Villa del Balbianello: Cardinal Angelo Maria Durini built Villa del Balbianello at the end of the XVIII century. It stands on the tip of a steep promontory overlooking Lake Como, almost opposite Bellagio.
The explorer Guido Monzino designed the current appearance. It has above all a rich collection of Chinese, African and pre-Colombian art, precious English and French furniture of the 1700s. It has a small museum with documents and mementos of his expeditions.
The elegant “loggia” with three arches rising on the highest point of the promontory dominates the panoramic terraced garden. It is the true masterpiece in the Villa del Balbianello.
The small port
Dosso d’Avedo is just a few minutes by boat from Balbiano. Here, at the end of the 1700s, there were only the romantic remains of a small Franciscan church. Cardinal Durini built here from 1787 a splendid “place of delights” where he could study and discuss letters and arts with a few qualified friends.
Guests climbed to the villa up a steep staircase overlooking the lake. The “Fay ce que voudras” (Do what you want) is engraved on the paving of the portico opening on to the small port welcomes them. Today similarly it is the same. Access from the lake to the Villa del Balbianello is the main approach.
The “loggia” that Cardinal Durini commissioned slightly is above the house on the central part of the promontory. It is the true architectural invention of the Villa del Balbianello. Parallel to the peninsula, it similarly offers fine views of the landscapes of Tremezzina. This is the true heart of the Lario area and the bay opposite towards the island of Comacina.
Two symmetrical rooms: the library and the music room (today the map room) flank the “loggia”. It welcomed Giuseppe Parini for many hours, to whom the Cardinal dedicated his Ode “Gratitude”.
The map room
Many maps and geographical charts used by Count Guido Monzino in his exploits are on display in the map room in the “loggia” of the Villa del Balbianello. There are also many period prints on the walls depicting views and panoramas of the lake.
Four thousand volumes are also in the library. They were collected by Monzino over many years of scrupulous research in all countries of the world. Today it is certainly one of the most complete and precious collections dedicated to alpine and polar expeditions.
The museum of expeditions
The expedition room on the upper floor of the Villa del Balbianello includes an exhibition of mementos and memorabilia of Guido Monzino’s boldest expeditions. One of the eight dog-hauled sleds that Monzino used to reach the North Pole in 1971 is in the room. In its center, there are photographs, flags, and honors. The small Eskimo statues representing divinities and anthropomorphic figures are certainly very interesting.
Cardinal Durini had available a very cramped space on the rocky tip of the peninsula. The lack of earth consequently caused considerable problems for planting new species. It was impossible to create an Italian garden. Numerous laurel and box hedges, therefore, mark off lawns with geometrical precision. It was not possible therefore to create an English garden either. The garden at Villa del Balbianello is something else in its won right. Everything relates to the lake and shores, where nothing distracts from the vision of the water.
Lombardia in Cucina: The Flavours of Lombardy
Milan-style risotto, pizzoccheri Valtellinesi, and pumpkin tortelli to start; casoeula, Milan-style cutlets, frogs stewed in tomato to follow, and to send, a slice of sbrisolona cake or panettone.
Lombardy surprises with the richness of its culinary traditions and natural ingredients, which modernity has barely affected.
"Milano in Cucina" captures this kaleidoscope of flavours, with contributions from some of the most celebrated chefs on the culinary scene, who pay homage to their territory, and whose skill is able to present a modern vision in keeping with the region's progressive spirit.
The Italian Academy of Cuisine
La Cucina: The Regional Cooking of Italy
Fifty years ago, a group of Italian scholars gathered to discuss a problem: how to preserve traditional Italian cooking. They formed the Italian Academy of Cuisine to document classic recipes from every region. The academy’s more than seven thousand associates spread out to villages everywhere, interviewing grandmothers and farmers at their stoves, transcribing their recipes—many of which had never been documented before. This is the culmination of that research, an astounding feat—2,000 recipes that represent the patrimony of Italian country cooking. Each recipe is labeled with its region of origin, and it’s not just the ingredients but also the techniques that change with the geography. Sprinkled throughout are historical recipes that provide fascinating views into the folk culture of the past. There are no fancy flourishes here, and no shortcuts; this is true salt-of-the-earth cooking. The book is an excellent everyday source for easily achievable recipes, with such simple dishes as White Bean and Escarole Soup, Polenta with Tomato Sauce, and Chicken with Lemon and Capers. For ease of use there are four different indexes. La Cucina is an essential reference for every cook’s library.
Milano in Cucina: The Flavours of Milan
The famous Risotto Alla Milanese gets its golden hue from the precious spice saffron. Legend has it that the dish came about when a Milanese painter decided to gild the risotto served at his wedding banquet with a harmless gold-colored dye. In Milan, they traditionally serve Risotto Alla Milanese with ossobuco (braised veal shank).
Traditionally made with raisins and candied citron, or with a creamy cream filling, the light, fluffy brioche-like bread called panettone may be tall or short, covered with chocolate or flavored with various liquors, but it’s always a symbol of the Christmas season.
With its hallmark domed shape, panettone graced Christmas tables in Milan since at least the 15th-century. Common knowledge claims its invention is from Milan. It is the most famous Christmas Lombardia food.
The Pax side of the Moon featuring Cesareo
Lombardia (Dicon tutti che sei mia) Quarantine Version - feat. Cesareo (Quarantine Version)