Friday, August 31, 2012

I just thought I'd share this...

Look at this and try not to drool. Impossible huh?

It's a perfect example of a typical Italian breakfast. Most definitely not healthy (and it's a secret how the very same Italians often keep a Dolce & Gabbana runway silhouette) but so delicious!

Now imagine a foamy/creamy cappuccino with it and there you go with

 la dolce vita.
chocolate croissant

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

"You talkin' to me?!"

...sounds familiar? 
Spill the beans you movie lovers, whose famous words are these?

Well folks, there are some people in this world who just don't seem to believe in the most basic rules of courtesy. I could list at least 5 names right now. Looking at these people, I'm sure, the reason for this lack of manners is not always a foul character, but sometimes insecurity, arrogance, stress, no education...
...frankly, I don't care.

In my opinion, it should be known to and possible for everyone to greet, say "thank you" and "please" and it surely doesn't matter in which language. Just saying it, will be understood and positively noted. Internationally, overcoming all language barriers, cultural differences and diverse customs.That easy.

Do you agree?


  1. please; if you please
  2. you're welcome
  3. excuse me
  4. here you are (when offering something) 


wie bitte?

per favore / per piacere / prego / per cortesia / per gentilezza

grazie / grazie mille


please/ you're welcome

thank you


Politeness is to human nature what warmth is to wax.
{Arthur Schopenhauer}

If a man be gracious and courteous to strangers, it shows he is a citizen of the world.
{Francis Bacon}

The small courtesies sweeten life; the greater ennoble it.
{Christian Nevell Bovee}
courtesy pays off
...also here.
easy enough, right?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Pasta al pomodoro: sky's the limit.

There are only a few dishes in the world, which I could eat every single day for lunch and dinner - maybe not for breakfast though. On top of that list stands the incomparable and inevitable pasta al pomodoro! This week we are going to provide you with the easiest pasta recipe ever. So stay tuned!


Saturday, August 25, 2012

Rewrite the story!

Have fun with this amazing little game! And have a nice weekend, everyone!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Bartlmäh: the heyday of traditional celebrations on Ritten

After the 15th of August, the Kirchtag in Oberbozen, the 24th is another red marked day in the traditional party season here. I'd even say marked in all rainbow colors, blinking and with glitter as "Bartlmäh" is the biggest and most popular outdoor Dirndl or Lederhosen event in the area.

Historical background

The day, the animals were brought down from the alpine pastures where they spent the hot summer time, has always been a big celebration day. Not only had the lonely life of the herdmen, far away from family and friends on the mountain pastures an end, but of course all the peasants came to check on their animals and bring them home.

Shocking but true, this reunion of the sheperds, encounter of all farmers around and symbol for the nearing end of the summer turned into a cheerful celebration. Cattle, horses and other farm animals were traded, merchants offered their goods, everbody enjoyed food and drinks and the corner stone for marriages or the one or other scandal was laid.

On Ritten this "Almabtrieb", the day the livestock is chased down from the alpine pastures, falls on the 24th of August, the day of Saint Bartholomäus. And there we find the reason for the strange name, in the German dialect spoken around here, the holy man's name sounds like "Bartlma" or Bartlmäh".

And today?

Nowadays people in the area still pilgrimage up the alpine grassland. Not because many of them are interested in checking on their cows' health condition. Or because many would even touch a cow willingly. But because it's a big party with lots of good food and even more good beer. Cattle and Haflinger horses are still chased down into another and lower pasture, traditional music bands play and Alphorns' tooting is heard in the summerwind, accompanied by the rhythmical snapping of the whips.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

15 impressions from the Kirchtag in Oberbozen

One of the music groups taking part in the procession came from Bavaria, Germany.
That's how they were dressed:

Bavarian Dirndl

Bavarian musicians
Some important town personalities take part in the procession with that beauty of a historical carriage:

...pulled by Haflinger horses, a breed originating from South Tyrol.
Haflinger horses

you have to put up with less traditional peace signs in the pics if you know the "stars" :)

The blue apron is typical for Tyrolean peasants.
In the time, when they weren't allowed to wear their traditional costumes (due to the planned "Italianization" of the region by the government), the blue aprons were regarded as a secret backup costume.

traditional costume

A short Dirndl, maybe a little less traditional, but who cares when the legs are this mind-boggling :)

traditional costume Ritten area

traditional costume Ritten area women

Rocking the town: "Kirchtag" in Oberbozen

Every year, on the 15th of August, the whole town of Oberbozen is going wild. Thousands of tourists and visitors are invading our little town to celebrate the "Oberbozner Kirchtag", the Assumption Day.
Pretty much every town in the southern German-speaking area has their own patron saint, and on this saint's day the so-called "Kirchtig" is held. In Oberbozen that day is the 15th of August, the Assumption Day of Holy Mary and it starts with the celebration of a Mass and a procession. But right after complying all those formalities, the fun begins: Traditional celebrations, folksy music, lots and lots of traditional costumes and Dirndl dresses.
South-Tyroleans, Germans and Italians come together for a huge party, eating traditional foods and drinking considerable amounts of beer and wine.
Even though Italians have their own holiday to celebrate on the 15th of August: the "Ferragosto", which is the "turning point of the summer", and supposedly the hottest day of the year. Around Ferragosto, life in Italy shuts down for a little while, everybody goes on vacation (mostly by the sea or in the mountains) and celebrates this holiday first introduced by the Roman emperor Augustus and therefore is the oldest holiday in the history of mankind.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

