Unusual Easter..

Happy Easter everyone!

I hope you all had a great time yesterday. My Easter was once again away from my family and all the traditional greek festivities, but I had a great time staying in Florence and since in three months i’m leaving I want to enjoy every corner of this wonderful city..

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Unfortunately this year I missed the  Scoppio del Carro, remember this  folk tradition of the city? So me and Nadia went for lunch at 4 Leoni, one of my favorite restaurants where I alaways eat Fiocchetti di pere in salsa di taleggio e asparagi (pasta filled with pear in taleggio cheese and asparagus sauce ) the best dish ever!

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Then we went for a coffee at Piazza Santo Spirito and then for a gelato at Gelateria La Carraia, one of my favorite places for ice-cream! Soon i’ll share with you all of my favorite gelato places in Florence!

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Aperitivo time! The weather was great and we were close to Ponte Vecchio, so the only place where you can sit outside without all the tourists passing by is Amblé, situated only a few steps away from the famous ladmark, in a well hidden square away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Number 1 on the unusualflorence map! A space designed as a living room where you can eat and shop at the same time, so first you can have a sandwich and if you like the chair or sofa you are sitting on, or the cup of tea you’re drinking you can actually buy them! 

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I had a Spritz “Bunny” and then a delicious tramezzino. 

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At first we were only me Nadia and Elisabetta, but slowly the company grew and Matteo Q., Irene, Matteo B., Michele, Francesca and Elisa were added to our lovely company. I had a great time this very “Unusual Easter” thank you guys!

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photos © chrysoula papagianni

Tuscany part 4 : Pienza..

Last week I visited one of my favorite places in Tuscany, Pienza!

The town of Pienza is situated in the province of Siena, and more specifically in the Val d’Orcia (val = valley). In 1996, UNESCO declared the town a World Heritage Site, and in 2004 the entire valley, the Val d’Orcia, was included on the list of UNESCO‘s World Cultural Landscapes. Val d’Orcia is definitely my favorite part of Tuscany and I intend to visit (or walk if I can) the most of it!

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Pienza was rebuilt from a village called Corsignano, which was the birthplace (1405) of Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini (Italian: Enea Silvio Piccolomini), aRenaissance humanist born into an exiled Sienese family, who later became Pope Pius II. Once he became Pope, Piccolomini had the entire village rebuilt as an ideal Renaissance town. Intended as a retreat from Rome, it represents the first application of humanist urban planning concepts, creating an impetus for planning that was adopted in other Italian towns and cities and eventually spread to other European centers.

The rebuilding was done by Florentine architect Bernardo Gambarelli (known as Bernardo Rossellino) who may have worked with the humanist and architectLeon Battista Alberti, though there are no documents to prove it for sure. Alberti was in the employ of the Papal Curia at the time and served as an advisor to Pius. Construction started about 1459. Pope Pius II consecrated the Duomo on August 29, 1462, during his long summer visit. He included a detailed description of the structures in his Commentaries, written during the last two years of his life. (source)

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This is the route me, Enrico, Lorenzo, Nikos and Robert followed from Pienza into the “wild” countryside by foot!

route

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I think these walks in Tuscany are what i’ll miss  the most when i’m back to Greece.. (Thanks to Nikos for the photo of me below!)

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photos © chrysoula papagianni

River of clouds..

Hi everyone! This is my “nofilter” view while exiting the university for a quick break for coffee.. Love these clouds!
Have a nice day!

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Irish coffee..

Back between 1939 and 1945 many Americans flew to Ireland in a flying boat. The plane landed at Foynes, Co. Limerick after an 18 hour flight. The passengers were than shuttled by boat to the terminal. On cold damp days the passengers were somewhat chilled after the ride especially in the winter months. They really appreciated a cup of hot coffee or tea upon arrival to the terminal.

The Irish have long taken a little whiskey in their tea. This gave the new chef at the restaurant Joseph Sheridan an idea. He thought he would treat the newly arrived damp miserable Americans to a little Irish hospitality with an American twist. He knew of their taste for coffee, so he added the whiskey to their coffee instead of the Irish way of adding it to tea. One of the pleasantly surprised passengers asked “Is this Brazilian coffee?”, “No”was Joe’s reply “That’s Irish coffee.” So in 1942 the Irish coffee recipe was born. It is now enjoyed all over the world. (source)

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In Florence there are several Irish pubs but not all of them are as original and Irish as Finnegan‘s Irish pub. Below the Irish coffee prepared by the Irish  Brendan!

