Search This Blog

Friday, 4 October 2013

Come to Le Marche

I would highly recommend a diner with our american-italian couple of sommelier Amy and Mirco, discovering wines of Le Marche and Mozzarella making with their friend Samuele.
A tour on the boat La Torre in the Adriatic Sea, great views on the Monte Conero, turquoise sea and white wine/sea food lunch, and of course jumping in the Adriatic!
The other days, some shopping in Tods and Prada factories outlets, some off-road with our Defender around Casa Olivi and relax around the pool...

Wednesday, 25 September 2013


We're proud to invite you to visit our new site about 3 luxury villas in Roccaverano in the Langhe

3 villas, very different, all just restored and now exclusive holiday villas

Friday, 6 September 2013

some ideas for your visit to Le Marche

Make Pasta & Mozzarella:
Cooking class at home with one of our chefs. Make your own mozzarella, ricotta or pecorino, your home made piadine, served with your choice of prociutto crudo and rucola, learn how to create delicious ricotta tortellini and much more!

Sibillini National Park:
Discover the magical Sibillini National Park, vast highlands smothered in wilsflowers, canyon burrowing deep into mountainsides and accessible ridges with breathtaking views. A lunch in the beautiful village of Castellucio di Norcia would be a perfect combination.

The adriatic sea around the Monte Conero:
The Marches is like Tuscany, plus the Adriatic sea... Just drive for the day straight to the Monte Conero Riviera. Wild nature, white beaches, crystal clear water, untouched from mass tourism.
Rent your own private boat from Numana's marina and end up in Portonovo with a couple of stops to swim in the exclusive waters of one of the most beautiful environments in Europe. A delicious seafood menu will be served on board...

A day touring the wine region of Le Marche is the best way to taste and experience the area. Le Marche produces some of the best wines of Italy that you never knew existed. Let's start the discovery with our passionnate sommeliers Amy & Mirco.

Truffe hunting in fall:
If you're going truffle hunting then the best chance of finding any is Acqualagna, in Pesaro-Urbino Province, 1 hour from Casa Olivi, as it suplies two thirds of the italian market.
Experience a fantastic day with experts and dogs in local woodland, with private transportation in our defender and lunch in one of the best adresses of Le Marche.

Off road in Le Marche:
A tour rich in culture, architecture, beautiful lanscape and wild unspoilt countryside. Carriage rides along naturalistic ways into the rural landscapes of Treia, slow drive on the small roads with our 1968 Triumph Spitfire MK3, or try some real 4x4 off roads with our brand new Defender...

Monday, 5 August 2013

New Airport in Sicily

Author: K J S
When planning a holiday, straightforward access to information about possible choices is an important part of the process. It should only require a few clicks to discover the dream place that will forge wonderful memories; the amount of time busy professionals and parents can dedicate to this task is after all limited. As for the convenience of renting a house or booking flights and hotels on-line, it plays a major role. Finally, the global budget that can be allocated to the trip has to be considered and low-cost airlines can quickly become a favourite way of travelling, especially for families.
For the countries and regions that depend heavily on tourism as a mean of income, often primary, good infrastructures and easy connections to their beautiful landscapes and wonders are a must. The South of Europe is a prime example: Italy, Spain and Portugal have all earned the status of beloved destinations over the years and developed accordingly. A dense network of motorways, roads, trains and flights nowadays gives the eager traveller several options to get to the chosen vacation spot. The news that an additional airport in Sicily was about to become a reality was therefore very welcome.
The airport of Comiso opened at the end of May 2013, with perfect timing in regard of the holiday season. The first airline to announce its presence was low cost company Ryanair, with liaisons from Brussels Charleroi, London Stansted and Rome Ciampino. Charter flights from Malta are now also available and further airlines have announced flights in the near future.
This new civil airport was built on a NATO airbase that had fallen into disuse. The refurbishment work started back in 2004 and lasted five years. Its location in the Southeast part of Sicily makes it attractive to people dreaming about the magnificent beaches on offer. It is also an ideal base to visit the many wonderful baroque towns scattered around the island, such as Modica or Ragusa, as well as fascinating historical sites. Another advantage for Comiso is that it represents an alternative should the airport of Catania end up being temporarily closed due to ashes coming from Mount Etna. The car journey between the two airports only lasts about an hour.
Ryanair is obviously confident in the success of this new route also outside of the summer season, as the company has already announced it will be included into its winter schedule.

