche il Senatore Giovanni Agnelli, Luigi Einaudi e Cesare Pavese. 4

It was opened in 1879 on Vittorio Emanuele Avenue, near the prestigious d'Azeglio Lyceum. It was frequented by Senator Giovanni Agnelli, Luigi Einaudi, and Cesare Pavese, among others.

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Caffè Platti


Caffè Baratti & Milano

Ristorante del Cambio

Caffè Al Bicerin

Caffè Baratti (caramelle)

Del Cambio Restaurant Cafe

Caffè ristorante Del Cambio

Established in 1757, it is located on a square in front of Carignano Palace, headquarters of the first Italian Parliament. It is a very refined place, with large mirrors, decorations, stuccoes, and frescoes. Among the illustrious patrons: Count Camillo Benso of Cavour (a bronze plate indicates where he used to sit). Bear in mind that presently they only provide restaurant service here.

Nasce nel 1757, è situato sulla piazza davanti al Palazzo Carignano, sede del primo Parlamento Italiano. Il locale ha una ambientazione molto raffinata con grandi specchiere, decorazioni, stucchi e affreschi. Tra gli illustri frequentatori: il Conte Camillo Benso di Cavour (una targa in bronzo indica il posto che occupava di solito). Attenzione: ora il locale fa solo più servizio di ristorante.

Al Bicerin Confetti-House Cafe

Caffè confetteria Al Bicerin

It was established in 1763 on the square of the sanctuary of Consolata; its unquestionable historical value has been preserved very carefully throughout the years so as keep it close to its original style. This is where the Bicerin (small glass) was served for the first time. Such tradition is still alive, and even today, just like in many other cafes in Turin (even off the center), one can still taste this beverage made of coffee and chocolate.

Posto sulla piazza del santuario della Consolata è nato nel 1763; il locale, di indubbio valore storico negli anni è stato conservato con grande attenzione per non allontanarsi dallo stile dell’epoca. Qui è stato servito per la prima volta il Bicerin (piccolo bicchiere). Tale tradizione non si è persa e ancor oggi è possibile, qui e in molti locali torinesi anche non del centro città, apprezzare questa bevanda a base di caffè e cioccolato.

Baratti Confetti-House Cafe

Caffè confetteria Baratti

It was opened in 1875 by Ferdinando Baratti and Edoardo Milano between Subalpine Gallery and Castle Square. This elegant cafe was soon recognized for its high class and was given the coveted title of Royal House Supplier.

Posto fra la Galleria Subalpina e Piazza Castello, fu aperto nel 1875 da Ferdinando Baratti e Edoardo Milano; il signorile locale si distinse subito per la sua classe tanto da ottenere l'ambito titolo di Fornitore della Real Casa.

Fiorio Cafe and Ice Cream Parlour

Caffè gelateria Fiorio

Established in 1780 under the arcades of Po Street, this was the most aristocratic cafe in Turin, frequented by aristocrats, diplomats, and intellectuals. It used to be called short-tail and Machiavelli coffee shop. It was a mine of public opinion, so much so that people used to say: what's new at Fiorio?

Posto sotto i portici della via Po è nato nel 1780, fu il più aristocratico Caffè di Torino, meta di nobili, diplomatici e intellettuali. Lo chiamavano il caffè dei codini e dei Machiavelli. Era la fucina dell'opinione pubblica di Torino, tanto che si usava dire: cosa si dice al Fiorio?

Torino Cafe

Caffè Torino

It is located under the arcades of St. Charles Square and was inaugurated in 1903; it is a most elegant lounge where the best of the city, both in the past and today, has spent and spends time. It has always been synonymous with elegance and impeccable service.

Posto sotto i portici della Piazza San Carlo è stato inaugurato nel 1903; è il salotto elegante in cui tutta la città bene del passato e di oggi si è soffermata e si sofferma. È sempre stato sinonimo di eleganza e di servizio impeccabile.

Mulassano Cafe

Sotto i portici della Piazza Castello verso la via Po, fu aperto nel 1907. È un ambiente particolarmente prezioso e accogliente, ricco di marmi, decorazioni floreali in bronzo e con il soffitto a cassettoni. Era ritrovo abituale negli anni di Casa Reale dei notabili di Corte e degli artisti del vicino Teatro Regio. 4

It was opened in 1907 ,under the arcades of Castle Square, in the direction of Po Street. The atmosphere is especially refined and welcoming, full of marbles and bronze floral decorations and with a coffered ceiling. At the time of the Royal House, it was the habitual meeting place for both court notables and artists coming from the nearby Royal Theater. 4 Caffè Mulassano

Caffè Mulassano

Caffè al Bicerin - Cioccolato (dettaglio)

Caffè Torino


Shop like a king • Shopping da re

Local products

Panorama by night

You can shop in the open air along the 18 kilometers of arcades running in the center of Turin, from Carlo Felice Square, through Rome Street, up to Po Street. Here you will be able to look at the windows of the best names of Italian fashion and design. In Republic Square, you will be able to browse among the stands of the largest open-air market in Europe. If you love antiques, you cannot miss the Gran Balôn, the famous flea market of this city, while lovers of vintage books must take a stroll among the antiquarian bookstores of Po Street.

