Last weekend my friend Ivan (in Italian we pronounce it EE-van) came back from London to celebrate his 40th birthday at home. I wandered in town in search for a present, but found nothing. I’m terrible at gifts. I always have brilliant ideas after that the occasion has passed. It must be a psychological issue.
Anyway, first we had aperitivo in the ghetto of Padova. The ghetto is probably my favourite neighbourhood. It is rather small, full of beautiful palazzi, narrow cobbled streets, lots of original chic shops and characteristic spots where to eat or drink “una siocchezza”, a foolishness, as a friend of mine would say.
It seemed a “partial” old times reunion. A bunch of friends of high school, who are still my best friends… more like brothers. Pity not all of them were able to come. It is always a pleasure to see my old friends. I feel at home. And I find myself missing the old times. In the end, Mario, another friend, had already taken care of the present (a subscription to a science magazine).
We met at Caffé della Piazzetta. Yes, service is slow, but it doesn’t matter to me, since I prefer to take my time when I go out. Another flaw is the amount of chips served with the drinks. Not sufficient. But it has the cutest al fresco spot in the whole town centre, plus they have a brand of soft drinks I love.
If you are in Italy and, like me, do not drink alcohol, try to ask for Baladin. You can find cola, ginger ale (gingerino in Italian), spuma (orange flavour), cedrata (citron drink) and melazen (apple and ginger), all without colorings or preservatives. Finally something good and not too unhealthy! Unfortunately, only a few cafés have them.
Then we had dinner in a place called Gourmetteria. I love the concept. They offer several local dishes, many of them with organic, pdo and quality ingredients. The restaurant is not only a restaurant, though. The walls are full of shelves displaying food or kitchenware you can buy. I could spend hours there looking at the different yummy products or at the kitchenware. Have I ever told you that kitchenware is my soft spot? I love it!
The food was quite good, but the highlight for me was the dessert, a chocolate lava cake with berries and cinnamon. An absolute forbidden lechery.
The next day the sun was shining brightly, but I had to work for the blog in the morning. Matteo and I postponed our passeggiata to the afternoon and went off to the hills. Wonderful weather and lovely trail, among vineyards and almond trees in blossom, with the background sound of birds chirping and leaves trembling to the blowing wind.
Sunday among organic toys – yay!
On Sunday appointment at my best friend Stefano’s parents house. Mi raccomando, STEH-fah-noh and not Steh-FAH-noh! The purpose of the visit was a long consulting for Stefano’s mother business. She sells lovely kids toys with a unique feature. They’re completely handmade in Italy, they are organic not only in the exterior part but also in the inside. Moreover they are designed with the help of educationalists and child psychologists, so that every toy has an important role in the development of the kid’s abilities (for example sense of self-efficacy, motor skills, hand-eye coordination).
Take a look for yourselves at mon-ami.it!
It really is an unique product, I’m not exaggerating. In Italy there is no other company producing toys like those. You can find handmade toys, but not organic. Organic toys, but not handmade. And plus, they are organic only in the exterior part. Problem is that, in order to obtain this kind of toys, the cost is very high. Therefore, the final price is higher than average toys.
So, we are trying to help Lina to improve her business. Clearly, between a cup of coffee and a slice of apple pie she prepared for us. 🙂
After dinner, the umpteenth viewing of Mansfield Park (the version starring lovely Frances O’Connor).
To end up the story, this morning we woke up at 8.30 instead of 7.30, cause the alarm clock, despite of having checked it twice, had still maintained the solar time. By the way, why is it called solar time the one during winter?? I still have to come to terms with this! In my world, the solar time would be the one in spring and summer. Plus, in Italy the daylight saving time is called ora legale, legal hour. Why? Why not lunar time?
Solar time and lunar time. Wouldn’t it be more beautiful? 🙂