Article Source:
About the Author
Writer, blogger, social media & MarCom consultant. First novel in progress.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Fisch Couscous aus Sizilien

Das Fisch Cous Cous aus Sizilien ist meiner Ansicht nach besonders gut, weil es angebratenes Gemüse mit dem Fisch kombiniert.

Zutaten für 10 Personen:
1 Kg Couscous
2 Kg Fisch und/oder Garnelen, je nach dem, was man findet
1 Zwiebel
2 Knoblauchzehen
100 gr. Tomaten püriert
1 Aubergine
2 Zucchini
1 rote Paprika
2 Kartoffeln
2 Karotten
ein Glas Weisswein


Waschen Sie den Fisch.
Öl in einem grossen Topf, am Besten eine Couscoussiera oder auch einem Spaghettitopf mit Sieb, erhitzen, zerhackte Zwiebel und Knoblauch hinzufügen. Dann den Fisch. Anbraten.
Dann das Glas Wein und danach die pürierten Tomaten. Salzen.
Das ganze bei geringer Hitze 30 Min. zugedeckt kochen lassen.

Nun braten wir das kleingemachte Gemüse in einem 2. Topf mit Olivenöl an bis es gar ist.

Wenn die Fischsuppe fertig ist, Gräten und alles, was nicht essbar ist vom Fisch, entfernen.

Dann fügen wir das Gemüse hinzu und stellen das Sieb mit Couscous gefüllt in den Topf und erhitzen mit geschlossenem Deckel.
5 Minuten reichen um den Couscous zu garen.

Danach servieren wir den Couscous und darauf die Fischstücke. Die Fischbrühe wird getrennt auf den Tisch gestellt und je nach Lust bedient sich jeder.

Buon appetito!

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Apertivo a Roma

Ein ganz persönlicher Tipp für Rom:

Enoteca Il Goccetto
In Via dei Banchi Nuovi im Zentrum, nicht weit von Piazza Farnese, eine sehr gute Weinauswahl, leckere Käse und Salumi, geht einmal hin zum aperitivo

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

The Most Beautiful Beaches In Italy

After a non-existent spring in most parts of Europe the majority of people is now very much looking forward to a sunny and long-awaited summer. How about celebrating the warm season on a gorgeous Italian beach?

Let's start with the Puglia region, the heel of the Italian boot. A little corner of paradise is nestled in Brindisi, almost at the lowest point of the heel. Its name is Torre Guaceto, a protected nature reserve that has escaped over-development, the fate of so many other beautiful places. Torre Guaceto gives you the opportunity to discover the extensive fauna and flora as well as relax on the beach. This area being wilder means that you should be prepared to walk a little to get to a perfect spot, but it really is worthwhile. You can also take the advantage of guided walks, cycle tours, kite surfing and snorkelling trips. The visitor centre also organises special events: Open-air plays or star-gazing anyone?

Shall we next move to Sardinia? Porto Pino is waiting there for you. Taking its name from a nearby pine forest, Porto Pino is an unspoilt small town. Its beach is divided into two parts: One with gray sand and the most popular given its location near local parking facilities, and one with white sand extending over three kilometres. Both of course benefit from the same crystalline, shallow waters. Porto Pino offers a vast array of nautical and other sportive activities such diving, wind-surfing, boat rental or horse riding. 

Hoping onto our next island, we are now arriving on Ponza. Rumour has it that it was named after Pontius Pilate and the gorgeous sceneries make it a sought-after film location. White cliffs and mysterious caverns mingle with white sandy beaches and the turquoise sea. Located off the coast south of Rome and north of Naples, Ponza is easily accessible by ferry or hydrofoils. The boat journey will give you time to take in the amazing sights as you approach the island.

There are an impressive 246 Blue Flag beaches spread all over Italy. To be awarded this desirable status the beach must comply with 32 criteria in the fields of environmental education and information, water quality, environmental management and safety and services. The Blue Flag is only awarded for one season at the time and, in a case of not keeping the required standards, may even be removed during the season.

A welcome guarantee of quality for us tourists and fans of this wonderful country.

Article Source: Articlesbase/Travel/Destinations
Author: K J S

Monday, 6 May 2013

A Selection Of May Festivals In Italy

One of the many charms of Italy is its culture of festivals and traditions. Spread the whole year round and varying from one region to the next, the celebrations tend to involve processions, historical costumes and an array of good food and wines. With the return of spring, May is a popular month for sagre (fairs) of all sizes. These festivals can be spectacular, amusing, lively and even bizarre.