Shopping all’aperto lungo i 18 chilometri di portici che si snodano nel centro di Torino, da Piazza Carlo Felice, lungo via Roma fino a Via Po. Qui potrai ammirare le vetrine delle grandi firme della moda e del design italiano. In piazza della Repubblica potrai curiosare tra le bancarelle del mercato all’aperto più grande d’Europa. Se ami l’antiquariato, non perdere il Gran Balôn, il celebre mercato delle pulci della città, mentre per gli appassionati di libri d’epoca, una passeggiata tra le librerie antiquarie di via Po è d’obbligo.

Here's a short itinerary with stops you won't want to miss. Palace Square, in the center of the city, has been the main business area since the Middle Ages, when it was called Herbs Square. On the first Sunday of every month, the “market of herbs”, with stands full of local organic and enogastronomic produce, takes place here.

Ecco un piccolo itinerario, per non perdersi nemmeno un’occasione. Piazza Palazzo di Città, nella zona centrale della città, fin dal Medioevo quando era chiamata piazze delle Erbe, era il luogo principale per il commercio. Ogni prima domenica del mese ospita il “mercato delle erbe”, con bancarelle per la vendita di prodotti biologici ed enogastronomici locali.

Republic Square is where you find one of the largest open-air markets in Europe: Palace Gate. The market comes to life every morning, when almost simultaneously more than one thousand outlets open; then between shops and stalls, you can find anything really -from clothing to groceries, vegetables, furniture, and houseware. In the same area, you can also find a covered fish market.

Piazza della Repubblica dove trova spazio uno dei più grandi mercato all’aperto d’Europa: Porta Palazzo. Ogni mattina il mercato si anima e quasi contemporaneamente aprono più di mille punti vendita e tra botteghe e bancarelle è possibile torvare qualsiasi cosa, dall’abbigliamento, agli alimentari, alle verdure, ai mobili ed agli arredi per la casa. Sempre nella stessa zona è da ricordare il mercato al coperto del pesce.

Dora Quarter is the place par excellence of second-hand dealers, whose windows display all kinds of merchandise, among which it is possible to find even valuable antiques. In this area, on Saturdays you can find many stands with used and antique merchandise -this is the "Balon" market. “The Gran Balon”, on the other hand, takes place on the second Sunday of every month, and is one of the most famous flea markets in Italy. 4

Quartiere Dora, è il luogo d’eccellenza per le botteghe di rigattieri che espongono nelle loro vetrine articoli di ogni genere fra i quali è possibile trovare anche pezzi di antiquariato di valore. In questa zona, al sabato si danno appuntamento anche moltissime bancarelle di cose usate ed antichità, dando luogo al mercato del “Balon”. “Il Gran Balon”, invece si svolge la seconda domenica di ogni mese ed è uno dei mercati “delle pulci” più famosi d’Italia. 4

Portici Piazza San Carlo

Gran Balon - Mercatino delle Pulci

Portici via Roma


The arcades of the historical center (on Rome Street and its parallel Lagrange Street) run for 14 km around St. Charles Square, Castle Square, Po Street, and Vittorio Veneto Square, and you can find all kinds of stores ranging in price from low to high. Take a stroll under the arcades of the center, a natural location for shopping, and you will see workshops, boutiques and internationally renown stores, historical cafes, and big department stores. Rome Street and its parallel Lagrange Street are the streets with the most elegant stores; the most renown international griffes, jewelers, and stylists have their headquarters right here. It is right under the arcades of Rome Street that the big names of Italian fashion, among whom Armani, Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Prada, Fratelli Rossetti, display every possible type of clothing, leather goods, and accessories, almost without interruption -nothing to envy, therefore, of the shopping capitals of the rest of the world. On Po and Garibaldi Streets, you can find a great number of bookstores, perfume stores, clothing stores for young people (jeans and shoes), as well as booths and kiosks selling crafts, costume jewelry, and books (Po Street is, among other things, adjacent to the university). Worth mentioning are also the stores under the arcades of Castle Square, inside which you find smaller stores selling clothes, souvenirs, bijoux, and telephone-ware. Maria Vittoria Street, della Rocca Street, St. Thomas Street, and Bava Street: exclusive furniture, liberty-style objects, and vintage ceramics are sold in the countless craft workshops as well as by antique dealers and restorers. Barbaroux Street, St. Thomas Street, and Merchants Street, are intricate streets with craft workshops and laboratories, haberdasheries, gastronomy shops, wine bars, and small stores that must not be missed. From Castle Square, along Po Street, up to Vittorio Veneto, on both sides of the arcades are numerous kiosks in addition to stores. Thus you can find stores in their own right alongside simple stands that offer all kind of merchandise at better prices. Something to bear in mind: most of the stores in Turin are closed on Monday mornings and during lunch time; some other times of the year, such as Christmas and special sales times, they are open even on Sundays. g

