Delicious Discoveries For The Holidays

The holidays are approaching, it’s that time of the year when I search for specialty food and drinks.
I read about wines fermented in the bottle instead of barrels and got interested. I found Lunaria, a fizzy wine made in Italy with an ancestral method of fermentation in the bottle.

I know a friend who is still using ancient filters belonging to his grandfather to make the same style of wine.

Almost any grape is good to produce wine fermented in the bottle. Grape gets pressed as usual to turn it into must. As soon as the must starts to ferment, meaning the sugar reduces and alcohol increases, the wine must gets filtered and bottled. By doing this, the natural fermentation stops and that small amount of sugar left in the liquid starts a new fermentation right in the bottle, giving a unique flavor to the final product. The residue at the bottom of the bottle looks like small crystals and tastes sweet.

Baresana, Menavacca, Primus, Sweet White Muscat are the grapes used in the region of Puglia to make this style of wine.

The next bottle is Cremant de Borgogne. I learned about it while I was watching one of my favorite shows “Escape To The Chateau” produced by Dick and Angel Strawbridge, a British couple who bought a dilapidated Chateau in France and moved the entire family to start their new lives in France.

They are different styles of wines and both are excellent choices. The producers don’t pay me a cent to say these nice things, it is my choice, my taste and my preference over some other wines.
What food do I pair these wines with? Nuts and cheeses, savory aperitifs, caviar, and any celebratory food. Any time is a good time to pop a cork. Ciao,
Valentina
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Copyright © 2022 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved


Valentina Cirasola is an interior-fashion consultant, author of 6 published books, a storyteller, and a blogger of many years. Her books are non-fictional practical ideas to apply in the home, fashion, cooking and travel.
Get a copy of her books here: Amazon and Barnes&Noble

Art Nouveau Door in Barcelona

Barcelona is a spectacular display of original art. Architect Antoni Gaudi has left a beautiful heritage to the world of a type of architecture that will never be repeated again. Living in such beauty can only affect the inhabitant and multiply itself. In Barcelona there is no place or small corner that is not well designed and decorated. Art Nouveau pervades the entire city. The style inspired by nature flourished in most parts of Europe and Western World from the end of 1800s to 1915. The scope of this style was to turn ordinary objects, chairs, windows, doors and simple buildings into works of art. The results are all the harmonious architectures and various décor items we are still admiring today after more than a century.


During my visit to Barcelona, I discovered myself walking and looking up all the time to try to catch everything that was not on my eye level and looking down, as even the street pavement in some area is well designed.
The top photo is the original building, the below photo is my interpretation of the same building. Sometimes I have fun manipulating colors of my photos.

Dan Antion is offering a series on doors Thursday Door Challenge. Come visit with us, enjoy learning about doors in the world and its history. Ciao.
Valentina
Amazon Author’s Page

Copyright © 2022 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Valentina Cirasola is an interior-fashion consultant, author of 6 published books, a storyteller, and a blogger of many years. Her books are non-fictional practical ideas to apply in the home, fashion, cooking and travel.
Get a copy of her books here: Amazon and Barnes&Noble

Carolus De Mari – Acquavive Princeps

Door of the City Hall – Acquaviva delle Fonti, Puglia (Italy)

A few years ago I led a group of Americans traveling to Puglia, Italy with me. I took them off the beaten tourist path for a surprising glimpse in the Italian living style of the locals.

“Driving through the countryside of Bari in early afternoon is such a pleasant activity. Nobody is on the two-lanes provincial road, we don’t have to wait for the herd of sheep to complete their outing, and neither we have to stay behind a car waiting to make a move until the incoming traffic on the other side has passed, as we would in a different time of the day. The road is all ours and “Mimmo Lovely” (tour manager) wants to amuse us while driving. He can make music using only his lips, I mean he can be the musical instrument himself, or a full orchestra. He has an exceptional talent in imitating a trombone, a saxophone or a violin and I am sure, if sometimes he feels alone, he can start his own music just by using those vibrating lips. It is after lunch and he is trying to keep us awake while we are reaching our next destination.
At this hour in the afternoon sleepy feeling will attack easily, after all, we had a two hours lunch, good wines, and the sun is low in the sky, beating on us in the car. We are being cradled gently.

It seems we have arrived. The town is Acquaviva delle Fonti and a food demonstration is going on in the courtyard of the City Hall. Oh no, I believe we will eat again! I am a bread lover, there is a crusty home-made bread on display, how can I resist a sample of that huge country bread I see on the table, yellow inside and crusty outside? The dipping olive oil to taste is green and stings the tongue, it is peppery at the right point without having any presence of chili pepper.

