May 9, 2011

Red Sports Car at Ferrari Maranello Italy

Red Sports Car at Ferrari Maranello Italy

There are several brands that epitomize Italian style, one that is known worldwide is Ferrari. Boys of all ages, have visions of racing in the streets of Monaco in a red sports car. Bright red is truly one of the distinctive traits of the Ferrari automobiles, a patented colour, “Rosso Corsa,” or Italian racing red. In fact, red is the international color for all Italian race cars, while the French use blue, and the English defaulted to British racing car green. On a recent visit to Bologna, Ginger and Nutmeg made a small side-trip to Galleri Ferrari, the official Ferrari museum located in Maranello, to experience these magnificent machines up close. Aside from distinctive color the Ferrari coat of arms, a bright black stallion prancing on a yellow embossed background, is iconic. History surrounds the emblem: the black stallion symbolizing the Piedmonte Reale Cavalleria which World War One, Italian flying ace Francesco Baracca had painted on his fighter plane. Ferrari originally received approval to use the prancing stallion on its cars from Countess Baracca who suggested it would bring luck in car races. Yellow is the official color of Modena, an Italian province in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. Modena has been deemed the “Supercar Capital” as it has been home to carmakers Ferrari, Maserati, Lamborgini, and Bugatti. Two scripted letters “S” and “F” are also included on the logo and are important as they signify Scuderia Ferrari, or the “Ferrari Stable.” The stable got its roots in 1928 as a collective of amateur race car drivers led by Enzo Ferrari. The crest is an appropriate coat of arms for such a legacy of great automobiles, which have been built with ever increasing horsepower. (more…)

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May 2, 2011

Carnevale di Venezia the Stunning Venice Carnival

Carnevale di Venezia the Stunning Venice Carnival

Many years ago Nutmeg saw a fabulous photo of Venice during Carnevale.  Attending this annual event has been on her “Top 10” list ever since. What is not to like about this event?: The beautiful city of Venice A really big 10 day party through the streets Fantastic costumes Italian food Ginger and Nutmeg checked Jade into the doggie spa close to Aix, and told her to be a good girl, as this was not to be an event for black dogs. Off they headed to Italy with a hotel room booked, masks in hand, rental costumes organized and tickets to the more affordable Ball of the Grand Duke – Palazzo Pesaro Papafava – The fancier ball was thankfully “sold-out”, as the per person cost was well over 450 Euros. (more…)

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April 25, 2011

The Stunning Italian Dolomites

The Stunning Italian Dolomites

Ginger and Nutmeg chose the Italian Dolimites for some skiing in early March. They were able to schedule their trip just after the winter school break so the crowds were light.  The problem was the snow was ‘light’ as well.  So there was nothing but groomed trails, which suited Nutmeg just fine. They chose the resorts of Cortina and Corvara/Alta-Badia, as Ginger wanted to ski a couple of the classic Olympic and World-Cup pitches. The Dolomites landscape is incredibly spectacular.  One is struck immediately by the range of colours from pine forests and meadows to rocky spires and limestone walls (some of the highest in the world).  In 2009, the Dolimites were declared a UNESCO Natural Heritage site and it is easy to see why as every viewpoint is more spectacular, than the last. This area is an outdoor playground all year round, attracting skiers, ski-touring, climbers, hikers, bikers and para-gliders, among others. There has been recorded climbing in the region since 1887. (more…)

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February 21, 2011

European Ski Tour Exposed

European Ski Tour Exposed

Thus far, the 2011 ski-season has not been stellar in most of Europe.  The majority of resort areas are suffering from lack of new snowfall and warm temperatures (“une tempête de soleil“).  The net result, is crowded slopes and neige-dure (a nice way of saying hard-packed, icy conditions).  Ginger and Nutmeg have been doing some skiing in the past few weeks, and they thought you would want their feedback on the resorts. Here are a few highlights and overviews from the European ski tour: Ischgl, Austria: The tiny village of Yscla, was once a remote farming village, it has been converted into a mega-resort with; 238 km of ski trails, 41 cable cars and other lifts and 32 grooming machines. The owners have spent 200 million Euros upgrading the facilities on the hill in the last 10 years, and it shows. The lifts are new, the lodges are well appointed, and in some cases very modern in design. The combined resort of Ischgl-Samnaun (Swiss side) is one of the largest in Europe, if you believe their web site.  Ischgl has clearly been developed to meet a tourist need, with lots of variety in accommodation. There is a permanent population of about 1500, although it is hard to envision where they actually live, in the sea of hotels.  This resort has a reputation as a party spot and according to Ginger it does live up to that grade.  Here a a couple photos of Ischgl by day and night… (more…)

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