The winners of the twelfth edition of “The Most Beautiful Park in Italy“ are in Naples area…



The Villa San Michele in Capri (in the category of private parks) and Real Bosco di Capodimonte in Naples (in the category Public Parks) are the winners of the twelfth edition of “The Most Beautiful Park in Italy“. For over 10 years the competition has promoted a green tourism to the discovery of the jewels of the landscape and botanical. There are more than 1,000 each year the contest participants, enrolled in the network of the most beautiful parks in Italy and reviewed in the guide The two parks are only forty kilometers from each other and enrich the city of Naples by the two opposite poles, in a green embrace of enviable beauty: Villa San Michele, a small jewel botanical, architectural and artistic, eclectic and lush views over the Gulf and administered Foundation Axel Munthe Villa San Michele, and the Real Bosco di Capodimonte, situated on a hill at the edge of the city, a historical park and botanical great interest managed by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities.

Trivago Online Reputation Award 2014: Sorrento was nominated the best destination for Italy and Worldwide!

On the occasion of the forthcoming Borsa Internazionale del Turismo, scheduled to be held in Milan next week (from 14 to 17 February), Trivago, the hotel search engine that allows users to compare prices from more than 150 booking sites for over 60,000 hotels throughout the world, has drawn up a ranking of the best cities in terms of online reputation

Sorrento, Italy is the city with the best hotels in the world, according to 82 million traveler reviews, presents in its 2014 ranking of the top destinations whose hotels are loved by the masses, Travel Daily News site web report.

Dresden, Germany follows next on the list, dropping from the top spot it held last year. Chicago, IL took 8th place on the ranking. The hotel industry in up-and-coming Poland should be proud, as it racks up 3 destinations in the top 10 this year, while Croatia takes 2. Siem Reap (home to Angkor Wat of Cambodia) is quite popular for hotels among travelers worldwide, taking the #5 spot.

Brazilian destination Rio de Janeiro might be wise to clean up its hotels before the masses storm in for the World Cup this summer, as the capital city is the 10th least favored destination for hotels in the world. London ranks in the bottom five again this year (a slight improvement from the last place spot it took last year).

France’s Paris and Nice, although forever popular among tourists, don’t have the highest rated hotels on the map, taking the 9th and 8th lowest positions on the ranking, respectively.

Southeast Asian destinations took the remaining 6 places in the bottom 10, with Manila in the last position this year.



The Cornicello and the Evil Eye (Malocchio)

If you walking along the narrow street of the Naples’ historical center, you found many shops that sell this little amulets.. .discover where they came from!

I’m talking about southern Italy’s not-so-well-kept-secret, malocchio, derived from the Italian words for bad (male) and eye (occhio), known colloquially as “The Evil Eye.” Anyone who is of Italian heritage, or who has ever known someone who is, probably knows about it, although the general beliefs behind this tradition run through various cultures and religions.

The Evil Eye is one of the most ancient superstitions in Italy. Every region seems to have their own version of the Evil Eye, but some take it more seriously than others. The cornicello is also used to ward off the malocchio.

The corno or cornicello is an amulet of ancient origin used in South Italy. Corno means “horn” and cornicello means “little horn” — these names refer to a long, gently twisted horn-shaped amulet worn in Italy to protect against the evil eye. Cornicelli are usually carved out of red coral or made of gold or silver. The type of horn they are intended to copy is not a curled-over sheep horn or goat horn but rather like the twisted horn of an African eland or something similar. Over the years they have become rather stylized and now look less like a natural animal horn than they once did.

These little horns (like the horns of all horned animals) are presumed to have once been sacred to the Old European moon goddess, before the rise of Christianity. The horned god Faunus was known for his wild nature and interest in fertility. The ancient Romans knew well Cernunnos, the horned Celtic god of fertility, life, animals, wealth, and the underworld. The horns of an African eland most resemble the original amulets.

Related to the Corno is the hand gesture (extending only the pinkie and index finger like a pair of horns) known as the mano cornuta, which can be used (pointing upwards or directly at the victim (cornuto)) to curse another or not so subtly send the message that a man’s wife or girlfriend is straying. This gesture can also be used to ward off the Evil Eye (pointing fingers down).

Naples’ Nativity scene is the most famous in the world. Lights, colors, smells and traditions in San gregorio Armeno.