The food demonstration is happening in the atrium of the City Hall designed in a neoclassical architecture. My attention’s focus is now switched to architectural details, stairs, heave, walls and a beautiful mosaic floor.

The name Acquaviva delle Fonti comes from the union of two words Acqua (water) and Viva (live), it refers to the abundance of spring water running in the sub terrain that made the land a very fertile valley. The town is known for the production of the sweetest red-purple onion, celebrated every July with a country festival during which vendors show off varieties of their onion pies.

The ceiling in the Mayor’s office decorated in the 1700s is incredibly beautiful and the mosaic design on the floor looks like an area rug. What a privilege to work here every day, breathing antiquity and art!” (excerpt from my book: “The Road To Top Of The World“).

The building of Adelfia’s City Hall goes back many centuries, the door is an elegant neoclassic example of entry to a noble home and here is just part of the ceiling in the Mayor’s office.

Ceiling City Hall – Adelfia, Italy

San Antion is offering a Thursday Door Challenge, come on over and learn stories behind doors in the world. Ciao.
Valentina
Amazon Author’s Page

Copyright © 2022 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved


Valentina Cirasola is an interior-fashion consultant, author of 6 published books, a storyteller, and a blogger of many years. Her books are non-fictional practical ideas to apply in the home, fashion, cooking and travel.
Get a copy of her books here: Amazon and Barnes&Noble




Leopard Door

I have been a salmon swimming up stream all my life, the common thinking has never touched me, and conformism never interested me. Not being like everybody else has not been easy, at times I thought I caused my own challenges. Luckily those thoughts only lasted a few minutes and came to my senses.

©Valentina Cirasola

I have always lived in original homes with beautiful views and when the architecture wasn’t what I wanted, I created originality with home décor. Here, I present you my new entry door painted in a blue leopard print. I took me one week to paint it but the results gave me a great satisfaction and I feel to have been repaid for all the efforts.

©Valentina Cirasola

I go in and out that door and feel a huge surprise every time. I can almost hear the screaming of a realtor if one day I will decide to sell this house, rest assured it is not going to happen anytime soon.

©Valentina Cirasola

To top it all, I marked my territory with my initial on a wrought iron piece. What’s your reaction to the leopard door?

Dan Antion is still offering this Thursday Door Challenge. Please visit with us and discover many stories beyond beautiful doors in the world. 
Ciao.
Valentina
Amazon Author’s Page

Copyright © 2022 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved


Valentina Cirasola is an interior-fashion consultant, author of 6 published books, a storyteller, and a blogger of many years. Her books are non-fictional practical ideas to apply in the home, fashion, cooking and travel.
Get a copy of her books here: Amazon and Barnes&Noble

Doors in Slovenija

This year, I had a chance to go on vacation with my sister. We had not had that pleasure in two years during lockdown. She lives in Italy and I live in California, not only an ocean divides us, many other new government rules, pandemics and world disasters keep us distant. We planned to meet in Trieste, the Italian region of Friuli on my way to Italy from America and one stop in Germany, then we would proceed to Slovenija.

Ljubljana – Photo by my sister Cristina Cirasola

We went to Ljubljana, the capital of the Slovenia Republic. The country is part of the Schengen Area and even though the population is made of Slavic people, it certainly comprises a mixture of more European cultures. It borders with Italy, Austria, Hungary, Croatia and faces the Adriatic Sea, waters so familiar to me, thus the city has a bit of customs from the bordering countries. As one might notice in the photo above, the architecture is made of arched doors Italian style, Austrian décor around the windows and colors of Hungary.

In the photo below, we can admire the classic order of the Italian architecture, such as windows with pediments and key stones, all in the same line, designed in the same shape, arched entry doors at the bottom and the red rooves of buildings of Eastern Europe. To complete the picture, a typical round fountain is placed in the center of a piazza just like any European city.

Piazza in the center Ljubljana – Photo by my sister Cristina Cirasola

A beautiful Austrian secession architecture beautifies the downtown city of Ljubljana.

Downtown Ljubljana – Photo by my sister Cristina Cirasola

I have noticed the influence of the surrounding European countries in fashion, food, and various merchandise with a huge difference in lower prices. In fact, Italians and people in the Schengen Area can cross borders without passports, due to this benefit they can shop and buy gasoline in Ljubljana at much lower prices than they can in their own country.

Ljubljanica River – Photo by my sister Cristina Cirasola

We concluded the visit with a ride on the Ljubljanica River admiring the picturesque bridges dated back to the Roman Empire’s time, enjoying the river banks lined with lively cafes and interesting architecture of the 19th Century.

Traveling is like reading a book from cover to cover, I bring back a lot of memories and a wish to be able to see my family again.

