Saturday, May 30, 2009

Naples to Rome: Giro d'Italia Reverse Grand Tour - All Roads Lead To Rome

The final weekend of the Giro'd Italia begins this morning with Stage 20 departing on the panoramic Bay of Naples under Mt Vesuvius in the giant and stimulating city of Naples, Italy where the cyclist will head toward Rome in the region of Lazio, as the 100th Giro d'Italia comes to a close in what might be considered a reverse grand tour from Naples to Rome.

The Giro d'Italia spent yesterday crossing the region of Campania, which is the region of Italy where many of today's Italian-American fathers, grandfathers, and great-grandfathers immigrated from in the late 1800s and early 1900s. This gorgeous region of Italy includes such famous destinations like the Amalfi Coast, Sorrento, Pompeii, the giant port city Salerno and the ancient Greek's site of Doric Temples Paestum. Many people are unfamiliar with the area of Stabiae, which is an excellent art destination in the Naples area just outside Pompeii, where well preserved homes of ancient Rome's oligarch's and emperor's were recently uncovered. The cyclist finished the day climbing Mt Vesuvius, which may have stolen the legs of many before the final two days of racing from Naples to Rome.

Food from this region includes everyone's favorite the pizza margherita, which is made with the local mozzarella di bufala which hails from the Campania region. Visitors to Campania this time of year will smell the tress flowering with lemons and oranges among other variations. Limoncello is a drink that comes from the Sorrentine peninsula and Amalfi Coast and of course the famous tomatoes from San Mazano ar grown on Mt Vesuvius.

Map fo Stage 20 Giro d'Italia Naples to Anagni:

Giro d'Italia Standings, as of Saturday May 30, 2009 - before Naples Departure:

1 MENCHOV Denis RUS RAB 81:13:55 0:00
2 DI LUCA Danilo ITA LPR 81:14:13 0:18
3 PELLIZOTTI Franco ITA LIQ 81:15:34 1:39
4 SASTRE CANDIL Carlos ESP CTT 81:16:35 2:40
5 BASSO Ivan ITA LIQ 81:17:28 3:33
6 LEIPHEIMER Levi USA AST 81:18:50 4:55
7 GARZELLI Stefano ITA ASA 81:22:43 8:48
8 ROGERS Michael AUS THR 81:23:27 9:32
9 VALJAVEC Tadej SLO ALM 81:24:37 10:42
10 BRUSEGHIN Marzio ITA LAM 81:25:27 11:32

Today's stage and tomorrow's stage in Rome provide little chance for Di Luca to catch the Russian Menchov who leads by 18 seconds that may have sown the Giro d'Italia victory for Menchov after 80 hours in the saddle.

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Friday, May 22, 2009

Florence Italy: Map to Authentic Tuscan Food in Florence

Florence Italy - Map to Where to Eat Authentic Tuscan Food in Florence, more coming all time!

Florence is bursting with fabulous Tuscan restaurants, tucked in around every corner.

In honor of the Giro d'Italia making its way to Florence, Motorino Man brings you Italy maps in Google maps to authentic Tuscan ristorante in Florence. These restaurants in Florence are Motorino Man's favorites because they are consistently excellent!

Teatro del Sale
Via Dei Macci 111R, 50122 Firenze

An Italian-style supper club, the marvel of Fabio Picchi, the founder of Cibreo Ristorante Firenze, Cibreo, Trattoria Cibreo, Cibreino , Caffe Cibreo. Spectacular.

Reservations a must. Get there for 7:30 opening, eat as you never have before. About 10, the show begins. Tell Fabio sent you and you may get a real treat!

La Hosteria da Mimmo
57/R, V. S. Gallo
50129 Firenze (FI), Italy

Beyond the Medici Chapel, is buzzing at lunchtime [1pm-3pm]. Farro soup and pork roast are fabulous. Atmosphere just makes you want to eat a terrific meal, drink, and be merry all afternoon.

