Ferragosto, the stop-work day in the middle of August when Italians get in their cars and go somewhere—if they’re lucky enough to get a decent slice of autostrada to fit a tiny Italian car in—seems a fine time to talk about some interesting things that have hit my radar lately.
First, the divine Divina Cucina is heading to one of my favorite food places on the planet, Sicily, to explain to you all about the old-world charm in the markets and cooking pots of the local population. The tour comes at a reasonable cost, and explores places lots of people wouldn’t get to on their own. See: Divina Cucina: Secrets of My Sicilian Kitchen.
If you’d like to see Judy, AKA Divina Cucina at her cook book signing at the Antica Macelleria Cecchini, see the video.
Then Gloria of “At Home in Tuscany” writes of an interesting development in Tuscany: the creation of a guild sorta thing for folks who practice the old trades. Pretty much all of the people of my village would have to be included, I’m thinkin’. (I looked into replacing my front door recently, and came up with a price of 3000 Euros. It’s not a door to a palace, it’s just a standard front door. Sheesh.) Artisans aren’t cheap, so they deserve a guild, or at least a “registry” as they call it. See: Antichi Mestieri: Old Trades in Tuscany
The reason I say that many folks in my village would probably qualify for the registry are the plethora of monuments to antiquity still in use within the city limits, like the one in the picture on the right (click to see it larger). It’s the water power controls for an old mill, used to this day to grind corn for polenta. Let the water flow and wham! the wheels start turning and you turn your dried corn into polenta for putting wild bore sauce on.
Even by itself, the rustic engineering here is a pretty thing, isn’t it?