I am participating in the Thursday Door Challenge by Dan Antion where we can learn about customs and people in the world. Come and visit with us. Ciao,
Valentina
Amazon Author’s Page

Copyright © 2022 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Valentina Cirasola is an interior-fashion consultant, author of 6 published books, a storyteller, and a blogger of many years. Her books are non-fictional practical ideas to apply in the home, fashion, cooking and travel.
Get a copy of her books here: Amazon and Barnes&Noble


Leo Energy

Yesterday, Aug 1st, a very powerful time started, the Leo time as per the zodiac sign of this month in the New Moon. Courage, bravery, charisma and confidence are the quality of the lion and of a Leo person.

Dusan-Veverkolog-ZXuDkw7Be7E-unsplash

Today, for 21 days, at 7:00 pm do this exercise: put on an evocative music you like, and for 4 minutes 49 seconds, imagine and manifest anything you like. The powerful Leo in the New Moon will help you raising your vibrations to get rid of all negativities. By sharing with cosmos your intentions and desires for 21 days, you will become a warrior for the for the well-being of yourself and the world, for the beauty that you can spread around, the richness of your soul, the life you want and why not, money as well. We were born to win, enjoy life and fight to achieve something good. Let’s go warriors, 21 days of manifesting at 7:00 pm, whatever you are doing at that time, leave it and take 4 minutes 49 seconds only for you by yourself.
I started this exercise yesterday, and I am sorry wasn’t able to tell you about it yesterday, not enough time to squeeze in this message, however it’s OK if you start it a day later, still need to do it for 21 days.

Leo Colors

For the duration of 21 days:
Add Leo colors and flowers to your special corner or altar: yellow, orange, sunflowers and marigolds.
Meditate gazing into a fire or a lit candle.
Practice affirmations in the mirror.
Write your intentions on paper.
Meet people you life and have fun.

Ciao,
Valentina
My Books On Amazon

Copyright © 2022 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved


Valentina Cirasola is an interior-fashion consultant, author of 6 published books, a storyteller, and a blogger of many years. Her books are non-fictional practical ideas to apply in the home, fashion, cooking and travel.
Get a copy of her books here: Amazon and Barnes&Noble

Romanesque Door

Down in the boot of Italy, Romans, Greeks, Byzantines, Saracens, Normans and Swabians took turns to enjoy the fertile land, the sea overflowing with fish, the pleasant climate, the warm winds, the beautiful women and the easy proximity to the East. The old city of Bari is a mixture of ancient Roman and Byzantine buildings of the 10th century, characterized by round arches, sturdy pillars, thick walls, barrel vaults and decorative arcades. The center of the city reflects a neo-classic style architecture built in the early 19th by Joachim Murat, the “flamboyant dandy king” and Napoleon’s brother in law. The buildings downtown are all very symmetrical, the forms are defined in the simplicity of their order.

Palazzo sulla muraglia

This is the city with a view on the blue-green Adriatic Sea, this is Bari, my native city in the boot of Italy, a door opened to the Mediterranean basin through which trading with the Orient, Middle Eastern and African countries has been a way to live since the beginning of time.

This is a place where people eat bread and tomato for breakfast, and raw shellfish on the bank of the Sea at 10:00 o’clock in the morning. This is a place where mature women make handmade pasta, real masterpieces, in the streets outside their homes and wash the floor of the streets every morning as the streets are an extension of their homes.

Woman Making Orecchiette Pasta

In Bari, the balconies are full of flowers and laundry drying in four winds of the Mediterranean. In Bari people love the alleys with cobblestones where fried polenta, crispy focaccia and panzerotti (a type of closed pizza) fill the air, along with people talking out-loud thinking no one is listening and women walking graciously on stiletto shoes.
It’s the usual story of an emigrant, we leave in search of better things and always find what we were looking for in that same place we left.

Dan Antion keeps offering this Thursday Door Challenge. Please visit with us and discover many stories beyond beautiful doors in the world. Ciao,
Valentina
Amazon Author’s Page

Copyright © 2022 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Valentina Cirasola is an interior-fashion consultant, author of 6 published books, a storyteller, and a blogger of many years. Her books are non-fictional practical ideas to apply in the home, fashion, cooking and travel.
Get a copy of her books here: Amazon and Barnes&Noble

Colors and the Moon Phases

I talk a lot about colors, I wake up and see colors, I feel colors like no others, I live in colors and think in colors. I follow the moon phases and combine colors to them. We know the Moon affects everything on Earth, people, animals, cultivations, the movement of the waters, the shifting of the Earth and births.
The planets and their colors revolving around our birth moment determine our lives. Usually people don’t regards colors as something very important, not me.