I Fratellini
Via dei Cimatori, 38-red, 50122 Firenze

Literally a hole-in-the-wall,on Via Cimiterio, 2 blocks from Piazza Signoria towards Piazza della Repubblica. Wondrous panini and wine. On-site over 100 years. Look for the photo of us above Armando's head.

Oltrarno - Stroll across the Arno at the Ponte Vecchio for:

piazza santa felicita, 4/r, 50010 firenze

About 150 feet on the left from bridge, Vasari Corridor goes over it. Ask for & tell the owner Bruno that sent you before you order. Bruno may then plan your lunch/dinner as he did for us: tagliarini with shaved trufles, bistecca alla fiorentina, macedonia di fruta, wine during the meal and vin santo at the conclusion. Just thinking about it brings tears to my eyes.

Ristorante Mamma Gina
Borgo S. Jacopo, 37/R, 50125 Firenze

After crossing Ponte Vecchio, take a right on Borgo San Iacopo, about 50 feet down on your left in Mamma Gina. Prides itself on giving its clientele an authentic Tuscan experience. Their wine cellar is amazing, as well as priced so that everyone can taste fine wines, not just the well-healed wine enthusiast. They believe eating is an entire experience. Tell them www. sent you and you will be treated as family.

View Florence Walking Map-Restuarants and Trattoria in Florence in a larger map publishes a series of Italy walking maps in Google maps inlcuding maps to trattorias in Rome and a walking tour of Bernini's Baroque Rome.

Click for more of Motorino's Walking Maps to Italy, Walking Maps of Rome, and Walking Maps of Florence.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Italy Arts Guide: May-June 2009, Tuscany, Rome, Florence etc.

The following is a city-by-city guide to some of Italy's art exhibitions:

AREZZO - Museo Statale d'Arte Medievale e Moderna: 130 works by Della Robbia family and contemporaries like Donatello and Ghiberti; plus tours around Arezzo province taking in 25 towns and 168 works; until June 7.

ASCOLI - Galleria d'Arte Contemporanea: 'Sedendo e Mirando', 130 landscapes by cartoonist Tullio Pericoli; until September 13.

BARLETTA - Palazzo della Marra: 90 land and sea paintings by Fattori, De Nittis and other 19th-century southern Italian landscape masters; until August 2.

BOLZANO - Museo Archeologico dell'Alto Adige: Iceman joined by more than 60 mummies from Ancient Egypt, Asia, South America and Oceania; until October 25.

CAVA DEI TIRRENI (SALERNO) - Galleria Civica d'Arte: Los Desastres de la Guerra, 80 etchings collected by Goya in his later years on horrors of war; until September 6.

COMO - Villa Olmo: Chagall, Kandinsky, Malevich: Masters of the Russian Avant-Garde; until July 26.

FERRARA - Palazzo dei Diamanti: Giorgio Morandi; 130 etchings demonstrate Bolognese artist's lesser-known lifelong passion; until June 5.

- Bargello: Gian Lorenzo Bernini, The Living Marbles; until July 12.

- Palazzo Strozzi: Galileo show marking 400th anniversary of his first observations of the night sky; 250 exhibits including the middle finger from Galileo's right hand; until August 30.

- Palazzo Pitti: Memories of Antiquity in 20th-Century Art; 130 paintings and sculptures from Etruscan, classical and Renaissance times and 20th-century works by Dali', Picasso, Modigliani, de Chirico and others; until July 12.

- Palazzo Medici: 29 outfits from Court of Lorenzo il Magnifico recreated in paper from contemporary paintings by Belgian artist Isabelle de Borchgrave; until June 14.

FORLI' - Musei di San Domenico: Canova, The Classical Ideal, Sculpture and Painting; 200 sculptures and paintings from world's galleries; until June 21.

