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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Hi people!
This blog was having some problems so I decided to move there


(just take off a "Y" from the url!)

please update your bookmarks and kinks!

The Vespa and Piaggio Museum (Pontedera)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

This is a fantastic museum! It’s not so famous, but if you love Vespa, at least if you liked Vacanze Romane (the movie), you really have to see it, it also has free entrance!
I’ve been there some weeks ago and it really amazed me… I still have an old Piaggio moped called “Grillo” and I’m quite sentimental about it, and the Vespas are so cool!

The Vespa Museum is located in Pontedera, a small city between Florence and Pisa, where the historical Piaggio factory sis producing scooters and motorcycles since 1884.
The Piaggio Museum was inaugurated on the 29th March 2000, it occupies 3,000 sq. m. of what used to be the old company toolshop, a smart conversion of an industrial area for cultural purposes.

The Museum's halls display Vespa and Gilera collections, with the most significant of Piaggio's products.
The Vespas on display are the most beautiful and the rarest of their kind, such as the prestigious Vespa painted by Salvador Dalì or the record-breaking Vespas.
Beside the Vespa are the products that also made the history of the company, mopeds such as “Ciao” and “Sì” that marked an epoch and the multi-functional Ape, the small truck that artisans and retailers over the generations have used and appreciated for its versatility, and which had an important role in reconstructing Italy after the second world war.

I took hundreds of pictures, there are some incredible Vespas!
Here are some examples of the amazing Vespas of the Piaggio Museum that I portrayed:

Some classic Vespas, behind you can see a couple of Ape trucks

A very long Vespa!

This Vespa was painted and autographed by Salvador Dalì in 1962

This "Siluro Vespa" (that means rocket) in 1951 beated all standing kilometre records with a time of 21.4 seconds and an average speed of 171.1 km/h.

the special Vespa Alpha, designed for the movie "Get Smart"

A giant Vespa and a cow-Vespa

Vespa 150 T.A.P. a very special Vespa, produced between 1956 and 1959, used by the Foreign Legion and French paratroopers.

Florentine Tripe Recipe (Trippa alla Fiorentina)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

This is one of my favourite traditional dishes of Florence, the Florentine tripe (Trippa alla Fiorentina). It’s incredibly tasty, made with “poor” ingredients and it's a big part of the Tuscany popular and ancient tradional cusine.

1 onion
1 carrot
1 stalk celery
extra-virgin olive oil
3 pounds tripe, blanched and boiled
1 pound canned peeled tomatoes.
Parmigiano cheese

Use only the best parts of the tripe, and cut it into very thin strips.

Clean, wash and chop the onion, carrot and celery and put into a metal pan with olive oil. Cook well, then add the tripe.

When tripe gets golden in colour, add the tomatoes, chopped very finely.

Add salt and pepper, then cook over a very low heat for about half an hour, until the sauce has reduced almost completely, stirring frequently to prevent sticking.

The tripe may be served immediately when is still hot, sprinkled with some grated Parmigiano over.

Tripe is usually served with boiled or mashed potatoes or, if preferred, with cannellini beans and olive oil.

You can try this unique speciality in one of the several tripe stands (trippai) in the streets of the city.
Tripe stands are generally open from 8:30 or 9 a.m. to 6:30 or 7:30 p.m. some of them even on Saturdays.

Some addresses:
Mario Albergucci, Piazzale di Porta Romana.
Sergio Pollini, Via dei Macci (near Borgo La Croce).
Il Trippaio di Firenze, Via Maso Finiguerra.
Marco Bolognesi, Via Gioberti.
Trippaio, Via Dante Alighieri.
Nerbone (inside San Lorenzo Market, 011-39- 055-219-949).