Cocullo's Serpari Festival (Snake Festival) is the perfect example. This quiet town in the Abruzzo region comes to life the first Thursday in May. On that day, a statue of Saint Domenico di Sora is carried through the city draped with live snakes. It is believed that the disappearance of snakes in the fields is the work of the city's patron saint and the inhabitants have been carrying this tradition as a gesture of thanks every year since 1392.

The Sposalizio dell'Albero (Wedding of the Trees) is held on May 8th in the Lazio town of Vetralla. Beautiful garlands ornate two oak trees, bunches of spring flowers are being distributed and new trees are being planted. All spectators also enjoy a free meal in the form of a picnic. This day marks the town's rights over the forests and renews the firewood allowance of each citizen. 

Calendimaggio also takes place early may in the town of Assisi in Umbria. The two ancient districts, the Parte di Sopra and the Parte di Sotto, confront each other in many disciplines such as theatre, dance, archery, songs and flag-waving. The contestants are clad in historical costumes and joust in a fabulous setting of floral decorations and torches.

On May 15th the Corsa dei Ceri (Race of the Candles) happens in Gubbio, in Umbria too. Of ancient and religious origin, the race sees three massive wooden candles, each with a statue of one the city's saints on top, being carried all through the streets. At the end of the day they will be making their way back up the hill to be placed in the Basilica of Saint Ubaldo again.

The Festa delle Cantine aperte consists of 44 wine producers in Umbria simultaneously opening their domains to the many visitors and organising wine tastings.

The Sagra del Risotto is organised in the Piemontese town of Sessame the first Sunday in May and dates back to the 13th century. You certainly will not go hungry.

Saint Fortunato, patron saint of the fishermen, is commemorated in the picturesque village of Camogli, close to Genoa. The festival is held on the second Sunday of May, but on the Saturday there is also a beautiful fireworks display and a bonfire competition.

And let's close this selection with... Pinocchio's birthday! It is celebrated on May 25th in Pescia, Tuscany. There is also a Pinocchio Park in Collodi, not far from Pescia.

Article Source: Articlesbase/Travel/Destinations
Author: K J S

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Door To Door In Tuscany

It is no secret that the world economy is in a rather bad shape. Every day brings new headlines of companies or countries in deep financial trouble and talks of the time frame needed to recover are enough to concern the most optimistic amongst us. In such a depressing environment you have the choice to either wait for the storm to pass or to try and take your fate into your own hands. The second option is exactly what some young Italian citizens have elected to do.

Take the agricultural sector in Tuscany as an example. Not easy to make a living out of tending your own fields nowadays but it does offer a number of opportunities asking to be explored. If you are prepared to work hard and to be inventive it could very well pay off in the end. This reasoning has now started an interesting trend: If the customers do not or cannot come to you then go to the customers. Packing their vans to the hilt with top quality goods, these visionary men and women travel the Tuscan roads up and down the picturesque hills, bringing their products to their expanding clientele. Who do they visit? Mostly families too busy to complement their weekly shopping with fresh produce in between or inhabitants of remote villages, many of them older and without the necessary car that would take them to the nearest town. The majority of village shops have disappeared over the years, enabling this new breed of entrepreneurs to find their niche in the market.

Another idea is to bring a specific product to an area where it would not be easy to find it. Fish is the perfect illustration of that concept. If you live by the sea you will of course be spoiled for choice in the form of local fishermen or fish markets. But when you have made your home inland the sight of a refrigerated truck pulling up on the main square on market days will be very welcome.

Nicely ripe, sun-kissed fruit and extra fresh vegetables that have just been pulled out of the soil are also proving a hit. One entrepreneur selling baskets of home grown produce saw his customer base triple simply through word of mouth. Regional specialties are popular too: olive oil, sausages, pasta, biscuits or jams, to name but a few.

These initiatives have turned struggling and often unemployed women and men into business people. They may not have come up with anything new; they have however re-invented themselves, finding pleasure and enthusiasm in their working days again.

Article Source: Articlesbase/Business/Entrepreneurship 
Author: K J S

Friday, 15 March 2013

Italian Body Language

Article first published as Italian Body Language on Technorati.  

Every European nation has been attributed its own clichés: The French complain a lot but are romantic, the Germans have no sense of humor but work very hard, The Spanish are loud but welcoming, etc. You will agree I think that an entire nation cannot be cataloged into such narrow boxes. I happen to live in Germany and most people I have encountered do have a sense of humor. They are also in the vast majority very helpful, warm and welcoming towards my family and myself.