ILLEGGIO (near Udine) - Casa delle Esposizioni: Art inspired by Biblical Apocrypha including Caravaggio's Rest During the Flight into Egypt, loaned by Rome's Doria Pamphili Gallery, Guercino, Durer, Andrea Pozzo, Byzantine and Russian icons; over 80 works, until October 4.

MAMIANO DI TRAVERSETOLO - Fondazione Mamiani Rocca: 55 Rembrandt etchings from Petit Palais in Paris; until June 25.

- Palazzo Reale: 20 Monet water lily works from Musee' Marmottan in Paris; until September 27. - same venue: First show in Italy on the samurai; helmets, weaponry and armour for warriors and horses from the Azuchi Momoyama (1575-1603) and Edo (1603-1867) periods; 100 items gathered from Milan's Castello Sforzesco and Koelliker collections; until June 2.

- same venue: Italy's biggest show marking 100th anniversary of Futurism; 500 works including Marinetti, Boccioni, Balla, Carra', Severini, Russolo; until June 7.

NAPLES - Museo Archeologico Nazionale: 400 Pompeii frescos return after 10-year restoration.

PADUA - Civici Musei agli Eremitani: 100 Years of Portrait Painting In The Age of Galileo, 1550-1650; 70 works including Titians and Tintorettos; until July 15.

PONTASSIEVE - Sala delle Colonne: 49 paintings and sculptures by Antonio Ligabue including celebrated Self Portrait With Dog; until June 7.

- Capitoline Museums: Fra Angelico: The Dawn of the Renaissance; 49 works by the early Renaissance master and friar; until July 5.

- Colosseum: 'Divus Vespasanius', celebration of Emperor Vespasian, general who took throne from Nero in 69 AD and transformed Rome, founding Flavian dynasty which built Colosseum; until January 10.

- Vittoriano: Giotto and the Trecento; 150 works from world's museums including 20 by pre-Renaissance master himself; until June 29.

- Palazzo Venezia: The Mind of Leonardo, The Universal Genius at Work; acclaimed exhibit already seen at Uffizi and in Tokyo; until August 30.

- Museo Fondazione Roma: Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858), lyrical Japanese landscape artist who influenced Van Gogh and Monet; 200 woodblock prints on show for first time in Italy; until June 7.

ROME - Palazzo della Cancelleria: Leonardo da Vinci, Genius and Invention; interactive show featuring recreations of most famous machines; until April 30, 2010. *** Motorino Man Favorite

ROVERETO - MART Gallery: Futurism 100: Avant-Gardes Compared, Italy, Germany And Russia: marking 100th anniversary of Futurism; Marinetti, Kandinsky, Der Sturm, Chagall, Klee, August Macke, Franz Marc; until June 7.

ROVIGO - Palazzo Roverella: Art Deco in Italy 1919-1939; until June 28.

TRENTO - Palazzo delle Albere: Hayez, Prati, Bezzi, Segantini and other 19th-century Trento painters; until November 22.

URBINO - Ducal Palace: Raphael and Urbino, 20 mostly youthful works plus influence of Perugino and Signorelli; until July 12.

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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Giro d'Italia Stage 9-100th Giro Soft-Peddles Through Milan

Not without controversy the 100th anniversary Milano circuit finished today with team Columbia finishing the 10 lap, 160km circuit first while Danilo De Luca maintained the pink jersey after it was decided individual stage times would not count today due to the urban nature of the stage 9 Giro d'Italia Milan circuit.

The Giro d'Italia typically ends in Milan, but as it is the 100th anniversay of the Giro d'Italia the cyclist will finish entering The Eternal City Rome on May 31.

In the fourth lap, after 40 miles, the cyclists stopped at the finish line, stopping the race, while Danilo DeLuca explained to the audience why the riders had collectively protested the race course thus neutalizing the race and slowing the overall tempo of the race to casual.