5 things from Canada

last week I got 5 "things" from Canada which I love:

50 % of The mashup mission

...have been in Canada and the USA for the last 2 weeks. Stay tuned for her stories

the man

...FINALLY came after a long time of training in his home country.

maple syrup

...of course! But not just any maple syrup, it's a special kind made on a Mennonite farm in Elmira, Ontario. Organic, amber and delicious!

Crabtree & Evelyn cosmetics

For the skin care products the firm with its holding company in Kuala Lumpur and day-to-day-operations based in the US and UK uses, according to the information on the website, more than 160 "natural botanical ingredients". I don't know if that is true, but I love the smell of the products and how soft they make my skin.


It doesn't matter if you go for the traditional Peanut Butter Cups, the Reese's Pieces, which were even mentioned in the movie E.T. or the smaller Reese minis, they all are a dream of peanut butter and chocolate.

Saturday, August 18, 2012


Free Pussy Riot!

Our thoughts are with Maria Alekhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Ekaterina Samucevich. A failure of the international community at saving these exceptional political activists from going to jail would be unacceptable.

Friday, August 17, 2012


"What is the robbing of a bank compared to the founding of a bank?"

Bert Brecht, 1901 - 1956

Odd world

I just got home from a two week vacation in Canada and New York. It was a lot of fun and I will report more on it soon. I just wanted to tell you about a strange and highly contradictory event first:
I felt pretty safe on that whole trip, even though I was aware of staying in big cities with a certain crime rate. And coming back home to our little mountain town, we felt very relaxed and happy to be home again. It is this crazily safe world, kids playing all over the town every day, people rarely locking their you might be able to share our shock, when yesterday our little town's bank was robbed! At lunchtime, right before the employees of the bank left, a guy entered the bank with a gun, shot at a wall to prove that the gun was real and then escaped with about 50.000 €! What an odd world we live in...a bank robbery in a 1.400-people-town!
Anyways, they didn't catch the bank robber yet, even though he escaped on a bicycle, no kidding.


Monday, August 13, 2012

The Olympics 2012

...are over. Did you watch?

here the official medal count:


Italy: 28 medals (8 gold, 9 silver, 11 bronze)
Germany: 44 medals (11, 19, 14)
Canada: 18 medals (1, 5, 12)

but what about some stars and stories?


  • After the German Betty Heidler threw her hammer 72,39 meters were shown but not put into the computer. While her competitors were running the lap of honor, Betty discussed openly with the judges. Finally the width of her hammer-throw was measured by hand: 77,13 meters and bronze!
  • Germany's men won Olympic-hockey-gold! The 4th time already! Try and work on the ice-hockey qualitites gentlemen, it's time to challenge Canada.
  • Germany's men won gold in the beach volleyball discipline as the first European team ever. Against Brazil the superheroes of beach volleyball.
  • The North Italian walker and Olympic gold winner in Bejing Alex Schwazer was banned from the Olympic games in London for being suspected of Epo-Doping. He was tested in June during training camp and admitted to the news that he made a mistake and wanted to be stronger this time (after he won gold at the last games) and that it was wrong. He also said, he got the doping in Turkey. And unfortunatelly in Italy you are prosecuted by the government authorities for doping. Not good.
  • Tiffany Foster and her mount Victor were disqualified from competing because the horse had a little cut on the front leg and was sensitive to touch. FEI hypersensitivity protocol states that in that case, regardless of the cause, the horse has to be disqualified. Even if Victor was most probably fit and ready to go, the rule serves to protect horses in general from tormenting procedures used to make horses perform better. Good rule and bad luck for Victor and Tiffany Foster I would say.
  • Canadian women are 2012 soccer bronze medallists! Italy? Germany? Soccer nations where are you? Oh ya right, Germany was busy with the men's hockey medal. Hello weird world!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Denmark: last year this time...

beautiful day at the beach in Skagen, Nordjylland, Denmark

... I started to get ready to follow my man to Denmark for the season. All the way up in the north of that already very much northern country. And that me, the sun lover, southern lifestyle fan and coffee culture craver! I found out, that in these lines of latitude I would get my fair share of the famous short, dark days in wintertime and beautiful, lucent long days in the summer. How convenient that I would be there between September and something around March!!
I was lucky enough though, to have the time and to find a cheap flight right around this time in August to visit for some days the town I would later live in (and of course him).