I portici del centro storico (via Roma e nella parallela via Lagrange) 14 km attorno a piazza San Carlo, piazza Castello, via Po e piazza Vittorio Veneto dove si trovano negozi di ogni tipo e per ogni tasca. Passeggiando sotto i portici del centro, luogo naturale per lo shopping si alternano botteghe artigianali, boutiques e negozi di fama internazionale, caffè storici e grandi magazzini. La via Roma, e la parallela via Lagrange, sono le strade con i negozi più eleganti; le principali griffes internazionali, gioiellieri e stilisti hanno sedi qui. Sotto le arcate di via Roma, infatti, i grandi nomi della moda italiana, tra cui Armani, Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Prada, Fratelli Rossetti, espongono ogni genere di capi di abbigliamento, pelletteria e accessori, in una sequenza quasi ininterrotta che nulla ha da invidiare alle capitali dello shopping di tutto il mondo. In via Po ed in via Garibaldi, si trovano moltissime librerie, profumerie, negozi di abbigliamento giovane (jeans e scarpe), anche bancarelle e chioschi di artigianato, bigiotteria e libri (via Po è tra l'altro adiacente all’Università degli Studi). Da ricordare anche i negozi sotto i portici in piazza Castello che ospitano negozietti d’abbigliamento, oggettistica, bijoux e telefonia. Via Maria Vittoria, Via della Rocca, Via San Tommaso e Via Bava: mobili di pregio, oggetti liberty e ceramiche d’epoca si possono trovare nelle innumerevoli botteghe di artigiani, antiquari e restauratori che popolano il quartiere. Via Barbaroux, via San Tommaso e via dei Mercanti, un intrico di strade in cui si trovano botteghe artigiane e laboratori vari, mercerie, gastronomie, enoteche e negozietti assolutamente da non perdere.Sotto i portici a partire da piazza Castello e per tutto via Po, da ambo i lati, sino in piazza Vittorio Veneto oltre a negozi si trovano numerosi chioschi.Veri e propri negozi o più semplicemente banchi che offrono merce di ogni genere a prezzi convenienti. Da ricordare: a Torino la maggior parte dei negozi è chiuso il lunedì mattina e durante la pausa pranzo; in alcuni periodi dell’anno, come le festività natalizie e il periodo dei saldi, sono aperti anche la domenica. g


Castello di. Ama

Out of Love and Choice

Per Amore e Per Scelta by / di Ignazio Blanco

Castello di AMA is the history of a wine, Chianti, as well as of its land, Tuscany.

Castello di AMA e’ la storia di un vino, il Chianti e della sua terra, la Toscana.

AMA represents not only its people, but also the care and love with which the vines are cultivated; it also tells how people live in AMA, from the current artistic activities to the games the children play. This is a step in harmony with nature, an experience devoted to the earth. Its culture is infused within the walls of the village, situated at about 500 meters above

AMA e’ l’espressione delle sue genti, della cura, dell’affetto con cui le viti sono coltivate e del modo in cui la vita ad AMA si conduce, tra le varie espressioni d’arte presenti, nei giochi dei bambini. Un passo in armonia con la natura, l’esperienza al servizio della terra. Una cultura infusa nelle mura del borgo situato a circa 500 metri d’altezza, incastonato tra colline baciate dal sole, nel comune di Gaiole, nella provincia di Siena. Il Granduca di Toscana, Pietro Leopoldo d’Asburgo Lorena nel 1773 ne faceva menzione nella celebre “Relazione sul Governo della Toscana” parlando delle più belle colline e valli del Chianti. Il grande vino nasce qui, in questo luogo splendido, nel significato di una delle parole più usate nel mondo e più importanti nella vita. Ama, e’ anche l’integrazione della tecnologia come supporto e catalizzatore della natura. Un vigneto che ricerca e applica le tecniche più moderne al fine di esaltare le caratteristiche pure dell’ambiente in cui le viti mat urano e di rendere onore all’uva. 4

sea level, mounted in the midst of hills kissed by the sun, in the Municipality of Gaiole, Province of Siena. Pietro Leopoldo d’Asburgo Lorena, Granduke of Tuscany, already mentioned these places in 1773 in his “Report on Tuscan Government,” referring to them as the most beautiful hills and valleys of Chianti. Here is where this great wine is born — in this splendid place, whose name has risen to be one of the most used words in the world, one of the most important words in life. In addition, Ama represents the incorporation of technology as a support and catalyst for nature. It is a vineyard where the most modern techniques are studied and applied so as to enhance the true characteristics of the environment and to honor the grapes. 4


“... only through proper research and technique can one improve the grapes' potential.” "Un luogo incantevole ...che porta in dote la fantasia ed il ricordo."