One cliché I do find to be true, though, is how important body language is to Italians. Perhaps I especially notice it as it has been pointed out to me that I am prone to "speaking with my hands". No doubt this is the Italian blood in me coming to the surface!

During a visit to the lesser known perhaps but absolutely gorgeous region of the Marches, we encountered many local people and enjoyed watching them interacting. Our house was close to the lovely walled city of Urbino, to which we cycled on a magnificent sunny day. Comfortably sitting down at a café terrace and having ordered much needed refreshments, I began to discreetly look at our neighbors. Now my Italian is rather basic, and I did not try, nor did I want, to pry. I just observed people instead.

Two women in their mid-thirties, I would say, we engrossed in a passionate and obviously very amusing discussion. They both kept throwing their heads back, laughing heartily, hands alternatively flying to their mouths and to their hearts. Their eyes were twinkling, and they were having trouble keeping the loudness of their voices under control. Behind them I spotted a woman with two young boys. The look of love in her eyes, her head half tilted, the way she kept patting their heads and pinching their round cheeks, all this told me that she was their mother. She had a game of blowing them kisses, pulling a funny face at the same time, which kept the little ones highly entertained. On the other side, a middle age couple look as though they were going through a stormy patch in their relationship. Hands were pointing accusingly at each other, and it seemed that reproaches were being uttered through clenched teeth. After a while, they both sat back and fell silent, looking away from each other, arms firmly crossed on their chests. Finally, I rested my gaze on a group of teenagers, the girls pretending not to be flirting while the boys clearly were competing for their attention. They kept getting up, throwing their arms on the side, and looking deeply into the eyes of the girl they were desperate to impress. In return the said girl usually gave a small smile and intense look, only to quickly resume her demure position.
As they walked away, I noticed hands being held and heads resting on shoulders. I could not help but smile: the courting had clearly been successful!

body language

Friday, 8 March 2013

Fresh Mozzarella

In the midst of the current food scandals, it is getting more and more difficult to trust what is on our plates. Horsemeat used instead of the advertised beef? Fish incorrectly labelled? Eggs produced by battery hens but sold as organic? We have all read these scary articles in the newspapers, with a sinking feeling in our stomachs and our hearts.

It is however still possible to find people for whom food is a real passion. Tasty, wholesome, fresh food. Take Samuele Frascarelli for example. Samuele lives and works in a refuge in the Sibillini Mountains, close to Ascoli Piceno in the heart of the Marches. A gorgeous region located in the middle of Italy, Le Marche has been nicknamed the new Tuscany and is known for its many succulent dishes. The cook not only prepares his share of delicious recipes in the welcoming Capanna di Bolognola, he also makes his own cheese, bread and cured meat. On request Samuele will produce mozzarella or ricotta in front of guests, a riveting experience. Let's concentrate on the process of producing mozzarella. 

Both pasteurized and non-pasteurized buffalo or cow's milk can be used to prepare this soft, versatile cheese. When made out of unpasteurized milk the mozzarella has to be eaten on the same day, whereas the pasteurized version will keep for a few days. A good three hours of fermentation turns the milk into the unrefined version of the cheese. This paste is then chopped into small chunks that are then plunged into boiling water. The temperature shock turns the paste into a stringy lump that needs to be worked on, the water being removed little by little, until the mass acquires the right texture. The mozzarella can then be shaped into whatever form, although it is normally sold as a big ball or a bag of little ones. To watch Samuele shape the cheese he has created from scratch is quite fascinating. The last step is a short immersion into salted water, which will give the mozzarella its taste. Try a bite before and after and you will easily spot the difference this last part of the process makes.


It is then time to savour the fresh cheese. The traditional way to do so would be of course in the company of ripe, dark red tomatoes, a bunch of fresh basil leaves, good quality olive oil and aceto di Balsamico and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. But a slice of mozzarella arranged on top of crusty bread and dipped into olive oil works just as well.