LPR's Danilo Di Luca, flanked by seven-times Tour De France winner Lance Armstrong, tried his best to explain the decision. "We did not believe today's route was very safe for our health," said race leader and 2007 Giro d'Italia winner di Luca. "Because of this we asked and obtained an annulment of the ninth stage times from the course directors. We apologise to the public, we hope they can understand our wishes. We move forward."

So the riders took it easy in Milan peddling the paces rather than competing on a Sunday through Milan's streets, lowering the average speed to about 25 mph.

In the last lap there was an exciting sprint to the finish with Team Columbia-Highroad, just an incredible cycling team, continued its winning habit with sprint superstar Mark Cavendish finishing first taking the stage today achieveing his own personal goals, although no points were awarded.

The Giro d'Italia first happened in Milan 100 years ago, making today's Milan circuit extra special. The race today began in Piazza Duomo, where soccer club Inter celebrated last night's win and AC Milan's loss creating even more excitement in Milan's Piazza Duomo this Sunday morning. The racers then headed toward the Sforza Castle before entering the circuit for 10 laps.

For more Milan, Bergamo and Italian lakes video visit's Lombardy Channel.

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Giro d'Italia Stage 9-Milan Circuit

Following the fantastic race around Bergamo, after the picturesque Lombardy countryside the cyclist enter Milan Sunday for the Giro d'Italia Milan Circuit.

Milan is a very quiet city on Sunday, perfect for the cyclist to take over the streets. The circuit begins out near the Milan central train station on Corso Buenos Aires, a main street in Milan full of businesses, shopping, and local trattoria. One of Motorino Man's favorite Milan local trattoria off corso Buenos Aires, open for lunch on Sunday, is Ristorante and Pizzeria Tavola Calda.

The cyclist will then head of Buenos Aires after the public gardens heading toward the Sforza Castle, a Milan landmark named after the powerful Sforza family that ruled the area. The cyclist will pass the Sforza castle, go around the gardens and then head back out toward the Milan train station and Corso Buenos Aires.

Between the Sforza Castle and the Duomo is a straight shot whoch will also see action Sunday in the 100th cycling of the Giro d'Italia.

For more video and information about Milan Italy visit

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Friday, May 15, 2009

Giro d'Italia Stage 7-Three Countries in The Alps-De Luca Leads After 1st Week

The Giro d'Italia completed its first week today, after finishing Stage 7 today that included the cyclist passing through three countries from Austria, climbing 200 km into the Alps through Switzerland for another 100km to summit, then the descent into the Lombardy (Lombardia) region of Italy.

The start in Innsbruck, Austria at 600 meter elevation had the cyclist constantly climbing the Alps for the first 5 hours covering 200km, and then after reaching the 1,800 meter summit in Switzerland the Giro cyclist navigating in the rain and fog under snow-capped mountains headed down 36km passing grey lakes reflecting the grey skies on the way to the foothill town of Chiavenna in the Lombardy region of Italy. Lombardy is best known for its cosmopolitan city Milan and the beautiful lakes region like Como. Wines produced in Lombardy include DOCG sparkling white wine, which like Veneto's DOCG prosecco, is Italy's champagna.

The majestic Alps does play tricks with the weather, which today did not disappoint providing the cyclist dry conditions at the outset, with wet roads followed by rain as the cyclists climbed, before a little fog to go along with the rain at the summit, with the wet weather and terrible visibility continuing in Italy for the wild and crazy 36km descent full of hair pin turns and steep descents, which had the cyclist donning warm cloths while organizers decided to take the times for the overall standings with three kilometers to go because of the wet, slippery conditions.

With 30km the rain slowed when 38 year old and 6 time Giro d'Italia racer Alessandro Bertolini with Maglia Rosa descended hitting speeds up to 45 mph to break away from the pack by 16 seconds as the Giro returned to Italy's Lombardy region.