Marco Pallanti, Enology Prize 2003 (A Guide to Italian Wines), Ama's wine master, comes, paradoxically, from water sports, having won 4 Italian titles in canoeing. The AMA family is made up of Marco himself and his wife, Lorenza Sebasti, who manages the company's administration. Theirs is a family that faces all aspects of life with a great passion for challenges, for the search of meaning, for the creation of a positive sign and testimony for the future. After having graduated in Agronomy, Marco began the ambitious project of restoring to splendor the celebrated territory of Ama Castle, purchased in 1972 by four Roman families who had been awe-stricken by its beauty, “...a place endowed with fantasy and memories...”. Marco immediately decided to pursue a novel approach, that is, to do away with anything that might compromise quality. Thus, using his technical knowledge of agronomy, he explored and analyzed various alternatives and solutions, which, original though they might have been, were always coherent and in true respect of terroir. The land is not a mere anchor for vines; rather, grapes complement the environment — they are the realization of a specific meaning enologists must be able to comprehend and emphasize as best as they see fit. All of this is based on the conviction that only through proper research and technique can one improve the grapes' potential. An example that both proves and validates this courageous choice is the story of the birth of one of the most famous French wines, Champagne. At the time of Dom Perignon, a Benedictine monk, the idea of producing wine in anomalous, cold climate environments was unthought of. Yet, through experi-4

Marco Pallanti, Premio Enologo Dell’Anno 2003 (Guida ai vini d’Italia), Maestro del vino di Ama, paradossalmente arriva dall’acqua in cui ha vinto 4 titoli italiani con la canoa. Con la moglie Lorenza Sebasti che si occupa della gestione amministrativa dell’azienda, formano la famiglia di AMA. Una famiglia che affronta gli aspetti della vita con una grande passione per le sfide, per la ricerca di significato, per creare oggi un segno ed una testimonianza positiva per il futuro. Marco, terminati gli studi in agronomia, si lancia nel progetto ambizioso di ridare splendore al territorio celebre del Castello di Ama, che nel 1972 viene acquisito da quattro famiglie romane fatalmente colpite da questo luogo incantevole, “...che porta in dote la fantasia ed il ricordo...”. Da subito si decide per un nuovo approccio, la scelta di perseguire una ricerca senza compromessi della qualità. Marco, attraverso la sua conoscenza tecnica di agronomo, esplora ed analizza possibilità e soluzioni diverse, originali, ma sempre coerenti e nel rispetto del terroir. La terra non serve solo ad ancorare le viti, l’uva nasce come complemento 4

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...what we are talking about is a great wine, a product that comes to life because of its true, unique, individual meaning. ...parliamo di un grande vino. Un prodotto che nasce perché ha un significato vero, unico, diverso. ments and technical advancement, it was possible to sharpen the double fermentation method by adding sugars. This not only created champagne, but also enabled the grapes from this region to become famous worldwide and enology to be recognized as a science in its own right.

dell’ambiente, come manifestazione di un significato che l’enologo deve riuscire a comprendere ed enfatizzare attraverso gli strumenti che ritiene opportuni. Alla base la convinzione che solo attraverso la ricerca e la tecnica si possano valorizzare le potenzialità presenti nell’uva. Un esempio che testimonia e condivide questa scelta coraggiosa, e’ la storia della nascita di uno dei vini francesi più famosi, lo Champagne. All’epoca del Monaco benedettino Dom Perignon, non si pensava essere capaci di produrre vino in ambienti climatici non abituali, freddi. Attraverso la sperimentazione e la tecnica si riusci’ ad affinare il metodo della doppia fermen-

T his kind of research must start from the soil and climate... La ricerca parte dall ’analisi del terreno e del clima... This kind of research must start from the soil and climate, says Marco, the two concepts defining the absolute value of terroir. Any given wine must both represent and contain the culture, history, meaning, and soul of the place where it originated. We are not talking about the value of a label, the refined elegance of a fashion item, and, above all we are not merely dealing with a definition required by the market; what we are talking about is a great wine, a product that comes to life because of its true, unique, individual meaning. Personality and complexity must come together in an exceptional qualitative synergy. To be sure, in order to be able to understand these concepts, one would have to visit AMA, or at least drink its wine... Just imagine a vineyard where only experienced harvesters are allowed to pick some types of grapes; such harvesters have the enormous responsibility of taking the grapes back to the cellar in perfect condition. And think how carefully they must choose the right-sized boxes in order not to spoil the harvest; or how often they may have to postpone harvesting, risking a great loss, hoping, however, for a higher-quality product. Think about the structure of vines (vertical trel-4

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tazione con aggiunta di zuccheri che diede la nascita allo champagne, all’uva della regione di diventare famosa nel mondo, e di legittimare la scienza enologica. La ricerca parte dall’analisi del terreno e del clima, ci racconta Marco, concetti che definiscono il valore assoluto di terroir. Il vino che nasce da un luogo, lo deve rappresentare e ne deve contenere la cultura, la storia, il significato, l’anima. Non stiamo parlando del valore di un’etichetta, non il blasonato splendore di un prodotto di moda, sopratutto non la definizione richiesta e definita dal mercato; parliamo di un grande vino. Un prodotto che nasce perché ha un significato vero, unico, diverso. Personalità e complessità si devono ritrovare in un’eccellente sinergia qualitativa. Certo, per comprendere questi concetti, bisognerebbe visitare AMA, o almeno berne il vino… Immaginate un vigneto dove per alcune tipologie di uva, solo I vendemmiatori più esperti possono raccogliere I grappoli, circondati da una responsabilità enorme di riportare alla cantina gli acini in perfetto stato. Pensate a limitare la dimensione delle cassette per non rovinare la raccolta. A ritardare la vendemmia, col rischio di perdere il raccolto, ma con la ricompensa di un prodotto superiore. Pensate alla struttura delle viti, a spalliera verticale con taglio a Guyot semplice o a lira aperta, al riposizionamento di parcelle vinicole per ottimizzare le caratteristiche proprie delle viti con quelle climatiche specifiche di un terreno. Stiamo parlando di esposizione al sole, di superficie fogliare delle viti, e tutto per un solo fondamentale motivo, qualità. Pensate alla barrique francese, al rovere che la compone, alla stabilità e complessità che e’ capace di dare4