Article Source: Articlesbase/Travel/Destinations 
Author: K J S

Wednesday, 27 February 2013


Die Autorin des kürzlich erschienenen Buchs "Kulinarische Spaziergänge in Lucca" Anna Strobel schreibt über Lucca:
"Wir kommen vom Meer her. Schon von Weitem sehen wir die Türme von Lucca. Die Stadt war früher bekannt als die Stadt der Türme. Es gab einmal mehr als 103 Türme, mehr als in San Gimignano. Bis auf wenige wurden diese im Laufe der Jahre abgetragen für Bauten in der Stadt.
Wir nähern uns der Stadtmauer. Sie wurde ursprünglich von den Römern erbaut und später mehrmals erweitert. Die Stadt gliedert sich heute in eine Teil "fuori le mura" (außerhalb der Mauer) und einen Teil "dentro le mura" (innerhalb der Mauer). Der Teil der Stadt innerhalb der Mauer ist der wesentlich schönere. Lucca ist seit 20 Jahren im Stadtinneren autofrei; das macht einen Besuch hier sehr angenehm. Die 12 Meter hohe und 4,2 km lange Mauer um die Stadt hat Lucca als Verteidigungsmauer viele Jahre geschützt. Die Luccheser haben die pisanische Fremdherrschaft immer abgelehnt. Ihre Freiheit war ihnen besonders wichtig.
Wir fahren nun um die Stadtmauer herum und stellen unser Auto außerhalb ab. Jetzt begeben wir uns auf eine Entdeckungsreise in die Stadt hinein.
In Lucca fasziniert vor allem das malerische mittelalterliche Stadtbild. Die Luccheser haben etwas Ungewöhnliches geschafft, nämlich ihre Stadt zu erhalten.Glücklicherweise ließ niemand zu, dass die Stadt sich ausschließliche Touristenwünschen anpasste. So gibt es hier noch den Einzelhandel, z.B. Buch-, Feinkost-, Schokoladenläden und viele mehr.
Zugunsten der einheimischen Gastronomie beschloss der Stadtrat sogar und nicht zur Freud aller Touristen, ausländische Restaurants und Fast-Food-Lokale innerhalb der Mauer nicht mehr zu genehmigen. Er möchte auch Auflagen machen, wie sich Kellner zu kleiden haben und besteht darauf, dass die Lokale Luccheser Gerichte anbieten und somit die Traditionen der Stadt erhalten. Die Stadt ist in vielen Dingen nicht mit dem Zeitgeist gegangen. Vielleicht ist die Zeit hier sogar ein bisschen stehen geblieben."

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Casa Olivi captures the style and design maginzes

Casa Olivi in the Marches

Elle Decoration Deutschland
Elle Decor Italia
Elle Decoration Netherlands

Case & Country
Cote Sud
Food & Wine
Maison Francaise

Madame Figaro

Monday, 4 February 2013

In The Kitchen With Gianna

Gianna is not a Michelin Star cook. She is not the proud chef of her own restaurant. Gianna is simply an “ordinary” Italian Mamma, who loves cooking and is extremely good at it. Everybody who has had the pleasure of trying one of her dishes is raving about her skills: Her pizze, for example, are a mouth-watering combination of a perfect base, genuine mozzarella, homemade tomato sauce and fresh toppings, and reveal their wonderful flavour after their passage in a wood fired oven.

This shy woman lives in Le Marche, a beautiful a beautiful region in the centre of Italy, perhaps less known as her Tuscany or Umbria neighbours but with a strong food culture. Gianna prefers to prepare dishes for guests in the comfort of her own home, surrounded by her beloved utensils, but will on occasions cook in the kitchen of another house should the menu require perfect timing. Other signature dishes of hers include the very simple but heavenly combination of melon and prosciutto (cured ham), pork or beef stews served with grilled vegetables or scrumptious fruit tarts to give the meal a final sweet note.

It goes without saying that she excels at preparing many pasta variations. Her ravioli di ricotta are a must, but even more so is a specialty of the Marches: Lasagna Vincisgrassi. Instead of being prepared with a Bolognese and therefore beef mincemeat, veal is used for the fragrant, non-tomato based sauce. Other ingredients include fresh vegetables in the form of porcini mushrooms, celery, onions and carrots, as well as cream, Marsala wine and a sprinkling of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. The recipe originated from the pretty town of Macerata and the story surrounding its name is interesting: Lasagna Vincesgrassi was allegedly invented by a local chef for an Austrian general, Prince Windischgratz, who was leading a branch of the Austrian army stationed in Le Marche at the end of the eighteenth century. His name was given an Italian twist and has remained ever since.

With the importance of the Slow Food movement, which incidentally was started in Italy by Carlo Petrini in the mid-eighties, authentic dishes prepared with local, preferably organic ingredients and traditional farming and cooking methods are getting more popular every day. People’s concern for what appears on their plates is growing, and easily found information is helping them with their food choices.

Given this prominent trend, Gianna’s cooking style and the succulent lasagna Vincisgrassi are here to stay for many, many more years.

Article Source: Articlesbase/Travel/Destinations 
Author: K J S

Wednesday, 23 January 2013