From December 8 to January 6, most Neapolitans have a nativity scene in their homes but, while it is being set up, family members usually argue over the best position for the various figurines. Via San Gregorio Armeno is the street of nativity scenes from which you cannot return home empty-handed. Here there is an endless succession of craftsmen’s workshops where figurines and features are made all year round. Those who prefer the DIY approach will find, wood, cork bark, moss, lights, electric motors and everything they need for their crib scene, while the lazier citizens can choose a ready-made scene in the size they prefer and need only worry about adding the figurines.

Since the 18th centuries, Neapolitan cribs scenes have been admired worldwide and the artisans of Naples love adding figures that have nothing to do with the birth of Christ but reflect characters from the Bourbon Kingdom of Naples: the innkeeper, the water-seller, the washerwomen, and all the professions under the sun as well as incredibly realistic miniature baskets of fruit, fish and bread. Some artisans make nativity figurines drawing inspiration from contemporary figures and celebrities, including the all time favourite Diego Maradona Once this year’s figurine has been purchased, it’s time to head back home and the inevitable debate on where to place the newcomer, after which the crib scene waits only for baby Jesus to be placed in the manger at midnight on Christmas Eve, a sign that the festivities can begin and everyone can wish each other a merry Christmas.

The food made in Campania conquers Paris. Gerard Depardieu eulogizes the Region and mozzarella: “Campania is unique and incomparable. For me Italy starts from Naples”

The food made in Campania to the conquest of the Eiffel Tower.

The first and the second of the december, 21 business Campania’s realities of the agri-food sector exhibited their excellent products at the “Salon Bermuda Onion” – Gallery Beaugrenelle Paris during the festival of flavors.

Wines, cheeses, mozzarella, tomatoes, coffee, desserts and pasta were the protagonists of the exhibit. Moreover, there were B2B meetings to develop international business and relationship.

Also Gerard Depardieu eulogizes the Region and mozzarella: “Campania is unique and incomparable. For me Italy starts from Naples”

Thanks Gerard! Made in South wins!

Do you know “caffè sospeso”?

A “caffè sospeso” or pending coffee is a cup of coffee paid for in advance as an anonymous act of charity. The tradition was over 100 years old, it began in the working-class cafés of Naples, where someone who had experienced good luck would order a sospeso, paying the price of two coffees but receiving and consuming only one. A poor person enquiring later whether there was a “sospeso” available would then be served a coffee for free.

The generosity of the Neapolitans is contagious, the idea has been reported in cafés in many other countries.

Good cafés to everyone!

Ranking of Italian cities on their dangerousness, according “Il Sole 24 Ore” the major economical Italian newspaper.

First Milano, 2° Rimini, 3° Bologna, 4° Rome, 7° Florence and 17° Venice,  Naples just 36° in the chart.

Other cities in Campania are among the safest in Italy, 69° Salerno, 82° Caserta, 101° Avellino and 103° Benevento. This chart is based on 106 cities in Italy.

So, the South Italy becomes obvious that is more secure than North Italy.

We already know this!

Naples’ Toledo is Europe’s most beautiful Metro station

Say the word subway and you think: dirty, dark and rats. But in Naples, Italy, an ongoing public art project has transformed 13 metro stations into works of art, with the most recent on Via Toledo being named one of The Daily Telegraph‘s most impressive undergrounds in Europe.

Also CNN have named Naples’ Toledo Metro station as top of the list of Europe’s most beautiful metro stations.

For the price of a subway fair visitors can wander through tunnels and admire sculptures that would be more than fitting to be featured in major metropolitan art galleries.

Naples’ Toledo station was opened in 2012, the 16th station on line 1, and links the city’s main shopping streets via Toledo. At 50 metres deep it is built below the ground water, yet the interior design is by Spanish firm Oscar Tusquets Blanca and as one of Naples’s Metro Art Stations this station’s theme is water and light. Indeed the railway has a long history in that part of the world with the Napoli-Portici, the first Italian railway line; it was built by the Bayard Company and opened in 1839. It now forms part of the Naples–Salerno line.

The art within Toledo was curated by Achille Bonito Oliva, works of art include two William Kentridge mosaics, designed by the South African artist but realised by Neapolitan artisans. In the deepest corridor of the station are Robert Wilson’s ‘Light Panels’ and works by Achille Cevoli. The station is also the meeting point for the Metro Art Tour.

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