Italy is known all over the world not only for its good food and excellent wine and oil, but it was the cradle of culture and many traditions were then exported to the world by the various explorers, not surprisingly is called Italy as the birthplace of "A Nation of poets, artist, heroes, saints, thinkers, scientist, of navigators and traveller". In this blog we want to give some information about the history of our Italy, we speak not only of food and wine but also of everything that's great about a very small country but full of so much imagination, culture and beauty.
The video is made by the director Silvio Muccino for the Italian Ministry of Economic Development. The advertising spot is being broadcast on US networks and it was done to promote the Made in Italy abroad, a small 90-second film to support the export of real Italian food.
(Courtesy by Italian Culture for ICE - Agency for the promotion abroad and the internationalization of Italian brands and Macchiavelli Music Publishing).
A Brief Hystory of "The Former Italian Concession Area in Tianjin"
At the end of the nineteenth century the China was shaken by a deep cultural crisis, political crisis and economic crisis: the two Opium Wars (1839-1842 and 1856-1860), the resulting increase in the Western presence in China and the Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895) had shown throughout the backwardness of China than in the West.
The failure of the reforms promoted by the Empress Cixi to lift the country had started the attempt on the part of the sovereign, to direct the tide of popular discontent against foreigners, and precisely in this context that was born in Shandong, the sect the "Fists of justice and harmony" (Yihequan), known in the West under the name "Boxer" (Quanfei).
The rebellion began in 1898, spreading rapidly throughout northern of the China, it was mostly young peasants who rebelled to foreigners, especially to the missionaries and the Manchu dynasty (in fact had spread the idea that the crisis Chinese and the dependence of the country from the West were linked to the fact that the Qing Dynasty, as the Manchurian and not Chinese, was not able to govern the country in the right way); already in the year after, however, the Boxers abandoned ideas anti-Manchu, passing by the Qing, and in particular from the Empress Cixi in the fight against the foreign presence in China.
The May 20, 1900 posters in the streets of Beijing announced that the massacre of foreigners would take place on the first day of the fifth moon, the situation was becoming increasingly risky for westerners, diplomats and not that live in China; the need or not any intervention in China was a topic on the agenda throughout the Western countries included the Italy.
The Italian concession in Tianjin was granted to the Kingdom of Italy since it sent an Italian expeditionary force in China for fight against the Boxer Rebellion in 1901; the Italian Concession was the self-governing commercial area and was obtained from the 7th June 1902 with the signing of the Boxer Protocol (7th September 1901)
The Italian Concession had an area of 46 hectares and was one of the minor concessions donated by the Celestial Empire to the European powers; the first Italian console was Cesare Poma from the April 1901, the colony was governed by a Board chaired by the Royal console and formed by residents, with the national members of the majority and representatives of foreign and Chinese.
The area was made up ground on the left bank of the river Hai-Ho (Pei-I) rich in salt, with a village and a large marshy area used as a cemetery; Italians draw and built the city according to functional their own taste: they built streets and squares with many tree, embellishing places with gardens and fountains; they called the Streets via Trieste, via Trento, via Firenze, Piazza Regina Elena and other places with evocative names of every Italian city, (according to the place names still indicated by bilingual signs); they did not fail also places of catholics cult, such as the Church of the Sacred Heart, built in a style reminiscent of the Basilica of “Santa Maria delle Grazie” in Milan, which was years later turned into a games room.
About 900 military "unredeemed" (soldiers of Italian ethnicity originating in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, primarily from the Trentino and Venezia Giulia-Dalmatia) came into the Italian concession of Tientsin in the last months of the First World War, they came from Russia upset by civil war between the White Army and the Bolsheviks; these soldiers, serving in "Legione Redenta", were united to Alpine from Italy to form the Italian Expeditionary Corps in the Far East, based precisely in Tianjin.
This expeditionary force fought in the summer of 1919 to keep active Siberian railway in Manchuria, which served the Allies to supply the "White" Russians against the Soviets.
After the "Great War", the Austrian Concession in Tianjin the same city was incorporated into the Italian area in the June 1927, after a series of clashes between opposing factions Chinese; in 1935, the Italian Concession reached a population of 6,261 persons, including some 110 Italian residents as well as several hundreds of Italians who had sales offices, approximately 5,000 Chinese and 536 people of other nationalities.