Marco Pallanti

Lorenza Sebasti


Vigneto Bellavista


All these fundamental decisions require courage and preparation, as well as the ability to detach oneself from stereotypes and to fully integrate natural and cultural elements. Sono tutte decisioni fondamentali che richiedono coraggio e preparazione, distacco dallo stereotipo ed integrazione totale con gli elementi naturali e culturali. lises on the simple-Guyot or open-lyre system) or the whole activity of relocating wine parcels so as to render the vines as compatible as possible with the soil and climate conditions of the region. What I have in mind are things such as sun exposure and the leaf surface of vines -and all of this for one reason only: quality. Think about the French barrique and the durmast it is made of, about the stability and complexity it gives the wine, yet without aromatizing it, and about the enologist who will not allow himself to be dazzled by fashion myths. Fruity flavors must already be in the grapes; a wine's aroma cannot be created, but simply revealed. All these fundamental decisions require courage and preparation, as well as the ability to detach oneself from stereotypes and to fully integrate natural and cultural elements. Marco Pallanti is an innovator not only in production techniques, but also with respect to vine selection in an area where the 75% of the Sangiovese produced must be bottled, in conformity with consortium regulations regarding certification of Chianti Classico. Judging by the soil analysis performed and taking into account the slow maturation of Sangiovese -which needs, therefore, a good amount of sun exposuresome portions of the company's land turned out not to be ideal, though conforming to DOC regulations. Thus, Marco decided to graft Merlot, Chardonnay, and Pinot Nero so as to give fresh meaning to terrains that would otherwise produce only mediocre Sangiovese (according to the company's standards). Obviously, AMA is now heading away from the agreed-upon procedures of the consortium, risking to collide headfirst against basic market laws. Lorenza Sebasti is a strong and passionate symbol of such decision, and her distributional planning reflects the company's philosophical choice, which is tied not only to economic factors but also to ethical and qualitative ones. This entails a marketing strategy that gives priority to the domestic market over the foreign one; business administration that is not just limited to results, but that goes beyond, extending to ethical values, to choices that have a social impact and that can be remembered with esteem and respect. One such choice is the decision to join again the Chianti Classico wine consortium only in 2005, following the determination to reinterpret the consortium itself, as well as to define the limitations of the term Chianti Classico. Let me reiterate that the productive capability of Castello di AMA, is not tied to its geographic definition in the consortium by-laws, but to the quality level of the parcels where the vines are cultivated -hence, the choice to produce crus only in specific years. To put it in marketing language, Lorenza, out of love and choice, resolved to sacrifice quantity for quality. Even now that marketing laws should lead us and meas- 4

al vino che non si lascia sopraffare dall’aromaticità del legno, e all’enologo che non si fa abbagliare dai miti delle mode. I frutti devono essere presenti nell’uva, l’aromaticità non può essere creata, ma solo rivelata. Sono tutte decisioni fondamentali che richiedono coraggio e preparazione, distacco dallo stereotipo ed integrazione totale con gli elementi naturali e culturali. Marco Pallanti come innovatore nelle tecniche di produzione, ma anche innovatore in materia di scelta delle viti nella regione in cui il Sangiovese, secondo I regolamenti consortili per la certificazione del vino Chianti Classico, deve comunque rappresentare almeno il 75% del totale in bottiglia. Da un’attenta analisi territoriale e tenendo in considerazione la maturazione lenta del Sangiovese che quindi necessita di una buona esposizione al sole, alcuni terreni dell’azienda non risultavano ideali anche se ammessi dal disciplinare DOC. Viene quindi deciso di innestare Merlot, Chardonnay e Pinot Nero in grado di dare significato nuovo a terreni altrimenti destinati a produrre un mediocre Sangiovese (secondo i valori dell’azienda). Una decisione che vede AMA agire in controtendenza rispetto la realtà consortile e che si scontra con ovvie leggi di mercato. Lorenza Sebasti rappresenta questa decisione con passione e fermezza, e riflette nell’impostazione distributiva la scelta filosofica dell’azienda legata non solo a fattori eco- 4

2003- NOITULOVER (Kendell Geers)

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nomici, ma sopratutto etici e qualitativi. Strategia commerciale che privilegia il mercato interno rispetto all’estero; gestione imprenditoriale che non si ferma ai risultati, ma che va ben oltre, ai valori morali, alle scelte che hanno un impatto sociale e che possano essere ricordate con stima e rispetto. Una di queste scelte e’ stata di rientrare nel consorzio vino Chianti Classico solo nell’anno 2005, a seguito di una nuova volontà d’interpretazione della realtà consortile, e della definizione e limitazione del termine Chianti Classico. Ancora una volta vorrei ripetere che la capacità produttiva di Castello di AMA, non e’ legata alla definizione geografica da statuto consortile, bensì dal livello qualitativo delle parcelle in cui i vitigni sono coltivati. Da cui, ad esempio, la scelta di produrre I cru solo in annate particolari. Tradotto in linguaggio commerciale, Lorenza, per amore e per scelta, ha deciso di pregiudicare il volume produttivo in favore della qualità. In periodi in cui il marketing dovrebbe guidare, misurare il nostro successo e dettarne I valori produttivi e strategici, AMA si muove in una direzione completamente opposta. Per amore e per scelta.