So here are just some things I figured out during my first hours in Danish-landia:

Denmark is flat. Flatter than flat when you're used to live in between mountains.
This insight led to a funny moment right at the end of my stay in Denmark. My friend drove me to the airport and said on the highway, that she gets a weird feeling every time she drives over that hill. Probably the height change... I didn't know what the heck she was talking about, we didnt drive over any hill. Oh yeah, she meant that 5 meter difference over a stretch of a kilometer! Ha, I can't wait for her to visit me here, where you drive 500 meters up and down all the time...
Northern Italian and Northern Danish temperatures in August are NOT the same. It's still bright but don't let the picture betray you, it's windy and not really warm. Yay me, I brought a jacket.

The beaches in Nordjylland (that's Northern Denmark) are white, sandy and beautiful. They even plant some palm trees on one!
...which I wanted to show my friend when she came to visit from Italy and looked like an idiot when there were none. They had to bring them somewhere inside for the winter, of course...

Despite all the info, not to expect too much of a warm welcome from Scandinavians, that they're a closed up folk and need some time to open up, I felt right away heartly welcomed. Responsibles from my man's team did their best to help me settle in  and organize everything, people in the town were friendly and helpful.
Where else would they tell you to just go buy whatever is missing in the fully equipped appartment. Should I tell them before and ask? Nope just bring the bill and we'll reimburse you.
I was shocked to be in a country where I didnt understand a thing. Well ya, big surprise if you don't speak Danish, stupid! But I take pride in speaking or at least understanding 4 languages and I hadn't been in a country where I wouldn't understand for some time.
Wasn't a big problem though, Danish people speak all very good English and some even German.

(I should have learnt more Danish. I didn't and I didn't try hard. I picked up the words I needed to get by and go grocery shopping. Then I started working in a Danish company which kept me pretty busy and occupied. I learnt some more and had to use all my other languages at work, plus not my first language at home, obviously. But still, now I think I should have invested more time.)

Denmark is windy, especially in the North and close to the beach. Getting out of the mini plane which took me the last 40 minutes from Copenhagen I almost got blown away. Literally.

The huge tankers and ships are cool. I spent at least an hour on my first day there just standing at the window and staring. I've never lived at a harbour and there was one right in front of our doorstep.


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

the health benefits of pasta

Of course there will be a post about pasta. Come on, we're living in Italy and everybody knows about the nutritional benefits of this typical Italian dish.

Many diets discourage you from eating too much of it. But don't forget:

Pasta is rich in carbohydrates, gives the body energy and is therefore the perfect fuel for your workouts.

Pasta is a great source of Vitamin A, which is important for your vision, immune function, skin and cellular health and bone metabolism.

Table taken from here

100g of food - Vitamin A in pasta


Pasta, fresh-refrigerated, spinach, as purchased - Vitamin A25 mcg
Pasta, homemade, made with egg, cooked - Vitamin A17 mcg
Pasta, fresh-refrigerated, plain, as purchased - Vitamin A14 mcg
Pasta with meatballs in tomato sauce, canned entree - Vitamin A14 mcg
Pasta with Sliced Franks in Tomato Sauce, canned entree - Vitamin A10 mcg
Pasta, fresh-refrigerated, spinach, cooked - Vitamin A10 mcg
Pasta, corn, dry - Vitamin A9 mcg
Pasta, fresh-refrigerated, plain, cooked - Vitamin A6 mcg
Pasta, corn, cooked - Vitamin A3 mcg
Pasta, homemade, made without egg, cooked - Vitamin A0 mcg

Pasta provides you with folic acid, commonly known as Vitamin B9. Your body needs it for healthy red blood cells which circulate the oxygen in your body. Not too insignificant, right? Especially during pregnancy folic acid is essential for the fast and healthy growth of your baby as it's a crucial cell division factor. Wikipedia states that:

"Folic acid may also
reduce chromosomal defects in sperm."

So if you're in the "planning phase" of a little one go ahead and serve the father-to-be a delicious pasta-meal. He's going to love it, love you and make love with healthy sperm...

Pasta is a great potassium supplier. Your cardiovascular system and muscles will thank you for it.

Last but not least, pasta is low in fat. Of course it still has its fair amount of calories but if you're mainly watching your fat-intake, pasta is the way to go.

For more "Evidence of Pasta's Health Benefits" you might enjoy reading this, it's a report about how scientists connect pasta with the reduction of the glycemic indes of your meal, how it can be beneficial if you have diabetes and that it might reduce your risk of getting Alzheimer's disease.



Michael Phelps on dreaming big.
Pure motivation, isn't it?

Monday, August 6, 2012

summer in Northern Italy

... is fresh fruit and vegetables. Tomatoes in all shapes and shades of red, herbs, juicy peaches, sweet and dark cherries - the assortment is vast and everything tastes like sunshine and summer rain
market in Bozen

... is taking it easy around lunchtime, it's simply too hot to move much!! enjoying long summer nights outside, sitting on the piazze with some vino

...the smell of drying hay in the sunshine and the sound of ringing bells around the cows' necks on the mountain pastures

...long dinners with family and friends outside

... gelato

...empty, idyllic paradise beaches as much as party beach spots with malls and bars
Sardegna beaches

...summer festivals, outdoor concerts, mountain parties and traditional festivities

...sticky and sweltering heat in the cities during daytime, leading to sticky and sweating people

...Italian summer fashion

...Italian eyewear