In those years came Galeazzo Ciano to Tianjin, the son in law of Benito Mussolini, he was his foreign minister, he was convinced to export fascism in China and spread just from the small Italian colony; The project failed, of course, but the passage of the hierarch in the East, however, remained a casino, which made the city flourish in gambling.
The garrison of Tianjin was reinforced after the war with sailors from the gunboat Caboto and from the cruiser Libia in the fall of 1924, the soldiers had a task to protect the concession in the ongoing struggles between the various warlords Chinese; then was reconstituted the Marine Division of the Far East on 1 January 1925, with the sailors of the cruiser San Giorgio and the gunboat Lepanto, the Admiral Angelo Ugo Conz was the Commander in chef.
The Italian Battalion in China was officially constituted the March 5, 1925, it was built by Mussolini and it was hosted in the new "Caserma Ermanno Carlotto", it increased over time, it came to rally three military companies: San Marco, Libia and San Giorgio; the granting in the Far East (EO) was manned by 300 sailors of the San Marco Regiment in the 10th of June 1940.
The Japanese occupy the concessions immediately after their entry into the World War: they invaded under the pretext of maintaining order, plundering barracks and closing in concentration camps officers and troops of various nationalities.
The men of the “Battaglione San Marco” who did not accept to collaborate were transported to a concentration camp near Tangshan in Korea, those who accepted the collaboration could remain in the barracks until January 8, 1944, then they were expelled because "civilians not enemies"; the terms of the license were discussed again and finally the same concession was effectively suspended, following an agreement reached July 27, 1944 between the “Repubblica Sociale Italiana” and the fake government of the pro-Japanese state of the Republic of Nanjing.
At the end of World War II Italians of the concession were prisoners of the Allies and the Concession of Tianjin was formally abolished and were assigned to China with the Treaty of Paris in the 10th of February 1947; three-hundred sailors of the “Battaglione San Marco” manning the former concession and were still imprisoned were repatriated; with the defeat of the Nationalists in 1949, the country became the Republic of China.
Among Italians who lived in Tianjin in those years, there were also some people who came to play important roles in local public life: Evaristo Caretti became the general manager of China Post, the engineer Gibello Soccofu put in charge of the railways of Manchuria, while Quirino Gerli and Armando De Luca took over the direction of the national Customs Agency.
In those years, the foreign people who lived in the concession of Tianjin, they also organized a "World Championship" between the football teams; the Italy won the tournament by defeating England by 3 to 0, the team was led by Aldo Fulcheris (former player of Savona): "We will not be the strongest soldiers, but in football we are very strong, especially against the self-proclaimed English football Master."
The only time in which the Italy intervenes in economic aid to the Concession, was in 1912, when after many requests from Italian diplomats who ruled in Tianjin, the Minister of Foreign Affairs asked to the parliament to make a loan of "400 mila lire".
The origin of the word "Pizza" is uncertain and debated, a popular suggestion argues that comes from the Greek pita (derived from the ancient Greek pēktos, πηκτός, which means "solid" or "curdled"); The ancient greek scovered their bread with oils, herbs and cheese; while the Romans developed placenta, a sheet of pasta topped with cheese and honey and flavored with bay leaves. Arriving in Naples, around the year one thousand, one speaks of primitive dunks calls "Lagano", and also appears the word "picea", perhaps indicating a different preparation, in the sense of having already the disc of dough covered with colorful ingredients before baking the disc of dough.
Subsequently, the term appears like “Pizza", not forgetting, however, that the term also indicates pizza today in the south of Italy is not just the classic pizza, but also pasta disks stuffed, stuffed buns, or similar preparations.
In the summer of 1889 the King Umberto I and the Queen Margherita, spent the summer palace of Capodimonte in Naples, for an celebrate's appearance in the ancient kingdom of the Two Sicilies; the Queen was intrigued of pizza which she had never eaten and that he had heard from some writer or artist admitted in the nobil court.
Not being able to go directly into one Pizzeria (a tipical Italian restaurant for Pizza), so Don Raffaele Esposito, owner of the famous pizzeria "Pietro il Pizzaiolo" and the most renowed pizzaiolo of the time, went to the her place; Don Raffaele using the ovens of the royal kitchens, assisted by his wife Donna Rosa, prepared three different pizzas, the Queen liked it so much a cake wrapped in the colors of the Italian flag: red (tomato), green (basil) and white (mozzarella cheese).