La famiglia Pallanti

ure our success, as well as dictate productive and strategic criteria, AMA is heading toward an entirely opposite direction — out of love and choice. The guide to Italian Wines by Gambero Rosso & Slow Food praises Castello di Ama as Best Cellar year 2005, and confers the coveted Three Glasses award to three wines of this Tuscan winery: Vigneto l’Apparita (2000), Castello Di Ama Chianti Classico (2001), and Vigneto Bellavista (1999). The varieties of Chianti in question represent harmony, elegance, structure, and excellence, and they obviously greatly honor their name. Apparita distinguishes itself for its masterful structure which beautifully reconciles strength with pleasantness and freshness. Typical of this wine is an extra long aftertaste together with a great deal of elegance. Devoid of medals though they may be, the other products of the Chianti winery, too, deserve much honor: the great white wine Al Poggio, Rosato, Chiuso, and Vigneto La Casuccia. The soul of Castello di Ama is not limited to the traditional wines; rather, it also incorporates typical elements of the local culture such as Vinsanto and Acquavite, produced with such care and passion that one is reminded of times past when romanticism had no virtual components and the simplicity of a gesture was surpassed only by the ideal behind it. From both the past and the present of a Tuscany famous for its olive trees comes Olio di Castello di Ama, another prestigious product grounded in tradition as well as in the respect, again, of the land. 4

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La Guida ai vini d’Italia di Gambero Rosso & slow food celebra Castello di Ama con il titolo di Migliore Cantina dell’Anno 2005, ed attribuisce l’ambito riconoscimento dei Tre Bicchieri ad altrettanti vini della casa Toscana: Vigneto l’Apparita (2000), Castello Di Ama Chianti Classico (2001), Vigneto Bellavista (1999). I Chianti oggetto di questo riconoscimento rappresentano un riferimento di armonia, eleganza, struttura ed eccellenza

The guide to Italian Wines by Gambero Rosso & Slow Food praises Castello di Ama as Best Cellar year 2005 La Guida ai vini d’Italia di Gambero Rosso & slow food celebra Castello di Ama con il titolo di Migliore Cantina dell’Anno 2005 per la denominazione che portano con maestoso onore. L’Apparita si distingue per una struttura magistrale che riesce a conciliare la potenza con piacevolezza e freschezza. Tipico di questo vino un retrogusto lunghissimo e tanta, tanta eleganza. Senza medaglie, ma con tanto onore anche gli altri prodotti di casa; il grande vino bianco Al Poggio, Il Rosato, Il Chiuso ed il Vigneto La Casuccia. L’anima del Castello di Ama non si ferma ai vini tradizionali ed inserisce elementi tipici della cultura locale come il Vinsanto e l’Acquavite, prodotti con una cura e passione che ricordano tempi passati in cui il romanticismo non aveva componenti virtuali e la semplicità di un gesto era superata solo dall’ideale che lo muoveva. Dal passato e dal presente di un’immagine della Toscana con i famosi oliveti, nasce l’Olio di Castello di Ama; un altro prestigioso prodotto di casa, nato dalla tradizione e nel rispetto, ancora una volta, del territorio. Vino, non e’ la sola forma d’arte rappresentata ad AMA. La creatività e la fantasia sono nelle opere contemporanee presenti all’interno ed all’esterno del vigneto e delle strutture. Da una collaborazione con la Galleria Continua di San Giminiano, nascono dei progetti artistici che molto hanno in comune con la filosofia con cui il vino viene prodotto, una sorta di dialogo costante con il territorio da dove le idée nascono e devono essere realizzate. Per citare alcuni nomi, si possono trovare opere di Michelangelo Pistoletto, Daniel Bruen, Giulio Paolini, Kendell Geers, Anish Kapoor, fino all’opera postuma di Chen Zhen, ideata nel 2001 e realizzata nel 2005. Ma vi e’ anche spazio per sfilate di moda con abiti colorati al vino, …non di produzione propria. Non posso certo dire di essere un purista della vite ed in alcune conversazioni enologiche vorrei correre anch’io all’aiuto della tecnica, molto spesso rappresentata da un telefono per