Lance Armstrong played it safe but did make an appearance at the front of the chase pack for a short time at the summit. At the final Armstrong dropped 18 seconds on Di Luca but remains in 25th place, 4:31 behind the leader. And it was not long after Bertolini led the pack into Italy that Brut and Hunter passed him for the final stretch of Stage 7 through the classic Lombary towns and villages at speeds up to 50 mph to Chiavenna.

5 racers sprinted to the finish, with about 43 seconds separating the leaders from the rest of the pack. As the cyclist approached the finish Bertolini jockeyed to the front a few times before the final spring with 1 km to go into town where thousands of people gathered in Chiavenna to cheer for the Giro d'Italia cyclist.

After close to six hours in the saddle it was Norwegian Edvald Boasson Hagen who powered away in the final straight to clinch the seventh stage of the 100th anniversary of the Giro d'Italia.

The Team Columbia rider Hagen, second on Thursday, came in ahead of South Africa's Robert Hunter and Russian Pavel Brutt and the two Italians Alessandro Bertolini and Davide Vigano.

The Giro d'Italia overall standings have LPR's Danilo Di Luca, the 2007 champion, keeping the leader's pink jersey at the end of the 244-km stage from Innsbruck in Austria to the Italian town of Chiavenna. Italian Di Luca was part of a large cluster of riders who were 40 seconds behind the leaders at this point. He remains five seconds ahead of Swede Thomas Lovkvist in the overall standings.

Saturday's eighth Giro d'Italia stage route is another long one of 209 km from Morbegno to Bergamo. Bergamo's people are cycling-crazy promising not only great cycling action tomorrow but also fantastic fan participation for Giro d'Italia Stage 8. See stage 8 route map below:

The Giro d'Italia 100th anniversary edition of the race finishes in Rome on May 31.

Follow the Motorino Man travels in Italy on Twitter @ItalyTravel. For Italy video of the regions and to learn more about the nuances and intricacies on each region in Italy that makes up the culture that is Italy visit

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Monday, May 11, 2009

Giro d' Italia Stage 3 Standings-Petacchi Takes Grado to Valdobbiadene-Prosecco for Pink Jersey

The Giro d'Italia cyclist raced stage 3 today, after starting Saturday with the time trials on Venice's Lido.

Day 3 was another beautiful day in Italy's Veneto region. Today's Giro stage at 200 km had the cyclist traveling from the picturesque adriatic town Grado to Valdobbiadene, the home of sparkling white wine known as Prosecco, named after the prosecco grape from this region at the foothills of Italy's Alps. Although the cyclists make their way up some hills today's giro stage was mostly flat.

The green fields and hills that lined today's Giro d'Italia at the foot of the Alps are lush with vineyards where the famous sparkling wine grapes are grown from steep-hilled villages surrounding Conegliano and Valdobbiadene in Italy’s Veneto region. Today, about 60 percent of all prosecco — some eight million cases — comes from producers outside the traditional prosecco-growing region of Conegliano-Valdobbiadene, a cluster of villages about a half-hour’s drive north of Venice. The newcomers are not held to the same strict production standards as the traditional producers, which are tightly governed under Italian wine laws. The towns were full of people and the race route lined with people who love the action. And with 35km left, action is exactly what today's Giro d'Italia Stage 3 offered.

The last 3 km to go was a race of races with Bruseghin going for it and the pack following. Bruseghin went to early - Visconti charged, building himself a 100m lead with 1km left. But his legs gave up with less than .2 km left to go when Petacchi came through with a time of 4:45:27.

Once again, stage 3 of the Giro d'Italia did not disappoint setting up a great race circuit. After the jump Giro d'Italia Stage 3 video >

The 162 km Stage 4 Giro d'Italia tomorrow, May 12, has the cyclist beginning from the beautiful canal-town of Padua (Padova) to San Martino di Castrozza in the mountains. We'll be watching the climbers to see who is saving their legs and to see who is peaking too early as the Giro d'Italia stage 4 heads toward the Italian Alps.