So after the Pizza has migrated to America with the Italians; after the Second World War, many returning American soldiers who were stationed in Italy created a high demand for the Pizza they encountered and tasted in Italy, Then the Pizza became famous around the world. Pizza in this day and age has no limitations, it can be deep-dish pizza, stuffed pizza, pizza pockets, pizza turnovers, rolled pizza, pizza-on-a-stick, all with combinations of sauce and toppings limited only by one's inventiveness.
There are several current about the origin of "Piadina" on its shape and original mixture, since the ancient Romans there are traces of this form of bread, while the first written evidence of the presence of flat bread dates back to 1371 DC.; the Piadina was consumed in ancient Rome in the most refined since considered a dish full of flavor, while the peasants were eating it because it was a simple, cheap, and tasty food.
The Italian poet Giovanni Pascoli, who celebrated in his verses the most real emotions of the people of Romagna, he goes back to the table the flatbread Latin and found traces even in the “Eneide”, and for this flatbread called the "bread rude of Rome“; so much so that the typical "Romagna Testo”, the sheet of refractory earth on which you cook the Piadina Romagnola, derives from the Latin word "head", or "crock" and some said that even the name Piadina comes directly from "Platus," that is "flat".
In the Renaissance period the Piadina Romagnola had a decline, but remained always the simple meal of peasants and poor people who could not afford anything more and had to make do with the products of the earth.
Today the Piadina is consumed mainly in Romagna, where the countries of the Romagna countryside, meet with ease and little Piadina kiosks, where mother and daughter often knead and stretch the simple handset.
But not only that, now this homemade dish became famous throughout all the Italy where they were born also shops that prepare Piadina with different fillings, leaving room for the imagination of the owner or the customers.
The Spritz (also called Spritz Veneziano or just Veneziano) is a wine-based cocktail commonly served as an aperitif in Northeast Italy; the drink is prepared with prosecco wine, a dash of some bitter liqueur such as Aperol, Campari, Cynar, or, especially in Venice, with Select.
The glass is then topped off with sparkling mineral water, it is usually served over ice in a old fashioned glass (or sometimes a martini glass or wine glass) and garnished a slice of orange, or sometimes an olive, depending on the liqueur.
The drink originated in Venice while it was part of the Austrian Empire, and is based on the Austrian Spritzer, a combination of equal parts white wine and soda water; another idea is that the name of the drink would be linked to that of a typical Austrian wine in the region of the Wachau; the Spritz’s recipe is shrouded in mystery, or perhaps never existed, there isn’t a unique composition for a spritz because it changes in every city or small town where the bartenders freely interpret the doses and the entire preparation: for that the alcohol content is so variable; however, a common denominator between the existing variants is the presence of Prosecco and sparkling water or seltzer, which quantitatively must be at least 40% and 30%, the remaining 30% is completed by the most varied types of alcoholic drinks, sometimes mixed, with the unwritten rule to preserve the red color of the cocktail; to conclude the work a slice of lemon, orange or an olive and a few ice cubes.
The famous "Costoletta alla Milanese", breaded milk-fed veal little rib, fried in clarified butter, will be the official dish of the 9th International Day of Italian Cuisines, which will be celebrated next 17 January 2016 in thousands of italian restaurants all around the world.
The origins of Costoletta alla Milanese are rooted in that Lombolos cum panitio, that is, breaded and fried veal cutlets, offered by the abbot of Saint Ambrose Basilica in Milan , in the distant 17th of September 1134 . Ambrose, Bishop and Roman Consul, was and is the saint patron of the city and on that day it was the feast of Saint Satiro, his brother. As Pietro Verri writes in his History of Milan, the dish appeared in the menu of the nine-course banquet offered to the canons of the church for the occasion. The original recipe is made of: veal chops, such as bone-in rib eye, eggs, breadcrumbs, clarified butter.
Barolo (the king of wines) is a red Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) wine produced in the northern Italian region of Piedmont. It is made from the Nebbiolo grape and is often described as one of Italy's greatest wines. Barolo is often described as having the aromas of tar and roses, and the wines are noted for their ability to age and usually take on a rust red tinge as they mature. When subjected to aging of at least five years before release, the wine can be labeled a Riserva.
The Italian Style
The video was created for promote the famous the concept of Italian Style around the world.
(Courtesy by Hoplites SrL).
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