4


But wine is not the only art form in AMA. Creativity and fantasy are present both inside and outside the vineyards in contemporary works. Out of a collaboration with San Giminiano's Ongoing Gallery come artistic projects that have much in common with the philosophy underlying the production of this wine -a kind of continuous dialogue with the land where ideas are born and must be put into practice. To mention just a few names, one can find works by Michelangelo Pistoletto, Daniel Bruen, Giulio Paolini, Kendell Geers, Anish Kapoor, up until Chen Zhen's posthumous work, conceived in 2001 and realized in 2005. But there is also room for fashion shows where models wear wine-colored clothes, …not produced here, though. True, I cannot claim to be a purist when it comes to vines, and in some enology discussions, I, too, would like to resort to technology, very often represented by a telephone through which I can reach people such as Marco or Lorenza, who are capable of applying and handling such technology in conformity with those values I share. My passion for wine is an extension of my joie de vivre through various artistic manifestations; in AMA, such passion turns into the need to produce a wine which one can be proud of and which can trigger a feature we all have, that is, the desire to show our best according to those values we perceive as fundamental in our lives. Before a painting we all have different reactions; likewise, when we drink one of the AMA wines -each of which is an enological masterpiece- the simple act of tasting turns into an unforgettable experience. AMA's research deals with diversity just as our taste does -it must be exposed to all arts in order to be able to better comprehend and appreciate them, regardless of whether they are on canvas or in a bottle born on the Arno banks. If one day I were to make wine, I would make my father proud. I would then have to share that pride with my mentor, Master Pallanti, though, for it is to him, his coherence, and his respect for our history, culture, honesty that I would entrust my vineyard. Perhaps at the end, only a few bottles would be in my cellar, but I would certainly have more friends willing to share them, in the simplicity of a homemade dish, in the quality of a glass of great wine, in the pride of those who do not give up, but keep pursuing quality in wine as well as in life. g

raggiungere chi come Marco o Lorenza sono capaci di applicarla e gestirla secondo dei valori in cui mi riconosco. La mia passione per il vino e’ un’estensione della gioia di vivere nelle diverse manifestazioni artistiche; in AMA diventa l’esigenza di produrre un vino di cui essere fieri e che possa dare luce ad un valore che tutti abbiamo di mostrare il nostro meglio secondo I diversi significati che percepiamo e riteniamo più importanti nella nostra vita. Davanti ad un dipinto si hanno spesso reazioni diverse; bevendo un vino di AMA si capisce di essere in presenza di un capolavoro, ed il semplice gustare verrà tramutato in un esperienza di cui non perderemo memoria facilmente. La ricerca di AMA si confronta con le diversità allo stesso modo in cui il nostro gusto deve essere esposto a tutte le arti per meglio comprenderle ed apprezzarle, che siano su una tela o in una bottiglia sorta sulle rive dell’Arno. Se volessi un giorno fare il vino, farei mio padre molto fiero. Quella fierezza dovrei però dividerla con I consigli di mastro Pallanti, perché a lui, alla sua coerenza e al suo rispetto per la nostra storia, cultura ed onestà affiderei il mio vigneto. Forse alla fine, solo poche bottiglie sarebbero nella mia cantina, ma avrei certamente aumentato il numero di amici disposti a condividerle, nella semplicità di un piatto fatto in casa, nella qualità di un bichiere di grande vino, nella fierezza di chi non si ferma, ma persegue costantemente la qualità nel vino come nella vita. g

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Castello di Ama 2001 A beautiful, deep ruby color, quite young smelling, with a pronounced fruity note, complemented by the spicy notes due to refinement. The perfect harmony and spendid polyphenolic quality make this wine quite pleasant to the taste even in its youth. Remarkable potential for aging. Bel colore rubino profondo, naso di estrema giovinezza, con una prorompente nota fruttata, complessata dalle note speziate derivanti dall'affinamento. La perfetta armonia e la splendida qualità polifenolica rende questo vino molto piacevole alla degustazione anche in fase giovanile. Grandi potenzialità di invecchiamento.

Bellavista 2001 Austere, for the best occasions, but at the same time complex and deep even at first smell. Mulberry, blackcurrant, and violet flavors dominate the complex bouquet. Once in the mouth, its balance of sweet and tannic elements is simply amazing. It is harmonious both in each single tasting phase (sight, smell, taste) and on the whole. It is a great wine, which gives the uniqueness of its origins international status. In order to become universal, one must first be local (J. Mirò) Austero come nelle migliori occasioni ed allo stesso tempo complesso e profondo sin dai primi sentori olfattivi. La mora, il ribes nero e la viola dominano il complesso bouquet. In bocca non finisce di stupire per il suo equilibrio tra tutte le componenti dolci e tanniche. Armonico sia in ciascuna delle singole fasi degustative (vista, olfatto, gusto) che nell'insieme. Un grandissimo vino che traduce a livello internazionale l'unicità della propria origine. Per essere universali, prima di tutto, si deve essere locali (J. Mirò)

Apparita 2001 The rich and deep red color betrays the year's good quality. Its aroma is a sign of perfect maturity of the grapes with fruity notes -typical of this variety- made complex through wood refining. It is seducing to the palate, with velvet tannin and an aftertaste of ripe mulberries and raspberries. This vital and persistent aftertaste promises years of aging potential. Apparita 2001 is one of the most successful expressions of this legendary wine. Il colore, di un rosso carico e profondo, lascia intendere di essere di fronte ad una bellissima annata. Il profumo evidenzia una maturità perfetta delle uve con note fruttate, tipiche della varietà, e rese complesse dall'attento affinamento in legno. Al palato si presenta seducente, con un tannino vellutato ed un retrogusto di more e lamponi maturi. Vivo e persistente lascia presagire notevolissime possibilità di invecchiamento. Una delle più riuscite espressioni di questo vino oramai da leggenda.