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Pre-heat a clear stemmed glass with very hot water.  

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Empty the water, and add a generous measure of Irish Whiskey.

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Now add some freshly brewed rich coffee, then sugar and stir.

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Gently pour in some whipped cream and you’re ready!

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photos © chrysoula papagianni

Aires Mateus..

On Monday I attended a lecture by Manuel Aires Mateus which was held at Kent State University at the beautiful Palazzo Dei Cerchi. Manuel Aires Mateus and his brother Francisco have an architectural studio in Portugal since 1988. They are both teaching in Lisbon and they are often invited for conferences and seminars all around the world.

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At the lecture he presented Casa na AreiaCabanas no Rio, House in Fontinha, House in Alcobaça, School at Vila Nova da Barquinha and finally an office building at Lisbon which is under consruction. 

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We build the limits but what is crucial is the void.

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Architecture has to provide the layer, then life has to fullfil the other layers. 

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 Architecture is about the perfect control of a situation.

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Thanks to Enrico for the photo of me and Elisabetta with Manuel Aires Mateus.

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photos © chrysoula papagianni

 

 

 

 

 

“Unusual” fool’s day..

Wishes for a good month.. Instead of an April fool’s joke I got flowers today from Nadia! Then we had a beautiful stroll around the city..

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On our way we met Matteo and we went together at I Visionari, surely the most unusual sunglasses shop in Florence, number 13 on the map! We tried lots of different styles of their new collections and I loved everything! I really enjoyed the atmosphere of this store, I’m surely coming back soon to do some shopping!

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Then a lunch break at Mama’s Bakery, one of my favorite places for bagels, sandwiches and cupcakes of course!IMG_8463_Snapseed

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A quick stop at Boutique Nadine, Lungarno Acciaiuoli 22r to say hi to Irene, Ilaria and Airi!

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A stop for gelato at Gelateria de’ Neri!

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And last but not least, Leone the mascot of Boutique Nadine at Via de’ Benci 32r.

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photos © chrysoula papagianni

Salmon with sesame – lime crust..

 

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Have a nice week everyone! What are you having for lunch this beautiful sunny Monday..?

Nikos prepared a delicious dish today, salmon with soy sause and sesame – lime crust, accompanied by a simple but tasty salad with toasted sesame seeds. Buon appetito!

Ingredients

 

  • salmon steaks
  • Juice and zest from 2 limes
  • 5-6 tbsp soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp sesame
  •  white wine
  • 1 bag of seasonal green leaves
  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
  • olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

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photos © chrysoula papagianni

Gelato break..

In search of the best gelato in Florence..

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Back to the future..

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Hi everyone!

Usually this time of year I get a nostalgic feeling, a desire to walk by the sea. I’ve already posted here some photos from my favorite walk in my hometown!

Before leaving Athens back in January, I visited the construction site of the new Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center designed by Renzo Piano! The project site is located 4.5 km south of the center of Athens, on the edge of Faliro Bay, and the SNFCC is designed as a multifunctional arts, education and entertainment complex which will house the National Library of Greece and the Greek National Opera. It’s been less than a year that the construction began and scheduled to be completed in 2015.

I really look forward to the realization of this project, when it will become the  finale for my favorite walk!

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View from Visitors Center, designed by Greek architecture students, Spyros Giotakis and Ayis-Panayiotis Mourelatos.

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Thanks to Nikos for the photo above!

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Georgios Averof armored cruiser.

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photos © chrysoula papagianni

Grandma’s pickled eggplants..

_Pickling

the process of preserving food by anaerobic fermentation in brine or vinegar. The resulting food is called a pickle. This procedure gives the food a salty or sour taste.

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Every summer my grandma is preparing the best pickled eggplants (from our garden of course!). In Greece, pickles, called τουρσί(α), are made out of carrots, celery, eggplants stuffed with diced carrots, garlic and peppers. The last 2 years i’m helping her and in exchange I take 1-2 jars with me in Florence! The perfect appetizer when your fridge is empty or when you’re just bored to cook. Bon appétit!

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photos © chrysoula papagianni

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