This week we are under the influence of the Waning Crescent Moon. In this phase, the Moon is less than 50% illuminated. To get the light into our spirit and balance the darkness this kind of moon brings, I suggest wearing or be surrounded with something white and gold. I explain the reasons in my short video.

As I said the color white brings light and reflects light back. The color gold besides that shimmering infusion of wealth that makes us feel luxurious, is very beneficial to the solar plexus chakra (Manipura) located in the stomach area. That’s the area where all our feelings reside and where we manifest our dreams and goals. The Waning Crescent Moon will last this current week until the next phase when it will change to Waxing Crescent Moon, Aug.1.

Let’s find some inspiration for this week for white and gold. Ciao,
Valentina
Fashion Services

Copyright © 2022 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Valentina Cirasola is a trained Fashion-Interior Designer and author, born in Italy in a family of artists. Style surrounded her since the beginning of her life. Her many years of experience led her to offer consultations in both specializations and now she can remodel homes as well as personal images. She is passionate about colors and encourages her clients to express their individual styles in their homes and with the clothes they wear. Get a copy of her books here: Amazon and Barnes&Noble

Baroque Door

Europe is dotted with castles, each with its own history of families intertwined by political marriages, demagogic expansions and economic wars. Nothing different than what happens today in every country and its people.

Interior of Castello San Giusto, Trieste, Italy

In 1469, the Triestine people engaged in a war against the Venetian Republic by themselves without the support of the Habsburgs, of which Frederick III was the Emperor. Trieste was sacked, looted and people massacred. To punish the people of Trieste, the Emperor ordered the building of this fortress at their own expense.

Comune di Trieste /  Video by TCD with the contribution of Friuli Venezia Giulia

The fortress is now a very interesting museum to visit.

Dining in the castle

Dinner will be served at 8:00 pm, they are waiting for me. I will make sure I am attired with a nice evening period gown, complete with gloves, a hand fan, silk shoes and a “ridicule”, a small pouch where every woman hides the book of dance arrangements. I will also make sure to raise my right little finger when I bring the glass to my mouth, just to be coquettish.

The Thursday Door Challenge or organized by Dan Antion is growing with interesting posts, make sure you come to visit us and share the fun. Ciao.
Valentina
My Amazon Books

Copyright © 2022 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Valentina Cirasola is an interior-fashion consultant, author of 6 published books, a storyteller, and a blogger of many years. Her books are non-fictional practical ideas to apply in the home, fashion, cooking and travel.
Get a copy of her books here: Amazon and Barnes&Noble

Doors at Smiley Park

The area where Smiley Park is located today was a regular city park with islands of many perennial bushes, colorful seasonal flowers, trees and odoriferous eucalyptus. Before Smiley Park, I used to start my daily walk there enjoying the scent of eucalyptus and then went on to my walk of 4-5 miles around the rest of the park.
I was sad the day I saw the bulldozers tearing down trees and vegetation. As often happens here in California, city officials tear down things, parks, old buildings, statues and anything they deem not useful anymore to build in place new offices and parking garage buildings.

House for birds
House for chickens

Instead, I was happily surprised to learn the city was building a colorful and playful animal park for kids. It took them a few years to build it, painting all the houses and making a joyful place for kids to play with the animals. Then Covid hit and was closed for two years. It was sad to see the animals alone, only the caretakers visited them and I had no more eucalyptus to smell.

House for pigs
House for doves

This past weekend finally Smiley Park reopened. The world is alive again, the voices and laughter of the kids filled my heart. The sun was shining on the colored houses and cobblestones, the animals seemed happier, at least that was my perception.

Grain Barn

In the fantasy world of kids, what is the reason to include the reality of adults? Here the park has included punishment institutions and public restraining officials. I would have done without them.

Sheriff and jail

Then, there is Hollywood with the goats as performing actors (somehow it fits the bill) and the iconic Golden Gate. The “animals” living here need to experience crossing the bridge at least once.

Hollywood Hill
Golden Gate

In my fantasy, I was expecting to see in this gazebo a gentile type of animals, maybe some pink flamingoes….

The kids volunteering in the maintenance of Smiley Park painted these homes, cobblestones, fences and directional signs. The park looks cheerful, exactly what’s needed after two years of so-called “pandemic”.

Rabbit Fence

Thursday Door Challenge organized by Dan Antion has become a pleasant appointment. Visit the group and learn about people through their doors. Dan published the first book of his “Dreamer’s Alliance” series. Ciao.
Valentina
My Amazon Books

Copyright © 2022 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Valentina Cirasola is an interior-fashion consultant, author of 6 published books, a storyteller, and a blogger of many years. Her books are non-fictional practical ideas to apply in the home, fashion, cooking and travel.
Get a copy of her books here: Amazon and Barnes&Noble


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