For a little taste of Verona in the Veneto region click below:

For more Italy video of the region where the Giro d'Italia stage 1, stage 2, stage 3, and tomorrow's stage 4 click - Italy video of the Veneto region of Italy including Padua, Venice, Verona, and Vicenza.

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Friday, May 1, 2009

May Day in Italy: Spring in Italy Festivals

May in Italy equals spring food and wine festivals, medieval festivals, and flower festivals - Infiorata - celebrating Spring in Italy. Spring in Italy festival highlights:

May Day: May 1 in Italy is a public holiday all over Italy, as in most European countries, as the day of the worker. Interesting parades and festivals celebrate the day.

Abruzzo, Bucchianico: The Flower Festival includes a re-enactment of a 13th-century military stratagem with a parade, the third Sunday in May.

Abruzzo, Rocca di Mezzo: The Daffodil Festival celebrates spring with folk dancing and a parade the last Sunday in May.

Emilia Romagna, Grazzano: Medieval Parade and Jousting Tournament in the Visconti is the last Sunday in May.

Lazio, Lake Bolsena, Marta: La Barabbata is celebrated May 14. In this procession, men wear costumes representing the old trades and carry their tools while white buffalo pull floats carrying the fruits of the trades.

Lazio, Vetralla: The Wedding of the Trees, Sposalizio dell’Albero, takes place May 8 in the northern Lazio town of Vetralla. Oak trees are decorated with garlands, horsemen offer bouquets of the first spring flowers and new trees are planted while everyone enjoys a picnic lunch. The ceremony revives Vetralla's sovereignty over the forests and continues the right of each citizen to a cubic meter of firewood annually.

Liguria, Camogli: The Fish festival of Saint Fortunato, patron saint of fishermen, is celebrated in the beautiful fishing village of Camogli, south of Genoa, the second Sunday in May. Saturday night there is a huge fireworks display and bonfire competition followed by free fried fish on Sunday.

Piedmont, Avigliana: Polenta Festival, also the second Sunday in May, is celebrated in the main square of the .

Piedmont, Sessame: Risotto Festival Sunday May 3, a feast of typical risotto dating back to the 13th century.

Piedmont, Alesandria: Roman Fest is a 3-day re-enactment of a typical ancient Roman festival in the , the last weekend of May. The festival includes parades, feasts, staged gladiator combat and chariot races

Sardegna: The Sagra di Sant Efisio festival May 1 is a colorful 4-day procession from Cagliari (see Sardinia map) to the Romanesque church of Saint Efisio on the beach at Nora. Decorated oxcarts and horsemen accompany the saint's statue in a parade followed by food and dancing.

Sicily, Umbria, Infiorata di Noto, a huge festival with flower petal art displays and a parade, takes place in Noto, Sicily, the third weekend of May.

, Montespertoli: Chianti Wine Festival, last Sunday in May and first Sunday in June, takes place in the Chianti wine region of Tuscany.

Umbria, Assisi: Calendimaggio is celebrated in early May in Assisi, Umbria. The two ancient medieval wards, the "Parte di Sopra" and the "Parte di Sotto", engage in a challenge that takes the form of theater shows, concerts, songs and choruses, dances, processions, archery, crossbow and flag-waving displays. The districts compete in a singing contest among the spectacular floral decorations, flags, torches and candles.

Umbria, Gualdo Tadino, San Pelligrino: April 30th, a 1,000-year old tradition, "The Planting of the Poplar" Il Maggio.

Umbria, Gubbio: The Festa dei Ceri video, a candle race and costumed parade, takes place May 15 and is followed by a Historical Cross-Bow Exhibition on the last Sunday of May.

Umbria, Narni: Ring Race and Procession re-enactments of 14th century contests and parades, Narni in the Umbria region.

Umbria, Orvetto: La Palombella is a festival representing the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles. The festival is held in the piazza in front of the duomo and ends with a fireworks display.

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