Al Poggio 2004 Rich both in structure and in aroma, with a nearly perfect harmony between the sensations promised to the smell and those offered to the taste. Elegant and powerful, on a par with the best wines produced in this area, likely to be appreciated from its youth, yet always a candidate for complexing improvement through bottle refinement. Its fruity note, together with the mineral element deriving from this specific area, remains for a long time in its aftertaste as a reminder of a great white wine. Ricco sia dal punto di vista strutturale che aromatico, una armonia quasi perfetta tra quello che lascia presagire all'olfatto e quanto si sviluppa poi nella degustazione. Elegante e potente come i migliori vini di questo territorio, capace di farsi apprezzare fin dalla fase giovanile ed allo stesso tempo in grado di migliorare complessandosi dopo esser stato affinato in bottiglia. La nota fruttata unita a quella minerale derivante dal territorio rimangono lungamente nel retrogusto a ricordo di un grande vino bianco.

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Il Gallo Nero Il Gallo Nero T he black rooster

Gallo Nero is the symbol of the Consortium that includes almost all Chianti producers residing and operating in a specific geographic area situated between Florence and Siena. An area which historically went through many battles and saw the red, not of wine unfortunately, stain its splendid hills and lovely valleys. But where does Gallo Nero originate?

Il Gallo Nero e' il simbolo del Consorzio che riunisce la quasi totalita' dei produttori di Chianti che risiedono ed operano in una specifica area geografica situata tra Firenze e Siena. Un'area che storicamente ha vissuto scontri, ed ha visto il rosso purtroppo non del vino macchiare le splendide colline ed incantevoli valli. Ma da dove nasce il Gallo nero?

The origins of this symbol can be traced back to the Middle Ages and are found in a legend that tells of the rivalry between the municipalities of Florence and Siena over the Chianti territory. In an effort to put an end to the battles and cruelty, the two

Le origini del simbolo risalgono al Medioevo, e si ritrovano in una leggenda che narra delle rivalita' tra i comuni di Firenze e Siena per la contesa del territorio del Chianti. Per porre fine alle battaglie ed alla crudelta', i due comuni decisero di affidare la

T he origins of this symbol can be traced back to the Middle Ages and are found in a legend that tells of the rivalry between the municipalities of Florence and Siena over the Chianti territory. Le origini del simbolo risalgono al Medioevo, e si ritrovano in una leggenda che narra delle rivalita' tra i comuni di Firenze e Siena per la contesa del territorio del Chianti. municipalities agreed to settle the dispute over the territorial delimitation with a contest between two cavalrymen, each of whom was wearing the colors of his own city. The borderline would be the very point where the two cavalrymen met, having left their respective cities at dawn, right when the rooster started singing. The Sienese stuffed their white rooster with all kinds of food, thinking that, being content and restful, at dawn it would wake up earlier, singing out of sheer joy. The Florentines adopted the opposite strategy and starved their black rooster. The day of the challenge rolled around; the cavalryman from Siena and his rooster were still dreaming when the Black Rooster from Florence, starved nearly to death, started singing even before sunrise, waking up its valiant cavalryman, who started galloping at full speed, thus allowing the city of Florence to take over most of the splendid Chianti region. Whether or not this is a legend, the Chianti League -a real militia- chose as their emblem a black rooster in gold field. Once the fights and battles were over, the league decided to devote its efforts to producing wine, establishing an entire set of rules which were then modified and improved through the years in order to reach the quality level of the now world renown wine called Chianti Classico.

definizione dei confini territoriali ad una prova tra due cavalieri, uno che portava i colori della citta' di Firenze, e uno con quelli di Siena. Il confine sarebbe stato fissato nel punto in cui i due cavalieri si fossero incontrati partendo all'alba dalle rispettive citta', al canto del Gallo. I senesi allevarono e rimpinzarono di cibo il loro gallo bianco, convinti che all'alba, contento e pacioso, si sarebbe svegliato prima, cantando di gioia. I fiorentini decisero la stretegia opposta, e misero il loro gallo nero alla fame. Il giorno della sfida giunse; il cavaliere ed il gallo senesi stavano ancora sognando quando il Gallo Nero di Firenze, morso dalla fame, comincio' a cantare prima del sorgere del sole, svegliando il suo prode cavaliere che si mise al galoppo di spron-battuto permettendo alla citta' di Firenze di aggiudicarsi la maggior parte della splendida regione del Chianti. Leggenda o meno, la Lega del Chianti, autentica alleanza militare, scelse come emblema il Gallo Nero in campo oro. La stessa lega, terminati gli scontri e le battaglie, decise di dedicarsi ai problemi del vino, stabilendo tutta una serie di regole che sono passate attraverso modificazioni e miglioramenti negli anni per raggiungere il livello di qualita' di un prodotto conosciuto ed invidiato nel mondo che chiamiamo Chianti Classico .


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